What, you thought the Sunday one week after the SEC Championship Game was going to be slow? Florida recruiting doesn't do slow, at least not at the moment — and a surprising commitment paired with a surprising decommitment certainly don't qualify.
The commitment was a bit more surprising: It came from Jordan Smith, a rangy Georgia defensive end whose 247Sports Crystal Ball had no predictions for Florida.
Thanks to all the schools that recruited me its been a great process but I am committing to UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA pic.twitter.com/2eC0aafu3v— 22. (@jordansmith125) December 13, 2015
Smith, a 247Sports Composite four-star player, stands 6'6" and weighs around 220 pounds, which may make him the sort of long-limbed prospect that can be molded into an Alex McCalister-style pass rusher in time. His highlights, far heavier on quickness than strength, are a strong indication that he could fit that mold.
But Smith wouldn't be Florida's 26th commit for long. Just minutes after his commitment, longtime Florida commit — and projected early enrollee — Isaiah Johnson, a wide receiver slated to play a hybrid wideout/tight end role for the Gators, announced he was parting ways with the program.
Johnson doing this after Florida announced him as a midyear enrollee in late November could leave the Gators open to potential violations for improper extra contact — LSU slapped with SEC sanctions in a similar situation in the 2015 recruiting cycle. But if Florida doesn't have contact with Johnson outside of normal access periods — like, say, during the NCAA-mandated dead period that begins at midnight on this Sunday night — the Gators should stay within the letter of the law.
Johnson, a 247Sports Composite three-star wideout, was among the "lower-tier" longtime Florida receiver recruits — along with Joshua Hammond and Rick Wells — who some observers thought could leave the Gators' recruiting class, especially if Florida honed in on bigger fish at the position. His decommitment is less surprising for its action than its timing: Decommitting after an official visit to the school at which a player is set to enroll early isn't unprecedented, but certainly isn't the expected progression of events.
With one addition and one subtraction, Florida now has 25 commits in its 2016 recruiting class, one that ranks No. 7 nationally per the 247Sports Composite's team rankings.