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Recruiting: Did Curt Maggitt Head to Tennessee Over Florida Because of Gainesville Arrests?

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Curt Maggitt, a talented defensive end from Palm Beach Dwyer High, picked Tennessee over Florida in the 2011 recruiting cycle. But according to Maggitt's father, it's the why of that decision that's notable. From Jason Lieser at the Palm Beach Post's Gator Bytes:

"It was several things," Roosevelt Maggitt said. "The No. 1 reason was we evaluated UF’s history. I see guys get up there and then they get pulled over for nonsense. I didn’t want Curt to be involved in that."

You can parse that in a few ways: The elder Maggitt could be concerned about the lawlessness of the Florida program, or the overly officious Gainesville police, or both. For my money, "up there" and "pulled over for nonsense" at least makes it seem like the elder Maggitt is as concerned about Gainesville, land of a thousand traffic violations, as he is about the scofflaws who wear orange and blue. "Involved in that" could go either way, too. So I'll give Maggitt the benefit of the doubt and say that he was mostly worried about his son being tangled up in something stupid, more because of overzealous police officers than, y'know, college kids being dumb. (Why else would he steer Curt to a school that saw football players "involved in" attempted armed robbery?)

That said, I wonder if that perceived Gainesville miasma is a thing that matters to other parents, or one that could affect Florida recruiting. College is, of course, a place and time period when many young adults break laws — anyone under 21 who drinks a beer, anyone who drives after having a drink or two, anyone who experiments with marijuana or harder illegal drugs — but not all of those students end up with citations, arrests, or convictions. It's the repercussions that really matter, and parents seeing their children's names splashed in big type, as dozens of parents of Gators have in the past few years, really brings that threat home.

At the very least, that's a more serious concern for Florida football recruiting than the tactical blunder defensive coordinator Dan Quinn apparently made:

He said the family had a nice home visit with Florida coach Will Muschamp, but did not get along well with Quinn.

"I didn’t get good vibes from him," he said. "He kind of disrespected my house. Any time a man puts his shoe on your table, that ain’t no good. That didn’t show respect for my house."

...oops.