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Florida football recruiting: Four-star safety Amari Burney commits to Gators

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Florida keeps reloading its secondary.

Student Sports

Longtime Florida Gators lean Amari Burney made his college commitment Thursday morning, honoring a late grandfather by doing so on his birthday.

Unsurprisingly, Burney committed to the Gators.

Burney — whose Crystal Ball had shown 21 predictions that he would ultimately commit to Florida, and none suggesting he would commit to another program — made that commitment at a ceremony at his high school, Calvary Christian in Clearwater.

In the interview above, Burney, a four-star 2018 safety, tells reporters he’ll now focus on recruiting other Florida targets, like top-tier wide receiver Jacob Copeland, and that he’s planning on visiting Florida this summer.

His is a commitment that seems very likely to stick, in other words, and it’s a substantial one for a program that has been off to either a slow or deliberate start to the 2018 recruiting cycle, depending on your perspective. Burney is rated the No. 110 player in America for the 2018 class by the 247Sports Composite rankings, and the No. 11 safety, and held offers from Florida State, Miami, Michigan, and Ohio State, among others, choosing a Florida mini helmet over Ohio State and Virginia Tech mini helmets at his ceremony.

Burney’s junior year highlights show him playing both offense and defense, and flashing top-level speed and burst that stands out on a field where he is clearly the most talented player. Of special note are a pair of back-to-back punt returns just before the two-minute mark: The first inspires someone filming to declare “Touchdown” before Burney has even crossed the opponents’ 40, and the second puts Calvary in great field position despite Burney not originally fielding the punt, but instead scooping up a fumble by the returner within his own 10 and running from pursuers.

Burney is Florida’s seventh commit for the 2018 recruiting class, and joins C.J. Smith and Divaad Wilson as defensive back commits. Also, his commitment brings Florida’s 2018 class to one more commit than its six-man 2019 class, and boosts the Gators from No. 35 to No. 24 in the 247Composite team rankings.