VIENNA, Ga. — College coaches aren’t afraid to pursue recruits committed to other schools, but sometimes those pitches fall on deaf ears.
Defensive end Antonneous Clayton pledged to Florida last October, but that didn’t deter ex-UF coaches at Auburn and Florida State.
A couple of them even talked down the Gators to Clayton.
“Auburn actually did that,” he said.
The Tigers had former Florida coach Will Muschamp and assistant Travaris Robinson on their staff in 2015. Both are now at South Carolina.
“Coach Muschamp and coach T-Rob told me if I’m really choosing between Florida and Auburn, Auburn is where I needed to go,” Clayton said. “They were like, ‘Trust us, Auburn is better.’ I felt some type of way about it.”
Former UF defensive line coach Brad Lawing, who coached under Muschamp and is now at FSU, also tried to flip the Under Armour All-American. Clayton said the Seminoles finished second for him, but his interactions with Lawing made him lose interest.
“He basically tried to say that I was being forced to go to Florida,” Clayton recalled. “He pressured me my whole recruitment. When me, my mom and my dad sat down with coach Lawing in his office, I just felt pressure. My heart started beating fast. It felt like I was skipping a heartbeat. He wanted me to commit, and that same day I was supposed to go to Florida’s Friday Night Lights.”
- Recruiting Rewind with Antonneous Clayton: ‘I picked Florida when I saw that first palm tree’
- WATCH: Antonneous Clayton dominates at Under Armour practices