Fullback joins UF recruiting class

Published: Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 9:06 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 13, 2008 at 9:06 p.m.

Florida still hasn't secured a dominant tailback yet this recruiting season, but the Gators apparently have picked up every tailback's best friend.

A physical, blocking fullback.

Buford, Ga., fullback/inside linebacker T.J. Pridemore told Rivals.com on Sunday that he committed to the UF coaches during an official visit this weekend.

Pridemore's commitment to UF is expected to become official with a formal announcement on Wednesday. He did not return phone calls Sunday night.

Pridemore is the son of former NFL safety Tom Pridemore, a standout for eight seasons with the Atlanta Falcons.

Pridemore committed to Georgia Tech early in the recruiting process, but opened his recruitment when Tech coach (and former UF quarterback) Chan Gailey was fired at the end of the season.

At Class 2A Buford, Pridemore earned his reputation on defense, where he had more than 100 tackles the past two seasons from his inside linebacker position. He is rated the No. 28 inside linebacker prospect in the nation by Rivals.com.

UF recruited Pridemore as a fullback and linebacker and he'll get a look on both sides of the ball when he arrives in Gainesville this summer.

At 6-foot-1, 228, coupled with an aggressive nature, he seems to fit the mold of former UF fullback Billy Latsko, who was such a vital member of the Gators' 2006 national championship team.

Pridemore had offers from numerous schools, including Tennessee, South Carolina, Ole Miss and West Virginia, where his father played collegiately.

Pridemore is a high school teammate and close friend with highly rated defensive tackle prospect Omar Hunter, who is scheduled to visit Gainesville this weekend. Hunter committed to Notre Dame months ago, but has since de-committed and is strongly considering the Gators.

Hunter also is considering childhood favorite Georgia.

The Gators now have commitments from 19 prospects. UF hopes to have a signing class of 24 or 25 players.

Verbal commitments are non-binding. National signing day is Feb. 6.

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