A pipeline is defined as such: a route, channel, or process along which something passes or is provided at a steady rate; means, system, or flow of supply or supplies.
What is happening between the Tampa Bay Area and just a few hours north, and a little bit to the east, in Gainesville can be described as such.
Developing relationships in any area of work is key. When you deliver a good product to someone, that person wants to come back to get that same quality of product, time and time again. It’s human nature. We all do it. Think about it. It’s as simple as getting a good hamburger from a particular restaurant. You want to go back and get that same quality again.
The same thing goes (minus the savory beef) with recruiting. If you get quality, hard-working players from an area you want to go back there where you feel confident you can get the same quality player again.
Tampa Bay has become a hot bed for Division I talent. While a number of these players opt to go out of state, or stay close to home, it is clear that a pipeline has been established from Tampa to Gainesville.
The Gators currently have 11 players from the Tampa Bay Area on its roster. They have three more 2012 players verbally committed to play in the Swamp and offers on the table for three additional uncommitted seniors. Florida hasn’t limited its search to the Bay Area senior class either. The Gators currently have five offers on the table for players in the 2013 class.
Derek Tyson, ESPN Recruiting Reporter for GatorNation.com, says that developing that relationship is important because all of these players go to the same combines and camps in Tampa. All of these players have the opportunity to be friends prior to enrolling at Florida.
Current Bay Area players on the Gators roster:
FR; DE Lakewood, Evan Holmes
FR; WR Palm Harbor University, Michael McNeely
FR; FB Wesley Chape,l Hunter Joyer
RFR; OT Tampa Catholic, Chaz Green
SO; RB St. Petersburg Catholic, Ben Sams
SO; QB Lakeland Christian, Ryan Parrish
RSO; OT Armwood, Matt Patchan
RSO; G St. Petersburg Catholic, Jon Halapio
RJR; LB Freedom, Scott Peek
SR; LS Boca Ciega, Cody Hampton
RSR; RB Lakeland, Chris Rainey
Current verbal commitments:
LB Pinellas Park, Jeremi Powell
RB Armwood, Matt Jones
TE Land O’ Lakes, Kent Taylor
Uncommitted seniors with offers from the Gators:
ATH Berkeley Prep, Nelson Agholor
OT Armwood, Kevin McCoy
LB Berkeley Prep, Schyler Miles
Uncommitted juniors with offers from the Gators:
DB Wharton, Vernon Hargreaves III
RB St. Petersburg Catholic, Ryan Green
S Armwood, Leon McQuay
WR Jesuit, Travis Johnson
WR Middleton, Richard Benjamin
With eight State Championships over the past five seasons it’s clear that the Gators have made the Bay Area a must-visit on its recruiting trips, and for good reason.
Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleBennettUT