SEFFNER, Fla. -- ESPN 150 athlete Alvin Bailey (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) committed to Florida on Saturday, choosing the Gators over UCF and Notre Dame after his Armwood team defeated Brandon, Fla., 55-0. The 5-foot-11, 176-pound senior is the 19th verbal commitment for Florida in its recruiting class of 2013 and the ninth ESPN 150 commitment.
Bailey tried not to give hints about his commitment during the game. He scored touchdowns on a 77-yard run and a 13-yard reception but rather than do a ‘Gator Chomp’ he just simply handed the ball back to the referee.
After the game Seffner coach Sean Callahan set up the announcement.
“I know some of us had a chance to watch Matt Jones get on the field today as a freshman at Florida,” Callahan said to his team. “It looks like we’re going to send another one up to Gainesville to join him.”
Bailey said a few words of thanks to his family and coaches before pulling off his shoulder pads to reveal a Florida T-shirt to the cheer of his teammates.
“I will be attending the University of Florida,” Bailey said.
Florida had long been Bailey’s dream school but the Gators did not offer until early August after parting ways with four-star wide receiver Rodney Adams (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood). Although Bailey admitted he was frustrated with the process, he could not turn down the opportunity to play in The Swamp.
“I woke up this morning, and I knew what I had to do,” Bailey said. “I talked with my mother, I talked with my brother and I talked with my coaches. Everything is right. This school is right for me.”
“My mom said she had a dream about me playing at Florida and my brother, Kalvin, has been the main influence in my life. He never pushed me to any school. Everyone’s been very supportive.”
Bailey is the quintessential all-purpose threat. As a junior, he played time at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and participated in the return game. He threw for 836 yards and 10 touchdowns, rushed for 833 yards and six touchdowns and caught 22 passes for 376 yards and two touchdowns. He will likely play wide receiver at Florida.
“I think wide receiver is the best fit for me in college,” Bailey said. “They have talked about moving me around, playing in the slot, playing outside, using me in different ways to get me the football. It’s very exciting to think about.”
Bailey said that Georgia, Michigan, South Carolina and Florida State were also considered at various points and for a long time UCF was Bailey’s leader. Making the final decision and eliminating the final two programs proved to be more difficult than Bailey expected.
“This was the hardest decision of my life by far,” Bailey said. “I loved all three of those schools, I loved the coaches, I didn’t want to tell them no, it was a phone call I didn’t want to make.
“It’s a bittersweet day for me because I’m excited about the future but I have to take a few seconds and thank the other programs like UCF and Notre Dame because they offered great opportunities.”