Gators land OL Riley Simonds, ranked No. 17 OG by 247Sports

OG Riley Simonds on his official visit at UF on June 1 [Photo courtesy of Simonds' Twitter account]

With the month-long dead period commencing in five days, the Gators and coach Dan Mullen continue to pick up commitments on the recruiting trail.

Riley Simonds, ranked the No. 17 offensive guard in the 2019 class by 247Sports, announced his verbal commitment to Florida via his Twitter account on Wednesday.

Mullen confirmed Simonds’ commitment soon after.

A 6-foot-3, 320-pound offensive lineman out of Buford, Georgia, Simonds appeared to narrow his decision to Florida and Virginia Tech, with the Hokies getting the last crack at landing his decision.

But Simonds apparently came away with a strong impression of Florida following his official visit on the first of the month.

Simonds, who also holds offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M, becomes the third offensive lineman and the 10th prospect overall to commit to UF’s 2019 class.


    • Gator-6. He is a three-star from Georgia, and not even recruited by Georgia. Big lineman are always good for a roster, but it has to get better than this on the recruiting trail soon or Georgia and other SEC teams will be looking at the Gators way behind in their rear view mirrors.

        • So whether Georgia is recruiting a player or not is now the benchmark for if he’s good? Are we talking about the same UGA that’s 7-21 over the last 28 years against the Gators and hasn’t won a championship in almost 40 years? I’m really confused by this thinking. It’s amazing how quickly the perception of a program can change after 1 good season in which the 2nd year coach won with a bunch of players recruited and developed by the previous coach. Muschamp won 11 games his 2nd season too. You obviously seem to think UGA is the king of college football now for some reason, but personally I think it’s far more impressive that he was being recruited by Bama, Auburn, and LSU than UGA.

          • Joe. Frist, there is a big difference between being offered by a program and actually being recruited by a program. Neither Bama, Auburn, nor LSU were actively recruiting this kid. Simply put, those three programs rarely recruit players with a composite rating at nearly 500. The recruitment process was basically between Florida and Va. Tech and a few other less successful programs. Second, Richt could not win championships with those players he recruited. Smart won the SEC title his second year with those players (and Muschamp got clobbered by Bama when he won those 11 games and was not competitive vs. Louisville in a bowl game). Those two things, along with critically bad decision making by Muschamp, sent the Florida program into the downward spiral it found itself in when it hired and fired McElwain and hired Mullen. And Muschamp never recruited at the level Smart has at Georgia. 3rd and 1st ranked classes the last two years and a top five class right now. No team other than Bama is recruiting at the level of Georgia right now. They signed the most five stars in history of recruiting records just last year. They have commitments from a bunch more this year already. Florida had none last year and no commitments from a five star this year. And the top five star in Florida seemingly is headed out of state again this year as well (possibly Georgia). Maybe this kid will turn out to be a great player. But currently, Florida’s OL is showing three, 3-star recruits as starters, and the Florida OL has hardly been great, or even good, with those players so far. But maybe that had more to do with coaching. We will find out this year. But Florida is lagging way behind Georgia in recruiting and it is going to hurt Mullen’s chances of winning at Florida if that does not turn around and turn around quickly. Georgia’s overall roster of talent right now is simply superior to the overall talent on the Florida roster, and that is largely due to the outstanding recruiting efforts of Smart and his staff the last two years (and continuing this year). And what Georgia has done in the past has nothing to do with what Smart and Georgia are doing right now. And right now, they just played in the NC game, have been recruiting the top classes in the country, has many preseason All-Americans, is projected to win the East easily, and has two of the finest young QBs in the country (both five-star recruits and both recruited by Smart). I hope that makes my post less confusing to you. And by the way, I dislike Georgia nearly as much as I dislike FSU.

        • Tampa…I hear you, and totally see what Kirby is doing….and he is a problem. People forget that they owned us until we got that new hot shot coach (SOS) that changed the direction literally in one season…much the way Kirby did last year….both were beatdowns a year after losing badly to the other…and that win seemed to put the winner leap years ahead. I remember the 84 game running around my house and down the road as a 14 year old kid because we finally beat them…The Nattiel bomb after the goal line stand…then in 85 being #1 for the first time ever and getting drilled. I remember the ’83 10-9 game losing to Lastinger at QB!! I get the significance too, TRUST, but I digress…

          That said…we have to put a better product on the field, coach up who we have, recruit for our system, and garner depth before we start getting these 5 star guys. Will Gator Nation exercise patience is the question that we all know the answer to…no.

        • You prob already know this, but Buford is in Gwinett Co, which has dominated GA football prob that last 15-20 years in the high classifications. They are a dominant program and are well-coached historically. I like recruits from winning programs…and Buford is one of those year round programs that care much like Plant, Venice, Lakeland, Booker T, Carol City, Dwyer, Dr. Phillips, etc.

      • Looked it up. Simonds is the 455th ranked recruit in the country by 247Sports composite. Hardly highly ranked, Gator-6. But he is the type of recruit Mullen recruited to MSU. I thought Mullen said he would be able to recruit better talent to Florida than he did to MSU. And by the way, Morehead at MSU is drastically out recruiting Mullen at Florida right now, and he just arrived there.

          • Gator…….while national title winning programs are taking the #1, #2, #3, #4, #5 through #10 ranked OGs in the country, with all of those top ten listed in the top 250 recruits in the country. If Florida continues to mostly land recruits below that, they will not compete for the SEC East title, much less the SEC and National titles. Unlike you, I think the Florida program should be and should do better than that year end and year out. Sorry.

      • Can always count on you to do the research, Tampa. And, I get you on the 5* recruits–like Rog says, (I’m paraphrasing), “If you build it, they will come (again)”. We’ve got to turn in a couple of good seasons first, naturally, so I’m trying to temper my excitement c that in mind.

        Here’s my philosophy about star ratings, tho, and I expect that it’s not too different than your own, save for a few differences. First of all, to be rated with one or another star level, we are talking about “elite” players. So how elite is he (or anyone, for that matter)? 3*, by convention, is the lowest level of “elite”….but it’s still elite. 4* is estimated a level above that as far as elite status goes, and 5* is the tops among “elite”. So I’m not ashamed to have any 3* kid at all….and I grant you that 4 & 5 star is (probably) better…..but a 3* is no slouch and certainly above average out of the gate. Converts to something like B+, A-, and A+. Besides, this kid is a monster and he’ll certainly get good coaching now at UF.

        What do you think?

        • If you mean me, I didn’t do much homework but I got pretty excited anyway. Like I said, the kid is a monster and at at his position, he’s nearly about the best there is.

          If you mean TampaGator, one thing you can never accuse him of is not doing his homework. He just came to a different conclusion is all.

          I’m with you, GatorBites, but I do think stars mean something. That said, they’re just a recruiting tool to help in the assessment process–estimates of “elite” status, if you will, or a yardstick. The trouble is, we often make too much of them, or sometimes worse, too little.

        • Yes, I have watched his 247Sports video. He is a road grader and does not seem to have quick feet or desired OL height, both of which likely keeps him from being a four-star recruit. My homework.

          More homework: Remaining OG recruits not committed that are in the top 10 composite by 247Sports.

          #2 OG – Hammond – FSU lean. #4 OG – Putnam – FSU lean. #7 OG -Jones – Auburn lean (even though he is the cousin of QB Jones). The rest of the top 10 are committed elsewhere, including #5 OG -Lucas- committed to FSU. That is two of the remaining top OGs strongly leaning to FSU, with only one even considering Florida, and one already committed to FSU. That does not bother you?

          • Of course it bothers us. But we also know that the message board whining abut it doesn’t accomplish a dang thing.

            God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  1. Meanwhile…….
    Five-star DB, Stingley, to LSU over Florida and Texas.
    Four-star DE, Rambo Hunter (thought to be a strong Florida or Georgia lean) commits out of the blue to FSU today, and no one even thought he was considering FSU.


    • Stingley is from Louisiana and was originally an LSU commit, it would’ve been more shocking if he chose anyone over them. Hunter was all over FSU after his visit there, so that wasn’t a huge surprise either. I can already tell you’re going to be the one who creates the website the moment he doesn’t put up 40 pts in the first game. Relax Tampa, Mullen has a far more difficult job coming into this program that’s been down for almost a decade than any new coach out there. Expecting things to be firing on all cylinders right off the bat is basically expecting miracles.

      • Joe. Rambo Hunter was a strong Georgia lean with Florida his second option before he visited FSU. 247Sports had FSU at only a 10 percent chance of landing him before he visited FSU. He goes there for the first time and immediately commits. Same as the Goolsby kid from Dunnellon (who dreamed about being a Gator most of his life). Not hard to figure it out.

    • Guys we have to face the FACT that we are being handed our a…. to us this year in the recruiting ring, BUT hopefully we can COACH UP the ones we get and NEXT year we will make some significant headway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! But I agree with TAMPA, if we don’t start pulling in those highly rated 4* and 5*’s beginning next year its going to be a slow walk to get back to where we all want to but.. Competitive in the BIG ARENA. go gators!!!

    • TampaGator – FSU pays better than we do…LOL. Actually we don’t pay at all and hence we settle for what honest players we can get. Coaching will make these players better and ready for the system Mullen has in place. We are still bringing in talent for a very good team. It has been the QB position that has been keeping us ham strung. GO GATORS!!!

  2. As I’ve said in the past…. 5* recruits aren’t gonna come running until we do something. Coach Mullen is gonna have to pull a rabbit out of the hat and win some games he’s not supposed to, to turn the tide (no pun). This was a multi-year destruction project…’s gonna be a multi-year rebuild. It starts on the field.

    • Rog. Kirby Smart went to Georgia and immediately started to bring in five-star recruits left and right, and he continues to do so again this cycle. He hired top coaches who can flat out recruit the best players in the SE and the entire country. And Georgia was nothing special and had lost to Florida repeatedly before his arrival. So, I do not buy your argument. It bothers me that Mullen and his staff are not tearing it up on the recruiting trail yet. But a Trey Sanders could turn it around quickly.

      • Georgia had gone 10-3 the 2 seasons before Kirby got there. He also had been recruiting and building relationships with all the elite talent at his old job. He wasn’t starting from ground zero. He only went 8-5 his first year and lost to Florida. Hopefully we will get some momentum in July, but I bet the top recruits want to see the turn around on the field first.

        • Exactly, it’s a little delusional to think the job Mullen has stepped into is even close to the job Smart stepped into. It certainly wasn’t Smart’s recruits winning all those games last season. I’d be willing to bet everything I have they won’t get there this season no matter how great they’ve recruited. The only reason they may win the East is because every other team is down and transitioning. There were some glaring issues with his coaching that revealed themselves in their losses. He doesn’t know how to make in game adjustments at all, which is the most important part of coaching. He basically handed the ball off 500 times a game and that worked in every game but 2. That strategy won’t continue to work that’s for sure. I may very well be wrong, but I really don’t think he’s as great a coach as everyone has anointed him. I’ve still got him pegged as Muschamp 2.0 who has only recruited better because of where he came from. Time will tell on that. If he can’t maintain that success, you’re going to see a huge drop off in recruiting for sure.

        • Doug. Just after that 8-5 record and drubbing by Florida and others that season, Smart landed the #3 recruiting class in the country. Recruits did not wait and see to sign on with him. They recruited the he.. out of them, and then followed it up with the #1 class and the record for the most five-star recruits signed in one year. Like the game on Saturdays, recruiting is about skill and effort. I want to see more skill from the Florida coaches concerning recruiting. Period. The effort seems to be there.

          • Joe. Smart and his staff matched the moves by the greatest coach in college football history play for play (leading most of the game) vs. Alabama. Smart did not tell the safety to blow his zone coverage on that last miracle TD pass by Bama to win the game. And Smart and his staff made a ton of adjustments to counter what Oklahoma was doing and basically shut the Sooners down after the Sooners dynamic first two quarters. So, sir, I beg to differ with your view of Smart’s coaching skills so far.

        • Georgia73. Very much an oversimplification of why Georgia won last year. Truth is, Georgia also won because Smart recruited an outstanding QB in Fromm, recruited Swift and multiple other top RBs, developed their WRs much better than Richt did, developed the OL much better under the new OL coach from Arkansas, and improved their defense tremendously (including multiple players recruited by Smart). And their special teams went from horrible to extremely good under Smart. And their depth on their roster went from just OK to championship quality due to Smart’s outstanding recruiting efforts the previous two years. So, no, it was not just about the two RBs (Michel and Chubb). And Georgia is going to be loaded at RB again this year due to the recruiting efforts of Smart and his staff, even with those two great RBs on their roster. Make all the excuses you want, but Mullen and his staff really need to step up their recruiting efforts from now until signing day. Hopefully, they will, or Georgia is going to leave the Florida program in their speeding away dust. Sorry, just an objective view of things as they are. Go Gators.

          • If you took those two running backs out you go 9 and 3 at best. We currently have one 5* on the OL and not even the best on the OL for the last 3 years. We also have a 4* QB who everyone hates. The QB at Mississippi basically a zero star is better than anything the gators have. WR’s., we have a couple of 4* with very little production. Look at super bowl teams. They consist of mostly 3*, a few 4’s and almost no 5’s. You can have all the talent in the world but without the coach that can teach and motivate them they are not much good. Remember Tom Brady was a 6th round draft choice.

      • It’s not a perfect argument I admit. But….as I’ve said before, Richt left the cupboard stocked and the roster Kirby won with last year was NOT the roster he recruited. So with better coaching (and Richt’s coaching wasn’t bad…just not top shelf) Kirby was able to win and that gets noticed by recruits.

        Florida’s cupboard on the other hand……we haven’t been a great team since Urban (and Mullen) left 10+ years ago. Yeah, we got to Atlanta several times but does anyone really believe we belonged there playing against Bama? I thought not. Top recruits want to go to a winning program. Top recruits want shiny facilities and bling. Top recruits want a clear path to the NFL. NONE of which UF has offered the past 10 years. (yes we’ve sent defensive guys to the NFL but offense…..).

      • Tampa….yeah have to agree with the guys. Totally diff circumstances as we whiffed on the coaching search as well…as Mullen was not our first choice. We should have gotten Strong over Champ back in the days, but that’s just me. Smart was an A+ recruiter for the Bama Machine and already had those ties. UF is coming off maybe the worst season in 25 years, not just wins & loss wise, but culture-wise as well. We are not the chip program we were and we have to realize that as a fan base.

  3. Way to rain down on the parade Tampa. I do believe you are being too harsh about Mullen’s recruiting.
    Kirby inherited a very good squad from Ritch and just like him has recruited very well but as Spurrier said, one year does not make a dinasty or something like to that effect. Hopefully Mullen can beat UGA as much as Spurrier did even with supposedly lower recruiting classes. I for one don’t care who signs with FSU or UGA as long as we get our fair share and fill positions of need. Give Coach a chance, it’s only June we got till December before the early signing period. Chill out man.

  4. Dan Mullens also won some big games @ MSU that he wasn’t expected to. I saw a lot of 3* getting drafted in the last NFL draft e.i. Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward, Bradley Chubb, Vita Vea, Jaire Alexander. All these guys were studs in college. Do I need to keep going? Because I have no prob doing that…Look Dan Mullens can flat out coach and recruited a lot of 4* at MSU and has a history developing his players. Let’s not get too caught up in 4* or 5* bcuz at the end of the day a lot them went undrafted. You have the find the right players that fits your system and coach them up. Would I like to see more 4 and 5 stars in this recruiting class?!?! absolutely but that will come in the near future. Mullens is building the program the right way and scouting out and recruiting talent. Some of these players are getting evaluated the at 4 and 5 stars when they should be 3* for the simple fact that the persons rating these players aren’t looking for the right skill set in order to evaluate them correctly. The coaches are doing their own evaluations and in their book some of these 3* could be coached up and have the potential to be 5* if that makes any sense based the development of the players in 3 to 4 years down the road. Everyone please relax (a la Aaron Rodgers) and let’s look for improvement this upcoming season. I’m excited to have Mullens back and he’ll get the offense up and running in no time just like he did in those 2 championships seasons.

    • Star ratings are a joke. Yeah there’s legit amazing players out there who are 5*, but so many times a player jumps from a 3 to a 4 simply because they were offered by a power 5 program. I mean look at Jalon Jones, he was a 3 until he committed to the Gators and then suddenly jumped to a 4 after one good camp. The difference between a 4 and 5 star player is very minimal since there’s only so many 5* spots available.

      • Joe. Jones remains a three-star composite recruit at QB (247Sports composite of all major recruiting sites). Georgia has two five-star QB recruits on their roster. Clemson, multiple as well. Bama, also. Surprising that those teams are considered the challengers for the title again this coming season and competed for the title last year. You win championships by recruiting mostly five and four star recruits. It is a fact. Sorry.

    • Recall the great Steve Spurrier dart at Ray Goff….LOL

      “Why is it that during recruiting season they sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players? I don’t understand that. What happens to them?”

    • neil. First, the name of the head coach of the University of Florida is not, Dan Mullens. It is Dan Mullen. And concerning the draft. The percentage of four and five star recruits being drafted and successful in the NFL is much higher than the percentage of less star recruits being drafted. There are more lesser star recruits being drafted because there are far more lesser star recruits playing college football. But a four star or five star recruit has a far better chance of being drafted by the NFL. And a college team that recruits more five and four star recruits, vs lesser star recruits, also has a far better chance to both play and win a college football conference and national championships. All facts.

  5. I agree with everything Tampa Gator said . We get these feel good stories about recruits coming in and just before they laeve they go off saying I love this or that coach and the vibe is great. It’s time to pick the fruit….

  6. Different way of looking at this. I’ve seen leaders in a different job take lower ranked people that may have done better with better coaching /training and turn them into stars. Mullen took the best recruits he could get and got to#1 if only briefly. Still think there is a lot of talent on team. And though depth may become an issue in some positions his group had been adept at adjusting to what they have. As all these discussions are speculative I feel better at this point than the last few years. For Young recruits it is hard to take a chance on a new staff when there are established staffs out there. Winning draws desire. Rog said we need wings to draw. To a point this is true but i think s time gets closer some of these verbal commits are going to change their minds. They’re kids. I also think Tampa was right that a few will have grade issues. I read somewhere of a2017 recruit going juco because he didn’t get the grades. UF standards are higher and that is going to make it even harder to get more of the top picks. Muschamp was a good recruiter but couldn’t coach a program this size, Mac was over his head. Mullen is different. The whole thing feels different. I’m / we are jonesing for better. Have a feeling we’re going to be better than many think this year. That I feel will get some of the verbal commits to come to the swamp. Beat LSU, beat or stay with GA, and FSU.

  7. I’m on the same page with you, Gator65. Also, guards just don’t get particularly high ratings for recruiting of the NFL draft. The best ones are road graders. My 247 site rates Simonds at 259 and 16th best guard. For his position that makes him elite. The other offers and interests indicate he’s a significant pick-up for the Gators. As for UGA, Mark Richt left behind the most talented roster in the SEC East and likely the fourth or fifth best in the conference. Kirby built on it splendidly as he continued to work his recruiting ties to his native state and elsewhere. Over on our half of the SEC’s geographical landscape he was already more prominent than Mullen at the same time in his tenure as the new Georgia coach. He’s got a considerable head start and it was only a matter of time before UGA found the right coach. But it certainly appears Florida’s found the right guy for us. Some recruits, including Hunter, have dropped out of sight for the Gators, likely due to grades or other concerns. By the time we re
    Such December with an over-achieving, chip-on-their-shoulders team that’s demonstrating very high buy-in to Mullen, Savage and staff the recruiting momentum will be high.
    I’m much more hopeful than I’ve been since Meyer arrived.

  8. Correction to my post above: per Luke Stampini Riley is ranked number 455 overall but is 16th rated OG. As Yogi might have said, “You could look it up!” Still a very timely and good get at a position of immense need, with the benefit of Savage and Hevesy developing this kid out of one of the most competitive high school football programs in a hotbed of top recruits — greater Atlanta.

    • Yes, and there are a ton of higher ranked OGs that are now committed elsewhere and who are currently not having Florida high on their list. And about four or five of those are seriously considering FSU, a program that just had a bad season and who currently also has a new coach. Please explain. FSU looks right now to land four or five of the top 12 OG recruits in the country. What? Sounds to me that they are just out recruiting the Florida coaches at the moment, as are the Georgia coaches. As are the Mississippi State coaches for that matter. All that concerns me as a huge Florida fan and grad. Sorry.

  9. Correction to my previous post: Riley is ranked 455 overall but is 26th rated OG per Luke Stampini at 247 on their composite. Comes out of a program among the best in highly competitive
    Greater Atlanta, will benefit from Savage and Hevesy, and plays a position of immense need at UF.

  10. You know, it’s interesting in that this conversation focuses a lot on what Kirby Smart is doing. So it would seem that UGA is projected to be the Alpha Dog of the SEC East for the foreseeable future with the rest of us just trying to get a win here and there. Kirby played at UGA. He recruited Georgia while at Bama. So he has deep rooted connections in the state. Georgia is a talent rich high school football state just like Florida, Texas, California, etc. So the table is set for UGA to be good for a long time.

    But….here is how I see it. Coach Mullen didn’t play at Florida but you would never know it. Orange and Blue bleeds through his veins and his enthusiasm shows it. He’ recruited the state and southeast so he has built the high school connections that a successful coach must have. He WILL start winning some battles for 5* guys. I get what your saying Tampa….but he will step it up. I don’t have the numbers in front of me but it certainly feels like he’s already getting more 4* guys that McElteeth did so I’m encouraged.

    And here’s the kicker. I believe that Coach Mullen is just as good, if not a better X and O’s coach than Kirby Smart. Even if that last statement is not 100% true, Coach Mullen is a BIG step up from McElteeth and a step up from Champ. So…. better coaching will lead to more wins, which will lead to better recruiting. Give it time Tampa.

    • Rog, You said something that I have been thinking on reading the posts that UGA is the newly anointed top team for the foreseeable future. Smart is a third year head coach. Yes he has had success but so did Mr. Yellow Teeth when he was here. Two fairly good years with recruits he didn’t sign. Yes he is an alum and there is something to that and yes he does appear to be a good coach. BUT he had Chub and Michelle and that was a big part of it. He has got some very good talent but now the nut cutting will determine if he can bring together the cohesive team Richt did. Mullen has ~10 years as a head coach in a division that is brutal to play in. I would love to see the East get to that level. Smart came from there are a assistant and has shown he has potential. Mullen has proven he has potential. With the exception of the DC that is relatively new to Mullens staff we have a group that has proven themselves. I think the recruits who passed on UF still have doubts. I think those that went elsewhere might regret not coming here when they wee what I feel is about to happen. I had the feeling when Meyer came here. I didn’t however see him leaving the way he did. I think Mullen will be here for the long haul and us in a position to be there year in and year out to compete for SEC championships, and NC.

    • Kirby Smart is a good coach, no doubt about it. He may be a great coach, in fact, but the sample size is way too small to know that yet. Were I a Georgia fan, would I be excited about him? You bet. Were I a UT fan, would I be equally excited to have Pruitt on board now? Ditto, and I’d say that Tennessee is probably on their way back to being a premier SEC team, finally, and the combination of Phil Fulmer at AD and Pruitt as HC is probably going to be tougher than hell in the out-years. (I’ll rely on Rog to assess that tho, since he has a ringside seat up there.)


      But don’t deify these guys just yet, and assume we are sucking hind tit again. We have the right coach, at the right time, with the right skills and the right attitude. We passed on Mr Big Shot Kelly for a reason, although the media would have you believe it was the other way around. So what? Dan Mullen is finally home, right where he belongs, and things are better before even a down has been played yet.

      Which is a long winded way of saying that Rog is 100% right.

      My name is NealyBob, and I endorse this message. Gator-6 Out.

  11. And for the record. There is not a more dedicated Florida fan than this Florida grad. I am also a huge fan of Dan Mullen and he was my choice to replace McElwain over Frost or the guy who went to UCLA. I took a lot of grief on here saying that when everyone else wanted Frost and the current UCLA coach over Mullen, in fact. I am also objective and realistic. And being objective right now, FSU and Georgia are kicking Florida’s collective butt right now on the recruiting trail. And, if Mullen wants to contend year and year out with those two programs and with the rest of the SEC for titles, then that has to change and change very soon.

    • If that’s the case next year, then I will lean more your way…but he is playing the cards he has been dealt with. I agree with most you say and am a realest as well. That realism make me understand what we are average program getting drilled by our instate rival. Perhaps a better looking offense and better coaching will produce more of the classes we are accustomed to…but the fact is we have lost to FSU 5 straight and got owned by UGA last year and blown out by Mizzou. That’s who we are and right now. I like him too, but he was not the splash hire for UF that Smart was for UGA. Smart is basically their SOS….the grad that came back and kicked their rivals ass…one he couldn’t rally beat as a player. FSU got who they wanted as well. Mullen was choice 3 for us…a good choice, but none the less the 3rd option (I did not want Kelly either…but DEFINITELY wanted Frost).

    • You didn’t take any grief from this Gator, Tampa. I was with you all the way and still am on that count.

      Your sense of urgency is pointed in the right direction; just a little more patience is required now. You can’t turn an aircraft carrier on a dime, or so I’m told by my Navy buddies.

      • Correction: I am told now that the Chinese do have an aircraft carrier that can actually turn on a dime. Like the French Navy, but for a different reason, it is also equipped with a glass bottom–apparently so they can see where it is headed when they pull that maneuver.

        There’s wisdom in there; damned if I can remember what it was tho.

  12. Tampa Gator. For your information, a Georgia publication said Simonds is indeed one of those Players who deserved to get an offer from Georgia because of how he’s moving up the charts. Kid looks like a great center candidate. Great powerful legs!!

  13. You guys talk like any of these commitments actually mean anything. I believe most of you have been around long enough to know that we don’t actually know who will sign where until the pen it’s the paper on signing day. Probably 1/2 of them will sign at a school they are not currently committed to. And some highly ranked ones will reopen their recruitment and choose between 5 hats on signing day. Not to mention some highly ranked committed recruits coach will get fired as well. Just relax and wait until we actually have a class signed.

    • Probably good advice, Nick…..but we’ve been hungry for a long time and Mullen has opened the pantry door. Nobody has a crystal ball tho. But why not relax a little and stop second guessing the coach and his staff? I can’t think of a good reason not to, bud………..but we’ve been hungry so damn long……….

  14. I believe this young man is a valuable addition to our 2019 recruiting class, partly because Coach Mullen has been after him for quite some time, and partly because this recruit is very much needed to bolster our O-line. As for the critics, they will always be chiming in with their negativity. As for me, I have been a tried and true Gator fan since the age of 13, when my father took me to see UF clobber the University of Houston 59-34 in 1968. I believe in building the team’s spirit up – not tearing them down. A true fan always supports his or her team, regardless of the circumstances. The Gators made a great move to hire HC Mullen, and he has shown his ilk already by his coaching hires and his relentless pursuit of recruits who are “best fits” in his offense and his DC’s defense. GO GATORS!!!

  15. Tampagator, if your most compelling point was correcting the spelling of Mullen’s last by simple removing the the “S” at the end of his name then you shouldn’t be allowed to post another comment on this forum, because that’s the only valid point you actually made.

    The coaches are evaluating the players that fits their system and ratings given by 247 sports and rivals plays a factor but it’s not the most important criteria, guys c’mon man.

    If evaluating players was simple going to rivals and 247sports and recruiting 5* and 4* players then why didn’t we win more games a couple of years ago when Will Muschamp was bringing in top 5 classes every year.

    Exactly!! I made my point, coaches are hired and paid top dollars to recruit mostly importantly to coach. Evaluating the players that’s fits their system best and coach them up, period. Yes you will get 5* and 4* that happens to fit in your system but it’s not the most important factor.

    One of the worst evaluating criteria that recruiting sites ever came up with was this silly star rating system.

    Most of the so called analysts evaluating these players has no clue what they’re doing and it seems like we trust them more than the coaches that actually played the game and are coaching at a very high level, pathetic @ tampagator

    • Hey Neil….I was just checking back on this topic to see if anything new had been added, and saw your excellent post. I don’t recall seeing a lot of posts from you, but you sure have my vote to feel free to post more often. Good points, one and all.