Fowler flirting with Florida again

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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.

53 COMMENTS

  1. I know this kid is good, but the constant brown nosing and ass-kissing from this staff is going to run off other recruits who are eyeing the same position – most notably, Jenkins. I don’t envy the kind of life altering decisions these kids are faced with at such a young age, but for the love of god, is there another recruit out there who comes across more arrogant and self centered than this guy every time he opens his mouth? …. I haven’t seen one.

  2. “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”

    That’s not exactly what you’d like to hear from a kid. You want a kid to have complete confidence but have humilty…….some one like Nelson Agholor. I mean he is a kid and under 18 so it’s to be expected, but you’d like to see some humility with him. While it would be nice to have Fowler, I really hope this message doesn’t negatively affect a Jordan Jenkins, Noah Spence, or Jon Bullard…..or even a Tyric McCord for that matter. Because in the end this all could go badly with us not getting those top players and Fowler ends up signing with FSU anyways.

  3. Sounds like Greg Reid in reverse. I’ll pass on Fowler. This guy is nothing but a head case with talent. ME, me, me.
    It’s all about me. Best he would give us is three years and more headaches than Cam Newton, Tyrelle Pryor, and Jacory Harris rolled in to one. GO to FSU….PLEASE!

  4. Knowing the way FSU does things, they probably have him playing UF, in an attempt to mess us up with some of the other recruits! Greg Reid comes to mind! It would not shock me one bit! Uf coaches should tell him to fish or cut bait. This is a position of great need and we don’t need to lose another recruit due to Fowler playing our coaches. That being said, Muschamp isn’t stupid, so, I am sure he has contingencies in place. If Fowler wants to be on the team with the most upside, it would have to be UF. We have Driskell and Brisett – one of the two will be a star, with the other following. We have some top talent coming in with this new class and the class of 2013, will be the one that Muschamp loads up! By then, the recruits will see the benefits of playing offense under Weiss and defense under Champ and Quinn! FSU’s coaching staff can not touch the one at UF and that’s a fact! When you compare the coaches, by position/unit, you can’t help but see that Champ, et al, are head and shoulders above the group at FSU! It’s like someone wanting to be the top building contractor in the world. Does he accept an apprenticeship under someone that builds dog houses or one that builds skyscrapers? Plus, the chance to play with Powell as a mentor! The choice is obvious! Too bad this young man can’t see that!

  5. I wouldn’t worry about the other DE or DT. They aren’t buck position players. Fowler is going to have to grow up fast. Just ask Easly. This bull crap is only going to fly for so long before it lands on his head. Hope he gets himself right with for himself.

  6. Is anyone else tired of reading about this kid? If he really has this kind of attitude I don’t want him. Give me a guy like Chris Bivins who would die to be a Gator and would pour his heart and soul into playing for this team.

  7. Any recruits listening to Fowler would do well to just consider it as noise. The comment that “the coaches have backed off Fowler a bit” indicates to me, that if Fowler gets serious, Florida will get serious, but until then, nothings happening.

  8. When I read this cloumn, I had some comments that I wanted to post. No need, as I see the first 8 comments nailed it very well. His comments were also, in my opinion, very disrespectful to FSU’s team. They may want to rethink their recruitment of him.

  9. While he may be a good player, he is not much of a team mate. Having a back up plan is a good idea, but making a decision on the team’s performance is foolish. After all he should make a big difference and if he is afraid of competition let him go somewhere else.

  10. I had the same first reaction as everyone else who commented, but then I remembered feeling the same about Matt Elam when he was a senior in high school. I thought Matt was too much about himself, committing, then decommitting, then committing again. Now he’s a defensive leader. In high school, these players are kids and they grow up once they get to college. So Fowler may be all about himself right now, but he could turn into a Elam type player.

  11. @UFgator_in_JAX

    At the least lets hope he doesnt pull a Fowler recruitment of commit, decommit, and recommit again. That would be bad news for us as all. The first DE’s or Buck position recruit to commit will have a domino effect for the rest (at that position).

  12. @ Gatorseverywhere

    Barlis thinks it his job to protect these dirtbags from public criticism. He thinks they are “kids”. However, most of them are either 18 or close to it. So they are all adults, or very close to it, in the eyes of society. They can be prosecuted for crimes as an adult, sent to war, etc. Im sure if he asks Fowler if he considers himself a man, Fowler would respond in the affirmative. So if they want to make jerks of themselves in public, they need to be ready for the criticism. I think more than anything Barlis doesnt want their feelings hurt so they will keep allowing him to interview them and they can continue to show how big of jerks some of them are.

  13. Does he have any idea what the word ‘commitment’ really means? Does he have a clue what 100% indicates? Put those together – as in “I’m 100 percent committed..” – but I’m still lookin’ and keeping my options open. Keeping ones options open with a conditional commitment (OXYMORON) means zilch. Recruit TEAM players – not prima donna’s. Wow.

  14. Like most here I am not enamored of this kid’s attitude but come signing day the UF staff should leave a slot open just in case. Stealing FSU’s top recruit isn’t a bad thing. ; )

    In the meantime we get the kids who are fits and want to be Gators and if there is no need for Fowler he can stay a Nole. No big deal. I just want to know if he is related to FSU LB Nigel Bradham because Fowler sure sounds like him. That’s not a compliment either. ; )

  15. UFgator_in_JAX makes a good point about Elam. There’s another recruit worth mentioning… Marcus Roberson. He’s started several games for us but went from committing to Texas Tech to Auburn to Florida all in the matter of a week. Are any of you upset we were the final landing spot in a whirlwind recruitment? I’m pretty happy myself.

  16. Keep away from him – let him stay a ‘nole. Muschamp is recruiting great, team players. We don’t need the poison this idiot will be. He’ll fit in well with FSU – lots of hype, low performance and very low character.

  17. Comparing him to Elam is completely inaccurate. Elam was 100% committed because of his closeness to Meyer. When Urban quit the first time, Elam went into panic mode – which is understandable. It wasn’t until the dust settled with our coaching situation that he was convinced to comeback. I have no problem with Elam’s issue, but Fowler is just a snake in the grass.

  18. Well Dante’, as I predicted in the pre-season, FSU will have OL problems and have basically no run-game, and theior secondary would be a seive, and FSu would start out their season 2 – 2. There you have it. Now, will the nolies have a bad rest of the season? Considering the remaining creampuff schedule they play, FSU doesn;t play A-N-Y-O-N-E until the play the Gators. Either Mr. Fowler wants to play in the ACC in noon-time t.v. slots against unranked competition every weekend, or he wants to be involved in games like this weekend’s UF – Bama game on a week-in and week-out basis in the SEC.

  19. I will say this much about the young man, he is absolutely right about FSU lack of speed on D. I live in Los Angeles and caught the game early. To say that I was surprised by FSU’s lack of speed would be an understatement. I was actually shocked. As far as the kid himself, “GOOD FOR YOU.” Know what you want, then go and get it. If FSU is losing, it will only be because of poor coaching, and son, poor coaching gets you hurt. Good luck wherever you land, (might as well put my bid in for my UCLA Bruins while I’m here, lol.)

  20. I’ve read a lot of comments calling a kid a jerk, ignorant, snake and I’m pretty sure most if not all are GROWN men classifying an 18 year old that is getting so much attention, and people kissing him a– that he is enjoying the attention. I think some of you MEN should step back and not expect too much from a child that is having the time of his life with the attention being paid to him. I know most if not all of you that are so critical of this kid has never been if such a position and you don’t know what its like, and you think that you would be above his actions and you very well may, But diversity is a common thing in life and he is just not doing it the way you would. He shouldn’t be a snake, idiot, jerk because he is not you. Ease up, if he decides to go to Florida you will be kissing his ASS as well.

  21. As for insulting Folwer, that’s wrong. Percy Harvin had some attitude problems in HS too until Meyer got ahold of him. I’m not going to indult some kid I don”t even know. There’s a lesson for you to learn David noles. That said, Fowler is a great talent and you don’t stop recruiting him.

  22. I don’t hear anyone crying, jackass!. FSU has more than a few good players that we lost out to in recent recruiting classes, that I would love to have in a Gator uniform. He is not one of them. Now, go to your board and whine about unerachieving season. Seminole nerds ………. I swear they have an inferiority complex.

  23. A “ten” in talent and a “zero” as a teammate: We should let this future-locker-room-tumor do his ME-ME-ME yapping elsewhere. I’m sure he has “big upside” or Coach Boom would have already stopped talking with him, but at a certain point, he either comes around on his own or we close the door–certainly we don’t “hold a place for him” while other talented potential-recruits for the “buck” position slip away. If we do eventually land him, there’ll be a lot of work bringing him around to “The Gator Way”, as Coach Boom puts it–and maybe a 50/50 chance he transfers out eventually “with the full support of the UF staff to continue his career elsewhere”, as the by-now-familiar expression goes.

  24. LOL….I love the overinflated opinion you Gators have of yourselves and your program, especially given all the “high character” guys you have. Take off the orange-and-blue goggles. Florida and FSU would both benefit from having this kid, and whichever one gets him, the other fanbase will talk smack about how they’re better off without him and didn’t want him anyway. That’s the way it works. Get off your high horses, because they surely don’t suit you.

    Off-topic, hope Brantley’s injury isn’t as bad as it looks and that he returns soon to finish out his senior season. I don’t like to see that happen to anyone, regardless of how distasteful I find your program to be.

  25. The crazy thing is that he is currently SUSPENDED from his high school football team Lakewood high for cursing out and disrespecting his high school coaches(See St.Petersburg Times Newspaper)!!! Shouldnt he be eating some humble pie with hopes of getting back on his high school team first??

  26. We have had our share of problems but most of those kids didn’t act like this kid when we were recruiting them. We had no warning tha they might be a problem in the future….seems this kid is sending out warnings signs all over the place! This kid sounds like trouble! As far as the statement ” he is only a kid”, well that is just a poor excuse…i have a 13 year old that knows better than to say those things…quit making excuses for a kid that doesn’t seem to know right from wrong!!!!

  27. dante is a beast. he can come in and play or can probably start infront of ronald powell.. rumors are if fowler did go to florida they would move powell to the other side of the D END where he puts his hand in the dirt move floyd to the inside and fowler starts as a freshman if he does what he supposed to do in the offseason.. this kid is a beast .. dont get mad at him because he is trying to do whats best for him ..fowler is the best buck recruit out there to get. honestly fowler and nelson ahglor are the number top players we need.. fowler would look great in a gator uniform soo COME TO GAINESVILLE FOWLER!!!

  28. JMP:
    The Gators are a bunch of ‘CRYBABIES” , ha,ha,ha….your’e a Nole I take it and –
    IF FLORIDA IS FULL OF CRY BABIES then what ae the NOELS…
    LET’S SEE…when FLA PLAYED FSU for “ALL THE MARBLES” after th 1996 Season -FLA. SPANKED FSU 52-20, no crying then…when FLA won a National Champiionship in FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL the SAME YEAR in 2006, no crying then! Then WHEN WE BEAT A GREAT OKLAHOMA TEAM (which FSU can’t do) in 2008, no crying then! SO, I guess IT’s FSU that is the CRY BABY and the ever perpetual 2nd place SCHOOL IN FLORIDA!!!
    See you in THE SWAMP for a SETTLEMENT!