by Jeff Barlis
Gainesville, Fla., cornerback Chris Bivins gave his verbal commitment to South Florida on Saturday, but he could still end up a Florida Gator.
Bivins makes no secret of his desire to play for UF.
“That’s the University of Florida — they always get the best recruits,” he said. “It’s a great school, great coaches and they just have everything a prospect looks for in a college.”
But rather than wait for Florida and possibly lose some options, Bivins pulled the trigger on USF.
“They’re an up-and-coming program,” Bivins said. “I have a good relationship with the coaches. It’s a good environment, and they’ve been showing me love since January when they offered.”
In addition to USF giving Bivins his first verbal scholarship offer, there’s the proximity to home and the familiarity of going to school with twin sister Kayla (volleyball) and good friend Sean Price (tight end from Citra, Fla., North Marion, who also recently committed to the Bulls).
“I just wanted to secure my spot on the team, because they had one more (defensive back) spot and they pretty much wanted it to be for me,” he said. “I’m still looking at my other schools.”
Bivins’ top five is USF, Arkansas, Kentucky, N.C. State and Iowa State but he has stated he is hoping to earn offers from Tennessee and Florida. He has yet to visit any of the other schools in his top five, so a lot could change between now and National Signing Day.
There’s still a chance Bivins gets his wish and ends up at Florida.
Bradenton, Fla., Southeast corner Brian Poole committed to UF two weeks ago, joining Hallandale, Fla. DB Willie Bailey in the Class of 2012. It is widely thought that Florida is looking for one more cornerback.
Bivins has done all he could do to get that last spot.
He has been a standout at every camp and combine he’s visited, including last Saturday’s one-day camp at USF, the SuperBull. Analysts expect Bivins will draw more offers after he participates in Nike’s elite camp, “The Opening,” in Beaverton, Ore., later this month.
But one camp performance stands above the rest. Bivins put on a show for the Florida coaches on June 12.
“I was ballin’ at Florida,” he said. “I had like three or four picks in one-on-ones. I was just going.
“I poured my heart out, did the best I could do, excelled at pretty much everything and I still didn’t get (an offer).”
Bivins was a bit disheartened after meeting with the Florida coaches. They expressed how much they like him. They said they would like to get him into this class, but they said it’s a numbers game.
In other words, there’s one spot left and the UF coaching staff wasn’t ready to give Bivins an offer knowing he would jump at it. Not yet, at least.
While Florida may be waiting for more highly rated prospects to make up their minds, Bivins still has a few opportunities (The Opening, Friday Night Lights and the fall season) to crash the party.
Stay tuned … possibly right up until signing day.