Matt Rolin of Briar Woods decommits from South Carolina, will play for Florida

Briar Woods senior linebacker Matt Rolin, the AA Dulles District’s Division 4 defensive player of the year and one of the area’s top recruits, has decommitted from South Carolina and will play at Florida next season, he announced Sunday on Twitter.

“Going back on my word is something I never imagined myself doing and it hurts me to do it, but in end I have do what’s best for me,” he wrote. He added: “I have officially committed to THE University of #Florida. I will be wearing #9 as I continue to chase my dreams at #Florida.”

A 2013 Under Armour All-American Game selection and four-star recruit by Rivals.com, Rolin missed the Falcons’ run to a third straight Virginia AA Division 4 title with a season-ending knee injury.

After committing in May to South Carolina, from which both of his parents graduated, Rolin reopened his recruitment following an official visit to Florida in late November. He grew close with Gators coaches Will Muschamp and D.J. Durkin, Falcons Coach Charlie Pierce said Sunday night, and felt greater comfort in the Gators’ more traditional defensive system.

His mind made up, Rolin called the Florida staff Friday night, and Pierce on Sunday afternoon.

“Over the last month or so, I think it’s been a gradual thing,” Pierce said of Rolin’s change of heart. “It’s been building.”

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound standout had successful surgery Tuesday, forcing him to miss Briar Woods’ latest championship, but Pierce said Rolin’s doctor expects him to eventually return to full strength.

One way or another, he could be on the move soon enough. Rolin was fast-tracking his high school graduation to enroll at South Carolina a semester early, but Pierce was unsure of how his senior’s new destination would alter those plans.

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