2014 OT Benjamin Knox decommits from Florida

In a move that seemed to be in the works for months, three-star 2014 offensive tackle Benjamin Knox (Deland, FL) officially announced Tuesday evening that he has decommitted from the Florida Gators.

A three-star prospect according to Rivals who is listed as a four-star player and the No. 269 player in the country by ESPN, Knox originally committed to Florida during the program’s first Junior Day of 2013 on Feb. 16.

“At this very moment I am decommitting,” he told InsidetheGators.com’s Blake Alderman ($) in a text message. “Reason why [is] because I haven’t heard from them in a month.”

Knox is the fifth 2014 prospect to pledge and decommit from the Gators this recruiting cycle and the second who originally committed on Feb. 16. Florida also lost a pledge from four-star linebacker Christian Miller (Columbia, SC), the 58th ranked player in the nation, on May 17.

The other three former commitments no longer a part of UF’s 2014 recruiting class include the program’s first pledge of the cycle – Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, FL) – and a pair of four-star defensive tackles in Anthony Moten (Fort Lauderdale, FL) and Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, FL).

Knox says Louisville leads for his services. Miller (Alabama), Bronson (South Florida) and Valentine (Miami) have since committed elsewhere while Moten remain undecided.

The Gators are down to 14 commitments for 2014 including seven members of the Rivals250 and nine four-star prospects. Check out the updated class by clicking here.

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WR Phillips becomes Gators’ first 2015 commit

Though the Florida Gators have already made a great start on their 2016 recruiting class with a pair of talented prospects in the fold, head coach Will Muschamp had not yet secured a 2015 player when his program’s annual recruiting showcase, Friday Night Lights, began on Friday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL.

That was no longer the case by the time the night was over as wide receiver Da’Vante Phillips (Miami, FL) decided make a verbal commitment to the Gators.

Phillips (6-foot-1, 189-pounds) had long been considering committing to Florida and received plenty of help along the way from a current pledge. His Miami Central High School teammate, 2014 four-star running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL), has been in his ear constantly trying to convince Phillips to join him in college.

“[Cook] has always told me that he wants me to be a Gator, but he knew it was my decision,” Phillips told InsidetheGators.com‘s Blake Alderman ($). “He never pressured me. He would talk to me about Florida everyday. I am with him most of the time and he always talked about them.”

Cook, ranked 24th in the nation by Rivals, is the Gators’ highest ranked commitment.

Phillips, who chose Florida over offers from Alabama, Florida State, Miami and Tennessee (among others), will likely be rated as a four-star prospect when Rivals‘ first 2015 rankings are officially released. ESPN already has him ranked as a four-star prospect and the No. 11 overall player in the class of 2015 (No. 1 pass catcher).

It is the third-straight recruiting cycle that the Gators’ first commitment has been from a wide receiver. Four-star Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, FL) joined Florida’s 2014 recruiting class on June 14, 2012, but parted ways with UF on May 21. On June 20, the Gators locked up Tyler Byrd (Naples, FL) as the first member of their 2016 class.

Phillips is Florida’s fourth pledge in the last three days.

2014 three-star offensive/defensive tackle Dontae Angus (Philadelphia, PA) committed Wednesday night, 2014 defensive end Justus Reed (Clearwater, FL) made his intentions known on Thursday, and cornerback Tre Jackson became the second member of UF’s 2016 class earlier on Friday.

Check out the Gators’ updated 2014-16 recruiting classes by clicking here.

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Florida’s first 2014 commit, WR Bronson, splits

Over 11 months ago, four-star wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, FL) became the first 2014 prospect to commit to the Florida Gators. On Tuesday, Bronson decided to rescind his pledge and reopen his recruitment, becoming the second prospect to part ways with Florida in the last five days.

Bronson (6’3”, 182 lbs.), ranked No. 125 overall on the newest Rivals250 released Tuesday, first committed to the Gators on June 14, 2012, after visiting Florida and participating in a football camp.

He committed to the Gators nearly 19 months before his National Signing Day, choosing Florida at the time over Auburn, Florida State and South Carolina, among others.

“I wanted to lock it in and get it all out of the way,” he told InsidetheGators.com last June. “I didn’t want to have the stress of recruiting on me.”

Bronson joins four-star linebacker Christian Miller (Jacksonville, FL) on the decommitment list. Miller, a Rivals100 prospect, backed off from his pledge on Friday but maintained that the Gators remain in the mix for his services.

Bronson, whose decision was first reported by Michael Langston of Rivals, spoke about the situation Tuesday afternoon. ITG‘s Blake Alderman notes that Bronson splitting ways with UF was “a mutual decision by both parties.” ($)

“My recruitment is officially open I’m not committed to university of Florida any more,” he wrote on Twitter. “Uf is not out of the.picture tho,” he added.

Florida is down to seven 2014 commitments including two offensive playmakers – four-stars running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, FL) and quarterback Will Grier (Davidson, NC). Cook (No. 24) and Grier (No. 29) are both ranked in the new Rivals100.

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Florida adds four-star LB Christian Miller for 2014

Four-star linebacker Christian Miller (Columbia, SC), a member of the Rivals100 for the 2014 recruiting cycle, became the third player to commit to the Florida Gators at Junior Day in Gainesville, FL on Saturday.

Miller, who registered 14 sacks during his junior campaign at Spring Valley High School, joined offensive linemen Travaris Dorsey (Jacksonville, FL) and Benjamin Knox (Deland, FL) as the newest members of Florida’s recruiting class. The Gators now have six pledges for 2014 with Miller on board as just the second defensive player.

The son of former South Carolina starter and nine-year NFL veteran LB Corey Miller, he undoubtedly took his father’s advice when making his pledge. The older Miller was coached by new Florida defensive line coach Brad Lawing when both were at USC.

The Gators gained and lost a Rivals100 member on Saturday. Prior to adding Miller (ranked No. 91 overall), Florida lost four-star defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, FL). The No. 46-ranked prospect decommitted from the Gators in order to open up his recruitment, a move that was expected and certainly not a surprise.

Florida’s other 2014 pledges include four-star quarterback Will Grier (Davidson, NC), four-star wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, FL) and four-star cornerback Duke Dawson (Cross City, FL). All three are ranked on the Rivals250 at No. 18, No. 119 and No. 219, respectively.

Miller’s commitment was first reported by ESPN‘s Kipp Adams.

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Four-star 2014 DB Duke Dawson picks Florida

Not all recruitments are filled with back-and-forth battles and down-to-the-wire decisions, which is why it was relatively easy process for long-time lean and four-star 2014 defensive back Duke Dawson (Cross City, FL) to pull the trigger and commit to the Florida Gators on Tuesday.

Just 51 miles west of the University of Florida at Dixie County High School, Dawson sat down in front of family, friends and media and announced his decision to become the fourth member of the Gators’ already stellar 2014 recruiting class.

He chose Florida over Florida State and joins four-stars wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, FL), defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, FL) and quarterback Will Grier (Davidson, NC) as prospects that have already decided to continue their football careers in Gainesville, FL.

Dawson, the cousin of Gators four-star 2013 DB pledge Marcell Harris (Orlando, FL), is the fourth member of the Rivals250 Watch List to commit to Florida. He is widely considered one of the best defensive backs in the 2014 class.

He told InsidetheGators.com‘s Blake Alderman on Monday ($) that the attention paid to him by the coaching staff and the ability to play early on in his career are what had him leaning towards the Gators.

“With Florida, I talk to them all the time. They have showed me love ever since the first time I went to their camp [over the summer], and they have five defensive backs leaving the year before I would come in so there’s opportunity,” he said.

Though his commitment is solid, Dawson will take recruiting visits as he still has a full year until he signs his National Letter of Intent.

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DT Valentine is Gators’ second 2014 pledge

Nearly done with their 2013 recruiting class, the Florida Gators received their second 2014 commitment on Sunday when defensive tackle Travonte Valentine (Palm Bay, FL) gave a verbal pledge to head coach Will Muschamp.

Valentine, despite previously being committed to Louisville and more recently having a top three of Alabama, Auburn and Florida according to Rivals’ Chris Nee, decommitted on July 15 and claimed five days later that Florida State was his new leader after spending three days on campus. He quickly changed that stance over the weekend after attending Friday Night Lights in Gainesville, FL.

“ITS OFFICIAL IM A GATOR I FEEL PROUD ABT IT TOOO #CHOMP CHOMP,” Valentine posted on Facebook though he had not yet spoken to Muschamp. Scout.com confirmed minutes later that he got in touch with Muschamp, who accepted his commitment.

Valentine is the second 2014 player to commit to the Gators; wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, FL) became the team’s first pledge on June 14. Both are expected to be at least four-star prospects when rankings are released.

He is the fourth high school football player commit to Florida in as many days following in the footsteps of 2013 five-star defensive back Vernon Hargreaves (Tampa, FL) on Thursday, three-star defensive end Antonio Riles (Lawrenceville, GA) on Friday and four-star defensive end Jordan Sherit (Tampa, FL) on Saturday.

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WR Bronson becomes Gators’ first 2014 commit

Wide receiver Ryeshene Bronson (Fort Myers, FL), a junior from Dunbar High School, has become the first member of the Florida Gators’ 2014 recruiting class after committing to the program on Thursday, according to Rivals.com‘s Michael Langston.

The cousin of Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, Bronson (6’3″ 182 lbs.) decided to commit to Florida early despite also having offers from Auburn, Florida State and South Carolina as well as interest from a number of other schools.

“I can play in any offense. As long as I can block and help the team do whatever to get to the national championship, I’m there,” he told Rivals ($) in May when asked to describe his game. “Basically, I stretch the field. I’m an all-around receiver, get a lot of yards after catch. I block. Mainly, I block. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind; then, get the ball. I’m always there for my team. I’ve never been selfish. I appreciate my line more than skill players. Without those linemen, we [are] nothing. I’m determined to go to the NFL one day. I want to support my mom and make my mom proud of me.”

Bronson only played in four games as a sophomore but caught 21 passes for 483 yards and five touchdowns in those appearances. He missed six contests due to injury.

Rivals’ Chris Nee evaluated Bronson last month ($) at the Rivals/VTO Sports Florida Elite 100 camp, where he was named the top underclassmen at the event:

Bronson’s ceiling is extremely high at the wide receiver spot. He didn’t blow the doors off during Sunday’s event but showed flashes of why people think he can be a special player in the 2014 class. He is a tall, lanky wide receiver at 6-foot-3, 175-pounds. He showed the ability to get off the line quickly and put defenders behind him when they pressed. He also has the ability to go up and win the ball in the air.

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