Decommitments happen on a regular basis in the world of college football recruiting, but for Florida, the loss of 4-star outside linebacker Christian Miller is not something to gloss over.
Miller is ranked as the No. 3 outside linebacker in the 2014 class, and he's the No. 1 player from the state of South Carolina, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings. Keep in mind that Florida will be just fine, but losing this commitment is still a loss for Will Muschamp and his staff. He would have been a talented player for the Gators.
Kipp Adams of ESPN.com reports the bad news for Florida fans on his Twitter account:
Kipp Adams @KippLAdams
Blog post coming: ESPN 150 OLB Christian Miller tells me he has decommitted from #Florida. http://t.co/jM082G31gu2013-5-17 16:15:54
Miller is 6'4'', 215 pounds, and he runs a 4.71 40-yard dash, according to 247Sports. He has the combination of size and speed that you look for in an outside linebacker, and he has great potential.
Miller should be a great pass rusher at the college level. He has the speed, but he also uses his hands well to create separation and leverage against blockers. He can rush from the outside and turn the corner, but he can rip inside and shot the gap as well. Miller can also take on a block and set the edge against the run, and he's very athletic. He could have been used effectively in Florida's scheme.
Losing a recruit of his caliber will definitely hurt.
All that said, Florida's 2014 class stands at eight recruits, and it's still extremely early in the recruiting cycle.
The Gators still have defensive commitments from 4-star defensive tackle Anthony Moten and 3-star cornerback Duke Dawson, and they're in the running for big defensive recruits such as 5-star defensive end Gerald Willis (top three), 4-star outside linebacker Dwight Williams (leader) and 4-star defensive end Trent Harris (top four)
Also, consider that Florida is still in the running for Miller, according to Kipp Adams' report:
"I feel like I should take a look at some schools that I might now have been able to seen earlier (on official visits), and also I want to make sure I made the right place for me and my future, instead of just for a specific coach or scheme," Miller said.
That does not mean Will Muschamp and his staff can not regain the services of the standout pass rusher down the road. Miller, who made 121 tackles, 14 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and forced four fumbles as a junior, said he is considering all schools at this time, making the Gators very much still in the mix.
For what it's worth though, Alabama and Tennessee are now listed as the two teams on top of Miller's 247Sports interest list.
Going back to the positives, Florida still has the commitment of 5-star running back Dalvin Cook, and offensively, the Gators are poised to bring in a talented class. That should be even more exciting considering the defensive haul from last cycle.
For now, there's only bad news to report on the recruiting front for Florida, but with a hopeful 2013 season approaching and an always solid recruiting draw, things will be looking up for the Gators recruiting sooner rather than later.
This is without a doubt a noteworthy decommitment, but feel free to look forward to the future, as it's rather bright.
Note: All scouting and analysis of Miller done via tape study of film provided on his 247Sports profile page. Recruit interests also according to 247Sports.