GAINESVILLE -- Further contributing to the exploitation of America's youth, the TV guys (NBC, Fox and ESPN) will air their national high school all-star football games this weekend. Naturally, the biggest game of all is sponsored by the United States Army.
In this blog post, we will contribute to the degeneration. Consider this the Gators' TV Guide to the all-star showcase weekend. There are three high school all-star games: Fox Sports' Offense-Defense All-American Bowl in Myrtle Beach, S.C. on Friday, NBC's U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Saturday and ESPN's Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando on Sunday. Players committed to UF and players who might commit to UF play in each game.
As much as we hate it, the editorial board at Gator Clause realizes that college-football recruiting is to football fans what the soap opera The Young and the Restless is to, well, everyone else: day-time crack-tra-vision. Or, put another way, recruiting "is but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."
For example: On Saturday, a young man named William Campbell of Detroit (five-star general!) will stand in front of a television camera wearing a football jersey advertising the U.S. Army and tell the good viewers of NBC where he would like to play football for the next three to five years and perhaps major in family sciences or general studies but most likely X-Box 360. Campbell has received scholarship offers from countless universities but he says he is only interested in three: Florida, Miami and LSU. (Florida, on account of its world-renowned family sciences major, might have the edge.)
Middle-aged men in Cleawater or Kendall or Baton Rouge, La., will listen to Campbell announce his choice with an unbreakable concentration of dorkness that can only be compared to a Klingon tractor beam in deep space. Campbell, a 6-5, 315-pound defensive tackle, will then have exactly one month and one day (or maybe longer, see also Terrelle Pryor) to change his mind as many times as he likes (National Signing Day is Feb.4). The red flag on Campbell: He originally committed to Michigan, a home-state school, but apparently is no longer considering the Wolverines on account of Michigan's lack of family sciences. Is this true that Campbell has in fact "de-committed" from Michigan, or is it all just a ploy by NBC producers to boost their ratings? Tune in to NBC at 1 p.m. on Saturday to find out!
WHO TO WATCH
U.S. ARMY ALL-AMERICAN BOWL, 1 p.m. Sat., San Antonio, NBC
FLORIDA COMMITS: 6-7, 245-pound DE Nick Kasa of Broomfield, Colo. Kasa is a four-star general and chose UF over his hometown Colorado Buffaloes; 6-4, 280-pound OT Nick Alajajian of Naples. Alajajian is a four-star general, according to his service record on Rivals.com.
OTHER RECRUITS OF INTEREST (a few of these guys might commit to UF): DT William Campbell of Detroit, DE Ryne Giddins of Seffner Armwood, OL Xavier Nixon of Fayetteville, N.C., TE Orson Charles of Tampa, LB Jarvis Jones of Columbus, Ga., LB Jon Bostic of Wellington.
UNDER ARMOUR HIGH SCHOOL ALL-AMERICAN GAME, 8 p.m. Sun., Orlando, ESPN
FLORIDA COMMITS: 5-11, 160-pound Nu'Keese Richardson of Pahokee, an athletic wide receiver with the ability to turn short passes into long gains; 5-9, 175-pound Greg Reid of Valdosta, Ga., named Georgia's best prep football player by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, will likely play cornerback for the Gators, an excellent return specialist, returned two punts for touchdowns during the Georgia high school all-star game; 6-3, 275-pound Gary Brown of Quincy West Gadsden, a defensive tackle with a quick first step and a solid body.
OTHER RECRUITS OF INTEREST: WR Andre Debose of Sanford Seminole, S Ray Ray Armstrong of Sanford Seminole, LB Jelani Jenkins of Wheaton, Md., LB Frankie Telfort of Miami Gulliver Prep,
OFFENSE-DEFENSE ALL-AMERICAN BOWL, 5 p.m. Fri., Myrtle Beach, S.C., FOX SPORTS
FLORIDA COMMITS: 6-4, 290-pound Jonotthan Harrison of Groveland South Lake. An offensive guard, Harrison will enroll at UF in January and begin school after the winter break. Harrison is a former high school teammate of UF freshman running back Jeffery Demps. 6-4, 218-pound Desmond Parks of Greer, S.C. Greer had 19 receptions for 299 yards and three touchdowns this season. Like Harrison, Greer graduated a semester early from high school and will begin taking classes at UF in January.