Gators land four of nation's top defensive players

Originally Published: July 13, 2004
By Bill Hodge |

The Florida Gators have made a huge attack in the Class 2005 recruiting wars with four outstanding commitments, including Top 150 defensive back Avery Atkins of Daytona Beach-Mainland, Fla; Top 150 defensive back Demetrice Morley of Miami-Killian, Fla; Super Prospect defensive lineman Vladimir Richard of Sunrise-Piper, Fla; and Super Prospect linebacker/defensive lineman Gerald Williams of Lauderdale Lakes-Anderson, Fla.

Notre Dame has a verbal from running back Asaph Schwapp of Hartford-Weaver, Conn., who decommitted from Maryland.

Florida State has a verbal from offensive lineman Sergio Render of Newnan, Ga., over Mississippi State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.

Oklahoma State has gained Class 2004 offensive lineman Jeremy Palmoore of Memphis-Hamilton, Tenn/Hargrave MA, Va., who originally chose Arkansas.

Duke added verbals from kicker Joe Surgan of Ft. Lauderdale-St. Thomas Aquinas, Fla; receiver Raphael Chestnut of Reidsville, NC; and quarterback Zack Asack of Westwood-Xaverian Brothers, Mass.

Houston pledged offensive lineman Justin Washington of Port Arthur-Memorial, Tex.

Arizona has a Class 2005 commitmnt in receiver Mike Thomas of DeSoto, Tex. The Wildcats recently gained a late addition to Class 2004 in defensive lineman Jonathan Turner of Corona, Cal., who originally signed with the USC Trojans last year, but had NCAA Clearinghouse problems and sat out the season.

Recent Football News

Independents List

Big Ten List
Indiana has a commitment from Class 2005 offensive lineman Paul Backowski of Foley, Minn., over Wyoming.

Wisconsin pledged Class 2005 quarterback Dustin Sherer of Arcadia-Hamilton Heights, Ind., over Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, among others.

Big 12 List
Outstanding quarterback Chase Daniel of Southlake-Carroll, Tex., has pledged to the Missouri Tigers over offers from Duke, Houston, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Stanford, TCU and Kansas State. He passed for 2681 yards and 42 touchdowns as a junior.

Texas Tech has a commitment from offensive lineman Louis Vasquez of Corsicana, Tex., over Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State.

Kansas State has a commitment from receiver Andrew Richards of Keller, Tex., over North Carolina. The Wildcats recently gained receiver/quarterback Zac Robinson of Littleton-Chatfield, Colo.

Top 150 running back Jamaal Charles of Port Arthur-Memorial, Tex., has pledged to the Texas Longhorns. Charles, who rushed for 2051 yards as a junior, also considered Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Nebraska, Notre Dame and Texas A&M, among many others.

Big East List

Rutgers has a verbal from Top 150 offensive lineman Brian Roche of Ramsey-Don Bosco Prep, NJ., over Miami-Florida. Among over 40 others were Virginia, Boston College, North Carolina, Stanford, Wisconsin and Oklahoma. The Scarlet Knights recently gained receiver/athlete Tiquan Underwood of Lawrenceville-Notre Dame High, NJ., over Vanderbilt.

West Virginia pledged quarterback Jarrett Brown of West Palm Beach-Palm Beach Lakes, Fla., over Central Florida, Iowa and Minnesota. The Mountaineers recently gained quarterback Nate Sowers of Martinsburg, WVa; and receiver Darren Brownlee of Germantown-Northwest, Md.

Temple has pledged Class 2005 linebacker Bryant Parker of Randallstown, Md.

ACC List

Linebacker Deveon Simmons of Virginia Beach-Landstown, Va., pledged to Virginia Tech over Florida, Georgia, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Pittsburgh, among others.

Clemson has a commitment from tight end Paul Muse of Jacksonville-First Coast, Fla., over Auburn, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Indiana and Central Florida.

SEC List

Georgia has a commitment from Class 2005 offensive lineman Ian Smith of Cartersville, Ga., over Florida, Florida State, Alabama and Louisville.

The Tennessee Vols pledged Class 2005 defensive/offensive lineman Wes Brown of Athens, Ala., over Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, among others.

Conf-USA List

MAC List
Miami-Ohio pledged quarterback Daniel Raudabaugh of Coppell, Tex. He also considered SMU and UTEP.

Northern Illinois has a Class 2005 commitment from offensive lineman Kevin Skatrud of Brodhead-Juda, Wis.

WAC List

Sun Belt List

Pac-10 List
The Oregon Ducks have a commitment from Class 2005 defensive lineman Nick Reed of Mission Viejo, Cal., over Oregon State. The Ducks recently gained defensive lineman Brian Truelove of Snellville-Brookwood, Ga; and offensive lineman Mat Webb of Vancouver-Heritage, Wash.

Mountain West List
New Mexico has commitments from defensive lineman Terrance Woods and defensive back Michael Watson, both from Seguin, Texas.

San Diego State has a commitment from receiver Kendrick Ussin of Marrero-John Ehret, La.

Class 2005 Football Database: Prospects/Verbals
*Signing Dates: Midyear (Dec. 15, 2004-Jan. 15, 2005); Regular Period (Feb. 2-Apr. 1, 2005).
*Prospects/Commitments/Schools and Conferences.
*Early Top 150 Prospects/Super Prospects

N.D./Big Ten: ND, Ill, Ind, Ia, Mich, MSt, Minn, NW, OhioSt, PSU, Pur, Wis.

Big 12: Bay, Colo, Iowa St, Kan, KSt, Mo, Neb, Okla, Okla St, Tex, A&M, TT.

Big East: BC, Conn, Pitt, Rutgers, Syr, Temple, WVa.

ACC: Clemson, Duke, FSU, GT, Md, Miami, NC, NC State, Va, VT, WF.

SEC: Ala, Ark, Aub, Fla, Ga, Kty, LSU, Miss, Miss St, SoCarol, Tenn, Van.

C-USA: Army, Cinn, EC, Hou, Lou, Mem, SMiss, USF, TCU, Tul, UAB

Pac-10: Ariz, ASU, Cal, Ore, OreSt, Stan, USC, UCLA, Wash, WashSt.

*Prospects by Home States

"Recruiting Power States": Florida, California, Texas, Pa, Ohio.
"Big Ten States": Illinois , Indiana, Iowa, Pa, Ohio, Mich, Minn, Wis.
"Big 12 States": Okla, Missouri , Iowa, Neb, Kansas, Colo, Texas.
"SEC States": Florida, Tenn, SoCarol, Kty, Georgia, Ala, Ark, Miss, La.
"ACC States": Florida, NoCarol, SoCarol, Georgia, Maryland , Virginia .
"Pac-10 States": California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington.
"Big East States":
Florida, Pa, New Jersey, New York, Mass, Va, WVa.

Class 2004 Football Database: Signings/Top Classes
*Prospects/Commitments/Signings/Schools and Conferences.
*Top 150 Prospects/Super Prospects.
*Prospects by Home States
*Top Classes: Southern California, LSU, Florida State, Miami-Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, Georgia, Florida, Ohio State, Texas.
*Junior College Players/NJCAA Football All-Americans.

Football Commitments/Signings:
CollegeSports: Main Recruiting Page.
Class 2005: Database/Top Prospects
Class 2004: Database/Top Prospects/Conference/Top Classes.

Class 2003: Database/Top Prospects/Conference/Top Classes.
Class 2002: Database/Top Prospects/Conference/Top Classes.
Class 2001: Database/Top Prospects/Conference/Top Classes.
Class 2000: Database/Top Prospects/Top Classes.
Class 1999: Database/Top Prospects/Top Classes.
Class 1998: Database.
Class 1997: Database.

Bill Hodge is the executive editor and director of recruiting coverage at For daily columns on prospects, commitments and signings, plus databases, go to's Recruiting Page.