Matt Elam drops Gators, commits to Seminoles

By Adam Silverstein
December 31, 2009

Five-star safety recruit Matt Elam (West Palm Beach, FL), formerly the prize of the Florida Gators 2010 recruiting class, has decommitted and pledged to play for the Florida State Seminoles. Elam, who appeared to waiver about his commitment throughout the entire recruiting process, reaffirmed his decision to play for the Gators numerous times over the last few months, most recently sporting a Florida jersey and declaring that he could not wait to enroll early in January. Now his jersey is garnet and gold.

“I just see better opportunity to come in and play and to have an impact as a freshman,” Elam told “They have two of the best cornerbacks in the country and I just feel like I can go in there and help make that secondary even better. They got three two of the best players in the country and I see along of things changing. It was on my mind, but today I really made the decision. I was sitting down thinking like I can make a difference, if I go to Florida I really can’t make a difference at Florida I can just jump on the bandwagon. I want to make a difference and I see a lot of good things there.”

Head coach Urban Meyer was the main reason Elam planned to attend the University of Florida, as he has been close with the coach ever since Meyer recruited his brother Abram Elam (now with the Cleveland Browns) to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. When Meyer briefly resigned on Saturday before deciding to take a leave of absence from the Gators instead, Elam became very upset.

“I feel like he knew before Saturday that he wanted to step down,” Elam Orlando Sentinel. Dorsey will visit the Tennessee Volunteers on Jan. 14, a trip scheduled before Meyer’s announcement. He has long been considered one of the most likely Gators commitments to decommit.

Photo Credit: Ray Graham, Palm Beach Post


  1. ZURBO says:

    Enjoy FSU you little media whore

  2. cigator says:

    I hope for the best, but the way this situation is shaping up, this could just be the tip of the iceberg. Hindsight is 20/20, but imagine if Coach just backed off to take care of himself for 6 months without going public with the resignation. We are now in a world of turmoil. Assuming coach comes back in August, how do you recruit when the word that his health is still not that great and he may leave at anytime. I want Urban here forever, but the way this went down and the long term ramifications, I hate to say it, but a new coach may have been better for the long run.

  3. cigator – It’s one player. A very good player, but one who has had an attitude and been a primidona throughout the entire process. One thing that UF is not lacking is players in the secondary. The only time this really matters is the weekend after Thanksgiving for the next three-to-four years.

  4. Brittany says:

    He’s been flaky since the beginning so I am not all that shocked. It’s a loss for sure but we will be fine. And while I’m not all that pleased that he will be playing for FSU I can’t say that I truely blame him for wavering. Like it or not Urban Meyer is a huge selling point for recruits. We could get into the whole ‘you should commit to the school, not the coach’ but at the end of the day that is just the way it is.

  5. cigator says:

    Adam – I’m looking at the big picture, beyond 1 player. The program is unsettled right now and it could be for sometime. That is not conducive to long term success. Just my thoughts.

  6. cigator – I understand. My point is that Elam’s decommitment is not necessarily indicative of what will happen in the big picture. This is someone who has been waffling back and forth for a long time. It’s not someone like Trey Burton or Solomon Patton who has been die-hard Gator since day one. That’s all I’m saying.

  7. Daniel M. says:

    Pretty surprising since he was recently reaffirming his commitment. Adios bucko you are officially Gator Bait! I watched the guy play and was surprised all along that he wouldn’t be touching the ball at UF. He’s dynamic as a ball carrier. Watched him scorch my team in person. FSU should get him carries.

  8. cigator says:

    Adam – don’t know how long you been following Gator football, but I just get that sense that this could be the UF probation, FSU rise scenario all over again. FSU has been down, but this might be the spark they need to come back. Just hate to see UF help them in that regard.

  9. O-town Gator says:

    I only wish Elam had a little more faith in Florida; after all, we didn’t ask for all this to happen to Coach Meyer. I only hope that perhaps he and the others will have a change of heart between now and NSD.

    Reading that Dorsey is visiting that place in Knoxville in mid-January tells me that sleazeball Kiffykins has something up his sleeve again.

    Cigator, I think you’re overreacting a little bit. We’re not in a state of “turmoil”; IMO the media creates a lot of this uproar and does so on purpose. I have faith in Coach Meyer that he’ll be back on the sidelines sometime in 2010, and to say that “a new coach may have been better for the long run” is not really being fair to him at all. Meyer has put all his heart into building Florida football back up again, and despite some of the pitfalls he’s encountered along the way is strongly committed to this program – if he wasn’t, then his resignation would have stood firm. I’ll never slight him for having to take this time off for his health and personal needs; from time to time we all have issues to deal with ourselves. After all, he’s only human like the rest of us.

  10. You cannot compare the two situations, cigator. FSU is no doubt on the rise and the Gators need to be very worried about that. The spark for FSU was Lamarcus Joyner and Jeff Luc – Elam is just the icing on top of the cake. UF shot themselves in the foot with Meyer’s resignation and then decision to return last weekend – but the damage control that has been done by the coaches seems to have worked quite well. If a program goes through something like that and only loses one or two commits (don’t forget, they’re going to add some, too), that’s indicative of strength and the ability to rebound from anything. For other programs, an announcement like Meyer’s would have been devastating. For Florida, it is a bump in the road.

  11. Brittany says:

    Just now reading his quote, in my opinion it sounds like he decided on FSU because he could go there and automatically be a star whereas at Florida he woud have had to prove himself on special teams and such before getting the ‘star” treatment. But thats just my two cents.

  12. vsherrel says:

    Also, we have two other commitments from the same high school, who both seemed to be just following Elam’s lead.

  13. Michelle says:

    In my opinion, Elam was never really a Gator, so let him go to FSU. We may not see it now, but in the long run, we will be better off without him. Many people are focusing on the negative…I say we keep on moving forward and focus on the positives…

  14. Actually, vsherrel, Christian is considered to be the leader of the three. Clark, however, may follow Elam’s lead.

  15. cigator says:

    Adam – like you said, we shot ourselves in the foot. Just like we did with probation. I see a lot of similarity. The relaity is that Jimbo cant hold Urban’s jock as a coach and leader. But this misstep may very well even the playing field. On top of that, you know losing these recruits is eating at Coach Meyer, which adds to his stress about the situation. I think he comes back sooner than expected or not at all.

  16. Mr2Bits says:

    Piss off Elam. You were so worried about having to earn a spot on the team anyhow. Makes me wonder if you are as good as you think. You will be right there 0-4 vs the Gators just like the last class was. Dont let the door hit you in your whiny ass.

  17. Gatorfan33 says:

    I knew the Urban deal would cause 2-3 to bolt and this one was one of the expected. Never was a sure thing for us and then it sounds like he wants to come in, start and be a star for the 1st day. That is something he is more likely to accomplish at FSU than at UF where like Adam said we are deep in the secondary. We should have 25 + scholarships to give out this year so I look for him to not only be replaced but also for more good to great players to be added to this class.

  18. Mr2Bits says:

    One other thing is it kind of makes you say huh, if we had not lost to Bama. I mean the fallout from that one loss is beyond imaginable and it is not even close to being done.

    1) Lose to Bama
    2) Urban nearly dies from dehydration
    3) Gonzalez a top WR coach and stout recruiter leaves for a lateral position at a rival
    4) UF lets Strong leave a week before the bombshell is dropped, still waiting on any fart of a name for a replacement defensive coordinator to surface
    5) Urban retires then retires from retiring all in 24 hours although nobody really knows what the hell is going on or when he’ll be back
    6) Adazzio is given the keys to a race car when he has only driven power wheels in the driveway
    7) Many other coaches being poaches for other opportunities
    8) Elam takes the lead on de-committing with more to follow I’m sure
    9) God only knows

    Im sure I missed something but this is not looking good

  19. OrangeHulk says:

    Anyone that can switch from being a Gator to wanting to be a Nole in a weeks time. As instituitions of higher learning and athletics in general there is no comparison. UF is the hot girl at the prom, you are going to have to take her out, buy her flowers and earn her trust. FSU is the girl you meet under the bleachers at an away game….you don’t remember her name but you think it was Traci. Elam have fun with Traci. You two make a great couple but just remember she only dates starters (all of them).

  20. Theo says:

    The thing with Elam was that he wasn’t really a gator fan he was an Urban Meyer fan. I agree he has to do what is best for his future though going to F$U seems like a knee jerk reaction. It seems that his ‘agreement’ with UM that UF would not recruit anymore Safeties has backfired on us. We have lost out on Tony Jefferson and Dietrich Riley because of it. We need cover in case Black and Wright enter the draft (not a wise decision). Demar Dorsey is also apparently shaky on his commitment. This leaves Jordan Haden and Jonathan Dowling (May move to WR). We need at least one more Safety as well as supposed ‘locks’ like Dunkley and Powell to stop the decommitments

  21. Gio Showtime says:

    I don’t see us using our 25+ scholarships now with all this instability at head coach. We should just get the rest of our 4-5 star recruits and call it a year on recruiting. We’ll come back in recruiting next year after we only lose 1-2 games. Chris Dunkley is our make or break guy right now. Without him, we have no phenoms at WR position and our other top targets probably look elsewhere. We were recruiting too many DB’s anyways. This could be a great thing or a terrible thing.

    Elam was/ will be a prima donna at FSU. I call it first that he complains at FSU, ruins team chemistry, or something similar. Good riddance

  22. Aligator says:

    people, we are only fans and some of us are alumni. this has been going on for years and if the kid wants to go to fsu great. UM will get these things worked out and we will be fine. UM is the best coach in the state and will be as long as he is with us, which will be a for a while. yes this past month has been a doozy, but things will be great in a few days. that kid and many other will see that they made a mistake from not going here and that is okay.

    so look at the big picture, the gators the winningest d1 football program over the past 20 years and that will stay the same for a while. if you read adam’s other posts, you will notice he knows what he is talking about and most of our reaction are overreacting. This is a game, a team and a school that we do not need to stake our lives and identity on. let’s say our prayers and give them the best support we can! go gators!!

  23. ReptilesRule says:

    All I will say is after all of his wavering and ultra cocky attitude of me me me…he deserves to be a Seminole. May they continue their recent “success” under Dumbo Fisher…

  24. gatormoe says:

    what a little scared POS.

    I’m a wittle baby and im afwaid of competition some I’m going to for to Flowida State and make sure I can play wite away…

    Bert/Greg Reid should talk to you Matt…

    Don’t be a little bitch and be afraid of competition. Urban Meyer plays the best players available. If you don’t thin you’re one of them, then go to FSU and be on a mediocre ACC team.

    Good riddance.

  25. Brad says:

    I hope Matt Elam relishes his decision winning 7 games a season for his whole college career. What a dumbass. At least he can be a criminal in FSU and it’ll all be good. Wow, way to give someone your WORD and go the other way. Major Wright will jack his ass up anyway. Punk Bitch. Fuck Matt Elam.

  26. oldgator says:

    This (Matt Elam going to FSU) is a blessing in disguise. There is nothing more destructive to a football program than a player (or players) who does not have his heart into it. Some say that a few such Gator players this year were responsible for us not making it to the the National Championship, and from all I can see it is true.

    The last thing the Gators need is a self-centered player who is not a Gator through and through. Elam’s defection may have saved the Gators from having that mess up another season in the next few years. Thank you Matt. You will fit in well at FSU. You obviously are not Gator material — in more ways than one.

  27. It is an interesting thought, oldgator, one that I actually had yesterday as well. Nice comment.

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