Tarpon Springs East Lake quarterback Pete DiNovo is taking his second visit to UCF since committing to the Knights two weeks ago (July 3).
DiNovo (6-3, 205) toured the Orlando campus last week with Tampa Bay Tech receiver Richard Benjamin, also a recent UCF commit, and East Lake teammates Artavis Scott (2014 wide receiver) and George Campbell (2015 safety).
“I just felt that family atmosphere that I’ve felt from the beginning,” DiNovo said of his visit to UCF. “Like I said, I felt at home. We were able to go around, see some of the players, see the dorms and some 7-on-7 workouts. We were able to see the basketball courts and all that. It was a really good time.”
DiNovo is returning to UCF today and is again taking a slew of Tampa-area prospects with him.
Perhaps the biggest name/surprise of those joining DiNovo is Tampa Hillsborough defensive end Jordan Sherit (6-5, 235). He is ranked four-stars by Rivals.com and has been offered by more than 30 programs.
The rest list of fellow recruits that will visit with DiNov, along with Scott, includes:
- 2013 Clearwater Countryside defensive end Mike Love (ranked three-stars by Rivals.com, holds more than 20 scholarship offers).
- 2014 Clearwater Countryside defensive back Michael Johnson (listed offer from Iowa State).
- 2013 Tampa Freedom defensive back Nate Godwin (ranked two-stars by Rivals.com, holds double-digits scholarship offers).
- 2013 Tampa Freedom linebacker Isaac Tanner (unranked by Rivals.com but has an offer from Ohio).
- 2013 East Lake defensive back Devin Abraham (unranked by Rivals.com but has offers from USF, South Alabama and Middle Tennessee State).
- 2013 Tampa Carrollwood Day running back Robert Davis (unranked by Rivals.com but has offers from FAU, FIU and others).
Their original plan was to either carpool or for everyone to pitch in to rent a van.
Since pledging to the Knights, DiNovo — who also quarterbacked the Team Tampa squad that won the IMG 7-on-7 National Championship tournament July 1 — is doing his best to pique the interest of Tampa-area recruits and sway them towards UCF.
So far, DiNovo is proving to be quite the salesman. Benjamin committed to UCF shortly after he did, and the Knights seem to make a strong impression on East Lake’s Scott and Campbell, and Seffner Armwood receiver Alvin Bailey is reportedly leaning towards UCF and South Carolina.
“I think that they respect that I try to live my life through Christ, that I’m an honest guy and try to do things the right way,” Benjamin said. “Everything I do, I do 100 percent and I work my hardest, so I think guys respect and want to be around players like that, especially from a quarterback.”
DiNovo said that he and Benjamin will continue to recruit Team Tampa teammates and other players from the area through the rest of their senior seasons.
“We’re really working on a lot of our friends, getting them to UCF as well,” DiNovo said. “Like I said from the beginning, they have one of the best coaching staffs around. I just think with the facilities and that coaching staff, the sky’s the limit. We can do great things there.”
Brendan Sonnone is the Sentinel's recruiting correspondent and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Brendan on Twitter at @BSonnone or Facebook at Brendan Sonnone or at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting.
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