Nature Coast ATH Ja'Juan Story 100 percent committed to UF

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Mon. July 19, 2010 | Izzy Gould | Email

Nature Coast ATH Ja'Juan Story said he's happy to have part of his life back.

Many of the phone calls, text messages and Facebook posts have dwindled since he orally committed to Florida last month.

Only one school continued the pursuit of Story, a 6-foot-3, 190 pound receiver.

"Things have calmed down, but LSU didn't," Story said Monday. "Coach (Billy) Gonzalez wrote to me on Facebook and asked if I was 100 percent committed to UF because they still wanted me. I didn't respond to it."

Silence was Story's way of saying he is 100 percent committed to the Gators.

Story had planned to visit schools this summer because he frankly had little exposure to colleges as a child. He had offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State, North Carolina, Miami, Florida State and others. But after a visit to Florida, a drive less than two hours from his Brooksville home, Story said he saw everything he needed in a college.

Story's thoughts of committing at the Under-Armour All-American Game faded under relentless pressure of the seven to eight phone calls daily from reporters all asking the same questions.

Now he is being welcomed into the Gator family with plenty of fans reaching out. He has been contacted through social networking Web sites from other Gator recruits.

One of those players is Plantation linebacker Ryan Shazier, another Florida commitment.

They talk a lot of football, what they like about Florida and finally meeting at Florida's Friday Night Lights this weekend, a one-day camp that often draws many of the state's top prospects.

In terms of the recruiting game, Story said he has no plans to visit other schools and as far as he's concerned he is a Gator - even if the paperwork has yet to be official signed.

"I did get part of my life back," Story said. "I'm glad I committed."

igould@tampabay.com

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