FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
- Head Coach Hot Board Profile: Napier
- Ranking the current commitments from least to most likely to sign with Florida
- Conversations helped sway four-star back to Florida
- Head Coach Hot Board: 15 Initial Names to Know
- WCC: Recruit Reaction and Coaching Rumors
- Florida's Great Eight Targets
- Inside the Gators: Mock Signing Class 7.0
- Left scrambling, Florida extends an unprecedented eight October offers
As Inside the Gators reported in Friday's Weekend Visitor Preview, in what was a much more stacked recruiting weekend considering the circumstances, one of the biggest surprises was former Florida commit, Mobile (Ala.) Faith Academy four-star linebacker Shemar James decision to make a return visit to campus.
Though he wanted to see a game in the Swamp, James said that the main reason he visited Saturday was based on the personal relationships he has developed with players and staff.
“I would say just the love here. The relationships I’ve got with the majority of the players,” said James. “Just the overall vibe that I get when I come here.”
The charge to get him in Orange & Blue has been led by interim defensive coordinator Christian Robinson and Assistant Director of Player Personel Chase Clark.
“Oh yeah, Coach C-Rob and Coach Clark, he said they’re planning on staying here. But he really hasn’t talked to me. I never really asked about it.”
Although he didn't ask, James made it clear he preferred Florida to keep his two main contacts within the staff.
“That means a lot. For him and coach Clark to be here. That was a big part of my committing in the first place. Especially coach Clark. I’ll say it’s just; we’ll see.
“I mean as long as the guys that I’ve been around every day are still here. I have a relationship with them. So, I mean yeah I can have a relationship with the coach. But I wouldn’t say that my commitment would be right to the coach, I would say coaching.”
Speaking of his past pledge to the Gators, for the first time James spoke of the reason he backed off his commitment.
“I’ll say that I wanted to make sure that it was right because, you know, my first time here, I just got a great feeling. ‘I just want to do it.’ Then I wanted to just make sure it just wasn’t the feeling pretty much,” explained James. “I stepped back for a minute, I came back, and I got the same feeling.”
Now that he has been back on campus, James said Florida has reemerged as a candidate for his signature.
“Yes, I would say they’re still in it,” said James.
According to James, Florida is one of five programs in the running for his services.
“Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida State, Florida, and Georgia.”
As far as a leaderboard, James said he isn't ready to name one just yet.
“I know I have to go back home and talk to my mom about it. But, I’ll say the relationship plays a big part of it. You know the development side of things, that plays a part too. I want to get in there. Not first year, I know I gotta’ work for it, work for everything. I want to get in there, I want to get some action my freshman year.”
James is the No. 70 ranked prospect in the nation according to the 247 Sports Composite and will make his commitment on Early Signing Day on December 15.
Rafael de los Santos contributed to this report