What a weird weekend for the Florida Gators. They were totally dismantled by Alabama on Saturday and then got some strange recruiting news in just a few days. Florida’s had some solid momentum this whole recruiting season, but in the last few days it’s been Florida State that has gotten the best news. Even with Bobby Bowden stepping down, the Seminoles gained three good commitments — one of which was a prized prospect for Florida.
First off, FSU got verbals from 2011 Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast teammates Lamarcus Brutus and Keelin Smith. Both are defensive back prospects and both are solid athletes. But who commits to a school right after a coaching change like that? They weren’t getting much love from huge schools, but it’s a great way to start the post-Bowden era. Getting those two might have secured FSU’s biggest (no pun intended) commitment of the year.
As the Gators were watching Alabama’s offense bulldoze them, they were bulldozed by the Seminoles with the verbal commitment of Treasure Coast linebacker Jeff Luc. Talk about a punch in the face. I say that because for the longest time, Florida and Tennessee held such a lead over the rest of the pack. It seemed as though it was going to come down to those two schools in the end. But it didn’t. Luc told Rivals.com that FSU had been there from the start and that he couldn’t see himself not playing for the Seminoles. So, when the coach is fired and you’re not sure who will be running your defense you just commit to them? Ummm, OK. The head coaching talk around defensive coordinator Charlie Strong didn’t help Florida’s chances and maybe Luc just felt more comfortable with a sure thing at FSU.
However, Florida’s coaches are now going into overdrive mode this week. With no practices set for the next few days, coaches will be on the road talking with uncommitted and committed prospects before they return to prepare for Cincinnati. Committed running back Mack Brown said running backs coach Kenny Carter met with him Sunday, while receiver Solomon Patton was visited by receivers coach Billy Gonzales Monday night. Florida’s coaches will be on the road to visit committed players first before talking to uncommitted prospects.
Schmoozing with the non-Gators will come this weekend. A ton of uncommitted big-named prospects are expected in town for a the biggest non-game recruiting weekend of the year. The mood around campus won’t be as electric without that national championship feel, but I’m sure Florida’s coaches won’t let that affect their recruiting pitches. The loss of Luc stings right now, but Florida will have a great shot at West Chester, Ohio, Lakota West linebacker Jordan Hicks. He fell in love with Florida this year and this could be the weekend where Florida’s coaches turn the heat on Hicks. This is his final visit and he’s an early enrollee. Works out pretty well for the Gators. Tampa Catholic teammates Christian Green (athlete) and Chaz Green will make officials after deciding their FSU weekend would be an unofficial. I think this is pretty big for the Gators. The staff will have more time with two guys they weren’t as comfortable with as they were before. Tennessee is leading for Chaz Green, and Georgia has the edge for Christian Green. More time this weekend could change that.
Here is an early look a a few other prospects who are expected to be in town this weekend for official visits:
- Mack Brown, RB, Lithonia, Ga., Martin Luther King (committed)
- Matt Elam, DB, West Palm Beach Dwyer (committed)
- Travon Van, ATH, New Berlin, N.Y., Milford Academy (committed)
- Jaylen Watkins, DB, Cape Coral (committed)
- Trey Burton, QB, Venice (committed)
- Darious Cummings, DE, Titusville Astronaut (Florida State)
- Chaz Green, OL, Tampa Catholic
- Christian Green, ATH, Tampa Catholic
- Jordan Hicks, LB, West Chester, Ohio, Lakota West