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June 24, 2014

IMG Notebook: Florida targets talk visits



BRADENTON, Fla. | With 35 teams from across the country in town for the annual IMG 7-on-7 National Championship, there was plenty of talent all over the field on Saturday. With 12 games going on at a time it was impossible to see everything, but here's a look at some headlines from some of Florida's top commits and targets in attendance.

McCloud Heading Out West

So far Tampa (Fla.) Sickles Rivals100 athlete Ray-Ray McCloud III has been all over, taking visits to many college campus around the nation. On Tuesday McCloud heads out west with a few other Florida athletes.

"I am going to UCLA and USC next," said McCloud. "I leave Tuesday for a couple of days. This is my first time out west. I just want to have a new experience and get to meet all the coaches and see what they are about."

Earlier this month the 5-foot-9, 176-pounder stopped by Gainesville, a place he has visited numerous times already this year. However, on the most recent visit he brought his mother with him to check out the academic side of things while he visited with several friends who are currently on the team.

"She likes Florida a lot too and like that it's close and how the coaches carry the program," said McCloud. "My mom has a big part of my recruitment and as a mom she likes to see things in the academic department and stuff like that. UCLA is a big resume school after football and that speaks to her."

Another school linked to the four-star speedster is the Clemson. The Tigers and Gators are the two teams many are looking at as the frontrunners for his commitment.

"Clemson is the first school to offer me and give me a chance and Clemson is a great school. I haven't seen another school like them just culture wise like the atmosphere of it. It's a great place."

Going forward McCloud doesn't have any other visits on tap past his trip to California this week. He will however start looking towards narrowing down his list of top school.

"I don't have a timetable but I think I am going to take these two visits to Cali and just go from there and if I feel like I like this school better whether it's Florida, Clemson, UCLA, USC, or any school I have visited. I will weigh out the pros and con's and go from there. I want to narrow things down soon but I don't know when. Right now I am not rushing it though I plan on taking some official visits.

Four-Star Campbell Taking It Slow

Since backing off his early commitment to Michigan Tarpon Springs (Fla.) East Lake Rivals100 wide receiver George Campbell has been hesitant to name any kind of leader-board or even standouts.

He has however started taking visits, with his most recent trip being to LSU.

"It was a lot different, it was more of a laid back visit and me and Kevin [Tolliver] had some fun," said Campbell. "The thing that stood out to me is how the athletics are run and the academics are run. That was a good thing and they are really there to help the players."

The 6-foot-3, 183-pounder is also piecing together future visits as well, with tentative trips to the Yellowhammer State.

"I have no idea," laughed Campbell of set future visits. "Right now I am trying to get to Auburn and Alabama, I think in July, so I am not sure how that will go."

There also is a chance that Campbell could end up at either Florida or Florida State sometime this summer as well, though he said more than likely those visits will come in the fall.

"I have been there a couple times already, so I will probably just drive up there during the seaso

n and see both of those." Many have the four-star pass catcher pegged to stay home and attend the University of Florida. Though Campbell won't name an outright leader, when he hears the rumors, he doesn't exactly shut them down.

"I think people think that because I go down there a lot, but if it's a school at home why not take an opportunity to visit it and check everything out. I guess we'll just see when it comes time to commit."

Recently the Gators lost their wide receiver coach Joker Phillips, who headlined the recruitment for the Nation's No. 6 rated wide out. Though he wasn't happy to see Phillips go, Campbell understands the business side of college football.

"I'm not too worried about it because there is nothing I can do about it," said Campbell. "It's a business move and you can't go to a school based on a coach. I talked to Coach [Will] Muschamp about it and he told me the whole thing. They are going to get the best coach for their receivers."

Going forward Campbell will wrap up his few summers visits and then look forward to his official visits. He will make his decision at the Under Armour All-American game next year right before enrolling early at the school he chooses.

"I am haven't really sat down and picked out where I am going to take official visits to," admitted Campbell. "I am going to take all of them during my season because I am trying to graduate early."

Rivals250 Receiver Tate Sports FSU Hat

On Saturday while competing with his Team Tampa teammates at IMG, Tampa (Fla.) Wharton wide receiver Auden Tate sported a Florida State visor. According to him the hat was a gift and isn't a clue as to where he is leaning at this time.

"I am just out wearing a hat that my sister got me," said Tate. "Florida State isn't my favorite. I haven't visited enough places to have a favorite yet."

Though they aren't his leader, Florida State is a school that recently did throw their name into the conversation for this four-star pass catcher and are currently in his top 10.

"It was good getting that offer because I liked the visit [to FSU] a lot," said Tate. "I like the school and how they play their receivers."

Another school high on Tate's list is the University of Michigan, a place where he is looking to visit next month.

"I like Michigan's system and Coach [Brady] Hoke said they would use me how they used Devin Funchess and they said I would be used the same way to replace him. I am setting up a trip to go to the Big House BBQ at Michigan [on July 27th]."

Tate also added he would like to visit both Clemson and Georgia sometime this summer as well.

The Florida Gators offered this 6-foot-4, 199-pounder earlier this spring and were at first looking at him as a tight end. The Gators have since told Tate he could play wide receiver as well.

"I am open to playing tight end, but about a week or two ago they told me I could play either wide receiver or tight end whatever I want."

Like Campbell, Tate was also sad to see former Gators wide receiver Coach Joker leave the program, but has spoken to interim coach Chris Leak, and thinks highly of him.

"I talked to Joker a lot, so it was kind of weird to see him go, but Coach [Chris] Leak is a good coach," said Tate. "I talked to him when I visited for the spring game. He is real cool and he played on a National Championship team, so he knows what it takes to win."

Currently Tate's top 10 consists of Michigan, Georgia, Florida State, Florida, Ohio State, Miami, Missouri, Maryland, South Carolina and Clemson. He is hoping to narrow his list again soon, and is hoping to have a commitment in the books next month, even though he won't be shutting things down completely.

"I am still trying to commit by mid-July," said Tate. "I am still going to take official visits in the fall. Florida State and Michigan will get an official visit I know, but I am not sure about the other three."


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