Once a verbal commit to Florida, former New Smyrna Beach linebacker Jaleel McRae is now set to join the rival Seminoles' recruiting class for 2019.
McRae, who enrolled at IMG Academy in Bradenton back in January, announced his commitment to Florida State after an unofficial visit on Saturday. The consensus four-star recruit (6-foot-2, 230 pounds) also claims offers from Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, North Carolina, Texas A&M and UCF, among others.
Until the Seminoles brought in Willie Taggart as head coach, McRae, a lifelong Gators fans, never dared to dream about wearing garnet and gold.
"It's mind-blowing to grow up a Gator fan and flip to the rival," he said. "But I feel like being a Seminole is the best thing.
"Last time I committed, I fell in love with a coaching staff, and that was the wrong thing to do. This time, I fell in love with the school. I want to come in and bring a national championship back to Tallahassee."
As a junior, McRae racked up 48 total tackles, seven tackles for loss and two sacks. He was a three-year starter for the Barracudas.
Florida State has collected some of the premier talent from Volusia County over the last handful of years, including the Mainland trio of AJ Westbrook, Cyrus Fagan and, most recently, D'Marcus Adams.
"When I committed, I told myself that I was continuing a legacy," McRae said. "AJ and Cyrus are doing great things, and I'm pretty sure D'Marcus is going to do great things next year.
"Whichever young cats are around in 2020, I'm going to try to get them up to Florida State, too."
Bellamy picks up Rutgers offer
DeLand senior athlete Demaurez Bellamy said he received an offer from Rutgers on Monday night.
Bellamy (5-11, 208) transferred to DeLand at the start of the spring semester after a second stint at Mainland. Bellamy rushed for 96 yards and two touchdowns for the Bucs in 2017, and finished second on the team with 48 total tackles.
He also claims offers from Bowling Green, Florida Atlantic, South Dakota, South Florida, Syracuse, Toledo and UCF.
Killins adds Idaho to growing list
With spring football set to start on Monday, and the evaluation period now officially underway, business is set to pick up for the area's best juniors. That list certainly includes Spruce Creek cornerback Travon Killins (5-9, 155), who recently landed his seventh Division I offer.
Killins claimed an offer from Idaho last week. He also has offers from Arkansas State, Iowa State, Marshall, Memphis, Minnesota and Tulane.
A top performer at Nike's The Opening regional camp in Miami back in February, Killins had 20 tackles, seven pass breakups and an interception for the Hawks in his first year as a starter.
Sylvester lands first football offer
Mainland senior running back Latavies Sylvester recently picked up his first football offer, from Paine College, a Division II program in Augusta, Georgia.
Sylvester, who swept the 100- and 200-yard dash events at the Five Star Conference track and field championships, totaled 89 yards from scrimmage with one touchdown for the Bucs this fall.
USF, UNCW are latest to offer Duckett
Junior shooting guard Lexi Duckett collected another pair of offers this week, with South Florida and UNC Wilmington now on board.
Duckett led DME Sports Academy in scoring this season with 14.8 points per game. She earned All-Area first team honors in 2016-17 while attending Father Lopez.
Duckett also claims offers from Charleston Southern, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Longwood, North Florida, Sacred Heart, Seton Hall and Virginia.
Creek's Cheney heading to Auburn
Spruce Creek senior and accomplished junior gymnast Sabrina Cheney will continue her athletic career at Auburn University.
A 2017 Junior Olympics national qualifier, Cheney trains at Orlando Metro Gymnastics. She has competed as a Level 10 gymnast for the past six years.
NSB's Mercy signs with Ohio Dominican
New Smyrna Beach senior Madi Mercy signed a letter of intent Tuesday to play softball at Ohio Dominican University.
Mercy plays travel ball with Intensity Softball and last suited up for the Barracudas in 2017. In total she spent three seasons on the Barracudas softball team and currently is a member of the flag football team.
Ohio Dominican, a Division II program, is currently riding a 16-game winning streak dating back to March 31.