- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- With four-star defensive end DeMarcus Walker (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood) announcing his commitment to Alabama on Friday evening, the Gators will now look at some options to replace the No. 24-ranked player in the country on their recruiting board.
Who else is left?
Ebenezer Ogundeko (Brooklyn, N.Y./Thomas Jefferson) is the most likely candidate. Ogundeko has Florida in his top three along with Syracuse and Notre Dame, and Ogundeko said he will take an official visit to Florida in the fall. Florida could also turn up the heat on Clemson commit Elijah Daniel (Avon, Ind./Avon), who had Florida at the top of his list for a while before committing to the Tigers. Penn State commit Garrett Sickels (Little Silver, N.J./Red Bank Regional) and four-star defensive end Jaylen Miller (Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney) are other possible targets. With limited scholarships available, Florida could also chose not to sign another defensive end.
Who Florida has in this class
Florida has two four-star defensive end commits in this class with Jordan Sherit (Tampa, Fla./Hillsborough) and Antonio Riles (Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer). Sherit could also play the sam linebacker position or even Florida's buck position. At 6-foot-4, 271-pounds Riles is expected to move inside to tackle, but could also be used as a strong side defensive end. Defensive tackle commit Joey Ivie (Dade City, Fla./Pasco) is around the same size as Riles, and Ivie will actually play a lot of end this season for Pasco. Depending on how he does, Ivie could start his career at end for the Gators. Don't forget Florida also landed talented ends Dante Fowler Jr. and Jonathan Bullard in last year's class, so end is not an immediate need for Florida.
Is it completely over for Florida?
Walker, an Under-Armour All-American, has said from the beginning no matter where he commits to, he still plans to take all five official visits and has hinted that his recruitment may not end until signing day. The Gators will continue to pursue Walker and with fellow Jacksonville residents Nick Washington (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian) and Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville, Fla./Bishop Kenny) being good friends with Walker, this one could get interesting down the road. Don't expect the Gators to throw in the towel.
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11dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough