For those of you asking where the four and five stars are: here’s one!
Prized 2017 offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort has decommitted from Miami, and flipped to Florida. He originally committed to Miami last February, but a source tells me he began to waver in recent weeks. Since his commitment to Miami, he earned subsequent offers from Florida, Louisville and Auburn, and this morning he decided to make the switch to Florida.
He’s a great pickup, too.
Depending on who you ask, Telfort ranges from 30-50 in his class at his position. He stands 6’5 and 320, and has decent enough footwork now, going into his junior year, that with a little improvement, he could start right away at Florida as a freshman. The Gators are already loading up on offensive linemen, with Martez Ivey, Tyler Jordan and Brandon Sandifer in this past year’s class, and Stone Forsythe already onboard for next year’s class; this is just the latest step in the right direction toward cleaning up the mess Will Muschamp started on our offensive line.
Credit Randy Shannon for this one.
The Florida-Miami rivalry is no longer played on the field, but it’s only heating up in recruiting. Shannon, the former Miami coach, has now snagged six recruits from the Miami area of four star caliber or better: CB Chauncey Gardner, LB Vosean Joseph, WR Isaiah Johnson, WR Josh Hammond, QB Jake Allen and now Telfort. And to really stick it to Miami, two of those five were formerly committed to the Canes.
It’s not throwing shade to say that Miami has fallen off tremendously, nor is it to say that they’ve been reduced to a Conference USA program in terms of prestige. I’ve always wanted to play Miami every year, but for the first time, I can kind of see why some Gator fans don’t. An annual rivalry with Miami would mean taking a road trip to a de facto Conference USA team’s “home” stadium, where Florida would have more fans than Miami. And if the Gators are going to have more fans than Miami, they may as well just play the game in the Swamp, so UF can collect home game revenue. Miami’s prestige is so low right now that they’re willing to schedule home and home series with Florida International and Florida Atlantic. Those are their new rivals. By comparison, Florida would never be caught dead playing a road game at 40,000 seat structures against such inferior teams.
The larger point is this: if it comes down to Florida and Miami for a recruit’s services, and the kid wants to play at the better program, Florida will win the battle every single time. Whatever chance Miami previously had of landing recruits with a solid interest in Florida is now gone with Randy Shannon anti-recruiting the Hurricanes and recruiting for Florida in Miami territory. Kadeem Telfort is just a drop in the bucket. With Shannon, the Gators have claimed South Florida as their own in totality, with only Florida State to really worry about.
So this is a victory in two ways for Florida. One, they get a big time commitment from a consensus four star offensive lineman. And two, it further diminishes the shine of playing for the Miami Hurricanes- and with the gold mine of talent in South Florida, that’s a huge win for Jim McElwain.