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National Signing Day 2016: Shavar Manuel decommits from Florida, flips to FSU

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Get ready for a wild ride with one of the nation's best DT prospects.

First, Florida commit Shavar Manuel announced he had "officially de-committed" from Florida, doing so with a tweet, on National Signing Day.

Then Manuel committed to Florida State.

Zach Abolverdi of SEC Country reports that Manuel's decommitment may be related to academics.

According to a source close to the Florida program, Manuel would have had trouble meeting the academic requirements for UF enrollment. An IMG Academy spokesperson had previously told SEC Country that Manuel had work to do in the classroom.

I'm not sure I buy that, though it is possible that Florida's admission standards for incoming recruits may well be slightly higher than FSU's.

More likely, I think, is a simple change of heart. Manuel committed to Florida in early January, but buzz had grown in recent days that he was strongly considering Florida State, following an official visit to Tallahassee last weekend. The four-star and former five-star player, who has seen experts' estimations of him decline in 2015 as he has struggled with recovering from an injury and playing at a greater weight than he did as an underclassman, was so intensely linked to the Seminoles in early 2015 that a recruiting site ran an article reporting his commitment before it was supposed to be public.

Florida had seemingly more than closed the gap in recent months, positioning itself as the front-runner for Manuel by making inroads in Tampa and with people close to him prior to his January commitment. But recruiting's weird, and few things are ever exactly as they seem.