The Florida Gators added a surprise eighth early enrollee on Thursday as four-star 2013 linebacker Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, PA) rescinded his pledge from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and plans to arrive in Gainesville, FL on Friday.
According to InsidetheGators.com’s Blake Alderman and Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell, who first reported Anzalone’s flip, the player decommitted from the Fighting Irish after head coach Brian Kelly interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles before heading out on vacation following the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.
He originally committed to Ohio State in April but decommitted in May and named Florida and Notre Dame as his top two. The success of Manti Te’o led Anzalone to commit to the Fighting Irish in July, but he soon began reconsidering his choice.
His father, Salvatore Anzalone, received his medical degree from the University of Florida and other members of his extended family also live near Gainesville. Those facts made the Gators an attractive potential destination all along.
Anzalone had previously considered flipping from Notre Dame to Florida but reaffirmed his pledge to the Fighting Irish on Nov. 5. An early enrollee, his recruiting process was thought to be over at that point.
However, with Kelly’s reported NFL interest making news over the last few days, Anzalone apparently felt that the grass was greener in Gainesville.
He is expected to enroll in school on Friday and be the eighth player to join the Gators this spring along with four-star running back Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, FL), four-star LB Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, FL), four-star wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (Jacksonville, FL), four-star defensive end Joey Ivie (Dade City, FL), four-star LB Matt Rolin (Jacksonville, FL), and four-star transfers offensive lineman Tyler Moore (Clearwater, FL) and defensive tackle Darious Cummings (Scooba, MS).
Anzalone is ranked as the 50th best player in the nation by Rivals and the No. 1 recruit from the state of Pennsylvania. He is considered the 97th best player in the nation by ESPN, which also lists him as a four-star prospect.
Florida’s newest recruiting class now consists of 27 total pledges including 26 that count as part of the 2013 cycle. Rivals and ESPN now unanimously list the Gators as having the No. 1 2013 recruiting class in the nation.