In a head scratching twist of fate, Miami (FL) Booker T. Washington wide receiver Antonio Callaway has eliminated the Florida Gators from his final three schools.
A one-time Gator lock, he grew up a Gator fan and had a great relationship with the former staff, he now says he will move on from the Gators.
That a former Gator lean is looking elsewhere isn’t what’s so surprising as that can be expected with a coaching change.
What is surprising is the reason.
The new staff apparently quit recruiting him.
“I barely hear from them,” Callaway said in an interview with Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald. “From the new staff, I haven’t even heard from them at all. Coach (Jim) McElwain will send me a picture of their old players. That’s the most I hear from them. I write them back and won’t get a response.”
If that’s the case, barring some wild misunderstanding, it has to qualify as one of the recruiting gaffes of the year.
Callaway (5-11 185) is a consensus four star athlete who can make plays in space. He’s got solid hands and good speed.
It’s no secret the Gators are in dire need of offensive playmakers particularly at the wide receiver position and Callaway has a skill set perfect for the type of offenses MacElwain and Nussmeier like to run.
Why they would simply quit talking to a player like that who wouldn’t take much convincing to get his signature is head scratching.
Perhaps they’ve got a couple of guys they like better that are silents?
With Ryan Davis trending away from the Gators and Derrick Dillon’s commitment looking shaky, the only big name left on the Gators board is Van Jefferson. If the staff can grab him and keep Dillon they’d be happy to call it a day but in recruiting there’s no sure thing.
Callaway was scheduled to take an official visit to Florida on the last weekend before signing day but now it appears he’ll take a visit to Alabama instead, one of his three finalists along with West Virginia and the hometown Miami Hurricanes.
It’s been a very odd recruiting season for the Gators and this story just adds to the legend. It should be a fun ride to signing day.
*** To make it even more interesting, he tweeted a little while ago:
So maybe Florida has new life after all? No word on whether he’s finally had communication with the new Gator staff or whether he will indeed take his official to Florida on January 30th.