CENTRAL FLORIDA- 247Sports hit up 20 schools in four days in the Orlando/Tampa area of Florida gathering all of the latest scoop on the elite four and five-star recruits in the next four recruiting cycles in that talent-laden region of the Sunshine State.
Florida, Miami, South Carolina, Nebraska and Alabama are the current top five for five-star 2015 offensive tackle Martez Ivey of Apopka (Fla.).
Everyone in America covets five-star offensive tackle Martez Ivey. He’s the No. 1 junior in Florida, the No. 2 offensive tackle and the No. 6 overall recruit in the country in the 2015 class.
Ivey lists his Top five as Florida, Miami, South Carolina, Nebraska and Alabama.
So with that, the Gators could be in line to land one of the country’s true blue-chippers with a possible spring or summer pledge next year.
Ivey’s a heavy lean to Florida and it would be coup for him to go elsewhere. He has high interest in Miami’s atmosphere after a recent visit, South Carolina because they offered early, Alabama’s tradition and Nebraska, where his teammate, quarterback Zack Darlington is committed.
Apopka also has a hard-nosed athlete, Chandler Cox, that will be raking in the offers this winter and spring. The 6-foot-2, 220-pounder projects to play H-back and fullback on the next level. New Mexico, where his brother Dakota Cox plays linebacker, Kentucky, Notre Dame, Miami, Florida, UCLA, Temple, Georgia, Arizona and San Diego State are showing interest. Kentucky and New Mexico are the closest to offering first, according to the 2015 athlete. Florida, Miami, UCLA and Arizona State are his four favorites.
The Blue Darters have a steal for someone late this cycle in Anthony Ellis. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound defensive lineman plays with super pad level and an edge. He got the best of Ivey on numerous occasions in Wednesday’s nutcracker drill.
Four-star Class of 2015 safety Jonathan Crawford from Largo (Fla.) High is a player that should see his offer sheet expand considerably in the coming months.
Seffner (Fla.) Armwood
The Florida Gators hold very good positioning for several of Florida’s Top 2015 recruits including Ivey, CeCe Jefferson, Jeffery Holland, Campbell, Da’Vante Phillips, Jordan Scarlett, Jacques Patrick, Jake Fruhmorgen, Tyrek Cole, Shawn Burgess-Becker, Jaquan Johnson and Tarvarus McFadden. The Gators either lead or are in the lead group for all of those Top 20 instate prospects. They are also in as good of shape as anyone for a prospect just outside of the top 20, Byron Cowart, a four-star defensive end ranked as the No. 22 prospect in the Sunshine State for ’15.
The nation’s No. 8 strongside defensive end prospect lists Florida on top over Vanderbilt, Alabama and Oregon. He hopes to go to all four this fall for games and next spring for visits.
Cornerback Aaron Covington has offers from Cincinnati, Toledo and Central Florida. He lists Central Florida on top over Georgia, Florida State and Texas A&M. Covington’s offer list will triple after this season with a full bill of health, something he wasn’t fortunate to have as a sophomore after only playing four games due to a broken arm.
Orlando (Fla.) Timber Creek
The nation’s No. 9 running back for the 2015 cycle, Jacques Patrick, didn’t indicate any favorites or leaders but listed high interest in Miami, Florida, Florida State and Michigan. The word is that the Seminoles have the current edge in this situation.
Patrick says Florida State, Auburn and Miami are recruiting him the hardest. The four-star recruit plans to attend this weekend’s Tennessee-Florida game. H’ell also go to the Penn State at Ohio State game on Oct. 26 and plans to attend a Michigan game this fall as well as his cousin coaches at Detroit (Mich.) King.
In the second game of his junior season, Patrick rushed for 253 yards and six touchdowns and threw for another in a 65-43 win over Orlando (Fla.) Boone.
Class of 2016 center Brett Heggie is the best prospect overall at Mount Dora (Fla.). His brother plays at Notre Dame.
Last Thursday, Patrick rushed 11 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns in a 22-7 win over Orlando (Fla.) East Lake.
The nation’s No. 9 inside linebacker prospect in the 2015 class, Cecil Cherry visited Miami for the Hurricanes’ 21-16 win over Florida on Sept. 7.
But he remains very solid with the June pledge he made to Tennessee.
“I know I have my mind made up, but if something were to happen to coach Butch Jones, Miami would be my second,” Cherry said.
The four-star linebacker listed Alabama, Georgia, USC and Indiana in his lead group along with obviously the Vols and then the Canes. The 6-foot-1, 225-pounder with a 365-pound bench press has a host of schools he’ll check for games this fall starting with this weekend’s Tennessee at Florida contest. Cherry also plans to go to the Georgia at Tennessee game (Oct. 5), Miami at Florida State game (Nov. 2) and LSU at Alabama game (Nov. 9).
The highlight of his recent Miami visit came in the locker room following the contest.
Class of 2015 athlete Justin "Jett" Spencer could see his stock rise singificantly in the coming months. He's part of a loaded 2015 class at Oviedo (Fla.).
“I got to talk to (future Hall of Fame linebacker and Miami alum) Ray Lewis,” Cherry said. “His son is on the team so I’ve been texting with him.”
This coming spring, Cherry hopes to visit Oregon, LSU, USC, Tennessee and Georgia.
His teammate, Xavier Gaines, already has 16 verbal offers. The dual-threat quarterback and future four-star prospect favors Florida State over Ohio State, Auburn and Virginia Tech.
“The last two quarterbacks Jimbo Fisher has produced (Christian Ponder, E.J. Manuel) turned out to be first round picks,” Gaines said. Ponder starts for the Minnesota Vikings while Manuel has impressed two games into his rookie season as the starting quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.
The sophomore has been to Florida State, Central Florida and Florida for visits. He hopes to go to games at Florida State and Auburn this fall.
Gaines still wants to land offers from Oregon, USC and his childhood favorite: Texas.
Lake Wales (Fla.)
The nation’s current No. 2 center in the 2015 class, Luke Hiers, has seven offers. He currently lists Miami and Kentucky as his co-leaders. The 6-foot-3, 295-pounder plans on going to games at Miami, South Florida, Auburn and North Carolina State this fall.
Class of 2015 safety/linebacker Jarvis Green has outstanding sophomore film. Oviedo (Fla.) High is loaded with high-end talent for the '15 cycle.
An offer from Florida could end this recruitment rather quickly for the three-star prospect. His cousin, Brad Hiers, played offensive line for the Gators from 2006-2008.
Additionally his uncle, Kyle Story, is on the Board of Directors of Gators Boosters, Inc.
“I’ve always been a Florida fan,” Hiers said. “The Swamp and all that. They have an outstanding campus.”
Teammate Marcus Walker, the nation’s No. 27 safety in the 2015 class, picked up his first verbal offer, from Florida, in the spring. Since then eight verbal offers have come his way. Among his offers, Walker prefers Kentucky, South Florida and Vanderbilt.
He’s hoping for an offer from one of his four listed favorites: Ohio State, Notre Dame, Clemson and Alabama. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder had six interceptions as a sophomore and plans to visit South Florida and Florida State for games this fall before visiting Vanderbilt and Kentucky next spring.
Lake Wales also has a pair of promising 2015 running backs: Ernest Hamilton (5-10, 160, 4.5 speed, 3.8 GPA) and Justin Henderson (5-10, 210, 4.5 speed, 3.0 GPA). Missouri is showing early interest in Hamilton and Georgia, Auburn and Kentucky are showing interest in Henderson.
Louisville has inquired about 2015 cornerback Darion Staten (5-11, 150, 4.5 speed, 3.5 GPA).
The next big one in line at Lake Wales is 2016 defensive tackle/guard Chonsey Christian. Auburn and Clemson are already eyeing the 6-foot-2, 285-pounder.
First Academy defensive end Vic Thomas has a huge wingspan and is just now emerging as an FBS-level prospect.
Kissimmee (Fla.) Osceola
Riley Nicholson has offers from Minnesota and South Alabama. The nation’s No. 26 outside linebacker in the 2015 is drawing interest from Rutgers, Tennessee, South Florida, Indiana, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Western Kentucky.
He’s hoping to draw an offer from one of his five favorites: Florida State, Ole Miss, Clemson, North Carolina State and Miami. The three-star recruit plans to visit South Florida, Florida State and Georgia Tech for games this fall and then visit Clemson, Georgia Tech and North Carolina State next spring.
Orlando (Fla.) Olympia
Four schools have already offered quarterback Deondre Francois. The three-star recruit favors two of them: Louisville and Clemson. The No. 19 dual-threat QB in the 2015 class hopes to visit both of his leaders and South Florida and North Carolina this fall for games. Florida State and West Virginia, two offers he wants, round out his lead group.
Orlando (Fla.) First Academy
The nation’s No. 9 tight end for the 2015 cycle, Garrett Williams, continues to list Clemson and Florida State on top of his lead group. Tennessee, North Carolina and Auburn round out his current favorites. His father played at Florida State. Williams hopes to make his decision next summer prior to his senior season. The four-star recruit plans to visit to go to games at North Carolina and Florida State this fall as well at the South Carolina at Tennessee contest on October 19.
He’s not the only Division I jumbo athlete in his class at First Academy. Look for colleges who come through to see Williams this fall and winter to start showing interest in Vic Thomas, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound defensive end with a huge wingspan. His sister Krystal Thomas (6-5, 196) plays in the WNBA for the Phoenix Mercury.
Luke Hiers is one of the top 2015 center prospects nationally and has deep ties to Florida. An offer from the Gators could end his recruitment early.
Michigan State, Akron and Bowling Green already are showing interest. Mason Plant, a 2015 athlete (5-11, 170), has a Navy offer and is leaning towards playing for the Midshipmen.
Maitland (Fla.) Orangewood Christian
Similar to Osceola with Nicholson, Orangewood Christian has its own tackling machine in Jimmy Martin. The nation’s No. 19 inside linebacker in the 2015 class recorded over 100 as a sophomore. Duke, Western Michigan and FIU have offered. North Carolina State, South Florida, South Alabama and Eastern Illinois are showing interest.
Martin is hopeful for offers from his favorites of Notre Dame,Georgia, Auburn or Michigan. Of the schools currently on him, he favors Duke over FIU and Western Michigan. He plans to attend games at South Florida, Miami, Duke and North Carolina State this fall.
Orangewood also has a promising 2016 defensive end in Evan Pughe (6-1, 220). The edge rusher’s dad, Ed Pughe, played for Florida and younger brother of mega rock God Jason Pughe of XoS Digital.
Few schools in Central Florida or the whole state are as loaded with Division 1 talent as the Lions. In 2014 alone they have two Division 1 commits in defensive end Tyree Owens (West Virginia) and athlete Chris Davis (UCF).
The 2015 class could have up to seven Division I guys. Already four of them have major offers. Leading the way is Jurell Green, the nation’s No. 40 running back. Cincinnati, Louisville, Massachusetts, Mississippi State and Western Kentucky have offered. Alabama, Oregon, Florida, East Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina State are showing interest.
Vanderbilt, Kentucky and South Florida are the three teams that currently stand out to 2015 safety Marcus Walker of Lake Wales (Fla.).
The 5-foot-8, 198-pounder has a top four in order of Louisville, Cincinnati, Central Florida and Oregon. Louisville offering first gives the Cardinals an advantage but his “real” favorite is UCF. Look for the offers to multiply soon for the bowling ball back.
Cornerback Terry Howard Jr. picked up his first offer last week from Wisconsin. Right now he lists the Badgers as his favorite. The three-star recruit is hoping for offers from West Virginia, South Florida and Cincinnati.
Justin Spencer (goes by the nickname Jett) could play defensive back or receiver in college. Mississippi State and Cincinnati have offered. Connecticut, Indiana, Ohio and Georgia are showing his interest. Spencer favors Florida and Florida State, hoping for offers from both, and likes Cincinnati and Mississippi State as his early top two. Strong safety/weakside linebacker prospect Jarvis Green (5-11, 191) may have as good of early junior film as anyone on this loaded team. Florida State, East Carolina, Arkansas and Georgia are showing interest. It won’t be long before offers come his way once schools evaluate his new video.
Offensive guard/nose guard Alec Shriner has a Massachusetts offer. He won MVP for offensive linemen at the West Virginia camp this summer. Wake Forest and Duke are also showing interest in the 6-foot-4, 282-pounder. At left tackle, Oviedo recently welcomed in a transfer from The Master’s Academy in Colton Sander, a 6-foot-6, 300-pound junior that’s raw but has a super frame. Look for Sander and wideout Malcolm Bryant (6-2, 200) to pick up interest this winter and next spring.
Mount Dora (Fla.)
Von Davis has nine offers including tenders from the likes of Wisconsin, Arizona, Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati. He’s waiting on offers from Florida, his favorite, and his childhood team, Florida State. Right now, the three-star recruit’s Top four in order is Florida, South Carolina, Florida State and Louisville. He plays mostly receiver on the prep level but projects more as a cornerback in college, where his higher ceiling exists.
The top overall prospect at Mount Dora is in the 2016 class. Offensive center Brett Heggie has interest from Notre Dame and Ohio State. It won’t be long before he’ll have 10-20 offers. The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder has the ideal frame for the position. He holds a 3.56 GPA and his brother, Bruce Heggie, plays offensive line for Notre Dame. Heggie has the makings to be one of the top center prospects in the country.
Xavier Gaines is a potential five-star quarterback prospect for the 2016 cycle and Florida State has emerged as the early team to beat. Gaines' "dream school", however, is Texas.
Brooksville (Fla.) Nature Coast
Wisconsin just picked up a commit two weeks ago from 2014 three-star defensive end Rohan Blackwood. Nature Coast has another Division I guy in its 2015 class in four-star Christian Pellage. The 6-foot-7, 255-pound offensive tackle has offers from Central Florida, South Florida and Virginia, who offered first last spring. He’s hoping Florida State, his favorite, offers, and lists the Seminoles in his Top 4 along with his three offers. The four-star recruit plans to hit up Central Florida when they host South Carolina on Sept. 28 and attend the Virginia Tech at Virginia game on Nov. 30 in Charlottesville.
Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake
Florida’s staff attended East Lake’s game on Thursday evening. The Gators haven’t slowed down their pursuit of Michigan 2015 five-star wide receiver commit George Campbell and Clemson four-star 2014 wide receiver commit Artavis Scott.
Scott has reached out to Florida’s multiple times since pledging to the Tigers this summer. As of now, he plans to graduate early and enroll in college in January if he has the necessary academic requirements. He’s taking two online course this semester and taking the ACT this weekend. Scott indicated that his Top three is Clemson, Florida and Central Florida. He doesn’t have an official visit date set up for Clemson or anywhere else yet.
Campbell, the nation’s No. 1 wideout in the 2015 class, is also set to enroll early albeit in January of 2015. The five-star recruit says he’s received contact from Ohio State, Michigan State, Georgia, Clemson and Arkansas since Sept. 1, but has only spoken to Michigan. He lists a Top four in order of Michigan, Clemson, Georgia and Florida. The 6-foot-5, 190-pounder remains solid, as does Scott, and right now both only plan on visiting the team they are currently committed to. That being said, the Gators have help in this situation and doesn’t plan on slowing down its pursuit of either of the in-state studs.
Of note: East Lake coach Bob Hudson indicated that once a player of his commits to a school the recruiting process “is over” and he throws away any mail that comes from other schools for that prospect and doesn’t direct any phone communication from those schools to his players.
The inside buzz on the recruitment of 2015 U.S. Army All-American running back Jacques Patrick, shown here wearing Florida Gators gear, is that Florida State is the team to beat.
The nation’s No. 15 safety in the 2015 class, Jonathan Crawford, has offers from Indiana, Connecticut and Middle Tennessee State. Business figures to pick up for the four-star recruit this winter and spring when his offer sheet triples.
Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Mississippi State and FAU are showing interest and many of those could offer the 6-foot-2, 175-pounder. Florida State, Alabama, Indiana and Notre Dame comprise his Top four. He’s hoping to visit Louisville for a game later this fall.
Also keep an eye on Donavan Hale, the son for former Florida State basketball standout Ron Hale. He plays quarterback (6-3, 198) in high school but the 2015 prospect could project to play receiver or safety in college. Middle Tennessee State has offered. Connecticut, Florida State and South Florida are showing interest.
Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic
In the years to come the name C.J. Cotman will be norm for major college recruiters. The 2017 wide receiver is advanced for his age both in terms of speed (4.47 in the 40 at the FIU camp). Look for colleges to offer sooner than later as Cotman has the academics (3.4 GPA) and frame (5-11, 162) most schools covet.
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood
Florida State has already offered Ryan Davis, the younger brother of former Seminoles wide receiver Chris Davis. Its more of a matter of when, not if, the younger Davis will follow his brother’s footsteps and also don the Garnett and Gold in college. The three-star recruit plays quarterback in high school but projects as a wide receiver in high school.
St. Petersburg (Fla.) Admiral Farragut Academy
Class of 2015 four-star offensive tackle Jake Fruhmorgen (Tampa, Fla./Plant) is an Alabama legacy but insists that he's no lock for the Crimson Tide.
One of the real underclass gems that’s about to blow up in Florida’s ‘Sunshine City’ is Zach Williams. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound tight end has an impressive 35-yard catch in his season opener. Louisville offered on the spot after seeing him in the spring. Missouri and North Carolina State also know about him. Look for many, many others to amp up their interest over then next months. Williams has the frame to possibly grow into an offensive tackle. He also possesses ideal speed (4.7) and grades (3.2). Louisville, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina embody his top four. He’s hoping to visit Florida State for a game this fall and head to Louisville next spring for a visit.
Tampa (Fla.) Plant
The alma mater of Wade Boggs has turned into powerhouse the last decade with four state championships since 2006. Fueling coach Robert Weiner’s success has been a string of Division 1 talent at quarterback including the likes of Robert Marve, Aaron Murray and Phillip Ely. The well is far from dry at the position. Current starter Colby Brown has a Georgia State offer.
The program’s top prospect is offensive tackle Jake Fruhmorgen. The nation’s No. 4 offensive tackle in the 2015 class has 18 offers.
His father, John Fruhmorgen, played at Alabama. The four-star recruit says he’s not a ‘lock to Alabama’ but the general feel is that the Tide will be hard to beat in this situation. The No. 9 junior in Florida lists a lead group of Florida, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Michigan, Notre Dame, Clemson, Alabama and LSU. He’s hoping Michigan, Notre Dame and LSU will be his next offers. Fruhmorgen plans to attend games at Vanderbilt and Alabama this fall and take spring visits to Alabama, Vanderbilt and Florida.
Tampa (Fla.) Freedom
Class of 2015 defensive end Scott Patchan’s father and uncle played for the Miami Hurricanes. Still, when his five-star recruit brother, Matt Patchan, was recruited in the 2008 cycle it was Florida that landed his signature (he now plays at Boston College). The Hurricanes appear to be in better footing this time around.
Miami has already offered Scott, the nation’s No. 24 strongside defensive end, and lead for the three-star recruit. Tennessee, South Florida and FIU round out his lead group. Patchan plans visit South Florida, Western Kentucky and Boston College for games this fall and is hoping for offers from LSU, South Carolina and Oregon.
Freedom’s next potential Division 1 talent for college coaches to chew on could come from the duo of Roshaun Mungin and Romell Mungin, a pair of talent defensive backs in the 2017 class. FHS also has a promising center in 2015 lineman Matthew Gutman (6-1, 260).
Tampa (Fla.) Tech
Four-star recruit Deon Cain has offers from Florida State and South Florida. He plays quarterback in high school but projects as a wide receiver on the next level. He could have over 20 offers by the end of the spring. The nation’s No. 18 athlete in the 2015 class is hoping for offers from Miami, Florida and Alabama. Currently, Florida State leads those three in his Top four. Cain will visit Florida this weekend and plans to attend the Miami-Florida State game and hit up a game at South Florida this fall.
Stayed tuned to 247Sports all week for full length onsite interviews from Cherry, Gaines, Hiers, Walker, Nicholson, Francois, Patrick, Garrett Williams, Martin, Green, Howard, Spencer, Shriner, Ivey, Cox, Davis, Pellage, Crawford, Cotman, Zach Williams, Fruhmorgen, Patchan, Cain, Covington and Coward.
Ryan Bartow is a National Recruiting Insider for 247Sports. Follow him on Twitter @RyanBartow