UF picks up two verbal commitments

Published: Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 1:23 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 10:01 p.m.

An important weekend for the future of Florida football started with a bang Thursday when defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. committed to Gator defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

Cox, a three-star recruit from Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, didn't want to make it public until his official visit this weekend.

Cox’s commitment couldn’t have been more embraced by UF coach Will Muschamp.

“Coach Muschamp asked me if I was ready to be a Gator and I said ‘yes sir,’” recalled Cox, who held offers from 17 other schools. “It felt great. He grabbed my hand really hard and slung me into his body and just gave me a huge hug.”

The 6-foot-3, 230-pounder, who could also play Florida’s buck position, is the 19th commitment for the 2012 class. He is the son of former Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Bryan Cox, who worked alongside Quinn in 2007 with the New York Jets. The two have maintained a close relationship since and have a “brotherly bond,” according to Cox Jr.

Also on Saturday, the Gators picked up their first verbal commitment for the 2013 class from Winter Haven running back Adam Lane (5-foot-8, 210 pounds), who sat out his junior season because of a broken fibula. As a sophomore, Lane rushed for 1,000 yards on 80 carries.

With over a year still left in his recruitment, why did he pull the trigger for Florida?

“The atmosphere, the coaching staff and how everything is put together, especially the education,” said Lane, who was in Gainesville on an unofficial visit. “All of it played a part, and I just wanted to be a Gator.”

Florida will likely sign two running backs in 2013 and the top four remaining candidates are in-state prospects Greg Bryant (Delray Beach/American Heritage), Ryan Green (St. Petersburg/Catholic), Derrick Henry (Yulee) and Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade/Glades Day), the son of Gator great Fred Taylor.

In other recruiting news, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely wide receiver Avery Johnson did not travel to the UF campus for his official visit as expected. He remains a solid LSU commitment.

Florida has the No. 4-ranked recruiting class, according to ESPN, and has commitments from eight of ESPNU’s Top 150 players. Alabama, Texas and Florida State are ranked Nos. 1-3, respectively.

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