Caleb Brantley Decommits from Florida: Where Do Gators Turn Next?

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 3, 2013

Caleb Brantley Via 247Sports
Caleb Brantley Via 247Sports

Update: 4-star defensive tackle Caleb Brantley has recommited to Florida, per his Twitter account:

Just committed to University Of Florida ! #Again ! #GoGators

— Caleb Brantley' ! (@_TheKidd34) January 5, 2013

This is an important recommitment for Florida. Brantley is the No.7 defensive tackle recruit in the nation according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. 

--End of Update 1/5/13

The Florida Gators have lost a big-time commitment in 4-star defensive tackle Caleb Brantley.

Brantley is a highly ranked defensive tackle recruit and was one of the main commitments for the Gators. He's listed as the No. 7 defensive tackle recruit, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, and he has a ton of potential at 6'3'' and 308 pounds.

Losing his commitment is a significant loss for Florida recruiting. Derek Tyson of reports on the bad news for Florida:

Four-star defensive tackle Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, Fla./Crescent City) decommitted from Florida after the Under Armour All-America Game practice on Wednesday. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound athlete announced his decision via Twitter and later confirmed with 

Brantley, who had been committed to Florida since Jan. 28, declined to comment on his change of heart other than that he was opening things back up and was planning to take his official visits. 

In a 2013 recruiting cycle that has seen Will Muschamp and Florida put together an incredible class—ranked No. 3 overall by—this is a rare bit of bad news.

If there is a bright side here, it's that Florida is still looking very good defensively. The Gators have arguably put together the best defensive recruiting class in the nation, and that title still holds up without Brantley.

Darious Cummings is a 4-star JUCO defensive tackle who has signed a Letter of Intent, and he's a major recruiting win for Florida. Cummings is 6'2'', 301 pounds and ranked as the No. 4 overall JUCO defensive tackle recruit in the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

Florida also boasts commitments from 5-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III—the No. 1 ranked corner in the 247Sports Composite Rankings—and 4-star outside linebacker Daniel McMillian. McMillian is the No. 5 ranked outside linebacker recruit in the 247Sports Composite Rankings.

That's not to mention a handful of other great defensive recruits. If Florida wanted to stand pat after losing Brantley's commitment, it would be just fine defensively. 

Of course, Florida is still in the running for 5-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams, and landing his commitment would more than make up for losing Brantley. Adams is 6'4'', 310 pounds and has the potential to be an elite defensive lineman. He has great size, speed, aggressiveness and technique. Needless to say, he would fit in well with Florida's defense.

Adams has an unofficial top five of Georgia, Alabama, Clemson, Auburn and Florida, according to his interest list, so the Gators have to be feeling good about their chances. Expect Florida to be one of the top teams in the running for his commitment as National Signing Day draws near.

Whichever way Florida goes about it, it will be just fine after the loss of Brantley.

Should the Gators choose to remain the same, their 2013 class will be great defensively. With a recruit like Adams on the board, though, I have a feeling that Florida will focus on trying to bring him in.

If Florida can land Adams, its 2013 class will be elite overall.

It's not often that you can say a recruiting class is still in good shape after losing an elite commitment. With the way Muschamp has recruited, though, the future of Florida Gators football is still incredibly bright.

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