Gaines Eyes State Title, Razorbacks

Corey Gaines

In his weekly recruiting column, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby defensive tackle Corey Gaines (6-1, 285, 4.9), who is playing for a state title on Friday and set to visit Arkansas on Jan. 15-17. This story is sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers. It's free and so is a special offer to attend a Razorback event. Click on the Arkansas Toyota banner for details.




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While many of the University of Arkansas' commits and potential recruits have finished up their seasons, one of its prime prospects still has a little unfinished business.

Uncommitted defensive tackle Corey Gaines (6-1, 285, 4.91) will lead Tallahassee (Fla.) Godby (12-2) into a Class 3A state title game against Cocoa Beach (13-1) Friday at 1 p.m. at the Citrus Bowl.

Gaines, who has been selected to play in the U.S. Army All American Game on Jan. 3 in San Antonio, is feeling good about his team – which has won four straight – and its changes against a foe that is riding a nine-game winning streak.

"A lot of people are picking us to win," Gaines said Monday night. "I'm feeling confident we can. We just have to go out and get it done."

Gaines and teammate Willie Downs – a Florida State wide receiver commit – were the first two players ever from their school to be selected to the U.S. Army All-American Game.

"It's such a big honor," said Gaines, whose team won a quarterfinal game on last-second field goal.

After that contest is over Gaines – who has set a visit to Arkansas on Jan. 15-17 - can turn his full attention to where he will play his college football.

Gaines racked up double-digit offers, including ones at programs that have seen a head coaching change in Auburn, Tennessee and Iowa State. Colorado, Rutgers, Central Florida, Tulane and East Carolina are some others that have come to the table with offers.

But Gaines has narrowed his list down to a trio of suitors - Arkansas, Ole Miss and South Florida.

"Those are the schools I am planning on visiting," Gaines said. "I am coming up to Arkansas on Jan. 16-18 for an official visit. I haven't set up my ones with Ole Miss or South Florida yet."

Arkansas assistants Tim Horton and Paul Petrino have been heading up the recruiting on Gaines.

"Those two are pretty cool guys," Gaines said. "They have done a good job of letting me know that I could have a chance to come in there next year and play if I can get up there and grasp the system and get with it.

"Also there is a guy up there at Arkansas who used to go to school here in Kareem Crowell," Gaines added. "I am looking forward to getting up there and checking it out."

Ole Miss certainly has a shot because former Arkansas and current Rebels assistant Chris Vaughn is a Godby alum.

"He went to my school so I know if I decide to go there he will look out for me the person as well as the player," Gaines said. "He'll keep it real for me and want try to sugercoat things."

While Gaines says he is continually working to improve his technique, there is one thing that is constant.

"Everybody talks about how my motor runs all the time," Gaines said. "I try and give 110 percent on every play."

O o o

… St. Louis prep defender Sheldon Richardson (6-4, 275) has already taken an official visit to Minnesota and will be at Missouri this upcoming weekend.

He said Monday night that he plans on coming to Arkansas on Jan. 9-11 with St. Louis star running back Ronnie Wingo (6-3, 212) and then visiting Miami on Jan. 16-18.

Miami is looking at him as a tight end while the others are looking at him as a defensive tackle or defensive end.

…Alabama prep defensive tackle Darrington Sentimore (6-3, 266) has already taken an official visit to Arkansas and will take one to Alabama on Jan. 9-11.

"I will then sit down with my mom and see which one is the best situation for me." Sentimore said.

…Arkansas is slated to sign a pair of mid-term grads this month.

They are current commits in Navarro (Texas) Junior College offensive lineman Zhamal Thomas (6-5, 335) and Fork Union Military Academy linebacker Benjamin D'Aguiliar (6-2, 235).

The Razorbacks are also awaiting a decision from Hargrave Military Academy defensive end Leon Mackey (6-6, 255), who has visited Arkansas and Clemson and will visit Virginia Tech this weekend.

…Arkansas is also expected to host a pair of mid-term grads this weekend in Blinn College offensive lineman Marquise Franklin (6-7, 318) and cornerback Andru Stewart of Visilia (CA) College of the Sequoias.


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