Four-star defensive tackle Dante Phillips has been denied admission to Florida. The Venice, FL (Venice) DT was cleared academically by the NCAA, but not by the University of Florida. He has been informed that he will not be allowed to enroll and subsequently won’t play for the Florida Gators.
Although there’s a small chance Phillips could still end up at Florida (the path would probably mean heading somewhere to improve his grades before joining the Gators for the 2013 season), that seems extremely unlikely at this point. Miami has reached out to the defensive tackle, but he has mentioned his preference to play in the SEC.
“Florida is a great program; I love the school, but it’s time to open my recruitment. I’m just ready to play football. I want to show Florida what they missed out on. I’d like to go to a school in the SEC. That’s my preference.” – Dante Phillips, 2012 Defensive Tackle
While similar situations have occurred in the past, they aren’t as frequent this late in the game. The deadline to enroll for Summer B classes is Tuesday at 11:59pm.
One high profile similarity was Frostproof, FL (Frostproof) running back Travis Henry. It was rumored that Florida was Henry’s first choice, but he wouldn’t be able to qualify academically. He was cleared by the NCAA however and spent four seasons in the Tennessee backfield. The difference, of course, is that Henry wasn’t a Florida signee.
At this point, Florida doesn’t replace Phillips (the 2012 class has long been signed); they simply move on without him. Junior college transfer Damien Jacobs becomes the only defensive tackle to join the Gators as part of the class.