December 1, 2004

UF's Anderson visits South Miami OL

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If there were any doubts about how talented a player South Miami (Fla.) offensive lineman Simon Codrington is, those doubts might have been answered on Monday when coaches from Florida and N.C. State scurried down to Miami to visit with the mammoth offensive lineman. Also, don't forget he has 15-plus Division I football scholarships with the latest coming from the Florida State Seminoles.

On Monday, N.C. State assistant coach Doc Holiday stopped by South Miami for a few hours, but UF defensive line coach Red Anderson beat Holiday to South Miami. Anderson and Codrington talked for 30 minutes on Monday before N.C. State got their chance.

"We just talked about the situation at Florida and how they feel about me," Codrington said. "He basically said whoever steps in and takes that spot is going to be stepping into a goldmine because of all the young athletes they have out there. He probably said that I might redshirt my first year, put on some weight and then the following year get some playing time or maybe even start."

Anderson has not skipped a beat recruiting Codrington since the October firings, but Codrington was affected by head coach Ron Zook's firing.

"To tell you the truth, I was really disappointed because me and coach Zook had built up a very good relationship," Codrington said. "Coach Zook is a really good man, and I don't think everything should be blamed on just one coach, so I was really disappointed to see that happen."

Initially, like many other recruits, UF dropped on Codrington's list because of the coaching situation.

"At first a little bit, but then I realized that no matter where I am at, if I am good, I am going to play no matter who is the coach," he said. "The coach is going to put his best 11 on the field."

Although UF dropped on his list, the Gators didn't fall out of favor in the Codrington household. But a key to signing Codrington could rely heavily on Anderson being retained as an assistant coach.

"He said that he has been there for 20 years, and he has been through four different head coaches, so he hopes he can stay there, but he said anything can happen," Codrington said. "I was thinking about (coach Anderson not being at UF) a lot, and I am just hoping that everything is settled and everything will be ironed out before I make my decision. Obviously you want the coach who was recruiting you to be there."

Codrington is not tying himself down to a final list of schools, but five teams are out front right now and in good position to land Codrington's signature. N.C. State, FSU and Auburn are "slightly" ahead of UF and West Virginia at this juncture. FSU is the newest team to the mix, but that is because they offered him a week before the UF-FSU showdown. Another reason is because he has a lot of family in Tallahassee.

Codrington has official visits scheduled with N.C. State (Dec. 10), FSU (Jan. 7) and UF (Jan. 14). He has a tentative date scheduled for Dec. 17 to visit Auburn.

"I really want to go on the N.C. State and Auburn visits because I think they are going to be practicing, and I would love to see how the coaches coach," he said. "Auburn said they want me to come up there and watch them coach and see the atmosphere."

Codrington is excited about finishing the recruiting process, but he still plans to ride the process out.

"This is probably the biggest decision of my life," he said. "I am not going to rush into anything. I am just going to sit down with my family, think about it and then make a decision."


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