Florida loses pledge from LB Quinton Powell

Just one day after four-star linebacker Matt Rolin (Ashburn, VA) committed to play for the Florida Gators in 2013, fellow four-star LB Quinton Powell (Daytona Beach, FL) chose to rescind his pledge and officially reopen his recruitment.

“Yes I Decommited from Florida,” Powell wrote Monday on Facebook, “nothing against the program just needed to re-evaluate my choices.”

One of the earliest members of Florida’s 2013 class, Powell was one of six players to commit to the program on Feb. 18 at Junior Day in Gainesville, FL.

At the time, he picked the Gators over Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Ohio State and South Carolina. He is now considering USC, Miami and Oregon, according to FOX Sports NEXT reporter Amy Campbell, who first confirmed his decision.

Considered the 207th best player in the country by Rivals and ranked 80th nationally by ESPN, Powell had just visited Florida last weekend and reportedly came away from his visit quite pleased with his experience.

Whether Rolin’s commitment has anything to do with Powell’s decision remains to be seen. Either way, the Gators’ impressive linebacker class – which featured a four-pack of four-star players – has certainly taken a hit for the time being.

Three of the six players that committed to Florida on Feb. 18 – Powell, four-star wide receiver Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, FL) and three-star LB Dillan Lawson (Crestview, FL) – have since withdrawn their pledges.

The Gators added three commitments on Sunday but now have 24 total pledges including 23 that count as members of the 2013 recruiting class.

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Gators add 2013 commit in four-star WR Bailey

Despite feeling perturbed that the Florida Gators did not offer him earlier in the process, four-star wide receiver Alvin Bailey (Seffner, FL) committed to the program on Saturday evening after the team’s first game of the 2012 season.

Choosing Florida over Central Florida and Notre Dame, Bailey is now the 19th member of the Gators’ 2013 recruiting class. He takes the spot of four-star WR Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, FL), who parted ways with the Gators last month.

His decision does not come as much of a surprise mostly because it was well known that Bailey always wanted to play for Florida and had simply been waiting for an offer from the coaching staff. Some recruiting analysts believed he was still leaning towards attending UCF, but the player put that thought to rest on Saturday.

Bailey, a member of both the Rivals100 (No. 93) and ESPN 150 (No. 69), was teammates last season with current Gators freshman running back Matt Jones at Armwood High School. Jones played his first game with Florida on Satuday, seeing action as a reserve and carrying the ball three times for 17 yards.

He is the fourth pass catcher to make a pledge for the Gators in 2013, joining four-star Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL) and three-stars Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, GA) and Chris Thompson (Gainesville, FL).

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Adams, Outlaw are fourth, fifth Gators decommits

The Florida Gators lost a pair of 2013 pledges this week, learning that four-star wide receiver Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, FL) and three-star offensive lineman Joshua Outlaw (Lithonia, GA) decided to decommit from the program.

Adams, who was shaken at the departure of wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill in early August and claimed that he was going to open up his recruitment, had previously been put on notice by the Florida coaching staff as it was growing increasingly unlikely that he would be able to qualify academically.

He also learned early this week that doctors found what they believe to be a hole in his heart. Adams, who decommitted on Wednesday, is not expected to be able to play football for the foreseeable future but is holding out hope that he will not have to stay off of the gridiron longer than the duration of his senior year of high school.

Outlaw, on the other hand, had not reportedly been wavering previously but told ESPN‘s Kipp Adams on Sunday that he has decided to no longer be committed to Florida.

The Gators have now had four players decommit for various reasons in the last nine days. Three-star defensive back Tre Bell (Jersey City, NJ) committed in early April but switched his pledge to Vanderbilt on Aug. 11, and three-star OL Roderick Johnson (Delray Beach, FL) pulled the trigger on Aug. 13.

Florida at one time had four offensive line commitments but is now down to just a pair – three-star Cameron Dillard (Canton, MI) and Octavius Jackson (Moultrie, GA).

ESPN notes that three of UF’s five decommitments – three-star linebacker Dillan Lawson (Crestview, FL), Bell and Adams – were spurned by the Gators, though the offensive line pledges who changed their minds did so completely on their own. Florida now has just 18 players committed for 2013 after having as many as 22 at one point.

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OL Johnson also moves on from Florida

It was just two weeks ago when the Florida Gators football program nabbed five commitments in as many days (as well as a sixth three days later). After reaching 22 verbal pledges in early August, the team has lost a pair of three-star prospects over the past two days as offensive lineman Roderick Johnson (Delray Beach, FL) joined cornerback Tre Bell (Jersey City, NJ) in decommitting from the Gators.

Johnson, who hinted at his potential decommitment after wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill resigned, told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Monday that he was going to pull the trigger only to backtrack and claim that he had not decided to decommit from Florida.

Now Johnson has followed through with the split that was reportedly a long time coming.

According to InsidetheGators.com ($), he was one of two players – the other being four-star wide receiver Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, FL) – who had previously been put “on notice” by the coaching staff because of their academic standings.

Both players made headlines following Hill’s resignation when they voiced their displeasure with his departure and as a result decided to open up the recruiting process.

Though Adams, as of press time, remains committed to the UF but could sever the relationship at any time, Bell switched his pledge to Vanderbilt on Saturday and Johnson may wind up with West Virginia, which has come on strong for both him and Adams.

The Gators also lost a commitment from three-star linebacker Dillan Lawson (Crestview, FL) on July 19 likely due to similar circumstances.

Florida’s 2013 recruiting class remains strong with 20 members including many of the highest-rated offensive and defensive players from within the state. The Gators are expected to have space for five more players and will have six months to fill those slots.

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2013 CB Tre Bell winds up with Vanderbilt

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.

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Five in five: WR Thompson snags spot at Florida

Head coach Will Muschamp’s recruiting classes grew by a member for the fifth-straight day when two/three-star wide receiver Chris Thompson (Gainesville, FL) accepted his scholarship offer and committed to the Florida Gators.

A local product who has badly wanted to play for the Gators for quite some time, Thompson is considered an underrated but talented recruit who may be a projectbut has blazing fast speed (4.37-second 40-yard dash) and an extremely high ceiling.

He attended Florida’s Friday Night Lights camp last week and turned heads with his performance; so much so that it gave Muschamp and offensive coordinator Brent Pease reason to make his dream come true and offer him a scholarship on Monday.

Thompson is ranked as a two-star prospect by Rivals and three-star recruit by ESPN. His only previous notable offers were from Florida Atlantic, Marshall, UMass and Utah.

He is the fourth wide receiver to commit to UF this recruiting cycle, joining four-stars Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL) and Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, FL) and three-star Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, GA).

The Gators now have 21 commitments for 2013 including 10 on the offensive side of the ball. Thompson is the 15th member of his class from the state of Florida and fourth to commit to UF for the 2013 season since Thursday.

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Nine Gators placed in second Rivals250 for 2013

Released Wednesday afternoon, the second edition of the Rivals250 for the class of 2013 is filled with players verbally committed to play for the Florida Gators next season. Though four Florida commits are part of the top 100 players in the group, five more are listed among the top 250 recruits in the nation.

Below is a breakdown of where the Gators’ commits are ranked:

66 13 – LB Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, FL)
69 10 – WR Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL)
92 19 – RB Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, FL)
99 5 – DB Nick Washington (Jacksonville, FL)
109 27 – DT Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, FL)
174 17 – LB James Hearns (Tallahassee, FL)
225 * – LB Quinton Powell (Daytona Beach, FL)
242 8 – WR Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, FL)
250 * – DB Keanu Neal (Bushnell, FL)

* Added to list.

Florida’s 2013 commitments as of May 30, 2012:
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Marqui Hawkins is commitment No. 16 for Florida

Still nine months away from National Signing Day, the Florida Gators received the 16th commitment for their 2013 recruiting class on Monday after three-star wide receiver Marqui Hawkins (Columbus, GA) pledged to join the team next February.

Hawkins (6’2″ 190 lbs.), who plays wide receiver for Caver High School but could be moved to defensive back in college, was initially offered a scholarship by Florida head coach Will Muschamp in mid-February but was not yet ready to make his decision.

“Coach Muschamp said he woke up early [Saturday] morning to look at my film. He liked the way I could judge the ball, said I had decent speed, and that I can move body well to adjust to the ball. He likes that I can play both sides of the ball, so he offered me a scholarship,” Hawkins told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the time.

Ranked as the No. 42 player at his position by Rivals and listed as a four-star recruit and the No. 31 player at his position by ESPNU, Hawkins also has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson and Georgia among other schools.

He still plans to take his official visits but is firmly committed to UF “largely because the Gators recruited him to play on offense,” according to Rivals‘ Keith Niebuhr (who spoke to the player Monday night). “I knew the depth chart was low at receiver and I could come in and play early,” Hawkins said.

He is the third wide receiver to commit to Florida for 2013 joining four-star recruits Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL) and Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, FL).

Hawkins’s commitment was first reported by Gator Country.

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