When a major program loses a key hire, Rivals.com looks at its impact on the respective school, analyzing it from the local and national levels. To quantify the “pain” of each decrease in activity, we assign a score from one to 10, with a score not being a big deal and a score of 10 being a catastrophic hit.
Isaiah Nixon committed to UCF mid-April and it was a massive recruitment coup for the coach Gus Malzahn because his program beat multiple Power Five programs for a four-star defensive endpoint from St.Petersburg (Fla.) Lakewood.
But about two months later, Nixon essentially moved his pledge from UCF to Florida and has given the Gators a major player who has all the skills to be exceptional anywhere including the SEC.
Nixon’s choice of a different show wasn’t a complete shock, but he’s highly praised UCF in recent weeks and even visited for its all-important Bounce House Weekend.
In the end, even though UCF did a phenomenal job recruiting him, that doesn’t mean Florida pushed and convinced him to quit.
Isaiah Nixon was one of the most highly regarded pledges in UCF history as he made his pledge during the Knights spring game in April. While the news has sent shockwaves through what will be UCF’s first Big 12 recruiting class, retaining him will always be a struggle if SEC powers continue to hotly pursue. Nixon made an official visit to UCF the first weekend of June, but did not stop recruiting. He visited Florida recently and it didn’t take long to realize there was going to be a breakup.
Gus Malzahn and his staff are hiring at a rate never before seen at UCF, so the good news is that they have plenty of time to adjust. It’s not like this happened on the eve of the signing day. For another possible defensive end prospect, DeeJay Holmes still at the top of the table after visiting last week. – Brandon Helwig, UCFSports.com
Stinging factor: 7
Losing Nixon hurt because he was a prospect in the state and one of the most profitable workers in the Southeast if not the country. It’s no secret that he will be a huge addition to this UCF recruiting class. But Gus Malzahn and his staff are doing a great job of early recruiting to this class with a four-star DE Kaven’s call and other things that could really make an impact on the Knights in the years to come. If some of those elite players are picked up by other shows in the coming months there will be some concern so while Nixon is not ideal, UCF is doing a great job and should get some credit. . – Adam Gyers, National Recruitment Manager
Stinging factor: 7