While Will Muschamp’s first crack at hosting a Friday Night Lights camp didn’t produce any new commitments on Friday, it clearly left an impression on many of the undecided recruits in attendance.
Over 200 high school players from across the nation converged on Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to take part in Florida’s seventh-annual recruiting spectacle, including a number of notable prospects like five-star Olney, Md., receiver Stefon Diggs and four-star Hamilton, Ga., defensive end Jordan Jenkins.
As the recruits competed in front of Muschamp and offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, a number of current players and oral commits, led by four-star Bradenton Southeast cornerback Brian Poole Jr., continuously plugged the Gators.
“I was pretty much in all the great players’ ears,” Poole said. “I’ve been trying to get them to come to Florida with me, so we can have a great team and win a national championship. That’s my goal.”
While Poole decided not to participate in drills, he said Diggs impressed him the most out of the other campers. As Rivals’ No. 2 receiver coming into Friday Night Lights, Diggs dominated the one-on-one receiving drills and even flashed several Gator chomps to the delight of onlookers after he caught a touchdown pass on his first route.
“Stefon Diggs, he’s pretty good. I mean he showed me a lot,” Poole said.
“He’s a great player and will be a playmaker.”
Jenkins, who didn’t participate in workouts, said UF defensive end oral commit Quinteze Williams and current defensive end/linebacker hybrid Ronald Powell were both pushing for him to pledge to the Gators.
“He’s trying to get me to come, and Ronald, he always does his little bit because he likes to talk a lot of junk,” Jenkins said. “He always had a friendly jive or two.”
Following the camp, Jenkins — Rivals.com’s No. 5 weakside defensive end in the country — said Florida and Alabama, in no particular order, are both at the top of his list.
Although Diggs’ highlight-worthy moments were expected Friday night, the Gators received somewhat of a surprise when longtime FSU oral commit and five-star St. Petersburg Lakewood High defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., showed up to compete.
“[The UF coaches] keep saying that they want me, and I’m a beast and all that stuff,” Fowler said. “They didn’t really want me to do one-on-ones, but I kept sneaking in and trying to do what I’m supposed to do. I just had a lot of fun.”
Fowler looked to be enjoying himself as he said his time at the camp was less about switching commitments and more about competing along with his brother in one of his last recruiting stops of the summer.
He said he’ll likely take another visit to Florida for the Alabama game on Oct. 1.