For the third time this year, Florida State commitment Dante Fowler will be heading to Gainesville to check out UF.
After unofficial visiting in June and competing in Friday Night Lights, it’s time for the St. Petersburg, Fla., Lakewood linebacker/defensive end to see the Florida Gators in action as they host No. 3 Alabama Saturday night.
Fowler has watched the Gators on TV this year and is impressed with the Buck position, where head coach Will Muschamp is recruiting him to play.
“I like how they use Ronald Powell,” Fowler said. “That’s exactly how I play. Everything you see him do is what I do. So the coaches told me to pay attention to him when I come for my visit because they say I can play that position.”
As expected, Fowler has kept on eye on FSU and its defense as well. He was in Tallahassee for the Oklahoma game and enjoyed the atmosphere, but he isn’t thrilled about the Seminoles start to the season.
The 6-foot-3, 232-pounder told Scout.com in August that his commitment could get “real shaky” if FSU has a bad season, and he still feels the same way. He said the Seminoles haven’t been competitive in their losses to Oklahoma and Clemson, and he wants to see improvement moving forward. Florida State’s struggles, however, also show him how much he is needed.
“I don’t know,” Fowler said on what he thought of the 2-2 start. “The offense can’t put up any points … and Clemson was too fast for the (FSU) defense. So they can definitely use me.”
But it’s going to take more than FSU losses for the Gators to win back the five-star prospect they once led for.
“I’m still 100 percent committed,” Fowler said, “but I’m gonna take visits and we’ll see what I do on (National) Signing Day. Something real bad has to happen for me to decommit from Florida State, but that’s why I go (on visits) to Florida, just in case.”
Although the UF coaches have backed off Fowler a bit, he said they still have him high on their board.
“Even though I’m committed, I’m still the top guy that they want. They told me they really don’t want nobody else more than me, so I’m one of their priorities,” he said.
He’s also a priority for Florida verbals Matt Jones and Marcus Maye, who have a close friendship with Fowler.
“I’m real good friends with them,” he said, “and they try to get me to go there. They say Florida’s doing big things and I should be a part of it.”
Fowler will also attend the Vanderbilt game with Jones, unofficially visit for the regular-season finale against FSU and then take an official to UF in January, which will give him plenty of chances to take up their offer.