UPDATE: UT visit impresses Gators commit Elam

By Adam Silverstein
October 4, 2009

One of head coach Urban Meyer’s first (and easily his biggest) commitment for the 2010 Florida Gators recruiting cycle is 5-star athlete Matt Elam from Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, FL.

Having recruited and coached Elam’s old brother Abram while with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Meyer grabbing Matt’s commitment was a no-brainer. And while he remains committed the Gators, some of Elam’s recent statements should concern Gator Nation.

Earlier this week, Elam was praising the West Virginia Mountaineers, saying his visit opened his eyes as to what else was out there aside from Florida. Elam claimed he was simply doing his due diligence by taking all of his visits, but actually told the Palm Beach Post he would sign with WVU if he was forced to make a decision at the time.

Not planning to take an official visit to UF because he has already experienced Gainesville and what the school has to offer, Elam visited the Tennessee Volunteers this weekend and came away impressed.

“At first I just wanted to take a look,” Elam said. “But I saw things and talked to [defensive coordinator] Monte [Kiffin]. I saw how they used their safeties and they put them in a position to make plays. They do have a chance [to sign me].”


But what really seemed to sell Elam was all of the fanfare around Vols star safety Eric Berry. Elam saw plenty of promotion for Berry, including a rap video that aired on the jumbotron at Neyland Stadium. “I was thinking that could be me,” Elam said. “He’s getting all that attention and fame and they promote him. He’ll be leaving and someone has to come in and be better than him and make plays.”

Having previously said he was “locked in” to Florida and it was “where I want to be,” Elam said earlier this week that he was not ready to completely change his mind just yet. “I don’t want to de-commit and cause a lot of trouble,” he told the Post, “so I’m going to stay there, stay committed, but I’m going to look around.”

Prior to the 2009 season, before Meyer squashed rumors of him potentially leaving Florida at some point to return to Notre Dame, Elam said that was his only concern about becoming a Gator. “Nothing could persuade me [to de-commit from Florida],” Elam said. “I won’t change unless the coach changes.”

In the end, it is looking as if opportunity, playing time and (worst of all) flare may be what gain Elam’s commitment, regardless of everything he promised coach Meyer (SEE LINK).

Photo Credit: Jim Rassol, Sun-Sentinel

6 Comments

  1. ReptilesRule says:

    Hope I’m not detecting a massive ego problem here. We need kids to come in with the confidence that they can compete with anyone, anytime, anywhere. But the bottom line is they must ultimately be willing to be team players as well and the team must come first. The bottom line is that Eric Berry is a fine player, maybe a great player on a lousy team. And even though he may be “promoted” heavily by UT, the facts are is that he will leave Knoxville without even sniffing a championship. I look at guys like C.J. Spiller at Clemson and Greg Reid at FSU and maybe they are satisfied with being stars on mediocre teams and programs and maybe they are happy with that. But that is not the kind of player I want to see at UF and I’m sure not the kind of player Urban Meyer is looking for either. We want a player who wants that ring…a champion.

  2. Emory&Henry says:

    Exactly. Guys who want to win, but want to do what’s best for the team, which may include waiting to start. This really bugged me:

    But what really seemed to sell Elam was all of the fanfare around Vols star safety Eric Berry. Elam saw plenty of promotion for Berry, including a rap video that aired on the jumbotron at Neyland Stadium. “I was thinking that could be me,” Elam said. “He’s getting all that attention and fame and they promote him.”

  3. Reptiles – don’t forget, C.J. Spiller wanted to transfer to Florida after his first (or second?) season and would have if WVU allowed him to.

    Both of you – I agree. It is quite disturbing that the “promotion” and “fanfare” are what may be selling Elam. If you read OGGOA’s first article on the subject and pay attention to the quotes at the end – all the promises he made to Meyer – you have to wonder if you would even want a kid who would go back on his word like that.

    Elam is a great talent. His teammate tight end Gerald Christian (who has also committed to Florida) is also very good. My concern wouldn’t necessarily be losing Elam, it would be Christian having second thoughts.

  4. G8orballboy says:

    I hate when kids decommit for reasons that just don’t make sense to me. Hopefully we can keep his commitment, but if not…..”if you ain’t a Gator….” well, you know the rest!

  5. Dontay says:

    Well he is right about one thing…..the way they use their safeties to make a lot of plays. U really dont hear from our safeties unless a pass is thrown up in the air…..other than that they are just satying put in the secondary. UT is movin in on a lot of our recruits and its starting to get unsettling to me

  6. Pingback: ONLY GATORS Get Out Alive - Florida Gators college football, basketball, sports, recruiting, news, commentary, blog, message board, Tim Tebow, Urban Meyer

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