Florida Gators lose Baker and Thomas, two top-rated 2015 linebacker commits

By Adam Silverstein
October 23, 2014

For the second time this week, a highly-rated 2015 linebacker commitment has decided to part ways with the Florida Gators.

On Thursday, two days after four-star Jerome Baker (Cleveland, OH) decommitted from the program, four-star Adonis Thomas (Lawrenceville, GA) followed suit.

Baker and Thomas are the highest-ranked players in the Gators’ 2015 recruiting class according to Rivals and ESPN, respectively.

Baker is ranked as the No. 36 overall player in the country by Rivals (No. 68 by ESPN), while Thomas is rated as the No. 68 overall player by ESPN (unranked by Rivals).


Unlike Baker, who announced Tuesday that he had flipped his commitment from Florida to Ohio State, Thomas has not made a pledge to another program. He tweeted that he is still considering UF along with Alabama and LSU.

The Gators no longer have any linebackers remaining in their 2015 class and now only have two consensus four-star recruits in the fold – offensive lineman George Brown (Cincinnati, OH) and quarterback Sheriron Jones (Moreno Valley, CA).

Florida’s class of 2015 is now ranked No. 68 in the country by Rivals, as it only has nine members with just over three months until National Signing Day. Twelve of the other 13 schools in the Southeastern Conference (all except Vanderbilt) have classes rated higher than the Gators, including six holding spots in the top 10 and eight in the top 15.

Tabbed as favorites for three of the top 12 players in the nation – five-stars defensive end Byron Cowart (Seffner, FL), OL Martez Ivey (Apopka, FL) and DE CeCe Jefferson (Glen St. Mary, FL) – Florida is likely losing ground with those standouts as well now that head coach Will Muschamp has one foot out the door after amassing a 3-3 record through six games.

The Gators are on pace for their lowest-ranked class since 2002 (No. 20, Ron Zook’s first season), the latest on file by Rivals. Florida’s class rankings from 2002-14: 20, 2, 10, 15, 2, 1, 3, 11, 2, 12, 3, 4, 8.

24 Comments

  1. Michael Jones says:

    Like rats jumping off a sinking ship. We’ll be alright. It’s going to take awhile, but the Gators will be the Gators again.

  2. g8ter27 says:

    Can’t blame them but hopefully they keep an open mind until signing day because hopefully by then we have a 5 star coach.

  3. gator says:

    Great, See ya in 2018! I’m not wasting any more time or money on this joke.

  4. 1974Gator says:

    They think they are making multi-million dollar decisions about their NFL futures and we are bait for semi-pro. Please tell me there’s a rabbit in Foley’s hat.

  5. g8ter27 says:

    Spend the millions and get Chip

    • Tractorr says:

      That would be one of the worst ideas ever. We would have to pay him at least 7 million a year. He has never won an NCAA championship and we would have to match the highest paid coach in college ball to get him. That is just asking to drown the program.

      I am not saying that Kelly isn’t a good coach. I would love to see him as the HC but it would be a terrible business decision.

  6. Bull1 says:

    Please tell me i am having a bad dream. Muschamp needs to go. Why not make Roper interim? It can’t hurt and they might start playing for him but for the love of everything, lets do something soon and save what little recruits we have left. But for now stop the bleeding.

  7. Joaqui says:

    I think Foley knows he may have to make a big splash if he fires WM. Im not concerned with any players decommitting from the program now because a high level coach can salvage this class. What this does tell me is that WM’s seat (already hot) is getting even hotter.

    • G2 says:

      What do you mean “if”, its a done deal after Ga game and yes he has to make a splash, or else! Think we are screwed on this class because any high profile coach won’t get here until after bowl games. Gives us no time to rally up recruits.

  8. DJ Chemist says:

    Perhaps the NCAA can relegate our football program to the ACC coastal division for a year or two while we rebuild.

    • Michael J. says:

      The Gators would finish last in the ACC Cpastal division. They lost to Miami last year, a team that’s never won it. The only team from the ACC that UF is better than right now is Wake Forest, maybe.

  9. Ken (CA) says:

    Signing day isn’t until Feb. I wouldn’t be overly concerned at this point. A bit disappointed, sure, but nothing is set in stone either from our decommits or from other school commits. Plenty of time left to make a lot of noise, especially if get a new coach either someone like Schiano can get right away and start recruiting or someone active that begins as soon as season ends, as the trend is nowadays to not coach the bowl game if moving on to a new HC job more often than staying for a “meaningless” bowl game

  10. ??? says:

    I thought the reasoning behind not firing Muschamp now was to keep the recruiting class intact. Well, that is clearly falling apart. Muschamp knows he’s about to be fired, the recruits know he’s about to be fired, so why delay the inevitable? Let the rebuilding process begin already.

  11. 5wideU says:

    Not sure what everyone thought was going to happen after the Mizzou game ? Whether Muschamp is fired now or later, none of these commitments are going to be solid until they see who the new coach is and have the ability to communicate with him. Nothing surprising here.

  12. Mike Scott says:

    Please don’t put King Jeremy Foley in charge of the hire . He is great at hiring coaches for the minor sports but at football he sucks .

  13. SW FL Joe says:

    Kid decommitted not because Muschamp was leaving but because he was at the Missouri game. Lots of Muschamp supporters decommitted after that game too. Zook (almost a complete unknown) came in at literally the 11th hour and still managed to land a top 20 class. Foley will make a big time hire and the new coach will have more time to recruit than Zook did, so we will be fine come Feb. Remember, the NCAA allowed OSU to have 2 staffs when they hired Meyer, one to coach the football team and one to recruit.

  14. G8trATL says:

    What’s so odd to me is these are Defensive recruits. The program has done well over the past 4 years from a Defense standpoint AND there are quite a few Gator Defensive players in the NFL.
    What concerns me more than anything else is that we are losing Defense recruits when that has been the “foundation” of Muschamp’s tenure.
    Even for arguments sake / hypothetically speaking (please go with me on this) IF Muschamp would be guaranteed another year, WHY would you not want to play for Muschamp on Defense? I’m sure there is a ton of negative recruiting going on which I’m sure is always part of the recruiting game, which Foley is SHOULD be aware of given he is trying to keep his commitment to stay a with Muschamp and decide after the season.

    • G2 says:

      Along that same line Champ could be named DC (gotta pay him anyway), this should keep all these defensive players on board.

      • ntcrze says:

        You don’t keep an old boss you fired in any capacity in any business. Muschamp, along with the rest of the coaches need to be given their discharge. If the new coach wants to hire one or more of them, that has to be his choice, not Foley’s. No top coach is going to come to Florida without having carte blanche on how he wants to run things. You don’t keep guys that had a hand in developing a losing culture, unless you aren’t serious about changing that culture. The tightwad Foley is going to have to open up the checkbook to get the coach and the assistants the next coach wants to bring in, along with eating the cost of paying Muschamp, Roper, and Summers for the guaranteed contracts he gave them. Be cheap this time, and the cash cow that is Florida football will shrivel up and die. I’m very interested to see how many show up for South Carolina and the paid scrub.

        • Ken (CA) says:

          I dunno, Zook was demoted by Spurrier then promoted to head coach, so who knows?

          I agree with you, though, and I really haven’t seen WM be the defensive guru everyone makes him out to be anyway. Great D in 2012 with Meyer recruits, 3rd down defense, not just 20+ but in general isn’t really all that great. Whenever it matters most they seem to give up the big 3rd down to extend drives. Other than cleaning up the program, which is huge and instilling a sense of non-entitlement (which maybe he goes too far and why we never see the young talent pre-injury), I won’t be particularly sorry to see him go for anything I have seen on the field during gameday. His one claim to excellence in 4 years is one season’s defense with Meyer’s recruits. Yes, the defenses other than that year haven’t been bad, but they always seem to commit the penalty or break down mentally or whatever at exactly the worst possible moment.

    • Tractorr says:

      They still don’t want to play for a team that isn’t competitive overall. There are other defensively good team that also have a chance of winning any game they are in.

  15. mjGator says:

    The list is getting shorter and shorter, and you can’t blame these kids. This is a program in distress, and there is no sense of urgency by the administration to do anything about it. Write off this season, write off the recruiting, and hope that Foley can make a decent decision with a proven head coach who can start to right this sinking ship.

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