MIAMI, Fla. – If the University of Miami wants to keep the Miami (Fla.) Northwestern pipeline alive, it looks as though its in-state rival to the North isn't going to go down without a fight.
Talented Northwestern safety Tevin McCaskill only has two offers to date, Miami and Florida. Despite the obvious connections to Miami due to the mass exodus of his teammates to The U, the Gators are proving to be strong contenders for his services.
On Friday, Florida head coach Urban Meyer called McCaskill's coach to invite him to visit Gainesville over the weekend, when McCaskill got on the phone the speedy safety couldn't help but be star-struck.
"Urban Meyer had called when I was on the bus going to Jacksonville," McCaskill said. "There was a lot of noise on the bus so I couldn't really hear him and I was shocked at the same time cause like Urban Meyer is talking to me so I didn't really have much to say.
"When he would say something I'd just be like,'yes', 'no'. I was making it quick because I was shocked that it was Urban Meyer."
McCaskill also said that all of the assistants in the background were shouting excitedly showing that he was a major priority for the whole staff.
"They were excited to hear from me," he said. "That made me happy too. I had the coaches interested in me. I know they really want me."
After talking to Meyer, McCaskill is excited about being on campus this weekend to watch the Gators' spring practice. He will also be bringing two major 2010 prospects with him Todd Chandler a Miami Northwestern defensive tackle and a new edition to the Northwestern program, former Miami Southwest standout Lamarcus Joyner. Both prospects are expected to be among the state's best in 2010, if not the nation's best.
Beyond the coaching staff, McCaskill explained his interest in the Gators.
"All their players go to the NFL too," he said. "And they're a big program. They're ranked in the top NCAA programs."
With speed clocked at 4.45 in the 40 at the Miami Nike Combine, it is no wonder that Miami and Florida are so high on the prospect. He lists Auburn, North Carolina, Boston College, South Florida and Clemson as some other programs that have shown interest but still insists that he's wide open.
Meanwhile McCaskill has a lot to worry about on the football field with back-to-back state titles and a national championship to follow up on as a senior. Still, McCaskill is taking everything in stride.
"We're just trying to have fun," he said. "When you have fun, good things happen. We're working on and off the field. Good things are gonna happen."
The speedy safety will be next showcasing his skills at the April 6 Nike Training Camp at the University of Miami.