Adarius Lemons is staying home.
The Clearwater native arrived at Friday Night Lights — Florida’s annual in-house recruiting event — last Friday committed to North Carolina. But the four-star running back changed his mind and flipped to UF, according to a Tweet posted on his account on Sunday.
Lemons is the No. 8 running back and No. 139-overall player in the country, according to 247Sports. His commitment to the Gators brings UF’s 2017 class up to 12 members, with Lemons being its second-highest rated player.
The only athlete ahead of the 6-foot, 195-pound back on the 247Sports rankings is fellow Tampa Bay area standout Zachary Carter, a four-star defensive end from Hillsborough High School.
The team’s third-best prospect on the list, wideout Daquon Green, also hails from the area as a star at Tampa Bay Tech.
Gators nab linebacker
While Lemons committed after leaving Friday Night Lights, South Florida native James Houston didn’t wait.
Hailing from American Heritage High School in Plantation, the 6-foot-1, 225 pound linebacker boasts 26 Division I offers, according to 247Sports, and committed to UF at the event.
Houston is the No. 9-rated player in Florida’s 2017 class, according to 247Sports.
While UF has done well in the Bay area with the Tampa Bay trio at the top, another region of emphasis is South Florida.
And at the top of the Gators’ South Florida wish list is four-star quarterback Jake Allen.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound pocket passer from high school powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas has been committed to the Gators for over a year.
In addition, Florida has nabbed Miami natives Kadeem Telfort (three-star, 6-foot-7, 300-pound offensive tackle) and Kemore Gamble (four-star, 6-foot-4, 216-pound tight end).
The Gators will look to continue picking up commitments from South Florida by targeting players like Jake Allen’s teammate Trevon Grimes (five-star, 6-foot-3, 202-pound receiver) and American Heritage’s Marco Wilson (four-star, 6-foot, 180-pound defensive back).