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Cambridge Christian’s Richard Gouraige soaks up Under Armour experience

By Bob Putnam
By Rodney Page
When you look at the size of Cambridge Christian's Richard Gouraige (6-foot-5, 271 pounds), it's no wonder colleges covet him to stop defenders. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)

ORLANDO ó Cambridge Christianís Richard Gouraige can roll off the names of former standouts who have played in the Under Armour All-American Game.

"A lot of greats have come out of here. Myles Garrett. Jabrill Peppers," he said.

Those were defensive players.

Gouraige was nominated to play in this game because of his ability to stop defenders.

The 6-foot-5, 271-pound offensive lineman spent Tuesdayís afternoon practice learning the blocking scheme. He did it playing alongside good friend Nicholas Petit-Frere of Berkeley Prep, who will both compete for Team Spotlight in Thursdayís game at Camping World Stadium.

"I canít even describe it really," Gouraige said. "Iíve been raised as a kid on this game and Iím trying to cherish every moment, every down, every breath really.

"Itís just wonderful here."

Initially, Gouraige was going to announce his college decision during the game. He could not wait, committing to Florida three months ago.

The commitment still stands, but Gouraige did not sign during the early period in December. That decision was due in large part to the coaching change (the Gators hired Mississippi Stateís Dan Mullen) and to take more time in making the right choice.

Another SEC school could be in the mix: Auburn, which has a history of landing top locals.

Gouraige watched the Tigers in the Iron Bowl and likely will take a visit this month.

New Gators blood at QB

One of the biggest recruits for Mullen is four-star dual-threat quarterback Emory Jones. Jones (6-3, 195), from Heard County High School in LaGrange, Ga., was originally thought to be heading to Ohio State but changed his mind late in the process when Mullen was hired.

He has enrolled early and will get a jump on trying to become the Gatorsí starter. He is one of eight Florida recruits who will enroll early and one of five Gators who will play in Thursdayís game.

Jones said he was never told he could be the starting quarterback as a freshman, but he knows there is a chance at seeing early playing time.

"Iím going to have a chance to come in and compete right away," Jones said. "I see myself fitting in there pretty well. Itís a pro style, spread type of offense and Coach Mullen is good at developing those kind of quarterbacks."

Buckeyes proud

Armwood running back Brian Snead is back in Orlando after playing the Class 6A state championship here three weeks ago. He is committed to Ohio State but wonít leave for Columbus until the summer.

Snead is one of four players in the Under Armour game committed to Ohio State, so part of this weekís preparation is getting to know some of his new teammates.

He said he is also trying to soak up all he can in practices and during the game.

"Thereís a lot of good players out here," Snead said. "For me, itís about learning something new every day, getting better every day. Itís all about getting coached up. I donít have anything to prove."

While Snead said heís had fun in Orlando, the only thing he couldnít do was change Jonesí mind about Ohio State.

"Heís just told me that it was a better decision for him to go to Florida," Snead said.

Under Armour All-American Game

When/where: 6 p.m. Thursday; Camping World Stadium, Orlando

TV: ESPN