GAINESVILLE -- UF won a national title on Jan. 8. Why, then, are committed football recruits possibly turning their backs on the Gators?
Since the week leading up to Florida 24, Oklahoma 14, the Gators' coaching staff has been scrambling to not only add a few more talented players to its 2009 recruiting class but also keep the prospects who are already committed.
- Days before the national championship game in Miami, one of the Gators' top oral commitments, Georgia cornerback Greg Reid, figuratively punched the Gators' coaching staff in the gut by wavering on his word. He is now believed to be headed to either Georgia, Florida State or Alabama.
- Last week, defensive end Nick Kasa of Colorado did the same thing. It seems the pass rusher wants to stay close to home.
- This week, another cornerback, this time Marsalis Teague of Tennessee, is also having second thoughts.
If you're counting, that's three headaches the Gators' coaching staff are having to deal with in the final weeks of the recruiting cycle. When UF could be focusing its energy on securing one, two or three more recruits, coach Urban Meyer and his staff are now having to shore up relationships with players already committed. The Reid situation is one of particular frustration for Meyer. After all, Reid was the Gators' first prospect of the 2009 recruiting cycle to commit. He did so last February. That's almost an entire year of work (more than that, really) down the drain when you consider that UF could not not only now lose Reid but also lose the cornerbacks they could have recruited if Reid wasn't committed for an entire year.
So, what's the problem? You'd think recruits would be flocking to UF after the Gators won the national championship and seem to be favorites to repeat. If you think like a normal person, then that's a good reason to go to Florida. If you think like a recruit...God help you if you think like a recruit.
Here are a couple explanations for the recent rash of turncoats:
- Blame opposing coaches and their dirty, dirty recruiting tactics. All is fair in love and recruiting, right? Coaches are filling players' heads with ideas of inactivity. Just look at Florida's depth chart, Nick Saban is saying. When are you ever going to play with all these underclassmen starters and reserves? We all know little Nicky Kasa and wee Gregory Reid don't want to ever sit the bench.
- Once again, blame opposing coaches for their dirty, dirty recruiting tactics. Sure, UF is going to be great next year, Lane Kiffin is saying. But that's when you're not playing. What happens when you're the starter and Tim Tebow and his merry men are gone? UF won't be on top anymore. (And, yes, when clarifying recruiting tactics it is absolutely necessary to modify the word with the double dirty.)
- Recruits make change about as often as Toll Booth Willie.
In recruiting news ...
UF COMMITMENT IS STATE'S BEST PROSPECT
On Tuesday evening, Flavarsity.com released its final list of the top 100 football prospects in the state. CLICK ME!The Gators landed three current oral commitments in the top 10, including the No.1 prospect, Seminole receiver Andre Debose. Miami Northwestern fans should be plenty familiar with Debose. He's the player who caught that remarkable touchdown pass in the final minutes of the Class 6A state championship game.
UF's other Top 10 state commitments, according to Flavarsity.com, are defensive tackle Gary Brown of West Gadsden and offensive lineman Nick Alalajajian of Naples. (A good lineman is a lot harder to find than a great receiver, just my opinion.)
SCRATCH DEERFIELD BEACH DUO OFF THE LIST
According to an Internet report, Deerfield Beach quarterback Denard Robinson and cornerback Adrian Witty have narrowed their offers down to two schools and Florida isn't one of them. CLICK ME!
A website covering Kansas State recruiting reported on Tuesday that Robinson and Witty visited Kansas State over the weekend and Deerfield Beach coach Art Taylor listed Michigan, Georgia, Kansas State and perhaps Tennessee as the schools vying to sign the players.