Five-star Elam switches commitment to FSU

Published: Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 2:33 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, December 31, 2009 at 2:33 p.m.

Florida's 2010 recruiting class took a major hit Thursday.

West Palm Beach Dwyer safety Matt Elam, who had been committed to Florida since October of 2008, switched his verbal commitment from UF to Florida State, according to's Chris Nee.

Elam had been wavering on his commitment throughout the fall, but reaffirmed it after his official visit to UF earlier this month. After UF coach Urban Meyer's resignation-turned-leave-of-absence over the weekend, Elam reportedly began to second guess his pledge to the Gators again.

Elam told Rivals that Meyer's situation was the reason for him re-opening his recruitment. Meyer and the Elam family have had a strong relationship since Meyer recruited Elam's older brother, Abram, to Notre Dame in the mid-90s.

"I was strong on Florida, that's where I wanted to be and then when this happened I was like, 'Dang,' " said Elam, whom Rivals ranks as a five-star prospect and the No. 14 player in the country. "I was supposed to be enrolling there in about 10 days but I had a bad feeling about things when he said he was coming back. I didn't feel comfortable with that. I didn't want to get in and get stuck, that was really scaring me. I am good with it. It is a great opportunity to go to college at a great place. A lot of people don't have this opportunity."

A chance to step in and make an immediate impact on defense also influenced Elam's commitment to FSU.

"It was on my mind, but (Thursday) I really made the decision," he said. "I was sitting down thinking like I can make a difference. If I go to Florida I really can't make a difference at Florida, I can just jump on the bandwagon. I want to make a difference and I see a lot of good things there."

The 6-foot, 205-pound Elam will enroll early at FSU and will report to Tallahassee following his participation in the U.S. Army All-American Game on Jan. 9 in San Antonio, Texas.

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