UF OL commits Johnson, Outlaw ’85 percent’ solid


Florida’s 2013 recruiting class is largely made up of commitments that claim they’re 100 percent Gators.

Then there are Joshua Outlaw and Roderick Johnson.

The pair of offensive linemen, who gave their pledge over three months ago, currently call themselves “85 percent” committed.

Johnson began wavering back in late June when he told the Orlando Sentinel there was a “six out of 10 chance” that he would stick with UF.

Johnson won a state title with American Heritage in 2011. (Photo by 247Sports)

On Saturday, the Delray Beach American Heritage offensive tackle increased those numbers but maintained that his recruitment still isn’t over.

“I’m probably like 85 percent solid,” Johnson said. “Me and Florida, we’re still on track with my commitment. I really like the program right now, but time will tell. I’m trying to stay open and see other campuses so I can do comparisons with Florida.”

Johnson is hearing from UCF and West Virginia the most and would like to visit those schools. He’s also expressed interest in Auburn, Miami and South Carolina in the past.

Though the 6-foot-6, 315-pounder wants to see if schools can sway him, he doesn’t expect it to happen.

“I want to go (on my trips) to have a good time and see if they can persuade me,” Johnson said. “But it’s nothing really. I’ve just got to make some comparisons. No worries, I’m still part of Gator nation and it should stay that way.”

Outlaw revealed he had re-opened his recruitment on Friday, when he attended Georgia’s Dawg Night and, like Johnson, called himself 85 percent committed to Florida.

Outlaw attends the same high school as UF running back Mack Brown. (Photo by 247Sports)

“I’m definitely still solid,” said Outlaw, who is from Martin Luther King in Lithonia, Ga. “I just want to enjoy the recruiting process a little bit. It’s nothing major and Gator fans shouldn’t be too worried. I just want to go through this experience to the fullest. Even though I’m committed, I’m not going to stop (my recruitment).”

Outlaw said his visit to UGA was solely for the workout because he hadn’t camped all summer. He didn’t have any one-on-one time with the coaching staff and the Bulldogs aren’t on his radar despite the offer he’s received from them.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive guard listed Arkansas, Clemson and Miami as schools that are still after him and will receive visits.

“I’m definitely going to take all my officials,” Outlaw said. “I don’t see why I wouldn’t. It’s five free trips. Honestly, I’m just going in with an open mind. I’m not going in with any preconceived notions. I know what Florida has to offer, I’m just trying to see other schools and what their staff and facilities are like. I want to see something different before I start college. I’ll never get this opportunity again.”

Both linemen plan on attending Friday Night Lights on July 27 and taking an official visit to Florida in the fall.


  1. You can’t blame these guys for getting the most out of the recruiting experience. I don’t see any other school turning them, because they are committed to the best. Both will be Gators and will do very well at UF.

  2. Hopefully they stay on board with us. But also I don’t know why kids commit and then aren’t sure. Just wait it out and be 100% sure before committing. But I’m happy to see 85% committed than decommitted! We need some big boys comin in for the line. I miss the mailbag posts from Zach like in the fall and winter!! Always gave such good updates. Keep up the good work Zach.

  3. A lot of kids jump in too quickly and then want a little freedom to enjoy the experience. Muschamp seems to know how to handle these guys in these situations and lets them have some leeway and doesn’t pressure them. Stay tight with them, stay friends and continue to expand the level of trust and communication, but don’t pressure them or give them ultimatums. Muschamp knows what he’s doing.

  4. The kids are doing what most of us would do being in their shoes take the free trips, see some things, and enjoy themselves. No Hating on my park, they both have said Gator Nation have no worries. The system allows the kids to take these trips committed or not, so enjoy your trip use the system that is in place. GO GATORS!!!

  5. A simple reminder: A commitment becomes a commitment ONLY when the contract (LOI) is signed in February by both the student and an adult parent/guardian. Until then it is merely the preference of the moment. Oh, by the way, according to any English language dictionary, there is no such thing as being 85% or 99% committed. One is either committed or not, something like being 85% pregnant. Everyone should try to relax. Nothing is legally binding until LOI day; until then all this is just meaningless chatter!!

  6. I agree with EMK. In my line of work committed is “All In”. Give me 85% and I’ll show you the door. Tell me you’re 100% but you would like to take a few trips. Way too much love given to any of these guys anymore.

  7. these guys are pathetic!!! I would throw them out the door on their butt! Just cause you can take advantage of something, like 5 free trips, doesn’t mean you should. If they are goin to take adv. Of that, they are goin to try and take adv of the school once they arrive. Why commit if your word ultimately means nothing. Muschamp preaches high character players. Fairly certain I can spot the low character ones

  8. What I was saying is that coach should(and I’m sure he DOES) treat them like Gator “leans”, not “committments”, which is all they are. And he should continue to recruit other OL’s to be sure our needs are met, and if he gets an approximately equally talented OL to commit(yes, I know the word carries little meaning, but ACTIONS do) and to stop all other visits to demonstrate that, he should tell these guys to cancel their visits(b/c these visits commonly result in switched “committments”) or cut them loose in favor of the new recruits.

  9. A couple of years ago Central Florida HC George O’Leary said for today’s HS recruit a ‘commitment’ is like a hotel reservation. Make the reservation then look around for perhaps a ‘better deal’. I do not fault a kid for taking trips he is entitled to take under NCAA rules. I do question the character of those who make a promise to do a specific thing and then ignore it. I also wonder about adults who address this character flaw by saying, ‘I would do the same thing’. Lying is lying. And, it is not less so b/c ‘everyone does it’, the kid is only ‘using the system’, etc. That is probably the kid who is likely to quit on the team when it is ‘4th and goal’.

  10. If I’m Muschamp and see those comments, I go out and look for as good or better replacements right now who are willing to commit 100%. If I find them I pull the scholarship offers to Outlaw and Johnson. Otherwise there is a likelihood one or both will jilt you on signing day. The players have every right to keep looking around, but Muschamp can’t afford to come up short on such an important – and currently thin – position. It’s like a girl telling a guy she’ll be his girlfriend, but still wants to date other guys in case she finds one she likes better.

  11. I agree with Steve. I hope we are recruiting other guys on OL. I have no problem with these guys taking their trips, but they are trying to have it both ways- they commit to UF to secure their scholarship offer here, but then they also want to consider other schools. I say go ahead and look around, but understand that if there is the possibility that you might go somewhere else, there’s also the possibility that we may offer someone else who we think is less of risk to change his mind on NSD.

  12. Agreed—a ‘commitment’ who is looking elsewhere is not committed emotionally to being a Gator. WM should simply consider this a ‘maybe’ rather than a Gator commit and seriously look elsewhere for someone with both the talent to play in the SEC and the desire to be a Gator.

  13. Something does not seem right!! Jalen Ramsey, represented to be the top CB prospect in Tennessee, has committed to Southern Cal. And, I like this one, Kiffin is according to this kid, ‘—a loving guy—-‘. USC must have quite a payroll—–or something!!

  14. @EMK,
    Idon’t see anything wrong with the recruits taking their FREE trips that the system allows. WM and every other coach in the nation knows these kids at least most of them are going to take their trips. Can you think of ANY kids that have committed to soe other university and eventually showed up at Florida and you were glad to have him? I know you can think of one, it only happened last year. That idea of just saying if they are considering someone else we should withdraw our offer is not going to work either. some of these kids are some of the better ones thats left. Don’t be so uptight, let the kids enjoy their recruitment, it a one in a lifetime thing for them. Unsqueeze your butt cheeks and relax, if they don’t wind up at Florida wish them good luck, we have a very competitive team right now in my opinion. GO GATORS!!!!

  15. I always wonder if it’s really the recruit that’s waivering. These guys are 3 star recruits, #27 and $32 at guard and tackle at Rivals. We’re at 18 recuits with 7 months to go. It is not inconceivable we’d end up in a situation where we get enough top notch recruits that there’s no room for these guys. I think it’s just as likely that UF has told them they’re 85% sure they’ll have a spot for them. You ever hear a recruit say “I’m looking around because it’s become possible I’m not good enough to make the UF class”. Rarely. But you know it happens.

  16. Creek Gator: I do not have a problem with a kid ‘enjoying recruiting’ and even ‘gaming the system’ a little. The kid has earned it based on his HS career. I DO have a problem with a kid giving his word, his promise (I will come to the University of ——)and then not keeping his word. Two years ago, a RB, Blakely, committed to UM and the Gators. UM left. Blakey wanted to change his ‘oral’ to Auburn, his 2nd choice. Blakely’s mother did not let him b/c he had given his word to UF. He kept his word, enrolled in UF, was redshirted and eventually transferred to Auburn. To me, the kid, his mother made a promise and felt duty-bound to keep it. Character counts!!

  17. Creek Gator- I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the kids taking their trips. However, if they indicate that they are anything less than 100% committed to UF, which appears to be the case here, then I think it’s only fair for our coaching staff to tell them that their offer is conditional on us not finding someone else who we feel is more likely to actually sign with us. Of course, if we can’t find someone as good or better who is willing to be completely committed, then by all means we should continue to pursue these guys. We just have to minimize our risk of coming up short at this position.

  18. I’m not trying to insult the intelligence of some of you guys who are upset that these kids aren;t 100% committed, or poeople like Dre who is just a rival troll trying to sabotage recruiting… but if you tossed kids aside who aren’t 100% on a VERBAL commit, you’d have a program much like Syracuse or San Diego State. If you didn;t play the egos of these young kids and “show them the love”, then your program would go nowhere. Let Muschamp and the staff handle this. They know what they;re doing.

  19. I don’t care whether they go or not. Too many of you take it personal, they’re just kids with an incredibly important decision to make. Most of these college coaches tell them what they want to hear anyways – many are just used car salesmen. They are not engaged to be married. Get off your high horse.

  20. Todd, I don’t think anybody is suggesting they be “tossed aside”, but would you not continue looking for a prom date if the first girl you asked said she was “85%” sure she’d go with you? If she’s hot, yeah, you wait a little longer, but if one equal or better says “I’d absolutely go with you”, you’d drop the first one like a bad habit.

  21. Jeff,
    I’m 100% onboard with the way you put that, then everybody is clear with how we are going to play the game. If we find another athlete as good or better we won’t be hamstrung. I agree with you on that, I just think that the kids say those things(and I could be VERY WRONG) so that the schools will give them the most they can get out of the trip. but again I agree with you on the issue.

  22. Scooterp Makes great points, we have to realise these kids are told stuff that is not quite true to. The wording is phased carefully so that the athlete commits himself to an idea in his head as to how things are going to be, sometime the reality is completely different thats why you get transfers the next year, not all of them but reality is different for an 18 year old. Give them a break!!