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Tagged: Studs & Duds in 2019
December 17, 2018 at 11:10 am #40920
All the fans are complaining about the 2019 class – and while one may look on rivals or 247sports and see us not at the top, here are some things to consider:
-Mullen recruits to a system. He is a good evaluator of talent and the 4 and 3 stars he is bringing in will turn out better than if he went by the number of stars next to a guy’s name.
-The 2019 recruiting period isn’t over: even in the past two weeks we have gotten significant recruits to flip, and I wouldn’t be surprised if more flipped before early signing period, much less the national signing day later.
-The facilities upgrades will boost recruiting in the future. We will be able to sell existing, #1 facilities and high profile recruits will come here.
-We are top 5 in 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes. Recruiting starts years in advance of signing day, not months. CDM has been here for almost exactly 1 year, which really isn’t enough time to build a top 5 recruiting class
December 17, 2018 at 6:59 pm #40922
It wouldn’t be Gator Nation if we weren’t doing a certain amount of panicking about something every season. We’re just a paranoid bunch by force of habit. In this case, the panic is NOT justified. The Gators are still paying on the recruiting trail for Foley’s last two bad HBC hires.
Recruiting elite football players has turned into a multi-year process, where coaching staffs at major colleges must develop long-term relationships from the time recruits arrive in high school, sometimes even earlier. The 2018 and 2019 Gator recruiting classes were both doomed to being less than stellar the day Stricklin fired McElwayne. All his staff’s recruiting relationships were flushed down the toilet and Mullen had to start over, practically from scratch, wooing players that in some cases didn’t even fit his system.
That’s why the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes are in much better shape. He’s got the early relationships going AND he’s showing early results on the field AND Stricklin is committed to building the new football complex, scheduled to open while those recruits will still be in Gainesville. All good.
Gator Nation just needs to find something we have in extremely short supply… PATIENCE!
December 23, 2018 at 6:56 pm #41064
December 18, 2018 at 9:23 am #40957
”Gator Nation just needs to find something we have in extremely short supply… PATIENCE!” -StLGator.
I disagree with that for the following reasons, StlGator. The Gators have not won an SEC CHAMPIONSHIP in 10 years in football. That, in of itself, is displaying ”patience.” And in FULL-EFFECT, too. But the Gator Football team’s future is looking better and better. And the Peach Bowl will go a long way. That is ‘IF’ U.F. wins the game. As it will garner Florida with a ”Top 10” final ranking, great national exposure, etc..
But we, Gator fans, have been practicing ”patience.” As it’s all we, Gator fans, have any currency in presently. And David G. Allen once said, ”Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have (or had) in mind.” The Gator fans my have had ”a different order in mind,” but still, we fans are practicing patience, in my opinion. Because ”patience” and ”hope” is all we have right now. Go Gators!
December 19, 2018 at 11:23 pm #41010
GI, there’s an old saying in the business world that Stricklin had to face in October 2017, “When you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s easy to forget that your goal was to drain the swamp!” He didn’t lose sight of his goal and pulled the plug on McElwhiner’s swamp! He then hired Mullen and started a new chapter in the history of Gator football.
The problem Mullen faced coming in, was the very real damage the Gator brand sustained in recruiting circles after 1 year of Zombie Meyer, followed by 4 years of the Chump, followed by 3 years of McElwhiner, all courtesy of Foley’s AD goals. He wasn’t going to overcome all that damage in one year.
So, Gator Nation has to forget those 8 lost seasons, focus on the progress Mullen is making on the field this season and the great shape the 2020 and 2021 recruiting classes are already taking. All that requires from us is…
… More patience! 😉
December 18, 2018 at 9:31 am #40958
Spurrier was quoted saying we need at least 18 blue chip recruits to compete for SEC or National Championships. When we were at the top we recruited top 5 talent and many blue chips. It’s not a coincidence that Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Georgia are in the top 5 in both recruiting and NCAA rankings. They also have coaches that have won national championships so those things go hand in hand. Are some fans obnoxious and panicking about our class yes but they don’t want to see us ranked 10th in the SEC in recruiting. Coach Mullen is a great evaluator in talent that is sub blue chip but more often than not blue chip recruits don’t need the evaluation that a 3 start would need, they are no-brainers. With all the advancement in technology and science recruiting is becoming as predictable as who’s making the 4 team playoff at the end of the year. I believe Mullen will get us back to the top 3 in the SEC in recruiting again but it will take more than relationships. It will take a few seasons of winning and being more competitive against Georgia. FSU, Miami, and UF all have been national champions before and all are fighting for blue chip recruits within the state. This puts each program at a disadvantage compared to most others that only recruit against maybe one other major program in their state. The thing that sets each program apart is relationships with these kids and winning. Mullen is showing that he can do both but he still needs time for us to be where we want to be as program, one that competes for SEC and National Championships.
December 18, 2018 at 10:22 am #40959
Mullen has taken the long road and built his staff based on emphasizing player development over sales. There are very few assistant coaches who are aces at both. The sales pitch part will take care of itself when the recruits see the on the field success. The new football complex will further help the sales pitch. Winning is an integral part of selling the program. Coming into this season 2019 recruits were taking a wait and see approach to Mullen’s success in turning arounf the team. Therefore, there weren’t a lot of early commitments. Florida still has a lot of potential upward mobility in recruiting rankings with only 18 commitments. While they are 10th in the SEC in total points, they are 7th in average points per commit. They are just behind Tennessee and can easily move into 6th with a good finish.
As StLGator pointed out recruiting has become a multi-year process in developing relationships. Mullen is recruiting a different level of athlete to Florida than he had at MSU. He had to start from scratch. I can understand a little panic in Gator Nation. However, for me the early commitments and the quality of the commitments for 2020 and 2021 show me that Mullen’s team is doing a very good job with developing relationships. The fact is Mullen was late to the party for 2019 and is doing an alright job of salvaging the class. Florida can close strong and finish with a Top 12 class by signing ESPN 300 recruits, Sanders, Zipperer, Summerall, and Steele.
December 19, 2018 at 1:38 pm #40988
December 19, 2018 at 1:46 pm #40989
December 23, 2018 at 7:05 pm #41065
December 19, 2018 at 9:54 pm #41008
UF rankes #6 recruiting in the SEC… stop and think about that for a sickening moment… UF has been a bottom feeder for almost a decade – one decent year under a first year coach will not turn it around… 5* recruits will not be UF bound any time soon (earliest maybe 5 years)… can’t compete with the hypocrite/diminutive saban and smart passed UF the moment he landed in athens… while UF looks up ta&m, lsu & UToothless assess in recruiting, 4-5 loses a year will be the Gator Standard for the foreseeable future.
December 19, 2018 at 9:57 pm #41009
December 20, 2018 at 8:23 am #41016
We need to remember that this was the first stage of a two-part recruiting process. It was obviously the most important since it involved signing 20 players, but the rest of the process is also very important. If Steele commits to the Gators, which many experts think he will (or perhaps already has but wants to announce it early in January), that will move the ranking close to the top ten. Much more important than the ranking, however, is how the incoming players perform over the next 2-4 years. I am sure that the rating services, which rank the players, are a generally reliable guide, but they are far from perfect. It is a mistake, then, to get too attached to what they say about the ability of players, especially those who have been largely under the radar (such as Weston). My advice is to chill and let the process unfold before making any definitive judgments.
December 20, 2018 at 11:47 am #41019
December 20, 2018 at 3:00 pm #41020
The accuracy of recent class rankings made by the recruiting services is unquestionable. Particularly when aggregating 4 annual classes at programs with stable, elite coaching staffs, the 2018 247 composite recruiting top 10 classes are remarkably similar to the CFP committee’s latest top 10 teams.
That said, there’s a huge intangible burried inside the 2019 Gator recruiting class. Nearly half of this class (9) are linemen and 7 of them are OL. Due to the lack of measurable stats for their positions, linemen are notoriously difficult for services to rate. That’s especially true for OL recruits.
I can drive home my point by using current Gator linemen potentially headed to the NFL. Martez Ivey and Cece Jefferson were consensus 5* recruits, played 4 years, yet neither is likely to be drafted in the first two rounds. On the other hand, Jawaan Taylor and Jachai Polite were consensus 3* recruits that are being touted as potential 1st rounders even though they’re only juniors.
So, if we trust Mullen and his staff on their ability to judge potential in high school linemen, then maybe the Gators’ 2018 recruiting class will turn out to be MUCH better than their current 16th ranking.
Here’s to hoping!
December 20, 2018 at 3:43 pm #41021
Even for all but the most pessimistic “fan” this is a good class for Coach Mullen. We filled key positions of need with quality recruits that fit the system and scheme they will play in.
It’s what’s done with the talent that really counts. This staff took the existing players and developed their skills significantly in the course of a season. The results on offense have been remarkable.
I’m not surprised by the results. I expected that we would also hold our own in recruiting and continue to build momentum. We got more than an experienced SEC head coach. We gained nearly an entire football staff from MSU with the regime change at UF.
December 27, 2018 at 9:01 am #41137
The points that StL made are valid, There is no denying the direct correlation between the top ten recruiting classes and the top ten rankings over the last 10-15 years or so, hopefully StL is correct in that this classes ranking is watered down somewhat by the large number of linemen taken and the lower ratings that naturally come with that. Even so, the fact is that we signed two 3* receivers (albeit overlooked and under ranked in coach’s opinion ) and while sure its possible to mine those “hidden gems” ( Polite comes to mind ), you can’t deny the overall accuracy of the current composite ratings system and the high percentage of high 4* and 5* players that become stars in college and make it to the league. Nobody is more thrilled with what coach Mullen has done with the team, especially with considering the dumpster fire that he inherited than I am, but if we take off our orange and blue glasses for a brief moment and analyze the facts, it is apparent that if we are going to make it to our stated goal of winning another natty ( or three ), then our recruiting has to improve because the truth is while CDM is an excellent game day coach and developer of talent, so are Satan, Dumbo and several others of our annual competition and perpetual playoff candidates that we will eventually have to beat to get there. The odds of overcoming the current discrepancy in talent we have with the top dogs right now are enormous. Dan is a very smart man and he knows that we will have to recruit in the top 10 at a minimum to have a chance and I do believe that Dan is going to get it done. He would have to have a monster of a finish to get there this year, but is working as hard as anyone possibly could to re-establish the pipelines and relationships that the previous staffs gummed up and restore our brand as one of the premier in the country. We currently sit at #4 in the 2020 class and #1 in the 2021 class rankings, so clearly the progress and relationships are being made. The key for us as has been stated many times on here by others is patience and trust in CDM and his “system”. GO GATORS !
December 23, 2018 at 10:04 am #41055
I’m writing this after early signing day and the Gators’ Lakeland trifecta.
I am incredibly excited about our signing class. Everything is heading in the right direction. If we can add the two elite CBs (Elam ad Steele) and a defensive tackle or two, we’ll be in great shape, especially the way 2020 and 2021 are shaping up.
I don’t remember where I read it, but I agree that the Gators’ strength and conditioning program and this staff’s evaluation abilities probably will probably add an effective star to several of the signees. From everything I’ve been able to gather, the Savage strength and conditioning program is actually superior to the programs at many other schools. For example, Muschamp continues to be plagued with high injury rates at South Carolina, while the Gators stayed healthier this season than they have been for the last several seasons.
Also, keep in mind that the star system is heavily weighted to high school kids’ current measurables, and some three star ratings are simply a function of the finite resources of the recruiting industry. This isn’t meant to suggest that Alabama and Georgia aren’t recruiting great classes; they are. But it is meant to suggest that some kids Mullen and staff find may currently have three star measurables… yet with the bone structure, hands, feet, etc., to fill out and become four and even five star talents in college.
Dan Mullen did a great job of explaining this in talking about Ja’markis Weston, who is currently rated as a three-star talent by the recruiting services. How many of the recruiting services do you suppose have made the drive to Clewiston (which sits on the south shore of Lake Okeechobee) to see Weston live and in person? Any?
So why don’t Alabama and Georgia take these kids? Well, because their on-field performance allows them to fill their typical 20-25 yearly scholarship slots with currently higher ranked kids. And Florida is currently trending back toward this level for 2020 and 2021. But in the interim, expect the Gators to out-perform their star system team composite rankings.
December 23, 2018 at 7:15 pm #41066
Nashville echoed my thoughts almost exactly, If Dan and crew can reel in Steele, Elam and 1 or even 2 quality interior defensive lineman, I will be ecstatic with this class and can’t wait to see what they can do with the talent on hand already. The big fish are already starting to come in 20/21 classes as long as the program continues on the current trajectory were on. Put your shades on boys and girls cause the future is looking mighty bright. Oh yeah, Aloha Kid = Little Mikey Winter in his parents basement somewhere in west FL..
December 24, 2018 at 12:17 pm #41076
No panic here. Sixty percent blue chippers with another one committed and all remaining targets blue chippers. That’s more blue chippers than 4 teams ranked ahead of them. Getting the Lakeland trio was huge for momentum and the publicity it generated. Other than CBs and another interior or SDE lineman which could still be signed, this class fills the needs of the team with quality players. The linebacker group they signed is top 3 in the country and will be tops with Diwun Black. The offensive line group has a blend of elite talent and depth which will give Hevesy (and Savage) a great group to develop into dominant players by 2020. I haven’t felt better about the O-line since the Pouncey twin days. Besides the QB position the weak link has been the O-Line for the last 10 years. No longer the case. Florida is currently deep with receiver talent pending decisions by Jefferson and Cleveland. Mullen may have stolen a gem in Weston since he played on a lousy, in the boonies, Clewiston team. The other receiver signed, Marks, had a tremendous senior season and is highly underrated. Whittemore may end up being the biggest surprise of the group and another Doering.
January 4, 2019 at 10:36 am #41247
Studs & Duds. Those who pay attention to college football recruiting know that many 3 star recruits develop into Studs … while some higher ranked players turn out to be Duds. A high ranking is a good place to start but it is up to the coaches to bring them to 5 star status during their college football years.
It does bother me to note that even with the addition today of Arjei Henderson still leaves us ranked behind 7 other SEC teams. However, I do know Mullen & company are not finished with the 2019 class yet. IMHO Florida will finish with a top 10 class.
There were a “few” spots left but now 5 are jumping to the NFL. My question is how many more recruits can we take in the 2019 class.
January 4, 2019 at 2:27 pm #41248
Gator 1066: With the five departures to the NFL, the Gators now have 82 players on scholarship, three below the limit. That total includes 20 prospects who signed with UF during the early signing period in December. With further attrition likely, the Gators probably will be able to sign four or more players on National Signing Day in February. UF has two verbal commitments for NSD in Feb., — Arjei Henderson, a four-star receiver, and five-star linebacker Diwun Black.
January 4, 2019 at 4:22 pm #41249
Recruiting class rankings are skewed upward by the total number of recruits –including 3-stars– and by the presence of even one 5-star recruit in a class. Florida actually ranks fifth in the 247 Composite for the SEC, not seventh, when the ranking is on the basis of average player score. Florida has 14 elite recruits (4-star or higher). The elite recruit count for Tennessee is 10, Auburn 11, LSU 13, Texas A&M 14 and FSU 10.
So which of those classes would you rather have, other than Florida’s?
Only Alabama (25) and Georgia (19) have more elite 2019 recruits, and it looks like we’re closing that gap for 2020 and 2021. Incidentally, Clemson has “only” 13 elite recruits in their 2019 class, but they –like Dan Mullen– are exceptionally good at player development.
Having just one or two 5-stars in a class skews the class ranking because a third of the 5-stars in any given class don’t play to their ranking– which is heavily skewed to physical measurables. Think Byron Cowart (Auburn) and Ronald Powell (Florida), both national consensus number 1s for their recruiting class years who never panned out. Or Antonneous Clayton, Florida’s highest ranked 2016 recruit, who flashed 5-star talent at the Under Armour All-Star game camp, but has yet to see steady playing time.
Florida has a great class. And it’s only going to get better.
January 5, 2019 at 9:41 am #41256
Thanks ever so much guys for your prompt & comprehensive replies. Fully agree with you, just a little impatient for our next Championship :). Personally think Mullen is our long awaited football ‘Messiah’, starting with that Gator Chomp he gave exiting the airplane. Mullen & company took a 4-7 team to 10-3 in the 1st year, with basically the same players. Dan’s ‘THE MAN’ & ‘In Mullen We Trust’. GO GATORS!
January 5, 2019 at 10:55 am #41257
Florida’s 2019 recruiting class has the potential to be a Top 10 class if the 2 high 4-star CBs, Elam and Steele, end up signing with Florida. Florida is favored for both. The only missing pieces in the class are a safety and a SDE. Current signee, Trent Whittemore, could be moved back to safety to satisfy one of the missing pieces. The 2019 class emphatically addresses two of three glaring needs, linebackers and O-lineman. The last need, CBs could be addressed with signing Steele and Elam. Steele announces his decision at noon today. Regardless, it’s a solid class.
The question is, “Is there enough talent in this class to allow Florida to become an elite team and compete for an SEC championships?” I believe the answer is yes. I say yes because of the player development exhibited by Mullen and the assistant coaches. While stickpiling 4 and 5 star talent has been statistically correlated to winning championships, Clemson has shown you don’t need to have Top 5 classees. Clemson has shown that player development along with Top 10 classes is sufficient to win championships. The only caveat is that they are in a weaker ACC where only FSU haa beaten them in acquiring talent. The SEC currently has the Top 4 recruiting classes in the country (Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU). Auburn and Tennessee are also in the Top 15 and currently just ahead of Florida. I put Dan Mullen and staff ahead of Auburn’s and Tennessee’s staff in terms of player development. I would also put them ahead of Georgia and LSU in player development. I’m not sure of A&M. Alabama is Alabama. It’s tough to know when it’s talent or player development when you have the best team every year on the field and in the recruiting rankings.
January 5, 2019 at 3:59 pm #41264
January 6, 2019 at 4:39 pm #41282
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