Florida Football Recruiting: Gators Flip 5-Star RB Dalvin Cook from Clemson

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIApril 8, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

The Florida Gators received the commitment of 5-star running back Dalvin Cook on Saturday, and while that's great news for head coach Will Muschamp and his program, it's horrible news for Clemson.

Before making the decision to flip to Florida, Cook was committed to Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers. He had committed to Clemson back in June of 2012 and is one of the elite running back recruits in the 2014 class. 

Derek Tyson of ESPN.com reports on the flip:

ESPN Watch List running back Dalvin Cook (Miami/Central) flipped his commitment from Clemson to Florida on Saturday after visiting the Gators for their annual spring game. The 5-foot-11, 195-pound running back left the spring game and said Florida was tied with Clemson for the lead, but after having lunch with his family, he decided to go ahead and make the switch. 

"I flipped to Florida," Cook said. "I felt that Florida would be the best place for me to spend the next three or four years. It wasn't just a quick decision. Me and my family have thought about it. We came up last week and had a good experience then I came up this weekend and it was even better." 

Without a doubt, this is a notable flip for both programs, but in two very different ways. 

For Clemson, losing Cook's commitment isn't quite a "Robert Nkemdiche-level" loss, but it's still a pretty big blow to Swinney's 2014 recruiting efforts. Cook was one of the marquee players in Clemson's 2014 class, and, as noted, is one of the better running back recruits in the nation.

He's 5'11'', 190 pounds and runs a 4.55 40, according to 247Sports. He's ranked as the No. 5 running back in the 2014 class and the No. 6 player from the state of Florida, both according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

For the Gators, this is a big-time flip, only made better by the fact that Cook is a highly ranked in-state recruit.

Florida's 2014 class now features nine commitments, highlighted by Cook and 4-star quarterback Will Grier. If Muschamp can keep Cook committed, he'll be a major addition on the depth chart behind 2013 5-star running back and early enrollee Kelvin Taylor, who has superstar potential. 

Cook will be a great complement to Taylor in the backfield. Florida could eventually boast an elite one-two combination.

Cook is a tremendous athlete with great straight-line speed, and he has the ability to explode through the running lane and beat defenders to the second level.

That said, he's also incredibly shifty with great vision and extremely quick feet. He can outrun defenders to the edge, but he will also be effective between the tackles. 

He projects to be an exceptional change-of-pace back and could be very good for Florida. Keeping him committed will be crucial for the Gators.

As is the case with most recruiting news, one program loses while the other comes out a winner.

In this case, Florida is the big winner.

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