Elam sticking with Gators


OK Gator fans, some of you have gotten your wish.

After my blog was bombarded with Matt Elam comments, he’s finally putting to rest his recruiting. Florida’s top commit in the 2010 class is staying put with his pledge, so those who jumped off his train, help yourselves back up. For those who never left, you’ve got your man.

Sorry, West Virginia. He might have said he would sign with you a few weeks ago, but he’s staying down south.

Forget it Tennessee. You charmed him for a few days with the “next Eric Berry” talk, but Elam now wants to fight for a spot. Although, I don’t know if I could pass up the chance to have my own Heisman music video [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hr2MOiEnnF8]Berry for Heisman [/URL].

To all those schools hoping for a visit from one of the nation’s top safety prospects, he’s now sorry to inform you that he won’t be attending your homecomings or rivalry games. Elam told Rivals.com Wednesday that after a long talk with UF coach Urban Meyer, he’s not taking anymore trips. He’s done with other schools and he’s all Gator.

“I’m not going to Florida State anymore, recruiting is over,” Elam told Rivals. “I’m committed to Florida. Me and Coach Meyer basically had a two-hour talk. You know me and him go way back. We talked about our relationship. I sat down and thought about it, and I really don’t want to be wasting the time of anyone else.”

Ironically, a few days earlier, UF safeties coach Chuck Heater and cornerback Joe Haden had some advice for recruits out there. I must point out that neither was talking specifically to or about Elam. Funny how things work out sometimes.

Being the Gators’ safety coach, Heater obviously knew about the Elam situation and knew that Elam was talking about how thought he didn’t need to sit and wait in college. Well, if you’re good enough, you’ll get your chance. Even with the Gators.

“We’ve had a pretty good track record for playing young players,” Heater said. “Joe Haden was a freshman, Will Hill was a freshman, Janoris Jenkins was a freshman. Those guys were all true freshmen who played here and played really, really well.”

Speaking of Haden, he might have started as a true freshman, but it certainly wasn’t easy. Making that jump from high school is a whole new ball game and recruits should be prepared for that.

“Once you get here it’s totally different,” he said. “Everybody at their position was the best where they came from whether it be me in Maryland or people come from Florida, California.

“Everybody was the best in their state at that position, so just knowing you have to work hard every single day to get that much better. It’s not just talent. It’s work ethic and knowing the plays and worrying about more than athletic ability.”

Elam said he decided to take playing time out of the equation for a second and thought about where he was comfortable, where he felt his family was. In the end, it was Florida.

But should those feelings of him expecting his starting spot to be wrapped up and waiting for him arise, Haden’s got an important message for Elam and all of those recruits out there.

“If you really think somebody’s going to give something to you then you don’t deserve to be here at all,” he said.


  1. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kiffin finds a way to get in he ear again before signing day and could imagine Meyer having to have another chat with him to keep him with the Gators.

    I hope I’m wrong on this one.

  2. Elam has to make his own decision. Even now, I am not convinced. It’s still all talk. However, if he does choose to accept the challenge, I do believe he will be a better a better athlete, a better football player, and a better man because of it.

    Good luck Elam. Hope to have you on the team.

  3. Take that VOLS! He doesn’t want anything handed to him. He’s willing to work for it and compete against the best to take it…

    Thats how you build a winning program… not just the athlete… but the man… inside the athelete. Yup!!!

    go Lizzards!

  4. Good to hear Edward. Wasn’t really that caught up (I don’t think) but I don’t like to lose a soon to be great player. It realy sound like the young man is quality. Hey, If I was that young again and haad some big-time programs getting in my ear and stroking my ego, I would probably listen as well. Just goes to show you that the coaches know what they are doing i recruiting.

  5. Great comment by Joe Haden. I expect that is part of the message to Gator recruits; e.g., “If you think you are good enough to play for the Gators, then those who have earned the privilege, welcome you to come and compete for the privilege of stepping on the field in a Gator uniform along with us. If you don’t want to compete, or don’t think you can, then we will see you around”

  6. Wow , that sure was a sudden change of heart . Kinda like the change of heart you have when your girlfriend catches you cheating and you say , but your the only one for me , I LOVE YOU , and only YOU. Sounds fishy , but hope the kid signs with Gators.If you want to be the best you must play with the best . “Be the next Eric Berry” , the last i checked his team was 2-3 , and his heisman hopes are shot.

  7. So he says,today. Hopefully, he’s got enough sense to realize what a jerk Kiffin is. At Florida you check your ego at the door. At Tennessee, not only is it allowed, it is encouraged, ie. Eric Berry’s stadium video. (Can you imagine a “Tebow for Heisman” video before a game? Meyer would find a visor and throw it at the screen.)

  8. Check my past posts … I never wavered on you. Matt Elam will be the rock and soul of the Gator 2010 recruit class the way Percy Harvin did in 2006. Matt you have worked your way to this position, you will lead our Gators, and the SWAMP will roar back for you.