We had a pretty full mailbag this week. Good stuff guys. Keep up the good work. I know it’s tough to try and not ask the same questions during such a slow recruiting time. Things will pick up soon now that the high school football season has officially started. The early enrollees should be making noise soon. On to the questions!
I’m most curious about the defensive line situation. It appears that we are in West Coast battles for both Owamagbe Odighizuwa and Ronald Powell where unfortunately, school proximity to home tends to win out. So, at a position where we are light on commits, would we encourage an aggressive and persistent motor like Dominique Easley to evaluate all options?
Are you willing to project the Gators final class?
— Tony Snowball
Let me start by saying I really hope your last name is Snowball because that has got to be one of the coolest last names since Odighizuwa.
The thing about Florida’s defensive line is that 12 players could return next year. Carlos Dunlap will surely leave early for the NFL Draft. Florida got two linemen last year and have two verbally committed in the 2010 class. I’m not too sure how many more they need this year. Maybe two or three? Powell is at the top of the list in my opinion. Florida is going after him aggressively and USC is the only obstacle in Florida’s way. Yes, it’s a pretty big – OK, enormous – obstacle, but I think Florida has a really good shot at landing him.
Odighizuwa, on the other hand, is tricky because he is always talking about Florida, but he never made to Gainesville over the summer. California seems like the best option for him at the moment, but if Florida really does start pursuing him hard and he makes it on campus this fall, the Gators could be battling two California schools for two top defensive ends. And don’t forget about Lynden Trail from Miami, Booker T. Washington. He’s a Gator lean and wants in this class.
As for defensive tackle, Easley is still an option, but I’m not so sure he’s a sure thing for the Gators since they took Neiron Ball’s commitment over Easley’s (though they do play different positions). Florida could still go after him if other options don’t work out. I think Sharrif Floyd is the No. 1 option at DT. He and Leon Orr would be a very solid tackle duo.
Can I predict Florida’s final class right now? Honestly, it’s a little too early. I’ll say this, of the top guys remaining, I like Florida’s chances with Powell, WR Chris Dunkley, OL Chaz Green and CB Cody Riggs. I was really high on Florida getting LB Jeff Luc, but with all the Florida State talk I’m not so sure of how comfortable I am about saying he’s a Florida lean now.
How do I ask you your questions? Do I send a PM (private message) to you on the Gatorsports message boards? I wanted to know who’s the next star stud QB we can get for 2011? I know you mentioned there was one guy from out of state and maybe Teddy Bridgewater, but are there any can’t-miss ones out there?
Ray, a simple PM or a comment below on my blogs is all it takes.
The QBs next year might be a little better than the crop this year and I think Florida needs to get two out of next year’s class. There are a couple of prospects to keep an eye on. Charlotte, N.C., Providence Day’s Price Litton is a solid prospect. He had an injury and didn’t make it to Friday Night Lights, but Florida was the first school to send him anything. Matthews, N.C., Butler’s Christian LeMay, son of former Gator chaplain Stacy LeMay, has shown early interest in the Gators as well. He’s going to be one of the top prospects in the country next year. Another guy I’m high on is Myrtle Beach, S.C., passer Everett Golson. He’s got a good arm to match his good scrambling ability. C.J. Uzomah from Suwanee, Ga., North Gwinnett is also on Florida’s radar.
Where do we stand with WR Ivan McCartney and have you spoken with him? I had heard a while back he was a silent to Miami, don’t hear that as much anymore.
Finally, your thoughts on the rumor of Jordan Haden going to BC with his brother Josh if Joe goes to the NFL after this year?
I haven’t been in much contact with McCartney since fall football and school started for him, but I also haven’t heard anything about a silent commitment to Miami. I know that Miami is up there and has been for a while. He’s said that Florida and West Virginia are talking to him a lot as well. He was a beast at Friday Night Lights, and Florida commit Demar Dorsey told me he has been recruiting McCartney to Florida for a while. Another team to watch out for is Oregon, but I’ll go with the other three over the Ducks.
Jordan Haden is very adamant about going to Florida. He has a great relationship with the coaches and when I first talked to him about playing with his brother, he said he doesn’t know if he will because he’s pretty sure Joe will leave early after this season. Of course, none of that is set in stone, but when talking with Jordan and his father Joe Sr., it’s pretty clear that Jordan’s heart is in Gainesville.
What receivers is Florida looking to add to this class? Thinking we are going to need a couple more for next year.
Also there is a lot of talent here in Columbus, Ga., area. Which prospects are we (UF) looking at that I need to go check out while they are still in high school?
— Joe Secoy
The wide receivers Florida is highly interested in are: Dunkley, McCartney and Christian Green. The Gators have Dunkley at the top, and I think McCartney is next. Green is still looking at FSU quite hard, but I still like Florida’s chances in the end. Look for other guys like Trail’s teammate Quinton Dunbar or a guy like Darius Millines or even Ace Sanders, who was lights out over the summer.
While in the Columbus area you should definitely try and check out Brookstone School tight end Brian Vogler. He’s committed to Alabama, but he’s a heck of a talent. Carver has a couple of players you could see. Defensive ends Brandon Smith and Corey Crawford both have decent size and are pretty athletic. Offensive lineman David Beasley is a Clemson commit and athlete Devin Burns (Maryland) plays quarterback and receiver. Of course, you can always see Hardaway quarterback Marcus Smith. Remember, he’s the guy who said he committed to Florida over the summer, but the coaches didn’t accept his commitment.