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Florida football lands commitment from 4-star DL on Independence Day

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After teasing a decision by the end of the summer over the weekend, four-star edge rusher TJ Searcy has committed to the University of Florida over Clemson, South Carolina and Tennessee.

The Upson-Lee (Thomaston, Georgia) recruit made things official on Independence Day with a post on social media that read “Happy 4th” with an emoji of a Gator and a blue heart above his commitment photo.

Searcy is the second four-star edge rusher to join the class along with former UCF commit Isaiah Nixon. Although he’s listed as a defensive lineman by most recruiting services, Searcy is headed to Florida as a JACK edge rusher and is expected to play a similar role to the one Brenton Cox Jr. will have this year. His strength is rushing the passer but he also possesses the versatility to drop back into coverage if necessary.

Outside linebacker coach Mike Peterson played a key role in getting him to Gainesville, and now the job is to develop a relatively raw prospect into an NFL-ready player. At 6-foot-5-inches tall and 250-pounds, Searcy certainly has the frame to succeed in the SEC.

Florida is back up to No. 38 overall on 247Sports’ team recruiting rankings. Losing Tommy Kinsler on Saturday caused the Gators to dip back into the 40s, but Searcy brings the commitment list back up to nine players and raises the average grade of the class from 0.8964 to 0.9006 as the newest top recruit.

The 247Sports composite ranks Searcy at No. 153 overall in the class of 2023 and No. 20 among defensive linemen. The On3 consensus has him in the same spot in its national rankings, but it’s worth noting that On3’s individual rankings have him at No. 49 overall.

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