IMG 7-on-7 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RECRUITING UPDATES
BRADENTON, Fla. | With 35 teams from across the country in town for the annual IMG 7-on-7 National Championship, there was plenty of talent all over the field on Saturday. With 12 games going on at a time it was impossible to see everything, but here's a look at some headlines from some of Florida's top commits and targets in attendance.
2016 Pass Catcher Has Big Weekend
Easily one of the most impressive underclassmen at the IMG 7-on-7 National Championship this past weekend was Tampa (Fla.) Catholic 2016 athlete Nate Craig. Over the course of the weekend Craig was virtually unstoppable, making big-time catch after big-time catch.
On the recruiting trail Craig currently has over two dozen offers, but no early leader or leader-board.
"I don't really have any standouts, but I want to take a visit to UCLA, USC, Auburn, and Alabama," explained Craig.
Sometime in July the 6-foot-2, 198-pounder is looking to visit the big three in-state, with planned trips to see Florida, Florida State, and Miami.
When it comes to Florida, Craig will admit that the Gators are the team he grew up rooting for and he was in the process of building a strong bond with what is now the former Florida wide receiver coach and has an existing bond with a current UF coach.
"I had a great relationship with Coach Joker [Phillips], but I talked things over with coach [Brian] White and I feel the same way with them that I always have. I am just going to keep visiting and keep the relationship with those coaches and maybe they will get an official visit down the road when I take them."
Craig was saddened to see Phillips resign, but said the loss of the Gator's assistant will play no factor in his decision.
"I talked to Coach Leak the day Coach Joker resigned," said Craig. "Coach White is my main man, but I would talk Coach Joker every now and then. It doesn't really change anything with me and Florida with him gone."
Craig also noted he is in no hurry to make a decision and is looking to announce his decision at the 2016 Under Armour All-American Bowl.
2016 Tight End Has Offer
A few weeks ago Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep 2016 wide receiver Jacob Mathis camped at the University of Florida and walked away with an offer. While working out in the Swamp Mathis got a chance to work with Gators tight end's coach Derek Lewis.
"It was good," said Mathis of camping at UF. "Coach Lewis is a great guy and he is always excited to be there and you can tell he loves his job. He taught me a few things and gave me some insight on the program."
At this time Florida, Ole Miss, and UCF are the only schools to extend a scholarship offer to the 6-foot-5, 215-pounder. He is ready to name any kind of formal leaders, but is very familiar with the Orange and Blue.
"It's close to home, two hours away, but all schools are even right now with me," said Mathis of Florida. "I have two years before anything needs to be decided. It's cool to have that offer because it's Florida and I have watched them on TV and know their tradition and stuff like that."
Going forward Mathis is looking at possible visits to UCF, Ole Miss and North Carolina sometime this summer. He is in no hurry to make any kind of verbal commitment and is hoping to hear from a few other programs down the road.
"Stanford would be great because of what they can do academically," said Mathis. "Ohio State, just because I like Urban Meyer. Even if I had those offers I would say things are even though just because I want to be open minded about that kind of stuff."
2016 Quarterback Visits and is Offered
Before competing on the field last weekend Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita Catholic 2016 quarterback K.J. Costello went on a whirlwind tour of college football powers, seeing Southern Cal, Michigan, Notre Dame, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida State and Florida.
"It was good getting to see all of those programs and those are all places that I can see myself playing at," said Costello of the visits. "I wanted to make sure that I get out to see those places and see how I fit in everything."
The 6-foot-4, 218-pounder capped off his trip with a stop in Gainesville to see the Gators.
"It was cool," said Costello of his UF visit. "Being from Southern California people are usually attracted to USC, which I am, but I really wanted to get out to see the SEC schools and I was extremely impressed with everything."
While at UF Costello also got a chance to sit down and talk with Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and California area recruiter Brian White.
"They showed me around campus and just talked with me about everything," said Costello. "They are great guys and it was good to hang out with them for the day."
So what stuck out the most to the west coast signal caller about his trip to UF?
"It was probably the Swamp," said Costello. "It was pretty sweet and I liked it. I have watched them on TV and they are a big time program. There are just athletes on top of athletes and that attracts me as a quarterback."