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National Signing Day 2018: OL Nicholas Petit-Frere signs with Ohio State

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Florida can’t keep its biggest fish in state.

University of Florida Introduces Dan Mullen Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

The Florida Gators would have loved to land the commitment of coveted blue-chip offensive line prospect Nicholas Petit-Frere on National Signing Day on Wednesday.

Instead, Petit-Frere spurned the only in-state school that finished as a finalist for his services, choosing to commit to (and sign with) Ohio State in a commitment ceremony at his Tampa-area high school, Berkeley Prep.

The 6’6”, 272-pound lineman is rated as one of the nation’s best, and would have been the crown jewel of Florida’s recruiting class — and a major win optically, as Petit-Frere was choosing between Alabama, Florida, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.

But Ohio State ended up with the final visit of Petit-Frere’s tour of schools this past weekend, and he explained in a post-commitment interview that Ohio State was able to answer some remaining questions on his visit, leading to his making a decision to commit to the Buckeyes on Monday.

After missing on Petit-Frere, Florida’s offensive line class for the 2018 recruiting cycle is either complete or close: The only remaining offensive lineman set to decide whether to sign with the Gators on National Signing Day is Richard Gouraige, who is already committed to the Gators. Florida announced the signing of Griffin McDowell on Wednesday morning, and previously landed JUCO player Noah Banks and high school recruit Chris Bleich during December’s early signing period.