Cincinnati offensive lineman George Brown Jr. has committed to Florida, making the call for the Gators on Friday in a ceremony at his high school and becoming Florida's ninth commit in the class of 2015.
ALSO, HE WAS HOLDING A LIVE BABY GATOR WHEN HE DID IT.
Update: ESPN's Derek Tyson clarified Friday afternoon that the beast Brown held — provided by Cincinnati-based Cool Critters Outreach — was actually not a baby American alligator, but a baby dwarf caiman. Given that dwarf caimans are still part of the family Alligatoridae, and that a full-size "dwarf" caiman can still be about four feet long, I'm still fine with calling Brown's perfect prop a baby gator. Science aside over!
Brown donned a Florida hat with Kentucky and Alabama hats on the table, but the crimson cap was the also-ran here, as Brown was widely considered to be choosing between Florida and Kentucky.
Brown is rated as a three-star prospect by the 247Sports Composite, and as the No. 42 offensive tackle in the class of 2015. He's lanky for a lineman, at 6'6" and 250ish pounds, and he's probably going to have to bulk up during a redshirt year, but his junior season highlights are strong, and show excellent mobility and good tenacity at a guard position. (At his height, Brown's likely to be a tackle at the next level.)
Brown also plays high school basketball, something Florida freshmen David Sharpe and Thomas Holley both did. Florida coach Will Muschamp mentioned watching prospects play basketball as a evaluative tool in the context of Holley's recruitment, so that's probably part of his decision to recruit Brown.
But apart from being a good prospect on his own, Brown is perhaps the first domino of many to fall to Florida in the next few days, given that his commitment comes of the same day the Gators will stage their annual Friday Night Lights camp and host dozens of top-level prospects. Brown is close to linebackers Tevon Coney and (Florida commit) Jerome Baker, and close (as is Coney) with linebacker Adonis Thomas, who is in turn close with lineman Mike Horton.
Brown could be the first of a flurry of four commits for the Gators, and those commits could vault Florida from the middle tiers of most recruiting rankings — Florida began Friday at No. 36 in 247Sports's team rankings for 2015 — to more familiar and comfortable ground in the teens.