Today's UF-related links from The Miami Herald ...
LINK: UF football hopes to make strong impression with recruits
LINK: UF's Hicks proves to be a special player
LINK: Aubrey Hill, once a Gator, thriving as UM receivers coach
GAINESVILLE -- UF defensive lineman Matt Patchan grew up a Miami Hurricanes fan. His dad played for the 'Canes and so did his uncle. Why, then, did Patchan end up a Florida Gator? Maybe it had something to do with Miami's embarrassing 48-0 loss to Virginia last season in the Hurricanes' last game at the Orange Bowl.
I bring this up only to supplement my story in today's Miami Herald about how the Gators plan on impressing recruits from South Florida this weekend when the football team hosts Miami. Most recruits will tell you that when they attend a game as a guest of the home team, it doesn't matter if the team wins or loses. Guess what, folks? That's bologna!
About a dozen high-profile recruits from South Florida are attending Saturday's game as guests of the Florida Gators. You better believe it matters who wins and who loses. A Florida blowout WILL sway recruits. A Miami upset WILL sway recruits.
Florida coach Urban Meyer refers to the recruitment of Patchan as one of the most intense battles of his career. Patchan was such a Miami Hurricanes fan that it pained him to watch the 'Canes get blanked by Virginia last season. Everyone remembers these quote, right?
"There's too many guys that it doesn't bother them that they lost the game," Patchan told the Internet fan website, canesport.com. "There's too many guys now at the U that [say], `It's OK we lost. Well, what am I going to do tonight?' Like it doesn't mean anything. They need to get rid of those types of guys. Half those guys in Miami uniforms shouldn't be there -- they physically don't cut it.''
With that in mind, landing Patchan would have helped the 'Canes. The Gators' coaching staff is in love with the kid and his effort level. Patchan played more than 20 snaps in the Gators' season opener and Meyer said on Monday that Patchan deserves even more playing time against the 'Canes. Besides that, Meyer said that Patchan is "out of his mind" with emotion this week to play Miami.
Florida defensive line coach Dan McCarney didn't help recruit Patchan but he certainly appreciates him. McCarney is one of the guys who helped morph South Florida defensive end George Selvie into one of the best players in the country. McCarney thinks he can do the same with Patchan.
“If we could bring four Matt Patchans into the program every year, if I’m guaranteed four Patchans, then I’ll promise you we will be making a run at the national championship on the defensive line,” McCarney said.
If Florida can successfully recruit the Matt Patchans of the world, then why can't Florida make a dent in UM coach Randy Shannon's recruiting monopoly in Miami-Dade County? A shutout on Saturday certainly would help the cause. Miami is starting a freshman quarterback with no experience. It could happen.
And you can go ahead and mark down a 15-yard penalty for excessive celebration if Patchan sacks Robert Marve.
Here's a list of South Florida recruits who are expected to attend Saturday's game, according to Rivals.com recruiting expert Adam Gorney: Denard Robinson (senior quarterback, Deerfield Beach), Jared Wheeler (senior offensive tackle, Plantation American Heritage), Jaamal Berry (senior running back, Miami Palmetto), Eugene Smith (senior quarterback, Miramar), Antwan Lowery (senior defensive tackle, Miami Columbus), Michael Carter (senior cornerback, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely), Rantavious Wooten (junior receiver, Belle Glade), Korvin Lamb (junior running back, Miami Northwestern), Todd Chandler (junior defensive tackle, Miami Northwestern), Eduardo Clements (junior receiver, Miami Booker T. Washington), Frankie Telfort (senior linebacker, Miami Gulliver Prep).