In the fallout of the final weekend of recruiting visits before national signing day, four star running back Jordan Scarlett (5-11 222) from Ft. Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas backed off from his Miami Hurricanes pledge on Sunday morning.
It was not unexpected as many have predicted that Scarlett would not sign with Miami in the end despite his verbal commitment, and ultimately that played out with this morning’s announcement.
What was unexpected was the timing of the announcement, coming on the morning of the final day of his trip to Tallahassee. It has led to speculation that FSU may now be the favorite to nab his signature on signing day.
He has visited all three state schools, Miami on the 16th and Florida on the 23rd and said he would not make a decision until after all three visits.
Now it appears the hometown Hurricanes are the odd man out and he will choose between FSU and Florida on Monday.
The Gators, who are looking to take two backs in this class, hope they put themselves in a good position last week having his good friend Brandon Powell hosting him and selling him on the opportunity for early playing time.
Here’s what he told Gatorcountry’s Andrew Spivey after his visit to Florida:
“It was great man, I had a great time,” Scarlett said. “I got to hang out with some of the players that I already knew and some of the recruits that I have gotten to know. I had a great time. I got to hang out with Quincy [Wilson] and Brandon Powell. Those are good friends.”
Florida’s biggest selling point may very well be the two offensive minds that now lead the Gators offensive attack. Head coach Jim McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, both former national championship winning offensive coordinators at Alabama, have a strong history of creating formidable rushing attacks and getting players drafted.
That appeals to him according to Zach Abolverdi of the Gainesville Sun.
“It’s attractive,” Scarlett said of playing for the two coaches. “That definitely was appealing. The type of backs they’ve used on their championship teams are similar to my style, so that’s a good thing for me.”
He added, “They’re telling me I’m the guy they want and I can come and change the program,” Scarlett said about the Gator staff’s selling points. “With the coaching staff being new, they want players like me to build the team around.”
Prior to this weekend’s visit many had him pegged to Florida if he flipped his commitment. And many still do.
Florida may have a secret weapon in their favor. His girlfriend reportedly attends UF.
The Seminoles for their part are looking for another back in this class after former commit Johnny Frasier flipped his commitment to N.C. State.
They have the stability of the coaching staff and a 29-1 record the last two seasons to sell.
They also have sophomore Dalvin Cook the entrenched starter returning as well as Ryan Green and Mario Pender, both former four star backs out of high school, and Jacquez Patrick coming in this cycle.
That makes for a crowded backfield for a guy that looks like a legitimate starter from day one.
The Gators, with only Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane returning, could provide a quicker path to playing time.
Regardless, he is expected to make his decision on Monday.
Stay tuned to Swamp Music for the latest on Florida Gator football recruiting as we countdown to signing day.