Four times in the last 10 days, a 2015 prospect previously committed to the Florida Gators has changed course and taken back his verbal pledge.
On Monday, less than 24 hours after three-star athlete Jalen Julius (Orlando, FL) reopened his recruitment, Florida learned that its second-highest rated pledge, four-star cornerback Marcus Lewis (Washington, D.C.) has decided to decommit as well.
“I am officially announcing my decommitment from the University of Florida. I am grateful for the opportunity the university granted me,” Lewis wrote on his Twitter account.
According to InsidetheGators.com‘s Blake Alderman and many other recruiting analysts, Lewis’s decommitment was a “long time coming.” He visited Michigan over the weekend and is expected to eventually make a pledge to continue his career there.
Rated by Rivals as the No. 84 overall player in the nation, Lewis committed to the Gators back on April 17. He cited Florida’s ability to put defensive backs in the NFL and the program’s recent addition of freshman cornerback Jalen Tabor, also a Washington, D.C. product, as big reasons for his decision.
Julius pulled his trigger on Sunday. The Gators were recruiting him as a cornerback, though as he mentioned on Twitter back on July 15: “I want to play [wide receiver] at the next level I feel like I would be a dominant player at that position.”
Three days prior to his decommitment, on Thursday, Julius tweeted that he could not wait to arrive in Gainesville, Florida, to participate in the annual Friday Night Lights camp.
Seven months after three-star defensive back Deontai Williams (Jacksonville, FL) became the Gators’ only 2015 commitment, the self-described life-long Florida fan flipped his pledge to Georgia, pulling the trigger on July 19.
Then, on July 21, three-star wideout Tristan Payton (Jacksonville, FL) announced on Twitter that he is no longer committed to UF after originally pledging to join the program on Feb. 24.
Florida, which now has just seven players committed for 2015, will fall from its 32nd spot in Rivals.com’s team rankings.
UF added two four-star commitments this month with offensive tackle Jerome Baker (Cleveland, OH) making his announcement on July 11 and offensive lineman George Brown, Jr. (Cincinnati, OH) announcing his decision on Friday.
Nevertheless, Florida has lost three pledges from skill position players in the last nine days including two that plan to play wide receiver in college.
The Gators hope to make up some ground in that area on Monday as the program eagerly awaits the decision of four-star ATH Ray-Ray McCloud III (Tampa, FL), the No. 26 overall player in the nation per Rivals.[table “66” not found /]