GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 10: Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators wipes his face during a game against the UAB Blazers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 10, 2011 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Most of Florida's 2012 recruiting class is on campus and beginning Summer B classes today. Dante Fowler, Jonathan Bullard, and Dante Phillips, all defensive linemen, are not. We may have a problem.
Phillips may be in the most dire straits. His stepfather talked to The Gainesville Sun's Robbie Andreu and indicated that he may not be able to enroll at UF at all.
Just talked to the father of DT Dante Phillips. He's been cleared by the NCAA, but been rejected by UF admissions to enroll in classes.— Robbie Andreu (@RobbieAndreu) July 2, 2012
Phillips is appealing the decision this week, but his father said he thinks it's a long shot that UF will let him enroll.— Robbie Andreu (@RobbieAndreu) July 2, 2012
Phillips is a 6'6", 290ish-pound defensive tackle who had four stars and the No. 9 position at defensive tackle according to Rivals. And if he's good to go with the NCAA Clearinghouse but not with UF, I have to imagine he's missing some things that the state of Florida requires for admission; NCAA standards are lower than you think and certainly lower than UF's.
The good news? Fowler and Bullard are probably going to be fine.
Rivals' Bryan Holt reported over the weekend that Fowler, a five-star end who Florida flipped from Florida State on National Signing Day, is expected to be cleared on Monday.
He also reaffirmed that much on Monday.
For those wondering, I haven't heard anything new on Bullard or Phillips yet. Fowler expected to be cleared today. #Gators— Bryan Holt (@Bryan_Holt) July 2, 2012
Bullard, another five-star defensive end, said last week that he had been cleared to head to Gainesville and enroll. It's not clear what is holding him up.
For what it's worth, SB Nation's Bud Elliott has also heard that Fowler and Bullard are expected in.
@AlligatorArmy yeah, talked with people this weekend and they say they've also heard DF & JB are expected in.— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) July 2, 2012
In any case, losing any of the three players would be a blow to Florida's defensive line, which is already dealing with the recoveries of Dominique Easley and Ronald Powell this offseason. Not having a player for the first couple of days of Summer B, however, might not be that huge a blow: Though the early enrolling helps players get on eating plans, get into lifting regimens, and get together as a team, one day in July means less than a day of practice in August.
Additionally, a good way to guard against academic problems in college is to build a strong GPA early, and the (usually easier, though this is not nearly limited to football) summer classes players take do help.