Didn’t get any questions last week, but got a few this time around. Interesting news coming out concerning Florida recently. It’s almost the final stretch of the recruiting season and things are starting to heat up as players get ready to turn their phones off and their heads on. Early enrollees will be deciding soon and finally official visits will be taken.
On to the questions!
Can you please shed some light on Justin Hunter and what our chances are of pulling him. He seems to have come on late so I guess that’s why nobody has really talked him up much. But this would be much appreciated. As always … Go Gators.
— Simply Biznes
Hunter is actually a very interesting case. The Virginia Beach, Va., Ocean Lakes wide receiver is committed to LSU and has said that he’s still very strongly committed to the Tigers, but he was heavily recruited by Billy Gonzales while he was at Florida. Gonzales influenced him to take an official visit to UF last week and then left for LSU. You’d think that just increased LSU’s security of Hunter, but a source told me recently that Hunter came to UF and left loving his experience, even without Gonzales there. He apparently is very interested in Florida’s track program and brought his high school track coach with him, not his parents. Florida recently hired Dick Booth as its new jumps coach, and from what I was told, Hunter really connected with him. I’m hoping to have more information on Hunter in the coming days, but as of now, things have really heated up with UF and it looks like Gonzales being at LSU won’t be that much of a factor.
Ed, what is the latest an early enrollee can declare? I know there is no official “signing day” for kids who do, but logistically speaking there must be a time frame as far as when classes begin and whatnot.
— Tim Tracy
It’s a little tricky, but an early enrollee has as long as he wants to commit. Signing day (early February) is the day that all recruits sign, regardless of being on campus or not. A recruit has to physically be on campus and register for classes before he’s bound by his letter of intent. Now, take Matt Elam for instance. He is set to arrive on campus in January, but because of the Army All-American Bowl, he won’t be able to get on campus until after Jan. 9. Classes at UF begin on the 5th, I believe, so Elam really could play out his recruitment until after the Army game if he wanted. Once he gets on campus and registers, he’s bound to Florida and has to abide by regular transfer rules.
Edward, could you explain what a silent commitment is and why some players choose that way of committing? Thanks!
A silent commit is just a headache for everyone involved. They are usually players that have committed to a school, but don’t want to go public because they want to go on visits and play the game (see Pahokee receiver Chris Dunkley). But sometimes, silents are made silent by coaching staffs in order to see what other prospects will do. Sometimes coaching staffs want to keep guys quiet in order to see what recruits they covet more might be thinking or what they might do as far as a commitment. Sometimes it’s safe, but sometimes prospects can get annoyed with being kept quiet because there is someone out there that is a little higher on a school’s list. This is where kids get tired of a school and just decide to cut ties completely. Silents are a tricky situation and can cause problems at times — and drive recruitniks crazy. They aren’t truly committed, so they are never publicly placed on recruiting sites.
Edward, what happened with Jeff Luc and what is the chance he will change back to UF?
— Ken Frier
Luc was such an interesting recruit to follow. I only spoke with him briefly throughout the recruiting season, but when I had some sort of communication with him, it always seemed like Florida had the upper hand. And the Gators did, but it was mainly because of former defensive coordinator Charlie Strong. They were so tight. His love for Florida was because of Strong and he wasn’t coming to UF if Strong wasn’t here. Once the coaching talk around Strong increased, Luc backed off. Honestly, even with all the talk about how Florida State was his leader at the beginning of the recruiting season, down the stretch it seemed like Tennessee and Florida were the teams to beat. I’m not sure what happened to Tennessee, but once Luc got the sense that Strong was gone, he was not going to take the risk and play for someone he wasn’t comfortable with. That’s where FSU’s Jimbo Fisher came into play. The two were pretty close throughout and Luc felt more at home with a staff that had a guy like Fisher. FSU adding closure to the Bobby Bowden saga has helped more in recruiting than a lot of people imagined.