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June 8, 2013
CHICAGO, Ill. - While Friday was check-in, it was down to business on Saturday as the prospects in the class of 2014 and 2015 made their way to Soldier Field for the first day of practice at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour.
Inside the Gators was on the field as the top high school players from across the nation, and some of Florida's top targets, showcased their talents.
Tabor Has FavoritesWashington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate Academy Rivals100 cornerback Jalen Tabor was a late addition to the Rivals Challenge, after a family arraignment fell through.
To this point Tabor has stayed away from taking any unofficial visits, and said that won't likely change.
"I don't have any visits even planned out at all," said Tabor. "I will probably wait until official visits. Something may pop up, but I am not sure."
While he hasn't been busy planning visits this summer, he's been active in deciphering where he would go this fall.
"I haven't set anything up but I know I definitely want to officially visit Florida, Vanderbilt and Alabama. Those will definitely be three that I am going to take I just have to figure out the other two."
Many colleges stopped by this four-star rated prospects high school this spring to check in on him and according to Tabor nine of those colleges are in a good place for his services.
"I would say there are nine schools that I am looking at right now," explained Tabor of his standouts. "Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Michigan, Ohio State, South Carolina, Maryland, Florida, Alabama and Florida State."
While Tabor named nine schools as his standouts, he shared four of those that are sitting above the rest.
"Florida, Alabama, Vanderbilt and Maryland are my top four though right now. The others are kind of on the outside looking in. Everybody still has a shot but those are the four that I am heavily looking at."
The Florida Gators have been very active in recruiting this 6-foot-1, 186-pounder, and Tabor noted when he talks with the UF he speaks with a multitude of the coaching staff.
"I talk to Florida like every two days or every three days. I talk to T-Rob [Travaris Robinson] usually but also coach [Brian] White, Coach [D.J.] Durkin, and Coach [Will] Muschamp. We talk about anything really its very genuine but we do talk some football."
Early playing time is a big factor in Tabor's recruitment, and Florida has been selling him on their depth at cornerback down the road.
"They tell me that they are going to lose some guys to graduation and the draft. The coaches said they have two junior corners that start now and may leave. So if they do go the only people they have are Vernon Hargraves and then Duke Dawson who is committed and still want a few others to have some depth."
Tabor also added that he plans on graduating high school in December and is currently on track to do so.
Rudolph Taking His TimeWest Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal Newman Rivals250 wide receiver Travis Rudolph has built a ong name for himself as one of the top pass catchers in the state of Florida. However this weekend he looks to take that up a notch as he competes against the best of the best from across the nation while receiving guidance from top coaches.
"It was very nice and I learned a lot from the position coaches and got a chance to run around on the Bears field, so I enjoyed today a lot and had fun," said Rudolph. "I am trying to prove that I am one of the top receivers in the county and can go up against anyone and compete."
Early on the four-star named the Florida Gators as his leader, but after visiting Auburn, Alabama, Vanderbilt and Georgia this past week has caused him to rethink things.
"My options are wide open and I don't have a leader or anything because there are still a few places that I would like to see. Getting to see colleges a little bit farther away let me know I have options. I wasn't stuck on being in-state, but it is just nice to know that I can see other places out there."
While he isn't ready to name an outright leader, he did share a few schools that he is high on.
"A couple standouts I have are Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Florida, Ohio State and Tennessee as well. Miami is also still in the picture as well."
While the Gators are a current standout, the 6-foot, 189-pound pass catcher noted the talks with Florida have been infrequent as of late.
"I honestly don't talk to Florida that much," explained Rudolph. "Coach Joker [Philips] told me that he understands that I am busy and he isn't going to push me to talk with him and I really respect that. He knows its summer time and I have a lot going on."
Rudolph also said he may visit Ohio State, FSU, and UF before the summer is over.
Linebacker Plans to Visit SEC CountryOut of all of the prospects on the field on Saturday, Crete (Ill.) Monee Rivals100 linebacker Nyles Morgan undoubtedly had the shortest trip to attend this event. Though he didn't have to travel far to take part in the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge presented by Under Armour, he will do a little traveling this summer as he hopes to see several programs around the southeast.
"I am trying to get down to Florida first this summer and then head down to Miami while I am down there. Then work my way back up to Arkansas, Tennessee, and Alabama," said Morgan.
Morgan also added that he has no dates for these trips set in stone, but noted he could be in Gainesville either this month or in August.
While on these visits the four-star rated backer said he would take a look at many different aspects of these campuses.
"I want to see if the competition is good, the atmosphere of the campus, the academics, and a good football program that I can see myself striving at."
When he talks with Florida the 6-foot-1, 222-pounder speaks mainly with defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin.
"I talk with Coach Durkin quite a bit," said Morgan. "We talked about their 3-4 and 4-3 defense but didn't really go in depth about it with me because he said he wants me to come see for myself."
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