Urban Meyer might not be coaching on the UF sideline when the Gators take the field to open the 2010 season, but he is not letting his leave of absence hinder the football program’s recruiting efforts.
Instead, with the Feb. 3 national signing date less than a month away, Meyer and his staff are vigorously pursuing remaining, undecided recruits. According to Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel , UF confirmed that Meyer “has not yet taken his leave of absence, and is ‘actively involved in recruiting.’”
UF bolstered the nation’s finest recruiting class on Saturday, landing three more sought-after prospects at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
At halftime, four-star recruit Sharrif Floyd (George Washington (Pa.) High) sported a Gators hat and announced his commitment to UF. The 6’3”, 309-pound defensive tackle from Philadelphia is quick off the snap, and twice broke into the backfield to make violent sacks for the East team. Floyd considered Ohio State, North Carolina, and South Carolina before reaching his final decision.
During the fourth quarter, Matt Elam (Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer High) re-committed to the Gators. Recall that Elam, the No. 2 recruited athlete, backed out on his commitment to UF in favor of Florida State in the wake of Meyer’s initial announcement in December. The program’s recruiting efforts did not slow following Meyer’s resignation, and Elam cited the recent recruiting additions as a reason to switch back to UF.
“I’m a Gator for good,” Elam said in a post-game interview for ESPN.com. “I’m putting my trust in Coach [Urban] Meyer. I had a talk with him earlier this week and I’m trusting that he will be back.”
Should Meyer return to his post, it would not be the first time that he coaches an Elam. Matt’s older brother, Cleveland Browns safety Abram Elam, played under Meyer at Notre Dame in 2000.
Elam’s high school and All-American teammate Gerald Christian caught a touchdown pass for the East squad. The No. 2 tight end in the country, Christian committed to UF in April of his junior year, and plans on enrolling early with Elam.
Five-star defensive end Ronald Powell’s commitment created the greatest buzz as the game neared its culmination. The Rancho Verde (Ca.) native is the fourth-ranked prospect in the ESPNU 150 and the No. 2 DE in his class. Powell helped the West team to a 30-13 victory en route to garnering the game’s MVP honors.