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Former Texas SDE pledge Princely Umanmielen signs with Florida

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Despite Texas’ best efforts and an official visit over the weekend, the local product is taking his talents to the Sunshine State.

Princely Umanmielen
KXAN screenshot

Recommitments rarely happen in the world of college football recruiting, and unfortunately for the Texas Longhorns, that reality revealed itself yet again as local Manor product Princely Umanmielen signed with the Florida Gators over the Auburn Tigers, Baylor Bears, and Texas Longhorns in a ceremony at his high school on Wednesday.

This was largely unexpected — Baylor was the leader prior to the departure of Bears head coach Matt Rhule to the NFL. Prior to rule accepting a head coaching position with the Carolina Panthers, it seemed that Baylor had solidified itself as the team to beat for the former Texas pledge. However, when Rhule left the program on Jan. 7, Texas re-emerged as a legitimate option and the Bears fell back in the pack.

Fewer than two weeks after Rhule’s departure, Umanmielen toured the Forty Acres for Texas’ major recruiting weekend on Jan. 18. And this time around, he heard a bit of a different pitch than previous visits to Austin, as the Horns, too, had underwent significant staff changes, including Chris Ash replacing Todd Orlando as Texas’ defensive coordinator.

“(Ash) showed me some of the clips from Ohio State’s defense when he was over there,” Umanmielen told Horns247’s Jeff Howe. “He said that they’ll be running something very similar to that and that he’ll be using me mostly in a five (technique).

“I’m more interested than I was before. So they’re up there now.”

Given those remarks and the coaching change taking place in Waco, it seemed more likely than not that Texas had re-established itself in Umanmielen’s recruitment with a legitimate chance to re-earn his pledge and ultimately his signature. With Umanmielen returning to the Forty Acres for an official visit over the weekend, it seemed as if the Horns had an ideal opportunity to do just that, but then, after finishing his trip to Texas, Umanmielen returned to Waco to visit what’s now Dave Aranda’s Baylor Bears.

That visit appeared to seal the deal, as a flurry of 247Sports Crystal Ball picks projecting Umanmielen to pick Baylor followed, but those picks proved incorrect on Wednesday afternoon as Florida won out following Umanmielen’s official visit to Gainesville several weeks ago.

With Umanmielen heading to Florida, Oscar Giles’ defensive line class remains a two-man class featuring four-star defensive tackle Vernon Broughton and three-star defensive tackle Sawyer Goram-Welch. However, it’s widely expected that All-American strong-side defensive end Alfred Collins will side with Texas this afternoon.