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Linebacker recruit Alex Anzalone ditches Notre Dame for Florida

If Brian Kelly does indeed return to Notre Dame next season, he’ll be coming back to the No. 2-rated incoming freshman class, not the No. 1.

That’s because linebacker Alex Anzalone, one of the top 50 recruits in the nation, according to, de-committed from the Irish and will enroll at Florida instead. Anzalone, of Wyomissing, Pa., was expected to enroll at Notre Dame this week. Irish Illustrated first reported the switch Thursday.

Kelly interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles’ coaching job Tuesday, mere hours after the Irish lost 42-14 to Alabama in the BCS national title game. The third-year Notre Dame coach has been on vacation since the interview and hasn’t made any public comments about it.

Several high-profile Irish recruits — the self-proclaimed ‘‘Irish Mob ’13’’ — took to Twitter to affirm their allegiance to Notre Dame. Some also took shots at Anzalone for bailing on such short notice.

‘‘Man what the hell Alex that was low,’’ tweeted quarterback recruit Malik Zaire. ‘‘2 days before you report u go somewhere else? Its all good well see you down the road.’’

Tweeted cornerback Devin Butler: ‘‘Honestly just lost a lot of respect for this dude. Thought it was a close friendship. . . . Why couldn’t you stick it out and wait for a decision like everybody else? What makes you so special?’’

Anzalone, a four-star inside linebacker, originally had committed to Ohio State before picking Notre Dame over the summer. His father is a Florida graduate. The Gators leapfrogged the Irish to No. 1 in Rivals’ recruiting-class rankings as a result of the switch.

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