Whether he switched his pledge to the Vanderbilt Commodores or the Florida Gators first decided to move on remains a point of contention. Either way three-star defensive back Tre Bell (Jersey City, NJ), who committed to Florida in early April, has instead committed to Vanderbilt as first reported by 247Sports.com early Saturday morning.
According to The Gainesville Sun:
A source close to the situation told The Sun that UF’s coaches wanted to see Bell in action this summer so they could critique his play, something several of Florida’s commits were required to do. But Bell never attended any of Florida’s camps in June and didn’t work out when he came down for Friday Nights Lights on July 27. [...] With many more highly rated corner prospects still left on the board, the Gators decided to part ways with the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder during his unofficial visit to UF on Aug. 2.
One of three prospects to commit to the Gators on April 7 while on his first-ever visit to the University of Florida for the 2012 Orange & Blue Debut, Bell was the 13th player to join the 2013 class at the time of his commitment.
His departure leaves Florida with 21 current 2013 commitments though the team will undoubtedly attempt to fill his spot with another defensive back.
Bell was the lowest-rated of the Gators’ four 2013 defensive back pledges, well behind five-star Vernon Hargreaves (Tampa, FL) and four-stars Nick Washington (Jacksonville, FL) and Keanu Neal (Bushnell, FL).
He is the second player in the last two months who was committed to Florida but wound up decommitting or getting dropped by the team for one reason or another.
Three-star linebacker Dillan Lawson (Crestview, FL), one of six players to commit to the Gators at the team’s Junior Day on Feb. 18, reportedly had academic issues and decided to look for greener pastures after a conversation with the coaches.
Two other Florida’s commitments – four-star wide receiver Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, FL) and three-star offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (Delray Beach, FL) – recently told InsidetheGators.com that the level of their commitment to the Gators is murky after the resignation of wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill.
Both players, who remain committed but have opened up their recruitments, had both reportedly been told by Florida that their academic standings must improve.