Florida has made Aquinas a priority

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Gators have had success with recruiting the South Florida area and St. Thomas Aquinas has always been a pipeline for UF.

From offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert and safety Major Wright, who are now enjoying success in the NFL, to current Florida defenders Marcus Roberson, Cody Riggs and Bryan Cox Jr., St. Thomas has had its stamp on Florida's roster over the last several years and it looks like it will continue. The Gators picked up a commitment from ESPN Watch List defensive tackle Anthony Moten on Tuesday night.

Former Florida head coach Urban Meyer, now at Ohio State, made the nationally known Fort Lauderdale school a recruiting priority and that trend continued when Will Muschamp took over the reins at UF.

Because of the amount of talent that comes through the Raiders program, Florida can't afford to not have a presence at the school. Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson recruits South Florida for the Gators and Aquinas is probably one of his first stops every time he's in the area, regardless of how many big-time recruits are at the school at that given time.

Of course, Florida isn't the only in-state school to enjoy recruiting success at the school that has won eight state titles and two national titles.

Florida State has four scholarship players from STA, including Lamarcus Joyner, Rashad Green, Bobby Hart and Austin Barron and Miami has two former Raiders: Phillip Dorsett and Jelani Hamilton.

By not making Aquinas a priority, any one of the three Florida powerhouse schools could get left behind, and this isn't the year to miss out on the loaded roster that Aquinas has built.

Led by defensive tackle Moten, wide receiver Corey Holmes, running back Madre London, quarterback Wade Freebeck, defensive back Al Harris Jr. and Miami offensive line commit Nick Linder, Aquinas could make another run at a state title and will again have coaches from across the country flocking to the school to try and get a piece of the recruiting pie.

Moten will likely visit Florida for its spring game and Holmes is one of Florida's receiving targets.

There will always be talent in South Florida, but one thing is certain: As long as Muschamp is the coach of the Gators he will make sure to have a presence at St. Thomas Aquinas.