A Florida State Seminoles commitment since Dec. 5, 2010, five-star defensive end Dante Fowler, Jr. (St. Petersburg, FL) surprised many during National Signing Day on Wednesday by switching his pledge to the Florida Gators.
Expected to play Buck linebacker for the Gators, a position of high importance in the defensive system of head coach Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, Fowler was heavily pursued by Florida throughout the year and visited the school a half-a-dozen times unofficially.
Though he said he remained solid to Florida State following those visits, he admitted that he had some thinking to do after much of the coaching staff met him in his home last week (see picture above). One day later, Fowler again reiterated that he was “100 percent” going to commit to the Seminoles.
At 6’3” and 232 lbs., he is considered the No. 28 overall player in the nation and the third-best at his position according to Rivals. ESPNU ranks Fowler as a four-star recruit, the No. 71 player in the country and 10th-best defensive end.
He is the eighth defensive lineman to join the Gators’ 2012 class but is just the third expected to be in line for a shot at the Buck linebacker position with three-stars Bryan Cox, Jr. (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and Alex McCalister (Clemmons, NC) also vying for a spot on the depth chart.
Fowler becomes the 23rd member of the Gators’ 2012 signing class and is the second player to join the team on this year’s National Signing Day.