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2014 National Signing Day: Damian Prince picks Maryland over Florida

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Big-time big body Damian Prince could have followed Jalen Tabor from Maryland to Florida. Instead, his heart keeps him at home.

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Florida had a shot at Damian Prince. Then the five-star offensive tackle landed in Maryland off his official visit to Gainesville — and days later, Prince confirmed what leaked out as a likelihood in the last couple of days, by committing to Maryland on National Signing Day.

Prince is a major upgrade for Maryland at offensive tackle, and is arguably the nation's second-best offensive lineman, behind Alabama commit Cameron Robinson. Florida would have counted him as a coup, too, and Prince adding himself to an already formidable class of hogmollies could have made the Gators' offensive line class one of the best in the nation. With Prince's friend Jalen Tabor already on campus and Prince himself lauding his official visit, the Gators seemed to have momentum exiting last weekend.

Instead, Prince, who is extremely tight with his Maryland-based family, will don the Terrapins' red and black (...and white, and gold) like many other blue-chip players from the Old Line State before him, and many blue-chip players from the Old Line State to come, especially if Mike Locksley sticks around the Terps for a while.

It's a blow to Florida's recruiting class, but being beaten by Maryland for a Maryland player is not new — Gators remember Stefon Diggs well — and Florida has recruited well on the offensive line even without Prince, grabbing six recruits, led by potential great David Sharpe.