ANAHEIM, Calif. – It was
all about the defense last Saturday as the Florida defense shutout California
20-0 in the Air 7 CaliFlorida Bowl.
That's why it's no surprise to see six Florida defenders ranked amongst the top
11 players by Rivals.com recruiting analysts John Talmanand Jeremy
Crabtree. The analysts rank the top players on both sides of the ball from
team based upon their entire week of practice and performance in the game.
Giving away the top
spot is tough considering all the talent on the Florida squad this year, but
when coaches for the team were calling Rose the best offensive lineman to
ever come through the game, it's a little bit easier to give him the nod. At
the tackle position last week, Rose looked well-schooled as a prospect and
has the size to make him an immediate impact player at the next level.
Considering the team was running a fast-paced no-huddle offense during
practice, it was obvious that the Rivals100 prospect was an anchor that the
coaches could depend on during preparation. During the game Rose was a
little banged up a little bit, but he still showed flashes of greatness.
A California defensive lineman says: "He's
a big, big, big boy. He's got some of the longest arms that I've seen on an
offensive lineman. I was able to beat him a few times with my speed on the
edge, but when he locked on you, it was over."
2. Tim Tebow,
– Committed to Florida
Tebow has all of the natural talents that college coaches thirst for in a
future Division-I signal caller. The strong arm was not the only thing that
he showcased last week, but also that uncanny ability to get out of trouble
quickly with good speed. While the defense was the story last week, the No.
1 rated dual-threat quarterback in the country lived up to his five-star
ranking making plays constantly on the run. It's easy to see how many
different things he'll be able to do at Florida
in the years to come. He did struggle some in the game on Saturday, but that
was more to do with the weather than with his game.
linebacker says: "We knew all about Tim Tebow, and we shut him out and
he didn't complete a pass against us. But he showed real heart and pounded
it out on the ground. I knew he was a good passer, but we didn't know he was
this good of a runner."
defensive tackle was never questioned about his size, but he took a year off
of high school football during his senior year to focus on grades. On top of
that, Deas showed up late to the CaliFlorida Bowl practices and didn't get
started until last Tuesday. It didn't affect him because onlookers were calling
him the most physically dominant player on the entire team. During
one-on-one battles and during team drills, Deas was a force to be reckoned
with. If his grades get in order, he is a first-year player for sure in
A Florida defensive
lineman says: "Big C was the heart of our defensive line. He would
always keep our spirits up in practice, and nobody could beat him in
Sims, RB/LB, Tallahassee (Fla.) North
many people spoke about his skills as a linebacker, but filling in for the
hampered C.J. Spiller this week showed that the four-star rated Sims
is a legitimate threat on offense. His hard running between the tackles
makes him a shifty runner that has a nose for getting the tough extra
yardage. Sims has the second gear that can make a four-yard gain turn into
20 yards in a heartbeat. He did get sidelined early in the game on Saturday with an
apparent ankle injury, and with the conditions as bad as they were it was
easy to see why he stayed out. It still didn't diminish what he accomplished
in practice all last week.
A Florida running
back says: "I was surprised at how good of a running back he was.
Everybody always reads about him being a linebacker in college and they know
about his brother, but he proved to me all week that he's more than good
enough to be a college running back."
the first day, even though the defensive backs and defensive lineman were
catching the coaches' eyes, the four-linebacker Jones was quietly making
plays in consistent fashion. Jones showed his quick feet and made not only
quick plays, but followed that up with a big hit when he got there. His
progression at the linebacker spot made him quite the player this week.
offensive lineman says: "The
other Florida guys were stronger or maybe a little better in other areas,
but nobody was faster than that Jones kid. He blitzed one time and by the
time I took my first step he was already in the backfield."
Wilson, WR, Daytona Beach
Mainland - Committed to Georgia
With Jarred Fayson hampered by a hamstring injury last week, Wilson
took the lead at the wide receiver spot and the four-star prospect was
extremely impressive. His knowledge of the game and his avid studying of the
playbook make him a coach's dream. It's obvious that Wilson, who may not be
the biggest receiver on the field, will do wonders at Georgia because of his
coach-able attitude and nature. He did have the only touchdown reception in
defensive back says: "He just beat us on that touchdown. He ran right
down the middle of the field and beat our safety. I think he surprised us
with how fast he was. He was fast even in this rain."
Versatility made Tallahassee Godby cornerback Marcus Udell stick out as he
shifted to both safety and cornerback all last week. Defensive back coach
Mike Bennett says he was the most impressive through the first few
days of practice last week and his frame is one of the most impressive many
have seen as a high school defensive back in some time. His future is at
corner, but his willingness to learn new spots makes him a solid performer
and a very deserving four-star prospect.
Doug Thacker, DT, Sanford (Fla.) Seminole
- Committed to Virginia Tech
Thacker, who is 6-foot-2 and 250 pounds, was
the most dominant player during Saturday's game, and he loved every single
second of it. Rolling around in the mud and muck, Thacker couldn't be
blocked by a California offensive line that featured several four-star
prospects. During one stretch in the third quarter, Thacker recorded a
tackle for a loss, a sack and another sack on three consecutive plays. He
also had a solid week of practices, with an especially impressive day last
A Florida defensive
lineman says: "Doug got robbed. He should have been named the game's
MVP. He had like what 20 tackles?"
get caught up in just how fast that Robinson is, but he has a football
mean-streak in him as well. During one offensive play in practice last week,
he laid a block that brought everyone to their feet and showed that he's
more than just a quick player at the skill position. Robinson also shared
time at both cornerback and wide receiver this week, learning both spots
well, and showing flashes as a two-way player. His natural talents alone
along with good coaching in college should make him a dangerous Division-I
makes more and more sense every play you watch the 6-foot-4, 244-pound
Florida defensive end in trying to figure out how he accumulated such an
impressive stack of offers. Paul was definitely one of the most vocal players all week
shouting before and after the play. He had no problem backing that up with
superb quickness and a knack for getting to the quarterback with both power
and speed. Paul's
development is showing that he going to be a real steal for some college
team – if he qualifies. He also had an impressive game on Saturday, too.
A Florida defensive
lineman says: "John would swoop to the inside and with his quickness he
couldn't be blocked. They couldn't block any of us out there, but especially
Davis, OC, MiamiSouth Miami
– Committed to FloridaState
Definitely one of the bigger players that came out from the shadows last
week was the Florida State commit. At center standing around some very big
offensive lineman, he may not look like a physically dominant lineman, but
his play at the center position was strong. His movement and step off the
ball is quite impressive. During one-on-one's, Davis held his own against
the state's top defensive lineman proving that the Seminoles certainly got
an excellent prospect who apparently flew under the radar.