It seems Florida got a new recruiter as well as four-star defensive tackle prospect.
Days after committing himself to the Gators, Pasco DL Joey Ivie said he will bring along his buddy and standout two-way athlete Janarion Grant when he visits Florida in July.
"I guess you could say I'm doing some recruiting now," Ivie said with a smile during the opening night of the North Suncoast 7-on-7 Passing League on Tuesday.
Grant, the back-to-back state long jump champion, scored 22 touchdowns during the Pirates 2011 run to the state semifinals and already has college offers from USF, Ball State, Connecticut, East Carolina, Indiana, Iowa State, Massachusetts, Rutgers, Middle Tennessee State and Western Kentucky. However, Ivie feels Florida, who has shown interest in Grant, could really fall in love with the speedy playmaker.
"I think they'll really like him, that he could fit in at Florida," said Ivie, who wore Gators gear prior the games Tuesday that featured him as a tight end. "He does things other players don't, where you don't even have to block for him."
Sunlake starting off slow
Coach Bill Browning and the Seahawks are coming off the program's best season to date, so that's why the team is taking things slow to start the summer. After taking about a week and a half off, they're back to work training and in the 7-on-7 league.
"We're playing a bit of catch up, but it's a work in progress," Browning said. "It's too soon to tell where we'll stand come the season, but we're going to put in the work and keep at it all summer."
Browning said he expects big things from WR Eddie Burgos, who had 369 yards and five touchdowns in 2011. Plus, Browning and company are breaking in a new quarterback: left-handed senior Josh Zifer, who saw most of the reps Tuesday.
"This is not a rebuilding year," Browning added. "We expect to be in the thick of things when the season comes around."
Zephyrhills made its 7-on-7 passing league debut Tuesday, and coach Reggie Roberts saw some good and bad things.
"We'll need to work out some kinks," Robert said. "We're going to work on timing because that's the real issue so far. It's off, but this is a lot of teaching what you want to teach before the season."
Roberts rotated Mike Smith and Jarcques Meza at quarterback, both of whom performed well, Roberts felt. He's also expecting a lot out of transfer RB Willie Williams and rising-junior WR Jordan Roberts, brother of Kent State-bound Jamal Roberts.
"It's just the first night, so there's some rust, but we'll get the timing down," Roberts said.
Land O' Lakes plans to make the most of each and every play this summer, which is why it also played in a 7-on-7 tournament at Weeki Wachee last Saturday.
"Repetition is the mother of all mastery," coach Brian Wachtel said. "We didn't finish where we wanted there, but we learned a lot about ourselves as a team. We know the more reps we take, the better we'll get and that's our goal for now.''
The Gators, who missed the postseason for the first time in 14 seasons, aim to move past a recruiting scandal and breaking in new offensive players at nearly every position, including sophomore QB Ethan Weilant, who looked sharp Tuesday.
"We just need to improve as a team right now," Wachtel added.
Hudson honing in
First-year Cobras coach Mark Kantor is still looking for his playmakers, but will use Hudson's inclusion in the 7-on-7 league to do so. Looking solid at quarterback is Joey Caruso, but Kantor adds guys around him will need to step up.
"The sooner he gets help, the sooner he gets better," Kantor said. "He's throwing the ball well, we're just looking for someone who he can rely on. This summer it'll be good for him to get reps every day, and as long as we can get reps and get better, we'll be a staple in this league."
Pasco County School Board voted to rename Land O' Lakes' football stadium after longtime coach John Benedetto, who coached the Gators for 32 seasons. … Pasco RB David Emmanuel received an offer from Florida Atlantic and now has two offers, including Rutgers.