Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Big-time cornerback Jalen Ramsey had a chance of ending up with Florida. He'll be heading to Florida State instead. But Gators shouldn't worry too much about that.
Florida State will pick up a commitment from Jalen Ramsey at an 11:00 a.m. ceremony at Brentwood Academy on Tuesday, according to multiple published reports, and it's something of a coup for the Seminoles. Ramsey was a long-time USC commit, but soured on the Trojans after their 2012 season, the saga of Kylie Fitts (who was essentially forced out of USC's class by the commitment of Leon McQuay III), and the departure of a defensive backs coach.
Ramsey had been on Florida's radar for months, and was the high school teammate of Florida commit Max Staver, leading many to think he could join Staver with the Gators and join Florida's loaded secondary class. But the presence of new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and the absence of other major recruits and underclassmen at corner in Florida State's secondary likely helped Ramsey make the decision to opt for a place where he can more easily star.
This is a loss for Florida, especially because Florida State's late and successful charge for Ramsey was likely only possible because of Pruitt, a former Alabama defensive backs coach and dynamic recruiter, but it's not nearly devastating for the Florida class or the Gators' secondary. Vernon Hargreaves III is the consensus pick as the nation's best cornerback, Marcus Roberson, Loucheiz Purifoy, Jaylen Watkins and Cody Riggs will all be upperclassmen in 2013, and Brian Poole's action in the 2013 Sugar Bowl, while not all that impressive, indicates that coaches liked his preparation for that game. Those six players at corner will make Florida's depth at the position in 2013 the envy of all but a few teams.
Ramsey would have added to that depth, but he faced a steeper uphill road to meaningful playing time at Florida than Hargreaves did — and Hargreaves, while better, still faces an uphill road based on the players entrenched in front of him alone.
Florida is losing a luxury recruit with Ramsey's commitment to Florida State, and, while that's annoying, there's no school, not even Alabama, that brings every recruit it really wants into the fold.