Florida’s two silent commits are now gone


On Oct. 8, the Gators received two silent verbal commits.

Less than a month later, they are gone.

Offensive guard David Dawson (Cass Tech/Detroit, Mich) and linebacker Alex Anzalone  (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing) both committed to UF coach Will Muschamp the Monday following Florida’s 14-6 win over LSU.

Dawson was ready to join the Gators in the summer and made it obvious at The Opening, but his commitment to Michigan kept him from attending Friday Night Lights. Muschamp & Co. continued to recruit Dawson, though, and he eventually committed to them by phone after watching their upset over the Tigers. He officially parted ways with the Wolverines on Oct. 14.

The Wednesday before his official visit for the South Carolina game, Dawson did a story with The Sun about his decision, which he planned to go public with that weekend.

“When they beat LSU, I was sold,” Dawson said. “The score probably didn’t say much, but Florida really beat up on LSU’s defensive line. I know that came from hard work by those guys and the techniques and drills from offensive line coach Tim Davis. A couple days after the game, I told my mom that’s where I wanted to go and got her to OK my silent commitment.”

“(The UF coaches) were so excited when I told them. They didn’t really believe that I was going to actually come down. I had to cancel my first trip because of Michigan’s no-visit policy for commits. But this is my life and the college I’m going to be at for the next four years, and the University of Florida is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

However, Dawson had a change of heart when he came down to Gainesville and realized it wasn’t the place for him. He also discovered a desire to stay close to his mother, who lost her husband (David’s father) in a tragic accident on April 11 and moved back home to Detroit less than a year ago after working a new job in Texas in 2011.

Dawson released a new Top 3 of Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin on Oct. 29 and told The Sun that UF is no longer being considered.

Anzalone’s recruitment is just as crazy. He committed to Notre Dame on July 8, but Florida (his second choice) was never out of the picture with him. He grew up a Gator fan, his dad graduated from UF and they have family in Gainesville.

Anzalone made a surprise appearance at Friday Night Lights and then took an unofficial visit for the LSU game that lasted until Monday. Several sources told The Sun that Anzalone committed to the coaches before leaving, and he declined to do any interviews afterward.

Anzalone cancelled his trip to Notre Dame for the BYU game on Oct. 20, and it seemed like only a matter of time before he publicly pledged to Florida.

Then on Halloween, things got tricky. Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell reported that Anzalone had indeed committed to the Gators and already filled out his early enrollment and admissions paperwork with UF. But Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco reached Anzalone and his father by phone and tried to get them to reschedule their visit.

Anzalone agreed to give the Irish one last look and traveled to South Bend after his game Saturday. He left Notre Dame on Monday and reaffirmed his commitment hours later via twitter, saying his recruitment is now shut down completely with all other schools.

National Signing Day is three months away and Muschamp still has time to find other options at those positions if need be, but he had two ESPN150 members in the bag and he’s now empty handed.

Such is life in recruiting.


  1. Thank you again. Do we have any plan B since we are losing top targets? What’s your opinion on the position we need really good freshmen? Do we have really good linebackers/safeties for the next year (Elam, Bostic, McCray will be gone for pro)? With two transfers and Humpires, OL will be better. What about DL (Floyd, probably Easley will gone too)?

  2. Pease going to UK would kill this class Offensively. That job will still be there two to three years from now if he wants it that much. Pitt wins that game like the should have and Alex would be a Gator. I have no doubt they brought in a Priest to help put religious pressure on him. That’s why the had him come in on a Sunday. They do it all the time. Just ask Lou Holtz. I remember him talking about it in around about way on ESPN one time. We were so close just like last year. Nelson and Williams goes to USC, and Diggs goes to MD, Tracy goes to Miami. Key loses in 2011 that should not have happened. Team might revert back to being even worse on Offense and Defense next year if we keep up this trend. Muschamp needs to learn how to keep a guy for a change. J. Mann is transferring as well now. Hurting on DL now for 2013. Needed that depth. Pray things improve and Pease stays on with us for another year or two. Go Gators.

  3. Zach do you think Muschamp might have messed up not pressing T. Brown Ira D. for a commitment? FSU is involved now and is Browns childhood favorite. They will lie to him telling him they just did recruit him because they were full. Some BS like that I suppose.

  4. Let’s not get all wadded up about 2 guys who aren’t coming to UF, while losing sight of all of those who are. This is a good recruiting class that will help the Gators for years. Let’s focus on that.
    Go Gators!

  5. We will be just fine. Our class is stellar without these gentlemen. The biggest potential impediment to our resurgence is the possibility of losing Brent Pease to UK. We need to pay him more and keep him so that our guys can experience some consistency. Driskel, Debose, Dunbar, Reed, etc….don’t need to have to a learn their 4th new offense. That kills players growth….probably the number one reason Debose has struggled. Coaching changes have killed our offense…Mullen, Addazio, Weiz, and Pease. We don’t need number 5 on the horizon.

  6. I completely agree with the fact that we are facinr a possible fifth OC in as many years, thats asking too much of an offense that is shaky at best right now. If these guys have a little bit of consistancy maybe they will show CHAMPIONSHIP performance we it is called on, hopefully pease will stick around for a little bit and wait for an even better job (no slight to UK).

  7. I agree with fatback…..If your committment is “silent”, I think that’s silly..You are either committed, or your NOT…Interesting how both of these commitments lasted only a few weeks.. Zach, perhaps you can shed some light as to why coaches are willing to accept such nonsense…Unless these prima donnas want to “committ” later, on national tv…..

  8. J hit it on the head, we cant continue to loose star athletes. It shows we have no explosiveness on offense at all. Those player like Nelson A, andS.Diggs are making a hugh impact for their team this year. Now we could be possibly loosing or OC. Why would a kid come to Florida and dont know if they will play because the offense dont fit their skill set. Same thing when Meyer left we lost almost all of our quality players. Florida is a school in which we shouldnt worry about coaches leaving.

  9. Lose is spelled with one ‘o’, not two, and I find it really hard to understand how ‘losing’ two players who were never part of the class to begin with (an OL and LB, no less) can be used as proof of why UF lacks offensive explosiveness. Maybe it can prove that somehow, and I’m no big thinker, but that connection really requires quite a stretch to my brain. I don’t recall all of our quality players leaving with Meyer, either, but they must have done so when I wasn’t paying attention. Dang.

  10. Doug, good comments. The concern about having a 5th OC in 5 seasons is valid. All the quibling about 18 year old kids who may or may not have a clue about where to go to college is a waste of what brain power we both have left! Go Gators

  11. I agree no reason to fret over the loss of something you never had. These kids will probably change their minds twice more before it’s over. I hope he doesn’t but based on his comments I think Pease would take the Kentucky job. But look at it without your Orange and Blue colored glasses. Why do we really like Pease? Because he isn’t Weis? Is he that good or do we give him the benefit of the doubt because we want to believe it and we associate him with the offensive success Chris Peterson had before Pease was the OC? If you are what your record says you are then he is the 102nd best OC in Div 1. My reason for wanting him to stay is more for the consistency issue.

  12. Why are some of you saying that the Gators lost these kids? Verbal commits and “silent” commits don’t mean doodly squat. If an athlete signs a scholarship in February and then quits school or transfers that’s when the Gators lose someone. Please, people, get a life. The whole recruitment scene is a gigantic waste of time.

  13. Pease’s system cant work when the O-linemen cant block the D-linemen… bottom line is we got to get some kids with potential and develop them…. just cause they are highly ranked out of highschool does not always add up to success…. and I agree with everyone elses comments…these are just 17 year old kids….till they sign on the dotted line AND get NCAA clearing house and UF clearing house approved….their word means —-NOTHING—-

  14. I would not have counted on either of their commitments even if they had been made official. Good guys, just not handling recruitment well. Until the Letter of Intent is in, nothing is official so expect some defectors – coming and going. Hope we kept our notes from the previous OC search. Pease will not be around after the bowl game….at one point I thought he’d be Muschamp’s replacement. Hopefully he becomes rebellious on his way out and calls the offense as he envisions it, I’d appreciate it. Although I was pulling for LSU, kudos to Bama’s OC for the screen play to win the game. Recruiting: S. Coley will open up after the season, K. Daub woke up, E. Daniels and L. Tunsil still talking to us, Greg Gilmore wants to give us some good news Thursday, sure could use some! M. Harris announcing 11/16. We’ve got a great class going; let’s ‘finish strong!’

  15. We have 19 verbals right now and prablably another 10-15 folks who want to be future Gators but have not had the opportunity to commit yet. By early Feb. 2013 we will have a top 5 class and have to turn away last minute commits. Stay the course…

  16. Will be a setback if Pease leaves. Learning another offensive system? Ugh. Coaching continuity is key to winning. Like him or not, Mickey Andrews was a HUGE reason why FSU has its amazing run in the 1990s. We need continuity, so that coaches spend less time explaining a new system and more time developing the talent.

  17. At least we’re not Michigan – Dawson is dumping them for one of their rivals! It’s still early enough in the process to go after more blue chip guys. Mann is a disappointment, not because he’s going so much as he couldn’t find the field. One thing is for sure, once UGA gets a merciless beat down from ‘Bama on national T.V. there will be more than a few Dawg commits opening up their recruitment.

  18. Don’t hate on the Dawgs, they beat us. We didn’t play as though this was a CHAMPIONSHIP (eastern Division) game. I know we are not talking about this subject but it still sticks in my mind how poorly we played that day. Sorry guys move on.

  19. If they don’t want to play for the Gators than they are not smart enough to be Florida commits. We have so much football talent in the South that even some players that aren’t in the top 300 can come in and be taught and prepared and play at a level that is worthy of the top 100. Only the best of the best are wanted for the SEC and other schools that are chosen are done so by students that do not want to work hard enough to play in the SEC. That says alot about a mans character. GO GATORS! goodbye haters!

  20. Creek Gator, I agree with you about the Georgia game, the most important game of the year, and the Gators came out flat and uninspired, just the opposite of how they played the LSU game. We know that LSU is real, and this team took them to school. This Gator team is a mystery to me. After watching LSU virtually outplay the gods of football this past weekend, I really think that the Gators clicking on all cylinders could beat BAMa. But after the poor showing against Georgia and Missouri, i’m not sure where this Gator team is. Florida did not match Georgia’s intensity, which was surprising, but then again LSU didn’t match Florida’s intensity in that game. These mysteries are what makes college football special.

  21. I hope Pease stays but based on coaching etiquette (minimize the distraction) and his publicly expressed reasons for being totally interested in the KY job, how many more hints do you need? I had hoped we would find an OC who would be around for a while but I guess this is the risk you take when you bring in a high profile guy. Also, I don’t see the need to hire a ‘proven’ OC when the head coach is so hands on. Bring on Kerwin, I’m willing grow with him and I know he’ll do whatever it takes to master the job. Pro-Style/run first/win ugly/bang your head is okay, but I say lets do whatever it takes to win! We can’t say ‘this is what we are going to do, stop us if you can.” Teams adjust, players get worn down (OUR TEAM IS WORN DOWN) and success ‘grinds’ to a halt. Bama beat LSU with finesse, knowing tendencies vs. situations when it counted most…play your cards when the opportunity presents itself, not just when it’s your turn. Who do you think that live shot of Pease blowing his top was aimed at? Wish Norm Chow was a Florida Boy! Regardless, I’m sure Muschamp has known for weeks and has a short list of NFL guys handy. G. Gilmore! M. Harris! Make me feel better.

  22. Maybe they realize they’re probably not good enough to play in the SEC and choose to play somewhere where they can compete. I can understand and respect that. The SEC isn’t for everyone. I believe that’s why the conference is that much better than the other conferences. The best of the best go to compete in the SEC; hands down.

  23. Dawson I understand he wants to be close to his family and didn’t want to leave the area but Anzalone I don’t understand why he chose Notre Lame over Florida. His dad went to Florida and he has family in the area so I don’t get why he wouldn’t want to play here. Notre Lame is a fluke and will go back to being irreverent after this year.