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February 24, 2009

UCF targets Oviedo QB

UCF didn't have to go very far to offer their first quarterback prospect in the Class of 2010.

Blake Bortles, who attends nearby Oviedo High School, recently learned of the Knights' offer and he's been told by the coaches he's very high on the priority list for their next recruiting class.

"I went to most of the UCF home games so I was always over there," Bortles said. "I was talking to them probably in the middle of January and they had called my coach and I called back Coach (Geoff) Collins, who recruits this area. He said they just had a meeting and they were going to offer me. He said I was their No. 1 choice for my class."

Bortles wasn't sure if he would attend the Knights' Junior Day this upcoming weekend, but he's already very familiar with the staff.

"They're all real good guys to talk to," Bortles said. "I know I can call them. I talk about stuff with Coach Collins. He was telling me about some good camps to go to. They're good people. I met Coach (George) O'Leary at one of the games. The new offensive coordinator (Charlie Taaffe) they brought in, I've met him too."

Several other schools have also been in contact.

"I've been invited to a bunch of junior days, but for some reason a lot of them are on the same day," Bortles said. "I was going to go to the Florida State one, but it was the same weekend as a camp I was going to. I've been getting letters from Tennessee, Florida State and Oklahoma State. I've talked with the Florida State coaches and some of the coaches that have come through the school. I've talked to a coach from Kentucky and FAU and FIU."

Bortles isn't in any rush to make a decision, but said he's definitely interested in UCF, Florida State, Oklahoma State and Tennessee.

UCF: "They've got real good facilities. I live five minutes away from the school so I've grown up seeing it. They've just built a new stadium on campus that's real nice. They have a real big population and they get a real good turnout from the students at the games. It would be pretty cool that people who have watched you play Pop Warner and high school football could go down the road and watch you play college football."

Florida State: "They're a real good quality school. Everyone knows Florida State has a good program."

Oklahoma State: "I get letters from them and I've got a pretty good friend that moved out there. They live about five minutes away and they say it's a pretty cool area. I've just been following them."

Tennessee: "I went to a camp at Tennessee going into my junior year. My family and I just walked around the campus and it was pretty cool to see all of that. They have a new coaching staff that just came in so we'll see how that turns out this year. It seems like it's a pretty cool place."

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound signal caller passed for 2,472 yards this past season, which set a new Seminole Athletic Conference record. He threw for 23 touchdowns.

"Our defense struggled and we ended up going 3-7," Bortles said. "We lost a couple close games and we got blown out a couple times by teams we could play with. It was an up and down season. We should be pretty good this season. We've got the majority of our offense coming back and key players on defense coming back. Next year should be a big year."

Bortles, who is currently busy with baseball, earned Class 6A All-State third team honors as a junior.



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