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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WR Fulwood, OL Outlaw, DB Bell commit to Gators

The Florida Gators biggest win on Saturday did not necessarily occur during the 2012 Orange & Blue Debut but perhaps afterward as the team gained a trio of major commitments for the 2013 recruiting class from four-star wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, FL), three-star offensive lineman Josh Outlaw (Lithonia, GA) and three-star defensive back Tre Bell (Jersey City, NJ).

Fulwood, a Rivals100 and ESPNU 150 Watch List prospect, is considered one of the best players at his position in the country and one of the most talented overall in the state. Rivals ranks him as the No. 8 pass catcher in the nation, and he chose Florida over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and USC (among others).

Often noting that he is “comfortable” with the players and coaching staff in Gainesville, FL, Fulwood now joins close friend and four-star defensive back Nick Washington (Jacksonville, FL) on the team. Washington has been recruiting Fulwood heavily for quite some time and the duo have each been on campus a number of times for unofficial visits. At 6’4″ and 200 lbs., he gives UF the tall, athletic receiver that the team needs so dearly.

“I just felt comfortable doing it now,” Fulwood told Rivals’ Chris Nee about deciding to commit. “I kind of made up my mind a while ago but now was a good time to get it done. I just felt like part of the family every single time that I have come up here. […] I definitely feel like I can come in and help make plays. I saw them try to take some deeper shots today and they didn’t have it happen. I think I can come in and help in that regard. I think I am a bigger receiver that they want. I think that can be me making those big catches.”

Outlaw is the second three-star offensive lineman to commit to the Gators for 2013 but is also the team’s first out-of-state pledge. A former teammate of redshirt sophomore running back Mack Brown at Martin Luther King High School, Outlaw also picked Florida despite also having an impressive offer sheet including Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. He told Rivals last week that UF was his leader and that the coaches said he had a legitimate chance to play tackle with the team.

Bell is the third secondary player to commit to the Gators for 2013 and chose to do so on his first-ever visit to Florida. Though his offer sheet may not be considered as impressive as the others with Boise State, Connecticut, Houston, Michigan and Notre Dame as the notable schools speaking with him, Bell is a versatile talent that the coaching staff has obviously targeted and honed in on.

Two of Saturday’s three commitments come at positions of great need for Florida. The Gators only had two wide receivers and two offensive linemen commit during the 2012 recruiting cycle and now have a pair of players at each position (four-star WR Rodney Adams, three-star OL Roderick Johnson) pledged for 2013 with 10 months remaining. Bell is Florida’s third defensive back joining Washington and four-star Keanu Neal.

Adding Fulwood, Outlaw and Bell gives the Gators 14 total commitments including 12 from the state of Florida. UF now has approximately a dozen spots to fill from now until National Signing Day during the first week of February.

The three commitments were first reported by ESPN and The Gainesville Sun.

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