UF spurned by prospects at need positions

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Florida received its first bad news of National Signing Day before any Letters of Intent were even faxed.

Tuesday night Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer defensive end Curt Maggitt shocked many when he verbally committed to Tennessee. Maggitt was considered by most to be a Gator lock before Urban Meyer resigned. That didn’t change much after his resignation, and it seemed as though Florida was back at the top after his official visit over the weekend when he hung out with former teammates Matt Elam, Gerald Christian and Robert Clark.

However, he told Rivals.com he felt more at home with the Volunteers.

“After talking to my brother, my dad and my coach, I did what was best for me,” Maggitt told Rivals. “And Tennessee is best for me.”

Maggitt, whom Rivals rates as a three-star prospect, signed a LOI to UT a little after 11 a.m. at Dwyer High.

“It feels good,” Maggitt told Rivals. “It’s a big relief. It was a great process to go through. I enjoyed and and I got to get to meet a lot of great people. But it’s nice to have a decision. Now, I can focus on working out. I have worked out with my brother (who plays at Iowa State) and some other college players so I have an idea of the college pace of workouts. I am focused on getting bigger, faster and stronger. I want to be the best and that’s what drives me.”

Florida’s second bit of bad news came early Wednesday morning when Traverse City, Mich., West offensive tackle Jacob Fisher signed with Oregon. Most thought the Gators might be a long shot, and the consensus was that he might stay close to home.

Eugene, Ore., isn’t close to home, but Fisher does have ties there.

Florida needed another lineman, so this is a bit of a hit to the class. It might have been expected, but it’s a hit nonetheless.

41 COMMENTS

  1. That’s okay, Ed. I really like the way this class in panning out. Dare I say it could be a solid, if not great class if we add one or two more? We lose a few recruits every year like this, which I think is a result of a somewhat stocked depth chart, these kids can’t get past.

    Meyer brought in a huge class last year, and pretty much every year before that, which played into the losses of recruits, more than a coaching change.

    With Roberson signing on, we’ll be stacked at the secondary, and most defensive positions for that matter. This gives our coaches a great opportunity to focus more on an offensive class this next recruiting year.

  2. I agree with Joel. This class does not have the numbers, but is still a solid class. Coupled with the past classes, which were phenom, we should be set!

    Kudos to Muschamp for keeping the bulk of the class intact; and kudos to the kids who signed, realizing UF is a great place to play ball and get an education! Go Gators!

  3. gators will be ok. not great. if not for driskel this class would be a bust!! FSU BAMA CLEM KICKED OUR BUTTS . they got players 15 months ago we would have gotten. of the 20 key players we were looking at before urban quit the 1st time we only have driskel. WHAT DEPTH ARE YOU SPEAKING ? at safty i see only elam & evans . at cb i see a lot of players that are completely unproven. lb & dl has talent that will need to step up / make big progress powell / floyd / easley / martin / jenkins / bostic. bottom line we have lots of if’s on def. we lost 9 ol & dl players. ol was bad last year and looks to be worse next year. we do have rb & wr depth. all new offense & def to learn. we will be lucky to win 9 games, then recruiting will be tougher. look at our b-ball team. after championships. team slipped and now can not keep committed players like #1 guard last year year that went to KY and #1 pt guard this year that is going to duke. both were life long fl commits until the fall. next year is huge year we need to win 10 games so reverse spiril does not begin.

  4. Gator Buck…..Guess you didn’t read the article talking about the quality of kids we stockpiled via red-shirts last year, as well as the kids coming in this year. As true and RS Freshmen this fall, we’ll have something on the order of 18+ four and five star players. To me, it doesn’t sound like we got anything kicked. I’ll take our players and team over any of the teams you think kicked our butts…

  5. @Gator Buck,

    Yes, Driskell is the big get in this class but it’s certainly NO bust. This class is still awesome. Blakely is an amazing RB. ESPN ranks Bellamy higher than Blakely but Blakely is the way better RB. Safeties….we’ve got Evans & Elam of course, but we’ve got Marcus Roberson the #2 safety and then we have Chris Johnson who plays like Ahmad Black. We are completely staked on DB’s. We needed some LB’s and not getting Maggit, Anthony, Steward, Dawson, and Grant really hurts. Our DL is going to be just fine because we have Powell, Easley, Floyd, Martin, Trail, Okine and so on. Like I said, this class is great especially mixed in with the previous classes. We gonna be top 5 recruiting next year for sure. Go Gators!

  6. losing Curtis Grant hurt, but I agree with BSJGator. Do not forget that we filled our need at QB and we landed some big names in the Defensive secondary. We have also stock piled recruits from the last few recruiting seasons. Of course some of them are unproven, because of depth chart and adjusting to the college game. But make no mistake, the Florida Gators have great players! We need to settle our QB position ASAP and this might be biased but I predict an easy top 5 recruiting class next year with Muschamp. It’s always great to be a Florida Gator!

  7. @Gator Buck
    Winning is not as important to recruiting as you think. If it was, FSU and Clemson would not have pulled in the classes they have. Relax, coaching changes played a role and this was a down recruiting year overall anyway. Better to have a so-so recruiting class when the overall class is bad than in a hot class like last year.

  8. The guys that signed today are all unproven. It is impossible to tell which ones will be “busts” and which ones will “come out of nowhere” to be stars”. There are so many factors – like injuries, personal issues, academic aptitude – that you really can’t say for sure at this point.

  9. A big mobile strong quarterback like Driskel can cure a lot of offensive line ills ( a bumbling imobile, panicked quarterback like Brantley can make 5 all americans on the line look lousy). It would be great to get Jenkins and this could be considered a very good class. I think we will be in good shape if our defensive tackles stay healthy…Good job to will Muschamp and his staff.

  10. Whoever this Gator buck guy is…you need to do your home work. Florida is stacked w/ guys that didn’t touch the field last year. true they are unproven but they do have a year under their belts. Last years class was the best ever assembled by most publications and it was stacked every where this years class wasn’t and then some. So who cares what FSU Clemson ( whom we don’t play)and Bama got. All players still have to prove their worth and the last time I checked we played the most freshman in the country so we have alot of proven players everywhere. Including the Secondary D-line Linebackers and Offensive line. we played true freshman in all those positions and then some.FSU and Clemson benefited from coaching changes and weak rosters. Bama is just Bama with everything still intact. Auburn just won the NC..So you knew they would do well. All in all there were really no surprises unless you were wishful thinking.

  11. Addazio was to busy trying to figure out how to be an effective OC, so there was no coaching on the O-line All year. Florida suffered last year due to a shacky ,patch job coaching staff that Urban hastely put together to save last years recruiting class. The only Real coaching was done in the secondary by Heater. Even McCarney didn’t do well this year. He of late hadn’t been developing these Dlinemen like he should have. So really last years team is hard to asses with all the bad coaching.

  12. @ GATORBUCK – You say we have “…. alot of players who are completely unproven”, WHAT DO YOU THINK ANY INCOMING RECRUITING CLASS IS? We had one down season and years of very good to great recruiting classes to build on – including last years, who most considered to be the best in the nation. This class is fine, considering the staff transition. I don’t know what it is you and the rest of the defeatists on this blog want. Just jump off the ledge already and spare the rest of us your whining and belly-aching because we can’t be number one at everything all the time.

  13. @gatortraker – if we had five all-americans on the offensive line, Brantley may not have been so “panic stricken”…………. and gatorseverywhere – “ESPN has Bellamy ranked higher, but Blakely is a way better RB……” – did you break down game tape on both players? did you go to all the Nike camps? They are both good RBs because people who actually do player evaluations for a living have evaluated them. Try not to sound to much like a homer when breaking down talent.

  14. My only disappointment is Maggitt, I guess he wanted to play immediately and thats very possible at Tenn. from the start. My other disappointment was Grant and Anthony, they would have done it for me. Jernigan was expected, but to say the former coaches betrayed him by either resigning for whatever reason and taking a head coaching job is a betrayal to him. So, let me get this straight he wants whats best for him, but when the guy get a better opportunity for himself to move up in the world of college coaching,you want him to stay here to coach you? None of the other I was surprised about or really didn’t care if they signed or not. I just want us to defeat FSU and Tenn. for sure this year, I hate to say it but I would rather lose to Ga. this year than Tenn. or FSU, the kids Ga. got were from the state of Ga. Go GATORS!!!

  15. All I have to say is Welcome to all of our newest members of GatorNation. For those of you who stood by your commitments we applaud you for standing up for what you feel is the best for you, and to those who cast blame on the previous coaching staff and not giving the new regime a chance, welcome to the official GatorBait club.

    Go Gators!!

  16. I still believe that Florida looses out on a lot of the big, solid. strong running backs because if they are beefy UF puts them at fullback. Hope that t radition and how FL usesw the fullback will change so they can play more like Billy Latsko did and not only block!

  17. One of the few comments that I actually heard Champ make recently is that because only nine Seniors graduated, a larger recruiting class was not critical.
    I might add that he got a better class than Coach Bob Stoops did! As of around 6:00 pm, OU was ranked 9th right behind UF; they had one fewer signee (17) than us at that time.
    It appears as though we got a relatively high level of quality (according to ESPN), but evidently we’re lacking in some “need positions” – including Linebacker. Since we’re strong at DB, perhaps Trey Burton could move to LB instead; add 20 lbs. and I think he’d be perfect for it (he’s a little too slow for DB, IMO).
    ————
    IGTBAG!
    Ciao
    >PS: Boom needs to communicate and show himself more to us!!!
    He’s been a veritable media recluse.
    That will NOT do!
    (10:56 pm, ET)

  18. CitrusGator I agree and am totally stoked about the new coaches. Truth be told though, I don’t think Jernnigan was right for feeling betrayed, but just emagine that the team you grew up loving just sent their best representative to see you and two days later he resigns? Now I for one feel an athlete should commit to the school not the coach, but these players build relations with people not places or things. Urban should have left last year. With a program like Florida you cannot relinquish all responsibilities to unproven assistants. Urby’s desire left last year and so should’ve he. I love him but you gotta know when to fold em. I am also excited about our new class. Muschamp is the right man for the job with the right attitude. He trust his judgement not some recruiting service. That shows me he’s comfortable with his ability and knows what he wants. I live one mile away from the stadium and can’t wait for sping ball. I love Florida threw thuck and thin and if you are not during right by Florida I don’t care how many titles you’ve won. It doesn’t give anyone the right of passage to not do what’s best for this great university. I was born and raised here and no one is gonna disrespect us without being called out on it. So I am not blaming the previous staff it just happens to be the bottom line. If you know you have health issues..why would you say, “I’M gonna build this program back up with tough a%$ players and coaches “one week and the next resign? We got everything but the truth and a leak had to break that. I like Urban alot and appreciate the memories but don’t think you. Just toy with our emotions some of us have deep rooted feelings for our team and would rather the tough times other than anything less than 100%. Which he did not give this year. In so many ways he said it himself.

  19. I really do not understand why anyone is not thrilled with this class. Along with maintaining our growing reputation for having the nation’s best defensive backs year in and year out, we got the number one quarterback and the number one fullback in the nation.

    As for the weakness in defensive line recruiting, you need to remember that recruits are looking at their playing opportunities, and last year’s class was (a) unbelievable, and (b) got lots of playing time as freshman.

    While you obviously can’t discount coaching turnover, a lot of the weakness in this year’s class–and the resulting strength in surrounding schools–is because we had so many talented freshmen and sophomores getting playing time last season.

  20. Urban (in concert with JF) did us a favor staying for one more (premeditated and orchestrated mediocre) year!
    What “acceptable” coach would be willing to take the Gator reigns in Meyer’s long shadow of THAT time? It needed to be shortened a bit.
    One year later (after a leave of absence, delegating authority – including a co- HC {basically “dialing it in”}, following conservative game-plans drawn up purposely to ignore individual and team strengths, and a convenient “commitment” to a terrible Legacy QB):
    … mission accomplished!
    It was strong medicine, but just what the doctor ordered!
    Conspiracy theory? Yeah.
    A stretch? Perhaps.
    Implausible? Not at all!
    ————
    IGTBAG!
    Ciao
    (2:34 am, ET)

  21. Ok Quickenedspirit, I guess that is probably a more somber way of putting it. I totally agree. I still love Urban though. It’s just like when your big brother ticks you off or takes the good pair of socks at Christmas because he’s the oldest. So I’ll digress concerning Urban. Once a Gator always a Gator!!!

  22. @gatorbread – So, which is it? Did you want Urban leave or to stay? You piss and moan about how his heart wasn’t in it – then blast him for leaving. Most of the posters on here pooped their pants when he announced his resignation 13 months ago. Everyone said he needed to learn how to delegate and he would be fine. He tried it – and it didn’t work – so he walked away. Its not that difficult to figure out. I’ve been a gator fan all my life. Most of my family went to school there. I grew up 45 minutes from campus and I don’t understand why so many gator fans are insulted and have hammer the one guy, who is largely responsible for the expectations that we have come to expect.

  23. @ Scooterp, For one I want go back and forth with Gator fans but to simply state my feelings. I love Urban and wish he didn’t have health problems and wouldn’t have to leave. But he did have health problems and he didn’t follow his first instinct. I don’t care how many championships you bring to the University as long as you keep it’s BEST interest at heart. Correction there is noone guy who has Florida where it is today just look at that stadium and all those names that came before him. I appreciate the contributions and time but even the best have to know when to quit. So do the Bowdens, Joe Pa’s and Corso’s of the world. I never wanted him to leave he’s a great coach when he’s at full strength. You can’t not be knee dip in every aspect of this program and expect to be successful. With that said part of deligating is putting the best most qualified people in position to lead and not let personal relationships get in the way of that.i also stick with my most previous comments. Once A Gator Always A Gator that includes the former staff. Besides family can talk about family especially when it’s true…But no one else can say anything.

  24. MY ONLY COMPLAINT WITH URBAN WAS THAT HE WAS TOO LOYAL TO ADDAZIO TO A FAULT, IT REALLY COST US BIG TIME. THE PLAY CALLING AND PERSONNEL USE, WAS NOT THE GREATEST IN MY MIND (KEEP IN MIND I’M NO GENIUS EITHER). I THINK ALL OF THE GATOR NATION LOVES URBAN AND HIS CONTRIBUTION TO THE PROGRAM AND WISH HIM THE BEST OF LUCK WITH HIS HEALTH AND FAMILY. Go GATORS!!!

  25. Scooterp, It’s ok to disagree. Lets not beat each other down about it. I respect your opinion concerning Urban and recognize you area True Gator just as I am. It’s just good to see people that really care about Gator Football as I think everyone on this post does or they wouldn’t be here. Go Gators!!!!

  26. Deja vu all over again?!?!? —
    I’m very surprised by the report of Brissett committing to UF (we’ll see if he actually signs)!! I figured he’d go to Washington to have a chance at retribution toward Oregon – one of UW’s rivals – for their (apparently) not giving him an offer after he publicly expressed the hope that they would; not UF, because of our having the #1 QB in the same class (not to mention the prior “insulting” Greyshirt offer from Meyer).
    If he does sign with us, it’ll be an indicator of his self-confidence! Plus, it’ll be similar to when Cam Newton was here with Tebow; “deja vu all over again!”
    Though Brissett is a cut or two above Tyler Murphy, he might want to familiarize himself with any lessons learned from the late recruitment & signing of Tyler last year (whom I’m surprised didn’t transfer back to Temple Univ. with their new HC Addazio – Murphy’s chief UF recruiter who lured him away from his original commitment to TU,… “a better fit”).
    Brissett’s stats from his Senior season last year are quite impressive themselves, especially his astonishing TD:Int. ratio (32:1)! Driskel won’t be able to ignore his rear-view mirror. Jacoby will be good for him, though; neither will be able to get away with simply “dialing it in” (like Brantley).
    Speaking of the “Legacy,” I’d actually like to see him be the starter his final season, but ONLY if he wins it in practice AND maintains it on the live gridiron; a would-be sentimental, story-book ending. A tall order indeed!
    I hope for his sake that he’s been shoring up his scrambling and running skills, because if there’s not a dramatic improvement with them (and obviously the passing, too), then it’s ALREADY over!!!
    Let the sweepstakes begin, and may the best man win (this time around)!
    ————
    IGTBAG!
    Ciao