Black Becomes UF's Seventh Commitment

Ahmad Black came to the Florida football camp with something to prove. The 5-10, 170-pound cornerback from Lakeland wanted to show the University of Florida coaching staff that he had everything they were looking for in a cornerback so he came to Gainesville intent on shutting down every pass receiver he faced.

(See Ahmad Black profile)

From all reports, he put on quite an impressive show, proving he could stick with receivers like glue and break quickly on the ball.

"I gave up a couple of catches but mostly nobody caught anything on me," said Black, Lakeland's shutdown corner during a 30-game winning streak that has resulted in two state class 5A championships and a USAToday national title. "I wanted to show them that I could get the job done."

He got the job done well enough that he got the scholarship offer he was looking for when he came to camp. Not only that, he's made his decision where he's going to school next year.

"I'm a Gator," he said. "I guess I showed them what they were looking for. They made the offer and I committed to the University of Florida."

Black is the seventh commitment for Florida's recruiting class of 2007 and he is the second player from Lakeland to commit to the Gators, joining Chris Rainey, the do-it-all wide receiver/running back/kick returner.

Black had 70 tackles and six interceptions as a junior for Lakeland's state title team that annihilated St. Thomas Aquinas in the championship game. He was also the second leading scorer for Lakeland's basketball team.

He had plenty of interest from schools such as Florida State, Clemson, Ohio State and Nebraska but the three schools that interested him most were Florida, Alabama and LSU. He chose Florida, in part, because of its location.

"Gainesville is like it's just up the street almost," he said. "I can be home in a couple of hours and my parents can come up to see me anytime they want. That was important to me that they are close by."

He also made the choice for Florida based on academics and the potential for playing time.

From an academic standpoint, he's already a full qualifier with a test score and a GPA well above 3.0. He already has 24 high school credits and needs only to pass English IV in the fall to graduate in December. It's likely that he will be enrolling in Florida in January.

The Gators will lose one senior starter and two senior backups at corner to graduation, meaning there is playing time to be had for a corner that can step in and prove that he can get the job done.

"Florida's academics speak for themselves," said Black. "It's a great school and a degree from Florida really means something. The situation at cornerback is good. If I come in and work hard and show I can get the job done, I can get playing time early on. You can't have a shot at getting to the next level if you can't get on the field. You got to earn playing time but you have to be in a situation where you can get on the field, too."

The situation at Florida was just what Ahmad's dad, Bruce, was looking for, too.

"For academics it's the best school in Florida," said Bruce Black, retired after a career in the Army's Special Forces. "It's the best place for Ahmad in terms of getting an education and a degree as well as playing football. I think it's the best of both from everything we've seen so I'm happy he'll be at Florida."

Committing early was always part of the plan for Black. He wanted to end the recruiting process quickly so he could focus on finishing his high school career in a blaze of glory. It's important for him to go out a winner at Lakeland, which means extending the winning streak to 45 games, doing a three-peat for the state championship and a repeat for the national championship.

"Man, this is over with and now I can start working on getting ready for football season," he said. "I want to have a great senior year and do my part to help us win it all again. We've got 15 more games to win and if we do that, we're one of he greatest teams ever in Florida."

His goals for the remainder of the summer are to increase his physical strength and drop his 4.5 time in the 40 yard dash to 4.45 or lower. He's at 280 in the bench press so his goal of at least 300 is very reachable.

He will be working out a lot with Rainey, his good friend, teammate and future Gator.

"Playing with Chris is just fun," Black said. "We've been doing it so long and we've always had a lot of fun together. We'll work out together a lot and we'll do what we need to do to get ready to help the team. I'm really glad that we're going to be at Florida together."

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