- Corey Long, Reporter, RecruitingNation
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DAVIE, Fla. -- Defensive lineman Pedro Sibiea (Homestead, Fla./Homestead) has just one offer during the early part of this recruiting cycle, but it's a big one.
The Florida Gators were the first team to offer the 6-2, 265-pounder and if Sibiea continues to run as fast as the 4.8 that he run in the 40-yard-dash Sunday, expect more programs to follow suit.
"It's an honor to be offered by Florida," Sibiea said. "It's real exciting and it tells me that the hard work is paying off."
Sibiea is excited about the Florida offers as well as interest from South Florida, UCF, N.C. State and several other programs but he is hoping for another in-state offer.
"To tell you the truth I like Florida State," Sibiea said. "They got a lot of good things going on right now. They have a good defense with good defensive coaches and a lot of young guys getting after it."
Distance, however, will not be a factor for Sibiea, who said that he closely monitored the recruitment of his former teammate Ricardo Williams, who signed with Miami.
"Rico just told me to try to take all five visits and have fun with it," Sibiea added. "Learn as much as you can about the schools and if you do the research the decision becomes easier."
Sibiea attended the Miami junior day and says he will have a busy offseason that includes participating in Friday Night Lights.
Holmes Jr. has high hopes
Running back Gary Holmes Jr. (Loxhatchee, Fla./Seminole Ridge) turned heads Sunday when he ran the 40 in a blazing time of 4.41 and schools are taking notice.
"I am getting a lot of interest from Wisconsin, Florida, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and Florida State right now," Holmes Jr. said.
Holmes Jr. is a running back in high school and says that's his preferred position but he is open to moving to another spot.
"Really the main goal is to get on the field and make plays," Holmes Jr. said.
He has made plenty of plays in high school thus far and helped the six-year-old program reach the state semifinals before losing to Dr. Phillips (Orlando, Fla.)
"It was a great run, we've made the playoffs three times in six years," Holmes Jr. said. "We are getting close to that championship. Hopefully we can become the next St. Thomas Aquinas."
Ayoola looking ahead
Running back Dami Ayoola (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) was the focus of the Raiders' run offense last season and he got plenty of attention from the opposition.
In last year's Class 5A state championship game against Plant (Tampa, Fla.), Ayoola gave way to sophomore Fred Coppet, who rushed for nearly 200 yards in the victory.
"I played well the week before when we beat Manatee and I think they were keying on me," Ayoola said. "So Fred came in when he got the chance and made big plays. He's a great back as well."
Now Ayoola looks forward to what the combination can do in 2011.
"I think we'll be like a C.J. Spiller-James Davis pairing," Ayoola said. "I'm more like Davis."
Running an impressive 4.6 in the 40 on Sunday, the 5-10, 212-pounder has the opportunity to establish himself as one of the top power backs in Florida. He already has offers from Iowa and Rutgers. Miami, Alabama, Wisconsin and FSU have also shown heavy interest.
Ayoola is looking at all directions, including the north.
"I think the Big 10 is interesting, it would give me an advantage coming from South Florida because of the speed down here," Ayoola said. "The Big 10 and the ACC are intriguing, I'm definitely looking at Miami, Iowa and Wisconsin."
Ayoola's former teammate, James Davis, had a terrific freshman season for the Badgers as part of a dominant three-back rotation.
"James and I talk all the time, he loves Wisconsin," Ayoola said. "It's nice to see a program where all the backs get an opportunity and I think it gave them an edge throughout the season."
Miller the next big thing
With the trio of Jacoby Brisset, Nick O' Leary and Curt Maggitt finishing up their time at Dwyer (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.) it's time for the next group of highly-touted recruits from the school to step in.
That group will be led by 6-6, 250-pound Patrick Miller, an offensive lineman that showed a nasty streak during pass protection drills against Jelani Hamilton (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas).
After Hamilton got the best of Miller the first time, Miller rallied and took Hamilton down at the point of attack.
"I might have gotten a little carried away there," Miller said. "I apologize, we got real competitive there and he's a great defensive player."
Miller feels comfortable with the recruiting process already because of the time he spent watching the Class of 2011 trio go through the the same things.
"We always had college coaches visiting and I saw a lot," Miller said. "It wasn't so much what you would expect, I was able to see the little things, some of the insides of the process."
As for his efforts Sunday, he has one particular member of the trio to thank for that.
"Well I used to get worked by Curt Maggitt every day in practices," Miller said of the Tennessee signee. "Guys stopped challenging him because he could make you look real stupid in those drills."