Without further ado

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Heeeeeere comes the future — of the Gator Prospectus!

My name is Zach Abolverdi and many of you know me from the ProGators blog and my stories on UF football. I’m thrilled to announce that I will be taking over the reins of this recruiting blog.

I replace veteran Jeff Barlis, who didn’t miss a beat after Edward Aschoff’s departure in April and accomplished amazing things in his seven years with The Sun.

Without the two of them, I would not be writing here today.

Back in May of 2010, after two months of covering UF spring football and recruiting for Rivals.com, a position opened up at the newspaper and Jeff brought me in for an interview. I was given the Gators Gone Pro gig (among other assignments) and he promptly took me under his journalistic wing.

In my first year here at GatorSports.com, I transformed from a college freshman to a soaked sponge. Jeff drenched me with a sea of knowledge every time we spoke or sat down with each other, giving me a valuable foundation that I will build my career upon.

But I wouldn’t even be in this career field if it weren’t for Edward Aschoff.

I’ve followed recruiting since I started high school in 2005, but it was Edward’s work on this blog that made me want to be a sports writer. He influenced my decision to major in journalism, and having the opportunity to see him operate firsthand did wonders for me last year.

In all honesty, this was always my dream blog. Now, after all the guidance and direction I’ve received from Jeff and Edward, I’m ready to make it mine.

I’ve written more than 20 stories on this blog, covered Friday Night Lights twice and updated our website. But most importantly, I know recruiting. And I love it just as much as you all do.

I understand the importance of it, especially for Florida right now, and I’m committed to covering these prospects diligently. Blowing up their phone, bugging their coaches, stalking their social networks. I’ll do whatever it takes to bring you information fast and first.

But I can’t do this by myself. I welcome your participation, questions, compliments and criticism. Comment on the blog, follow me on twitter, request me on Facebook, send your emails to ZachAbolverdi@gmail.com … and lets revive our recruiting forum on the message board. I will read everything and reply when I can.

I’m a single father to my two-year old son, Zachary Jr., and I attend the University of Florida as a full-time student, so my plate can get loaded at times. That’s why I need as much feedback as possible to make the Gator Prospectus what you all want it be.

I’m here to serve YOU!

Bon Appétit!

21 COMMENTS

  1. Congrat’s on your new assignment Zach. I will look forward to becoming a dedicated follower of your Recruiting news and headlines! P.S. Tell your editor thank you for quickly filling this important assignment.

  2. Best of luck, young man. It’s going to be tough keeping all of the plates in your life spinning. Your bosses might not like this but: 1 – Family First, 2 – Education Second, 3 – Recruiting Blog. Will be following you closely and thinking good thoughts. Go Gators!

  3. Zach,

    Congrats on the new position. I look forward to reading your updates.

    On another note, you perdiodically state that you can provide updates on former Gators and I have one for you. Can you tell me what happened to Joe and Pat Lawrence? They appeared to be really sharp young guys back in the day and I would be interested in hearing how their careers and lives are going.
    Thanks

  4. Congrats, Zach. As a retired career journalist myself, I spotted you way back when you were filing blurbs on the Gatorsports Forum. I thought you should have gotten Ed’s job when he left and am happy to see you reach your goal now. The only secret to becoming a great reporter I can pass along is no secret at all. Work your ass off. Long hours and low pay are the lot of a young journalist’s life. But you’ll make up for it by having alot of fun and living an interesting life. Go get ’em, kid!

  5. Congrats Zach on the position although with all of the Gators on national TV networks, news and ESPN we do not expect you to be here long. UF is quickly approaching new SEC member Missou as a leader in college journalism schools and you should be proud.

    OK let me ask the 1st question; what is the net effect of the poor season we are having; a plus in recruiting or a negative and please give us some examples of recruit thinking based on your sources.

  6. Zach – Welcome aboard! The first three letters of my sig indicate my BS in Journalism (UF ’80). I’ve watched your progress since you first signed off with “Sun Correspondent” knowing it indicated someone who wasn’t part of the Sun’s full time staff. Have enjoyed your work and appreciate that you’re a “recruitnik” as well. Work hard, enjoy yourself and Good Luck!