Late Wednesday, running back/cornerback Jalen Julius of Orlando's West Orange High committed to Florida. Scout's Amy Campbell was first to report the news.
It feels good to bee a UF commit#Gator Nation— IG AG_PIT (@AG_Pitbull) May 1, 2014
Julius is one of the true "athlete" types in the class of 2015, with the skills to play either way in college, but it's also likely that his rep among recruitniks is better than his rating at the moment. The 247Sports Composite rating has Julius as a three-star player who is the No. 38 cornerback in the class of 2015, but here's how a few of the Florida beat guys talked about his commitment:
#Gators definitely got a speed guy with Jalen Julius. Could play CB or WR at the next level— Blake Alderman (@MistaAlderman) May 1, 2014
Jalen Julius tells me his 7 on 7 coach is in the Gator HOF and he wants to do the same. Julius said it means a lot to be a Gator.— Jason Higdon (@Jason_Higdon) May 1, 2014
And @SleeperAthletes tweeted about Julius, too, so, hey, his film must be ... yep, it's a bunch of highlights of him running by everyone for Evans High, his previous school. They may not totally reflect the 4.31-second 40-yard dash that Julius told the Orlando Sentinel he ran at a Georgia Tech camp, but they're impressive.
Julius is Florida's seventh commit in the class of 2015, and either the fourth or fifth player who fits this "sleeper" mold. I can't say I've been unimpressed with any of the players in their highlights.
But there's another layer of intrigue to this commitment.
One of the highest-rated running backs in the class of 2015 is Dexter Williams, a recent Miami commit. He spent 2013-14 at Orlando's Olympia High ... and he'll spend 2014-15 at West Orange High, with Julius.
And he called Julius his brother on Twitter on Wednesday night.
And Williams was in a car with Julius as he committed, per 247Sports' Luke Stampini ($), who also got quotes from Julius indicating that he and Williams will visit Florida together at some point.
It's no lock that Williams will flip from Miami and join Florida's flock, though he was thought of as a Florida lean when he committed to the Hurricanes. Florida tried something similar to this gambit last year with C'yontai Lewis, who committed to Florida while his teammate, coveted athlete Bo Scarbrough, still had an Alabama pledge that looked like it might not last until National Signing Day ... and Scarbrough never wavered.
But Julius is a good pickup on his own, and that externality — having one of Williams's closest friends extolling the virtues of the Gator Nation — doesn't hurt, either.