You’ve heard it a thousand times. Dante Fowler, Jr. is “100 percent committed to Florida State.” Yet, the number one question he gets asked is, “any chance you’re changing your mind?”
Fowler may be a solid FSU commit, but he’s still taking visits. Not only that, he’s best friends with Gators commit Matt Jones, who’s been working hard on him to switch to Florida.
Fowler was also at Friday Night Lights where he spoke to coach Will Muschamp and some other Florida coaches.
“They just keep saying they want me and that I’m a beast, they didn’t want me to do one-on-ones, but I just kept sneaking in and trying to do what I’m supposed to do,” Fowler said. “I just had a lot of fun tonight. I’m just having fun, I’m competing.”
Both Fowler’s parents said he can’t get enough of the competition. Dante’s younger brother, Donterio Fowler, was also at Friday Night Lights. His parents said they were really there for Donterio, but Dante would go crazy trying to sit still and watch everyone on the field. He had to get out there and play.
“A lot of good players from around the state of Florida come,” Dante said. “I want to compete against the best and that’s what I got to do here today. For me, I just came out here to have fun, let my brother get out here, get his name out here.”
Donterio is a 2014 prospect and a diehard Gators fan. He said if the Gators offered, he’d commit on the spot.
So imagine, three years in the future…it’s the Florida vs. Florida State game. Dante Fowler is at defensive end for the Garnet and Gold, and Donterio is at wide receiver for the Orange and Blue.
Dante: “I’d take his head off, I’d just bang him.”
Donterio: “No you won’t.”
Dante: “He already knows how it is at practice and everything, he’ll be scared, he probably won’t even want to play that game.”
The conversation continues…
Donterio: “In practice, when me and him went up, it took more than him just to get me down. He had me by my shirt then everybody else had to finish me.”
Dante: “Usually, if I grab you by your shirt, anybody could get off of that, I had him by his shirt, he couldn’t go anywhere.”
While Dante gave his little brother a hard time, he couldn’t have been more proud of him at Friday Night Lights.
“It was fun, he’s lucky I didn’t guard him,” Dante said. “It was fun to get him out here, and get his name out here, going against some of the top players in the state, it was a real good experience for him.”
Donterio won the award for the fastest sophomore in a skills position at Friday Night Lights. His prize was a nice pair of Gators wide receiver gloves. Donterio said Muschamp told him he wanted to see him perform, and he feels confident about the work he did.
“I think I did good, I got the gloves,” Donterio said.
Donterio said watching his brother go through the recruiting process has helped build the excitement for when it’s his turn.
“It’s good because now I know what I’m going to go through when all the college coaches call me,” Donterio said. “I learned a lot, to always stay on the books, and a lot of teams are going to want me when I do well on the football field.”
“Dante is just enjoying this process, he’s 16 years old and he will only be able to go through this once so he is just trying to enjoy it.” Dante’s father, Dante Fowler, Sr., said.
Dante’s parents said he’s taking his visits because he can. He’s worked hard to be where he is, and he’s enjoying the benefits he’s earned.
It’s these visits that lead many to think there may be cracks forming in his solid commitment to Florida State. Gators commit Brian Poole, Jr. said he’s been working hard convincing Dante to flip.
“We got a good shot at Dante,” Poole said. “I think he’ll come over pretty soon.”
“That’s just out of love,” Dante responded. “If he wants me real bad, of course he’s going to get me. That’s how it is, but I’m still 100 percent committed.”
“He is 100 percent committed to Florida State but he will come to Gainesville to watch a few games and we will see what happens, anything could happen between now and signing day,” Fowler, Sr. said. “Coach Muschamp said he is going to still recruit Dante hard and won’t quit until the end.”
For now, the Fowlers are planning to visit Florida for the Alabama game and the Florida State game. Dante wants to take his official visit sometime in January, after his senior season is complete.
Gator Country reporter Amy Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter at msamycampbell.