Two oral commitments bring recruit total to 19
Published: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 1, 2005 at 12:00 a.m.
Florida picked up potential help in an area of need Wednesday when Larry Grant, the No. 1-rated junior college linebacker in the nation, confirmed he has orally committed to the Gators.
A standout at City College of San Francisco, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound Grant committed to UF coach Urban Meyer on Monday after visiting Gainesville over the weekend and attending the Gators' 34-7 victory over arch-rival Florida State.
The Gators also received an oral commitment Wednesday from Tampa Jefferson tight end Trent Pupello, the son of former Florida offensive lineman Joe Pupello (1974-76). Pupello also visited UF this past weekend.
Grant and Pupello are the sixth and seventh players to commit to UF since Saturday night's game. The Gators now have 19 oral commitments, with national signing day still more than two months away.
Grant is picking Florida over conference rival Tennessee and Texas A&M. He will enroll at UF in January and participate in spring drills, where he is expected to contend for a starting role at outside linebacker.
"He's the kind of talent who can help immediately," said SuperPrep publisher and Scout.com national editor Allen Wallace. "We have him rated a five-start prospect. He definitely fills a huge recruiting need for Florida."
Grant is from Norcross, Ga., and signed with Murray State in Kentucky as a running back coming out of high school. When he failed to gain a qualifying test score, he enrolled at City College of San Francisco and was moved to linebacker, where he has been a dominant performer on the outside the past two seasons.
As a freshman, he intercepted four passes and blocked six punts. He blocked two more punts this past season.
Before his visit to UF this past weekend, Grant told the recruiting services that he was leaning toward Tennessee. He changed his mind after touring the campus and experiencing the Gators' big win over FSU in The Swamp.
"On my visit there was something special about Florida that made me more comfortable than other visits," Grant told Scout.com.
Grant said he connected with UF middle linebacker Brandon Siler on his visit.
Pupello, whose father was an offensive guard at UF, has followed the Gators since early childhood and is picking Florida over Florida State. He said he received no family pressure to commit to Florida.
"I woke up this morning and felt like it was time," Pupello told Rivals.com. "I told Coach Meyer I'm going to be a Gator."
Pupello and Grant are the sixth and seventh players to commit to UF over the past few days, joining St. Augustine teammates Jacques Rickerson (CB) and Brandon James (WR/KR), Tampa Hillsborough quarterback/athlete Jarred Fayson, Zephyrhills wide receiver/cornerback Bryan Thomas and Augusta (Ga.) Josey defensive end Lawrence Marsh.
"Florida is going through one of those streaks where the (recruiting) momentum is really taking off," Wallace said.
Rivals.com and Scout.com now both have UF's 2006 recruiting class ranked in the top five nationally.
UF hopes to sign between 25 to 28 players in February.
Robbie Andreu can be reached at 374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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