Time to turn the page on Tunsil, Florida fans


Though it’s hard to fathom for a sector of the Florida faithful, there are some in-state recruits that just don’t want to go to UF.

But if a five-star local kid who grew up rooting for the Gators doesn’t come, the fanbase at large will be up in arms.

Unfortunately for Florida coaches and fans, it appears that’s going to be the case with Lake City Columbia’s Laremy Tunsil.

Florida is no longer a favorite for five-star OT Laremy Tunsil (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The Gainesville Sun)

After his team’s 17-14 loss to Gainesville High School on Thursday, Tunsil revealed he has trimmed his three finalists from the summer to a Top 2 of Georgia and Alabama.

Florida’s fall in the race has been known for over a month, though this was the first time he said it publicly. The Gators remain in the running but are no longer a favorite for the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle.

“They’re still at that third spot,” Tunsil said of the Gators. “But right now I have a Top 2.”

The 6-foot-6, 295-pounder has maintained throughout his recruiting process that Will Muschamp — who was at Thursday’s game with offensive line coach Tim Davis — and the Florida staff recruit him harder than any other school.

“They still send me letters and they still be calling (the most),” Tunsil said.

That may continue all the way to National Signing Day, but it doesn’t sound like it will change things.

He won’t give it a chance to.

Tunsil admitted he doesn’t read any of the letters he receives and hasn’t picked up his phone for any college coaches lately. And despite the efforts of Muschamp & Co., Tunsil said he’s closest to the coaches at Georgia.

And what will be his deciding factor?

“I’m going to say a relationship,” Tunsil said. “I gotta have a relationship with one of the coaches.”

It seems Tunsil’s familiarity with the nearby Gators has worked against them. There’s nothing that intrigues him in Gainesville and that’s one of the reasons why he won’t officially visit UF. On the flip side, each trip he takes to Athens or Tuscaloosa blows him and his family away because it’s a brand new experience.

But perhaps the biggest deterrent for Tunsil is Florida freshman D.J. Humphries, an even higher ranked overall recruit in 2012 and the future at left tackle for the Gators. Tunsil says he loves competition, but he has told people privately that Humphries is a huge turnoff and Georgia’s depth chart is appealing.

There’s nothing wrong with taking playing time into consideration, but if doing so puts UF in bad shape, Gator fans should feel fine with that result.

Make no mistake, Muschamp won’t give up on Tunsil and if he can somehow land him in the end, it will be one of the finest recruiting jobs you’ll ever see. But it will not be the end of the world should he go elsewhere.

Muschamp signed a five-star recruit at the same position last year who is just as talented as Tunsil. Moreover, UF leads for JUCO offensive tackle Trenton Brown (currently a UGA commit) and is battling FSU for former Nebraska offensive tackle Tyler Moore. Don’t forget about Maryland transfer Max Garcia, either.

Watching homegrown talent go to another school — especially a rival — will always be painful for fans, but in this case you can’t fault Florida or the kid given the aforementioned circumstances. Even when things look like a slam dunk for both parties, sometimes it just isn’t meant to be.

Ask Timmy Jernigan.


  1. Yeah Timmy turned out to be a freshmen all-american even with the depth at FSU. As with Timmy there is a coach who Laremy feels the most connection with. BTW Laremy is rated higher than DJH and The Gator starters are set for next year already. If the Gators flip Brown he will not be a LT he does not have the feet and lateral quickness to handle speed rushers.

    • Gbreaker1,
      You could be right on Brown, but the Gators are recruiting him as a tackle and that’s why they’ve taken the lead. He committed to Georgia with the understanding he would play OT, but now he’s hearing that the UGA coaches told Tunsil he will be a guard.

  2. Not sure why this report is necessary. I said two months ago Tunsil isn’t coming to UF, and what’s going to be the shocker for UGA? He’ll pick Saban and Bama in the end IMO, because the Tide will lose several starters to early NFL entry off their OL. We need to just concentrate on Trenton Brown and get him in the fold asap. Also, there’s nothing wrong with pursuing Tunsil, but come a couple days before the dead period near NSD 2013, if he isn’t showing a “sincere” and serious intrest, go for someone else who wants to be at UF.

    • Gator Todd,
      I agree the writing has been on the wall for awhile, but this is still the first time he’s said publicly that Florida is out of the picture. And for the fans that continue to ask about him every week, they need to be updated and start moving on. I think getting Brown or Moore will help with that. But more importantly, fans should be happy with Humphries rather than upset about Tunsil.

  3. Can’t get ’em all. While quality depth is always great, I think we’ll be just fine with the young players we have and incoming recruits we still have on the board. Best of luck wherever you land, Mr. Tunsil.

  4. Darnit, it’s really nice to have a great writer who actually responds to his readers. Don’t want to step on toes, but Jeff Barlis (of ESPN) would write the same darn articles week after week with no actual news…laziness. Now we have a writer who gets after the primary sources, writes insightful articles, and responds to us.

  5. If he’s liking UGa and Bama because they’re a “brand new experience” for him, he needs to think about what it’ll feel like in three years when it’s old hat and he’s a long way from home…Having said that, let CWM keep on him. Hopefully, Tunsil wakes up and smells the coffee before NSD. Even if he doesn’t, we’ll be fine. There are a lot of other fish in the sea. Hopefully, he’ll get pancaked by one of our guys who finishes with, “You should’ve come to UF.” Go Gators!

  6. I don’t doubt that Tunsil is shying away from competing for immediate PT with Humphries, but there are other forces at work here, imo, a bias against UF from the head coach, “handlers”, etc. at LCCHS that is behind a number of players there(including Jernigan) never giving what should be the obvious choice even serious consideration.

  7. He says, “gotta have a relationship with a coach”…. well coaches come and go. Even the great Saban will leave in a year or 2. Just look at his past track record.
    You know a coach is on the way out when they say, “I ain’t looking to coach anywhere else…I have not been contacted by the NFL….I love it here”….or some other BS coach speak.

  8. Every school has a coach that is a closer. The closers for UGA and Bama (Rodney Garner and Kirby Smart) are two of the top ten in the country. UF does not have a closer that can match them. As for Tunsil HE may not start as a freshman, but he will see the field , he is ready film does not lie.

  9. There’re plenty of OL options that will wear the Orange & Blue come next fall. Maybe he’ll flip, but if Tunsil’s not one of them it won’t make much of a difference. Kudos to coach Champ for continuing the good fight though.

  10. I saw him play vs Gainesville High School & he really didn’t impress me. If he is such a bigtime player why didn’t Columbia run all over GHS. They didn’t, matter of fact they had few rushing yards. Big Kid, way bigger than anyone else on their line.

  11. Derrick ‘Shocka’ Henry from Yulee grew up a Gator fan too but he’s down to GA & AL too. Too bad. Shocka would have to compete/share with Kelvin, so I get that but everyone and their brother says that Shocka can not play RB because he’s too big & still growing.

  12. If this was a Bama kid, he would sign with Bama even if they had signed a 5 star left tackle ever year for the past 5 years.
    We need to find out how they do it, and copy it, or if it’s illegal, turn them in for it.

  13. I totally disagree with the poster saying we don’t have “a closer”. Our recruiting classes have been equal to Bammer’s, and better than GA’s, last season and for 2013 so far(Muschamp’s first two full recruiting years). Durkin won recruiting asst coach of the year award last season for his “closings”. We “closed” just fine with Humphries and Dunker, Fowler, Bullard, Morrison last year, and so far(commitments, anyway) with Hargreaves, Brantley, McMillan, Lane and Taylor, etc.
    The problem is in the case of Bammer, Saban is on such a roll, nobody can touch him. And in the case of Mr. Tunsil, he is in a place where, for some reason, it’s almost as if players ARE NOT EVEN ALLOWED to come to UF.

  14. Recruit the kid that played opposite him in the GHS vs. LCC game. problem solved.

    I’m wondering about bias in LC Columbia HS against the Gators. Who are the friendly/unfriendly HSs/Coaches? Where are our best pipelines, and where do we typically have trouble when we target?

  15. Man some of you guys are really bitter about an anticipated decission of a High school kid, just because he is not chosing the Gators. That should not make him a “PUNK” or a “LOSER” or any of the characterization you are affording him. “EASE UP” mature adults, let the kid enjoy his recruitment and the experience of a lifetime without being HAMMERED by adults that does not agree with him. He gave you a legitimate reason why he is considering other teams more than Florida, live with it and move on. Just think, if he changes his mind next week some of his same critics will be saying how great it is to have him as a GATOR! Some of you guys are pitiful!!! I’m no EMK, but and I really don’t miss him but some of us need to think about what we say about kids because we don’t like their decision, so NOW they are “NOTHING”. That’s really sad.

  16. Steve,
    There are some guys who are going to Uf no matter who is coaching . The guys UF and Bama wanted that are game changers, Bama GOT. Durkin is a good recruiter . A closer is required for guys that love their primary recruiter, but are unsure of other things. The closer is the coach who settles them.

  17. Not to sound mean, but honestly, if a kid would rather go to another school, for whatever the reason, then we move on good luck to him and the Gators. Hopefully we have coaches who know the game well enough who have plan b,c,….z and the program will go on. Go Gators!!

  18. Its almost embarrassing to root with the same Gator fans who hammer and insult a kid for not leaning to their school. If anything I admire and respect the kid for being honest. At least he didn’t say he was choosing a school over Florida based on academics. And why wouldn’t he want to go to a school where he had a better opportunity to play earlier. If you were at a crossroads in your career and were choosing between two pretty successful companies and one had a log jam of people in management and the other was a much easier road – what would you do? I’m sure every goofball on here would chose the tougher path because they want the competition. Please. The guy could string Muschamp along for 6 months, but he is saying its basically over and he’s not interested – cut him some slack.

  19. Go or stay.The future will prove who is what and sometimes coaches climb on the wagon just to keep the other coaches off where they really want to be.Smoke and mirrors really.They can follow the lack of players from there and see they need other plans.

  20. Hmmmm. I wonder if Mr. Tunsil ever considers such things as employment options down the road when he graduates? I’m guessing he will want to come back to his roots in north FL, and be around family and friends? What about in that job interview when the Gator grad CEO of the company says, ” geez, Larry, thanks for putting on that GA Red & Black” for us here in Gator Country!!

    I’m just sayin’, think it through before you bail on everything that’s near and dear to your heart.

  21. Well, the news of this big time transfer from Nebraska just took most of the sting out of Tunsil’s defection to the enemy up north.
    Florida will always get players. Worrying unduly about 1 kid is a waste of time.
    Anyway, watch ’em line up to come here after this season is over. Coach Boom is building something great, and everybody is going to want to be a part of it.