It’s the third installment of the Mailbag and we finally have a name! After much consideration, I’ve decided to go with “Ask Aschoff.”
Congrats to Brandon who posted the name on my last mailbag. Props. Jeff Barlis was close with “Ask Your Aschoff,” and of course I loved “The Fresh Cut” by kryptonitecollar. I figured you called it that because of my fresh haircut.
On the to questions!
So from what I’ve seen so far, this is shaping out to be one of Urban Meyer’s best classes ever. But do you think it has the potential to be a #1 class come signing day?
I said it at the beginning of the year – half jokingly, but not really – that Florida’s 2010 class would be the best ever for the program on paper. Now that I think about it, this class might have more pure athletes than any other class, but there’s no Tim Tebow-type player or a Percy Harvin. With that said, Florida currently has 15 of probably 25 commitments at this point and according to Rivals.com, one (Matt Elam) is a five-star prospect, 10 are four stars and four are either three stars or unranked. Scout.com has Elam as the only five-star prospect, six four stars and has eight commits at 3 stars or fewer. Right now, that doesn’t mean too much because no one has finished camping this summer and the football season hasn’t even started.
Rivals hasn’t ranked any school’s recruiting class yet, but Scout has Florida’s current class at third in the country. Texas (19 commitments) and Alabama (17 commitments) are in front. In my opinion, this year’s race for the No.1 class will probably come down to Florida and Texas. Both states are loaded and both schools are snagging the top talent from their home states. To me, Florida will have the top class in the country because of the uncommitted prospects still on UF’s board. The Gators have a great shot at getting the No. 2 defensive end in the country in Ronald Powell and are at the top of the list for Florida guys like Tampa, Catholic teammates Christian Green and Chaz Green; Miami, Booker T. Washington defensive end Lynden Trail; Port St. Lucie, Treasure Coast linebacker Jeff Luc; and Pahokee receiver Chris Dunkley just to name a few. And those are just the guys from Florida. The Gators have feelers out all across the Southeast.
Texas and Alabama still have a bunch of top prospects interested in them, but I think there are more that have Florida close to the top if not at the top of their lists.
We have received a number of commits from S/CB/ATH prospects that seem to be of the same mold. Plus, we are currently in the running for several more. On top of that it may be one of our deepest positions. Is this coaching staff going after the best athletes with a plan on where to play them, or do they think they can just let them develop into their future positions?
Ed, I read where O.J. Ross looked great at camp. The way you described his effort at camp he has all the tools to be a D-1 star. Do you think the staff should offer with names like Dunkley, Ambles, and Boone still deciding?
To your first question, I think Urban Meyer and his staff are trying to not have the same problem they had a couple years ago: Not enough depth in the defensive backfield. The Gators gave up 258.5 yards per game in 2007, and it was mainly due to the fact that their last line of defense was very young and venerable. By getting a bunch of guys who can play any position back there, Florida’s staff will make sure it has enough bodies in a couple years to ensure 2007 doesn’t happen again. As for development, Meyer and his staff have proven they can take athletes and make them into solid players (see: Joe Haden and William Green). They might feel more comfortable taking more “athletes” in the secondary and being able to develop them into good defensive players.
In Ross’ case, he was one of the best wide receiver prospects at Florida’s camp, but when I was talking to another writer about the talent at UF’s camp we both agreed that while some guys look lights outs, when top talent comes in they kind of look ordinary. I’m not saying Ross is ordinary by any means. He’s got great hands and speed, but Ocala, Trinity Catholic’s Kadron Boone looked just as good and he’s probably a better overall talent. Bring in a Dunkley or a Markeith Ambles and things might have been different.
Unfortunately for Ross, I think there are just too many receivers higher on UF’s board right now. He wasn’t even invited to Friday Night Lights. But Ross has made it clear that if Florida offers he’ll probably commit.
Why are we signing so many 3-star guys this year according to Rivals? Is it because we need people who are content with the backup role? You would think that with coming off the National Championship and providing a chance to be on a NC team this year that we would be signing all 5-star guys.
Who is the most important recruit left to sign? Who is the most important recruit signed or unsigned this year?
It’s all about athleticism, man. These guys that aren’t as highly rated are physical specimens. Stephen Alli and Travon Van could be the most athletic – outside of Elam and maybe Jonathan Dowling – in this class so far. Alli is 6-foot-5 and ran a 4.38 in the 40. Van played all over the field in high school and has nice speed. He really could line up at any skill position. I think Meyer has proven he knows what to do with raw athletes. He likes them a lot and I don’t think Rivals’ or Scout’s rankings really mean much to him. I’m not saying they’re irrelevant, but Meyer is probably a better evaluator for what his team needs.
But don’t worry, Florida will get its fair share of five-stars this year.
Most important left to sign: Mack Brown – Meyer needs to get that elite running back.
Most important signed: Elam – He’s one of the best prospects in the country and he looks like a future leader in the secondary.