By this time you’re probably wondering why you’re having to read the most popular Aschoff related forum in the country on a Thursday.
Well, thank Memphis International Airport for not only bringing in planes that have mechanical problems, but not being able to get people their bags once they’ve landed. I was originally supposed to fly out of Memphis and into Newark on Wednesday to venture through the Big Apple for the first time, but unfortunately, because of some unwanted issues with my plane, I had to wait a few hours and fly to LaGuardia from Indianapolis. No biggy except that I didn’t arrive in NYC until 8 p.m., only for my checked bag to not make it.
Oh well, I’m safe and sound, and with no further delay … on to the questions!
Hey Ed. This is arguably Urban Meyer’s best start on the recruiting trail in his tenure. I am curious as to why he has been targeting safeties. Will Hill was a 5-star recruit while Dee Finley was a top 10 recruit overall according to ESPN. Add in Josh Evans a 4-star recruit aren’t we set behind Major Wright and Ahmad Black? We have commitments from Jonathan Dowling, Matt Elam, Jordan Haden and Demar Dorsey has been listed as a safety sometimes. Could Dowling at 6-3 grow into a LB?
Believe it or not, a few people that I’ve talked to with some sort of NFL knowledge are pegging Major Wright as a guy who could go in the first two rounds IF he has a solid year. He’s extremely athletic, but is still a headhunter in the secondary, which takes away from his coverage skills. Let’s say the Gators lose Wright next year. They only have Black, Hill, Finley and Evans with safety experience (granted Evans gets some reps this fall). It’s all about creating depth and getting guys on the field. Remember two years ago? Florida’s young secondary was in shambles for the most part. Getting guys like Elam, Haden and Dowling (Dorsey is just a cornerback) on campus next year is a good thing. Realistically, not all of them are going to get on the field, but a couple will and redshirting the others will just add more depth. And safeties sometimes play at the nickel position as well. I think it’s more of Meyer and his staff wanting to make sure they have too many players back there before they have too few. Also, I don’t see Dowling playing linebacker. He’s too lean and too athletic to keep out of the secondary or receiver.
Edward, which “off the radar” players, on the UF board, do you foresee dramatically improving their recruiting rankings/stock between now and Signing Day? Are their any sleepers out there who could shoot up the rankings after the camps and their senior seasons?
— MP Allen
My top guy would be Daytona Beach, Mainland receiver O.J. Ross. I raved about him earlier this summer and I think that if he has a solid season he’ll rise up everyone’s list. Florida has still not offered. Another guy to look out for is Delray Beach, American Heritage School athlete Darius Millines. He’s so athletic and looks to be a receiver in college. He’ll probably have another good year and will start to get a lot more attention as his season progresses. Tallahassee, North Florida Christian quarterback Clint Trickett has been getting some looks lately, and if he puts up more good numbers and wins another state title you could hear more about him in December. Look out for guys like Bradenton, Manatee receiver Ace Sanders and Auburn, Ala., cornerback Pee Wee Cobb. These guys have been flying under the radar, but have performed well this summer and if they keep it up, they should start getting a lot more attention. I guess I would classify all these guys as sleepers, maybe Cobb as the biggest because of the tremendous upside he has. However, with all the players in the secondary, I don’t think I see him in Florida’s class.
Do you know if and when UF will have open tryouts for the men’s BB team?
— Patricia Westcott
Not really a recruiting question, but there’s no discrimination here at Ask Aschoff. I’m not 100 percent positive, but I believe tryouts are right at the start of fall semester in late August and might even run into September. I’m just going off the posts I remember seeing around campus when I was still in undergrad. I checked Gatorzone.com and couldn’t find anything, but if anyone knows more than me post it and share for all. I’ll do the same if I see anything.