GAINESVILLE -- Florida football signee Dee Finley did not qualify academically for the University of Florida and will instead enroll at a New York prep school this fall, an Internet recruiting website is reporting. This could be a major blow for the Gators' depth at the safety position.
Finley [pictured], rated as one of the top defensive backs of the 2008 signing class, was scheduled to report to UF at the end of June. Instead, Finley will enroll at Milford (N.Y.) Academy, according to the website GatorBait.com. Finley, an Auburn (Ala.) High prep star, was considered an academic concern throughout the 2008 recruiting cycle. Several major programs, including Auburn, did not recruit Finley, fearing he would not qualify.
Florida's incoming freshmen are scheduled to report at the end of this month. Despite the apparent loss of Finley, the class is not devoid of a free safety. Will Hill, a New Jersey prep talent, is expected to play the position.
Florida has several talented safeties on the roster but is growing thin at the position. Jamar Hornsby was kicked off the team earlier this summer after being arrested for credit card fraud. A third possible safety, Jerimy Finch, also left the program.
South Florida natives Dorian Munroe and Major Wright will be the Gators' starting safeties when preseason practice begins. Hill, who played quarterback in high school, is expected to compete for a back-up role. Converted cornerback Ahmad Black will also be expected to earn a place high on the depth chart.
Don't be surprised if another young cornerback is forced to move to the safety position this fall. If that happens, my guess would be rising sophomore Moses Jenkins of Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson. He's tall (6-2), fast and extremely coachable.