Florida has taken its first direct recruiting hit since Coach Urban Meyer's weekend flip-flop. Matt Elam, a Palm Beach, Fla., safety ranked the nation's No. 14 overall prospect by Rivals.com, has decommitted from Florida. And here's the double-whammy. Elam dumped the Gators for Florida State.
Elam has been fairly indecisive in recent months, but he seemed to have settled on going to Florida and enrolling early. Elam's family has a longstanding relationship with Meyer, who was on the Notre Dame staff when Elam's brother, Cleveland Browns safety Abram Elam, played for the Fighting Irish. That apparently changed this weekend when Meyer announced his resignation Saturday and then reneged a day later and decided to take an indefinite leave of absence.
So far, Moreno Valley, Calif., defensive end Ronald Powell has canceled a commitment announcement to Florida, but Florida's publicly committed players had seemed solid. Elam always seemed a threat to pick another school, but his mind changed almost as much as Meyer's in the past few days. Before the Meyer drama, Elam planned to enroll at Florida in January. Then he planned to go to Florida but enroll in the summer. Now, he plans to enroll at Florida's in-state rival next week.
"I was strong on Florida, that's where I wanted to be and then when this happened I was like dang," Elam told Warchant.com Thursday. "I was supposed to be enrolling there in about 10 days but I had a bad feeling about things when he said he was coming back, I didn't feel comfortable with that. I didn't want to get in and get stuck, that was really scaring me. I am good with it. It is a great opportunity to go to college at a great place. A lot of people don't have this opportunity."
The Seminoles need plenty of help on defense, but new coach Jimbo Fisher seems determined to rectify that with his first recruiting class. He already has commitments from Port St. Lucie, Fla., linebacker Jeff Luc and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, and FSU is very much in the hunt for Oviedo, Fla., linebacker Christian Jones. The Seminoles also expect to get another piece of good news during Saturday's Under Armour All-America game on ESPN. Orlando, Fla., receiver Kenny Shaw is expected to announce that he's committing to FSU.