On Saturday, St. Thomas Aquinas defensive tackle Anthony Moten decommitted from Florida, leaving the Gators with just 10 prospects committed in the Class of 2014.
Moten told 247Sports ($) that Florida's depth at DT did much to sway his commitment. "They have a lot on the depth chart at defensive tackle," he said to 247Sports' Nate Adelson.
Moten also sent this tweet right around the time his decommitment broke:
Not trying to go to college and get loss in the system— nine_5 (@anthony_moten95) July 20, 2013
Whether Moten's fears about getting lost in Florida's shuffle are well-founded is up for debate. While the Gators have five tackles on the roster in Dominique Easley, Leon Orr, Darious "Bear" Cummings, Jaynard Bostwick, and Joey Ivie, only Bostwick and Ivie are underclassmen, and the only other defensive tackle in Florida's 2014 class is fellow South Florida stud Khairi Clark. Florida does rotate its linemen, sometimes by series, to keep players fresh, and relies on the interchangeability and versatility of its front four more than it does singular stars. (Playing very well in that system, it should be noted, made Sharrif Floyd a first-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.)
But apart from the stated reasoning, this decommitment is not all that surprising. Moten's commitment had always been sort of a strange surprise for the Gators, as he made it to coaches over the phone without ever schlepping up to Gainesville, so his decision to leave the flock seems in keeping with how he's handling his recruitment
Florida will likely stay on Moten, but his decommitment suggests he's likely to check out other schools more intensely, and Moten's Crystal Ball at 247Sports has nine analysts predicting he'll end up with Miami.
Florida's still likely to take multiple defensive tackles in its 2014 class if possible, but it's unclear what players could join Clark at the position. Florida targets Lamont Gaillard and Abu Lamin (a JUCO star) are committed to Georgia and poised to commit elsewhere, and former Florida commit Jarran Reed, whose attempt to cram an associate's degree into one year didn't work out, is a question mark going forward.
We'll have a lot more on Florida's recruiting for 2014 (and beyond) this week, as Florida's storied Friday Night Lights camp nears.