Florida FNL Notebook

Will Grier

Florida's Friday Night Lights is one of the most prestigious high school football prospect camps in the country and they had some talent on their campus for it in 2013. Scout touches on numerous subjects here...

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As soon as Will Grier arrived at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, the media swarmed him, he drew a lot of attention, and it was easy to see that he was one of the biggest names at Friday Night Lights 2013.

The Scout 100 quarterback was one of roughly 200 participants in the final Florida camp and he was a strong performer.

The quarterback group was strong and Grier was the highest rated signal caller competing and it was evident early that Florida made a great call by taking his early commitment.

He was strong in the quarterback drills as he took things slow, looked very under control, and solid in all phases of the game. Once the 1on1 session got going, he took it to another level.

Grier hit Travis Rudolph in stride about 40 yards down the field and it was one from there.

"I felt good about my performance," Grier said after the camp ended. "It was not my best performance ever, but it wasn't my worst either. I was relaxed, I competed, and I had a great time out there."


Muschamp talks with Franks.
He looked very relaxed. The four-star knows he was throws in his future home.

"It was my second time throwing inside The Swamp and it is great. It is an unbelievable place and I love it in there. I just have to remember that is still has the white lines and goal posts like any other football field. It is exciting to think about playing in front of 95,000 fans here though in the future."

Grier felt at home and he will spend Saturday in Gainesville, Fla. before going home on Sunday.

Where Grier was at his best Friday was his touch and how he controlled that deep ball. He spun it well all night, but his touch and accuracy showed when he let it go down the field.

He was not the only signal caller that shined though. Three others drew a lot of attention from the UF coaches as well.

2015 quarterbacks Dwayne Dawson and Lorenzo Nunez are two Will Muschamp other Florida coaches had their eyes on.

Nunez is a 6-foot-2, 175 pound junior out of Kennessaw (Ga.) Harrison and he threw some precise balls. He hit the outside shoulder on the post-corner route, he stuck it in tight coverage across the middle, and he looked to get in a good rhythm Friday night.

Dawson showed a very live arm. That ball zips out of his right hand and his athleticism showed too. He was always bouncing around, he has very good coordination, and he can make any throw asked. He is an in-state prospect out of Hillsborough.

Another in-state quarterback to watch drew as much, if not more attention from Muschamp all night, and that is Feleipe Franks. The Crawfordville (Fla.) Wakulla star is a smooth customer. He needs to really work on his mechanics and improve his consistency in the accuracy department, but he has those tools college coaches look for. He is only a sophomore and he has three seasons to get ready for college ball, but this UF target has great feet, he slides in out of the pocket, and he is very athletic. He also is 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds. You will hear a lot about Franks in the coming years.

Trenton Recruiting Trenton

Trenton Brown enrolled at Florida this spring and he is going to compete for playing time this fall. The big offensive lineman played high school ball in Albany, Ga. at Westover High School before playing at Georgia Military College.

Westover has another big-time prospect right now and his name is Trenton too. The two spent a lot of time together at Friday Night Lights.


Will Thompson be a five-star on Scout?
"Oh yeah, Trenton was showing me around, telling me about Florida, and we hung out a lot," 2015 soon-to-be Scout 100 defensive tackle Trenton Thompson told Scout.

"Trenton told me Florida is the place to be and that I need to be here in a couple of years. I knew Florida was going to move up for me once I visited and that happened today. They have a lot to like."

Auburn made an impression on Thompson last weekend when he camped there, it was Florida's turn Friday.

"Florida moved up to my number two school. Georgia is still in the lead, but Coach [Will] Muschamp told me that I'd like it when I visited and he was right. When we talked, he had my attention and we had a nice conversation. It was good to meet him, some of the other coaches, and just be in the great atmosphere."

The 6-foot-3, 287 pound rising junior will likely return to The Swamp. He liked more than he even thought he would.

"I loved it. The atmosphere makes me want to visit here again."

The relationship between the two Trenton's can only help the Gators in this battle.

"I have known Trenton Brown for a while and us being from the same town, the same school, and being friends helps Florida. I know he is going to tell me the truth and I want to learn more about Florida from him."

Louisiana Linebacker Stole the Show

The linebacker group was solid, but there was one prospect that kept popping up. His name is Arthur McGinnis.

The 6-foot-2, 215 pound rising junior had to impress Florida because he definitely impressed Scout.

McGinnis clearly had the best night of the linebackers. He was smooth, fluid and quick going through the cone and bag drills. He was equally adapt at covering both running backs and tight ends in 1on1s.

He entered the night with scholarship offers from Texas A&M and UCLA. Florida may or may not have known too much about him at this point, but they saw a lot to like at Friday Night Lights.

A trio of other underclassmen stood out as well. McGinnis may have been the best of the best, but three others were not too far behind.

2015 prospect Sherrod Pittman looked good going through the drill and he has better than average feet. During the 1on1 session against the running backs and tight ends, he fared best against the tight ends. He really competes and doesn't quit on plays.


Pierce is a new UF tight end target.
Another junior to keep an eye on is Jim Martin out of Orangewood Christian. He is another linebacker that was very good going through the cone, bag and agility drills. He runs very well and showed the ability to be able to cover backs and tight ends alike. He was constantly working is his way to the front of the line to get extra reps too, so he is extra competitive.

A sophomore did not lay down out on the field against older and more mature athletes. He was actually one of the best.

Shaquille Quarterman is a 2016 prospect out of Oakleaf. The more we watched Quarterman, the more we liked him. He really stood out in 1on1 drills - He showed good coverage skills and was physical with the backs ans tight ends.

Expect Quarterman to draw a lot of attention in the coming years. He is a strong and thick linebacker who can move. He is an ideal MIKE linebacker on the next level.

Gators Offer Two Tight Ends

Within about 30 minutes, Florida extended scholarship offers to a couple of tight ends on Friday. They have one tight end commitment in Cyontai Lewis, but they are not done.

Word first got out that the Gators offered Garrett Dickerson, the No. 3 tight end in the country, then shortly thereafter, UF offered Ravian Pierce.

Entering today, Dickerson had a top three of Michigan, Northwestern, and Stanford. He will consider Florida's offer, but it looks like it will be tough for the Gators to crack his top three at this time.

That is not the case for Pierce.

Even before the camp when Pierce talked to Scout, he was high on the Gators.

"I have always liked Florida," Pierce said before the offer. "I like their offense, their program, and it is nice up here."

Fast forward to post-camp and Pierce has placed the Gators in his top three.

"Alabama, Arkansas, and Florida are my top three. Florida showed me a lot of attention today and I liked that. I am really looking at them now."

Pierce is a 6-foot-4, 220 pound athletic tight end out of Plantation, Fla. and he is a new Gator target.

Florida wants to sign two tight ends in this class and they offered two new ones on Friday. Dickerson, the New Jersey native may be a tough get, but Pierce is going to give the Gators a long look.


Cowart and Jefferson were together much of the night.
Pierce is the No. 9 tight end in the country.

2015 Studs to Play Together?

When looking ahead to 2015 state rankings in Florida, two guys high on that list will be defensive linemen Byron Cowart and CeCe Jefferson.

Those two competed at Friday Night Lights and they looked like best friends, but they actually only communicated with each other about 48 hours ago.

"We were together a lot tonight and we had a good time competing and hanging out, but we actually talked for the first time on Twitter two days ago," said a smiling Jefferson.

"We have talked a good bit since then, we got to know each other more tonight, and it was cool being out here with him."

There is a lot of chatter about Cowart's interest in the Gators and how UF is the school to beat, so could the two elite juniors be thinking about playing together on the next level?

"Maybe," Jefferson said with laugh. "That is a possibility and something that could happen, but we will just have to see. I like Florida and he likes Florida, but I also like schools like Alabama and some others and I am sure he likes other schools too."

Both Cowart and Jefferson were extremely impressive on the field tonight. They got a lot of attention from Muschamp towards the end of the event and Florida is going hard after both.

The two were almost inseparable much of Friday night, so quick look ahead to the future? Neither tipped their hand too much, but both appear to have very high interest in the Gators.

UF's Targeting Travis

The Gators is are still searching for play-makers at wide receiver and they had one of their top 2014 targets on campus catching balls from Grier, a Gator commit.

Travis Rudolph took a lot of reps and most were with Grier and most were right in from of UF Head Coach Will Muschamp.


Wilson sported a Gator hat.
Rudolph showed speed, he got off press coverage well, and he really got good separation out of his breaks.

Grier not only threw beautiful passes his way, but he told him why he needs to be a Gator too.

"I was really working on Travis a lot," Grier said with a laugh. "He is a great player and I want him to be at this place with me the next few years. Florida fills all needs whether it is academically or athletically and that is what I told him today. I stayed on him all night."

Rudolph does not deny having interest in Florida, but he is not giving too much information away just yet.

"Everything is still the same for me right now," Rudolph said in an interview Friday. "I am still looking at all of the different schools. Florida is one of those schools, but all is still the same for me."

The former Miami commitment is publicly staying open at this time, but it was apparent that he made a connection with Grier, that he had a lot of fun inside The Swamp, and that there is legit interest in the Gators.

We know the Gators have high interest in him.

Quick Hits

  • Florida got a 2015 and 2016 commitment on this day. 2016 cornerback Tre Jackson out of Louisiana committed early in the day and then 2015 wide receiver Da'Vante Phillips out of Florida committed after the camp. Phillips is teammates with 2014 commitment Dalvin Cook at Miami Central.

  • 2015 running backs Taj Griffin and T.J. Simmons drew a lot of attention from running backs coach Brian White. Both Griffin and Simmons have very quick feet, they flew through each drill, and both will be Gator targets in 2015. Simmons entered the camp with an offer from UF.

  • Many stars did not compete, but watched and hung out on the sidelines. Some of those were Adoree Jackson, Quincy Wilson, Richard Yeargin III, and Chris Lammons. All are big Gator targets in 2014 and most were together mush of the night. Yeargin III spent a lot of time with current Gator Dante Fowler. 2015 linebacker Jeffery Holland is a 2015 Gator target that only watched.

  • UF wants two tight ends in the 2014 class and they offered two Friday, but the best one on the UF campus today is in the 2015 class. Devonaire Clarington is a 6-foot-6, 230 pound athlete who can run and catch. He showed good body control, he is very fluid for his size, and he has a huge wingspan. The Miami (Fla.) Westminster Christian junior will be a top 10 prospect in the Sunshine State.

    Pat Burnham, Amy Campbell, Jason Higdon, and Bob Redman contributed to this feature.

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