While much of the news about Florida Gators athletics has slowed to a trickle while the world deals with the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus, Thursday night managed to bring a bit of bad news for the Gators on the recruiting trail — if, perhaps, the sort that might not end up ultimately being a bad thing for Dan Mullen’s program.
After all, when four-star 2021 athlete Kamar Wilcoxson took to Twitter late Thursday to announce his decommitment from the Gators...
...he was doing so for the second time, having previously decommitted from Florida in April 2019 (with a riff on the “Roses are red...” rhyme) after being the first 2021 prospect to commit to the Gators way back in November 2018. Wilcoxson also committed to Florida twice, making his second public pledge to the Gators in July 2019.
And, to be clear, he’s a good enough prospect to be able to do this sort of flexing of his leverage during his recruitment and for Florida to be hurt by losing him. Florida landed him with home-state Georgia — Wilcoxson is from the Peach State but playing at IMG Academy and Bradenton — and Ohio State also vying for his pledge, and it doesn’t look like those schools are dissuaded by Wilcoxson getting cold feet and spurning another program twice, with Ohio State set to host Wilcoxson on a visit in June; similarly, Florida hosting him twice for Junior Days this winter and still seeing him cut himself loose represents some waste of time invested, if maybe only a minimal one.
But Florida’s recruiting has been strong enough, especially during its resurgence under Mullen, that Wilcoxson is not a great enough prospect to qualify as a must-have for Florida in its 2021 recruiting class. He’s a four-star corner ranked right around No. 250 nationally, the sort of player that Florida should have one or two of in every class, but he’s not a make-or-break five-star talent by most estimations.
And while I don’t always agree with Gators legend Jacquez Green’s takes on Twitter, I think he has this one pretty well nailed.
We gotta let him go. Feels like a headache in the making. 2 or 3 high schools. 2 or 3 decommits. https://t.co/5aFFEaLSuD— ℂℚ ℤ ℝ ℕ (@JacquezGreen) March 27, 2020
Florida is also far better-positioned than it was the last time Wilcoxson decommitted — along with other talented commits, and in a spree that had pundits opining that Florida’s 2021 class had “fall(en) apart” more than 18 months removed from the Early Signing Period for that class. Now, his parting ways with the Gators did little to impact Florida’s class ranking, as the Gators still sit at No. 3 nationally in the 247Composite team rankings.
And if Florida can field a top-five class without having to deal with the headache of getting a recruit to commit (and then not decommit) for the third time, it probably should.