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Florida football recruiting: Safety Donovan Stiner commits to Gators

A third commit in two days shores up Florida’s secondary.

Outback Bowl - Florida v Iowa Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

A successful Florida Gators recruiting weekend that already featured two commits got better on Sunday night, as Houston commit Donovan Stiner flipped his pledge to Florida after an official visit to Gainesville.

Florida coach Jim McElwain tweeted his customary #ChompChomp to announce a commitment just before 7 p.m. on Sunday night. Gator Country’s Andrew Spivey was first to tweet the news that the commit in question was Stiner.

Stiner’s own tweet came just after 7:30:

Stiner, a three-star prospect per the 247Sports Composite, was a surprising visitor and then the recipient of a surprising scholarship offer earlier this week, but he’s now Florida’s second defensive back commit of the weekend, following Louisianan Brad Stewart, who committed late Saturday.

Stiner is also the only true safety in Florida’s 2017 class, which includes corners Shawn Davis and Marco Wilson in addition to Stewart, who is seen as a more versatile secondary piece that could play either safety or corner.

On tape, Stiner appears to have fine instincts and decent ball skills. But that most recent tape is from his first four games of the 2016 season, and it’s still under 150 views as of the publication time of this post — maybe in part because, only two minutes in, it’s already showing Stiner simply covering an out route from the slot, rather than major highlights.

Stiner had been committed to Houston since September, and had previously committed to Baylor prior to that, but 247Sports indicates neither of the biggest dogs in Texas — Texas and Texas A&M — had offered him, though he did hold offers from Missouri and Oklahoma State.

Florida might not be entirely done with defensive backs in the 2017 cycle — it’s still seemingly holding out hope that Elijah Blades might return to the fold after decommitting earlier this week, that Chris Henderson might yet end up with the Gators after all, and that Brian Edwards might still have a commitment up his sleeve — but Stiner strikes me as a developmental prospect who would not have been pursued had there been assurances that more field-ready players will be Gators.

Stiner’s commitment pushed Florida to the No. 20 spot in the 247Sports Composite team rankings for the 2017 cycle.