Florida-Tennessee aftermath

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If Gator fans would step away from the ledge after what some fans are calling Florida’s 13-23 loss to Tennessee, I’d like to point out how the future is indeed bright for UF recruiting following a pretty successful weekend.

Forget that there were no public commitments. Florida’s already filled 15 of what I think will eventually be 26 spots, and it’s still really early. So early that there were only a couple official of visitors at the game.

Let me also digress and say that I don’t care what people are saying about Tennessee after its loss to Florida, not allowing Florida to blow out the Vols isn’t necessarily going to help them in recruiting. A moral victory doesn’t count in the standings, and while it can have a positive affect in the living rooms, kids can see that a loss is a loss. The Vols have a great class so far, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up being one of the best in the country on Signing Day, but I’m not ready to say that UT has a more attractive future than Florida.

OK, back to the matter at hand. Florida had about 30 top prospects sitting in the south end zone Saturday. They were a part of the largest home crowd in UF history (90,894), got to hear one of the loudest crowds I’ve heard since the South Carolina game in ’06 and watched Florida beat one of its biggest rivals.

I caught up with running back commit Mack Brown who said the trip went well not just for him, but his future school as well.

“(Ronald) Powell and Jeff Luc (are) close to committing,” Brown said Sunday. “I know Powell said he likes Florida a lot and (Chris) Dunkley does too.”

I saw Dunkley wearing a Gator visor and talking a lot with freshman linebacker Jon Bostic. Bostic and Dunkley played in the West Palm Beach area together.

Dunkley — a silent commitment to Florida or not — is going to play the recruiting game for a while, but I’d like to think that he’ll be making a decision sooner than some people think.

Rumors spread throughout Saturday that Powell committed to Florida, but of course, those were just rumors. Powell still has plans for official visits to UF and USC before anything might happen. USC is going to be a factor the whole way, no matter how hard Florida’s coaches try.

It seems like Luc falls in love with every school he visits, so it comes as no surprise that Brown feels confident about him right now.

While i didn’t join his weekly conference call — yes, a recruit has a weekly conference call to talk recruiting — West Chester, Ohio, Lakota West linebacker Jordan Hicks reportedly enjoyed himself at the game and is planning an official visit. Hicks won’t discuss recruiting unless it’s on the call … he’s a senior in high school.

One area that could see a boost in recruiting is wide receiver. Without Deonte Thompson, Florida has only one weapon out wide — Riley Cooper. Sure Brandon James and David Nelson can make plays, but neither is a deep threat and neither scares defenses. With nine spots left in this class, Florida could get at least two more at this position.

But if the Tennessee game wasn’t enough for recruits, all they had to do was turn on the Chicago-Pittsburgh game Sunday. The cameras zoomed in on former defensive end Alex Brown doing the Gator chomp on three different occasions.

It also didn’t hurt that former receiver Percy Harvin had 41 yards receiving and another touchdown while adding 14 yards on the ground.

So before you take that leap Gator fans, trust me when I say things will be fine in recruiting this year. It’s not always the score that makes the biggest impression on recruits.

“We’re Florida. We’ll do a good job in recruiting,” Meyer said.

23 COMMENTS

  1. All Gators need to chime in our your article, Edward. I here it everyday at work how the Gators are nothing and they will lose three games this year. Hey, it could happen (Wash/USC) and yes we need some help at WR, my only question is why do these receivers get open and thrown to when Brantley is in and not when Tebow is in. I am not complaining about Tebow, but why do we have confidence to throw in the cakewalks leading up to games like this and then all of a sudden it looks like we don’t have any confidence at all. I know Meyer said that He should of opened it up some more, but the only way that these players are going to have confidence with themselves in games like this, you have to pass it to them and give them a chance. IF we don’t, it is going to be a long season.
    Great to hear about the recruits and I agree with you Edward, this calss is going to be pretty good. Tennessee IS on the rebound and will attract some great players, however, Florida will be Florida and will get some big time players as well.

  2. I was actually sickened by the Gator Blog during the game. “Worst game ever!” “Our offense sucks!” “What is Tebow doing?” “Meyer cant call plays!” Geez fans, its freakin UT; atletes on par with UF! WE WON THE GAME, stop being so spoiled! Meyer and Co. is a master at recruiting. They may not get all the five star blue chips and not the #1 class but they will get plently of production and will continue to win.

  3. Great article. There were a lot of interesting developments that occurred and I’m very excited about Feb 3rd (I think that is NSD). We also have to realize that is the only championship that UT is going for, the NSD championship while we are looking for 3, SEC East, SEC and NC. What is funny is I would definitely put money on UF winning the one come February as well.

    In regards to Tebow and Brantley, Brantley is a good QB and I definitely feel comfortable at the QB position after Tebow leaves but there is a difference. UT played very well on defense. We were gashing them on the ground, to a tune of over 200 yards so there wasn’t a huge reason to go deep. Until the Tebow fumble, UT had a total of 135 yards, through over 50 minutes of play. We were about to put the exclamation point on the game before the fumble. They definitely got lucky with the penalty call as well. The passing play that was available all day was the one to the flats (like the one David Nelson caught). We just didn’t utilize that but we could have done that all day. The fact that Cooper was hurt (pinched nerve), BJ got hurt during the game, David Nelson was a little bit gimpy and DT was out of the game definitely limited our passing game as well. As much as UT wants to talk about how we knew what they were going to do, they knew what we were going to do and we still rushed for a heck of a lot more yards on them. We didn’t play great, beat them at their own game and beat them worse than the score shows. Nothing to worry about here. Let’s get through a good UK team and get the team rested up before heading to Death Valley.
    One last note. UT will probably go 7-5 this year, expect 6-6 at best next year. They lose a ton.

  4. I think we shouldnt focus on Tennessee so much- Its almost as if we are afraid of them- we have seniors WHO HAVE NEVER LOST TO TENESSEE- MEYER IS A GREAT COACH AND WILL NOT COACH TO KEEP THE SCORE CLOSE- yes, tenessee will recruit (with probably illegal and shady tactics) but so will alabama and lsu- just cuz some punk like kiffin wants to bring spotlite to his program by “associating” himself with the BEST; its a weak strategy that we shouldnt fall into- lets focus on Kentucky who is UNDEFEATED=- not some loser team who is 1-2- oh and dont forget about the king- Spur Dog- he always has a chance and could sneak up on us this year- I hope Meyer gives Spurdog the insight on how to beat Tennessee idiots- anyways heres to winning beatin TEnn AGAIN!! HAHAHAHA

  5. Good update Ed. I was ready to jump right after the game, but now, who cares? We won, no, the game didn’t live up to the hype, but there was too much of it. Tennessee is a joke who parties over L’s. We have bigger concerns than what those losers are doing as Petey J says. Recruiting will be fine, 2 out of 3 national titles, being #1, and making a run at another speaks much louder then “only” a double digit win against some immature punk.

  6. Doesn’t UF need to be LOADING UP on WR’s right now? We need more than just a couple. We are short handed right now, and we’ll be losing several of those players at the end of the year.
    I just went and looked back at Meyer’s recruiting classes each year. He’s not been signing very much at WR. Last year he only signed Debose. He needs to get on it!

  7. I sincerely hope that we have a running back recruit over 190 pounds, more like Tebow (240) who will be more than a blocking fullbvack. Seems that recruits think the spread will only use 175 pound, 4.1 speed, scatbacks. Run a 7 man defensive front and zone defense, and without 5 or 6 offensive wide receivers and you’re sunk. Seems that of you “spread” the field you open a lot in the middle, if your line blocks well. Any junior Mike Alstotts out there who want to come to Florida and Florida, please don’t make these big kids all walkon. They’ll just go elsewhere. What we gonna do next year when Tebow, our big tailback is gone?

  8. although not blowing them out we were very close. a few plays this way or that and we would be hearing a different tone. in all i think that we played a great game in typical sec fashion and that the days of dropping fifty sixty points might be over but the victories for florida are still gona be coming. in the sec a wins a win and theres no trophy for second place. or a moral win for a team because they didnt get beat up as bad theres, no sympathy in the sec all that ended many years ago between florida and tennessee

  9. A stat which was lost in the final results was that Tebow is one of only three SEC quarterbacks to have never lost a game to TN over the course of their four year college career, just as Petey J said. He actually looked a little tight out there but Meyer’s assessment that he elected to play conservatively when it became apparent TN was not playing to win explains a lot. It should speak volumes to recruits that TN would enter ANY football game just playing to keep it close and not get blown out. I think they deserve a hardy round of congratulations for not losing horrendously. Very impressive for recruits who are part of winning high school programs. I would hope that the class and winning tradition that Meyer brings to the Gator program as opposed to the obnoxious empty bantering Kiffin has brought to TN will sway the recruits that the Gator program deserves. Kiffin’s smack talking is ignorant and the type of hard working team players Meyer wants will more than likely be turned off by that petty TN coach and his lack of leadership.

  10. FLA victory over Tenn was GREAT. I love what they did – kept it conservative, ran ran ran. I love it. FLA didn’t give Tenn a chance to intercept, to hammer Tebow and take huge losses of yards, to hammer Tebow into a fumble in the backfield. I love it and will take a double digit win over Tenn every year. 5 straight. FLA fans need to realize that the MEDIA/Gambling Experts/Losers who caused this stupid reaction by talking heads and fans that somehow this game was a “moral victory” for Tenn. Ingnorant!!! Stupid!!! This was a fantastic victory for FLA by 10 points over an always talented Tenn team with speed, power, running and defense. Yes, there QB has not been consistent and is not Tebow BUT, FLA receiving is said to be inept (w/out Harvin) and running has not had an NFL/triple A back since Emmitt. Don’t let the Media do this to you FLA fans. I knew going in that the game would be close/tough. Same way the GA, SC, LSU and FSU games will be and maybe KY and VAN. Take heart.

  11. GO GATORS!!! I am so stoked over the 10 point victory over the idiot Kiffin and arrogant Tenn. Repeat after me FLA fans – I will take one point wins over KY, LSU, VAN, GA, FSU and anybody else left on FLA’s schedule and be happy. I just want the “W” baby. I will not let the Gambling/Losers “line” or the so-called “talking heads” sway my thinking that somehow FLA must win by large number of points to justify their greatness. They just need to win. Remember, we play 5-6 games every year against the greatest FB powers of the last 20 years. It’s a FACT. I have done the analysis. Check it out. If you simply grade the teams based on average wins per year over last 9 years, avg wins per year over the last 4 and Natl Championships, FLA has one of the toughest schedules, year-in and year-out, in the Country. I have done the Analysis. 18 teams qualify as the greatest, most consistent and dominant FB programs in the USA based on my matrix mentioned above. The SEC has won the last 3 Natl Championships. FLA (3), LSU (2), Miami (5), FSU (2), AL (1) and Tenn (1) account for 14 Natl Championships out of 25 years since 1983. What should jump out at you is that FLA plays 3 of the 5 teams every year, has played AL 6x in SEC champ game and played Miami 4x. I challenge anyone to tell me who plays a more demanding schedule year in and year out with 5-6 games every year against the greatest FB powers of the last 25 years.

  12. Mike Plant: You worry too much. Don’t forget the big picture here. UT had months and years of game tape to watch and prepare offensive and defensive plans. UF had two game tapes that may not have been much help. At worse UF should be faulted for tring to out think and over prepare for UT. Additionally, UT played a heck of a defensive game, I give them props. Now lets see if they continue or was this just a one off (as I think).

  13. […] Originally Posted by rsg87gator So you are saying Max Starks in not a good player, he only started on 2 super bowl winning teams. I will agree however that UT has definitely turned out the better pros. Dunk was at the UF UT game with a gator visor on. I really believe he is a silent to UF and will be announcing soon. Florida-Tennessee aftermath – The Scout Leader – Gator Sports – Gainesville, FL – Archive […]

  14. As Mack Brown said with Tex, “this schedule is about survival.” So, I am now just as happy with the win and lets move on. It’s Kentucky time and they won’t lay over. I don’t know if Hartline has improved but Randall Cobb is definitely used more and that can’t hurt. I am looking forward to big things from the defense and special teams again.

  15. Class from a man who runs up the scare when possible and makes excuses when it si not is not anyone I would brag about Stuart. And just because Uban says TN was not playing to win does not make it so. And to suggest that TN is recruiting illegally is ludicrous, especially coming from a school whose coach recruits players’ girlfriends, discourages visits by committed players because he is worried that they might someplace that they like better and harasses prospects whilr they or on visits to other schools is ludicrous, Petey. Gow up.

  16. Hey gator Al. Not worrying, too much (lol), but having coach twenty years I know the importance of getting players ready, but then getting them into the game as well. Sometimes you have to put them into the fire to get the results and experience that you are looking for. I agree with you about the preparation part for sure and I did lose sight of that. I guess we used this strategy in 06 and came out pretty good. I know we have the personel we just need to get them some game experience.

  17. Thanks for not blowing us out LOL, You guys are new money Tradition goes back further than 15 years, until Spurrier you were not on the map, UT has more football national championships and SEC championships. Enjoy what was the florida reign. Time for reality to set in this is teblows last year and i would not be surprised to the urban myth at another school next year that is urbans way.

  18. Posted earlier; “This game is about survival!” Dumd ole Lanie Kiffen may be smarter than we think guys. Seems to me he made all those crazy comments in the pre-season to get all the players and media so hyped about this game to take all the pressure off his players (and put it on him) and we all forgot that this is still UT; a school that can, and always will, recruit top talent. Think about it; players such as Eric Berry, Hardesty and freshman Bryce Brown (watch out for this guy in the future) was probably so sick to their stomachs from hearing for months about how the Gators were gonna hang 60 on them and they didnt stand a chance in hell! Whether or not Kiffy can REALLY coach is yet to be seen but I say his strategy in this (all the “Lame” pre-season comments) was absolutely brilliant! So as all the media and us fans were sitting here saying, and hyping up, how the mighty Gators will destroy UT because of Kiffy, Urban sat back and really saw what was going on, hence the very conservative play calling; doing what he had to do to win the game and nothing else. Great job by the #1 team in the nation, the best college player to ever step on the field and the greatest UF coach ever! BTW, Urban will continue to fullfill recruitng needs to fit a national championship team. Teams (UT) can boast all they want about recruiting rankings but its not about rankings, its about quality and the “IT” factor and Meyer, not Kiffy, sees the “IT” factor in his recruits whereas Kiffy looks for the 5 star UM thugs!