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January 19, 2005
Three prospects checking out UF interest
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Since the arrival of Urban Meyer, Florida has almost rewritten the entire recruiting board with prospects suited for Meyer's system. While UF has still recruited quite a few of the previous staff's targets, they have also gone out and targeted new prospects. With Signing Day quickly approaching, a few have been left waiting to hear if they are in UF's plans.
McKinney (Texas) defensive tackle Lorenzo Jones is a prospect that UF recently started to recruit heavily. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison wanted to recruit him at Notre Dame, but Jones did not meet Notre Dame's strict admission standards. Since coming to Florida, Mattison is back on with Jones.
Jones, the No. 25 ranked defensive tackle, scheduled an official visit to UF for Jan. 28 after he decommitted from Nebraska.
"I just felt like I committed to early to Nebraska and a lot of stuffed changed," he said. "They are not in the picture anymore."
Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and UF are now the teams he is considering, but it is not as plain and simple as it looks. His official visit to UF is not a done deal. Jones said he has only one official visit left, but Texas A&M is vying for that last visit along with UF.
"I am still talking to coach Mattison about some things," Jones said. "He wants to sit down with the defensive coordinator because when he came here Sunday he had got my film and my grades, so he wanted to go back and show them before they offer me. They are going to let me know Wednesday if they are going to offer."
One player who doesn't have to worry about a UF offer is Miami (Fla.) Edison cornerback Chris Chancellor. He only has to worry about setting up an official visit with the Gators for this weekend.
The last time he has had any contact with UF coaches was in mid-December when co-defensive coordinator Charlie Strong and defensive backs coach Chuck Heater met with him.
"I heard (Heater) had a good reputation at Utah along with coach Meyer, so I haven't really talked to him all that much, but from what I know he had a good secondary at Utah," Chancellor said. "Otherwise they wouldn't have had the BCS bid."
Chancellor, who grew up a FSU fan, plans to call the UF staff on Wednesday to see if can come up on a visit this weekend. Chancellor has already taken official visits to FSU, Rutgers, Oklahoma State and Clemson, so if he were to visit UF, it would be his final official visit.
"Florida State received a ten because everything was good - talking to coach Bobby Bowden, the facilities and the area they were around," he said. "The Clemson visit was a lot of fun. Oklahoma State it was nice. It is a college town, but it was nothing like Florida State. Rutgers was all right because they had nice facilities, but it was kind of cold."
Chancellor said he has no favorites out of the group. But a new variable has entered the mix in that his brother, Demerick, recently committed to Clemson.
"If we wind up at the same school that would be good for the family," he said. "We also have family that lives near Clemson in a town called Anderson. So with him committing it would be good for me and him to go to the same school. What he always says is what's best for me is what's best for me, and what's best for him is best for him. So wherever I fit in, that is best for me."
Chancellor, the No. 14 ranked cornerback, is fresh off playing in the Dade-Broward All-Star game on Sunday, where he had the game-saving interception to preserve a 20-17 win for Dade. He played in just six games as a senior due to a severe ankle sprain, but managed 33 tackles, six interceptions and five touchdowns - two on interceptions, two on kick returns and one on a punt return.
"Everybody says I am small for my size (5-9, 153 pounds), but I don't really care about that because I have a big heart," he said. "Everyone who is giving me a fair chance to play, I just want to go out there and prove everybody else wrong that size doesn't matter in all occasions. Ty Law for instance, he is in the NFL and he is about 5-10, 180. He is not that big of a guy but he is one of the top shutdown corners in the league. So all I ask for is the chance to go out there and compete against the best and prove that I can be one of the best cornerbacks."
While Chancellor and Jones are on the cusp of knowing if they are going to have a future with UF, Daytona Beach (Fla.) Mainland tight end Brian Ellis might not be as fortunate. His recruiting has slowed down dramatically to the point that FSU is the only school in weeks to have made contact with him. Ellis took his only official visit to FSU on the weekend of Jan. 7.
"It went pretty well," he said. "I liked the tour of the school. Basically they said that if I come in and play hard, I will have a chance to play."
Ellis, the No. 11 ranked tight end, doesn't plan many other official visits, but he does want to visit UF sometime before Signing Day.
"I want to go to Florida," he said. "I have not talked to them since they got their new coach, but I told my cousin (UF freshman linebacker) Brandon Siler that I was interested in coming up there. He told me that he was going to talk to them and that they are suppose to call me sometime this week."
Siler has been relaying nothing but positive information about UF and that has Ellis excited to the point where UF is the school he wants to attend.
"He tells me that it is a good school," Ellis said. "I just want to come up there on my visit and set a visit up for Jan. 28. That is really where I want to go (to school)."
Former UF head coach Ron Zook offered him, but again he has not had any contact with the new coaching staff. He feels his only options are UF and FSU. Ellis finished his senior season with 24 receptions for more than 400 yards and six touchdowns.
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