The Florida Gators may not be the top choice for Citra (Fla.) North Marion's Albert Gary, but the…
Citra (FL) North Marion star Albert Gary (5-10, 190, 4.4) – who has starred at both tailback and defensive back - is one of 14 prospects scheduled to take official visits to the University of Arkansas beginning Friday.
"I actually don't know a whole lot about the school other than they play in the best conference in the country – the SEC – and they had some great backs like Darren McFadden and Felix Jones," Gary said. "But if I get up there and like it, that's where I will probably go."
Gary, a three-time all-state player who who earned the honor as a defensive back his first two seasons, totaled over 3,000 yards total offense and scored 35 times this season.
Gary, who has taken visits to Temple and Troy (where he was once committed), burst on the scene as a sophomore defensive back that had 96 tackles and 6 interceptions.
"I played defensive back as a sophomore and junior and running back as junior and this season," Gary said. "I feel like I made a lot of big plays on both sides of the ball."
North Marion head coach Craig Damon told the Ocala Star-Banner that versatility is one of Gary's best attributes.
"The sky's the limit for him," Damon said. "Albert played with a passion this year. He wanted to be the best he could be. He came to practice every day with a smile on his face, had a great work ethic, and went out there and performed. He felt like he had something to prove."
Named the 2007 Dairy Farmers 3A Player of the Year in Florida and the Ocala Star-Banner's Offensive Player of the year, Gary lined up all over the field for the Colts.
"Albert changes the game when he's on the field," North Marion offensive coordinator Bob Panitzke told the Ocala paper. "He can break it at any time from any position. We've lined him up at quarterback, we've put him in the slot, we lined up outside and put him in the I (formation). No matter what we asked him to do, he did it at such a high level that it made it hard (for defenses) to contain him.
"Even when there's nothing - he gets something," Panitzke added. "He just makes it easy. People ask all the time, 'what's your plan?' I say it's easy, just give it to 12 as many times as I can."
Gary was on a lot of big-time school's lists such as Tennessee, Florida and West Virginia, before he became academically ineligible the spring of his junior season.
He excelled in the classroom and on the field during his senior season.
"I really put a lot of effort into both after learning a big lesson," Gary said.
He appeared headed to Troy and committed there after the visit, but doesn't consider himself pledged there anymore.
"No I am not committed to Troy right now," Gary said. "I am just looking forward to this weekend at Arkansas and seeing if it is where I fit in."
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