Andrew Mike said Tuesday night as much as he hated to decommit from his commitment to Vanderbilt, it was Florida that held his interest all along.
Barely 24 hours after Andrew Mike committed to Vanderbilt, the 6-foot-7, 285-pound offensive tackle from Tucson (Ariz.) Sabino High changed his mind and pledged to Florida on Tuesday night, just nine hours before college prospects can start faxing signed National Letters of Intent to the colleges of their choice.
"I was actually talking to Florida the whole time, the problem started when other schools knew I was so high on Florida, my options began to change," Mike said in a Facebook interview late Tuesday night.
"So I got worried that the opportunity with Vanderbilt would go away. So I committed, and that lit a fire at Florida and they made an immediate move.
Prompted by Mike's commitment to Vandy, the Gators, who offered Mike on Jan. 7, began what Sabino High coach Jay Campos told the Arizona Daily Star (read story here) was a "full-court press" by the Gators recruiting staff.
"I was in love with Florida. It was very difficult to decommit [from Vandy]," Mike said. "We went back and forth for a day and a half. I felt terrible doing it, but everyone said I need to make a choice that's best for me. I have a ton of respect for coach [Vandy'd Derek] Mason. He is a great coach and man."
Campos echoed the difficulty of the decommit for Mike to the Daily Star."He was a little bummed out to tell the Vanderbilt coaches but they understood. He's very excited and is sure he made the right decision."
Mike is a huge addition to the Gators 2014 recruiting class and not just in size. UF has struggled to build depth on the offensive line for the past two seasons and a talent like Mike, the No. 34-ranked offensive tackle in the country according to 247Sports composite rankings, is a key element and the 22nd commitment to the Gators class, including the seventh offensive lineman.
Mike visited the Gators on the weekend of Jan. 24 and was at Nashville this past weekend.
Florida 2014 commitments (22)
OT Dontae Angus, 6-6, 300, Philadelphia Martin Luther King
OT Taven Bryan, 6-5, 250, Casper (Wyo.) Natrona County
DT Khairi Clark, 6-3, 325, Hollwood Chaminade-Madonna
DB Duke Dawson, 5-11, 195, Cross City Dixie County
OL Travaris Dorsey, 6-3, 314, Jacksonville Raines
TE DeAndre Goolsby, 6-4, 225, Derby (Kan.)
QB Will Grier, 6-3, 171, Davidson (N.C.)
OT Kavaris Harkless, 6-5, 273, Jacksonville Trinity Christian
DT Thomas Holley, 6-4, 300, Queens (N.Y.) Lincoln
CB J.C. Jackson, 6-0, 185, Immokalee
OL Nolan Kelleher, 6-6, 305, Mount Pleasant (S.C.) Wando
TE C’yontai Lewis, 6-5, 208, Tuscaloosa (Ala.) Northridge
OT Andrew Mike, 6-7, 285, Tucson (Ariz.) Sabino
RB Brandon Powell, 5-9, 180, Deerfield Beach
ATH Deiondre Porter, 6-1, 166, Tampa Jefferson
DE Justus Reed, 6-3, 217, Clearwater Central Catholic
OT Drew Sarvary, 6-6, 310, Tallahassee North Florida Christian, via Tyler (Texas) JC
OT David Sharpe, 6-6, 318, Jacksonville Providence
TE Moral Stephens, 6-4, 200, Perry
WR Ryan Sousa, 6-1, 177, Orlando Lake Nona
CB Jalen Tabor, 6-1, 182, Washington, D.C., Friendship Collegiate
DT Gerald Willis III, 6-3, 276, New Orleans Edna Karr
S Quincy Wilson, 6-1, 196, Fort Lauderdale University
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting, Instagram at os_recruiting and on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun