Andreu’s Analysis: Three-star recruiter?

New Florida coach Dan Mullen said the Gators will put forth relentless effort on and off the field. [/Gary Cosby Jr./GateHouse Media Services]

For those who were around when Dan Mullen was Urban Meyer’s offensive coordinator at Florida, there is one nagging concern about Mullen being the Gators’ new head coach.

What kind of a recruiter is he going to be?

It’s a serious and legit question, and one we probably won’t have an answer for until a year or two from now.

What we do know is that when Mullen was at Florida before, he was a dynamic offensive coach who was, let’s just say, less than dynamic on the recruiting trail. During some recruiting periods, in fact, Mullen would stay back in the office instead of traveling to meet prospects.

 Things, of course, are different now. Mullen is the head coach and he’s been traveling all over the country meeting recruits and their families — and by all accounts he’s bringing a lot of energy and positive vibes wherever he goes.

Now, will the commitments come?

Since he’s gotten off to such a late start, it’s going to be a difficult challenge putting his first class together, so he won’t be judged on where this class eventually ends up being ranked.

But we can look back on his nine-year recruiting track record at Mississippi State and make some assumptions.

With the Bulldogs, Mullen won with less. That usually means two things: he struggles to sign elite prospects, but excels in player development. That’s probably the best way to describe Mullen’s nine years in Starkville, where the Bulldogs experienced what MSU rarely had in the past — sustained success.

Mullen had unprecedented success on the field at MSU, but endured a constant tough sell in recruiting. Starkville would be tough for any coach.

In his nine years, Mullen’s best recruiting year was in 2015, when his class was ranked No. 16 by Rivals. He had only one other top-25 class in the other eight years — the 2009 class that was ranked No. 25.

Mullen’s other classes were ranked No. 38, No. 44, No. 30, No. 26, No. 37, No. 34 and No. 27.

Over those nine years, he signed two-five star prospects, 37 with four stars, 153 with three stars and 28 with two stars.

Here’s a brief breakdown of Mullen’s nine recruiting classes at MSU:


Number signed: 26.

Rivals class ranking: No. 25.

Counting stars: 0 five stars, 7 four stars, 17 three stars, 2 two stars.

Top prospects: DE Fletcher Cox (now in the NFL), WR Chad Bumphis and OL Pernell McPhee.


Number signed: 26.

Rivals class ranking: No. 38

Counting stars: 0 five stars, 5 four stars, 14 three stars, 7 two stars.

Top prospects: OL Damien Robinson, WR Robert Johnson, ATH Michael Carr.


Number signed: 22.

Rivals class ranking: No. 44.

Counting stars: 0 five stars, 1 four star, 21 three stars.

Top prospects: QB Dak Prescott (who was only a three-star recruit), DT P.J. Jones, DE Johnathan Harris.


Number signed: 28.

Rivals class ranking: No. 30.

Counting stars: 0 five stars, 4 four stars, 21 three stars, 3 two stars.

Top prospects: LB Richie Brown, DT Quay Evans, ATH Will Redmond.


Number signed: 21.

Rivals class ranking: No. 26,

Counting stars: 1 five star, 2 four stars, 16 three stars, 2 two stars.

Top prospects: WR Fred Ross, DE Chris Jones, WR B.J. Hammond.


Number signed: 24.

Rivals class ranking: No. 37.

Counting stars: 0 five stars, 2 four stars, 15 three stars, 7 two stars.

Top prospects: LB Gerrie Green, ATH Jamoral Graham, DB Brandon Bryant.


Number signed: 28.

Rivals class ranking: No. 16.

Counting stars: 0 five stars, 6 four stars, 20 three stars, 2 two stars.

Top prospects: LB Leo Lewis, DE Fletcher Adams, RB Nick Gibson.


Number signed: 20.

Rivals class ranking: No. 34.

Counting stars: 1 five star, 4 four stars, 15 three stars.

Top prospects: DE Jeffery Simmons, DE Breland Porter, LB Jamal Couch.


Number signed: 24.

Rivals class ranking: No. 27.

Counting stars: 0 five stars, 6 four stars, 14 three stars, 4 two stars.

Top prospects: LB Willie Gay, QB Keytaon Thompson, LB Tyler Dunn.



  1. Pretty meaningless info here, really. The one statement says it all “Starkville is a tough sell.” Tim Tebow never would have attended UF if he and his dad didn’t feel comfortable with the QB coach, because while Meyer was a fine coach, he has never been a QB coach. I’d say that is a pretty decent pickup in recruiting when he was at Florida. Percy Harvin wouldn’t have been sold on the program if the offensive coordinator wasn’t on par. We all know Urban is a dynamic recruiter and he’d get prospects at any power 5 program. But prospects these days don’t just commit to a HC, they have to make sure their position coaches and coordinators align with them. Not worried about Mullen on the recruiting trail at all.

    • Yes Sir, the last coaching staff was so out recruited it showed on the field every week, we were slower, weaker and not very athletic, things no coach can teach. Saban succeeds because he can recruit and he absolutely doesn’t take nothing but 5 or 4 star players, he may take 5 or so 3 stars a year. Go Mullen, this isn’t MSU. He can’t do worse than Mr. 3 star Mac n Cheese.

  2. What an awful article?! It is basically:
    Robbie Andreau writes for the Gainesville Sun. In the past he has had a few good articles and many so-so articles. However he is at a tiny newspaper so maybe that is why his articles are not so good. Will he improve? Will he continue to write obvious questions before a game and answer them after the game? Will he continue to just write statements of fact and ask them like a question? We have reason to believe that he will, but maybe he won’t? What if he rises to the occasion and actually writes an opinion? Or what if he just continues to straddle the fence? We just don’t know. We will just have to wait and see.

  3. It must be a really slow day in the football department at The Sun if articles are being written about Mullen being a 3 star recruiter. Apples and Oranges comparing Starkville to Gainesville. Lt. Butter Teeth was putting together a pretty good recruiting class before his dismissal. If he can sell a recruit on spending 4 plus years in Gainesville with the type offensive product he had on display then I think we are in pretty good shape.

  4. What a stupid, meaningless click bait article. The dude just got the job a few weeks back. Was he supposed to come in and sign a Saban/Meyer type class? We lost a QB that had been recruited by Ole Miss for months. Okay. He doesn’t fit the system that Mullen runs. It happens. It’s a transition year and cycle and we knew it would mean some guys would leave. Yes, Corral is highly touted. If Mullen lands another quality QB and recruits in this cycle, please keep this article on your front page so we can all remember the type of bogus crap that gets posted in the name of clicks. Man, this is some trash.

  5. Well this was a pointless article to read. I’m becoming more removed from reading the trash that the Gatorsports guys write. Dooley and Andrue can’t break a story to save their lives, and Hall wasn’t even aware that Corral was no longer a 5 star prospect.

    Read SEC Country…much better content!

  6. I was going to chime in, but the above folks nailed it. What a weak attempt at stirring the pot. The man has to completely overhaul the recruiting board to identify players who fit his system and from early returns while some players have chosen other options for their commitments Mullen has already attracted interest from numerous outstanding high school and Juco transfer options. Listening to Pat sound put out from a recent encounter with CDM (because Mullen wouldn’t suck up to him basically) I anticipate plenty of this sort of “journalism” in the coming years. If the guy fails so be it, but considering his track record you MIGHT want to pump the brakes on the whole “Three Star Recruiter” narrative.

  7. Lets see….we have 12 commitments remaining. In keeping with the daily average of two decommits per day, that is only 6 days until they are all gone and the pressure is off. Keep up the good work coach. By December 20th you can achieve that goal of zero commitments. Really nice job of losing a quarterback that has been Gator for 9 months, and lose him to a school on probation. Now we can ring the cowbells in Starkville II when we celebrate that banner class of 2 2 stars….An O linemant from Pennsylvania that was rejected by Howard Pane College, and a kicker. Great job DM, great job.

      • Cody, I sure hope you’re right about that, and I suspect you are, actually. Or close to it, you’ve made some good calls on this forum. Here’s the thing….during the Mac years, we basically recruited to the mid-point SEC rankings. And, our performance on the field by and large reflected that, but for this year in which a number of factors came about to cause it to all fall apart (suspensions, poor coaching, injuries, etc). Maybe Mac did recruit a good class for next year….but after the Gators showing this season, I seriously doubt if it would have held any different than it has turned out so far. Who really wants to come play for, at best, a mid-level SEC team? Or, one that stunk up the field as bad as we did this year. Answer: Mid-level recruits at best, and those who just want to play in the SEC if they can (eg, Vandy). Now the crap shoot. CDM needs to put a winning team on the field next season….not a 7-5 team, but a team that shows serious improvement, at least. If he doesn’t, he’s going to have difficulties recruiting the kinds of players he needs for 2019, and if he can’t do it on the field that season, recruiting big league players like those we were used to before this 7 year slump are going to continue to be harder to come by. The trajectory we’re after will be prolonged. Now, I don’t personally think that will happen….I’m +/- concerned, sure…..but this man is capable of pulling it off and we need to have confidence that he will. He has the fire, the drive, the savvy, and the ability. I think Mullen goes, at Florida, from being a pretty impressive coach to being one of the legends over time. No shit. Off my soap box now, other than to say call me a suck egg mule if I turn out to be wrong.

  8. We all know corral doesn’t fit his system and it was kinda obvious Dan wanted a different quarterback this class . I think we will be ok he’s already has another elite quarteback coming to visit so let’s see what happens before everybody freaks out .

  9. I brought it up in a comment before he was hired that he seemed to be a 3* recruiter who developed players well. But most people figured that was Starkville and that at UF he would bring in higher star players. Well now it is on him and I’ll give him that chance and I really hope he is that great hire. What I’m a little tired of hearing is the excuse “Starkville is a tough sell.” Consider these places, and there are many more, Lansing, Mich., what’s there and yet Mich St does well, Lincoln, NE, yet Univ. of Neb is a “name”, South Bend, IN???, never been there but what’s there, yet Notre Dame made it a place. On the other side, Vandy is in Nashville, yet they are perennial underdogs, Winston Salem, NC, nice city, Wake Forest, struggle most years. It’s not necessarily the place, it’s the reputation a team develops.

    • Brewski, when people say Starkville is a tough sell, they are primarily talking about the school’s football program, not the physical location or the town itself. It is one of the smallest, least accomplished, programs in the SEC, with less resources than other schools. Nebraska and Notre Dam are programs with large resources and long traditions. Vandy’s poor football performance has nothing to do with it being in a cool city. So yeah, it’s not necessarily about the geographical location… I think everyone understood that.

  10. I doubt Miss St has the same feelings of themselves as the majority of writers on this post have of Miss St. That being said, The state of Florida is a much better place to recruit from than the State of Mississippi. My feelings regarding our last coach, was that he wasn’t by nature a highly energetic person which was reflected throughout the program and recruiting. Mullen seems to be working his butt off for Gator Nation! We are going to be just find but the fastest way to discourage a person is to keep harping on every detail and trying to analysis everything he or she does. Chill and get on the Gator train. Everything is not going to be perfect but I am betting it’s going to be pretty good! Go Gators!

  11. All Mullen could do at MSU was to go after recruits that Bama or Auburn or LSU or maybe TexAM did not want or need. He had to coach and develop the 3*’s to play like maybe 4*’s and let the scheme and QB who could make quick decisions do the rest. It seemed to work, but what he could do with top talent would be very scary.

  12. Robbie, on the positive side I will admit at times you have written articles on the Gators which were very good. However, in my opinion this was not one of them. I think we are fortunate to have Dan Mullen as our head football coach. I like the way he has embraced Gator Nation. I feel sure during a ballgame we will see him on the sidelines involved with the players, actually coaching the players and to be frank, doing a lot more than just standing there chewing gum!! Oh and I have to add, when approached by a sideline reporter while running off the field at halftime I believe Coach Mullen will respond to the questions more intelligently than saying, “Well we should sell a lot of popcorn!” Unbelievable! Maybe our former coach thought being in the South, people would enjoy a “folksy” comment instead of actually answering the question.asked of him. I’m all for having a positive attitude and giving Coach Mullen time to get his program organized. G0 GATORS!!

  13. Am I actually reading a negative article when Mullen’s tenure has barely started? Instead of looking at the glass half-full, we’re choosing to look at the glass half-empty. I am done reading those negative articles! I could understand seeing this after 3 years of 7 win seasons and 3 straight bad recruiting classes, but what is this trying to say really? Wow! Are we saying that Dan Mullen is on the hot seat already? This stupidity is what got SOS and Urban to leave behind. How about hoping that Dan Mullen will build a dynasty at Florida. Hopefully, the new staff can pinpoint that the noise is not always coming from the fans but articles who give trolls a voice. My idea for an article that makes sense now: “If Mullen can win with 3 star recruits and get them to the NFL, imagine what he can do with 4 star recruits”. By the way there are tons of 3 star recruits who’ve done way better than the 5 star recruits in the NFL; the scouts don’t always get it right.

  14. Another mackerel wrapper article by a softball writer…I think the Gator Nation is looking for a staff who can develop players to get ‘er done on the field & stay off the police blotters. Personally I’ll take a 3 * anyday over a prima-donna 5 * if they show up every play and improve their technique at their position.

  15. Why was this article published? Has CDM not kissed Dooley’s ring, so Barney Fife was dispatched to write this trash? There is no context in this article. Gatornation – educate yourselves on the history of MSU, and its place in the SEC and national hierarchy of football. Then judge CDM on his actual performance at UF. Losing Corral is not good, but it would be worse to repeat the John Brantley mistake. Players, especially QBs, must fit the system.

    • Mark, I didn’t like the tone of the article either, totally disagree c its apparent point from where I sit too. But seriously, Barney Fife? Come on….this wasn’t one of his best, sure, but the man is usually a very good writer who makes very coherent points. Needs slapped around a little on this particular article, agree, but Barney Fife? Really?

  16. You Gloomy Guses remind me of a story I heard years ago about the success of super Gator Coach Jones at the University of Florida.
    “Seems as though Florida had gone through a great year with a record of 14 wins and 0 loses. They had won the National Championship and played in the Rose Bowl (I know this does not happen, but go with me on this). They beat Notre Dame 66 to 7. While standing in the end zone after the game the Coach Jones was fired because he had let ND get a touchdown.”
    Quit your bitching. Back on the 50’s and 60’s Florida was known as the graveyard of coaches. Don’t contribute to that situation again. Go help (?) FSU. After the Jimbo episode they need all the help they can get.

  17. In sports writing, objectivity is often perceived as a lack of loyalty. The former is the writer’s job, the latter the fan’s. Objectively, the case can be made that the recruiting news has been dreadful. A decent class has fallen apart, and some de-commits are saying they never heard from the new coaches. Robbie played nice and left out things already reported in other publications. In the meantime, Florida is scouring JuCo players, which used to be a no-no. The fans (that includes me) are banking on Mullen having some cards up his sleeve because the ones on the table ain’t gonna win much.

  18. Gallo, Let me put some perspective on Gatorsports, this is newspaper related information. I was affiliated with the newspaper industry for the last 28 years, it is DONE! I would take a wager that any of you older than 45 do not take the newspaper. These reporters are a product of their environment, very limited resources and $$$. Tell me i’m wrong and I will shut up! They are are probably better writers than their resources allow, just switch venues or include this as a source of info as I do among other GATOR news sources, quit being a V, and get informed.
    Mullen has got this, why take a QB that doesn’t fit your scheme (corral) when you already have 3 in house that don’t fit??!!Everyone take a chill. Most of the commits that flipped, were guys that the staff had little or no interest in. There is a reason they called Dan to coach the team and not you or me! I know, I’m a great couch coach also, but he is smarter than us. Gallo, Pura Vida

  19. I’m from Mississippi and was living there when Mullen went to MSU. After a year or so, a local reporter asked his wife about the difference in MSU and UF. She said even when they won in Florida they got grief for not winning by enough points. They were ready to get out of Gainesville. Let’s give the man our full support and let him do his thing! See you at the spring game. GO GATORS!!!

    • Yeah, I heard about that comment by Mullen’s wife too. I think she was scared to go to the groceries when we didn’t score enough. Well, the media in Gainesville has a lot to do with it to be honest. They are giving trolls a louder voice then it should be. All Mullen and his wife have to do is to go back and read the older articles to see who’s always the first to criticize. But the timing of this article is still surprising. Perhaps it is signaling that the media has some grudge towards the Mullens and vice-versa or perhaps there’s a hidden agenda that is fueled by an allegiance of some of the writers to that team out North? Who knows? Anyway, very few people would have dared to write this type of articles about SOS his first year Gainesville but the fact of the matter was that SOS was not a stellar recruiter either as well but had the ability to turn 3 star players into 5 star players, and I am hoping for the same with Mullen. I mean most 5 star players don’t want to hear that they have to earn their stripes; they want guarantees a la Grier.. And I guess McElwain finally gave in and started giving them and that’s why we’re seeing all those flips which I don’t mind. I’d rather see 3 star players who understand the privilege of playing for Florida than those primadonnas who kept getting in trouble and started the domino effect that wrecked this season.

  20. Ever since Meyer left us high and dry with the cupboard empty UF seems to hire coach that can coach but not recruit or recruit and can not coach. The jury is still out on Mullins about recruiting, we know he can coach. McElwain, Shannon, Muschamp and Zook just to name a few could recruit but were not championship caliber coaches. Hopefully, Mullins will hire some coaches with strong recruiting skills because we just got hammered on the 2018 Recruiting List, we fell from a high of 8th to currently 36th due to loss of many three and four star players being flipped. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming Mullins, I am putting the blame where it belongs, with the AD and the UAA for firing McElwain with four games left in the season with no head coach in sight while our 8th ranked recruiting class got cannibalized by our competition. This was a major mistake. We still do not have a quarterback capable of running the offense and lost four or five star ( depending on who is rating him) Corral who was a solid commit to Old Miss. If they don’t get the recruiting straightened out it will not matter who the head coach is because UF will remain irrelevant. you spend two or three years recruiting these players then drop a bomb on our best recruiting class in a while because the AD and UAA can’t wait until after the early commitment period is over. What a bunch of dumb asses.

  21. Our 8th ranked recruiting class was cannibalized by Dan Mullen himself. We have 8 left on the board that are still “committed”. Go look at their twitter accounts and see how they are trashing UF badly and all plan on a decommitment by Wednesday. Lets see if DM can be the only coach in the history of college football that has zero signees on early signing day. I truly hope they are all gone and Gator Nation wakes up and sees what a loser this program is. It is NOT all Mullen. It is being sabotaged by the UAA and an athletic director that hates his job so badly and wants to get back to his Cowbells in Starkville. Please Dr. Fuchs, fire this guy. Please.

  22. You may want to reconsider your negative comments about our new HC – they are not appreciated by this Gator fan who has been one long before you, and HC Mullen’s early signing class is looking pretty good. Why would you say what you did other than to be a journalist looking for attention?

  23. Day after Early Signing Day: yeah, Robbie, Mullen’s just a “three star recruiter.” Right? I don’t know how much you keep up with your readers’ replies. Clearly you’ve missed the mark again, this time on failing to adequately differentiate between recruiting success at Mississippi State and success at Florida. That, and leaving some players off your article on the Gators’ teturnjng roster as well as leaving a guy on who decided three weeks ago to transfer out, is why I always check your analysis last each morning. I fear you’ve gotten sloppy, a little lazy, and fail the Buddy Davis and Jean Chsnce fact check principles. You’re a far better reporter than what you’ve done lately. Best wishes for an improved performance going forward. You have in the past been a boon to good Gator reporting.

  24. Gary- how are you feeling now? Fun to go back and read your idiotic and clueless remarks. Perhaps you should let the process play out before rushing to judgment based on hallucinations you found at the bottom of a bottle of gin.

  25. The article is hoping to drive a negative view of the Florida Coach, in relation to a measly rationale that corral switched.
    Why then won’t you follow corral to Mississippi?
    Any football fan and gator will know that a program is not end all and be all about corral, get over it!