Image Credit: ESPNI
In desperate need of secondary talent to replace an extremely talented unit that is sure to be departing following the 2016 season, the Florida Gators on Wednesday received a commitment from four-star cornerback Elijah Blades (Pasadena, CA).
A rare California pledge, Blades (6-foot-2, 170 pounds) is rated as the No. 222 overall prospect in the 247Sports Composite. His offer list mostly consisted of West Coast, featuring Arizona, Colorado, Nebraska and Utah, among others. Running backs coach Tim Skipper was his recruiter.
“First off I want to thank god for blessing me with this opportunity to play at the next level also I want to thank all the coaches that recruited me up to this time also my family for helping choose this decision but I always had a dream since I was 6 to play in the SWAMP and be apart of something great and I’m glad to say that I have a chance to make it a reality but I will be continuing my academic and football career at the University of Florida #DBU,” Blades wrote in a message on his Twitter account.
Blades, who checked in with a 4.42 40-yard dash at The Opening in Los Angeles last February (making him the fastest player at the event), is said to have superior ball skills to go along with his speed and size.
Florida’s 2017 recruiting has been particularly slow-moving under head coach Jim McElwain as the Gators look to put together a premier class following a transitional class in 2015 and underwhelming incoming group in 2016.
UF is currently ranked No. 38 nationally in the 247Sports team rankings with only half of its eight commitments rated as four-star prospects. Blades is the third defensive player and first defensive back to join Florida for 2017.