3:56 PM EST, December 7, 2010
Time to clear up a much speculated-upon subject. Dee Hart has not decommitted Michigan. Yet.
He may never. Then again, he might two or three more times before Feb. 2, National Signing Day.
Neither does Dee, for that matter.
We do know that it is not likely to happen until January.
And if he does, it will be because the Wolverines have fired Rich Rodriguez.
Dee said Monday through several text messages back-and-forth that he will decommit Michigan if Rodriguez is fired and will then pledge to the Florida Gators; and NOT Alabama.
But first things first. Dee Hart wants to play in the spread offense. He wants to play at Michigan under the coaching staff that recruited him.
But things have changed. Hart committed Oct. 8th, when Michigan was 5-0. Michigan wound up losing five of its last seven games and RichRod could be on the way out. Of course, there is the issue of a gigantic buyout should he be fired, but that $4 million figure drops to $2.5 million after Jan. 1 and Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon has already said he will not evaluate Rodriguez until after the Wolverines' bowl game.
Michigan will face Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl, on Jan. 1. So, ironically, the game that could decide RichRod's future is named after the Gators, and that very game could make Dee Hart a Florida Gator.
Alabama is out, and Florida is in, but that all depends on whether Rich Rodriguez is in or out. Still following along?
That's how it works. It's called recruiting. And it doesn't come to a close for the 2011 class until 56 days from Monday.
Right now, Hart has bigger fish to fry. His Dr. Phillips team will face Sanford Seminole in the 6A state semifinals this Friday night in Sanford.
He is also eying the state touchdown record for a season. He currently has 48 touchdowns. That ranks No. 2 all-time behind the 49 Kelvin Taylor scored as a ninth-grader for Class 1B state champ Belle Glade Glades Day last season. Taylor is the son of former Florida Gator and current New England Patriot Fred Taylor.
In Ann Arbor, Rodriguez has compiled a 15-21 record in his three seasons. Minnesota coach Tim Brewster was fired last month after a 1-6 start, ending his Golden Gopher tenure with a 16-30 record. If Brewster is fired by Minnesota with that record, surely Michigan hasn't the patience for RichRod's less-than-stellar production.
The one thing Michigan has done well is run RichRod's spread offense under the direction of QB sensation Denard Robinson. But what happens to that spread if RichRod is sent packing?
The most-mentioned name to replace RichRod, Jim Harbaugh, runs a standard Pro Set offense at Stanford. That would not play well with Hart.
Throw in the fact that Michigan has also recently taken a commitment from Notre Dame decommit and all-purpose running back Justice Hayes of Grand Blanc, Mich., and the picture becomes even more clear as to why Hart might be changing his mind. Although Hayes, it is said, will be filling the slot receiver role at Michigan. Dee would remain an all-purpose back.
Hart will shine in any spread offense and the spread is what he wants to be involved in. So UF is his next option and Urban Meyer would surely love to have him.
This saga is not over, by any means. Many will say Dee is at it again, playing games. The tone in his voice told me otherwise last week when he said he might be having a change of heart.
Hart also said last week that he had planned to enroll early at Michigan, but that won't be happening, either.
Chris Hays is the recruiting coverage coordinator at the Sentinel. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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