Dan Werner Makes Decision

It wasn't all that long ago that Christian Brothers Academy (N.J.) 6-foot-9 senior forward Dan Werner heard that rumblings that he wasn't good enough to play at N.C. State. Now, after Herb Sendek left, Werner got his release and is headed to an elite program.

The defending national champions picked up some insurance for this year when Christian Brothers Academy (N.J.) 6-foot-9 senior Dan Werner – once a N.C. State signee – chose Florida over Kentucky.

Werner received a conditional release from the Wolfpack after Sidney Lowe took over and became one of the most sought-after players in the country. Notre Dame, Kentucky and Florida joined numerous other programs looking to add a late addition.

However, at the end of the day, Werner chose Billy Donovan and the Gators despite the fact that the defending champs return their entire starting five from last season's championship squad.

``He just felt very comfortable there," said Werner's father, Ron. "It's not that he didn't feel comfortable with Kentucky, but he really felt that it was right with Florida."

Werner's athleticism has been questioned, but he'll give Donovan a different look on the frontline. Werner is a terrific passer, can shoot from the perimeter and has a terrific basketball IQ.

While he may not be a starter on this year's team, look for Werner to get some playing time and valuable experience going up against Joakim Noah and Al Horford in practice and then become a starter as a sophomore.

``When he went down to Florida, Coach Donovan sat us down and showed up game type and where he saw Dan fitting in and what to expect both his freshman and sophomore year," Ron Werner said. ``He thought about playing against these guys, knowing that playing against them would make him a better player in the long run."

There will be no news conference for Werner, who is en route back home from a vacation in Maryland.

``He's not into that stuff," Ron Werner said. "He hates it."

Werner will join guards Doneal Mack and Brandon Powell and forwards Jonathan Mitchell and Marreese Speights in the Class of 2006. The Gators also have a head start on the Class of 2007 with probable McDonald's All-American guard Nick Calathes, shooting guard Gary Clark and wing Adam Allen.


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