Cornerback Elijah Blades (6-2, 170, Pasadena, CA John Muir) made big news on Wednesday afternoon when he committed to the Florida Gators and made eight commits in the class of 2017.
Blades, who was planning to wait until after his season to commit, explained to Gator Country why he decided to go ahead and announce on Wednesday.
“I had decided to commit because I get along with all of the coaches and I talk to them on a daily basis,” Blades said. “When I came out there they rolled out the red carpet for me. My dad was on the same page with Florida so I went ahead and committed.”
When it came time to commit, Blades just couldn’t pass on the school that he grew up rooting for, plus head coach Jim McElwain made him a priority.
“Florida was always my dream school,” he said. “Seeing the stadium and talking to the coaches also. Talking to Coach Mac he said that he wanted me to play for Florida and that I was a big factor and a big recruit on their list.”
The moment Blades committed to Florida was something he will never forget, as it was a dream come true for the California cornerback.
“It was an exciting and surprising moment for me,” Blades said of his emotions of committing to Florida. “Being able to play for your dream school is great and there’s nothing better. I was amazed that I had the chance to do that.”
McElwain and running backs coach Tim Skipper were the coaches that Blades spoke to on Wednesday when he committed to Florida and he was welcomed by an exciting coaching staff.
“Coach Mac and Coach Skipper were very excited when I told them that I was committing,” he said of Florida’s reaction. “When I called them I could hear people in the background going crazy and they were all congratulating me. They were telling me that this was the best fit for me and I won’t regret it.”
Skipper is the coach that recruits California and Blades credits him for playing a big role in his recruitment.
“Coach Skipper played a big part in my commitment,” Blades said. “He was my main recruiter and we talked on a daily basis, phone calls and all of that. He just told me that Florida was a great school to be a part of.”
Defensive backs coach Torrian Gray met Blades for the first time earlier this month and had a message for the cornerback.
“He told me that I could come in as a freshman and get good playing time,” said Blades. “He said that Florida would be the best fit for me and to go ahead and make the right decision for me.”
Blades had a good feel for Gray before they met, but the Gators coach really impressed the California prospect during the visit to Gainesville.
“We went over film and he was cool in person since I have been talking to him over the phone,” Blades said of his impression of Gray. “We connected and he showed me film from his time at Virginia Tech and it all made a lot of sense to me. The way he was talking to about things just made a lot of sense to me and he said he was a good defensive back coach to play for.”
Despite committing to his dream school, Blades says he will still take some official visits to other schools.
“I plan to take all of my official visits,” he said. “I want to see Nebraska, I might still see Arizona, Utah and I don’t have another one right now. Florida of course will get one. “
INSIDERS TAKE: Blades still plans to take all of his visits at this time but don’t be surprised if that changes, as he didn’t seemed locked into that plan. Blades has also been communicating with several Gators commits since he was on campus. Blades and athlete commit Kadarius Toney have gotten pretty close.