EVEN IF Jerimy Finch holds with the Hoosiers, BCS champion Florida looks to be the leading beneficiary of the trend toward switching commitments in 2007. Its recruiting class, rated No. 1 by Rivals.com headed into Signing Day, already includes three top prospects who bolted to the Gators: Quarterback John Brantley (Trinity Catholic, Ocala, Fla.) switched from Texas; defensive end Justin Trattou (Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J.) forsook Notre Dame; and offensive lineman James Wilson (Nease, Ponte Vedra, Fla.) reneged on his pledge to USC.
The case of Wilson (left), a 6'5", 305-pound guard, shows how futile it can be to rush a high school athlete into signing. Says his Nease coach, Craig Howard, "He decided he wanted to play again with Tim Tebow [Florida's freshman QB, also from Nease]. He went to the U.S. Army All-American game and met guys going to the schools he was still looking at. And, of course, Florida won the national title. That always helps."
JON M. FLETCHER/THE FLORIDA TIMES-UNION (WILSON)