Gators lose four-star LB Shazier to Buckeyes

By Adam Silverstein
December 17, 2010

Four-star linebacker Ryan Shazier (Plantation, FL) decided to decommit from the Florida Gators early Friday while taking an official visit in Columbus, OH, only to commit to the Ohio State Buckeyes later that evening.

One of the country’s top-ranked linebackers and a top-five commitment for the Gators, Shazier had received offers from more than three dozen schools including almost every major program in the country but committed to Florida and head coach Urban Meyer in June. After Meyer resigned, Shazier decided to look around and was called on by Ohio State and the LSU Tigers.

Because he plans to be an early enrollee, Shazier had to make his decision now rather than later.

New head coach Will Muschamp had met with Shazier and expressed his interest in retaining him as one of the Gators’ recruits. With his reneging, Florida will only have one front seven defensive commitment left on board in four-star defensive end Clay Burton (Venice, FL). Four-star DE Jeoffrey Pagan (Asheville, NC), formerly the Gators No. 2 overall commit, decommitted in late Nov.

Photo Credit: Davide De Pas/ESPN


  1. Mr2Bits says:

    Very bad decision on his part. Our LB core is in desperate need and he could contribute immediately. Also playing for Muschamp would be a dream if I were on the defensive side.

  2. I wouldn’t say the LB corps is in desperate need…but you’re right about the rest. This is a mistake for him.

  3. Aligator says:

    Everything will be okay, we will have a good class and this will be a good place to start for next year.

  4. g8ter27 says:

    Yes Columbus in December is quite a fine place. Also, it is not too far to drive for mom and dad to come see him play every weekend. I am sure that is the right decision for him.

  5. Gatorfan316 says:

    It isn’t over until they have signed on the dotted line. Year in and year out we see kids commit, decommit, change his mind and commit again. This will just be more prevalent with UF’s class this year due to the coaching change and a lack of an OC and a DC for now.

  6. Gatorman says:

    I couldn’t agree more about that being a poor decision for shazier, given Muschamp’s defensive experience. Whatever, cream of the crop rise to the top

  7. npgator says:

    We must get Jernigan and Maggitt.

  8. Gatorbuc15 says:

    Well this sucks but this is bound to happen with a couple of our recruits right now. Like you all say we still have a great class coming in and until Shazier actually signs with OSU he could always come back. And again like you all say, this is really a bad decision by Shazier.

  9. cookengators says:

    Always going to be growing pains. You never know until signing day, but I’m sure ‘Champ will get someone just as good. Let’s not forget he can coach these guys up too, can’t wait to see what he does with Jenkins, Bostic, etc.

  10. npgator says:

    Glades Central Coach – Jesse Hester was fired today and I wonder if this affects Benjamin’s recruitment.

  11. ncgator says:

    Adam, any insight into Texas recruits that might change their minds and follow coach M to UF?

  12. Alex says:

    I really don’t blame ’em. Our coach has showed no sense of urgency in his search for coordinators, and the kids want to know who they’re signing up to play for. We need to get somebody signed on the dotted line soon or this could become a tough year for recruiting

  13. CH says:

    Someone should tell these recruits that decommitting just opens the door for others to sign. Muschamp has a choke hold on the state of texas – I’m sure several of those defensive players are intersted in florida now, so although Shazier is a stud and we’d love to have him, this gives WM a great sales pitch to a lot of studs committed to Texas right now.

  14. JW says:

    This wasn’t unexpected. Not that I’m any kind of recruiting guru but it felt like we had less than a 50% chance of retaining this young fellow after he decided to meet with Tressel. I swore I wouldn’t get sucked back into the recruting garbage after the Elam saga last year but here I am, checking the blogs and the ESPN updates every hour. Just out of curiosity, any of the site’s regular posters planning on hitting the UF/KSU game tomorrow? It’s nice for us South Florida folk to be able to drive down the block and see Billy and the boys live in person.

  15. Aligator says:

    I can promise you we will have the nastiest defenses around for years to come and believe you me, he will do all he can to find a great OC.

  16. Razzlegator says:

    Let’s not pull a Kiffin by raiding Texas’ recruits. If a kid doesn’t want to come to UF because Joe Blosnowski isn’t the coach, maybe he doesn’t belong at UF.

  17. MIAMI MAN says:


  18. g8ter27 says:

    Well maybe I am wrong on this one but the kid plays DE in HS and hasn’t even really played LB. He is just a bit over 200lbs and is fast..sounds like a Meyer guy true but I am not sold on him as an LB anyway. Also, these stars can be imporant….or not.f I recall Louis Murphy was a 3 starand he turned out pretty good and we had many 5 stars who never did anything.

  19. GG says:

    So he goes somewhere else. We have a bunch of 4 star LB’s that haven’t seen the field yet. I do think we need a staff asap. Maybe we have Kirby in the bag, thats why there is no rush??

  20. if that’s all it took for him to decommit i question his original commitment to ge a GATOR…….i’ll take a 3 star recruit with the heart and desire to be a GATOR over an ego maniac me-first 5 star prima-donna…..not that all 5 star dudes are ego nuts.

  21. Scooterp says:

    You think it’s easy to make this kind of decision? These guys spend 2 years listening to used car salesmen tell them how they should trust this or that coach and come play at Whatever University, because it will be a life changing experience. Through all the sales pitches they eventually find one or two that they feel comfortable enough with to entrust their next four years……… Then that coach leaves, blowing up most of his staff behind him. I can’t blame Shazier or Pagan for waffeling on this. I wish them both well and wish them much success.

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