Notebook: Harris announces Thursday

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UPDATE: Harris committed to Florida. Gatorsports.com will now count UF with 22 commits. Former Nebraska offensive lineman Tyler Moore is no longer considered a transfer because he is enrolled at St. Petersburg College and has been reclassified as a JUCO prospect.

UF coach Will Muschamp is set add the 22nd member of his 2013 recruiting class.

Four-star safety Marcell Harris (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) will announce his college choice Thursday at 11 a.m. at his high school. He was originally scheduled to make his commitment on ESPNU’s Recruiting Nation show, but those plans fell through.

The finalists for Harris are Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma and Texas, and he officially visited all four schools this fall. However, he went to UF a total of 10 times during his recruiting process, most recently for the Jackonsville State game (his sixth visit since June). Florida State received the second most visits with five, but the loss of defensive coordinator Mark Stoops killed any chances the Seminoles had.

Florida’s coaching staff, which is on the road this week recruiting, had an in-home visit with Harris on Tuesday night.

The ESPN150 member has favored UF all along because of his ties to Gainesville, familiarity with the school and desire to play in the SEC. He also likes the fact that Muschamp, his personal recruiter, coaches his position. Harris will be putting on a Gator hat Thursday.

Decisions delayed

Four-star defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y./Thomas Jefferson) and JUCO offensive tackle Trenton Brown (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military) have pushed back their decisions.

Both attended the Jacksonville State game and called Florida their top school afterward, which is still the case.

However, Ogundeko now has Clemson tied with the Gators at No. 1 after visiting there last weekend. He will wait to announce at the Under Armour-All American Game rather than the second week of December. Ogundeko also won’t visit Ole Miss this weekend as previously planned. He still has an official visit scheduled to Syracuse on Dec. 8, but the hometown school isn’t a favorite for him at this time.

Brown was going to decide this week, but he will now make up his mind on either Dec. 19 or Dec. 20. The 6-foot-8, 350-pounder visited FSU last Wednesday and Oklahoma over the weekend, but the Gators are still his leader following those trips.

UF-OSU battling for LBs

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is pursuing three linebackers on Florida’s board, two of which are currently committed.

Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast) took an official visit to Columbus last weekend and reportedly had a good time, but he’s still solid with the Gators and the general consensus is that he sticks. He will take his official to UF for the banquet weekend on Dec. 8 and make his final decision shortly afterward so he can enroll early.

James Hearns (Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln) is the softest verbal in Florida’s class. He is 80-90 percent committed to the Gators and has expressed interest in the Buckeyes since late September. UF will host him on an official for the banquet, but Ohio State gets his last visit on Jan. 11.

Fortunately for the Gators, they have another option at inside linebacker should Hearns bolt for the Buckeyes. ESPN150 member Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett) decommitted from Auburn on Tuesday following the firing of head coach Gene Chizik.

UF and Ohio State are the new leaders for Johnson. He visited Columbus last weekend and returns to Gainesville for an official on Dec. 14. Johnson attended Florida’s game against South Carolina.

It’s unlikely that either school can land both linebackers, so it should come down to who ends up where as National Signing Day approaches.

63 COMMENTS

  1. Zack, I noticed you said with the possible addition of Marcell Harris, we will have 21 commitments. Why does ESPN note we already have 21 commitments. Are you not counting Tyler Moore (TR) or Darius Cummings (JC)?

    • Gator Fan,
      We don’t count Tyler Moore in the 2013 class (yet) and most recruiting sites don’t. ESPN does because he’s enrolled at St. Pete C.C., so they consider him a JUCO player and not a transfer.

  2. It is absolutely ridiculous for Meyer to be trying to steal our commits. After everything Foley did for him and his family, to try to stick it to UF is like trying to steal your best friends girl. I will always be gratefull to UM for winning 2 BCS but come on! It’s a big ocean out there, go pee somewhere else!

  3. These southern boys need to understand just how cold it gets up North. UF should have a “cold room” kept at about 50 degrees, and they should park southern kids who are leaning towards big 10 schools in those rooms for 5-10 minutes, then come back and tell then that’s how cold it was in, say, Ohio in October.
    .
    These Northern schools gets kids to visit in September, when it’s pleasant, and the kids eat it up. They need to be shown what it’s like there AFTER September. If the kids aren’t convinced by the 50 degree room, they should also have a 20 degree room, and say, “this is what January-March is like in Ohio”.
    .
    Florida would never lose a Southern kid to a Northern school again.

  4. I agree that the southerners would stay in the south if they realized just how cold it gets. I lieve in COnnecticut and it is in the low 30s today for the high. When it comes bowl game time the northern schools are at a disadvantage practicing in December vs. the South. Southern people are way, way more friendly, warm and hospitable.

    Plus playing in the SEC is way better than the Big 10 could ever be. Go Gators.

  5. I’m convinced that Clemson is doing something shady in the recruitment process. They consistently get the attention of recruits who the have no business getting a sniff of. They play in a second or third tier conference and aren’t even the big fish in that small pond. They just got pantsed by USCe and somehow they are going to pull a 4* DE from NY? What gives?

  6. We need to land some of these guys. It seems like we have lost a lot of guys who we were finalists for, and it also seems that a lot of guys who are committed to us keep flirting with other schools. If I were Muschamp I’d sell playing time since we are probably going to lose half of our D to graduation and/or the NFL.

  7. I’m also not comfortable when we pencil Harris in as a Gator when he has yet to “announce”. Most of the time when a kid commits early to a school that is actually the one school on his list that he will absolutely never play for.

  8. I consulted for a engineering firm in Columbus. It is one the most dismal places you would ever want to live. Plus the place is full of pasty fat people. If these recruits know what is good for them they will stick with Florida. Urban is a used car salesman that would sell them on empty promises and if they do play in a bowl game they will be embarrassed by an SEC team.

    The BIG 10 is an absolute Joke…

  9. I live in Madison, WI, and we celebrate if the temperature warms up to 20 in January. -20 is more like it. Still, the Gators are loading up just fine, if you ask me. Anyone who wants to go elsewhere is welcome to do so, and those players who want to be Gators will get my full support, no matter what.
    Go Gators! Win or lose.

  10. Look, if a player chooses to go to Ohio over Florida, let him go. We dont want wishy washy recruits anyhow, we want real Gators who are sold out to the program and want to play here. If Urban is able to talk them out of coming here, they were never very solid to begin with. Go Gators!!

  11. I never will understand why a player out of Florida would ever consider Ohio State over UF. UF is better in football and plays in the toughest conference in the country. The Big Ten conference blows. I live in NJ and see Big 10 games often and they’re nothing compared to SEC footbal. Even their fans admit they love watching SEC games. Don’t take what you have in front of you in Florida for granted and don’t get caught up in what Urban Lyer says after he ran from Saban.

  12. Urban doesn’t have much choice. Talent (quality and quantity) is sparse north of the Mason-Dixon line. This isn’t the first rodeo for Muschamp. The fact he lost out last year on a few 11th hour flips is more than made up for by the fact he got most of our needs filled early on in the process. He’s done the same thing this year garnering a bunch of early commits. Since when does signing day have to be so dramatic?

  13. Hey guys, that’s not cool bashing Urban. Seriously what he did for Florida was unbelievable and had the greatest run with 2 titles while he was here. It isn’t as if he left the program and coached Alabama, Georgia or any other rivals. We should wish him nothing but the best and hopefully the kids will choose Florida for it’s university and quality of the SEC. Plus, last but not least Florida’s beautiful co-eds versus the rust belt’s hay bale throwing women.

  14. Again, with the Meyer bashing. Unbelievable. Many speak of Ohio State football like its Iowa State. They have tradition. Its a top 5 program in CFB and they are one of only two schools that earn more and spend more on that program. I’m sure a visit to their campus and facilities is pretty impressive to an 18 year old. Urban is a damn good coach and we know first hand that he is an exceptional recruiter, maybe the best in the biz…….. But I live in upstate NY and it can get frk’n cold. I actually like living up here, but it took about 5 years for my Florida blood to thickin.

  15. Just because Urban accomplished great things at UF, it doesn’t make him off-limits! He went to one of the schools most disliked by Gator fans and was sneaky about the whole thing. His plan, from the beginning was to take over Penn State, with the blessings of Joe Pa. That all changed when the crap hit the fan at Penn State. The OSU job opened and saved his plan from blowing up in his face. He knew Saban had his number and knew Gator Nation would run him out of town, if he continued to lose to Bamer. It was a calculated move and for that reason, I lost respect for him, regardless of what he accomplished at UF. You didn’t see Muschamp go back and try to plunder Texas recruits. That’s because he has class and wouldn’t kick dirt in the faces of those who got him to where he is. Meyer knows how Gator fans are and he knows he would make a lot of enemies by trying to steal our recruits. If he cared about Gator fans, he wouldn’t do that. Instead, he is taking advantage of what UF gave him, for his personal benefit and that was the opportunity to coach at one of the top schools, in the recruiting hot-bed of the country. So, don’t criticize those who tell the truth about Urban. He sold us out, after getting what he wanted; plus, I give Mullen, Strong and some of the other coaches more credit for UF’s success, than I do UM.

  16. I think Urban is fair game. regardless of what he accomplished here he has proven that he has questionable morals and integrity and there is nothing wrong with pointing this out since the facts support it.

    I am not “butthurt” as many on this site like to label people, instead I am honest about the realities of what occurred while Urban was here and since he departed.

    We are cleaning up on the recruiting trail so these comments are not of the “scorned lover” variety just accurate

  17. Meyer would not being doing his job if he did not try and recruit the best players out there. The same thing every other HC worth a flip is doing, including our own. The kids will go wherever they feel is right for them. Meyer won 2 NC’s in his short stint here. For you spoiled young Gators, that is exactly 2/3 of the NC’s we have won ALL-TIME!
    Grow up, get over it and move on.
    Go Gators!

  18. I don’t care if CUM tries to steal our recruits. Let him try. If he succeeds, I agree with didn’t want the kid because he wasn’t committed to being a true Gator. That said, I fully endorse Coach Boom lowering the boom on Meyer when he’s going head to head with Meyer for a recruit. He can rightly point out that, by CUM’s own admissions, he left us a broken program full of bad attitudes, rule (and law) breakers, and entitlement. It took Boom 1 1/2 years to get rid of that and build his team. CUM is not the loving, Christian, honest guy he tries to portray himself (kind of reminds me of Booby Bowden in this respect). He’d tell a recruit anything to get him to sign. Boom needs to compare and contrast the Gator program with CUM’s program. No contest.

  19. I agree with MJMGator. Why is everyone so bitter? Urban Meyer gave us 2 national championships, a Heisman trophy winner, and produced 6 NFL first round picks.

    For those who think OSU is a joke, they have more than twice as many national championships (7 to 3), Heisman trophy winners (7 to 3), and All-Americans (78 to 31) as UF.

    Go Gators!

  20. If a recruit is offered by an SEC school and turns it down to go elsewhere – he must think he has nfl potential… Stats may not show it yet but wait 5 years the sec will farrrrr more represented in the nfl and by its most dominant players

  21. GI Gator has a very good point about Muschamp NOT going after Texas’ verbal recruits. I know college football and Meyer can get plenty of great
    talent this state. If we have a verbal committent he should NOT go after
    the kid except for mitigating circumstances.
    Meyer call Pat Dooley the day after taking the OSU job and told Pat he would like to be welcomed back in Gainesville someday. Dooley said to him,”not today and not tomorrow..” If Meyer wants in on the ring of honor or welcomed back then dont F**K with our verbals. Last year, he tried to
    get our coaches! There is a fine line and he does not give a damn about
    Florida Football. Criticism of Meyer doing this is more than justified!

  22. I too am a Floridian who lived in NYC and CT from 1985-2011. Played golf every year through the first weekend in December. The “cold” weather angle is over-rated. Before the real cold sets in, the regular season is over. The TV exposure our kids get on a weekly basis vs OSU should be enough to sway any recruit, from any region. We have so much more to offer than weather.

  23. my problem isnt him trying to get some recruits out of the state of florida thats fine. My problem is that he is trying to get OUR commits. out of all the schools he could go and try to steal recruits from, he’s trying to take not one, but TWO of our linebacker commits. i have absolutely no respect for this guy. yea he one 2 championships here and i fully respect that, but the shape he left our program in was terrible. and didnt he kick jonathon dowling off the team for something stupid, the guy who plays for wsu and is 2nd in the nation in picks. could u imagine what our db’s would have looked like?! u have to realize that we had great assistant coaches as well, who did the majority of the recruiting and some of whom are doing great as coaches elsewhere. so to me, urban doesnt really deserve all the credit some people give him for those championships. Id take champ over urban any day!!

  24. I fully expect a boost in recruiting from this year results.
    UM will always be loved by all true gators for what he brought to UF.
    It is ridiculous to think UM would not recruit in FLA against UF.
    It would be like WM not recruiting GA, BAMA, LA, TX because he coached in those states. Grow up & be happy we are not a 6-6 team.

  25. Like most of you posting, I admire Urban for the job he did at Florida and I think I’m as greater GATOR NATION FAN as there is and I don’t think Urban deserve all of the bashing. About him recruiting players UF are intrested n, why wouldn’t he?? His JOB is to get the BEST recruits possible so someday his team can measure up to SEC competition. Do you guys think those coaches in other conferences like being beat over the head by the entire country saying no one can compete with the SEC. HELL NO!! They want to at the very least be the ONE EXCEPTION. URBAN was GREAT for UF when he was here, so you should expect that he will try to be the best for his home team. GO GATORS, we are on the recruiting trail for that very reason to beat Urban and anyone else out there going for the same players we are after!!!

  26. In 6 years, … two National Championships, two SEC Championships, top 5 recruiting classes every year, 16-2 and against our biggest rivals, more AA’s than any 6 year period in our schools history, better facilities, and a boat load more money brought in…… Yeah, but he’s a turd for leaving after a down year. I like Muschamp too, but alot of the success he is having this year is because of the winning culture and high expectations Urban brought to this school.

  27. Oh how soon we forget. More arrest than any other program in the history of the NCAA.So bad that the HBO Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel pleaded with Urban to put controls on the program..Meyer doesn’t give a shit about these kids. IF he did they wouldn’t be in so much trouble. WM has put in a professional program to give advice to these kids.

    “Muschamp said on his radio show Thursday night he has a lot of supplemental groups that mentor players with character development. He also has the assistance of former Gator running back Terry Jackson, who is the Director of Player and Community Relations for the football program.”

    If My kid is on his way to school I want WM giving advice not
    URBAN LIAR. How many kids (Dowling comes to mind) did Urban discard because he used the UF program as a sports factory?

    And that is not Bashing, that is the TRUTH

  28. Where was all this negativity about Urban 5 – 6 years ago, at the bottom of your stomachs. You are ONLY throwing up now because he LEFT, not because you consider him a liar or unethical. ONLY because he LEFT and went someplace else. WHY ?? Because he was a WINNER and YOU missed being a winner! STOP looking back and realise that we still have a winning program and one with integrity. EASE UP and LET COACH MYERS go and enjoy his life choices!! GO GATORS!!!!

  29. Tough to see so many fans who clearly love the Gators disagreeing so much. While you may not agree with how he left, or how he got the results he did, you’ve got to agree that the 5? years Urban was here were pretty special for Gator Nation. I say instead of focusing on the past, we should be thankful that Coach Boom has us excited about looking forward to the future. Lets focus on the players and coaches we have now and in the future! GO GATORS!!!!

  30. Amen, GatorNC. Thats all I was trying to point out. He did a lot more good than harm to the program. I’m impressed with the job WM is doing, but acting like a scorned woman toward Meyer and making rediculous statements that he somehow ruined our program makes you look silly.

  31. Good get. Hope the kid sticks through signing day and I hope he and his DB brethren in this class don’t go all ‘Will Hill’ on us.

    I like the big DB trend. This kid is 6’1″ 210. Hearkens back to those Mickey Andrews defenses that SOS could not consistently beat. It was no secret then and no secret now that big fast DB’s make the field much smaller for opposing QB’s — though the SEC hasn’t had many good passing QB’s lately.

  32. Tyler Moore being a JUCO is a double edge sword. He now counts as an initial signee, so he’s taking up a slot that he wasn’t before. On the other hand, he can play next year instead of sitting out. With us having a couple of seniors on the line (and being kinda scary when they were out of the game), I guess it’s an overall plus that Moore can step in and play right away. Hate losing a recruit in the process though.

    • Lizardgrad89,

      Moore’s reclassification does not change his eligibility or Florida’s scholarship numbers. All it means is that he can be considered a member of the 2013 signing class. He was going to play next year regardless of whether or not he enrolled at St. Pete C.C. because he sat out this season. But the fact that he did to finish up his AA credits makes him a JUCO prospect. He still has three years left to play and is enrolling in January, which was the case when he committed.

  33. Zach, the last comment by Lizardgrad got me wondering. I know the limit is 25 recruits per year, and that due to early enrollment, some of these recruits can be counted towards a previous class. How do transfers affect the numbers from a yearly class size perspective?

  34. at least Meyer gave us a little time before recruiting season went into full force with his “Retirements”… unlike Spurrier Leaving right after the bowl game leaving Jeremy having to rush and try to get a coach and get some stability before recruiting season kicked in fully..I don’t see how the way he left can be considered more honest..

  35. i never said that i didnt like meyer as a coach when he was here, i just said i’ve lost respect. and people telling me that i cant dislike him isnt going to chang my opinion. you think he was the only person who recruited all those players during his five years, no. nobody gives any credit to charlie or our former Wr coach who was a great recruiter and that other coach who went to temple. stop living in the past.