Florida's recruiting class is one defensive back lighter, as of Monday evening: Three-star defensive back Spencer Perry, who originally committed to the Gators in March, has decommitted from Florida, announcing the news on Twitter.
After further research, I have chosen to decomit from UF. Thanks to the coaching staff @ UF.— A.$.A.P Perry (@Black___Jesus7) June 22, 2015
Perry is originally from Georgia, but played football at Auburn High School in Alabama before transferring to Bradenton's IMG Academy this winter, and was part of a trio of players — along with Tyrek Tisdale and Isaiah Johnson — who committed to Florida over the course of a weekend in March.
While Johnson and Tisdale remain fairly solid Florida commits (Tisdale more than Johnson), Perry was suspected to be an Auburn lean before he committed to Florida, thanks both his proximity to the school and to a relationship with Tigers defensive coordinator and old friend Will Muschamp — whom he called "one of the few defensive masterminds in college football" in an interview with Bleacher Report in February.
It will come as no surprise if Perry eventually commits to Auburn, though he does not currently hold an offer from the Tigers. (A transitory commitment to Notre Dame, the school Perry camped at this past weekend, is also possible.)
The other, perhaps more amusing, subplot to Perry's decommitment is Florida's futility when recruiting players tied to IMG Academy in recent years. When Muschamp hired former IMG strength coach Jeff Dillman prior to the 2012 season, it was thought to be a potential in-road at the school, which began fielding a football team in 2013 after having trained thousands of elite prep athletes since its founding as the Nick Bolletteri Tennis Academy in 1978, and is becoming a haven for talented high school players.
But IMG's head coach for its first years of existence was none other than former Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke. And not only has Florida struck out on every prospect of note with IMG ties it has tried to reel in — Bo Scarbrough in the 2014 cycle, Deondre Francois, Marcus Lewis (who apparently got the bad juju from simply wanting to transfer to IMG), and Tyree St. Louis in 2015, and Perry and Saivion Smith in the 2016 class — those players have invariably gone to Florida's rivals.
If you want a bad omen for the recruitment of Shavar Manuel, one of the best defensive linemen in the 2016 class, his transfer to IMG from Tampa's Blake High School for his senior season would seem to be a good one.
With Perry's decommitment, Florida has 14 commitments in its 2016 recruiting class.