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Florida football recruiting: LB Jesiah Pierre commits to Gators

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Florida is nearly full on 2019 LBs. Already.

NCAA Basketball: Baylor at Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators may not have any commitments participating in Nike’s showy The Opening in Dallas this week, and may be losing out on the premier player they were in the running for among Opening participants, but they did get a commitment on Sunday — one that it took nearly a full day for head coach Dan Mullen to certify with a retweet.

Such is the story of three-star linebacker Jesiah Pierre, whose early Sunday afternoon commitment tweet...

...only got Mullen’s retweet on Monday morning, leading many — including, uh, me — to reserve judgment on the legitimacy of the former Miami commitment’s pledge for the intervening time.

But Mullen’s RT is a clear signal that Pierre’s commitment is a genuine one, and so Florida is getting an in-state player from Mount Dora’s Christian Home and Bible School — yes, that’s a real high school — who ranks just inside the state’s top 100 players for the 2019 class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.

It’s easier to see Pierre as a take after watching his junior-year highlights, in which he flashes good instincts and makes players against clearly overmatched competition.

But Pierre’s commitment comes at a precarious time for Florida, with fans having recently seen a slew of Gators targets pledge to other schools, and with long-time Florida lean Mycah Pittman suddenly seemingly ticketed for Oregon after conversations with recruiting writers at The Opening.

Pierre is also just Florida’s 11th commitment for the 2019 cycle, and its seventh three-star pledge — but is the third linebacker on board, suggesting that linebackers coach Christian Robinson’s work on the trail may be concluded or close to it. Given that Florida has largely struggled to find or develop stars at linebacker since Will Muschamp’s recruits have left Gainesville, depending on some three-star prospects to become superlative starters down the line is notionally nerve-wracking for many fans.

Florida’s 11-prospect recruiting class now ranks 29th nationally and 10th in the SEC, per 247Sports.