Fowler: “I don’t know where I’m going”

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Since he committed to Florida State in December 2010, five-star defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. has been anything but solid to the Seminoles.

Over the course of his recruiting process, he has said there’s a “25 percent” chance his verbal will change and that things could get “shaky” and “spicy.”

Fowler made some eye-opening statements back in June, and he’s been flirting with Florida ever since.

But following Thursday’s in-home visit with the UF coaching staff, Fowler went on record and revealed how undecided he truly is.

“I don’t know where I’m going,” Fowler said. “Not yet. I need this week to think about it. It’s gonna be pretty hard. I’m making a decision that’s gonna stick with me for the rest of my life.”

Fowler watched the Florida basketball team defeat Ole Miss with UF head coach Will Muschamp, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, linebacker coach D.J. Durkin, cornerback coach Travaris Robinson and tight end coach Derek Lewis.

“We had a great time,” Fowler said. “I just sat down and watched the Florida game with the coaches. And I got to wear my jersey.”

Fowler said he took this picture with his brother, Terio, and godbrother, Chris. Both of them are huge Florida fans.

“It felt real good to put on a Gator jersey,” Fowler said. “No. 6 is my favorite number. I never thought I’d put on a Gator jersey, so it was crazy. My brothers were real pumped.”

Fowler said the majority of his family members — most notably his father — are FSU fans and they initially wanted him to be a Nole. However, he said that has changed.

“Honestly, at first they wanted me to go to Florida State,” Fowler recalled. “But both of them are good schools, so my family really doesn’t care which one I go to now.”

The 6-foot-3, 255-pounder is having an ESPNU announcement on National Signing Day and will reach his final decision independently.

“I’m making this decision on my own,” Fowler said. “My parents and coaches already talked with me, so now it’s my time to make the last call. It’s up to me. I finally get to call some shots.”

Florida received the final official and in-home visit with Fowler. For clarification, I asked him if Thursday was the last time he would meet with Muschamp. I meant before Feb. 1, but he took my question literally.

I asked, “is this the last chance Muschamp gets to see you?”

He responded, “I guess we’ll see on Wednesday.”

Popcorn, anyone?

101 COMMENTS

  1. This is what i am talken about Zack. YOUR the next one to get picked off by ESPN if you keep it up. Great journalists attack the story. Baller Man. This is the best news all day. We got a shot. YESSSS!!!!! You beat them all to the story. Great job!

  2. Well, at first, I was pretty much dobting this, but Folwer is aobviously torn between the two schools, and now that his parents have backed off it seems he’d wide open, so it’s a 50/50 call. Folwer has been to UF on NINE seperate visits, he’s got lots of friends on the UF campus, and he enjoys the campus and atmosphere in Gainesville. I think his only real problem with letting go of FSU is that he wants to honor his commitment to Fisher and I respect that, but this is recruiting, and hopefully Folwer will make the best decision for himself on NSD. I do think the odds of him beccoming a Gator have swayed in UF’s favor though. We’ll see come next Wednesday.

  3. It is Friday and it is going to be a real interesting 5 days as we get through the weekend. This class has the potential to be a monster!!! Way to go on the information and come NSD I really hope we get the players we expected + a couple we really Wished for!!!!
    Keep up the great work!!!!

  4. Great follow up on defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. story, Zach. This Young Man should go with what ever is in his heart! I do think that is becoming a GATOR! Which ever team that is, I hope his family supports his decision! I also hope he is treated well by all! GO GATORS!

  5. Instead of just talking about football if he really intends on looking at the overall picture lets look at 3 major items FSU Vs Fla
    1. Florida is THE University of Florida NOT FSU
    2. Look at the Stadiums!!!
    3. Look at the Conferences ACC VS SEC.
    4. Look at the All sports Trophies Fla Vs Fsu
    My gosh just walk Gainesvile VS Tally…
    Its a NO brainer Become a Gator!!!!!!!

  6. Watch his video. HIs body language is very strong. He really doesn’t show any allegiance to FSU. He gives em lip service but that’s it. Watch him BEAMING with pride when A-bol points out his Gator shirt. This looks like a no-brainer. If not, he is playing serious games.

  7. Make up your mind Fowler and free-up that scholarship. Meyer left Florida offense looking like garbage and they will not be a threat in the SEC until they find a QB. The SEC now belongs to Saban…the real reason why Meyer faked his illness.

  8. Good luck Dante. You have a big decision coming up in your life.

    One decision will leave one fanbase with a sad but respected stance on you for holding true to your word. The other decision will have you hated more than Matt elam for following your heart. All of this will pass in time. Do what you know to be true and worry about the rest as the chips fall.
    Gator nation needs you. Hopefully you follow that reptilian heart of yours.

    9 times…cmon man. Jimbo will understand.

  9. You nole trolls can’t have it both ways. You stole Tim J. and a few others from us last year. Now we have a chance to make ourselves better. He would be a gator now if it wasn’t for parental influence. You should respect the fact that he want to go back on his word, but wants to follow his heart. Don’t look like you no what bagging on this kid.

    PS. You trolls are smelling your own stuff now that you finally one a game or two. We owned you for how many years. Respect little ones. Get some please.

  10. My humble reply to the inbreeder who posted the follwing:

    1. Florida is THE University of Florida NOT FSU
    2. Look at the Stadiums!!!
    3. Look at the Conferences ACC VS SEC.
    4. Look at the All sports Trophies Fla Vs Fsu
    My gosh just walk Gainesvile VS Tally…

    1. Duh! It is University of Florida…
    2. Stadiums about a wash
    3. Conference strength is cyclic (goes from good to bad and back)
    4. Sports trophys…FSU ranked #2 in the final rankings, Gayturds #56…it’s about being a well rounded university; not just football heavy. Oh that’s right, we beat your ass 2 years in a row. So bad your sick coach retired only to hire on with a more promising program Ha Ha Ha!

  11. I initially hoped Dante would be at FSU this spring. After reading some of his earlier comments, and being an avid FSU fan, I began to hope he would choose UF. I see his ego as a team divider/disruptor and his character as unsteady. Football takes commitment and a man is only as good as his word. A lesson as well, one should not make a commitment unless he is absolutely certain. That says it all. And by the way, I would take an education at FSU over UF any day.

  12. We don’t want him if he doesn’t want to come. He can either win with the ‘Noles or lose with the Gators. Maybe he could set a tackling record for UF by bringing down 35 receivers in a game as FSU racks up yards and points. Get smart kid. Go with a winner.

  13. Typical Florida fan/graduate…Hey Bob, see anything wrong with your comment? You stated that Mr. Fowler should look at 3 major items, however you listed 5? You must have been a statistics major at THE University of Florida. Well done sir! Oh, by the way…the time is 21-7! 🙂

    Instead of just talking about football if he really intends on looking at the overall picture lets look at 3 major items FSU Vs Fla
    1. Florida is THE University of Florida NOT FSU
    2. Look at the Stadiums!!!
    3. Look at the Conferences ACC VS SEC.
    4. Look at the All sports Trophies Fla Vs Fsu
    My gosh just walk Gainesvile VS Tally…
    Its a NO brainer Become a Gator!!!!!!!

    by bob

  14. Yeah, UCF is now tougher to get into than FSU, and UCF guarantees admission to community college graduates! UF and FSU are not even on the same planet, academically speaking. Anyone can get into FSU, thousands of 4.0s are rejected by UF every year.

  15. I just read that Dante called UF and told the coaches that his decision was made. He is officially a Seminole. Sure you want to bank on those (6) 5 star recruits Zach? I mean it’s your first year, and I know you are all excited and stuff, but that bar you set for UF is pretty high.

  16. Most of the comments from FSU fans have a lot of hate? That’s sort of a hateful statement in itself, Tommy D. I suspect you’re overly embellishing this. Regardless, he’ll be a stellar addition to whichever program lands him. Go Noles.

  17. SB Nation reporting that Fowler has confirmed he’s headed to FSU. While I am happy about getting his talent, there is definitely a part of me that believes his immaturity would be better suited for the Gators. If he truly is as bad as his HS coach says, I hope he flops back to UF.

  18. Nice try with the whole Gator Nation “thing”…the quality kids recognize universities and coaches who keep it real, actually care about a young man’s personal growth, and delivering a great college experience, choose FSU every time…let’s see…attend a “nation” of rednecks (most of whom never attended the university, much less graduated from high school) and deal with another maniac screaming coach concerned only for himself…or, attend a quality university, where the coach “talks” to his players on the sideline during the most stressful game situations, instills confidence, and develops players into men with a life after football…hmm…pretty easy decision for a quality player…we have complete confidence Mr Fowler will make the right decision for himself and begin the “rest of his life” where tomorrows winners are headed.

  19. Wow…lots of noles spewing hate and disinformation. Frankly, neither team should be surprised if Fowler winds up at SCum, we’d both be better of. As far as which university is better, that depends on which major you’re talking about. FSU has fine programs in political science, nursing, music, history, and the flying high circus while UF has nationally ranked programs in law, medicine, engineering, journalism as well as business and building construction. Don’t even need to mention UF’s preeminence in agriculture, research and economics…. FSU – Florida’s Second-rate University.

  20. If we did lose out on Fowler, like I’m hearing, then we had it coming. I’ve posted on here dozens of times that we should walk away from this kid. He’s only stated a thousand times that he is 100% FSU. 8 months of wasted recruiting. We should have put more resources on Avery and Agholor – kids who were strong Gator leans at one time, but have drifted away in recent weeks. Instead Muschamp and co. were to busy kissing this kids ass.

  21. I agree scooterp! Thing is, with this type of BS coming from him, I am glad he goes elsewhere. He will enjoy siting the bench behind Mario Edwards and Chis Casher for the next 4 years and then bitch that he isn’t getting playing time. So when daddy is driving up north to watch his boy sit the bench, he can blame himself. Fowler has/had a chance to get big time exposure and playing time immediately, his loss. case in point, I live on the west coast, saw every game but 2 of the Gators on national tv (usually CBS or ESPN). Saw 3 noles games and one of those was against us.

  22. Back in the 90’s yeah? With a “name” like human race it’s unfortunate you don’t seem to have grown up any since then. Granted I graduated from FSU and never played football competitively, however it still amazes me how insane some of you “adults” are in terms of a game literally played by kids. Some of our fans are just as ridiculous, as are some of every program’s fanbase. Truth is, we both will probably have top 5 classes this year and this kid isn’t going to make or break either team in the coming years. The type of immaturity displayed in these comments is what I would expect from teenagers at university, though it’s most likely coming from “people” who should have grown up long ago. Be a good fan and have fun and respect for your school, but also take a deep breath and a step back and realize how pathetic it is to be so maniacal on the internet about a kid’s personal decision. Or in other words, chill out everyone. Damn.

  23. BSJGator:

    You make it sound like Florida is an Ivy League school. LOL. You guys are so obsessed with your decent ranking. Our law school is like ten places behind yours. Do you realize how insignificant that is? Also, we don’t even have a journalism schools. And our business school is great. Please, for the sake of your university, shut up about your meaningless ranking that you dream about every night. These recruits don’t care, and most everyone else in the world, especially employers, don’t care. You really think a law firm looks more favorably at a UF law degree than he it does at a FSU law degree? FSU’s law school is stacked with nothing but world-class legal scholars who actually did go to Ivy League schools. God, you guys are such a sad species in that craphole town. I almost feel sorry for you guys.

  24. to kristen,

    you would rather take a degree from fsu vs uf? Are you smoking some crack, I grew up in florida all my life, graduated 5/525 in my high school and had only one school i wanted to go to in the entire state b/c of the caliber and that was the University of Florida, do you know how easy it is to get accepted to FSU, let’s just say if you cant get accepted to UF then you apply to FSU, sorry the toilet paper i wipe my rear is worth more than a degree from FSU!!!

  25. Wow, that’s an intelligent comment, human race. I would suspect that the intelligent gator fans out there face palm when they read something like this. I certainly would if you were a Nole. Way to keep society dumb.

  26. I find it ironic that this is supposed to be breaking news. This story has been out there for months now. Fowler has been flirting with UF since day 1. I’m a Florida State fan and I have absolutely no doubt he’s going to Florida. FSU takes some of UF’s guys (ie Nick Waisome) and UF does the same. Both classes are loaded, at least he’s not going to a West Coast team.

  27. In reply to the DCJFSU1

    The Sears Cup rankings you refer to are only midway complete and will not be final until the end of the spring term. UF Currently has no less than 3 #1 ranked athletic teams for spring sports.

    Enjoy F$U’s extremely rare showing in the top 5 because you will not be there come May wen the rankings are complete. By the way F$U is the “football heavy” school although not even than much lately. UF is and has always been the clearly superior athletic program as well as academic university to F$U.

    Thanks for your post because you as well as your other F$U brethren posting in this thread have demonstrated as always your lack of knowledge of any facts, just ignorant and delusional opinions.

  28. Fowler to the ‘Noles. He’s looking forward to playing next to Waisome. Can’t wait to laugh my butt off in Tallahassee this year. Hopefully your team will be out of the hospital by then. How many did FSU guys hospitalize last year? LOL

  29. It’s all hilarious, scooterp, especially when we’re playing you guys. You guys are a joke now that Timmy is gone. You just flat-out suck. The order has been restored. UF has always been FSU’s redheaded stepchild, and now it’s even more obvious.

  30. Stop begging these guys to play @ UF as there are plenty of guys in the talent pool across the nation. Stop trying to recruit from the hood and recruit kids that actually will value & want a degree from The University of Florida. I checked out this Chandler Register kid on YouTube and I’m sure he would commit. Again, go after kids that want to be here!!!

  31. Gator 27:

    I have no idea why you put the word playing in quotation marks. That makes no sense. Are you Gators looking forward to our defensive line this year? It should be lots of fun, right? I bet Driskel or whatever clown you install back there will get thrashed by our pass rush. It really should be hilarious. At Doak, too. HEHEHEHEHEHEHEH

    Gators, you had your run. Now settle in for a long, long decade. It’s gonna get ugly.

    Jacky Boy

  32. I think Fowler should be the least of our concerns. He was never going to be a Gator. If you are paying attention, you will see that Diggs, Howard, Clemons and Agholor are probably going to Ohio State, Miami, Georgia, and USC in that order. I know we think if we build it, they will come, but other factors do enter into these kids decisions.

  33. Hey Jackie Boy…..Yes we had our run…..06 and 08 with almost a third in 09!!!!! We had Tebow….You had who? Yes we have had our runs in the SEC big boy league…..So when are you going to have your run?????????????????????????????????
    Go Gators…….ACC Is a Joke…And when did the ACC win a Natl Camp game????
    We are reloading for another…..
    Go Gators

  34. FSU will and always hase been a Girls school….Lets see would I like to play in the Swamp or Doak? Would I rather have a UF or a FSU degree? Would I like the SEC or the ACC? Would I like to live in Gville or Tallahassee? Come on…..You guys are never even going to win the ACC again go to the top BCS….Get used to the back seat!
    Go Gators!!!!! Number 1 Recruit class this year!!!!!!
    We are ranked #4 and have 7 more to add….That brings us to #1.
    You do the math….If you can!!!

  35. Bob,

    If UF is so great and the city of Gainesville has so much to offer (LOL), why do kids keep committing to the pathetic ACC team called Florida State? The math on this one I cannot do. Can you calculate that out for me? Considering Florida is an Ivy League school and has produced seven US presidents, and considering the city of Gainesville is the biggest tourist attraction in the United States and is clearly the great metropolitan of this state, can you explain to me why kids keep going to Trailerhassee? I just don’t understand, Bobby Boy. UF has won 14 national titles, produced 7 Heisman winners, and plays in the great city of Gainesville, a global economic powerhouse and arguably the economic captial of the world, so why do kids keep committing to FSU, Bobby Boy? (By kids, I’m talking about four- and five-star players, the kind that knocked out half your team a couple months ago.)

    Jacky Boy

  36. Careful Jacky Boy! You are treading in dangerous waters. Us Gator fans never let the facts get in our way. In fact we live in the most “LIBERAL” city in America. If you continue down this path, you will see what living here has shown me over and over again. There are too many similarities between a bleeding heart liberal and a Gator fan to list. Here are a few; facts don’t matter, they never get in the way of our argument; everything based on emotion and feeling; do as I say, not as I do; we have a monopoly on venom and anger, and falsely accuse others of it; if you don’t agree with us 100% to hell with you. And so on and so on. If you must go down this path, be prepared for the irrationally hateful spewing of venom and ire that is headed your way. And trust me with us Gator fans there is nothing you will attribute to good sportsmanship, that is as foreign a term as morals. When we say we wish you were dead, we really mean it.

  37. they are both good schools.

    but as a gator, graduated from there, i hope mr. fowler sees the light and becomes a gator.

    it is incredible some are injecting political ideology on this matter…like whether gainesville or tallahassee is more liberal or more conservative.

    what nonsense.

    i am a liberal but there are lots of conservatives in gainesville, and lots of liberals in tallahassee.

    i think each city has its share of enlightened liberals, and knuckle-dragging conservatives, but, hey, what i care about is whether this young man is happy with his decision.

  38. Thanks for the affirmation john. GBBolt you are probably right, I am sure FSU will be involved in another scandal, probably even involving shoes. They will need new shoes to outrun the large ganja smoke cloud coming from around the swamp.

  39. All right, now that a couple of you have cooled off, let me weigh in on the difference between Tallahassee and Gainesville, as this seems to be a topic constantly brought up by Gator fans. Gainesville is, quite simply, a college town. That’s it. It’s a nice, and even beautiful, college town. Everything revolves around the university. It’s a flat—very flat—city that has many Gator fans. There are nice restaurants, clean roads, safe neighborhoods, and, at the end of the day, a nice park and a university. I’d be surprised if there were more than 150,000 people there, because, as I’ve said, there’s really not much more than a university.
    Tallahassee, for better or worse, is much bigger and more populated. Tallahassee’s metropolitan area, which includes surrounding counties that travel to Tallahassee for work and pleasure, has nearly 400,000 people. That’s probably thrice the size of Gainesville, and from what I know, there is no Gainesville Metropolitan area, just Gainesville. On a way to a football game in Gainesville, you’re likely to run into Gator fans………..Gator fans…………and more Gator fans. Just a bunch of Gainesville residents who are big football fans and worship the product UF delivers, which is normally a great product. On the way to a football game in Tallahassee, you’re likely to run into a pimped-out prostitute, the Governor, the legislature, a famous artist or activist leading some crazy rally at the Capitol, a bunch of FAMU people who hate FSU football, and, quite frankly, a ton of professionals who couldn’t care less about FSU football. Might even run into a couple gang-bangers. It’s just a bigger place with a much more diverse population. There are professionals of every sort in Tallahassee, and many of them are not there for football, basketball, and baseball games. It’s a capital city and a college city. It’s also designed differently. There are tons of hills and trees and parks and trees and hills. Gainesville is a very flat town.
    With all that said, I’m not saying either town is better than the other, but if some of you wonder why kids pick to play football in Tallahassee over Gainesville, it might have to do with its urban and gritty feel, or the fact that it’s bigger. There’s just a lot more to Tallahassee outside of football. Some good things and some bad things.

  40. 2nd that with Jacky Boy and I’m a UF fan. He just stated the observations of both cities and it’s culture. Recruits like different things…some are more tallahasee suited while others are more gainesville suited.

    GO GATORS!

  41. GatorsEverywhere:

    Finally, a civil Gator on here. Gainesville is a great town. It’s exceptionally clean and I actually love it over there. In fact, I’ve always wondered why there aren’t more retired people over there. Tallahassee can be kind of dangerous and has quite an urban feel to it at times. There’s a large black community and there are lots of thugs from Miami, at least on the South side.

    But when I’ve stayed in Gainesville, I’ve always been ready to get back to Tallahassee. Gainesville is just a little too small for me, and there aren’t enough parks. WHERE ARE YOUR PARKS? Tally has parks everywhere. Huge parks. Horse parks. Kayak trails. Dog parks. Hiking trails. Bike trails.

    I’d really like a Gator to explain this to me. Why doesn’t your city build more parks?

    Jacky Boy

  42. JACKY settle in for a long decade! Are you kidding me or you? Have you seen the ol players were recruiting. And the D line. I give credit where credit is do and you guys will have a nice D line. But its your “O” line thats going to have trouble. Mark my word! HEHEHEHEHEHE

  43. Whoever posted that FSU was older than UF was stupid. UF was founded in 1853 and that is fours years before FSU was even thought of. Also This is Will Muschamp’s first year of recruiting his own players to be able to utilize them in his scheme. Just think of how his players will play into their roles of the defense. Our offense won you the game last year and Just think of what happens when our lines bulk up and running backs get bigger. This means that Florida State will be getting crushed from here on out. So this is from someone who actually watches every UF game and understands why some seasons turn out to be a disaster. All I have to say is that is doesn’t matter who we recruit as long as they are the right size for our scheme, we will be crushing FSU next year and for years to come.

  44. GatorsEverywhere:

    Even the broadcaster from the last game said the 33-21-2 stat was a joke. Weren’t we a girls’ school when you guys won all those early games? Seriously, you take that much pride in beating a girls’ school?

    Since FSU has actually had a program, we (the good guys) lead 17-16-2.

    It hurts, I know. The only reason UF won those two titles in the 2000s was because Bowden was clueless and worthless as a recruiter. Look at Fisher now. #1 class last year. Top-3 class this year, as we only have so many schollies and don’t oversign like SEC schools. You never would have had that much talent had Fisher been our head coach back then and we would have stonewalled you in those rivalry games.

    Anyway, the oder has been restored. That’s all that really matters. You’re back to being the redheaded stepchild in the state.

    HEHEHEHEHEHEEHEHE!

    Jacky

  45. This kid is obviously confused. Let him make the decision. If he thinks Florida is better for him, then so be it. Everyone (and his uncle) knows which program is headed into the nation’s elite — now. FSU will make the run with or without him. If Fowler chooses Gainseville, he chooses anonymity and probably an 0-4 record against Fisher’s Fightin’ Noles during his college years. At least he’ll be going to college and as an FSU grad, I think that’s what’s really important here. Go get a degree kid! – just decide if you want to be winning while you’re do it.

  46. Lenard Williams is the better prospect anyway. If I had to choose I’d pick Lenard everyday of the week and twice on Saturday. We dont want a kid that thinks he’s bigger than his coaches anyway. And if you don’t know what I’m referring to I’ll tell you. He was suspended after his 1st game for mouthing off to his coaches. Kid is a trouble maker and I hope the “sow” keeps there kid.

  47. @ jack boy. You honestly trip me out with your statement that we are back to being the red headed step child. You won a couple games in a row against us and think the tide has completely turn for y’all. We arguably had a worse team in the past 20 years last year because of our offense but as clemson showed this year one player can change all that. Our defence will be good enough to keep us in the game next year I mean we do bring back 10 started that held y’all to under 100 yards. And I will say y’all bring back alot of players on defence to but who do you add on offense this year that will change your total yards. We’re bringing in the #2 wr in the country the #1 & #5 TE and finally a rb that’s not 185 lbs. That can change a lot about this game next year. Our offense will be better can you say the same. I don’t think you can!

  48. Kevin,

    What’s funny–and you’ll soon find this out–is that Fowler just decommited from us and is going to Florida. You are bashing your great defensive end. Yeah, according to my insiders, he is dropping the ‘noles and going to the gators. You got yourself a great end in him.

  49. WOW Kevin, where to begin. If you scroll up, you will see you fall perfectly into one of my categories. Don’t worry about looking into any facts, just base all your statements on feelings. Yeah…that makes me feel allll warm and fuzzy inside! Pin your hopes on one player again, yeah that’s the ticket. Offense for FSU brings pretty much everybody back, including a good senior QB, a wealth of receivers and RB’s, and an improved line. UF loses basically all of the offense they had last year; Brantley – gone! Rainey – gone! Demps – gone! Two sophomore QB’s with very little experience battling for the job with one probably transferring. And the line; well that is still very much a question mark. But I am sure you already knew all of this.

  50. I think this young man changed his mind after looking at the defensive ends already playing and the great prospects that had signed on national signing day. He saw that his chances were not good and he did not want to have to compete against the incoming talent and the established players. I hope he plays with same faint heart for the gators. We will see how he plays in Doak Campbell next year. Maybe he can help us win 3 in a row!