Alabama game recruiting

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All those Gator ledge-jumpers should calm down for a second.

Well, those concerned about the team’s offensive woes after the mortifying display at Alabama, stay put.

Those there because they are afraid Bama’s 31-6 rout inside one of the most impressive stadiums in the country and in front of one of the most tenacious crowds I’ve ever seen, relax.

Yes, Florida looked overmatched and that was a pretty amazing atmosphere to be a part of, but Florida shouldn’t feel too much of a negative repercussion as far as recruiting is concerned. Not only was a small group of prospects Florida is heavily going after in attendance, but this game means little in the grand scheme of recruiting — for the Gators at least.

For Alabama, yes, this was an incredible way to treat recruits. For guys interested in the Tide, this game only rivals the season finale against Auburn in excitement.

For Florida, it meant little as far as going after prospects.

First, not many prospects who were in attendance are guys of interest for Florida. That’s not to say they aren’t talented. I mean, Nick Saban pretty much showed he’s rivaling Urban Meyer as the nation’s best recruiter with the talent he showed Saturday. A question that should be asked is if Florida will start to piggyback Saban for guys after major difference in talent seen on that field?

Guys who were of major interest to Florida’s staff included tight end commitment A.C. Leonard (Jacksonville University Christian), West Palm Beach Dwyer defensive end Curt Maggit, St. Augustine Pedro Menendez linebacker Tony Steward and Tide safety commit Hasean Clinton-Dix (Orlando Dr. Phillips).

Some other prospects there on Florida’s radar were Moultrie, Ga., Colquitt County offensive tackle Xzavier Ward, Lagrange, Ga., Troup athlete Quan Bray and Griffin, Ga., defensive end Xzavier Dickson.

There were tons of prospects in Tuscaloosa, but Florida wasn’t either in it for or going after a bunch.

One thing that could unease Gator fans is the fact Leonard made his second official visit of the year away from Gainesville. He told Rivals.com he thoroughly enjoyed his trip to Alabama and he’s got some thinking to do. He hasn’t changed his mind on Florida and still considers himself a Gator commit. Remember, from the start he said he was planning to take all of his official visits.

Secondly, with how Florida played, depth becomes a factor for Gator recruits. This could be one of those games where prospects look and see where they could fit in, where they could make plays that didn’t happen. It seems at this point, there’s more emphasis put on playing time and early contributions.

It’s also a way to fire up committed players. From the guys I’ve talked to, they’re even more motivated after a loss they didn’t even take part in. This has turned into a pride situation for some Gator commits. That helps recruits bond rather than waver.

Another reason Gator fans shouldn’t fret over the loss? This is just one loss. As ugly as it was, outside of the last two games with the Tide, Florida hasn’t lost much. It’s not like losing is an on-going trend.

When it starts to be, that’s when you should worry.

I’ve gotten a lot of messages about how this loss might affect Florida’s recruiting efforts from here on out, so I felt it necessary to give my opinion on the matter.

I’m not saying this will jump-start recruiting for Florida, but I definitely don’t think it will crush this class or the next.

15 COMMENTS

  1. My concern is that this game and the SECCG makes us look like weaklings compared to the UA big boys. We looked like the JV. I know we are young but they lost players and they came back strong. They knew what they were doing and we, not so much. If you were a stud athlete which would you choose? Would you go where there is a plan or where they are trying to find a plan? If the kids want an education then UF is the place. However, these kids see themselves in the NFL (wrong)and will go where the spotlight is brighest. I am a UF fan of 60yrs and love Urban for what he has done but we lost a lot.

  2. All due respect , how could anyone who knows college football and how recruiting is tied closely to how the powers that be [UA / UF] in the SEC perform on Saturday, could say that a beatdown like UA put on the Gators will not effect their recruiting , why do you think UF has gotten 4 & 5 star blue chippers the last 4 years , not by getting their tails handed to them like they did Saturday night . But by winning games in that fashion , to believe otherwise is , well for a lack of a better word , delusional . I’m sorry if this hurt’s the feeling’s of the Gator nation , but why would any blue chipper who wants to play for the best pick UF over the Tide .
    This is why Florida will always be a every now and then team to contend with , in big time college football perception is not reality.

  3. If Urban keeps running options with our pro-style, passing quarterback, he can forget about ever getting another top-flight passer to commit to Florida. Also, if you’re a blue-chip running back or wide receiver, would you commit to an offense that seems to waste a ton of talented guys at those positions? Just sayin’. I’d really like to see the Gators utilize our weapons instead of, for instance, running the fastest back in the nation up the middle time after time. Do we have a screen pass in our arsenal? Do we have any passes for the tight end over the middle? We never seem to do the simple plays every other team uses so effectively.

  4. “Nick Saban pretty much showed he’s rivaling Urban Meyer as the nation’s best recruiter”

    I think you have that reversed. Urban Meyer rivals Nick Saban as the nation’s best recruiter.

    According to Scout.com

    2011 (currently) Bama 3rd, UF 9th
    2010 Bama 4th, UF 1st
    2009 Bama 2nd, UF 21st
    2008 Bama 1st, UF 12th

    4 year Average recruiting ranking since Saban arrived in TitleTown
    Alabama 2.5
    Florida 10.75

    Roll Tide. 63-19

  5. Roll Tide: I think Saban’s recruiting will only get better and could surpass Meyer soon, but I think recruiting rankings are an irrelevant way to judge that. If you look at ESPN and Rivals, Alabama’s classes haven’t been on the same level as Florida. Stars and ratings mean nothing. Alabama has a more talented team right now, but not because Scout or Rivals says so.

  6. Sexton: It’s one game this year. If Florida continues to lose, then there’s a problem, but every team has a down year/game. I’d say the same about Bama if Florida beat them as badly. Unless it becomes a trend throughout the season it won’t hurt recruiting in the grand scheme of things.

  7. Gator fans chill. I know Im going to get blasted here but as a Bama fan, this was ONE game. Round 2 in Atlanta and its almost impossible to beat a team twice in this league in one year. You guys have struggled at times but you still won, something good teams do. I see Meyer and Saban as different styles and philosophies but awesome coaches. Best of luck saturday aginst the hat a.k.a “the luckiest coach on the planet” Roll Tide and Go Gators.!

  8. “I think Saban’s recruiting will only get better and could surpass Meyer soon, but I think recruiting rankings are an irrelevant way to judge that. If you look at ESPN and Rivals, Alabama’s classes haven’t been on the same level as Florida. Stars and ratings mean nothing.”

    Edward, If recruiting rankings are “irrelevant”, then how does Alabama DOMINATE UF 2 straight outings? Coaching? And as far as looking at ESPN and Rivals rankings, Alabama has better average rankings in the last 4 years…so the comment that “Alabama classes haven’t been on the same level as UF” is false. You are looking through you UF glasses. I think you need a new prescription. Must be Todd or HHO’s “Holding Calls” that are the difference between the progamrs lol ….Roll Tide! 63-19

  9. Roll Tide: I love your enthusiasm and recruiting knowledge. Good stuff my man. I’m just not so sold on recruiting rankings for anyone. I have liked Florida’s talent a little more than Alabama’s over the last few years. Now, what Saban has done after they get on campus is another topic. He’s been amazing at developing talent and using what he has correctly. Watching that team last week was fun. Meyer gets great talent, but sometimes it seems to me like it takes a little longer for that talent to truly contribute. That’s changed a little this year with so many freshmen getting on the field.

    Also I have no UF glasses. I threw those out when I started covering the team. I stick to Oakley and Ray Ban or my $10 Element sunglasses that I lost …

  10. LOL…thats cool. They still must be prescription or tinted. 🙂

    Good luck against Coach Lesticles. I hope you beat them badly.

    PS – Coach Saban has an “easy” button on his desk. Isn’t that kind of like Les Miles having a clock on his?