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January 9, 2010

Five-star Elam back with the Gators

MORE: Army All-American Bowl coverage

SAN ANTONIO - There is never a dull moment in the recruitment of Matt Elam and the West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer kept it interesting this week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Elam, a long-time Florida commit, switched his pledge from the Gators to Florida State on New Year's Even and then after a conversation with coach Urban Meyer early this week looked to be opening his recruitment back up. Then Elam said Georgia was also entering the mix for Saturday's decision.

In the end, though, Florida won out for Elam, who's had a relationship with Meyer ever since he recruited Elam's older brother, Abram, to Notre Dame in the 1990s.

That bond was an important talking point in their discussions early this week and one big reason why Elam settled on the Gators.

"I talked to Urban," Elam said this week. "We were talking about our relationship basically and he told me to have trust, to have trust in him and he asked me a word that really touched me. He said, 'Do you know what faith means?' and he told me the definition. It really touched me a lot. It really touched me so my decision might change.

"I've known him for a while. It's been tough to leave him so I don't know if I'll be able to do that.

"It was mostly an emotional discussion. He was telling me how he was sorry, he didn't know if it was the right idea, but how he wasn't feeling too good and it was an emotional breakdown. It was very emotional."

Meyer is taking an indefinite leave of absence citing health issues but that didn't scare off Elam, rated as the second-best safety, top player in the Florida state rankings and No. 14 overall. He is expected to be an early enrollee and will join Dwyer teammates Gerald Christian and Robert Clark in Florida's class.

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