Florida football recruiting has a very rich history on the recruiting trail and is one of the most recognizable brands in college sports thanks to all of the generational talent that has passed through The Swamp.
While some of the best recruits to pick the Gators were locked into UF all the way through, like Ronald Powell (2010) and Percy Harvin (2006), there have been a number of big-time Gator commits that Florida football recruiting had to pry away from other schools.
In today’s age of recruiting, it seems that almost no commitment is safe with the threat of NIL bids and booster donations. While that wasn’t the case back in the early 2000s, there were still plenty of big-time flips that changed the course of Gator football.
Here are some of the biggest and most program-changing flips in the history of Florida football recruiting:
(List from floridagatorlogo on IG)
Florida football recruiting biggest flips: Jordan Scarlett (2015-2018)
Jordan Scarlett, while he may not be mentioned in the same breath as some of the other great running backs in Gator history, had a very good career with the Gators.
A member of the class of 2014 and the 12th-best RB per 247 Sports Composite Rankings, Jordan had a very eventful recruitment. He was originally committed to FAU, but in July 2014, he flipped to the Miami Hurricanes and his recruitment became a Big Three battle in Florida.
He took tons of visits to FSU, Florida, and Miami, before making a shocking decision in February of 2015. As a Miami commit, he took an official visit to FSU. The following day, he de-committed from the Canes.
Any normal person would see this as a sign that the Noles did something to change his mind and he would end up in the Garnet and Gold.
But the next day he announced his intentions to be a Florida Gator, and that was the commitment that stuck.
Over three years of action in Gainesville, he ran for 1,846 yards and 12 touchdowns, with his best season being in 2016 with 889 yards and six scores.
As I said, it’s hard to compare him to guys like Emmitt Smith when you think about great Gator backs. But Scarlett had a very good career in the orange and blue, and most importantly, chose the Gators over Miami and FSU.