Published: Thursday, January 5, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 5, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
When the CaliFlorida Bowl kicked off on Dec. 31 in Anaheim, Calif., it appeared six Gators commitments were on the Florida team.
It turns out there were seven.
Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert committed to Florida a week earlier but hadn't announced it until after the all-star game between California and Florida players.
"I just saw all the other great players they were getting, and I figured it was time I join them," Gilbert said.
Gilbert (6-6, 270) is a four-star recruit and the 16th Rivals250 member to join Florida's class.
City College of San Francisco outside linebacker Larry Grant is ready to head to Florida. His grades, though, are not.
Grant committed to the Gators on Nov. 30 with hopes of enrolling early, but he will have to wait for test grades before he leaves.
"I'm leaving as soon as I get my test results back from this math class," said Grant, a four-star recruit.
He expects to learn his score this month. If they check out, he should be able to participate in spring practice.
"If the results don't go my way, I would have to stay here and retake the class," Grant said. "I doubt that's going to happen."
If the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas was an audition, then Aiken, S.C., defensive end/linebacker Dekoda Watson nailed it.
Watson, a three-star prospect, drew attention from childhood favorite Florida State after being named the game's defensive MVP.
In the Dec. 17 high school all-star game, Watson had a sack and nine tackles in front of recruiters including Seminoles assistant Kevin Steele.
Since then, Watson said Steele has been in contact with his high school coach and his family although FSU has not offered a scholarship.
"They've always been a favorite of mine ever since I was young," said Watson, who will visit North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. "To hear from them, it meant a lot."
The firing of four assistant coaches Monday shook Miami's incoming class, but so far, the recruits remain committed to the Hurricanes.
Coach Larry Coker fired offensive coordinator Dan Werner, offensive line coach Art Kehoe, linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves and running backs coach Don Soldinger, one day after a 40-3 loss to LSU in the Peach Bowl.
Those four assistants recruited five of the Hurricanes' 13 commitments.
Crowley, Texas, tight end Jason Fox received messages from other coaches around the country, but he said he still plans to go to Miami.
"It really shocked me at first," said Fox, who was recruited by Werner and Kehoe. "I got to know them well and was looking forward to playing for them, but sometimes decisions have to be made."
Werner also recruited Exton, Pa., quarterback Pat Devlin, but like Fox, Devlin remains committed to Miami.
"I had no hint it was coming," Devlin said. "Coaches were part of the decision (to go to Miami), but Coach Coker's still there (and) still wants me."
Verbal commitments are non-binding until a national letter-of-intent is signed. National signing day is Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas offensive tackle Sam Young, the state's top recruit, is headed out of Florida.
Young eliminated Miami and Florida from consideration, narrowing his top four to Penn State, Southern California, Notre Dame and Michigan.
"I just had a desire to go out of state - spread it out a little bit, experience some new things and meet some new people," Young said.
His two unofficial visits were to Miami and Florida, but that was not enough to sway Young.
For more recruiting news, and daily reports from your favorite school, join Rivals.com. Just go to the Web site at www.rivals.com or call 1-866-2-RIVALS to sign up.
Daron Rose, Tampa Jefferson
With less than a month until National Signing Day, the stock on Tampa Rivals100 member Daron Rose continues to rise.
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound prospect, rated as the No. 4 offensive tackle in the country, certainly has the offers and the size to prove he could be an instant impact player at the Division I level.
Offers have flown in from Florida State, Michigan, Florida, South Carolina and Notre Dame among many others. During his time spent at the CaliFlorida Bowl, he was listed as one of the best offensive linemen to come through the talented all-star game.
- John Talman
I played wide receiver, quarterback and punter at Miami Beach High. In one season at Oregon State in 2000, I had 37 catches for 806 yards and eight touchdowns. É I entered the NFL draft as a junior in 2001 when the Cincinnati Bengals selected me in the second round. ... This year, I was named to my third Pro Bowl. ... Who am I?
Last week's answer: Brad Banks.
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