Bivins picks USF, still eyeing Florida

Gainesville High School cornerback Chris Bivins, left, hits Springstead High quarterback Taylor Minter during the first half of the Class 4A, Region 1 Semifinals at Citizen's Field in Gainesville, Florida on Nov. 26, 2010. (Photo by Aaron Daye/The Gainesville Sun)

Gainesville, Fla., cornerback Chris Bivins gave his verbal commitment to South Florida on Saturday, but he could still end up a Florida Gator.

Bivins makes no secret of his desire to play for UF.

“That’s the University of Florida — they always get the best recruits,” he said. “It’s a great school, great coaches and they just have everything a prospect looks for in a college.”

But rather than wait for Florida and possibly lose some options, Bivins pulled the trigger on USF.

“They’re an up-and-coming program,” Bivins said. “I have a good relationship with the coaches. It’s a good environment, and they’ve been showing me love since January when they offered.”

In addition to USF giving Bivins his first verbal scholarship offer, there’s the proximity to home and the familiarity of going to school with twin sister Kayla (volleyball) and good friend Sean Price (tight end from Citra, Fla., North Marion, who also recently committed to the Bulls).

“I just wanted to secure my spot on the team, because they had one more (defensive back) spot and they pretty much wanted it to be for me,” he said. “I’m still looking at my other schools.”

Bivins’ top five is USF, Arkansas, Kentucky, N.C. State and Iowa State but he has stated he is hoping to earn offers from Tennessee and Florida. He has yet to visit any of the other schools in his top five, so a lot could change between now and National Signing Day.

There’s still a chance Bivins gets his wish and ends up at Florida.

Bradenton, Fla., Southeast corner Brian Poole committed to UF two weeks ago, joining Hallandale, Fla. DB Willie Bailey in the Class of 2012. It is widely thought that Florida is looking for one more cornerback.

Bivins has done all he could do to get that last spot.

He has been a standout at every camp and combine he’s visited, including last Saturday’s one-day camp at USF, the SuperBull. Analysts expect Bivins will draw more offers after he participates in Nike’s elite camp, “The Opening,” in Beaverton, Ore., later this month.

But one camp performance stands above the rest. Bivins put on a show for the Florida coaches on June 12.

“I was ballin’ at Florida,” he said. “I had like three or four picks in one-on-ones. I was just going.

“I poured my heart out, did the best I could do, excelled at pretty much everything and I still didn’t get (an offer).”

Bivins was a bit disheartened after meeting with the Florida coaches. They expressed how much they like him. They said they would like to get him into this class, but they said it’s a numbers game.

In other words, there’s one spot left and the UF coaching staff wasn’t ready to give Bivins an offer knowing he would jump at it. Not yet, at least.

While Florida may be waiting for more highly rated prospects to make up their minds, Bivins still has a few opportunities (The Opening, Friday Night Lights and the fall season) to crash the party.

Stay tuned … possibly right up until signing day.


    • @CitrusGator I’m not sure I fully understand your post but you can be sure I would mention any issues with grades or injuries whenever they exist and are relevant with a prospect UF is considering. Bivins has excellent size and very good speed. I’ll go back and add that to the blog. Otherwise, I think I explained why he doesn’t have an offer from UF … yet.

  1. It stinks for Bivins, that the gators had so many d-backs the past two years, now they have will will bailey and brian poole, and they are waiting for tracy howard to commit, otherwise they would have offered a guy like bivins, and if howard goes somewhere else he still might get an offer

    • I think you’re dead-on, Jimmy. I didn’t mention Tracy Howard by name in the blog, but for a long time he said Florida was his leader … until Brian Poole committed to UF. Then Howard suddenly said his recruitment was wide open. Methinks that bodes well for Biv.

  2. I’m not sure why players like Howard are afraid of the competition of competing for starting jobs and/or playing time. these guys are said to be the best of the best and you don’t want to be associated with players that can step in and do your job when you are not in the line-up. or visa-versa, when they are tired and not able to perform at their top level you can step in. No one is going to play every down, I don’t care what school you go to. It seems to me if you are as good as you are credited to be you would want to compete with the best of the best, but maybe I’m wrong.

  3. As for Bivins, I like his desire to be a Gator. I’m not sure what his talent level is but his Heart is Orange and Blue. I hope he get a chance to become a True Gator on the field and make the Gator ation VERY Proud of a local kid who bleeds Orange and Blue.

  4. Does any one remember those Jackson Brothers ? Not overly talented. But their hearts and desire matched the heart of the UF. You can label a kid 5 star but when he get in the mouth the first time. Some of them go to 1 star. is it better to coach heart and desire, then to wonder where in the hell it went ? To the coaching staff give this kid the offer, and i assure you this is going to be your light on the Orange Locomotive !

  5. Sounds like a good kid. Don’t be too hard on him. He is doing whats best for him and the Gators are doing the same. He has to worry about getting his scholarship and Florida has to worry about getting the best corner possible.
    I agree, what’s new on Dan Wenger?

  6. Every team needs guys like Bivins.
    It’s these guys who live and breathe the program that coaches use as “recruiters” in later years. Their excitement is contagious, and will infect the recruits.
    Also, these are the guys the coach make room with their 5 stars who may not have quite the work ethic. However, if roommate is getting up at 5 am to workout, 5 star guy will have to get up as well. 5 star guy can’t vreak curfew, can’t bring illegal substances into the room, etc. Not that the Bivins type guy is going to rat out the 5 star guy to the coaches, but he will certainly get in the 5 star guy’s face about it.
    These guys are the guys that set the tone for the team, create the culture for the program, so on and so forth. You don’t often get the 5 star guys who feel that way, like Tebow, but you have to have them no matter their talent level.

  7. I tend to agree with the others who are favor of offering him. We’ve all seen how sometimes the rating system doesn’t pan out. Give me 3 star with heart, desire and guts over a prima dona 5 star any day, see will hill!

    I guess I’m old school about this. The guy bleeds orange and blue. Offer him!

  8. I’d like to see the follow up on the questions about Wenger. In HS,he played on the same offensive line as Marcus Gilbert and Sam Young (Notre Dame grad) at St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, one of the nations top HS programs. Good player and student from everything I’ve heard. Of course, as a St.Thomas grad, I’m biased. Would love to see UF recruit that area harder.

  9. Why are so many players transferring out of the football program? Is there a problem between the players and the new coaching staff? Please advise, it’s hard enough to get commitments from top players and then have them leave.

    Thank you.

  10. Florida’s class is starting to take shape, and the more I look at it the more I like it. Most of the big names haven’t committed so there is still a lot room to move up. I would still like to add a big inside linebacker like Spikes to the team(we have really missed him). Are there any big LB’s that we have a good chance to get?

  11. This is exactly what is going on in UF recruiting right now. The staff are giving lip service to “we want to recruit intangibles” – “we pay no attention to the rating systems” – but their actions say otherwise. UF is going to miss out on a lot of recruits that are “3 star” players that WANT TO PLAY FOR THEM – to gamble on landing “4&5 star” players looking to have their behinds kissed. Trust me my kid is being recruited by UF right now- and the coaching staff talks out of both sides of their mouth. For many of these young men- not being offered by the school – until after the 4 & 5 star recruits decline – sours their desire to play at UF. Every young man wants to be desired by the team he is going to play for- not feel like a second choice.

  12. Gators wont let Deaysean Rippy commit he is a better lb than the two commits we got he wants to come to Gainsville so let him he could be going to Penn state we want guys who want to be gators no more Chris martins the reason they are not going after Bivins is of the big db haul last year

  13. Mark my words, Bivins will be in this class. With Tracy Howard prob headed to UM, we will make it commit able. As for stars, who cares. This kid is really starting to blow up and make a name for himself.He is shutting down some of the best players in the nation in camps. He is A LOT better than where he is ranked. Come NSD he will be a gator.

  14. Bivins sounds like a good player, but I agree with the UF coaches in not wanting to jump the gun on this kid when there’s a chance that there is someone better out there still considering. These coaches go thru this every year, and as good as it would be to have a local kid with big asperations to be a Gator, there a hundreds more out there in these small schools that are just like him, but don’t get the attention, so all in all, these coaches know what their doing, and Bivins will be around when all else fails!