Welcome to our 2016 National Signing Day Tracker. Updates will be posted below as they happen.
I’m awake. This is a miracle since I’m a senior in college and am usually asleep at this time. Here’s to a big day.
Defensive end Brian Burns has committed to FSU. Not a complete surprise, but somewhat disappointing. He was considered a UF lean after taking his official visit two weekends ago, but he then took his official to FSU this past weekend and was sold.
Three Florida commits have sent in their letters-of-intent: defensive end Jachai Polite and offensive linemen Brett Heggie and Jawaan Taylor. You can also track which Gator commits have sent in their letters-of-intent on our recruiting page; the “status” column will turn blue with orange font when a LOI is sent in. Also, it will say signed, so pretty self-explanatory. (It’s still early and most of us aren’t very sharp at this time.)
Tyrie Cleveland has not shown up to his 9:00am announcement ceremony. Why not? Because he is apparently still undecided about where he wants to play college football. Let the fun begin…
Tyrie Cleveland has arrived, has apparently made up his mind, and will announce soon. He delayed his whole school’s Signing Day ceremony with this little about-face, but he’s here now and it’s underway.
WR Rick Wells has sent in his letter-of-intent. Florida now has four LOIs.
No, I haven’t fallen asleep here, but I’m about to if this guy droning on at the Westfield High School Signing Day ceremony (Tyrie Cleveland’s high school). We know why we’re all here. Let the kids make their announcements already.
During a break in the Signing Day ceremony, Tyrie Cleveland was apparently speaking with somebody on his cell phone. No idea what that means, just reporting it.
WE GOT THE DAMN PLAYMAKER! (Translation: Tyrie Cleveland has committed to, and signed with, Florida. Now we wait for UF to announce that they received his LOI.)
DT Shavar Manuel has announced on twitter that he has decommitted from UF. This means that he will likely sign with FSU. Not exactly turning cartwheels in celebration, but not the end of the world. Tyrie Cleveland was the bigger need and we got him.
ESPN reporter Andrea Adelson, who is reporting live from Gainesville this morning, just said that there was a tremendous cheer coming from the Gators’ war room when Tyrie Cleveland committed. There was also a tremendous cheer coming from me when Tyrie Cleveland announced.
RB LaMical Perine’s letter-of-intent is in. Like I told y’all yesterday, there was no real decision between Florida and Alabama. He just wanted to get Tide fans’ hopes up for nothing.
LB Vosean Joseph’s letter-of-intent is in. I was never really worried that he wouldn’t send his in, but he did say that he would make a “final decision” today. So it’s nice to get an official word.
According to Zach Abolverdi of SECCountry, the reason for Shavar Manuel’s decommitment was that he “would have had trouble meeting the academic requirements for UF enrollment.” I’ll leave the FSU academic jokes to you, but that’s what Abolverdi is saying.
CB CJ McWilliams has sent in his letter of intent.
DE Antonneous Clayton has sent in his letter of intent.
11:03- mid-morning assessment
I can’t say I’m shocked with the Gators losing Shavar Manuel, though I wouldn’t have predicted that it would be because of grades. Not on National Signing Day, anyway. Nor am I shocked that Brian Burns picked FSU over Florida and Georgia. Given the Gators’ strength on the defensive line with Caleb Brantley and Cece Jefferson, these guys were luxuries, not necessities. Plus, Florida long ago filled their need for defensive linemen with Antonneous Clayton.
The big pickup was Tyrie Cleveland. He may have four stars, but he’s a five star talent. Watch his tape and see for yourself. The guy can PLAY. He joins Rick Wells, Joshua Hammond and Freddie Swain in a wide receiver class that immediately upgraded from good to great upon his commitment. And given Florida’s lack of production from their wide receivers since the departure of Percy Harvin and Louis Murphy, this was the big need, and thus, the big get.
There’s still a long way to go, and lots of things to unfold today, though. Today has to be considered a net success, but Gator targets John Simpson and Kristian Fulton will be announcing at 12:30 and 12:45pm, respectively, and there are still several commits who need to send their letters of intent in. So keep on following along as the day progresses. I’ll be here keeping the updates coming as they happen.
Defensive back Aaron Robinson has decommitted from Florida, and flipped to Alabama. This could have something to do with fellow DB Kristian Fulton, who announces at 12:45pm. Or maybe not. Stay tuned.
Safety Jeawon Taylor will stick with the Gators, spurning Georgia’s late efforts to flip him.
Tyrie Cleveland’s letter of intent is in. It’s official: he’s a Florida Gator.
The Gators have received letters of intent from Jeawon Taylor, Quincy Lenton, and Jeremiah Moon. Florida now has LOIs from every single verbal commit, pending the announcements from John Simpson and Kristian Fulton.
DT Shavar Manuel has committed to FSU. Not a surprise.
Offensive lineman John Simpson has committed to Clemson. Also not a surprise. Last one up for the Gators is Kristian Fulton.
Five star CB Kristian Fulton will announce soon. People are filing into his high school gym right now, and the table is empty, so it will probably be at least ten more minutes. Stay tuned for more updates.
There’s a table set up in Fulton’s high school gym (Archbishop Rummel) with Rummel helmets and the hats of all the kids’ college choices. Here he comes now, along with some of his teammates, sitting down and getting mic’ed up.
Like Cleveland’s ceremony, all the kids will announce their college choices and/or sign their LOIs one by one. Seems like they’re almost ready to start.
The ceremony has started. Fulton has arrived with a bag, probably containing the hat/gloves/some other form of apparel. Fulton also appears to be last in line to announce. Because of course he is.
Kristian Fulton has committed to LSU. First legitimate surprise of the day. Damnit.
Barring any surprise late additions to the Class of 2016, the Gators’ day is done. This is fine with me; if Jim McElwain doesn’t think a player can cut it either academically or football wise, save the scholarships for another class. No need to waste it on someone you don’t really want.
I’ll be writing up my final thoughts in a little bit, so stick around for that. I will say that although the day didn’t end so well, it was a pleasure covering National Signing Day for y’all once again.
To the surprise of nobody, LB Mack Wilson has committed to Alabama.
Get ready for this. In a complete shocker, JUCO cornerback Joseph Putu has sent his letter of intent to Florida, flipping from Arkansas. We’ll have more details soon; keep checking back here for them.
Putu, formerly of North Dakota State College of Science, is ranked as a two star corner by Rivals. He recently committed to Arkansas, but decided out of the blue to go to Florida… despite the fact that he’d never even taken an official visit to Gainesville. He may be looked at as a backup plan with the loss of Kristian Fulton to LSU and Aaron Robinson to Alabama, but he’s definitely not lacking talent. He runs a 4.37 40 yard dash and has decent reflexes and ball skills, as showcased in his highlight tape. It’s not the highest profile get for Florida by any means, but it’s certainly not a terrible way to finish the day, either.
Florida has received another late addition to the class, as consensus three star cornerback Antonio Nelson has sent in his letter of intent to UF.
Um… well, I’ll just go ahead and say it: after initially being reported by OnlyGators, a source has confirmed to me that Antonio Nelson is not likely to qualify academically at UF. This is the second time we’ve heard this today (the first being Shavar Manuel, who “flipped” to FSU) but this time, the consequences are more dire for the player. Nelson will likely have to take a detour to a junior college. If indeed he does not qualify, his letter of intent will be null and void. He did send it in, but it’s pending acceptance from UF admissions. Stay tuned for more updates there.
The source has confirmed to me that Antonio Nelson “either will be or has been denied admission into UF.” Oh, well. I wasn’t really expecting to land him anyway, and this frees up a scholarship for next year.