Now that Urban Meyer’s resignation as Florida’s head football coach has been downgraded to an “indefinite leave of absence,” the question is how all the uncertainty is affecting recruiting?
Hard to tell so far. As of this writing the Gators’ Class of 2010 — ranked No. 3 nationwide by Rivals.com — remains intact. Some of the 20 pledges expressed relief from Sunday’s news that Meyer was not flat-out quitting. However, there is definite uneasiness among some other pledges, a few of whom had our local teams under serious consideration during their recruitment.
Topping the list is five-star safety Matt Elam, one of three seniors from Dwyer High in West Palm Beach to commit to Florida. His mother, Addie Lewis, told The Sporting News Today that Elam is “in a daze” over the situation and the Palm Beach Post reported that Elam is now considering staying at Dwyer High another semester instead of enrolling at Florida early as was his original plan. Elam also has been concerned about the recent departure of Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong.
“I’m going to sit and wait and weigh my options and see how things shake up,” Elam told the newspaper.
Elam, it should be noted, has been heavily recruited by Georgia and took an official visit to UGA on Nov. 14. In fact, nine of the Gators’ commitments for next year have official offers from the Bulldogs. Among those are Florida’s two commitments from this state, tailback Mack Brown of M.L. King High and defensive end Neiron Ball of Jackson. Brown says he plans to stick with the Gators “at this moment” and Ball hasn’t said anything. Both players also were recruited by Georgia Tech.
Georgia also offered West Palm Beach TE Gerald Christian; Bradenton ATH Jonathan Dowling; Fort Washington, Md., DB Jordan Haden, Fort Lauderdale CB Cody Riggs, Miami DE Lynden Trail and Cape Coral DB Jayden Watkins. The Bulldogs got official visits from Riggs and “Florida lean” Chris Dunkley, a wide receiver from Pahokee.
The Post also reported that West Palm Beach wide receiver Robert Clark, who Meyer talked into flipping on West Virginia in order to commit to the Gators, has also decided to put early graduation on hold and take other visits. He has now scheduled a January trip to Tennessee.
In somewhat related news, it might behoove Georgia to pick up another commitment from Florida. The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the Bulldogs are about to lose DE/LB B.J . Butler of Kissimmee-Osceola to Louisville.