In the weeks leading up to signing day, speculation arose that Eli Stove would flip his commitment from Auburn to Florida.
That never happened.
The four-star receiver from Niceville, Fla., ultimately signed with the Tigers and capped off a receiving class that included two other four-star pass-catchers.
In the interview below, Stove explains why Miami came in second, how Alabama took ‘advantage’ of his favoritism and which coach from the Big Ten his family disliked.
What school came in second? What could they have done better?
“Miami actually came in second mainly because I didn’t get to know the coaches. They came in kind of late at the end of the recruiting process, like two months before I got to know all the coaches. They told me that if I didn’t de-commit from Auburn it was going to be hard for them to recruit me and give me an official visit. But I understood where they were coming from. I wasn’t going to take advantage of them.”
What was the biggest rumor about you that wasn’t true?
“That I was going to de-commit from Auburn and go to Florida. A lot of people said that.”
Which school disappointed you the most during your recruitment?
“Probably Alabama. That was my favorite school. And they knew that. But they probably took advantage and offered me a little late because they knew that I would still have them in my top list. I’m not really mad. I’m not worried about it at all.”
Which college would you have considered if they offered you earlier in the process?
“I didn’t really get any offers my senior year. So, my junior year, I’d probably say Ohio State. Either them or Michigan. They talked to me a little bit, but they didn’t really talk to me every other day like most coaches. I really did like Ohio State. My family … they didn’t really like (Urban Meyer).”
Which coach that you didn’t sign with was the hardest to say no to?
“Probably (wide receivers) Coach (Ron) Dugans from Miami. I got to know him really well at the end of the recruiting process. It was pretty difficult, especially because my friend signed there.”
If you were in charge of the NCAA, what is the one rule you would change about recruiting?
“I would say changing the visits. Most people have a top 10. How many official visits do you get? Three? It’s kind of hard with the visits. At least let us maximize them.”
Were there any bad traveling experiences?
“No. Everything was always good. Nothing was bad.”