With the loses of receivers coach Billy Gonzales (LSU) and defensive coordinator Charlie Strong (Louisville) I wanted to know how the recruiting visits and talks were going with the other Florida assistant coaches. Running backs coach Kenny Carter said early last week that even without those two — who were considered top recruiters for the Gators — he and the other assistants haven’t had to adjust much.
Urban Meyer spent all week recruiting, mainly in California, and is the Gators’ No. 1 recruiter. Period. End of discussion. The assistants are very, very important, but Florida has one of the best in the game. So while new relationships will have to be made, Florida isn’t missing much with Meyer at the helm. Yes, Chris Martin (California) and Jeff Luc (Florida State) were probably affected by the loss of those two assistant coaches, but Florida is still in the running for top players at defensive end and linebacker, so it’s not like this class will completely fall apart.
I mean, Carter just smiled when I asked him if he and the other assistants were having to move fast once Gonzales left for LSU.
“We got the receivers coach (Zach Azzani) the next day and we moved forward,” Carter said. “In this profession you’re going to have transition. It’s part of it, so you get another coach. There’s a long line of people that want to coach at Florida. We’re moving right along.”
Since Gonzales and Strong left, the Gators lost out on two very talented players, but picked up two solid athletes in the process. Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas cornerback Cody Riggs and West Palm Beach Dwyer receiver Robert Clark both committed to the Gators. Not bad when you get two players from two positions that just saw major movement in coaching.
But what about Carter? His name has come up in discussions concerning jobs elsewhere. There were rumors that he was ready to leave with Strong. How would recruits respond? Would other schools put the pressure on recruits and tell them Carter would be gone soon? How would Carter make his recruiting pitch to guys like prized running back commit Mack Brown? Carter was instrumental in landing him and things would get pretty interesting if he decided to leave.
All that drama I just spouted really leads up to nothing because Carter said he really didn’t have to say much to recruits about his future.
“You don’t approach them (about his job status) because I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “It’s a non-issue and if they ask me about it I tell them what the deal is and that is that I’m a Gator and I’m not going anywhere.”
News hasn’t been too great around Florida’s program lately, but it seems recruiting is still chugging along.