After two months of speculation, offensive lineman Jake Slaughter has flipped his commitment to the Florida Gators. Gainesville is closer to home for the talented center, and the FSU staff wasn't able to overcome the challenge and maintain his pledge.
As we've been discussing, FSU football has been quite active in extending scholarship offers all over the nation, a product of a new staff that arrived in Tallahassee from across the country. But with the immense talent consistently produced by the Sunshine State, Florida will always remain a priority on the recruiting trail.
Hence, five of Florida State's seven 2021 commitments are in-state prospects. Of those seven, two are the top players at their positions from their respective states: Mississippi quarterback Luke Altmeyer, and a player who'd be snapping him the ball, Florida center Jake Slaughter.
But the 'Noles may be in a dogfight to maintain Slaughter's commitment-- though it's not a matter of a lack of history. FSU was in on Slaughter after only Toledo last year, and the Seminoles got him on campus twice in 2019 and twice again in 2020 before he committed in April, not having to rely on just electronic recruiting, as they've been forced to with others.
But the Florida Gators have followed suit, offering Slaughter in March and recently hosting him on a virtual tour. The offer was a significant one for him:
And so the recruiting battle between Florida State offensive line coach Alex Atkins and UF OL coach John Hevesy escalates for the 6-4, 300-pound prospect from Ocala's Trinity Catholic High School, only about 40 minutes from Gainesville. Slaughter, a three-star talent, is the nation's No. 8 center, the No. 90 prospect from Florida, and the country's 629th ranked recruit, overall. He's currently the only offensive lineman in FSU's 2021 class, which is ranked 41st, nationally.