A last-weekend visit and the opportunity to return to his home state sealed the deal for four-star wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland (Houston, TX), who on Wednesday backed off his commitment to Houston and signed his National Letter of Intent to play for the Florida Gators in 2016.
Cleveland (6-foot-3, 189 pounds), the No. 33 player in the 2016 recruiting class per the 247Sports Composite, was Florida’s highest-rated target remaining and a player the Gators coveted as a potential impact player as a freshman. (He is now UF’s second-highest rated signee.)
Choosing Florida over not only Houston but also strong pushes from Arkansas and TCU, Cleveland obviously believes he can make an impact for the Gators in his first year similar to how Antonio Callaway did during the 2015 season.
By picking Florida, Cleveland is also choosing to go to the school he rooted for throughout his youth. Though he resides in Houston with his aunt, Cleveland is actually from Jacksonville, Florida, but decided to move to Texas in order to play high school football. The four-star prospect grew up with Gators three-star WR pledge Rick Wells, who was also instrumental in Cleveland’s recruitment.
Cleveland may wind up being Florida’s only new commitment on signing day, though that remains to be seen. Should that be the case, the Gators currently stand with 27 commitments including 10 four-star prospects. Cleveland is the fifth wideout in the class, joining Wells, four-star signees Freddie Swain (Citra, FL) and Joshua Hammond (Hallandale, FL) and three-star JUCO signee Dre Massey (Goodman, MS).