National Signing Day is just around the corner, meaning it’s going to get a lot more intense around Florida’s recruiting board. The Gators are pretty stable at this point in the recruiting season, which has to have coach Urban Meyer feeling a little less stressed. He’s done a great job in the last month and things figure to continue to get better form here on out. There’s some insight into next year’s class, a sigh of relief for Gator fans and an update in scholarships. Oh the joys of recruiting!
On to the questions?
Edward, looking ahead to next year, the Gators will need a top-flight QB to replace John Brantley in 2 years. I live in Matthews, N.C., and the junior QB of the state champ Butler HS team here is a kid named Christian LeMay, and he has broken most if not all of Chris Leak’s state records. By all accounts, he is a top prospect for next year. Any word on whether the Gators have a shot at him?
— Carolina Gator
Well, for starters, LeMay’s father, Stacy, was Florida’s chaplain when Meyer first got on campus. So, Christian has been around the program and knows what Florida has to offer. With that said, this decision won’t be based on his past. He’s one of the top junior quarterback prospects in the country, but I’m not sure the spread offense is right for him. Now, things will definitely change this year with John Brantley at the helm, but LeMay will have to look at what Brantley does first. The problem? LeMay said he’s he’s looking to make a decision in July and football season doesn’t start until late August.
That doesn’t bode well for the Gators, but they are far from out of it for LeMay’s services. He was invited to Florida’s Junior Day, and any time you can get a top prospect on campus it’s a good thing. If LeMay wants to commit somewhere in July, he’ll have to get a lot of face time with Meyer and quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler. Loeffler could be a huge factor in LeMay’s recruitment. He’s got great knowledge at the position and could be a guy to ease the spread into LeMay’s game. Don’t get me wrong, LeMay has speed, but he’s more of a pro-style quarterback.
If he works out in Gainesville over the summer, that will pay dividends for Florida.
Any information on Jackson Jeffcoat being told there were no scholarships available? Was this due to perceived low interest on Jeffcoat’s part?
There’s been a lot of talk that Jeffcoat said Florida didn’t have enough room for him. However, it has come to my attention that might not have been the case. The bottom line is that when you have the chance to court one of the best players in the country, regardless of position, you take the chance. Signing Day hasn’t arrived, so there’s no telling what could happen between now and then. I’m not saying any one of Florida’s defensive line recruits jumps ship, but nothing is final until Letters of Intent are signed and faxed. For Florida’s staff to tell someone as talented as Jeffcoat that there’s not enough room just doesn’t make sense. Recruiting never ends the way you expect. Florida could lose out on all the guys they are looking at for the final 3-4 spots.
I was told that it was more about Jeffcoat looking at the talent in this class and already on Florida’s roster. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you want to come in and play, find a place that will allow that. At this point, Jeffcoat didn’t think Florida was that place. Can’t fault him for that. I just find it hard that Florida would say no to such a great prospect.
Ed, the hiring of Lane Kiffin, Monte Kiffin and Ed Orgeron got me thinking if Ronald Powell and Sharrif Floyd would end up changing their minds and choose Southern Cal instead on National Signing Day. Do you think that this may happen? Say it ain’t so.
Oh, the recruiting endeavors of Kiffin and Co. While he and his staff are among the best recruiters in the game, I still think Florida is pretty safe with Powell and Floyd. USC was never really any sort of threat for Floyd. If Kiffin and Orgeron are smart, they’ll go after Powell, but the problem is that Powell’s relationship with Meyer is just too strong to break. Especially with Meyer’s health issues and his promise to Powell that he’ll return.
Another thing to consider is that Powell really liked former USC coach Pete Carroll. That bond wasn’t as strong as the one Powell formed with Meyer, but it was strong nonetheless. There’s no way Kiffin could replicate either of those in less than a month.
Expect them to make some sort of push for him, but it’s too late, in my opinion, for USC to make up that much ground.
Who do you think will take the last four spots? Not holding you to it after signing day, just a guess. I know we have 3 open slots but with Demar Dorsey, it could very well be 4.
Well, there has actually been a bit of a development in the number of spots that could be left in this class. A source told me today that if Florida wanted, it could sign 30 in this class. The way to meet both the SEC and NCAA max rules, Florida could roll three from both the 2008 and 2009 classes, since they under-signed both. That leaves six spots for 31, but the problem becomes what to do with such high numbers once you have to set the 85 scholarship limit in the fall. Honestly, if Florida wanted, with the room it has from the past two classes, the Gators could roll back all 11, leaving 14 commitments for this class. But 11 spots is just way too many at this point. This is where transfers and medical hardships come into play. it’s a very tricky game, so I still think Florida will go with 28, meaning the Gators have just three spots open.
I’m not ready to call Dorsey an uncommitted prospect. He’s stepping a little bit outside of the Florida box right now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he decided to go elsewhere, but for now I’ll still consider him committed.
I don’t really like making predictions with high school kids, but I’ll give it a shot and feel the wrath if (or when) I’m wrong.
1. Chaz Green, OL, Tampa Catholic — Tennessee is out, so it comes down to whether he’s comfortable following Kiffin to Southern Cal or staying close to home with Meyer, whom he trusted first.
2. James Louis, WR, Delray Beach Atlantic (Ohio State) — He’s wanted to be a Gator all along and his suprise visit over the weekend could help.
3. Darrin Kitchens, LB, Homestead — Florida might prefer Jordan Hicks or Christian Jones, but I see them signing elsewhere, giving this very athletic linebacker a spot in this class.
We’ll see how I feel if Dorsey announces a decommitment before Feb. 3.