Elam roller coaster continues


As the recruiting season winds down, it’s time for early enrollees to figure out their future plans. The biggest one concerning Florida? How about committed West Palm Beach Dwyer safety Matt Elam? His recruitment has been the ultimate roller coaster for him, fans and definitely coaches. One week he seems to be all Gator — he’s wearing the gear at games and doing the Gator chomp – but the next he’s pumping up other schools. In a recent interview with the Palm Beach Post, Elam said that while he’s committed to Florida, the school that has the best chance of plucking him away from Urban Meyer’s grasp is Florida State. Yes, the school that lost its head coach and has yet to name a defensive coordinator could be the surprise school to snatch away Elam.

Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg said he’s “not sold on Elam playing at UF.”

“I won’t be shocked if he ends up at Florida State,” Newberg said of Elam.

FSU’s closure with the Bobby Bowden issue and the way Jimbo Fisher has been able to recruit has helped them in the last few weeks and could be enough to send Elam to Tallahassee, Newberg said.

Here we go again. Elam has filled out his early enrollee papers with UF but can’t send them in until he graduates. That will give other schools like FSU and Tennessee a chance to swoop in and steal him away from Florida. Fortunately for the Gators, they will get one last chance to influence him this weekend when Elam officially visits with a boatload of other talented recruits.

Meyer now finds himself in a bit of a bind. He’s devoted so much to the Elam family. He’s very close to the Elams, so close that most of his recruiting attention has been with Elam and Elam alone for the longest time. That, Newberg said, could be a big mistake for the Gators if Elam decides to go elsewhere.

Elam has made it publicly known that he doesn’t want Florida recruiting any other safeties, and Florida hasn’t. That could come back to haunt them, Newberg said.

“The thing that really kills Florida is they could have a great shot at landing Tony Jefferson, but they told Elam he’s the only safety they’d recruit,” he said. “It could be tactical error.”

Why a tactical error? Well, like Elam, Jefferson (Chula Vista, Calif., Eastlake) is an early enrollee, was a Florida lean not too long ago and was headed in for an official visit for the FSU game. But the staff decided not to ruffle any of Elam’s feathers and decided not to have Jefferson come in. So, if Elam makes his mind up after Jefferson and it’s not good news for the Gators, they could lose out on two tremendous safety prospects.

Rivals ranks Jefferson as the fourth-best safety in the country.

This one seriously will come down to the final day for Elam, and a lot is riding on his commitment.


  1. If I am Urban I tell Elam that while we respect his wishes to not recruit another CB, Florida has to have options just like Elam does with other schools. If he cant grasp that then he isnt Florida worthy and go get Jefferson. Not fair for Florida to be held to a standard that the recruit wouldnt also agree too.

  2. I don’t know if I would want a safety that is so Pre-Madona, that he is scared of another safety coming to UF. As an athlete he should feel comfortable that no matter who UF gets he will compete and win the job. Top 1% of the 1%. He needs to get over himself and welcome any great talent the Gators can get. Go Gators!!!

  3. More sensationalism from Newberg who is so far out of touch it is not funny. It would be a HUGE shock for Elam to go somewhere else. Florida has his commit. gets the inhome visit with 5 coaches going in there and then the official this weekend. Oh and Robert Clark will be a Gator soon, too.

  4. Hopefully, he sticks by his word, especially since Florida and Meyer have stuck by theirs by not recruiting another safety. That said, if he doesn’t want to be a part of our University, and isn’t 100% Gator, we don’t need him.
    Ed, what is the latest an early enrollee can declare? I know there is no official “signing day” for kids who do, but logistically speaking, there must be a time frame situation as far as when classes begin and what not.

  5. Loosing CS while in the long run I don’t think will be a crusher will hurt us in the short run with defensive recruits. They don’t know who will be calling the plays or the defensive system that will be run. I think our D will be great but it can be used by other schools to create doubt until the issue of Defensive coordinator is settled.

  6. Don’t we already have verbals from the #1 and #2 Safeties in 2010? Demar Dorsey and I forget the other guys name, or is there word that they other safeties will be changing positions. ESPN has Elam as a athlete, but I am guessing by the article he wants to play safety.

  7. I just hope that loosing Strong wont sway him . Charlie had great relationships with his players. I am sure we will be fine without Strong, but he has been around so long it will take some time to get use to it. I for one appreciate Strong and all he has done and I wish him the best in his new role. If Elam is not sure he wants to be a gator then maybe he needs to go to fla state.

  8. So, Elam says to the Gators, “Don’t recruit any other safeties.” And, now Newberg says that he may go to Tallahassee, where they have ALREADY gotten THREE safety committments? So, is Elam that ignorant, or is Newberg?

    What am I missing here?

  9. We need Matt Elam imo. Will Hill was our weak link in the secondary this year. If you go back he consistently missed open field tackles on tailbacks. “lack of strength on most” tryin to grab on to guys rather than going low, and chopping them down. Even worse he was up several times well beyond the deep reciever in a cover two deep. ” Arkasas and goal line play against georgia to name a few. So what does will do great? I cant find anything besides blitz when he isnt accounted for at the los. Elam is a more broad guy that can fit in better in the joker packages and run support. So shore it up Urban and land this guy. GO Gators

  10. Who on our commit list are early enrollees? Also, who are the uncommited early enrollee prospects that we have a realistic chance at? Lastly, do you think that the scholarship offer to Robert Clark was legitimately earned or was given as a kind of favor to Matt Elam to ensure a commitment?

  11. Is Matt Elam scared about having to compete for a position? If he’s the stud he’s supposed to be, what does it matter if Meyer offers another safety? The Florida staff should have learned a thing or two from Torrey Davis and John Brown, our ALL-Everyhting DT recruits a few years ago. How’d they pan out?

  12. Everyone, take a deep breath. This is part of the recruiting wars.
    We do want Elam and he will be a beast for us.
    Just relax. The kid is special and his family is pro Gators.
    Don’t believe everything the bobble-heads say. They are only
    journalist who most likely never played a down of football.
    Elam will be a Gator and will knock heads off !!

  13. Everyone, take a deep breath. This is part of the recruiting wars.
    We do want Elam and he will be a beast for us.
    Just relax. The kid is special and his family are pro Gators.
    Don’t believe everything the bobble-heads say. They are only
    journalist who most likely never played a down of football.
    Elam will be a Gator and will knock heads off !!

  14. LOL at PikeUF. Posted the same GRAMMATICAL ERRORS TWICE! … “his family are pro Gators.” Family are?
    … “They are only journalist.” They are journalist? Seriously? I’m sure UF and the Pikes are oh so proud! LOL!

  15. Football is a team sport. Stars who are not team players hurt both the team and themselves. Elam smacks of “bad karma,” and is offensive to the football gods. Loosen your grip on him, Urban, or you’ll lose his respect (and perhaps some others’ too). Put the fear of God in him by serving up some humble pie – go after Jefferson; not just as bait for Elam, but to ensure the TEAM gets at least one of them. How much more would this illicit “respect” from Elam and “gratitude” from Jefferson?! You may end up with both as a result! Besides, we know that being a star in one level doesn’t guarantee success in the next. At this high level (#1 vs. #4), talent difference is a virtual wash. The difference-maker that’s paramount – that makes the cream rise to the top – is coaching and mentoring! A #4 who’s potentially coachable (“changeable”) is preferable to a #1 who’s not; and Elam’s veiled threat should be seen as a huge red flag! El(a)minate him.

  16. Everyone who is stating that Urban has kept his word and not recruited any safeties clearly doesn’t keep up with Recruiting. He has recruited multiple Safeties and has 3 of the committed already and don’t even say they are moving to corner cause he has 3 committed corners as well. Jonathon Downling, Demar Dorsey, Haden are the 3 Safties not to mention might get a Jefferson commitment.