Casey Prather to Florida

Dylan Burkhardt
on

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Jackson, Tennessee wing forward Casey Prather verbally committed to the University of Florida today. Prather had narrowed his college choices down to either Michigan or Florida but settled on Billy Donovan’s Gators.

This is a tough loss for the Michigan staff who followed Prather relentlessly over the last year. John Beilein and John Mahoney were a constant presence at Prather’s high school and AAU games. They began recruiting Casey when they weren’t sure that they would even be able to get him on campus and they certainly made their mark. They brought him in for an official visit and made his final two but in the end it was just too hard to pull him from the south.

I think Prather realized Michigan was a great fit but in the end he was just more comfortable at Florida.

“I felt like I was at home in that environment, and I loved the campus,” Prather said. “Coach Donovan is a premier coach, and I felt like I fit in with their players after I hung out with them.”

In terms of what this does for Michigan’s recruiting picture, Trey Zeigler becomes priority number 1, 2, and 3. It’s all hands on deck for the next 6 or 7 months until Zeigler makes his decision. Michigan is very much involved with Zeigler and at last note he had an official visit scheduled for Ann Arbor on October 24th for the Michigan/Penn State game.

  • Benjamin

    sigh…So close…yet again.

  • Tom, Too.

    We still have a top 15 recruiting class….

  • Old Style

    Knew it would be hard to get a southern kid to come to Michigan. Hopefully we get a kid from up north to commit in 6 months or so.

  • Kenny

    Although Zeigler is clearly the No. 1 priority, I won’t be surprised if some 2010 bigs come into the picture in Spring.

  • SteinerBlue

    Very disappointed, but major props to Coach B and his staff. The fact they were even in contention after getting in so late says so much about them.

    Now it’s full throttle for Plan A, Mr. Zeigler.

  • http://twitter.com/carlbleich South Florida Maize Rage

    Figured. Too bad. Let’s hope Trey Ziegler comes to AA. Think we’re in trouble if he doesn’t?

  • GregGoBlue

    Turn up the heat, Coach B!

    SFMR: fear not, my friend. 2011 looms large.

  • Paul F.

    Yes, Great job to coach Beilein and his staff. Did all he could do. Now time for TZ.

  • Ken in Vegas

    No worries, gang. Top 15 recruiting class only two years after the worst year in our history. We are now consistently fighting for top prospects and it will only get easier as we keep winning and JB gets even more acclimated to this Michigan job. Great job so far JB.

  • DSobes

    ugh…too bad. Ziegler just picked up a UCLA offer – lets hope we can still reel him in, he’s been heavily recruited by MSU also

  • Cza

    Not as affected as I thought I would be by this. Really glad he did this now instead of dragging it out until the spring. Now full effort on Ziegler and if that falls through, got a great start to 11.

  • Mark

    Beilein has still done a great job thus far. I don’t believe we’ll land Ziegler. If so, what is Plan B?

    Do we just save the scholarship for the great 2011 Class? How great would it be to get Kearney, Brundidge & Amir Williams as a 2011 Class?

  • http://www.umhoops.com Dylan

    At this point Plan B is banking the scholarship for the class of 2011.

    Other prospects could emerge, so that will be something to watch I guess.

  • Fred

    This isn’t sour grapes – but Florida?? Lost-in-NIT-semis-to-Penn-State Florida? And, isn’t Donovan getting interviewed right and left for other job?

  • sjastrz

    Fred, he’s probably thinking more of the back-to-back 2006 and 2007 national champs Florida.

  • jmblue

    Florida also recently won two national titles, let’s not forget.

  • Erik

    Too bad, and good luck to Prather. But I’m not as crushed as I was when Amaker lost out on Hairston, Horford, Reynolds, etc. Those IMO were CRUSHING losses. Beilein already has a solid class and as I said this morning, this would have been icing.

    I don’t have a good feeling about Zeigler, but I hope I am wrong. To me, he was the most polished player and the one I would be most excited about anyway…I just don’t get the sense that it’s going to be UofM for him either.

    That’s ok, more room for 2011.

  • Dave

    it seems like michigan gets a commit from a kid out of the blue rather than one who gets coverage like tz and prather have gotten………wonder why that is…….every time it seems like we have a great shot, and judging by articles the best shot, we always finish in second its truly unfortunate especially if and when tz doesnt sign because these kids could have such a solid and winning career at michigan………it will be interesting to see what happens here

  • Tom, Too.

    I knew that article last week was going to jinx us. It is tough, but we’ll start reeling these big ones in eventually….might need a year or two more of NCAA appearances and big wins on ESPN. Also, lacking NBA-bound players is very troubling. I am positive that is what sold Prather on Florida and I am sure that is what they hammered home: JB has not put one player in the NBA.

  • James

    I really wanted Prather, but Michigan probably told him he would have to earn a scholarship as a walk-on after they received a silent verbal from Michael Gilchrist over the weekend.

    By the end of the year, our 2010 class may not even be in the top 25, but the Brundledge/Gilchrist/Williams 2011 class should make the top 5 ;)

  • Mark

    Hold your horses James. It’s a testament to Beilein to even get Michael Gilchrist to take a visit to MI, but to think he gave us a solid verbal after one unofficial visit?

    I do think the 2011 class will be great, but if we can’t land Prather we have virtually zero chance to land a player like Michael Gilchrist.

  • James

    <>

    They are each their own person. What may not appeal to one person may appeal to another.

  • UM 4 life

    Dam that sucks… I figured it was to good to be true.. I dont think we will get T.Z. and we will bank it for 2011.. Hurry up practice facility…

  • Tom, Too.

    I don’t think we get TZ either….I think JB banks it and either it goes to 2011 OR he goes after a transfer. The latter option never really gets addressed here, but it is always a possibility.

  • Kevin in GR

    Here’s a story about Prather’s committment to FL…….

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20090930/SPORTS060407/909300404/207
    2/SPORTS/Casey+Prather+commits+to+Florida

    Seems like he said a lot of the same things about MI…other than connecting with the players. Maybe that was the difference?

    I guess someone should have treated him to an Oreo milkshake! :) (Maybe Donavan did?)

  • http://umhoops.com Wayman Britt

    It’s too bad he went to Florida, but not the end of the world. There will always be somebody else. Remember we thought the football program was done when we didn’t get T. Pryor, well the next year’s QB recruit for UM turned out okay.

  • ScottNYC

    Tom Too- Beilen put Joe Alexander in the NBA. Huggins coached him the last year, but Beilein had him before that. Plus Manny will be in the NBA.

  • Dave

    everything is going to change in terms of getting guys like prather or whoever, who are on the verge but need that little extra in the next few years theres not doubt about it……….manny and deshawn will be in the nba, new facilities are on the way, michigan is going to keep on winning, its only going to get better

  • Rob

    Tom…..that is going to change with Manny and prob DeShawn. Then the last recruiting knock against Beilein will be blown up.

    Yeah, yeah Beilein didn’t really recruit them. Blah blah blah

  • Tom, Too.

    Then the coaches will start talking numbers in the NBA. BTW – Although Joe Alexander blew up under Huggins, I think he is such a freak that he would have gotten drafted under JB based simply on the ridiculous workouts I heard he had before the draft. See the one minute mark here….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VBZ7LvD4Wg

  • Colby

    So does anyone think JB try to get involved with any new 2010 recruit or stick with his guys in the 2011 class? Seems as if he will stick with Trey but one guy I would like to see him pursue is Tony Mitchell out of Texas. I know the odds are low for us to pull someone out of the South but he recently listed ASU,Georgetown and Kansas State as his leaders and said he was open.

  • Dave

    it really would be key to get somebody to fill the manny void for 2010………2011 for a wing manny replacement would be great but 2010 would be much better

  • Dave

    would be interesting to see if jb has something else beside trey going on for 2010

  • http://www.umhoops.com Dylan

    Michigan won’t take a marginal player in 2010. And by that I mean an Allen Payne type (he actually just got an Auburn offer). With limited ships it’s a Trey Zeigler level player or bank it.

  • Dirtgrain

    Novak can play small forward. Can Vogrich?

  • http://www.umhoops.com Dylan

    Novak, Vogrich, and Hardaway can probably all play the wing. I don’t think any of those three give Michigan a “Manny-like” option though.