Five-star Florida targets Damian Prince and Lorenzo Carter appear likely to pick their home-state teams on National Signing Day instead of choosing the Gators, according to reports from Rivals' Blake Alderman ($) and 247Sports' Luke Stampini ($).
Alderman's report came first on Monday night, and cites dwindling confidence from Florida in landing Prince, an offensive tackle from Maryland, after his return to his home state following his weekend official visit to Florida. Stampini writes that it "appears" Prince will be staying home and picking the Terrapins on Wednesday.
Alderman also writes that it "doesn't feel like" Carter, an elite defensive end who named Florida his leader in the summer of 2013, and took his first official visit to Gainesville last September, will pick the Gators; Stampini writes that Carter will pick Georgia "as expected."
Obviously, these are reports, not publicly announced decisions from both prospects, but both Alderman and Stampini are reliable reporters, and neither decision would be unexpected. Florida is fighting uphill battles in both cases, trying to pluck the best in-state prospect out of Georgia and finish a sweep of Maryland's two best in-state prospects.
Carter's interest in Florida had waned since the Gators' dismal 2013 season, and his lack of a return trip to Gainesville made Georgia the heavy favorite in his recruitment. And while Florida has had a substantial amount of momentum in Prince's recruitment after flipping early enrollee and Prince buddy Jalen Tabor, we noted going into and coming out of Prince's official visit that family matters to him more than most prospects, and that the Gators would likely have to blow Prince away to pull him out of the Old Line State.
With both prospects looking unlikely for the Gators, Florida could work down its board in an effort to pick up late commitments from offensive tackles Derrick Kelly, Jr. and/or new Vanderbilt commit Andrew Mike, or defensive end and Missouri commit Rocel McWilliams.