Ask Aschoff 11/11

Just a few questions this week, but good ones nonetheless. Like I’ve said the last couple weeks, this is the point in the season when recruiting will really be buzzing. Early enrollees will be making decisions or taking very, very important official visits. Rivalry games are coming up, which means the big-time visits will be amazing for prospects. Get ready for an exciting time in recruiting.
On to the questions!

I live in the Atlanta area and saw Gainesville, Ga., QB/WR/Athlete Blake Sims play. I am over 55 and have seen a lot of football, and he is head and shoulders better than any I have ever watched. He has committed to Alabama, and UGA is hot on him. Any chance the Gators could steal him away to play the Percy position?
— Ken Frier

Florida hasn’t offered Sims, who is, as you said, a very talented athlete. He committed to Alabama back in April and has barely talked about the Gators during the entire process. I think Florida’s staff has a clear idea about the offensive athletes it wants in this class, and Urban Meyer won’t waste his time if he doesn’t think he can get a prospect. But I think Sims is looking around. He’s a Bama guy, but Georgia has put some heat on him lately. If there was a team that could switch him over, it would be Georgia.

We have (Quinton) Dunbar, (Solomon) Patton, and we are rumored to already have (Chris) Dunkley as a silent. How many more spots do we have for the WR position? Who are the likely candidates to fill the spots out of (Ivan) McCartney, (Christian) Green, (Kenny) Stills, (Kenny) Shaw, (Trovon) Reed, (maybe flipping a commit?), etc. Who does the staff want the most? Who are your favorites?
— Rom 8:31

With three receivers locked up, I think Florida’s staff would like to go after at least three more. Florida will lose Riley Cooper, Brandon James and David Nelson after this season and return eight guys — if attrition doesn’t strike. I know it seems like eight receivers is a lot, but none are proven. Deonte Thompson will have the most experience, but it doesn’t seem like he’s trusted on the field. Meyer and receivers coach Billy Gonzales have always said they’d like to get 10 or more guys at the position a year. Getting six guys could be a stretch, but from the way the receivers have played this season, it’s obvious this team needs some more talent out there.

Dunkley is the guy. He’s the one the staff wants — and probably has. He’s been on campus plenty of times, and even though he has yet to officially visit, he doesn’t really need to at this point. He probably will, but he’s in Gainesville so much that it wouldn’t even matter.

To me, McCartney is the next one in line. He’s got great size (6-foot-3, 180 pounds) and speed and would be a great weapon in Florida’s offense. The thing with him is that he’s been very quiet when it comes to recruiting, so it’s hard to get a good read on him. He’s got Florida, Miami, West Virginia and Oregon at the top of his list, but I think this is a three-horse race with Oregon on the outside. He will visit the Gators for the Florida State game on Nov. 27, and with that atmosphere, he could be heavily swayed.

Green is the third guy the staff will probably look to lock up. He’s had Florida at or near the top for most of the recruiting process, and I will give the edge to the Gators over Georgia in the end. Green is also a guy that could line up in the backfield and play a little wildcat.
That’s six receivers right there, but Florida could go after any one of those other guys mentioned in the question if one of these three doesn’t work out. This is where a run at Reed, who will be a great uphill battle for Florida, or a Stills or Shaw could happen.

I wonder if (possibly getting Joshua Shaw) will eliminate the chances of (Cody) Riggs committing??
— Zach Abolverdi

I looked at the numbers recently and if Shaw were to commit to Florida, the Gators would have two other guys — Jaylen Watkins and Travon Van — coming in as corner prospects. Add Riggs to the equation and the Gators would have four corners in this class. That’s not a ridiculously high number. I don’t think Riggs would be deterred at all because this team plays with so many defensive backs on the field. Just check out that nifty “Joker” package. I go back to 2007 when the Gators were riddled with young guys in the defensive backfield. It hurt them because all the inexperience translated into a lot of points for other teams. If the Gators can bring all these defensive backs on campus, they’ll have time to learn and get some limited playing time. Four corners is nothing too crazy for a team to bring in when looking to add some depth in the next couple of years.


  1. What are the chances that Florida will recruit a BIG, heavy duty tailback such as Jalston Fowler out of Alabama. Seems that with Tebow leaving next year Florida will need at least a couple of big (240 lb) tailbacks (not just blocking fullbacks):
    POWER up the middle, not just the small tailbacks. (200 pounds is small by today’s standards. Alabama is reportedly stocking up on some big running backs and they would add another dimension to Floirda’s spread.

  2. You mention that we only have Watkins and Van at CB so far, but what about Dorsey? He is still a commit, and if you include him with Shaw, we are at 4 already. I still think we get Riggs as well, but I sure hope we keep Dorsey in the fold…

  3. I saw Shane Matthews on Pat Dooley’s show and he was talking about the Junior QB on his team throwing for ove 400 yards in a game. Is he a player that the Gators are interested in for the 2011 recruiting class to give them a “Brantley” type QB to balance the more run oriented Trey Burton?

  4. Edward, thanks for your updates and perspective. Has Raleigh, NC area quarterback Garrett Leatham shown up anywhere on your radar? He’s a 6-6 junior, big man for one of best basketball teams in our state, is throwing for over 400 ypg, dominating top classifiction hs defenses for Middle Creek High School. Big arm, gettng attention. Not a runner but can move on basketball court.

  5. Enjoy your articles and responses! Somewhere, somehow, I picked up the name of STEPHEN ALLI, a 6’5″ WR, Gator ’10 commitment. I have not been able to locate him on Rival or Scout. Is he a Jr. College transfer, or am I completely “off”. While you are at it, do we have any JC’s in the works? Thanks!!!