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January 22, 2007

Five-star Dunlap chooses Gators

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Five-star defensive end Carlos Dunlap made a commitment to the University of Florida during a press conference at Fort Dorchester High School in North Charleston, S.C., on Monday evening.

The nation's No. 5 overall prospect picked Florida over South Carolina. Tennessee also was in the mix for his services.

Dunlap's commitment gives Gators head coach Urban Meyer the top prospect in the state of South Carolina, wrestling him away from former Florida head coach Steve Spurrier - who now is the head coach of the Gamecocks.

In a further twist, former South Carolina defensive coordinator Charlie Strong - now the assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator at Florida - was the recruiter of record for the Gators.

It was Strong's recruiting prowess that got the Gators into the mix for the highly touted prospect. Strong's personal attention was a key factor in Dunlap's decision.

Dunlap gives the Gators a highly touted prospect at a position of need. With Jarvis Moss declaring for the NFL Draft, Florida will get a prospect who can come in an instantly provide depth at the position.

Dunlap is commitment No. 24 for the Gators.

Dunlap's commitment breaks a drought that the Gators have had in the Palmetto State since the class of 2002. Linebacker Ricardo Hurley of Greenwood (South Carolina), running back Demetris Summers (South Carolina) of Lexington and linebacker/defensive end Robert Ayers (Tennessee) of Bennettsville Marlboro County all committed elsewhere after having UF high on their list.

The 6-foot-6, 260-pound Dunlap is top-ranked weakside defensive end prospect in the country. He was the top overall prospect at the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, and was the defensive MVP of the South Carolina North-South All-Star game.

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