January 10, 2013 // Recruiting

Alex Anzalone Flips from Notre Dame to Florida

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Alex Anzalone Decommitment

White Team RB Ryan Green (6) of St. Petersburg Catholic (Fla.) is tackled by Black Team LB Alex Anzalone (34) of Wyomissing HS (Pa.) during the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. (Photo – Mark LoMoglio/Icon SMI)

News spread quickly this afternoon that the fallout of Brian Kelly’s interview with the Philadelphia Eagles began to be felt Thursday afternoon.  Less than 24 hours after the story broke, Notre Dame lost its first recruit – early enrollee Alex Anzalone – to the Florida Gators.

Anzalone, an early enrollee, was set to enroll at Notre Dame this weekend, but the sudden uncertainty around Notre Dame’s head coach caused the linebacker to switch his commitment at the 11th hour – the fourth time he committed to a school during his recruiting process.

Originally committing to Ohio State back in the spring, Anzalone decommitted from the Buckeyes and opened his recruiting back up.  By the fall, Anzalone had committed to Notre Dame, but it wasn’t long before he wavered on the Irish and took a visit to Florida.  He didn’t decommit from the Irish at that point, but after a November visit to South Bend, the top 100 linebacker recommitted to Notre Dame.

All of that drama came to end on Thursday, however, with Anzalone making one last switch before enrolling at Florida tomorrow.

News of Anzalone’s decommitted quickly spread on Twitter with several other Notre Dame commitments taking umbrage in their former classmate’s decision to switch his pledge.

James Onwualu was the first Notre Dame commitment to take to Twitter.

Malik Zaire, an early enrollee himself was also disappointed in Aznalone’s decision.

https://twitter.com/_Lucky_Lefty6/status/289477578199285760

Devin Butler, however, seemed the most upset and had several tweets about Anzalone’s decommitment

At this point no other Notre Dame commitments have publicly mentioned that they are wavering, but with each passing hour of this story developing and no word from either the Notre Dame or Brian Kelly camps, the more potentially detrimental to Notre Dame’s recruiting efforts this season.

The good news is that several other commitments have reaffirmed their commitments to Notre Dame in spite of the news and have siad that they will be attending Notre Dame regardless of who is the coach next year.  Recruits like Steve Elmer, Jaylon Smith, Doug Randolph, Jacob Matuska, and Michael Deeb have all publicly stated their commitments to Notre Dame

Anzalone’s decommitment leaves Notre Dame with 22 commitments in this year’s class which is now ranked #2 in Rivals and #3 in ESPN after previously occupying the #1 ranking in both.  Should Brian Kelly remain at Notre Dame, however, the Irish staff will have plenty of time to regain that position with several high ranking recruits still interested in Notre Dame.

Comments to this Article

  • HURLS commented on January 10th, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I never trusted this idiot.

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  • HURLS commented on January 10th, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    @big_john_74 – I like your style. O’ya…did i mention I’m from Massachusetts also?

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  • pete commented on January 10th, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Not sure if Kelly is doing this as a ploy to get things from Notre Dame – money, field turf, assistants pay raise. Timing not good for Notre Dame. Hope it all works out for Notre Dame. If he leaves I would love to see Notre Dame reach out to the following coaches- Fitzgerald- Northwestern. Danatonio- Michigan State. Strong- Louisville. Patterson- Tcu and Franklin- Vanderbilt. All would do great things at Notre Dame in my opinion. Finally, if Bryan Kelly stays he better completely overhaul the special teams and he better reavaluate his coaching on the offensive side of the ball. NOTRE Dame has great talent on offense that isn’t being used right or performing up to their level of ability. Kelly in my opinion is an excellent coach but a poor offense coach and poor play caller, game planner,etc,.

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  • Mike commented on January 10th, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Pete, how about Diaco

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  • NDfaninmonterey commented on January 10th, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    No to Danatonio, Patterson, Franklin or Fitzgerald! Yes to Meyer, Petersen, Sumlin, Clements, Gruden and Billick.

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    Jack replied on January 11th, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Gruden suck and Urban is going no where. Billick are you kidding me and Petersen is to scared to leave Boise.

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  • Brian commented on January 11th, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Pass on Diaco, defensive minded assistant that never lead his own team?? Welcome to the Bob Davie era again.

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  • NDfaninmonterey commented on January 11th, 2013 at 12:00 am

    I am disapointed in Anzalone. However, I am happy to see the Irish commitments who have reaffirmed their commitments.

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  • qb2333 commented on January 11th, 2013 at 12:48 am

    anzalone flirted with/flipped OSU, PSU, FL, ND. Better now than on signing day or later. BK, disappointed. Wrong time wrong way. Kids like this don;t need an excuse. Where the hell are you? Make a statement. ND needs to give him his raise and move on.

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    RocccoP replied on January 11th, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Anzalone was a “soft verbal” and really never that enthusiastic about attending ND. Good riddance to a “kid” who has shown a very LOW level of maturity.

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  • D-Train 65 commented on January 11th, 2013 at 1:39 am

    If BK was to walk and ND could have any coach currently in Div. One my first and only choice would be David Shaw of Stanford. Guy is 40 y/o ALL CLASS and not a ranting or raving lunatic. He is calm and from all accounts the players IDOLIZE him and play their hearts out for him. He comes from exactly the same background playing and recruiting base that exists at ND. He has experience at the top level and comes from a family coaching culture following his father. I think it would be fair to say he does not have the DEPTH of talent that is available at ND and yet has OVER ACHIEVED the last 2 yrs with really a core of probably a dozen excellent athletes and a top QB in Luck. This year with a lot less talent he still managed to win PAC12 and Rose Bowl. Would love to see a guy like him on the sidelines. Looks like a class act and most parents would love t see their sons playing for a guy with his profile. Have to believe the ND offensive play calling and SPECIAL TEAMS would see an immediate UPGRADE with a guy of his ability at the helm Re Anzalone he would have been another Lynch departure after one season I am sure so no loss.

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  • Geoff G commented on January 11th, 2013 at 1:47 am

    If BK really has his heart set on the NFL then so be it. I wasn’t thrilled with the way he responded to the first 3 questions of his BCS Championship game presser when he left doubt as to if he was interested or not. If he is simply doing this to get a contract extension than shame on him. He could have done that behind closed doors without affecting the program. Frankly, I don’t think he deserves a raise. He outperformed this season but I don’t think he outperformed his contract yet. Our program just got blown out of the water by a superior Alabama team…. Not really the time to make your case of getting a new contract.

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    joey d replied on January 11th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Let him go to the NFL…he’ll be fired after a year and then he could go coach at Colorado, or take over for Big Chuck at Kansas.

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  • joey d commented on January 11th, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Good bye! Where you going when Muschamp leaves for Texas????

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  • tmagnus commented on January 11th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I agree with joey d. I don’t think Muschamp will stay at UF that much longer if old Mack Brown doesn’t start winniing. Good riddance to Anzalone. If you don’t wanna be here, we are better off without you!

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  • HJPrender commented on January 11th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    you would think Kelly would open his yap if he were staying

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  • jeff kantor commented on January 11th, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Inever saw so many insecure people in reading all the comments. there is nothing wrong with what happened. look at saben when he was at the dolphins or lsu he insised he wasn’t going. this has been going on as long as I can remember. you people didn’t mind it when BK was at ciniy.
    give the coch a chance to respond. talk about guilty before being proven innocent. you people eserve to go root for miami or USC or ohio state. speaking of which remember urban years ago when ND was trying to recruit him if a commit wants to go good riddence he doesn’t belong at the Golden Dome you only want players who want to be there. how does lynch feel, he went to an also ran school instead of a club that is 12-1. have no fear the coac is not going anywhere. I am sure he andhis assistants have been on the phone to all the others. alex has been bouncing around like a fumble which he has turned out to be.
    how could you question a coach like Kelly. Hehas an 8-5, 8-5, which is a good season the with virtually the same team go 12-1, and playing for the national title the third year. 10 of nd oponents had winning records 8 of alabama’s had winning records so the schedule was not as soft as people say. I checked out allthe yop ten teams and the irish were thr best in that respect. not that it really matters but ND’s 98% gradyuation rateas compared to ala 75% also shows up. In any event congratulations Alabama they were great. I just hope nD meets them next year. It will be a btter game. GO IRISH!!

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  • Todd Swisher commented on January 11th, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    I am extremely disappointed in Brian Kelly regarding his interest in the Eagles’ job. He just committed to the Irish 3 years ago and he is seriously considering leaving for the NFL? Wow! I guess it’s all about him – very sad. This is an extremely important period – weeks prior to signing day and he is considering leaving the program. Without question this type of thing can significantly impact the recruiting class (was rated #1 in the country) and already has with the loss of Anzalone. The longer this thing plays out the more and more selfish Kelly appears to be.

    What’s it going to be Kelly – are you all in at ND or not? If not, get out and let’s get the right coach in there – one who is committed to his players and the University. One who demonstrates selflessness and doesn’t just ask it from his players and coaches.

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  • Pete commented on January 11th, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    see below or attached…

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  • bj commented on January 11th, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    all guess all that kelly talk about our lady and the team was bs, its about the money, he couldnt touch lou’s integrity and devotion

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  • Jefffos75 commented on January 12th, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Honestly this guy was a flake from the start and I was overly impressed with his play anyway. Plus he’s been a magnet for trouble. He took pictures with a booster who was a pedophile while visiting Ohio St. and didn’t decommit when HE found, he decommitted when EVERYONE else found out. He won’t be missed and we have other, better players to take his place. I do have to say that I’m extremely disappointed in Brian Kelly’s lack of devotion and committment and it makes his completely dumbfounded, “duh, I don’t know” interview at halftime Monday night make a lot more sense. Go Irish!!!

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  • Joezee commented on January 13th, 2013 at 9:46 am

    People – anzalone is certainly immature. But let’s remember that he is 18 years old. He is still young so let’s not bash him. We welcomed Gunner Kiel last year and his recruiting was in the same boat. And what did you all think of Les Miles and his reactions? I certainly think he was out of line calling out a young man in the media. Lets move on and focus on the guys that want to be at ND.

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  • Lloyd commented on January 13th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Kelly is plotting a stragedy for his staff, 12-0 opens his staff for many universities to consider. Hopefully, the university understands that the entire staff that needs to be kept in tact not just the head coach. I for one hope they stay together and keep the train on track.

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  • Phxguy520 commented on January 13th, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Obviously this kid is mentally weak. Glad he changed his mind.

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  • Rich commented on January 15th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    He must have not wanted to be part of the Irish that badly. Florida is an attractive school, but when you talk academics, it is way behind ND. If he didn’t want to be part of the team, they we didn’t want him.

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