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November 17, 2010

Weekend Visitor Notebook III

This past Saturday Florida played host to some of the top prospects on their board for both official and unofficial visits. InsidetheGators.net caught up with several of the young men on Sunday for their take on the game, the atmosphere in the Swamp and more.

PHILLIPS BACK IN GAINESVILLE, AGAIN

When 2012 Venice (Fla.) lineman Dante Phillips arrives in Gainesville for weekend visits to the Swamp it must practically have the look and feel of a family reunion. Not only does he get to see former teammate Trey Burton out on the field, he has current (and future) teammate Clay Burton in the stands along side him.

And for this last visit, he brought along another current teammate, 6-foot-2, 205-pound 2012 running back Danny Dillard (who rushed for over 1,000 yards this season and is already receiving interest from programs such as Florida, Miami, Florida State and Ohio State).

As always, Phillips said that he enjoyed himself, "The game was crazy like always. I had fun watching it with Clay, Dino and Danny."

Unfortunately for Florida, and fans such as Phillips, on Saturday the Gators suffered through their fourth defeat of the season, their third straight at home.

Despite UF's 6-4 record, and fall from national prominence, Phillips said that his commitment is solid.

When asked if Florida's downward spiral negatively impacts his image of the Gators, Phillips replied, "It has nothing to do with my status. UF is my home. That's where I want to be. I'm locked in."

Phillips of course enjoyed the atmosphere surrounding the game, but he said that one thing in particular caught his attention.

"The highlight of the weekend was when [Ronald] Powell laid that kid out during [Andre] Debose's return. He's a bad man."

If Phillips commitment is as firm as it seems, two years from now he'll be part of the same team as 'the bad man' Powell, and Trey, and Clay...

BURTON LENDS A HELPING HAND - PART II

During the 2011 recruiting cycle, no single Florida commitment did as much to aid the Gators recruiting effort than did Venice (Fla.) dual-threat quarterback Trey Burton. He worked the phones and made appearances at camps and games for the sole purpose of helping the Florida coaching staff secure a top notch recruiting class.

This year, Trey's 'little' brother, 2011 defensive end Clay Burton is following in his brother's footsteps - doing his part in helping the UF recruiting efforts.

And since he committed much later in the process, he is making up for lost time.

On Saturday he was making the rounds in the stands talking to multiple prospects.

"I try to talk to whoever they ask," said Clay "And get to know them."

Much like his older brother, though Clay does his fair share of recruiting, he prefers the soft sell, "Ultimately I can't make their decision for them, but I do try to influence them."

When asked about the game, Burton singled out the opening kickoff return for the touchdown as the highlight.

However, like Phillips, he enjoyed it for a reason other than the run itself. "The first play was unbelievable," said Burton. "I didn't even see the return because I specifically watched Ronald Powell take someone's head off."

While UF is struggling on the field this season, those struggles haven't carried over to the recruiting process - where they come in at No. 5 in the Rivals.com Team Recruiting Rankings.

Burton believes he knows the reason, "They struggled which is usual with a young team. Their struggles don't effect me at all because they play quality opponents every week and I trust the coaching staff to get them right."


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