Florida Gators’ 2018 class takes hit with loss of four-star DB commitment

By Adam Silverstein
July 5, 2017
Florida Gators’ 2018 class takes hit with loss of four-star DB commitment

Image Credit: ESPNI

The 2018 recruiting cycle has not been kind thus far to the Florida Gators, and Wednesday’s latest development puts Florida in an even tougher position with seven months to go until National Signing Day. The Gators lost a pledge from four-star defensive back C.J. Smith (West Palm Beach, FL), their second-highest rated commitment in the class.

“After talking it over with my family and coaches I feel like it would be in my best interest to de-commit from the University of Florida,” he wrote in an extended post on Twitter. “Also, I would like to thank coach Jim McElwain and his entire coaching staff for believing in me and my Athletic abilities. It’s nothing personal just business.#Blessed #Humble”

Smith, a safety, committed to Florida in March and was the team’s top verbal at the time of his pledge. He was also the first commitment for new Gators running backs coach Ja’Juan Seider, who served as Smith’s primary recruiter.

UF presently has just two four-star commitments among its seven-member Class of 2018, including safety Amari Burney (Clearwater, FL), the No. 113 player in the nation per the 247Sports Composite.

Florida’s class is ranked 56th nationally, 12th in the SEC and behind both in-state rivals Miami (No. 1) and Florida State (No. 13). The Gators have the third-fewest commitments in the SEC at this time (seven); eight have double-digit pledges, including LSU (21) and Tennessee (16).


  1. Mg says:

    When you combine the lack of QB development and no 5* players and few 4* players it is hard to see this program under mcelwain ever getting back in the national picture. I predict mcelwain is gone in 2 years.

    • B. Martin says:

      Mac has never been able to sufficiently recruit in this league. Without that, there is no need for high expectations.

    • DC Gator says:

      It’s hard to say that a team making the SEC Championship Game two years in a row isn’t in the national picture. Granted, we didn’t perform well in those games, we were still there. The fact that we were there at all was impressive. I don’t see the 2018 recruiting class issues as an indictment of Coach Mac. He closes out recruitment strong. Also, we have a lot of young players starting and a good 2017 class coming in. Not to mention the number one class as it stands now for 2019. I think players who are looking to come in and play early are looking at 2018 as an off year as we’re set to make a big jump in 2019. Leaving a small window for players enrolling in 2018 to find their footing. Coach will find the right types of players that want to be here and embrace the challenge of competing against strong competition instead of going to a school where they can start right away. Decommitments in July happens. I thought it was interesting that a player of his caliber committed so early anyway.

      • 1974Gator says:

        McElwain will be fine. All you trollers (yeah I’m talking to you mealy mouth bandwagon Gators too) wish you had his resources and up-side potential. I think this de-commit is an indictment of the lack of quality adult influence the boy has in his life. You don’t make the statements he made in March and back-out at any time after! I’m betting there are people blowing smoke up this kid’s butt and filling his head full of bad advice. Now going forward his word will always be suspect whenever he gives it.

    • GATOR-6 says:

      Sad to say it, but agree. The Gators seems to become more irrelevant each day, and if they don’t start winning like Gators are used to winning, they will be nothing more than “other” and can kiss recruiting good-by for years more.

  2. g8ter27 says:

    Relax> Auburn is 58 and Bama 48…doubt these rankings hold.

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