Florida suffered a big loss on Friday when defensive end DeMarcus Walker committed to Alabama, but the Gators still got good news on the recruiting front this past week.
Four-star receiver Alvin Bailey did the Gator Chomp after scoring a touchdown in his game on Friday and it looks like UF is the driver’s seat for him. He is supposed to make his decision by Saturday, but if he doesn’t, it should be sometime in early September. Bailey said he already knows where he’s going.
Florida may have also solved its recruiting need for a second guard to go along with Octavius Jackson. True freshman Jafar Mann was moved from defensive tackle to offensive guard and should do well with the switch given that he was a three-year starter at the position in high school.
Joshua Outlaw (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King) says he’s still considering the Gators despite his decommitment, but right now I doubt he rejoins the class or UF lands a suitable replacement this fall. All of Florida’s former targets have either lost interest or committed elsewhere.
On to the questions!
Latest on Laremy Tunsil? — Christian and James
The five-star offensive tackle is currently “on break” from recruiting with his senior season underway and still has a Top 3 of Georgia, Alabama and Florida (in order, though he won’t admit it publicly).
UF continues to recruit him harder than any other school, so for the Gators to be in third place says a lot. Will Muschamp will stay after Tunsil all the way through National Signing Day, but I don’t anticipate things changing with him.
I would advise Gator fans to move on (as some have) and not worry about Tunsil until he gives you a reason to. I’m covering his game next Thursday and will have an update on him afterward.
If you had to put money on which players will fill out the current class (assuming that the rest of the commits will sign) who do you think they are? — Ken
Well first and foremost, I would never put money on recruits coming to Florida or any school for that matter. They can change their minds at the drop of a dime.
Having said that, Bailey and safety Marcell Harris are the two targets I feel most confident about. As I’ve mentioned previously, both have so many factors that favor Florida (friends, family preference, distance, playing time) and I don’t see them going against those.
Of the few prospects that have decommitted recently, which individual do you feel will come back and sign his L.O.I. with the Gators? — by Slickgator
I think offensive tackle Roderick Johnson would be the most likley candidate. Muschamp took over his recruitment after Aubrey Hill’s resignation and he continues to pursue him despite his desire to take trips and academic concerns.
Johnson in turn is still considering the Gators and if he doesn’t like want he sees at other schools, he could very well end up back at Florida.
Do you think another linebacker could enter the class, filling the spot that Dillan Lawson left? Also, looking ahead to 2014, what are your opinions on where top RBs Bo Scarbrough and Sony Michel could end up? Extremely early in the process, but how do you feel UF’s chances are with both? — Go Gator
With the recent defections and changes to current roster (i.e. Mann), I think the Gators may try to add a fourth linebacker again. The most likely candidates would be Notre Dame commit Alex Anzalone and Florida State commit Freddie Stevenson. Both are still solid in their verbals, but UF was one of their finalists and could make another push if they visit this fall. Local linebacker prospect Keith Kelsey Jr. out of Gainesville High is another name to look out for. He is the son of former Gator LB Keith Kelsey and may get an offer from Florida if things fall in place for him.
As for the 2014 running backs, Bo Scarbrough has Georgia leading with Alabama second and Sony Michel has Miami in front of Florida State. So the Gators aren’t really a factor for either at this time. But like you said, it’s still extremely early.
Besides Muschamp, which current coach has the greatest impact on recruiting right now since Hill left UF and why? Examples? — WoodyBass
I would say the top four assignments in recruiting are running backs coach Brian White, tight ends coach Derek Lewis, linebackers coach D.J. Durkin and defensive backs Travaris Robinson.
White landed Ronald Powell and Josh Shaw out of California in 2010 and is responsible for much of Florida’s out-of-state success. Robinson is probably the most personable coach on the staff and will likely become the face of the Gators in South Florida now that Hill is gone. Lewis has led Florida’s recent surge in the Tampa area by helping land kids like Dante Fowler Jr. and Kent Taylor as well as Jordan Sherit and Vernon Hargreaves III this year.
But right now, I gotta give the nod to Durkin. He was named the Rivals.com recruiter of the year in 2012 after signing four of the top 14 prospects in the state of North Carolina according to Rivals.
He also primarily recruited Brian Poole and Jeremi Powell, who both had academic issues in high school and brought their grades up thanks to heavy influence and involvement from Durkin.
Are you going to have a weekly report on how current Gator commits and targets perform each Friday night? — Travis
Glad you asked this question, Travis. This weekend I’m starting a series called “Gator Prospectus,” where I will do a profile of each member in Florida’s 2013 class. I plan on covering at least one Gator commit from the state of Florida every week of the regular season and then I’ll do the out-of-state commits afterward. I’ll also throw in some news and notes from other players each time.
The Gator Prospectus profiles will include a recap of their game with stats and highlights, a video interview, a scouting report, comments from an opposing coach or player and just general information (height, weight, recruiting rank).
I’m hoping it will be a fun feature to follow this fall and give you guys a better glimpse at the future Gators. If you have any additional things you would like me to include, please let me know.
Here are the games I’m scheduled to attend this season.
8/31: DeLand at Daytona Beach Mainland (LB Quinton Powell)
9/6: Columbia at GHS (OT Laremy Tunsil and WR Chris Thompson)
9/7: St. Pete Catholic at Crescent City (DT Caleb Brantley)
9/14: Trinity Christian at Sandalwood (S Nick Washington and DE DeMarcus Walker)
9/20: Kathleen at Winter Haven (RB Adam Lane)
9/21: Mount Dora at South Sumter (S Keanu Neal)
9/28: Glades Day at Yulee (RB Kelvin Taylor)
10/5: Plant at Wharton (CB Vernon Hargreaves)
10/12: First Coast at Yulee (LB Daniel McMillian)
10/19: Armwood at Hillsborough (WR Alvin Bailey and DE Jordan Sherit)
10/25: Evans at Dr. Phillips (S Marcell Harris)
10/26: Ridgewood at Dade City Pasco (DL Joey Ivie)
11/2: Tallahassee Lincoln at Ocala Forest (LB James Hearns)
11/9: West Nassau at Bishop Kenny (WR Ahmad Fulwood)
That’s all for this week! Be sure to put your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below!