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Byron Cowart commits to Auburn over Florida on National Signing Day 2015

Perhaps the nation's best prospect picked the coach he trusted over the program that coach left.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Florida's biggest cut of National Signing Day 2015 is a swing and a miss.

In a ceremony at Armwood High School televised by ESPNU, Cowart committed to Auburn over Florida, finishing a recruitment that tailed away from the Gators at the crucial moments.

Cowart was a Florida lean for the longest time, hailing from longtime Gators stronghold Tampa — and, specifically, from Armwood High School in Seffner, which had produced such Florida greats as Mike Pearson and Matt Jones. But Cowart's recruitment was also a roller-coaster ride, with such oddities as a straight-faced argument that Oregon was his leader without any plans to visit Eugene, a brief flirtation with Florida State, and a month of January spent with the Gators and Tigers wrestling over his services.

And it seems clear, with the smoke clearing, that Cowart's trust in Muschamp — who built a strong bond with him over his four years at Florida — won out.

After missing on Cowart, Florida can turn to CeCe Jefferson as a potential solution on the defensive line, and turn up the heat on other players. But there's simply no replacing one of the best players in the country — and the pain of missing on Cowart might be immense.