Earl Everett Explains Decision

At 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, Webster (Fla.) South Sumter standout linebacker Earl Everett made his final decision last Wednesday to attend the University of Florida.

It wasn't an easy decision, Everett said.

"It was the hardest decision I ever had to make," Everett said. "I really liked both Miami and Florida a lot. There were many times that I actually thought I was going to end up at Miami."

Everett said there were a few reasons why he picked the Gators in the end.

"It came down to the fact that I felt just a little more comfortable at Florida," he said. "Miami was great, I really liked it there. But I wasn't as familiar with the school and the players like at Florida. I really had a great situation at either one and I just had to pick one and I went with Florida."

The standout linebacker said the hiring of Charlie Strong may have helped push the Gators over the top.

"He came to me and basically told me what's up," he said. "I really connected with him. I liked him, my family liked him. Plus Coach Miller was great too. He used to coach at Miami and was telling me some stories."

Everett was asked to share a few of those stories.

"Well, the thing that really jumped out to me was how he coached Ray Lewis when he was at Miami," he said. "That's one of the best linebackers out there. When I went on my visit to Florida, he said he coached eight or nine guys that play in the NFL now and he said 'if you want, I can get you there too.'"

So what was Everett's response?

"I told him I'd love to," he said. "They really convinced me. When I went to Miami, I really liked it but it just wasn't enough to edge out Florida."

Everett said he has not spoken to a UM coach since his commitment.

"They called once but I wasn't home," he said. "I'm going to be writing them a letter saying how much I appreciated everything. They have a great program and I wish them the best -- except when they're playing the Gators."

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