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.