Tyler Booker won't be joining the Florida Gators, at least for now.
On Friday, the IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) 2022 offensive tackle prospect would announce his intentions to commit to the Alabama Crimson Tide over Florida, Georgia, Ohio State and Oregon.
His recruiting journey would ultimately at the end of June, shortly prior to the dead period restarting. No more official visits, and after traveling the country in the span of just 21 days, he made his intentions known, passing up the option to play at Florida, a school he's described in the past as the "closest thing" to dream school that he's had.
Still, even with an extensive push by the Florida football staff, including head coach Dan Mullen and offensive line coach John Hevesy, Booker opted not to keep his talent in the Sunshine State, and instead ventured west to find his home for the next three years at least.
Now, Florida will have to move forward with the idea of landing Booker on the backburner. Though, player commitments are not technically final it is not necessarily common for a prospect, especially one as highly regarded as Booker, to de-commit and change his mind. Florida, at the very least, will have to operate as if he won't.
Moving forward, there are a few players that will top the list for the Gators as far as targets go. This list includes, but is not limited to St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) tackle Julian Armella, Leyton Nelson out of Boone (Orlando, Fla.), Daughtry Richardson from Miami Central (Miami, Fla.) and Jacob Hood of Hillsboro (Nashville, Tenn.)
Out of the four, however, only Nelson and Richardson have unofficially or officially visited Florida during the open season of recruiting in the month of June. While that is not an indication of what players will commit to what schools, it does give a bit of an idea of who could be one of the more likely prospects to commit to the university at some point.
For Florida, missing out on Booker will take a hit on its future plans along the offensive line. While the players above are certainly talented individuals, Booker was thought of as one of the top tackles in the nation. Committing to Alabama over Florida when there's an easy path to play early with the Gators is a bit of a concern.
Currently, Florida is set to debut a new starter at left tackle this year with Richard Gouraige sliding into the position. On the right side is likely to be Jean Delance, a holdover from last year's starting offensive line, though that has not been made official and could certainly change during fall camp next month.
For the Gators, offensive line play has been a major concern of the football program for the past few seasons. Though it has made strides with upgrading the interior, they've yet to land a sure-fire prospect on the outside, casting a blanket of uncertainty over the entire situation.
Ultimately, Florida will now move forward to look at other prospects capable of landing at the university during the 2022 recruiting class. Though they likely didn't put all of their eggs in the Booker basket, plenty of resources and time was spent to land him. Missing out will hurt, but the recovery will tell the tale moving forward.