During the All-American Bowl on Saturday, 4-star 2019 DB Chris Steele committed to the Florida Gators.
Steele indicated that Oregon was his second choice, but according to 247Sports director of scouting Barton Simmons, officiating may have been a factor in avoiding the Pac-12.
Per OregonLive.com, Simmons said Steele felt his physical style of play would get flagged more often by Pac-12 officials:
“Chris Steele.. it’s interesting, this is a kid who was headed the Pac-12,” Simmons said. “His physical style of play, he felt like translated better to the SEC. And he felt like even the referees in the SEC would be a little bit more forgiving for his style of play. Pac-12 refs losing them one here.”
That’s very interesting, and Pac-12 officials do have a reputation for flagging some of the more physical play between receivers and defensive backs.
Did that cost the Ducks a big-time recruit? Whatever the case, the Gators are happy to have Steele on board.