High school seasons all across the country are winding down, which means recruiting will begin to pick up again. Early enrollees will have to start making up their minds and official visits will be heating up. Rivalry games. Early Christmas gifts for teams. This time of year sure does get exciting. On to the questions!
Due to their offensive experience in high school, could Travon Van, Demar Dorsey, Jaylen Watkins, and/or Jordan Haden possibly play WR? On another note, what are the chances of Josh Haden coming here, and which position would he play?
— Zach Abolverdi
Of those guys, I think Van would have the best shot at playing offense for the Gators. Though, I think he’ll be more of a defensive back, but he’s got the athletic ability to play in the slot and the backfield. However, Florida will return all four running backs from this year and Mack Brown will be on campus, so that backfield will be very busy and very crowded. Florida will possibly lose cornerback Joe Haden to the NFL Draft, so his spot would be up for grabs starting this spring. The secondary is where I see all of these prospects getting the most time.
I talked to a source close to Josh Haden who said he’s not looking at Florida. The backfield is too crowded, which is smart because if he wants to play, he would have to pass a lot of bodies at UF. Nothing wrong with that. He left Boston College and wants to play as soon as he can. Even though he would have to sit out a year if he transferred to UF, Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps, Mike Gillislee and Brown could all still be on campus when he was eligible to play.
What is the situation between Joshua Shaw and Cody Riggs? It looks like we are closing in on Shaw, who is bigger and and arguably better. With Riggs, we seem to have been his leader for some time and he is a great athlete too. The problem is we can probably only take one. If Riggs tries to pull the trigger early, will we put him on hold to see what Shaw does? Who would you rather have?
— Romans 8:31
This is kind of a good problem that Florida has. If Florida can get Shaw, they’d definitely take him. Riggs appears to be a strong Florida lean right now, but who knows if he would want to wait around for Florida to see if it’s going to get a guy like Shaw. The thing with Shaw is that he’s already officially visited. Florida has already had its big selling day with him. Riggs will officially visit for the Florida State game, so if Florida’s staff is convinced that Shaw might be harder to get by then, they’ll have time to sweet talk Riggs some more.
The problem comes if the staff waits on Shaw and then loses out on Riggs because he doesn’t want to take a back seat to him. Then they could easily lose Shaw as well. I’m sure the staff is smart enough to figure ways around all that, though. Ohio State is a major player for Shaw and could be the leader right now. He’s set to announce at the Under Armour game in January.
Shaw has a couple inches on Riggs and is much heavier. In my opinion, he’s got better potential as well. Just a really talented athlete. But Riggs holds his own. He’s got great speed and would fit in with Florida’s defense all the same.
Why doesn’t a coach like Urban Meyer, call out other coaches who lie to recruits about him or his program? For example, the coaches who were/are telling recruits Urban is going to Notre Dame. The ones telling recruits that their offense is better preparation for the NFL than UF’s, with evidence to the contrary, etc. … If Lane Kiffin wants to use the media to get UT’s program talked about, Meyer should have the media grill Kiffin about his antics. It has cost UF and will in the future if someone doesn’t call him out and make him justify the comments to recruits.
Meyer doesn’t have that much to benefit from by calling out other coaches. Then it just turns into more immature games in an already immature recruiting world. I’m sure Meyer has words about other coaches and schools, but I really can’t speak for what he has said because I’ve never been there. He has taken a few shots at coaches when he’s met with the media, but not many. He’s more of a players’ guy. He’d rather talk about how players and the schemes win games, not coaches. Meyer now has the advantage of saying that his offense has won two out of three national championships, produced a potential NFL Rookie of the Year (Percy Harvin) and has the chance to win a third championship this year. I won’t sit here and be naive and think that he doesn’t call other coaches out when talking to recruits (look at Patrick Peterson and what Meyer said about LSU academics), but I don’t think that he has to come out in public and display his disdain for coaches like you’d like.
As for negative recruiting costing Florida recruits, it happens all the time. If a kid isn’t feeling a school, he won’t go there. What an opposing coach says about a program has some influence, but I don’t think it’s the biggest factor in kids defecting from other schools.
Who are the possible recruits that could jump ship, committed or not, if Charlie Strong finally gets a head coaching gig?
The problem with this is that if Strong gets a head coaching job, it might not happen until right before or after Florida’s bowl game, like Dan Mullen last year. The prospect who has the best relationship with Strong is Port St. Lucie Treasure Coast linebacker Jeff Luc. His relationship with Strong has been the biggest selling point in Florida’s recruitment of Luc. The issue for Florida is that Luc is an early enrollee, so if Strong situation isn’t settled in time, Luc could take the safe route and go elsewhere (Tennessee). If Strong takes a head coaching job before Luc commits anywhere, it could give Florida enough time to talk to Luc about who could replace him. If Luc values Strong’s relationship that much and will weigh his decision on what Strong does, Florida might have to work a bit harder down the road. I’m not saying Strong will take a job this year, but there’s talk about teams wanting to contact him.
Every defensive player the Gators go after has to talk to Strong, so each will be interested in his situation, but I don’t think anyone is more concerned than Luc.