Somewhere in the past few days someone wrote something that hinted Lakewood defensive end Dante Fowler might be changing his mind about going to Florida State and could choose Florida instead. Then it hit Twitter, then Fowler's cell phone melted from an influx of phone calls and text messages.
But rest easy, Seminole fans, Fowler, the 74th-ranked player in the country according to ESPN, says he is still coming to Tallahassee in 2012.
"I went to Florida last Tuesday, and some people were thinking I was going to commit, and then I told the Gainesville paper that yeah, I could see myself running out onto the field and playing there. But I also told them I was still 100 percent committed to Florida State,'' Fowler told the Times.
According to this blog post on Gatorsports.com, Florida coaches are making a hard push to get Fowler to change sides:
“They said, ‘Why play around 25,000 people when you can play in front of 92,000 screaming, rowdy fans?’ ” Fowler said. "They were like, ‘Why play with a team that doesn’t even sell out their stadium while we’ve been selling out our stadium since 1979?’ And I was just like, ‘Dang.’ ”
The comparison had some effect on Fowler.
“Kind of,” he admitted. “That’s one thing about me, I always want to play for a big crowd, always.”
Maybe that explains his love for The Swamp.
“I don’t know what it is,” Fowler said, “but I can always see myself playing on that football field.”
Fowler has never hidden his fondness for Florida, which he almost committed to before picking FSU in December. But he says it's just an admiration for the current coaching staff, especially coach Will Muschamp.
Fowler said Internet sites took what he said and ran with it. He even said his father was reading through a thread on a recruiting message board that said his son had been spotted in the mall sporting a pair of -- GASP! -- orange and blue Nikes.
"I had to go in my closet and see if I even have a pair of orange and blue shoes,'' Fowler said. "It's crazy. It's funny how people are all into this. But I accept this is the way it is. It isn't frustrating; it actually makes me laugh.''
Fowler, who is enjoying all the attention, is visiting Florida again Wednesday, so look for more rumors to sprout. But he says he has no plans to turn away from the Seminoles, whom he will be camping with in July.
"Nothing's changed,'' he said.