Daytona Beach Mainland's Avery Atkins says he's still a soft verbal commitment to the Gators, but he's not fully committed any longer.
"I have a top five," said Atkins. "My commitment is still soft, but I don't have a leader right now. I'll make an official decision on signing day."
Even though the four-star cornerback was wavering a bit with his commitment before the firing of Ron Zook, he says the move made him think harder about his decision.
"I personally thought it was wrong," said the Mainland defensive back. "He was very nice and well respected. It was messed up how they did him."
Atkins also points out that his love for the 'Noles has not wavered after their loss to the Gators. In fact, Atkins says he's finalizing plans for an official visit to Tallahassee the second weekend in January. Also earning visits from the state's top ranked corner will be Georgia Tech (December 13) and Miami (December 16-19). He says Georgia Tech, Miami, FSU, Florida, and Auburn are his top five.
The Mainland standout was unable to make it to Tallahassee for the FSU-Florida game this past weekend, but he has already been in the Capital City a few times. In fact, he was in the stands during the FSU-North Carolina game last month and camped at FSU in grades 9-11. He also has a former teammate playing for the Garnet and Gold.
"Me and Buster (Davis) played together in high school," said Atkins. "I was a freshman and he was a senior. But I played on varsity. He tells me how great of a school FSU is."
The talent bloodlines run deep in his family. Avery's cousin Marlon McCree is a defensive back for the Houston Texans. "Marlon always gives me advice about playing well and keeping your head up."
As a senior, Atkins leads Daytona Beach Mainland with eight interceptions, good for number two in the state of Florida. He also has 10 rushing touchdowns while leading the Bucs to the third round of the FHSAA playoffs. Right now, he is taking a small break from the recruiting process while he tries to help his team win its second-straight state title. But when it's over, he says he's looking forward to his trip to FSU.
"I remember when I was there, I loved it," he said. "I met a lot of players, Buster, Antonio Cromartie. I talk to Coach Sexton and Andrews on the phone."
Atkins has a 3.0 GPA, and just recently took his SAT and is awaiting the results.
Lee Gordon is the Sports Director at WCTV (CBS) and WTHL (FOX) in Tallahassee...His reports can be seen at 5:30, 6:00, 10:00, and 11:00 Monday-Friday. Lee's broadcast experience began at WFLD in Chicago where he worked as a sports producer on the Bears Sunday Live show. From there he was the Weekend Sports Anchor/Reporter at KTVQ in Billings, Montana (yes, where the rodeos are)...
You can watch Lee's coverage of high school football on the Friday Night Blitz on WCTV and his nightly Florida State Reports.