Florida making run at FSU commit Fowler


Dante Fowler Jr. is all about business.

When he visits a college campus, he calls it a “business trip.” When he signs the dotted line on National Signing Day, it will be a “business decision.”

On Wednesday, he had some business to handle with the University of Florida.

The St. Petersburg, Fla., Lakewood linebacker/defensive end needed to meet the new coaching staff for the first time.

“Other schools I might go to have fun,” said Fowler, a Florida State commitment. “But Florida, it’s all business every time. They’ve been wanting me to go up there so I finally did.”

The day started with a tour of the facilities from his primary recruiter, tight end coach Derek Lewis.

“He told me, ‘Why would you wanna be somewhere else?’ ” Fowler said.

Then Fowler traveled upstairs, where he received a warm welcome.

“The whole coaching staff was outside waiting for me,” he said. “I talked to all of them and they took me in real good. I felt real comfortable. They’re kind of young coaches and I’m into that kind of coaching staff. We clicked very well.”

From there, he went with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and watched film for “a good two hours.”

“We went over how they would use me, how their defense is, a lot of techniques and moves I didn’t know about it,” Fowler said. “I learned a lot of stuff.”

Fowler had lunch with Gator offensive lineman Chaz Green and also spent time with defensive linemen Sharrif Floyd and Ronald Powell.

“They told me Florida is a good school,” Fowler said. “I heard it from more than one person, I even heard it from people who aren’t football players.”

One of those people was head coach Will Muschamp, who went over the depth chart to sell early playing time. He also promised Fowler No. 6, his favorite number, which will open up once senior defensive tackle Jaye Howard graduates.

“I’m their No. 1 priority,” Fowler said. “He said he thinks I’m mature enough to come in as a freshman and play a lot. I don’t want to have to wait until my junior year. I just want to get on the field early and contribute and make an impact for the program.”

The FSU verbal also heard plenty of trash talking from the Gator coaches.

“They said, ‘Why play around 25,000 people when you can play in front of 92,000 screaming, rowdy fans?’ ” Fowler said. “They were like, ‘Why play with a team that doesn’t even sell out their stadium while we’ve been selling out our stadium since 1979?’ And I was just like, ‘Dang.’ ”

The comparison had some effect on Fowler.

“Kind of,” he admitted. “That’s one thing about me, I always want to play for a big crowd, always.”

Maybe that explains his love for The Swamp.

“I don’t know what it is,” Fowler said, “but I can always see myself playing on that football field.”

Fowler will see that field at least five more times this year. He will be back for Friday Night Lights, the Alabama and Florida State games and an official visit after the season.

But first, he’ll return this Wednesday with his family.

Although he remains committed to the Seminoles, UF could flip the one-time Gator lean if they follow his guidelines.

“Just keep showing me love, keep trying, show me the depth chart and just don’t lie to me,” Fowler said. “Don’t say I’m the only person that you want and then have three or four people that play my same position coming in. Just keep being straight up and honest, and you never know what can happen.”

Fowler, who sits at No. 11 in the Rivals top 100, does know he won’t be leaving home.

“I’m playing in-state college football,” Fowler said. “And to be honest with you, it’s either gonna be out of Florida and Florida State.”

He grew up hating the Gators. He has a family full of FSU fans. But Fowler said none of that matters to him in his recruitment.

It’s all about business.


  1. Great article and I am glad that we are continuing to recruit players who are open to being a Gator and being truthful. If you want a big crowd then UF is the place for you. UM nor FSU can compare to us in this reguard.

  2. Tell you right now, I wouldn’t put too many eggs in my basket over this kid. It’s be great to have him, don;t get me wrong, but I’ve watched this game with FSU commits who were “considering” us. Fact is, we can’t just save his position and not go after several others just to have him sign with FSU at the last second. Sorry son, but no deal. Boldin, Cromartie, Nelson, and several other big-name players over the years who were heavy FSU leans who showed us intrest burned us at the last second. I understand playing to the recruit’s ego to a certain extent, but this reeks of a burn job to me.

  3. LOL, you Gator fans kill me. You reek of fear.

    Dante knew that UF was going to come after him hard, and my guess is Jimbo told him everything he was going to hear.

    This kid is a Nole, and there is no doubt in anyone’s mind.

    Fowler, Casher, & Edwards Jr. If I were Driskel or Brissett, I’d buy stock in diapers.

  4. Florida holds the nation’s 3rd longest consecutive home sellout streak with 137 games, dating back to 1989; and behind only Nebraska and notre Dame. UF AVERAGED 90,511 fans at every game last year.

    FSU, on the other hand, was lucky if they put 30,000 fans in their stadium for the Wake Forest game last year. They were so embarrassed about it, they even lied and doubled the announced attendance to 60,000… but I have pictures. They averaged 71,270 (if you believe their figures).



    If there are 60,000 people in that stadium, I’m Deion Sanders.

  5. “keep showing me love”??? “Don’t say I’m the only one your going after then have 3 or 4 people that play my position coming in”??? Dude, enjoy your time at Florida State. I hope the coaching staff doesn’t waste anymore time on this knucklehead.
    You have to earn it at Florida, Dante!

  6. I would love to have him…But I dont suggest losing any player over this kid playing the waitng game…And THAT TIM KID GREW UP AN Gator fan and he went to fsu so we can steal him…But not if we can get 2 or three instead of him.

  7. Hey hole boss…..Get real! Nowhere did anyone mention 25k. Just like the rest of your hole friends, you can’t count. Even still, 25k plus 55000 equals 70000, which is a far cry from the 92k we average EVERY week, regardless whether we’re playing the Little Sisters of The Poor or halfassu….

  8. This looks like yet another “highly talented” teen-ager afflicted with early stage NPD whose main concern is finding a big-time program where he can play early then jump to the NFL as soon as he’s eligible. I’d rather have a less talented kid who REALLY wants to be a Gator than someone playing the “who loves me the most” game between 2 or more programs. Forget this clown, he’s probably going to be trouble. Let him go to the Noles, they deserve head cases like this.

  9. “ey hole boss…..Get real! Nowhere did anyone mention 25k. Just like the rest of your hole friends, you can’t count. Even still, 25k plus 55000 equals 70000”

    Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…nice math moron…

  10. @ G8R8U2 –
    Thanks for making those revealing photos available for misled (read: deceived; lied to) prospects to SEE the truth.
    It’s visual documentation PROVING that FSU IS Half-ass-U!
    Some HIGH SCHOOLS in Florida represent better than THAT!!
    Even VANDY does, for-crying-out-loud!!!
    Have fun Lil’ Sissies.

  11. I agree with some of the previous posters. This guy sounds like the exact type of players we DONT need. We have enough egotistical jerks on the team now. Cant believe Muschamp promised him a number. Im calling Muschamp out on this. This is why some of these kids act the way they do. Instead of getting to campus and earning the number you want, its given to you before you are even a senior in high school.

  12. I am more than pleased with all of the reports about muschamp and the crew when it comes to recruiting. I promise I wont be like the fake indians and say my new coach is the greatest thing since sliced bread, even before he coaches a game, but I have to say, I like what I see and hear. This staff is drawing some attention with the recruits and I trust WM to discern between a player that wants to be a gator and a player that wants to be a big shot. I really hope that we see some success in the first year, but I will keep my expectations real. Unlike the nolies. They have a chance for one more year, then its back to owning them and I think they know it. Why else would they be talking out their rears for the first time in 7 yrs? Go Gators!

  13. I’m with Gator Todd on this one, If he’s that good then he should’nt be afraid of a little competition. He should want the best of the best on his team, and then beat them out, but when he’s not on the field he will know that his team is going to be competitive. If he needs something(position) given to him, let him go on to FSU. It appears that he may be a little self centered, I’m not comfortable with that.

  14. Keep things in perspective guys. Just a kid walking in to his manhood. If he needs an ego trimming come on in buddy. Look at Cam Newton. He should have done wright to begin with and he would have one the job. It took a humbling experience to make him what he is now. If you choose to come Dante we offer more than football. Come get your manhood and a education you can be proud of man. Family’s loyalties go where their kids go. Look at the Pouncey twins and Chris Rainy. FSU commits that made a mans choice.

  15. LOL! Reek of fear? Of who? A school that has beaten us once in seven years? LOL! A school who’s own “legend” of a HBC Bobby Bowden wanted nothing to do with playing in the SEC? A school that accused AU of being afraid to play them when AU backed out of a contract with FSU but the nolies did the same within with a powerful Washington team in 1984? A school that would have to beat UF fourteen straight times just to take the series lead over the Gators?LMAO! I’m talking recruiting anyway, not the typical nolie smack. Most nolies I know couldn’t tell me three other players on their roster besides Chrsitian Ponder anyway. I have no problem with showering this kid with attention and love, but no way would I tell a recruit I’m not going after two or three other 4 or 5 star players at his position just to make him feel good when we don;t even have a verbal commitment from him. I’d love for him to be a Gator, but no way do I think we should set ourselves up to get burned on NSD… again.

  16. This kid may or may not sign with the Gators, but if he doesn’t, he won’t be a Gator killer. Ain’t gonna do nothing when Jessamen Dunker, D.J. Humphries, and maybe John Theus are on the O-line shutting him down.

  17. hey this kid grew up hating the gators his family r florida state fans let him go dont waste your time recruiting some one that is at the last minute and then were stuck with no one not that it wouldnt be great to have the kid playing for us but we learn last year that we have seen this before our efforts need to b more focused on players that want to be gators unless he is willin to commit we need to treat it as thhat position is up for grabs and besides we will need depth at tat position any how sinserly top gator fan

  18. also if he thinks he is intitled to a spot without competeing for it not here this is the gators every one competes for thier job u smuck that kind of hining u must be a a seminole the gators earn thier position.either u want to be a gator or go your butt to tallahassee


  19. If playing in front of a big crowd is all he is worried about then I feel sorry for him. Dante should attend a school that will give him the best chance to graduate first. A school that will give him the best chance to further his athletic career second. And a school that won’t use you like a piece of meat like Jeff demps third. Why would any kid want to play in the SEC is beyond me. “Yeah son, you can come to one of our SEC schools and get your brains beat in every week and limit your chances to play pro ball. Doesn’t that sound like fun?”

  20. I think he Fowler was just being polite and saying the nice things to the staff that all recruits say. HE IS NOT COMING TO FLORIDA! We need to go after someone who did not hate us and whose family did not hate us. That being said, if FSU has a better season than UF this season, that is going to send recruits to Tallahassee so we have to ball out this season!

  21. This kid is a primmadonna, and will be bad news for our program. We’ve had enough of those recently. Time for more workhorses and less show-dogs on this team. The ‘me me me me me” types, send their asses up to FSU and let them drag their program down.

    You watch, its guys like this and Greg Reid that end up sending programs to the NCAA doghouse. You watch Greg Reid get into trouble at Florida State. Its going to happen sooner rather than later.

    • It truly makes me sad to read comments like that of Gator1973, who doesn’t know anything about these young men except for what he reads or sees from a great distance. How some of you form your opinions on these kids and then can’t resist the urge to share them is downright ugly.

  22. FSU is going to have a “better” season than us this year. Have you seen their schedule? Charmin-like, as usual, while we play three of the past four national champions IN A ROW.
    OTOH, Bama and Auburn will be cycling off the schedule just when Coach Chomp has us built back up to national contender status, so it will all work out.
    And don’t worry about a couple of misguided children choosing FSU over UF. Stuff happens. FSU can’t afford to build their new indoor facility, their donoations have dried up. Their sports program is about 5 years behind the Canes in sliding down the economic toilet bowl.

  23. @Lizardgrad89
    “FSU is going to have a “better” season than us this year. Have you seen their schedule? Charmin-like, as usual, while we play three of the past four national champions IN A ROW.”
    —-Check ANY site which lists Strength of Schedule from 2010 before you say such nonsense

  24. i have no worries that muschamp will bring us back to a powerhouse in only a couple of years…the ONLY tools i see hoping for the opposite are the ones that either have a losing streak to us, or are in direct competition with us (FSU being in both of those lists until last year). this kid sounds like he is serious about putting trivial reasons behind him to make the best out of his future, and if that is the case i would say give this kid a number and let him see DIRECTLY why Florida is the better school. i have no problem seeing muschamp playing to some of these kids with their requests, but never over another student…if fowler wants to come to florida, i say welcome, and prepare for the hardest 4 years of your life, but dont think its all about you. this kid would be a GREAT hole fill, and stealing one away from these newly charged and overly mouthy northern floridians is all well in my book.

    LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN…see you cinnamon rolls in SEPT baby!!!

  25. Dear Gator fans,

    Would you please go against your nature and show some class. Try not hating or bad mouthing a player until AFTER he signs with a school you don’t like. I know it’s hard but i believe in you!

  26. If someone wants to be told the truth the UF is NOT where you will hear it–Good Luck to you, where ever you go, but consider that you are talking about a school with the greatest number of criminals on the team this century–

  27. I really think that if this player was going to sign with us, he would give it a day or two and then come over to the “real” side !! . He is not going anywhere. I think that it is poor coaching for us to stop looking and stop recruiting for his position. We need to do our thing and keep recruiting !!! First time, shame on you…….. second,third, fourth time, shame on us !!

  28. Well said Jeff. I’m sure the recruits read these message boards and see nothing but ignorance from what is supposed to be a classy fan base. Come on Gator Nation let’s show some support for these young men and this new coaching staff while they make their mark on this program. GO GATORS!

  29. I agree that we do not and shall not talk badly about these kids, until the prove us otherwise at least. On the other hand, this kid really does sound like the “ME” player, and not much of a “TEAM” player. Sometimes these kids may say things that come out the wrong way, but how would any recruit expect a coaching staff to tell them ” we are only interested in you, and if you give us a verbal, we won’t go after anyone else from your position” Come on, this guy is obviously all about himself, and although I’d be glad to see him in Orange and Blue, it’s only because I know he’ll get a quick attitude adjustment like the one other’s got a few years ago.

  30. I think its funny all the uf fans hoping that fsu 3RD best de recruit from their class switches to uf lol but i do like fowler and think hes just playin the recruiting game u only get recruited once so players should enjoy it

  31. It’s funny how fu says that they sold out more than FSU but we’ve sold out vs ou and they have more of a populatoin than we do so yeah your attendance will be higher but we actually sold out against oklahoma and the champs bowl so fu do your research! You guys lost to FSU again by the way you guys suck GO NOLES!