Ten days after the firing of former Florida coach Jim McElwian, the Gators have their first decommitment.
Four-star receiver Ja’Marr Chase, ranked the nation’s No. 12 receiving recruit by 247Sports, announced Wednesday on Twitter that he has decided to re-open his recruiting process.
Chase (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) committed to Florida on July 23 after attending UF’s Friday Night Lights, an annual recruiting showcase. Chase, a Metairie, Louisiana, native out of Archbishop Rummel High School, was initially expected to attend either LSU (under a 90-minute drive from his hometown) or TCU.
After Friday Night Lights, Chase told SEC Country that he was fond of McElwain and his coaching staff.
“I like all of them,” Chase said in July. “They’re just good people, they treat me like family and they say I’d be a great fit. … I always want to come back here. Great coaching staff, great football team, SEC, it’s a great place to be.”
Now, with McElwain gone and much his staff likely to disperse after the season, Chase has flipped and decided to give other schools a chance to land a coveted recruit. In his announcement, Chase named McElwain and linebackers coach Tim Skipper, as well as tagging Skipper in the tweet.
“I would like to thank Coach Skip, Coach Mac, and the rest of the UF staff for all the love and support that they have shown me,” Chase wrote. “But at this time, I have to do what's best for my family and me. At this time I am de-committing from the University of Florida.”
SEC Country recruiting expert Zach Abolverdi reported that Chase holds more than 30 offers and his top choices are likely LSU, Michigan, TCU and Florida.
While it's not unusual for prospects to reconsider after a regime change, Chase is the first noteworthy recruit to decommit to UF after McElwain’s firing. And Florida’s recruiting class, once ranked No. 7 in the country earlier in the season, now stands at No. 10 in the nation, according to 247Sports.
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