Former South Carolina center Damontre Harris has committed to join Billy Donovan and the Gators, according to ESPN's Dave Telep. Harris will not be eligible to play until 2013-14 because of transfer rules.
Harris chose Florida over Kansas. His mother, for some time, was pushing for him to remain at South Carolina and play for incoming coach Frank Martin. Martin, in a sort of surprising turn of events, didn't elect to block Florida from Harris's list of possible destinations.
Harris gives Florida a legitimate shot blocker and rim protector, something the team has lacked since Joakim Noah departed. As a sophomore at South Carolina, Harris was named to the All-SEC Defensive Team. Depending on what Patric Young does following his junior season (he is expected to turn pro), Harris can either start from Day 1 or provide quality depth off the bench, the former being the most likely scenario.
Florida is still in the running with another transfer, Dorian Finney-Smith, who is down to Florida, Marquette, Georgetown, Iowa State, Villanova, Texas and Alabama. The 6-foot-9 forward, who is pursuing a transfer from Virginia Tech, will likely choose a school close to hometown of Portsmouth, Virginia. Only Gators' Adam Silverstein reports that Florida will continue pursuing Finney-Smith after landing Harris' commitment.
Regardless, by adding Harris, it makes more sense for Florida to move on from Finney-Smith and save room for a prospect in the 2013 class. There are numerous highly-rated forwards with serious interest in Florida in 2013: Austin Nichols, Chris Walker, Mike Young and Troy Williams, to name a few.
Billy Donovan has done a good job recruiting transfers in recent years. He landed Georgetown transfer Vernon Macklin, who started at center for the Gators in 2009-10 and 2010-11 and was selected by the Detroit Pistons in the second round of the 2011 NBA Draft, and Mike Rosario, who transferred from Rutgers and gave the Gators a scoring threat off the bench in 2011-12.