Not much to say this week so on to the questions!
Any inside information on why Jordan Haden and Adrian Coxson bolted? Could this have an impact on 2011 recruiting?
From what I can gather, both left for very similar reasons. It was initially reported that Coxson left because he was homesick. He’s from Baltimore and has transferred to Maryland, so that makes sense. But when talking with him, he said he wasn’t homesick. Things just didn’t work out for him at Florida. Players and coaches liked him and he seemed to like the people he was around, but I honestly think there was a feeling that he didn’t know if he could crack the depth chart at Florida. He even said after transferring that he was looking to play early and he didn’t think that was a possibility with the Gators. These kids aren’t dumb. They know what each guy around them brings and where players will likely be on the depth chart. If he felt he wasn’t going to be in line for playing time, then it was probably wise to leave. He’ll get a year to learn and then four more years of eligibility at Maryland.
As for Haden, I think things were expected of him because of his last name. Joe did a great job at Florida, and Jordan had a lot to live up to. Obviously, both parties should have thought about that before Jordan committed, but when you’re happy, you’re happy. Things always change and once Jordan came in and wasn’t playing like Joe, the realization hit that he wasn’t going to impact Florida like his brother did. From what I’ve been told, Jordan loved Gainesville, his coaches and teammates, but found it hard to live up to everything Joe did. It’s no fault of his own, but even Urban Meyer said that guys with those famous last names get held to a higher standard. I think Jordan just wasn’t on the same level as his brother.
As for the 2011 class, Florida now has a couple of spots open that it could use in this class. I thought from the beginning that Florida would take 25 players this year. Now, the staff could take 27 or roll one — or both — over for 2012. It really depends on which class the staff feels will have more value. It certainly gives them more leeway with this class and will allow them to do more if needed. I expect 26 spots in this class now.
Ed, now that James Wilder, Jr., is going to FSU, will Meyer expedite his pursuit of Mike Blakely?
Blakely is a guy who is in a very interesting situation. He’s said for the longest time that Florida was his leader, but there has been no commitment. Now, Auburn seems to have made a jump and he’s claiming to have no school on top. Things have gone back and forth with Blakely at times. He told me he’s taking his time, but there is some talk that maybe Florida’s staff is waiting on other options. I wouldn’t be surprised by the latter because it appears that Jersey City, N.J., St. Peter’s Prep running back Savon Huggins and Punta Gorda Charlotte’s Mike Bellamy could be the top guys on Florida’s board.
Blakely’s chances of ending up in Florida’s class certainly increased with Wilder picking FSU, but I’m not sure if it will speed up the process or not. If Florida is going after other running backs, then Blakely is kind of at the mercy of Florida’s staff. If not, then I wouldn’t be surprised to see Blakely make his commitment sooner than expected.
Lately I have been hearing a lot of rumors that DE Ray Drew is really interested in the Gators. What are our chances with him?
Drew is a prospect everyone is interested in these days. He’s saying that he’s really got no true recruiting plans and he remains wide open. The only official visit he has set up is LSU on Oct. 16. That doesn’t mean the Tigers are in front — that’s just as far as he’s gotten with everything. Because he’s so low-key when it comes to recruiting, it’s hard to get a solid read on him. From all accounts, Florida is a team that will be in contention for him for a while, but watch out for Georgia and Auburn. Both schools have been saying all the right things, from what I’ve heard. Defensive end is a position that Florida is looking to add to this year, so Drew knows his chances of playing earlier are pretty decent at Florida. He should start to open up more about recruiting as his senior year progresses.