February 5, 2003

Joe Cohen Talks About Decision

Melbourne Palm Bay star Joe Cohen first informed the Florida Today of his commitment to Florida. Here's a look at the quotes he gave the Florida Today.

"I was standing there kind of in a daze just washing dishes and it hit me," he said. "When I think about Florida State, all I think about is football. Then it hit me that except for this year, I've been injured every year. I thought, 'What if I got hurt and couldn't play no more?' I couldn't see myself at Florida State without football, but at Florida everything just felt right. Now I just hope this football thing goes right.

"When the decision became so clear to me while I was washing dishes, I figured it must be because I was by the water."

"I believe they'll give me a chance (at running back). I'm nervous and excited about being a big back in college and to find out whether I can be. If they give me a chance, I'll show 'em. I'll be fine.

"The hardest thing about recruiting was knowing who to believe. Everybody said they wanted me as a big back, but it was hard to tell who meant it. I love to run the ball. I don't want to be a fullback because in college, all fullbacks do is block. I want to be called a big back and run the ball."

"(My 40-yard dash is) probably about a 4.8 right now, but I started doing squats yesterday just to get sore so I can start workouts next week."

"When I told Reggie I was going to Florida too, he gave me a hug and said now we're back together going to school. "Then he asked me, 'Are you sure?' I told him 'Yes, I'm sure.' "

"I'm pretty much at peace. I believe they'll give me a chance (to play running back). If they don't, I've got to make the best of the situation."

Cohen brings Florida's commitment total to 26. The Gators can sign up to 28, but may sign 29 in case someone doesn't qualify.

Florida’s commitments include five junior college players who have already signed -- Ventura (Calif.) center Billy Griffin, Northeast Mississippi Junior College defensive tackle Eric Holcombe, Mississippi Delta Junior college offensive tackle Tavarus Washington, Norwalk (Calif.) Cerritos College offensive guard Anthony Guerrero and Lackawanna (Penn.) Junior College tight end David Kenner, one recruit from last season in linebacker Channing Crowder who just enrolled in January at Florida, Webster South Sumter linebacker Earl Everett, Charlotte (N.C.) Independence quarterback Chris Leak, Jacksonville Ed White defensive back Dee Webb, Hoover (Ala.) wide receiver Chad Jackson, Jacksonville Mandarin defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, Denton (Texas) Ryan defensive end Jarvis Moss, Punta Gorda Charlotte quarterback Justin Midgett, Cohen, Nelson, Dodge City (Kan.) Community College defensive back Reynaldo Hill, Miami Braddock defensive end Tranell Morant, LaGrange (Ga.) running back Skyler Thornton, Clermont South Lake offensive tackle Carlton Medder, Oviedo linebacker Howard Lingard and defensive tackle Clint McMillan, Smiths (Ala.) Smiths Station defensive tackle Michael Hill, Miami Washington defensive tackle Johnny Dingle, St. Petersburg Lakewood defensive end Julian Riley, Sarasota Riverview offensive lineman Steven Rissler and Winter Park Trinity Prep punter Eric Wilbur.

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