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October 20, 2011

The linebacker board without Phillips


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Two weeks ago, Patterson (La.) outside linebacker Lorenzo Phillips began a stir in the 2012 Florida linebacker class when he said he would be taking several official and unofficial visits. As a Louisiana guy, many assumed it would only be a matter of time before a decommitment would come.

[Related Content: Phillips - Recruiting door ajar]

After his high school game this past weekend, Phillips declined to reaffirm his UF commitment in a video interview filmed for the Rivals network.

[Related Content: Video - Phillips talks recruiting]

Then on Tuesday night, Phillips officially decommitted from the Gators, telling Inside the Gators that because distance is a factor, he no longer has UF under consideration.

[Related Content: Alley - Phillips decommits]

His departure in turn leaves questions as to how Florida will fill a third linebacker spot in this upcoming class.

Currently, the options are a mixed bag of players currently committed but open to visits and others who have simply not gotten around to narrowing things down yet.

If the Gators are to add another linebacker in the Class of 2012, he will more than likely come from the list below:

  • Probably the biggest name on Florida's linebacker board right now is Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes' Josh Harvey-Clemons. The Rivals100 outside linebacker has played the recruiting process close to the vest, but Florida appears to be in the discussion, especially since refocusing its recruitment of him back to linebacker after a stint at wide receiver.

  • Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson is loaded with Division I prospects, including two players already committed to Florida. Recently, four-star Stephenson linebacker and Miami commit Raphael Kirby has reopened his recruiting process and is looking at a handful of schools including Florida. Around the time Phillips started talking about other visits, Kirby was contacted by UF tight ends coach Derek Lewis and told the Gators -- who had been his leader for much of the spring -- were interested again. However, since that time, Kirby said he has not talked to any Florida coaches and has put little thought into the Gators. High school teammate JaFar Mann said he does not expect Kirby to actually decommit from Miami.

  • Another Miami commit questioning his decision due to the Hurricanes' NCAA troubles is Miami Norland linebacker Keith Brown. Having already taken official visits to Purdue and Clemson this fall, Brown has plans for additional trips to South Florida and Illinois. He has said he would like to visit Florida but has not set a date yet.

  • From the time he committed to Stanford, Rivals100 linebacker Noor Davis has said he would still be taking visits to other places despite his pledge to the Cardinal. Davis was in attendance at The Swamp when the Gators took on Alabama and is contemplating taking an official visit to Florida as well.

  • Ukeme Eligwe is the nation's No. 1 outside linebacker. He has also been a Florida State commit since April. But while he insists he is 100 percent committed to the Seminoles, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker is considering taking visits to Florida and Georgia.

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