TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe commits to Florida

Three-star tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe (Suwanee, GA) on Tuesday announced his verbal commitment to the Florida Gators, becoming the first 2015 recruit to make a pledge to the program since Jim McElwain was hired as head coach.

“Thank you to all the people/coaches that have supported me and given me an opportunity to play at their schools….I’m extremely proud to announce that I will be attending The University of Florida!!!!! #GatorNationWhatUp,” he wrote in his announcement on Twitter.

Imatorbhebhe (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), who received an in-home visit from McElwain one week ago, took an official visit to California – his other finalist – over the weekend and came away with a decision made.

An early enrollee who is expected to be at Florida by Jan. 6, Imatorbhebhe will participate in spring practice. He is expected to be used by McElwain as a versatile H-back.

The former Missouri commitment is the eighth member of the Gators’ 2015 recruiting class, which lost a foursome of four-star pledges since Will Muschamp was fired in November. All of Florida’s commitments are three-star-rated prospects.

Daniel’s brother, Josh Imatorbhebhe, is a four-star 2016 wide receiver prospect ranked 130th in the nation by Rivals. He is currently trying to trim down an extensive offer list with the Gators believed to be among the top three programs he is considering.

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Florida loses four-star commits Brown, Jones

Florida Gators football’s already-depleted 2015 class became even worse off on Saturday when its top two commitments – four stars offensive lineman George Brown (Cincinnati, OH) and quarterback Sheriron Jones (Moreno Valley, CA) – decommitted from the program, according to 247Sports.com’s Ryan Bartow.

Respectively rated the No. 183 and No. 218 overall players in the nation by Rivals, Brown and Jones were Florida’s only remaining consensus four-star commitments. Their decommitments came on the same day UF head coach Jim McElwain held his introductory press conference, with Brown flipping to LSU.

In late October, the Gators lost a pair of four-star linebackers – Jerome Baker (Cleveland, OH) and Adonis Thomas (Lawrenceville, GA) – in a three-day span. Baker was the No. 36 overall player in the country as rated by Rivals, and Thomas was ranked No. 68 overall by ESPN.

Florida’s recruiting class stood at 11 members in mid-October; the Gators have since lost their four highest-rated pledges and no longer have a single consensus four-star-rated prospect on their commitment list.

UF only has seven commitments with two months until National Signing Day. The Gators have the lowest-rated signing class of any team either in the Southeastern Conference or their own state.

In fact, Florida’s three biggest rivals – Florida State, Georgia and Tennessee – have the No. 2, No. 3 and No. 5-ranked recruiting classes, respectively, each with 20-26 commitments.

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The Silver Lining for Thursday, November 13: Basketball signings, Tebow, Mullen on Meyer

Basketball: early signing period

College’s basketball’s early signing period began Wednesday, and the Florida Gators expect to receive National Letters of Intent from three of their four 2015 commitments – four-star power forward Noah Dickerson (Montverde, FL), three-star PF Kevarrius Hayes (Live, Oak, FL) and three-star small forward Keith Stone (Deerfield Beach, FL) – before that period is out.

Florida is not sure, however, when it will be given an NLI from its highest-rated pledge, four-star guard KeVaughn Allen (Little Rock, AR). The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette first reported Tuesday that Allen “will not sign during the early period and will hold off until the spring to sign,” despite planning to remain committed to the Gators.

Continue Reading » The Silver Lining for Thursday, November 13: Basketball signings, Tebow, Mullen on Meyer

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

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).

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

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FOUR BITS: Parsons, McDonald, Baker, Haden

1 » Dallas Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons has every intention of living up to his new three-year, $46 million contract, and he plans to do it by improving his defense. “We’ve got a great staff that really emphasizes defense,” he said, according to ESPNDallas.com. “Where I’m coming from, offense was always our main goal. Now we’ve got to win games and championship on the defensive side. I’m totally locked in and dialed in to do that.” Parsons was a solid defender for the Florida Gators but was ranked 190th overall in the NBA by Synergy Sports after the 2013-14 season.

2 » San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald is no longer scheduled to go to court to face arraignment after being accused of domestic abuse. McDonald, who has yet to be charged with a crime, had his hearing canceled; it will not be rescheduled until or unless the state actually brings charges against him, according to USA Today. The 49ers coaching staff and ownership has been very supportive of McDonald over the last month, claiming they believe his side of the story and want to let due process take its course before acting. Obviously McDonald’s long-term status with the team will affect 2015 Super Bowl betting online, especially as far as San Francisco is concerned.

Continue Reading » FOUR BITS: Parsons, McDonald, Baker, Haden

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PF Noah Dickerson commits to Florida, Donovan

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

Going back to the Montverde Academy pipeline for the third time in the last four recruiting cycles, Florida Gators head coach Billy Donovan landed a big verbal commitment on Sunday when four-star power forward Noah Dickerson (Montverde, FL) announced his intention to join the program next season.

At 6-foot-8 and 245 pounds, Dickerson is rated as the No. 56 overall player in the Class of 2015 by Rivals. A one-time Georgetown commitment, he changed his mind in June and reopened his recruitment, listening to pitches from a number of schools including Florida.

In the end, Dickerson decided to play for Donovan and the Gators.

Continue Reading » PF Noah Dickerson commits to Florida, Donovan

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OG Brandon Sandifer commits to Florida

Continuing to add mass to their already-sizable offensive line, the Florida Gators on Wednesday received a verbal commitment from 6-foot-4, 335-pound offensive guard Brandon Sandifer (Warner Robins, GA).

Unanimously rated as a three-star prospect, Sandifer committed to Florida over Alabama and South Carolina, announcing his decision on his Twitter account at 7:30 p.m.

“I am proud to say that next year I will be playing at the University of Florida. #GatorNation,” he wrote.

Sandifer visited Gainesville, Florida, for the Gators’ Friday Night Lights camp on July 25 but did not participate in the workout. Instead, he chatted with the coaches, players and other prospects before heading up to see what the Gamecocks had to offer in Columbia, South Carolina, that Saturday.

Originally prepared to make a decision after those visits, Sandifer instead pushed back his commitment date. In the end, UF was the choice with offensive line coach Mike Summers playing a major role in pulling in the big prospect.

Sandifer is now the 11th member of Florida’s 2015 recruiting class and either the third or fourth offensive lineman commit depending where three-star Mike Horton (Atlanta, GA) lines up once practice begins.

Only four of the Gators’ 11 verbal commitments are from the state of Florida; all are three-star prospects. UF’s other seven pledges hail from Georgia (three), Ohio (two), California (one) and Louisiana (one).

Four Gators commitments are rated as four-star prospects with the other seven listed as three-star athletes. Florida does not have a prospect rated above three stars from within its home state.

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Four-star Adonis Thomas picks Gators over Tide

The Florida Gators recruiting roller coaster reached another peak on Friday when four-star linebacker Adonis Thomas (Lawrenceville, GA) became the program’s 10th verbal commitment of the 2015 cycle.

Thomas (6-foot-3, 219 pounds), a unanimous four-star prospect and the No. 63 overall player in the nation per ESPN, chose Florida over Alabama during a ceremony at Central Gwinnett High School. Notre Dame was a semi-finalist for his services.

The Gators first offered Thomas back on Nov. 23, 2013. He visited Florida’s campus three times since, attending Junior Day on Feb. 1, stopping by unofficially on March 29 and spending three days in Gainesville, Florida, starting June 9.


Since losing four commitments in a 10-day span in July, the Gators have filled each slot, adding pledges from four-star offensive lineman George Brown, Jr. (Cincinnati, OH) on July 25, three-star wide receiver Kalif Jackson (Neptune Beach, FL) on July 29 and three-star OL Mike Horton (Atlanta, GA) on July 31.

Florida also gained a pledge from four-star Jerome Baker (Cleveland, OH) on July 11, giving the Gators a pair of big-time linebackers in their 2015 class.

The additions of Thomas and Baker are especially important for Florida, which did not sign a linebacker during the 2014 recruiting cycle.

Thomas’s commitment was first reported by Woody Wommack of Rivals.com.

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