In a matter of 24 hours, UCF football’s 2023 recruiting class fell from six members to four as two verbal pledges backed off their commitments to Gus Malzahn’s program.
Following an official visit to the University of Florida this past weekend, St. Petersburg Lakewood 4-star edge rusher Isaiah Nixon decided to de-commit from the Knights.
Tuesday, East Forsyth (NC) tight end Jayvontay Conner followed suit.
All verbal commitments are non-binding until December when the early signing period opens and they can become official.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Nixon, who ranks as the No. 37 prospect in the state of Florida according to 247Sports, announced his verbal pledge to the Gators on social media Tuesday afternoon.
“I would like to thank the University of Central Florida for the opportunity to go through their recruiting process,” Nixon wrote. “This was a very tough decision for me but ultimately it was a decision that needed to be made.
“UCF is an awesome school with great staff that treated me and my family with the utmost respect,” he added. “I appreciate all of the love that the staff showed me and my family.”
Nixon originally committed to the Knights during UCF’s spring game in April.
For Florida, Nixon is the highest-ranked checking member of the Gators’ 2023 class at the moment, in at No. 194 nationally per 247Sports. His commitment elevates Florida’s class of seven players eight spots to No. 40.
Conner, a 6-foot-4, 230-pound tight end, made his pledge to UCF a few days later.
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“I appreciate Knight Nation, coach Malzahn, coach [Brian] Blackmon and everyone for taking the time to recruit me,” Conner wrote “After much talk with my family and trusted close ones, I will be opening my recruitment back up.”
Conner’s decision follows a weekend in which the Knights hosted Mosley High (Lynn Haven) tight end Randy Pittman for an official visit. Pittman is committed to Florida State, but UCF has made a strong push to flip him from the Seminoles.
Prior to his commitment, Conner explained to the Orlando Sentinel that he was told by UCF that he would be the only tight end in UCF’s 2023 recruiting class.
If Nixon stays committed to Florida and signs his National Letter of Intent with the Gainesville school in December, there’s a good chance he’ll face the Knights during his career.
UCF and Florida are scheduled to play in Gainesville on Oct. 5, 2024, as part of a three-game series announced last summer.
With Nixon and Conner no longer in the mix, UCF’s 2023 recruiting class fell to No. 62 in the country, according to 247Sports.
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