Posted: 10:32 am Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
By Post Staff
The week began with a lot of promise for the Florida Gators’ 2010 recruiting class. After a weekend of high school camps here at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, the Gators finally picked up verbal commitments from their first two receiver prospects for 2010 — first Solomon Patton on Sunday night, and yesterday they got Stephen Alli, a 6-foot-5 receiver from New Hampshire.
But Monday ended in disappointment for the Gators when offensive lineman Brent Benedict, a Jacksonville-Bolles prospect ranked the No. 5 offensive lineman in the country by Rivals.com, defected north to the Gators’ biggest rivals, the Georgia Bulldogs.
“This is a monster pickup for Georgia,” Rivals analyst Jamie Newberg told our partners at the AJC. “To go down to the Sunshine State and pull one of the top linemen in the nation is huge. They beat Florida in their own backyard, USC and others. Benedict is an exceptional offensive line prospect that’s nasty, has great size, feet and athleticism. The Dawgs have really picked it up in Florida.”
As for Alli, the Gators’ 14th verbal commitment for 2010, the Gators may have uncovered a hidden gem.
Alli, originally from Toronto who attends boarding school at Proctor Academy in Andover, N.H., is not ranked by the recruiting services, and he didn’t exactly have the offers rolling in. Alli caught just 13 passes last year — though seven were for touchdowns — and he had to travel to various college camps just to receive scholarship offers. Alli chose Florida over Boston College, UConn and Harvard.
But Alli does have a 6-foot-5, 228-pound frame, reportedly runs a 4.4 in the 40 and is a bright student. He chose Florida only after seriously considering an offer to study pre-med at Harvard.
“I was looking for a balance of academics and football,” Alli told the Gainesville Sun. “I’m interested in the pre-med field and their med school is real good there and their program is solid. Plus, Florida’s won two-of-three BCS Championships.”
Florida’s 2010 Commitments
- QB Trey Burton, Venice, 6-3, 205, 4.66 40.
- WR Solomon Patton, Mobile (Ala.)-Murphy, 5-10, 170, 4.26 40.
- WR Stephen Alli, Andover (N.H.)-Proctor Academy, 6-5, 228, 4.40 40
- TE Gerald Christian, Dwyer, 6-3, 220, 4.65 40.
- TE Michael McFarland, Tampa-Blake, 6-6, 230, 4.75 40
- OL Leon Orr, New Port Richey-Gulf, 6-5, 302
- OL Ian Silberman, Orange Park-Fleming Island, 6-5, 260, 5.06 40
- LB Gideon Ajagbe, Coconut Grove-Ransom Everglades, 6-2, 205, 4.57 40
- CB Victor Hampton, Charlotte (N.C.)-Independence, 5-11, 170, 4.4 40
- CB Jaylen Watkins, Cape Coral, 6-0, 166, 4.44 40.
- S Demar Dorsey, Lauderdale Lakes-Boyd Anderson, 6-1, 175, 4.25 40
- S Jonathan Dowling, Bradenton-Southeast, 6-3, 180, 4.73 40
- ATH Matt Elam, Palm Beach Gardens-Dwyer, 6-0, 202, 4.49 40
- ATH Jordan Haden, Fort Washington (Md.)-Friendly, 6-0, 200, 4.52 40