The Florida football recruiting train continues to pick up steam, as the Gators added another piece to the 2012 recruiting class on Friday when Shelby (NC) Crest High School safety Rhaheim Ledbetter committed to Florida.
The highly touted safety, who had offers from Auburn, Clemson, and North Carolina among many others, chose Florida over SEC East rival South Carolina.
Ledbetter, the 14th verbal commitment for the Gators, said the town of Gainesville was a big reason for his decision.
“I just love the fan base down there, and love the area where I’ll be living for the next three to four years,” Ledbetter said. “I just fell in love with it when I went down there.”
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound athlete was primarily recruited by linebackers coach D.J. Durkin, but has been in contact with several UF coaches.
“I talked to coach (Will) Muschamp, (Derek) Lewis, and (Travaris Robinson) TRob this morning,” he said. “They were all fired up about my decision to become a Gator.”
Ledbetter said he can play either safety position, but he expects to play strong safety for the Gators.
Though his decision came down to Florida and South Carolina, don’t expect Ledbetter to change his mind before signing day. When asked if he plans on taking anymore visits later on, Ledbetter replied with an emphatic: “No sir, I’m 100 percent Gator”
According to Ledbetter, who is ranked as the No. 9 safety and a four-star prospect by ESPNU, he will not be enrolling early at Florida.
Ledbetter’s teammate Jonathan Bullard (6-4/255) is a highly rated defensive end and loves the enthusiasm Ledbetter brings to the game.
“He’s a joy to play with,” Bullard said. “He’s a great teammate and just brings excitement to the game. He loves to get crunk and hit people and knock them out of the game.”
Another four-star safety, Marcus Maye, will be visiting Florida on Monday with his mom, brother, grandfather, and high school coach. The Gators have been the long-time leader for Maye and a college decision could come as early as Monday.
Gator Country Recruiting Coordinator Derek Tyson can be reached at Derek@GatorCountry.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at DerekTysonGC.