Gators get surprise early enrollee in LB Anzalone

By Adam Silverstein
January 10, 2013

The Florida Gators added a surprise eighth early enrollee on Thursday as four-star 2013 linebacker Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, PA) rescinded his pledge from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and plans to arrive in Gainesville, FL on Friday.

According to’s Blake Alderman and recruiting analyst Mike Farrell, who first reported Anzalone’s flip, the player decommitted from the Fighting Irish after head coach Brian Kelly interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles before heading out on vacation following the 2013 BCS National Championship Game.

He originally committed to Ohio State in April but decommitted in May and named Florida and Notre Dame as his top two. The success of Manti Te’o led Anzalone to commit to the Fighting Irish in July, but he soon began reconsidering his choice.

His father, Salvatore Anzalone, received his medical degree from the University of Florida and other members of his extended family also live near Gainesville. Those facts made the Gators an attractive potential destination all along.

Anzalone had previously considered flipping from Notre Dame to Florida but reaffirmed his pledge to the Fighting Irish on Nov. 5. An early enrollee, his recruiting process was thought to be over at that point.

However, with Kelly’s reported NFL interest making news over the last few days, Anzalone apparently felt that the grass was greener in Gainesville.

He is expected to enroll in school on Friday and be the eighth player to join the Gators this spring along with four-star running back Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, FL), four-star LB Daniel McMillian (Jacksonville, FL), four-star wide receiver Demarcus Robinson (Jacksonville, FL), four-star defensive end Joey Ivie (Dade City, FL), four-star LB Matt Rolin (Jacksonville, FL), and four-star transfers offensive lineman Tyler Moore (Clearwater, FL) and defensive tackle Darious Cummings (Scooba, MS).

Anzalone is ranked as the 50th best player in the nation by Rivals and the No. 1 recruit from the state of Pennsylvania. He is considered the 97th best player in the nation by ESPN, which also lists him as a four-star prospect.

Florida’s newest recruiting class now consists of 27 total pledges including 26 that count as part of the 2013 cycle. Rivals and ESPN now unanimously list the Gators as having the No. 1 2013 recruiting class in the nation.


  1. SJ210 says:

    Great news! Pretty impressive offensive highlights too. Given how thin we are at TE, I wonder if there is any thought of giving him a shot there? He’s already Jordan Reed’s size.

    • Michael Jones says:

      Actually we’re pretty strong at tight end. We’re losing Reed, but we’ve got some quality kids behind him. Reed could have used another year to toughen up a little and learn how to block. But he was a good Gator and I wish him the best in the NFL, as with all of our kids.

  2. Joshua says:

    Coach Boom and the boys are doin’ work on the recruiting trail! Doesn’t look like we’re finished either…

  3. VO2max says:

    Wow! Nice surprise. Welcome.

  4. GatorCooken says:

    If Muschamp somehow pulls out Adams, Bostwick, or Collins….this could be one of the all-time great recruiting classes in terms of quality, depth and variety of positions. As of now, it is anyway. BOOM!

  5. Alex says:

    Where’s that guy who thinks white linebackers can’t succeed? He’s gotta be having a brain anuerysm right now

  6. Walt P says:

    Great recruiting now if it can turn into wins and championships it will be great. Pls don’t bring up the racial stuff again lets keep the site PG ok. Go gators

    • Michael Jones says:

      So delicate. . so fragile. Lighten up, Walt. It’s going to be okay. A little wholesome levity poking fun at ridiculous comments isn’t going to hurt anybody.

      Love this new recruit. Sounds like a stud athlete and a good character kid. Go Gators!

  7. tank says:

    Looks solid,
    Highlight reel was decent. Seem to be several “clean-up” hits which really aren’t that impressive. The whole shaky camera thing was distracting. I was actually more impressed with him as a running back. That said, GO GATORS.

  8. Ken (CA) says:

    wow, he has flip flopped more than a live fish on a dock…I think I’ll wait until he actually enrolls to cheer.

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