Conversations helped sway four-star back to Florida

Nov 23, 2021 | 0 comments

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Last week, heading into today's announcement, it was a poorly kept secret that Florida was the team to beat for Owasso (Okl.) four-star defensive lineman @Chris Mc">Chris McClellan‍ – the No. 1 ranked prospect on Inside the Gators Great Eight Targets.

However, the Gators parting ways with football head coach Dan Mullen on Sunday threw a wrench in the works.

As the very first prospect Inside the Gators spoke directly with after the announcement concerning Mullen's departure, McClellan, in no uncertain terms, said Florida was no longer under consideration.

"It was shocking, I wasn't expecting it, but they have to do what they think is better off for them in the future,” McClellan said on Sunday. “When a [head] coach is fired, pretty much all his assistants go too, so Florida is out of it. I'll pick between the others on Tuesday."

This is recruiting, and situations do change.

After announcing for Florida on Tuesday, McClellan said that while his spur-of-the-moment reaction was to eliminate the Gators, after further deliberation, he felt that was a shortsighted move.

“Honestly man, I just sat back and considered everything,” said McClellan. “You get close to coaches, but you should go to a school for the school, not for the coaching staff. The culture and the atmosphere and everything that makes Florida Florida is still there.”

McClellan didn't just come to that realization on his own, a couple of conversations helped him to realize where his heart is.

“I talked to Coach [Kelvin] Bolden, [David] Turner, [Garrick] McGee, all of those guys and they said that they didn't know if they would be there or not, but that didn't matter. This goes to show you that I should go to the school where I felt the most comfortable and I can be great at Florida no matter who the coach is going to be.”

It wasn't just the Florida coaching staff that helped convince McClellan that Florida was the place for him.

“I talked to the head Athletic Director [Scott Stricklin] and he told me how they are going to get the right coaches in there, but it's bigger than that. He said that the university as a whole wants me there as a student-athlete, not just as a football player and I should look at the bigger picture, not just the football program.”

That is exactly what happened Tuesday afternoon, and now he is committed to Florida.

Two weeks ago McClellan said that he wanted to fit in an unofficial visit to Oregon before signing day, however, he said that trip is off the table. He however did say that he will take another official to Florida, as permitted, when the new staff is in place.

He said that recruiting is over and done with and he will sign with Florida during on Early Signing Day in three weeks.

McClellan is the No. 101 ranked prospect in the nation according to the 247 Sports Composite.

The Inside Scoop: As proof of the pulling power of the University of Florida, the Gators' highest-rated commitment to date made his pledge without a head coach in place. Also, we all tear into Florida's recruiting (myself included), but there are a handful of plus recruiters on the coaching and support staff. Instead of looking out for themselves and another job, there are assistants still recruiting their asses off for Florida.

Tags: Sport

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