<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Florida signee KeVaughn Allen has informed the new staff that he will stick with the Gators, sources told ESPN. HUGE news for Mike White.</p>— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) <a href="https://twitter.com/GoodmanESPN/status/600364507366617089">May 18, 2015</a></blockquote>
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After a couple of weeks of those close to him at hinting pretty strongly he would seek a release from his NLI with Florida, it appears KeVaughn Allen will be sticking with the Gators and new coach Michael White after all.
While it's obviously great news for Florida, it's disappointing for Razorback fans who felt the loss of Bobby Portis and Michael Qualls could be somewhat softened if the Razorbacks could end up with Allen.
Allen's commitment to Florida, despite originally coming over a year ago, frequently seemed shaky. He didn't sign with the Gators in the early signing period, leading many to wonder if he would reopen his recruitment, but he stayed committed and signed his NLI in April. However, shortly after Billy Donovan left Florida for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Allen's stepfather called into Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly and said "it's coming" when asked directly if Allen would seek a release from Florida. North Little Rock head coach Johnny Rice also was a guest on multiple sports talk shows afterward and while always reiterating Allen would speak with White before requesting a release, most people seemed to believe it was coming, and Arkansas, Memphis, and possibly Kansas would be after Allen's services.
However, in the end, Allen has decided to remain with Florida, and Arkansas still has two open scholarships to fill.
If the Razorbacks had landed Allen and/or Ebuka Izundu, they would have been in great shape for next season. Now, it's getting really close to feeling like Mike Anderson and his staff have completely struck out this spring (the one player they did sign, Colorado transfer Dustin Thomas, won't be eligible for next season, and he'll have to prove himself on the court in the fall of 2016 before fans get excited about him). Arkansas was unable to truly recruit Allen until he was released from his NLI, so the staff never had a full opportunity to pursue him. They did miss out on Izundu to Miami and Memphis transfer Nick King to Alabama.
The question remains whether Arkansas will even fill these last two spots or hold them for the 2016 class. The Razorbacks have four seniors on next year's team, so they would have six spots to fill, and possibly more if any other players leave. However, I'd be surprised if the coaches weren't turning over every rock they can find looking for someone to fill a spot left for this class.