UCF coaches have been busy hosting droves of recruits for the past week and it doesn’t seem like the influx of visiting prospects will let up this week.
Several players took unofficial visits to the Orlando campus Friday and Saturday, and more will be at UCF on Tuesday.
Here's an inside look into the Knights’ recent recruiting happenings:
Recruits recap visit
UCF commit and Tarpon Spring East Lake quarterback Pete DiNovo visited UCF this past Friday (July 20) and brought several Tampa-area recruits with him. Those players were:
- 2014 East Lake WR Artavis Scott, 5-10, 175
- 2014 East Lake CB Devin Abraham, 5-8, 175
- 2013 Clearwater Countryside DE Mike Love, 6-4, 210
- 2014 Clearwater Countryside DB Michael Johnson, 5-10, 165
- 2013 Tampa Freedom DB Nate Godwin, 6-0, 190
- 2013 Tampa Freedom LB Isaac Tanner, 6-0, 209
- 2015 Tampa Freedom CB Nate Ferguson, 5-8, 150
- 2013 Tampa Carrollwood Day RB Robert Davis, 5-7, 185
The biggest name to join DiNovo was Tampa Hillsborough defensive end Jordan Sherit, who is ranked as the Sentinel’s No. 15 senior prospect in Florida.
While Sherit said he was pleasantly surprised with his UCF visit, other recruits enjoyed themselves as well.
Love loves UCF
Love, who is listed as the No. 27 prospect on the Sentinel’s 2013 MidWest Florida Super60 list, said the Knights were his favorite before arriving in Orlando and the trip only cemented UCF's status with him.
“Everything was beautiful there and the coaches were wonderful,” Love said. “[Head coach George O’Leary] Coach O’Leary is a well-spoken man and is a very inspirational guy. He taught me a lot of things about recruiting, how it was a business and stuff. He told me a lot of stuff I didn’t know and treated me like family.”
Love (6-4, 210) has scholarship offers from Nebraska, West Virginia, Cincinnati and others. He said that he considered committing while on campus but held off.
“After the visit, it’s still my No. 1 choice and it will be for a while, until I commit,” he said.
Love wants to stay close to home and said USF could emerge as a leader with UCF if the Bulls offer him.
Scott, who has been offered by FSU, Florida, Ohio State, UCF and USF, said that having teammate DiNovo committed to UCF could factor into his decision.
“We talk about it all the time,” Scott said. “Now that he’s committed to UCF, I have to see where this season goes and weigh my options … [DiNovo committing to UCF] helps a lot, gets a lot of big recruits out there. Our quarterback is the best around to me and we have a good connection, so it brings a lot of attention to UCF.”
Scott (5-10, 175) said it is unlikely that he will commit to a program until after his senior season.
UCF also hosted the following committed players on Saturday:
- 2013 Fort Myers OL Tate Hernly, 6-3, 270
- 2013 Naples Barron Collier LB Jake Berman, 6-1, 220
- 2013 Bradenton Manatee DE/LB Blake Keller, 6-2, 215
Joining Berman was Collier tight end Mike Heuerman, who is committed to Notre Dame.
More visits to come
DiNovo returns to UCF on Tuesday and will bring a new group of highly-recruited players with him. That list includes (as of Monday evening, subject to change):
- 2013 St. Petersburg Lakewood DB Shaquill Griffin, 6-0, 184
- 2013 St. Petersburg Lakewood DB Shaquem Griffin, 6-1, 183
- 2013 Tampa Hillsborough LB Nigel Harris, 6-1, 210
- 2013 Seffner Armwood WR Alvin Bailey, 5-11, 170
- 2013 Tampa Jesuit WR/TE Travis Johnson (Miami commit), 6-3, 231
- 2014 Tarpon Springs Eastlake OT Mason Cole, 6-5, 287
- 2013 Miami Palmetto LB Wendell Dunn, 6-4, 210
- 2013 Miami Palmetto CB Javon Hadley, 5-11, 170
- Scott, visiting UCF for the third time
The Griffin brothers both have double-digit offers, although Shaquem does not have a listed offer from UCF.
Shaquem is the twin who lost his hand when he was 4-years-old because of what is called Amniotic Band Syndrome.
While his mother, Tangie was pregnant with the twins, a strand of the amniotic sac became tangled with part of the fetus, and it wound up wrapped around Shaquem's wrist, blocking off further development of the boy's hand.
John Cotey of the Tampa Bay Times wrote about the Griffin family's ordeal, in April.
None of that seems to hamper Shaqeum on the football field, and he and Shaquill, a likely package deal wherever they end up, are equally compared as prospects.
As for Bailey (5-11, 170), he told the Sentinel on Saturday that UCF was one of his top eight schools and that he liked the prospect of creating a legacy in Orlando opposed to joining more traditional powers such as FSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and Auburn—all of which have offered him.
Harris (6-1, 210) has not visited UCF before and said the Knights could enter the mix if the trip goes well.
“I’ll have a better idea of them after the visit, so hopefully this visit goes pretty good,” Harris said.
Vanderbilt is the perceived leader for Harris, who also holds offers from UCF, USF, Indiana and Purdue.
Reagan to make decision on Wednesday
Fruit Cove Bartram Trail offensive lineman Tylar Reagan announced via his personal Twitter account that he will commit to a school on Wednesday.
He will pick between UCF and N.C. State.
Reagan (6-5, 280) favored UCF after an unofficial visit in June, but his interest seems to have cooled off after he took a trip to Raleigh, N.C. in July.
UCF, N.C. State, USF, Arkansas and Tennessee are among the programs to have offered Reagan a scholarship.
UCF loses commit
One of UCF’s first Class of 2013 verbal pledges, Atlanta Marist athlete Myles Willis, flipped from UCF to Boston College last week.
Willis (5-10, 180) cited Boston College’s strong academic reputation as his primary reason for making the switch.
Rivals.com lists Willis as the No. 64 athlete in the nation.
Brendan Sonnone is the Sentinel's recruiting correspondent and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Brendan on Twitter at @BSonnone or Facebook at Brendan Sonnone or at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun