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Rumors: Johnny Townsend to flip from Ohio State, sign with Alabama

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UPDATE 4 p.m. 2/7/13: Townsend has now signed with the Florida Gators over both Ohio State and Alabama.

In a relative shocker, two/three-star punter Johnny Townsend is expected by multiple sources to decommit from Ohio State at the zero hour and instead fax his National Letter of Intent to the University of Alabama. The rich stand to get richer as many of the nation's top recruiting analysts have Alabama and Ohio State pegged as either one or two in their team rankings of the best 2013 recruiting classes in the country. Townsend was set to become either the 18th or 19th Buckeye to send in his National Letter of Intent of Signing Day, but is now expected instead to join the Crimson Tide's strong signing class.

The Florida native and special teams stud was first "discovered" nationally in many analysts eyes after an impressive showing at an Alabama punting camp. It'd been thought, however, that he'd been a strong commit to Ohio State and even spoke to several Ohio State analysts earlier in the week expressing as much. Though Ohio State would survive losing a scholarship punter, it's still a rather odd set of circumstances to see this kind of change of heart so late in the process, from an exclusively special teams player, no less.

The Buckeyes have 24 commits for the class of 2013, with just Ezekiel Elliott's official announcement still outstanding. Here were the two reports that Townsend may sign elsewhere: