The Florida Gators biggest win on Saturday did not necessarily occur during the 2012 Orange & Blue Debut but perhaps afterward as the team gained a trio of major commitments for the 2013 recruiting class from four-star wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL), three-star offensive lineman Josh Outlaw (Lithonia, GA) and three-star defensive back Tre Bell (Jersey City, NJ).
Fulwood, a Rivals100 and ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect, is considered one of the best players at his position in the country and one of the most talented overall in the state. Rivals ranks him as the No. 8 pass catcher in the nation, and he chose Florida over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and USC (among others).
Often noting that he is “comfortable” with the players and coaching staff in Gainesville, FL, Fulwood now joins close friend and four-star defensive back Nick Washington (Jacksonville, FL) on the team. Washington has been recruiting Fulwood heavily for quite some time and the duo have each been on campus a number of times for unofficial visits. At 6’4″ and 200 lbs., he gives UF the tall, athletic receiver that the team needs so dearly.
“I just felt comfortable doing it now,” Fulwood told Rivals’ Chris Nee about deciding to commit. “I kind of made up my mind a while ago but now was a good time to get it done. I just felt like part of the family every single time that I have come up here. [...] I definitely feel like I can come in and help make plays. I saw them try to take some deeper shots today and they didn’t have it happen. I think I can come in and help in that regard. I think I am a bigger receiver that they want. I think that can be me making those big catches.”
Outlaw is the second three-star offensive lineman to commit to the Gators for 2013 but is also the team’s first out-of-state pledge. A former teammate of redshirt sophomore running back Mack Brown at Martin Luther King High School, Outlaw also picked Florida despite also having an impressive offer sheet including Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. He told Rivals last week that UF was his leader and that the coaches said he had a legitimate chance to play tackle with the team.
Bell is the third secondary player to commit to the Gators for 2013 and chose to do so on his first-ever visit to Florida. Though his offer sheet may not be considered as impressive as the others with Boise State, Connecticut, Houston, Michigan and Notre Dame as the notable schools speaking with him, Bell is a versatile talent that the coaching staff has obviously targeted and honed in on.
Two of Saturday’s three commitments come at positions of great need for Florida. The Gators only had two wide receivers and two offensive linemen commit during the 2012 recruiting cycle and now have a pair of players at each position (four-star WR Rodney Adams, three-star OL Roderick Johnson) pledged for 2013 with 10 months remaining. Bell is Florida’s third defensive back joining Washington and four-star Keanu Neal.
Adding Fulwood, Outlaw and Bell gives the Gators 14 total commitments including 12 from the state of Florida. UF now has approximately a dozen spots to fill from now until National Signing Day during the first week of February.
The three commitments were first reported by ESPN and The Gainesville Sun.