Meyer’s decision stuns Gators 2010 recruits

By Adam Silverstein
December 27, 2009

Aside from having to hire a new head coach after Urban Meyer‘s shocking resignation, one of the most immediate issues facing the Florida Gators football program in 2010 is retaining recruits from one of the top incoming classes in the country. With 20 recruits currently verbally committed to the Gators and plenty more considering their commitment one way or another, losing Meyer will almost certainly a blow to the team’s recruiting – how big of a blow is yet to be determined. Numerous sources including Rivals, GatorCountry, the Palm Beach Post, the Orlando Sentinel, the Gainesville Sun and the Sporting News have spoken with these recruits over the past few hours, and OGGOA has compiled some information on where each of them stand.

Because the list is so long, it is best to view it after the jump!!!

Five-star safety Matt Elam (Palm Beach Gardens, FL):
“Matt’s a guy I thought would flip off the deep end because of his relationship with Coach Meyer, but he was calm,” Dwyer High School coach Jack Daniels said. “He said he didn’t know what he would do.” Elam’s mom told SN that he was “in a daze.” UPDATE: After Meyer’s announcement on Sunday, Daniels told the Palm Beach Post that Elam will stay in school for an extra semester in order to mull his decision over rather than enrolling early like he originally planned. Elam is also a star on the basketball team and will likely play in the spring. He has been very upset the past few days. Spending Sunday with Elam at the Miami Dolphins game, Daniels said: “Matt wouldn’t even say a word. That’s how upset and frustrated he was.”

Four-star tight end Gerald Christian (Palm Beach Gardens, FL):
“It was shocking,” Christian said. “[Other schools are calling me and] telling me I still have my options open and they’d like me to come to their school. It’s made me reconsider what I’m going to do. I think they’re going to lose a lot of [commitments]. Everybody’s gone now. It could look totally different.” Christian added that Miami, Florida State and Georgia have already contacted him. UPDATE: Christian has told the Palm Beach Post that he will remain committed. He spoke to Meyer Saturday evening and promised he would stay whether or not he was coach. “I still felt good about it, but this just makes me even more sure that I still like the school,” Christian said.

Four-star cornerback Joshua Shaw (Palmdale, CA):
Sent “I’m still a Gator!!” text message to Rivals.

Three-star CB Robert Clark (Palm Beach Gardens, FL):
“Stuff [is getting] real fishy…but everything happen[s] for a reason…Urban Meyer gone…” is what Clark told his facebook friends, also mentioning to Christian that “we have to re-look.” Coach Daniels said that because he just committed to the Gators, “he doesn’t know what to do” at this point. “It’s kind of crazy because I was committed to West Virginia, the same thing happened at West Virginia, and then I committed to Florida and now the same thing happened at Florida,” Clark told Rivals. “It makes the decision even harder. I’m supposed to be leaving to go to school but now it’s something to consider.” Clark told the Palm Beach Post that he will also stay at Dwyer another semester but is likely to stick with Florida.

Four-star defensive back Demar Dorsey (Lauderdale Lakes, FL):
“It was pretty unexpected,” Dorsey told Rivals. “I didn’t understand a couple of the coaching changes with coach Gonzales and then coach Strong and now this. It had everybody shocked. My commitment moving forward, I’m still committed to the University of Florida so that didn’t change my decision to de-commit or anything but it opened my eyes up and I have to look around a little bit more.” Dorsey, however, said he will visit Tennessee, Oregon and West Virginia in January and considers them all as options moving forward.

Three-star quarterback Trey Burton (Venice, FL):
“I’m not panicking or anything like that,” Burton told SN. “There’s no need right now to say you’re not going to stay committed to Florida. You never know who will get the job, and coach Meyer isn’t going away, he’s going to be up there in Gainesville. Everybody needs to take it slowly and don’t listen to everything in the media and on ESPN and all that. Call me first. Call a coach.” Burton has already contacted a number of his hopefully future teammates in order to calm their fears and reaffirm their commitments.

Four-star running back Mack Brown (Lithonia, GA):
Remains committed and was contacted by RB coach Kenny Carter. “I’m in shock right now because coach Meyer recruited me himself,” he told the Gainesville Sun. “Right now, I’m solid to Florida, I’m just waiting until they get the next coach there.” Brown said he has already been contacted by Florida State. UPDATE: I am a Gator,” Brown told ESPN on Monday. “I just wanted to make sure that the coaching staff is stable.”

Four-star cornerback Cody Riggs (Fort Lauderdale, FL):
Told Burton he was still committed; told Rivals that he will “hold his commitment.” “Of course everybody wants coach Strong or coach Mullen,” Riggs said. “I’m just hoping they hire someone big or someone within the staff. Any one of those would be fine.” UPDATE: On Sunday, Riggs said he was relieved.

Four-star offensive lineman Ian Silberman (Fleming Island, FL):
Told Burton and Watkins (see below) that he was still committed. Told SN he needed more time before he could say something publicly about his decision. UPDATE: Now he feels relieved that head coach Urban Meyer is taking a leave of absence rather than resigning. “It’s great,” Silberman told Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel. “It’s definitely something that he needs to do for himself and for his family…it’s understandable. Knowing that [offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Steve] Addazio is stepping up is great…way better than some random guy coming in who nobody knows. I love Coach Addazio. I imagine it will be great for the players there right now, knowing that someone they know will be in charge. It will probably be the same without [Meyer].”

Three-star defensive back Gideon Ajagbe (Coconut Grove, FL):
“I’m kind of shocked, but I heard coach Meyer has been sick for a couple of months and definitely after the SEC game and stuff,” Ajagbe told SN. “He hasn’t been feeling well and this is the best thing for him and his family. His health is more important than football. He talked to me last week and asked me if I was ready to roll and ready to come to Florida. He asked me if I was still solid and I told him 100 percent. He said he couldn’t wait for me to come up for an official visit and get on campus again. I still want to go there. I’m still 100 percent.”

Four-star wide receiver Quinton Dunbar (Miami, FL):
Is staying committed to Florida “unless it hires a run-first coach” according to Rivals. “I don’t want a head coach that just comes in and runs the option and doesn’t pass. Of course, that would change it,” Dunbar said. I’m a Gator. But if the coach comes in and runs that style of offense, the only way it’s going to change if he runs the option and doesn’t pass. I’m still committed. Just because the coach is gone doesn’t mean I’m going to be gone. I’m still committed to the Gators.” He told the Gainesville Sun, “It’s so shocking, but I guess he made a choice best for him. I’m still a Gator – 100 percent.”

Four-star defensive end Lynden Trail (Miami, FL):
Remains committed but will take visits in January. Said he “respects” Meyer’s decision and added, “If you ain’t a Gator, you’re Gator bait.” “For anybody to jump ship and decommit that’s foolish,” he told the Gainesville Sun. “In the first place, you shouldn’t have committed to a coach. You should commit because that’s your favorite school and that’s where you wanna be for four years. That’s why I decided to commit to the Gators – I love the program and I love the atmosphere and I love the city of Gainesville. That’s where I want to be for the next four or five years.”

Four-star cornerback Jaylen Watkins (Cape Coral, FL):
Still committed to the Gators and was told by cornerbacks coach Vance Bedford that he’s planning to remain with the team and that “the program will be the same.” “I heard that [Meyer left because] it was a health issue,” he told the Gainesville Sun, “so I just pray to God that he’s all right and that it’s not that serious. I’m pretty sure that what he left at the University of Florida rubbed off on the other coaches, so I’m going to stick with Florida.”

Four-star wide receiver Solomon Patton (Mobile, AL):
Will keep his commitment, according to Watkins.

Five-star offensive tackle recruit Seantrel Henderson (St. Paul, MN):
Still choosing between a number of schools including Florida, he has become confused with the recent news. His father Sean spoke to ESPN about it. “As far as Seantrel is concerned, we have to look at it like there is a big chance [Meyer] is not going to be [at Florida]. We are going to take every second it takes to make the best decision possible.”

Five-star outside linebacker recruit Jordan Hicks (West Chester, OH):
Also still deciding, Hicks will choose between the Gators and Texas Longhorns. He was surprised at both of Meyer’s announcements and is/was expecting an early January in-home visit from Meyer. Some believe UF’s chances have been “crushed.”

Four-star athlete recruit Christian Green (Tampa, FL):
Florida remains one of his leaders, and he will visit the school on Jan. 16.

Four-star WR recruit Chris Dunkley (Pahokee, FL):
“Feels comfortable this time about the situation but still wants to see how things develop with Coach Meyer’s condition,” Rivals reports. Dunkley and Meyer are very close – he is expected to announce his decision on Jan. 2 but has been considered a heavy Gators lean for some time.


  1. Andrew Monk says:

    Your are the man, I love your pieces… You are keeping my calm and collected in this depressing time. I would love to keep getting updates about the recruits commitments related to Urban leaving and the new Head Coach.

  2. Miamigator says:

    Most of the committed recruits will probably sign as long as a replacement(like Mullen) is named soon. The problem lies with non-committed recruits which were considering Florida, such as the California guys. They may go elsewhere. Meyer needs to play a significant role if he intends to remain at UF in some capacity. Get on the phone Urban!

  3. Thomas says:

    We need to hire for the long term … not this recruiting class. We made that mistake with the Zook hire. We worried about losing Leak … instead we lost a lot of games.

    If we can hire someone who can keep the recruits AND be the best fit for our program, fine. Otherwise, I’d rather take a hit this year than over the next 3.

  4. Gatorfan33 says:

    I agree with Thomas. We don’t need to make a snap decision on our new HC just to salvage a recruiting class but we can salvage a large portion of this recruiting class if the right coach is hired in a timely manor.

  5. Uncle Sil says:

    Meyer rethinking decision?

  6. bellamor_3 says:

    maybe I’m missing something obvious, but what does “after the jump” mean?
    “Because the list is so long, it is best to view it after the jump!!!”
    I’ve seen it in a few articles, and still don’t understand.

    Nice to get info. on them though. I bet it’s hard for Meyer, after working so hard (and, apparently, putting his health at risk) to get these guys to commit, to now have them wavering in their decisions… But the players have to think about what’s best for their careers. Meyer is an amazing coach. If he isn’t going to be there, or won’t be up to what he’s been doing in the past, they have to think about what effect that will have on their college career and potential NFL career.

  7. Sure, I’ll explain. When a blog post is long or the writer decides to only show a certain portion of it on the front page, he/she will often tell you to read the rest “after the jump.” The “jump” refers to clicking the link to “jump” to the remainder of the article. Often times, an advertisement or other information may be between the first portion and the rest, implying that you would “jump over” that material.

  8. Mr2Bits says:

    So just read that Elam is staying through Spring because of all of this and wont enroll early? Glad to see he has started his bullshitting early in his career and is using Meyer as his scapegoat.

    Lets be real, he failed to qualify for early graduation and his HS is forcing him to stay through Spring. Because of his academics, he won’t be able to enroll early but saw this as a nice window of opportunity. Guessing he though he could blame it on Meyer and everyone would be none the wiser? This kid is really starting to piss me off!

  9. Yes, posted that above. This thread is being updated constantly.

    Elam passed and was ready to enroll in the spring. He qualified academically but has decided to stay because of the entire situation with Meyer and feeling betrayed. There is nothing to assume or speculate about in regard to his grades or eligibility – he was ready to go.

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