Is Urban Meyer losing 5-star commit Matt Elam?

By Adam Silverstein
October 2, 2009

One of head coach Urban Meyer’s first (and easily his biggest) commitment for the 2010 Florida Gators recruiting cycle is 5-star athlete Matt Elam from Dwyer High School in West Palm Beach, FL.

Having recruited and coached Elam’s old brother Abram while with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Meyer grabbing Matt’s commitment was a no-brainer. And while he remains committed the Gators, some of Elam’s recent statements should concern Gator Nation.

After visiting the West Virginia Mountaineers last week, Elam came back praising the program, saying it really opened his eyes as to what else was out there aside from Florida. Elam claimed he was simply doing his due diligence by taking all of his visits, but when pressed by the Palm Beach Post about where he would sign if he was forced to right now, he changed his tune.

“Probably West Virginia,” he said. “It’s crazy, huh? That’s how it is.”

On top of that, Elam said he does not plan to take an official visit to UF because he has already experienced Gainesville and what the school has to offer.

Having previously said he was “locked in” to Florida and it was “where I want to be,” Elam is not ready to completely change his mind just yet.

“I don’t want to de-commit and cause a lot of trouble,” he told the Post, “so I’m going to stay there, stay committed, but I’m going to look around.”

Prior to the 2009 season, before Meyer squashed rumors of him potentially leaving Florida at some point to return to Notre Dame, Elam said that was his only concern about becoming a Gator.

“Nothing could persuade me [to de-commit from Florida],” Elam said. “I won’t change unless the coach changes.”

In the end, could it simply be opportunity and playing time that are causing Elam to question his dedication to the Gators?

“There’s a lot of places that I could get a better opportunity than Florida,” Elam said. “I’m not going to run away from Florida because of competition, but I don’t want to wait. I feel I shouldn’t have to wait. I just want to go in and play. I don’t want to have to beat out four or five people. I know I’m going to have to compete wherever I go, but Florida probably has the biggest depth in college football.”

One must wonder if simply the threat of competition can outweighs a promise and family history as strong as Elam’s with Meyer.

“I promised Coach Meyer I was going to his school,” Elam said. “Me and his relationship is very strong. That’s one reason why I won’t leave Florida.”

We’ll see.

Photo Credit: Jim Rassol, Sun-Sentinel


  1. Brett Parent says:

    eff. only negative to signing Will Hill.

  2. This kid is a can’t-miss, in my opinion. We cannot lose out on him. Meyer needs to show him the commitment he wants and promise him playing time similar to what he has done with Will Hill.

  3. Daniel M. says:

    It’s that pesky question mark headline rearing it’s ugly head.

    No way Elam de-commits.

    (fingers AND toes crossed)

  4. I think they should do away with “commits” until these kids sign on the dotted line it means nothing.

  5. ReptilesRule says:

    I think Matt is just a little confused and overwhelmed right now. I feel cofident he will end up a Gator when all is said and done. Urban has NO PROBLEM putting TRUE freshmen on the field, already eight have played this season and it would have been nine with Andre Debose healthy. I DO love guys like Jelani Jenkins, not afraid to compete and will be a star in the Swamp in seasons to come. Jon Bostic is gonna be something, already is. And I’m telling you, better look out for Dee Finley too, I saw him laying some serious wood at the end of that Kentucky game…

  6. If he doesn’t come then we will get another one. That is how the program is working…these “kids” all want to play and be assured…but you get playing time at West Virginia and you also get to play on a sub-par team for your career. Don’t get me wrong we need to keep getting kids that are as talented as this one but we need kids like Bostic and Jenkins that just came in with the attitude….”I want to go to the best school and compete with the best”…that’s the kind of attitude we need on our team…not one that feels entitled to play because they are good.

    I don’t even blame the kid…but he’s never been told no or that he can’t do anything when it comes to sports…all he’s ever heard is…that he is the greatest.

  7. Gatormiami says:

    Going to WV or elsewhere would be a big mistake for this kid & others like him. UF has the best of everything …facilities, coaches ,education, etc. He’ll see when a dozen Gators sign with the NFL after this year.

    Some would prefer to be a big fish in a small pond rather than that same fish in a big pond with more competition, assured to start no matter what. Problem is…. the lack of competition results in the lack of drive, necessary to reach and be successful at the next level.

    That’s what you need to think about Matt.

  8. Gatormiami says:

    Besides, It’s damn cold up there!

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