Gators snag No.1-rated guard from Trojans

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

A week after winning the national championship on the field in Glendale, Ariz., the Florida Gators moved a big step closer toward capturing a possible national title in recruiting.

On Monday night, the nation's No. 1 offensive guard prospect backed out of an oral commitment to Southern Cal and committed to the Gators.

James Wilson, a teammate of UF quarterback Tim Tebow at St. Augustine Nease, has decided to be a Gator after being committed to the Trojans for months.

"It came down to being closer to home," the 6-foot-5, 305-pound Wilson said to on Tuesday night.

Wilson is scheduled to make an official visit to UF this weekend. He has been to campus for several unofficial visits, including last Saturday for the Gators' national championship celebration.

Wilson told and that he committed to the UF coaches Monday night and then informed USC of his decision Tuesday.

Wilson is rated a five-star prospect by both recruiting services and is the nation's consensus No. 1 offensive guard prospect.

Wilson told that he'd talked to Tebow about his decision and Tebow was ecstatic.

"He went crazy," Wilson said. "He called telling me, 'I'm so happy, I'm so happy.' He was excited to know I'm coming over there."

Wilson is the 22nd prospect to commit to the Gators. UF's projected class is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation by and No. 5 by

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