As usual, the Gators have made major noise on the recruiting front.

Cornerback Jaylen Watkins of Cape Coral High is the first UF commitment selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

The all-star game will feature 90 of the nation's top high school football players showcasing their skills at the Alamodome in San Antonio on January 9.

"Florida is getting a better person than a player," Cape Coral coach Mike Goebbel said.

The 6-foot-1, 172-pound four-star recruit is listed as a cornerback on but plays on both sides of the ball for his high school.

Versatility is a definite strength for any recruit, according to ESPN recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill. A player has a better chance to crack a college roster when he has multiple tools.

"Far less chance to miss on a guy," Luginbill said.

Watkins said he has the most fun playing corner, although he also lines up at receiver and returns kicks.

As a junior, Watkins rushed for 329 yards and five touchdowns while throwing for 419 yards and five touchdowns. He did all this while thriving at cornerback, tallying 71 tackles and three interceptions.

Watkins has also been called a leader that other players look up to.

"Great leader by example on and off the field," Goebbel said.

Watkins knows that when the ball is in his hands late in the game, he has the trust of his teammates to lead them to victory.

"I feel like I have to be the leader," Watkins said. "I haven't been leading them wrong. They can count on me."

Despite all the accolades for his great play, Watkins still has to work on some things.

"He's a little lean right now," Luginbill said. "He has to become more physical of a football player."

Luginbill believes Watkins is capable of doing this. Every year underweight recruits come to college weight rooms, follow a program and see results that change their game for the better.

The amount of top recruits UF brings in each year creates heated competition between teammates for playing time.

Watkins likes the competition.

"Only way to get the best ability out of you," Watkins said.

The big stage of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, televised on NBC, has also hosted former UF greats Chris Leak, Percy Harvin and Tim Tebow when they were seniors in high school. Leak won MVP at the 2003 game.