Last Tuesday, OGGOA broke the news that prized Florida Gators recruit, five-star safety/athlete Matt Elam of Dwyer, had reaffirmed his commitment to the University of Florida. This revelation came following a two hour conversation he had with head coach Urban Meyer, who reassured Elam of his ability to earn playing time as a freshman and be an impactful member of the Florida secondary from the day he steps foot on campus, regardless of how many other players UF signs at his position. “I talked to my coach [Meyer] a little,” Elam said. “We talked about the safety situation and our relationship. I committed for a reason. I’m not going to back down. It’s all Florida.”
Prior to OGGOA‘s report, Elam had spoken publicly about being impressed by two visits he had taken recently to the West Virginia Mountaineers and Tennessee Volunteers. “At first I just wanted to take a look,” Elam said about his Tennessee visit. “But I saw things and talked to [defensive coordinator] Monte [Kiffin]. I saw how they used their safeties and they put them in a position to make plays. They do have a chance [to sign me].” Elam would later say that, while both visits opened his eyes as to what else was out there aside from Florida, he was simply doing his due diligence.
Apparently, Elam showing a shred of interest in the Vols has gotten head coach Lane Kiffin smelling blood in the water. Kiffin visited Dwyer today, “pressing [Elam] pretty hard” to change his mind and decommit from the Gators, according to a source close to the player. This source also told OGGOA that it believes Elam’s commitment to Florida and Meyer is firm, but relinquishes that “Kiffin is a hell of a salesman.”
Elam plans to graduate in the fall and enroll at UF in the spring in order to get a leg up on the 2010 season. From now until then, anything can happen. “This is just part of what [Elam] has to go through until February,” the source said.
…and while we are on the subject, I just came across an Orlando Sentinel article about Elam keeping the memory of his murdered siblings close to him. Very touching story and a must-read for anyone following Elam or Gators recruiting.