Notebook: Jefferson decommits from UGA

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Florida will get the last crack at Van Jefferson. (Photo by 247Sports)

Florida is still looking to add a couple wide receivers to its 2015 class, and one recruit who seemed like a long shot now appears to be a viable option.

U.S. Army All-American Van Jefferson decommitted from Georgia on Tuesday, announcing his decision on Twitter. The 6-foot-2, 183-pounder from Brentwood (Tenn.) Ravenwood had been pledged to the school since the summer.

A trip to Ole Miss in December halted plans to enroll early at UGA, and his visit to Oklahoma this past weekend led to the decommitment. Right now it’s a battle between Oklahoma and Ole Miss, a school he’ll visit again this coming weekend, but the Gators could make a late push for him.

Jefferson plans to officially visit UF on Jan. 30, the last recruiting weekend before signing day (Feb. 4). He has shown interest in Florida throughout his recruitment and visited Gainesville in June.

Now that Jefferson is uncommitted, his return trip at the end of this month holds much more significance for the Gators.

Smith eliminates Florida

Linebacker Roquan Smith announced three finalists Tuesday, none of which were Florida.

The Under Armour All-American is down to Georgia, Michigan and UCLA.

UF was once considered his leader after he visited the school twice in the summer, but he eliminated the Gators once they fired Will Muschamp.

However, Jim McElwain’s hiring of defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, who recruited Smith at Mississippi State, caused the linebacker to give the Gators a second look.

Collins visited Smith last week on the first day of the contact period and tried to secure an official visit from him, but it looks like that won’t happen with his announcement Tuesday.

Miller spurns UM for UF

Collins had much better luck on the recruiting trail this week with defensive end Shareef Miller.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pounder from Philadelphia (Pa.) George Washington received an in-home visit from Collins on Monday morning. Later that evening, Miller announced he’s taking his final official visit to Florida instead of Miami.

The Gators offered him on Jan. 8 and immediately became his leader, according to 247Sports ($).

His five finalists are Arizona State, Florida, Penn State, Pittsburgh and Rutgers. He plans to decide Feb. 2, a day after he returns home from his UF trip.

McElwain visits Sandifer

Brandon Sandifer was scheduled to visit UF over the weekend with fellow offensive line commitments Mike Horton and Tyler Jordan, but an illness forced him to postpone his trip.

However, Sandifer doesn’t have to wait any longer to meet his future head coach. McElwain had an in-home visit with him and his family Monday night.

Sandifer plans to officially visit Florida at a later date this month.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Glad to see the hard work our coaching staff is doing to recruit la creme de la creme (best of the best) football prospects for the Florida Gator football team. Keep up the great work – let’s hope the recruits realize that they are in a position to play early and contribute to the return of Florida dominance in the SEC East and ultimately the SEC and the nation. GO GATORS!!!

  2. what recruits were the coaches recruiting at their former schools that they will try to sign with Florida? We here about kids eliminating Florida after Muschamp was fired, so report who is looking at Florida now with the current coaches that were recruiting them at their former employers. We want kids that dream of putting on the orange and blue, that are die hard gator fans no matter who the coach is. I guess being a fan is a lot different than being an athlete, once a gator always a gator

  3. With the announcement of the indoor practice facility (15 Million in improvements), it puts the last missing piece on board with the “BIG’s” (Of course northern schools need it for inclement inter weather and early spring training – Florida needs it for monsoonal weather! But FSU has had one for awhile! Now I say! Go out and fill the stable with a herd of studs! Go Gators!

    (It takes FOREVER to get something built here where I live. Can you imagine the quick turn around on his building and field renovation?!!!!)

    Go Gators!

  4. Kerrdog..you make a great point. I’ve seen where Randy Shannon is recruiting some of the players he recruited at Arkansas but that’s about it. With all the positive things I hear former players saying about these coaches you would think that some might want to follow them but haven’t seen it yet. Hoping it gets better on signing day.

  5. Zach, Do you think we can honestly save this class? Florida is so loaded with high school talent each year that we could absorb a semi low class and make up for it next year and so on. The indoor facility news and it being fast tracked to be done by October will be a huge perk in recruiting also. So if we don’t finish top ten it’s not gonna hurt that bad. I would take 3 stars from the state of Florida over 4 stars from any other state. Just because the chances are good that they are just as talented if not more because how much talent gets over looked in FHS’S each year. Florida will be alright. Nobody panic, it’ll turn around

  6. “Though the days until National Signing Day are shrinking, Florida’s recruiting board continues to expand (normally not a good sign).” Maybe it’s time to give us a new list of players UF is trying to get since the names we’ve heard bandied around for the past year appear to be shunning the Gators. There are now names we’ve never heard of and it’d be nice to learn their names.

  7. RE: new Gator coaches recruiting players they had recruited for other schools, I’ve read the following names of the staff (on dedicated recruiting websites) linked to prospects that have been added to our board: Nussmeier, Nord, Callahan, Shannon and Collins. Seems to me our new guys are reaching out. I get the impression some on this site actually believe these new coaches, including McElwain, are knaves about recruiting and somehow don’t have a clue about building a football team. Take the time to research the histories of these new Gator coaches. You’ll be impressed, or worried if your school isn’t the University of Florida. No worries.

  8. Tampa Gator I’m sorry that you’re allergic to the truth. What I put in quotes was from a recruiting service, Rivals. No one thinks that the new coaches don’t know how to recruit, but the fact is that it appears that recruits are not buying what they are selling at UF this year. The list of prospects is getting longer, not because of new players that the new coaches are familiar with, but because many, far too many, of the prospects that once favored UF are saying no. An example is the tale of linemen from Jax. Kendrick Norton was once thought to be a heavy UF lean, he’s now eliminated UF. Now UF is talking to a two star lineman from Jax, Kahill Welsh. Whether or not UF has offered him, I don’t know, but it does show that UF is getting desperate when you see them visit two stars. I don’t recall that ever happening. It’s just reality, deal with it.

  9. Transition classes aren’t usually great. I just looked at Michigan’s commits list – and they are still sitting at 6 despite the tidal wave “splash” of favorite son Jim Harbaugh’s return. We’ll see where UF and UM wind up for 2015, but with two weeks to go it looks pretty similar. It’s just hard to build relationships so you work the ones you can. Instead of battling FSU and Bama for recruits we’re seeing UF trying to flip kids from Louisville, Pitt and NC State. But if those kids buy in, play smart & play fast they can excel. It feels frustrating now but it is way early.

  10. I really believe that as of Jan 28 at 10:30 am this morning that the wave of positive is really taking hold….There is a little over a week and I really think that we are going to get some Flips from the other schools such as Miami and FSU…In addition there are great 4 and 5 star players out there that should want to be Gators!!!! For the life of me….All things being equal…Why would a great player that has brains pick FSU or Miami over Florida??? IF you come to Florida you come to the Flagship program in the state…You get he Swamp vs Miami with no fans and no stadium…You get the SEC vs he ACC and you will be with a program with a new staff..Miami is about to go thru what we went thru…WE WON our bowl game!!!! FSU and Miami lost theirs,,
    I think we end up the last 3 days with a great class!!!!! Go Gators lets finish in the Top 20!!! Bob in Jupiter-Alum and Tik holder and booster!!!