College football recruiting is a circus.
Never more evident than yesterday’s social media meltdown spurred by four star quarterback Deondre Francois’ decommitment from Florida State via Twitter. Or the decommitment that wasn’t depending upon what story you believe.
@Deondre_3, “I’m officially decommitting from the university of Florida state.”
Of course, the tweet was quickly deleted but that didn’t stop stop fan message boards and social media from exploding.
Gator fans rejoiced believing he would be flipping his commitment, while FSU fans quickly downplayed it acting as if it was no big deal.
It’s always interesting watching the Jerry Springer show type antics of college football fans in reaction to personal decisions of 17-18 year old recruits.
Whenever a recruit backs off a pledge or flips his pledge to another school outraged fans act like jilted lovers fleeing to social media to bash the kid or downplay his skills.
All of the sudden the kid that was the gem of your class is now overrated and will never amount to anything and, here’s my favorite, “is making a huge mistake.”
And, after the brouhaha began over the deleted tweet, FSU fans reacted in typical fashion.
It went on for a couple of hours with recruiting analysts reporting Francois’ high school offensive line coach confirming the decommitment while his high school head coach Chris Weinke, a former FSU qb, reporting the opposite.
Finally, Francois tweeted a retraction to seemingly clear the air.
Hacked was certainly a plausible explanation considering the wording of the tweet “the university of Florida state”, he’s smarter than that, and the fact that only 48 hours earlier he confirmed his commitment to FSU.
Still some aren’t buying the story and many still feel a flip is possible or even in the works by signing day.
Stay tuned and bring the popcorn.
A new name on the board is Miami (FL) Central DE Keivonnis Davis, who last week committed to Oregon State on an official visit but was previously committed to Syracuse.
The Gators started recruiting him after Randy Shannon was hired as they stretch their recruiting board in search of some underrated players particularly at defensive end.
The Gators are looking for a pass rusher with cover skills and Davis (6-4 230) fits the bill.
He will visit Florida this weekend but could the Gators get the flip?
“I’m committed to Oregon State, but like my mom say, ’keep weighing out my option,’ because I don’t want to jump on this and may be taking the wrong route,” Davis said in a story by Luke Stampini of Florida247sports. “I’m still committed to Oregon State, but I’m still interested.”
“It is the SEC, but at the same time I got to go for the best fit for me. I ain’t just going for the name of the school. It’s most definitely about the people. I got to be comfortable with the people and the players.”
Mammoth offensive tackle Fred Johnson (6-7 335) from West Palm Beach (FL), will also be visiting Florida this weekend.
It’s no secret the Gators are in need of offensive lineman this cycle as they return only eight scholarship players along the line. In fact, the staff hopes to land a minimum of 6-8 this cycle.
With three lineman already committed, the Gators will take up to five more and Johnson is a huge target. Literally and figuratively.
Johnson is down to two schools Miami, the perceived favorite and the school he visited last weekend, and Florida.
What will he be looking for this weekend in Gainesville?
“I want to see everything that I wanted with the last visit, just the school environment, academics and the facilities and stuff,” Johnson said in a 247sports article by Luke Stampini
And what is the staff’s selling point to him?
“He (offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier) said that Florida is a great place, it’s in the SEC, and how I’m a fit for the program,” Johnson said.
Adding, “They need tackles and stuff like that.”
Johnson will be one of six offensive line recruits visiting this weekend including guard Brandon Sandifer (6-4 335) from Warner Robins (GA), a Gator commit. The other five recruits are committed to other teams.
In addition to Johnson, big Tyree St. Louis (6-5 300) from Bradenton (FL) IMG Academy, a Miami commitment will be in, as will Washington D.C. Friendship Academy guard Quarvez Boulware (6-3 283), committed to Maryland, Atlanta (GA) Dunwoody tackle Nick Buchanan (6-5 280), a Cal commit, and a new name Richerd Desir-Jones (6-4 285) a defensive tackle from Ft. Lauderdale (FL) St. Thomas Aquinas whom the Gators are recruiting as an offensive guard. He is an FIU commit.
Desir-Jones is another recruit the Gators hope could be a hidden gem for them. He’s a thick, muscular road grader type. He doesn’t yet have a Gator offer but could walk away with one after meeting with the staff.
One thing’s for sure the staff is working hard and digging deep to find suitable players to fill out this class without reaching on too many.
This is the final recruiting weekend before national signing day which is next Wednesday. Final pitches and pleas will be made before the dead period begins on Monday.
The Gators, who only have 10 commitments as of now, have room for up to 26 signees but are expected to sign 20-22 recruits.
Stay tuned to Swamp Music for more Swamp Rumors and the latest on Florida Gator recruiting as we count down to signing day.