The weekend is finally here. In what will serve as Florida's last major visit weekend before National Signing Day, the Gators will play host to a majority of the remaining top targets on their board who have not officially visited already. It will be a wild weekend full of twists commitment possibilities and all the things you would expect to factor into a January weekend as signing day nears.
Here's the breakdown of who will be on campus:
3 five-star prospects
4 Rivals100 members
4 four-star prospects
While it will be a busy weekend in Gainesville, some of Florida's major targets will also be visiting elsewhere:
Five-star defensive end Darius Hamilton is expected to spend is weekend at Rutgers. His home-state school has long been considered a leader for Hamilton despite being a lower profile program in comparison to his other choices.
Josh Harvey-Clemons, a five-star athlete from Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes, will visit Florida State this weekend.
Rivals100 defensive end Leonard Williams will be on campus at Southern California this weekend.
Rivals100 offensive tackle Avery Young will be taking his official visit to Miami this weekend.
University of Florida Official
Visitors: Jan. 20, 2012
BRYAN COX JR. 6-3, 240 pounds Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.) STA Primary Recruiter: Aubrey Hill Strongside DE ranking: No. 36 Florida ranking: No. 88
Skinny: Not much has been heard about the son of former NFL
All-Pro Bryan Cox since the Gators offered him around the time of Friday
Night Lights. Cox struggled with injuries during his senior season and was
seldom heard from. The Gators are most likely looking at him as a backup
candidate at the Buck position.
STEFON DIGGS 6-0, 185 pounds Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good
Counsel Primary Recruiter: Aubrey Hill Wide receiver ranking: No.
2 Rivals100 ranking: No. 8
Skinny: One of the weekend's biggest highlights, Florida is
back in Diggs' good graces after momentarily falling out of the picture
after the departure of offensive coordinator Charlie Weis. The Gators seem
to be making the biggest surge for the speedy playmaker yet as this will
be his second time meeting with UF coaches this week. With a date with the
SAT coming next weekend, this could very well be Diggs' final official
visit. He will also be in town with family after taking his other two
official visits alone.
DANTE FOWLER JR. 6-3, 232 pounds St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood Primary
Recruiter: Dan Quinn Weakside defensive end ranking: No. 2 Rivals100
ranking: No. 28
Skinny: The question likely won't stop being asked until
National Signing Day. Fowler has shown consistent interest in Florida
throughout the recruiting process but has yet to make any kind of flip
from his pledge to FSU. If the switch happens, it will come on signing
day, and Florida would likely be the only other realistic option for his
Skinny: The nation's top cornerback has been part of a UF
resurgence over the past couple of months. His services were long thought
to be a two-headed battle between Florida State and Miami, but both
schools have seemingly fallen off the map with him. The idea of adding
Howard to a class that already includes Brian Poole and Willie Bailey on a
defense deep in the secondary is scary for anyone who will be facing
Florida in the coming years.
Skinny: Will he or won't he? Johnson has been committed to
LSU since September 2010 but has continuously dangled the possibility of a
change in heart. Now he has said Florida and LSU are the only two schools
with a chance to land him on signing day. The Gators will hold him third
on their wanted list right now as Diggs and Nelson Agholor are the top
priority. However, with little to work with at receiver, it could be worth
it to at least attempt a push on Johnson.
MATT JONES 6-3, 225 pounds Seffner (Fla.) Armwood Primary
Recruiter: Brian White, Derek Lewis Running back ranking: No.
12 Rivals250 ranking: No. 190
Skinny: One of four commits taking an official visit this
weekend, few recruits have stuck more true to the Gators throughout the
recruiting process than Jones. The big back is one of the 2012 class' most
outspoken recruiters of undecided targets. He will have plenty of victims
to choose from this weekend as some of his good friends will be visiting
with him. After the decommitment of Mike Davis, Jones' importance to this
recruiting season skyrocketed.
JAFAR MANN 6-4, 275 pounds Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson Primary
Recruiter: Dan Quinn Defensive tackle ranking: No. 39 Georgia
ranking: No. 44
Skinny: This will be Mann's first trip to Gainesville since
the Florida State game in November. On that trip, he was accompanied by
high school teammate and former Florida commit Davis. Shortly after, Davis
decommitted, but Mann has stood strong by his commitment regardless.
Skinny: If Florida fans weren't already excited about getting
one of the nation's premier cornerbacks on campus, they had plenty of
motivation to get excited watching the Under Armour All-America Game.
Poole showed out at Tropicana Field and received praise from people like
former NFL head coach Herm Edwards, who said Poole could make an excellent
nickelback at Florida. He was a concern for some when he began taking
other visits, however, he has assured ITG he is all Gator.
COLIN THOMPSON 6-5, 255 pounds Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood Catholic
Primary Recruiter: Derek Lewis Rivals250 ranking: No. 187 Tight
end ranking: No. 8
Skinny: Thompson is going to bring to Florida the tough
blocking tight end that this pro-style offense needs so desperately.
However, that presence won't be in Gainesville until summer. First, he
will bring his other strengths to a big recruiting weekend at UF. Thompson
is one of Florida's most personable and dedicated commits. He is sure to
make his presence felt on the targets who are in town.