Swamp Rumors: Controversy In Gainesville, CeCe Jefferson’s Unfaxed LOI, Williams Replaced By Rumph?


The Florida Gators closed strong in recruiting reeling in a couple five star and several four star recruits on national signing day.

However, one five star, DE CeCe Jefferson, who committed to the Gators on live tv yesterday, has not faxed in his Letter Of Intent (LOI) as of Thursday morning.

This has led to much anxiety for Gator fans worrying they might lose their top defensive recruit before he ever gets started at Florida.

Adding to the confusion and wild speculation is a report from SI that defensive line coach Terrell Williams who was hired only one month ago has decided to return to the NFL taking a position on the Miami Dolphins staff.

Texas defensive line coach Chris Rumph, reportedly a candidate for the job originally, apparently has taken Williams place on the Gator staff.

This has led to speculation that perhaps something underhanded has taken place between CeCe’s camp, who are acting as if they were unaware the personnel change was in the works, and the Florida Gators coaching staff.

To set the scene, the hold up on the faxing of the LOI is that CeCe’s dad Leo won’t sign it.

This is where the confusion comes in. Exactly why won’t he sign it?

As a result, a Twitter battle of sorts has ensued.

CeCe’s dad appears to link his refusal to sign the LOI with the departure of Williams.

CeCe, for his part, appears to act as if he was unaware the change was coming.

However, ESPN recruiting analyst Derek Tyson claims that CeCe and his family knew well in advance that Williams was leaving.



And finally…

In an Alligator Army story by Andy Hutchins CeCe’s dad was quoted saying he doesn’t want his son at Florida.

“I’m a die-hard Gator fan, but personally, I want CeCe to go somewhere else,” Jefferson said. “I wanted to get him away from home. I didn’t want him in Gainesville, to tell you the truth.”

To make the situation even more confusing Rivals national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell refutes reports that the dad is the hold up to the faxing of the LOI.

What’s the real story?

The old saying goes “there’s two sides to every story and the truth is found somewhere in between.

As an aside, Tampa Bay Times reporter Antonya English had a little fun with the Terrell Williams situation.

So now Williams is gone and Rumph is headed to Gainesville?

If so, it’s a good get for the Gators as Rumph, who coached All American defensive end Daquan Bowers at Clemson and was on the Alabama staff under Saban along with coach McElwain, is not only a great position coach but a fantastic recruiter as well.

However, Rumph to Florida is not a done deal just yet either according to Ryan Bartow of 247sports.

“We’ve learned that in the last 30 minutes, Rumph met face-to-face with Texas head coach Charlie Strong.

Our source indicated, it’s a ‘possibility’ Rumph may stay at Texas after this meeting or opt for Florida. It’s something he’s yet to discuss with his family, according to a contact familiar with the situation.

Rumph is slated to meet with his family to talk about the new option this afternoon.”

But where does this leave CeCe?

Twisting in the wind at this point.

However, anxious Gator fans can likely relax as these types of things happen every year and in almost every case the kid ends up at the school to which he committed.


Now Mike Farrell published a story with quotes by the father alleging missteps by the Gators coaching staff that give him cause for concern.

CeCe’s father claims that he is not the reason for the hold up but rather CeCe is.

“Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson has yet to sign his letter of intent for Florida and his father, Leo Jefferson, explained why on Thursday.” According to Farrell.

“Leo said CeCe himself is not ready to sign it.

‘He told me that yesterday after his announcement,’ Leo said, adding he would have been glad to sign and fax the letter to Florida if that’s what his son wanted.”

The problem? They were left unaware of the coaching change.

“The Florida staff never told us he (Terrell Williams) was leaving,” Leo said in the Farrell story. “We don’t know (Rumph) at all.”

He then goes on to explain that they won’t hold up CeCe regardless of what he decides.

“Regardless, ‘if CeCe wants to go to Florida, we are on board,’ Leo said.”

Then he lists a series of grievances against the UF staff which includes keeping the coaching change secret as well as cutting the in-home visit extremely short, not calling after not receiving his LOI, and not continuing to recruit him as hard.

“The staff should have considered being honest with us about the (coach) change,” Leo said. “They haven’t pursued CeCe nearly as hard as others and I’m not sure why.”

The story gets more bizarre by the second.


** updated 3:30 central 2/5**

Now the dad Leo has tweeted this:

What exactly they’re holding out for is not clear.

So round, and round, and round we go, where this drama stops, nobody knows.

Grab the popcorn.


** updated 6:09 pm central 2/5**

From CeCe:


And finally…

So it’s plausible that he may want to wait and be assured of who will be his position coach. That’s perfectly understandable.

What is unclear is why they simply couldn’t have made that point clear from the get go. The outlandish statements and accusations, the back and forth about who’s responsible for the hold up, and the different messages sent to different media folks takes this story from strange to bizzare.

There’s only one question left…

Can I get a refill on the popcorn and the coke?


**updated 9:47 pm central**

And now a couple more tweets from Leo Jefferson.

A sentiment with which most would concur. It’s sad to see some of the accusations bandied about and the things people will tweet to people they’ve never met. It’s shameful and not at all helping the situation.

So it appears they’ve circled the wagons and are sticking with the change in coaching staff angle.

It will be interesting to see his the defensive line coach situation evolves. Hopefully a replacement will be named quickly.


**Final update 2 pm central 2/6**

The Florida Gators did indeed hire Chris Rumph to replace the departed Terrell Williams, announcing it this morning. Story

The hire appears to be good both because he’s a great coach and fantastic recruiter and because he already has a relationship with CeCe as he recruited him while at Alabama.

Here’s what CeCe had to say to Gainesville Sun sports reporter Zach Abolverdi.

However, his dad still doesn’t appear impressed and denies knowing anything about Rumph in Abolverdi’s latest story.

“I don’t know him. We’ve never met,” Jefferson said. “CeCe’s not going to be spending time with the head coach or the defensive coordinator. He’s going to be with that D-line coach the majority of the time.”

But, regardless, Leo appears to be ready to acquiesce if CeCe is still intent on Florida.

“Whenever he feels comfortable with him and he’s ready to send (his LOI) in, that’s fine.”

So it appears all is good with CeCe and Florida.

Now about that LOI…


**Final, final update**

Now it appears CeCe will prolong the process even further.

We thought CeCe loved the recruiting game, but he has taken this to new levels. He loves it so much he’s not ready to be done with it apparently.

Can I get a refill on my popcorn?


** update Sunday 2/7 1:45 **

A couple of CeCe retweets on Sunday make him look like a guy who is planning on signing with Florida.

Matt Rolin is a future defensive teammate of CeCe’s assuming he dies indeed sign with the Gators. No need to retweet that if he’s planning on looking elsewhere right?

Similarly, no need to retweet a commitment story if his plan is to look elsewhere. Right????


**update 4 pm central**

CeCe is attending tonight’s Florida-Kentucky basketball game with Gator signees Tyler Jordan and Daniel Imatorbhebhe.

Reports are that he will meet with head coach Jim McElwain while in campus. It’s not clear exactly what is to take place during the meeting, but no LOI is expected at this time.

Still a highly fluid situation and still looks good for the Gators to eventually get CeCe’s signature.

**update 6:30 central**

CeCe tweeted some new info thus evening.

So I guess coach Collins, the Gators defensive coordinator had a conversation with Leo and smoothed things over. It appears all parties are now on the same page and CeCe will be sending in that LOI.

Still no ETA on it but best guess will be no earlier than Monday.


**9:30 pm central**

Does this look like a guy Gator Nation needs to be worrying about losing?

I think not!

About that popcorn…


**update 10 am central**

Finally closure?

And here’s a pic of him signing the LOI.

So I guess we’re just waiting on it to be official in Florida’s end at this point.

Man this popcorn is stale.


**final update 10:50 central**

CeCe’s LOI is finally in and he is officially a Gator.

So there you go.

Welcome to Gator Nation CeCe Jefferson!

Stay tuned to Swamp Music for more Swamp Rumors and the latest on Florida Gator recruiting and all it’s post-signing day madness.


One thought on “Swamp Rumors: Controversy In Gainesville, CeCe Jefferson’s Unfaxed LOI, Williams Replaced By Rumph?

  1. Pingback: It’s Official: CeCe’s A Gator! | Swamp Music

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