Please feel free to share this Inside the Gators feature with your friends
The Rivals/VTO football camp made a stop in Winter Park, Florida on Sunday to bring some of the top talent within the Sunshine State out to show what they are made of. Some of the participants of the event were on the radar for the University of Florida, and Sunday they showed why the coaches for the Orange and Blue are interested.
The loneliest number
Despite the fact that several were scheduled to attend, in the end the only Gator commit of 2013 at the event was Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland four-star outside linebacker Quinton Powell. While there, Powell made some time to network a little on behalf of the Gators. Powell, who split the linebacker MVP award, was in the ear of prospects such as Rivals 100 Seffner (Fla.) Armwood safety Leon McQuay III and Pompano Beach (Fla.) Blanche Ely three-star cornerback Rashard Robinson.
Powell said he wasn't sure if he really got through.
"I told him [Mcquay] 'You going to be a Gator?' and he just shook his head and didn't say anything like he was trying to keep his mouth shut, I think he wants to keep quiet about what's going on with him. I also talked to that defensive back [Robinson] he was just saying that LSU and FSU were his only offers, and that he didn't have one from Florida but he grew up a fan of them."
Powell also added that he made sure to keep in the ear of Rivals 100 safety Marcell Harris, who is a target that Powell is very frequently talking to on behalf of the Gators.
Top DL hearing from the Gators
There was plenty of talent along both lines of scrimmage on Sunday. Several of the top performers in the linemen one-on-one drills said that they talk quite a bit with the Florida coaching staff.
Defensive lineman MVP, 2014 Wauchula (Fla.) Hardee defensive end Keyon Brown displayed quick speed around the end and dominated his opponents in the one-on-one drills. Brown said that Florida is one of the schools he hears from the most.
"I went to Florida's spring game and USF sends me stuff in the mail about camps their having and stuff like that," explained Brown. "The spring game at Florida was great; I loved the atmosphere, the weight room, and a great campus. They talk to my coach and he said it's mainly Florida he talks to, he said they're interested and keep up the good work and their supposedly coming to my spring game, I grew up a Florida fan so it means a lot to have them interested."
A few others that noted they hear from the orange and blue are Dade City (Fla.) Pasco defensive end Joey Ivie and Plant City (Fla.) defensive tackle Devyn Salmon.
Ivie took a visit to the Swamp a while back and said that since then Florida has stepped up their interest.
"The visit I took was great they said they liked my highlights, talked to the head coach, talked to a few defensive coaches, the weightlifting coach showed me around the weight room and all that I really liked it," said Ivie. "They're coming down to my practices May 4th I think. They're looking at me both a D end and D tackle and they have only been recruiting me for like a week so I don't expect an offer really soon, but I think it will happen."
Salmon said when he hears from Florida, it's from tight ends Coach Derek Lewis.
"He just tells me to keep my grades up and keep my mind right, I give him a call once every two weeks. He's also said they're going to come down and watch me practice this spring and that they're interested."
Battle for top safety
Two headline names on the roster for the Florida VTO camp were Armwood's Leon McQuay III and Dr. Philips Marcell Harris. It was a promising start to the day for McQuay, before he called it a day before the event finished due to some tightness in his leg, likely caused by his coming off a big track meet.
McQuay's last visit to the Swamp came during April's Orange and Blue Debut, a trip he said he enjoyed.
"It was good," said the four-star rated prospect. "I watched the db's out there, they did good on the run support but they had a couple long passes."
He also noted that Clemson, UCF, and West Virginia were schools he recently spoke with.
McQuay's tender leg gave way for Harris to take home the MVP honors for the defensive backs. With spring football starting on the 1st of May Harris said that there are a few schools coming out to see him and Florida is one of them.
"Clemson recently offered me last week sometime, so they're coming out to see me, Florida State, Florida, Texas said they're coming. I haven't really talked to many schools lately, I guess since spring is coming up they're just going to talk to me then."
Click Here to view this Link. Under the radar, but exceeding expectations
There were three stand out performers on Sunday all of which yet to have an offer. With Tampa (Fla.) Tampa Catholic Wide receiver Zach Benjamin who shared the MVP award for best wide out, Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake three-star quarterback Pete Dinovo, and Plant City (Fla.) offensive guard Seth Crowell, who showed off quick feet and even got the best of Miami commit Keith Bryant in the one-on-one drills.
Crowell said he used VTO for a chance to work on a few things.
"I'm working on my explosion, my foot word, a lot of pass set stuff and getting out of our stance. I think my feet and my speed are what I have best to offer, I may not be 6'6 but I have an advantage in that, I run a sub 4.9."