Posted: 9:12 am Wednesday, December 9th, 2009
By Jason Lieser
One of the things I found interesting at last night’s Lou Groza banquet was the number of Florida Gators fans trying to get a minute with Matt Elam. Throughout the evening, they came to him for photos and told him they can’t wait to see him in orange and blue.
But what if he chooses different colors?
Elam committed to the Gators last fall, but his recruiting process has gone a long way to illustrate the difference between “commitment” to a college and, well, actual commitment.
Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin and Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher both stopped by Dwyer’s campus Tuesday for a word with Elam. Panthers coach Jack Daniels said Alabama’s Nick Saban is scheduled to come by tomorrow, though that visit is predominantly for junior defensive end Curt Maggitt. (Saban also has a visit set up with Pahokee wide receiver Chris Dunkley this week).
Tennessee’s candidacy for Elam is waning, but he said Florida State still has a chance to pull him from the Gators.
“I could go to Tennessee, but, no, I’m committed to Florida,” he said.
Who has the best shot to steal Elam?
“I’d say Florida State,” he said.
Elam (6-0, 210, No. 1 on The Big Board) has made official visits to West Virginia, Tennessee, Florida State and Georgia. He is planning to take his official visit to Gainesville after Friday’s playoff game against Seffner-Armwood.
“I’m committed to Florida,” he said. “I’m still doing some thinking. I’ll do my official visit this weekend and I’ll make my decision after.”
Elam has already signed his enrollment forms for Florida, but they cannot be processed until he graduates. He is on track to graduate this month and plans to be on a college campus in January so he can participate in spring practices.
One of the things Elam likes about FSU right now is the possibility to team up with Treasure Coast linebacker Jeff Luc. Luc committed to the Seminoles on Saturday and instantly made FSU a more attractive destination for Elam.
“That got my attention,” Elam said. “I would love to play with Jeff because he’s a great linebacker that makes great plays. Me playing with Jeff could be good.”
Tennessee and Florida are also pursuing Elam’s teammate, Robert Clark. Clark, a defensive back, wide receiver and return man, committed to West Virginia earlier this season, but he said Friday he is still weighing his options.
Here’s the timeline on Elam:
October 2008: Elam commits to Florida.
February 2009: Tennessee begins pursuing Elam.
August 2009: Elam says again he is committed to Florida.
October 2009: Elam says he prefers West Virginia.
October 2009: Elam warms up to Tennessee.
October/November 2009: Elam visits Georgia and Florida State, sounds open again.