Florida Gators get new commit, No. 16

By ANDREW SPIVEY and DEREK TYSON – Ever since one of Florida’s top visitors left campus this past weekend, rumors have swirled about when the Florida target would commit to the Gators.

On Tuesday, Bolinbrook, Ill., linebacker Antonio Morrison, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker, announced his verbal commitment to the University of Florida.

“It’s great to be a Florida Gator,” said Anthony Morrison, Antonio’s father. “Antonio called coach Muschamp and coach Young this morning to inform them he was committing to Florida. Coach Muschamp was extremely excited and said the Florida Gators are a better team because of Antonio.”

Morrison is the 16th commitment in the 2012 recruiting class for Florida and is the middle linebacker the coaching staff has been looking for.

“Coach Muschamp said Antonio was the middle linebacker he wanted in this class, and that he was done recruiting linebackers because he got the best one,” Morrison’s father said.

The Bolinbrook prospect has said Florida was his leader for a while now and was expected to be at Friday Night Lights, but a weight-lifting meet kept him from visiting and he instead visited this past weekend.

Morrison walked away knowing where he wanted to attend college.

“Antonio has liked Florida for a while, but when he made it down there this weekend he was treated great,” his father said. “He said players knew who he was and were coming up to him and introducing themselves to him, and the coaching staff made him feel at home. He wanted to commit this weekend, but he wanted to share the news back home first.”

Morrison said Florida was the school that recruited him the hardest and made him feel wanted the most.

“Coach Muschamp and coach Young have made it known to Antonio that he was wanted and wanted the most out of everyone,” his father said. “Coach Muschamp recruited Antonio himself, which was huge and showed how much he meant to Florida.”

With his commitment to the Gators, Morrison joins linebackers Jeremi Powell and Lorenzo Phillips in the Florida football recruiting class for 2012.

Morrison plans to early enroll at Florida in January.