Will Muschamp Follows In Gene Chizik’s Footsteps

Nothing surprises us when it comes to recruiting. Some of the most unbelievable rumors end up being verified on occasion. For instance, Auburn Tigers football head coach Gene Chizik’s approach when recruiting against the Florida Gators is laughable at best, but does become more humorous when a player tells us how it actually went.

Defensive end Jordan Jenkins – who would go on to sign with the Georgia Bulldogs – has claimed that Chizik told him that Will Muschamp “follows in his shoes.” Jenkins stated that Chizik brought up the stops at Auburn and Texas that both men had as assistant coaches. Is that really something that would sway a recruit to the Tigers? And if Muschamp is following in Chizik’s footsteps, is a national championship in Coach Boom’s future?

Recruiting can take an ugly turn when one school is trying to fight off others, but this isn’t ugly, it’s just fact. Does Al Golden tell potential Hurricanes that Jimbo Fisher was an assistant before he was the head coach at Florida State? Does Les Miles tell players that Nick Saban used to coach LSU?

Neither school wound up with Jenkins and we’re more than glad the star high school DE wasn’t telling this story as the reason he ended up choosing Auburn.

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2012 Football Recruiting: Gators Lose Visesio Salt; Defensive Tackle Drops Florida For Utah

While Jordan Jenkins’ commitment to the Georgia Bulldogs led the Florida Gators-related news for the evening, there were a few other stomach punches that came just before it was announced. One of those kept us in the football arena with the decommitment of JUCO defensive tackle Visesio Salt. The 6’3″, 340-pound DT has decided to end his college career with the Utah Utes instead of coming to Gainesville.

Salt wasn’t on the Gators’ commitment list for long. In fact, he only announced his intentions to come to Florida in mid-December. In the end, Salt wanted to play closer to home, a factor that weighs heavily among many recruits. The pain of the loss is lessened by the five defensive linemen the Gators still have as a part of the class, but Salt’s size could definitely have come in handy in short-yardage situations. It seems that the DT may not have been entirely ready with his decision having pulled the switch so quickly. While, the defensive line looks to be in good shape, Will Muschamp and staff could be looking for additional bodies after the losses of both Jenkins and Salt.

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2012 Football Recruiting: Jordan Jenkins Commits To Georgia; Gators Lose Top Defensive End To Bulldogs

The Georgia Bulldogs added one of the nation’s top high school defensive ends on Monday night with the commitment of Jordan Jenkins. The 6’3”, 245-pound DE from Harris County (Hamilton, GA) chose the Bulldogs over the Florida Gators, Alabama Crimson Tide and Auburn Tigers. The announcement may have come to as a surprise to many that expected it to be down to the Gators and Tide.

Listed as a defensive end, Jenkins can play outside linebacker with equal effectiveness. He has good speed for his size and proved his versatility by lining up at defensive tackle during the Under Armour All-American Game – a game during which he totaled eight tackles and two sacks. Don’t expect to see him at DT again anytime soon though; Jenkins provides the Bulldogs with someone that can play DE in a 4-3 alignment, but just as easily excel at LB in a 3-4.

With the pickup, Georgia’s recruiting class gets a boost by keeping Jenkins inside of the state’s borders. Don’t expect this to derail the Gators though; Will Muschamp and his coaching staff aren’t stopping. Still in it with a number of top prospects, Florida isn’t done.

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2012 Football Recruiting: Jordan Jenkins To Announce Monday Night; Florida Gators Among Finalists

One of the nation’s top defensive players will announce his college of choice on Monday night. Defensive end Jordan Jenkins will make his commitment live on Fox Sports South at 7:00 PM, less than two hours before the start of the national championship game. The Florida Gators are among the finalists vying for the services of the five-star (Scout) or four-star (247Sports, ESPN, Rivals) – depending on your service of choice – prospect.

Having the Alabama Crimson Tide also among his finalists and making the announcement when he is, may lead many to believe Jenkins is Tuscaloosa bound. While that’s a definitely possibility, don’t jump to conclusions.  Jenkins has been rumored to be down to the Tide and Gators for a while now, but as with anything you hear in the recruiting world, those could just be rumors. Also among his finalists are the Auburn Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs.

Jenkins developed a great relationship with Florida hybrid defender Ronald Powell early during the recruiting process. Powell took Jenkins under his ridiculously chiseled wing and joked with him as a brother might. The thought at the time was that the 6’3”, 245-pound Jenkins would fit perfectly into the buck position currently manned by Powell. The younger could learn from the older for a year or two while also providing great depth at both defensive end and outside linebacker.

Whether it’s orange and blue or another color combination, we’ll have more on Jenkins and his decision Monday night.

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Friday Night Lights Recap: No Commitments, Plenty Of Stars

Florida did not add any commitments during it’s annual camp – Friday Night Lights – but did get a chance to see some stars in action, and even some watching from the sidelines.
The biggest names making waves on the field were Stefon Diggs and Dante Fowler. Both Gators targets, Diggs looked great in drills and even treated the crowd to a chomp at one point. He still has plenty of options, but Florida may have taken a bigger spot on his radar after Friday night. The coaching staff will be in his ear for the remainder of the recruiting cycle and so will Jelani Jenkins who went to same high school Diggs attends. Fowler reaffirmed his commitment to FSU at FNL, but also mentioned he will visit Florida more. He has not made the rumored switch that has been discussed for weeks now, but is still keeping his options open. He says he is fully committed to the Seminoles, but does not seem close to being done with the process. That is not to say there is a switch in the future, but something is keeping Fowler from completely shutting down his recruitment.
For more on FNL, Diggs, Fowler, and other prospects like Jordan Jenkins, Kelvin Taylor and Derrick Henry, check out my full recap over at Alligator Army.