Sources: Bullard close to being cleared by UF


Florida signee Jonathan Bullard, left, practices for the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas on Nov. 12, 2011. (Photo by Michael Justus/Spartanburg Herald Journal)

Published: Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 8:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 10:01 p.m.

Sources confirmed Thursday night that five-star defensive end Jonathan Bullard is close to being cleared academically to enroll at the University of Florida.

Bullard revealed the news on Twitter.

“Just had a great convo with the big guy coach Muschamp SEC we coming ! UFALLDAY !,” Bullard tweeted.

Bullard could not be reached for comment. UF officials will not comment on the academic status of players, including incoming freshmen.

Although Bullard missed the Tuesday night UF deadline to enroll in Summer B, he is expected to be able enroll for the fall term and participate in preseason camp, which starts in early August.

Bullard was ruled eligible by the UF admissions office a week ago, but still was waiting on word from the NCAA clearinghouse before he could enroll.

Bullard is expected to compete for immediate playing time at defensive end this season.

Also, four-star defensive tackle Dante Phillips has not given up hope of being able to enroll at Florida, his stepfather said Thursday night.

Damon Wilson, Phillips’ stepfather, said he has been in contact with UF academic officials, and that an admissions committee would review Phillips’ case at a weekly meeting next Wednesday.

“I’m hoping they’ll take a look at his case sooner, if they can,” Wilson said.

Phillips was informed by UF a week ago that the admissions office had rejected his high school transcript and he would not be able to enroll in Summer B, even though Phillips has been deemed academically eligible by the NCAA clearinghouse.

On Monday, Phillips said he had moved on from UF and had reopened his recruitment and was going to explore other options, including Miami, which nearly swayed him from UF late in the recruiting process.

Wilson said Thursday night Phillips would not accept a scholarship from any other school until he gets final word from the UF admissions office. Wilson said Phillips has received 30 scholarship offers.

“I’ve promised everyone that we will not make any decision until we get a final word from Florida,” Wilson said. “If it doesn’t work out (with UF), we’ll have a Plan B. We have to.”

Wilson said earlier this week that he was doubtful Phillips would win an appeal. He said he is more hopeful now after talking to UF academic officials and the football coaches this week.

“The Florida coaches have been great,” Wilson said. “We’ve done everything (UF) has asked us to do. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

“Whatever happens, I feel my son has learned from this and he’ll be ready to move on.”

Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or andreur@gvillesun.com. Also check out Andreu’s blog at Gatorsports.com.

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