Hearns no longer a UF commit

James Hearns, center, talks to other athletes at Friday Night Lights at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on July 27, 2012.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.

Florida's lone soft verbal of its 2013 class is no longer in the commitment column.

But he didn't leave on his own accord.

New defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin called James Hearns on Thursday and told the Tallahassee Lincoln linebacker UF couldn't take him.

“Coach Durkin let me know I wouldn't be able to get into Florida because of my grades,” Hearns said. “He said I needed to explore my other options, which I've already started doing. I knew this was coming.”

Hearns visited Auburn last weekend and will take a trip to Kentucky this Friday. On Tuesday, he told The Sun he needed to retake his ACT and finish a couple of online classes in order to qualify.

“Florida has been aware of my academic situation for awhile, but coach Durkin said they couldn't wait anymore. Maybe them getting some more linebackers (committed) and me visiting other schools had something to do with that, but I'm not sure,” said Hearns, who is now considering Kentucky, Auburn, South Carolina, Houston and Washington with the Wildcats currently in the lead.

The Gators now have 26 members in their 2013 class and can sign up to seven more recruits.

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