Gators looking to pounce on UM prospects

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The firing of a Miami head coach just before the recruiting season really starts to take off used to be huge news. But Randy Shannon’s firing isn’t causing many ripples in the recruiting world.

Currently, Miami has just seven verbal commitments in its 2011 class, but already has four in its 2012 class.

A couple of the big names in 2011 for the Hurricanes are Tampa Alonso defensive end Anthony Chickillo, Miami Northwestern athlete Teddy Bridgewater and Brockton, Mass., cornerback Albert Louis-Jean.

The class isn’t the greatest, but there are guys who Florida’s staff has been interested in for a while.

Chickillo has already seen Florida’s interest in him increase greatly. Florida coach Urban Meyer called him Sunday morning to tell him that he was now personally recruiting him. This came shortly before it was announced that former defensive line coach Dan McCarney would be taking the head-coaching job at North Texas. McCarney’s absence probably led to Meyer’s decision to take over Chickillo’s recruitment, but he made it clear after the loss to Florida State that he’ll be focusing more of his time to recruiting in the next few months, so he could be personally recruiting a lot more of Florida’s top targets.

When Chickillo committed to Miami in September, Florida was one of the top schools in the running. A Miami legacy, it was no shocker that he picked the Hurricanes, but Florida never really got out of his ear. The coaches have been recruiting him ever since, and now the heat should be considerably turned up on him.

Now that Jeoffrey Pagan has decommitted, Florida is in desperate need for a quality defensive end. Chickillo is one of the top defensive linemen still left on Florida’s board. Rivals.com ranks him as the nation’s No. 6 defensive end.

The other Miami commitment Florida has always had some interest in is Vero Beach offensive lineman Marcus Jackson. Jackson committed to Miami in February, but has always shown interest in Florida. He was one of the top linemen at Friday Night Lights in July and was seen talking with a few of Florida’s coaches throughout the night. Jackson has been wavering on his Miami commitment for a while and a source said this weekend that Jackson’s interest in Florida only continues to grow. While Jackson hasn’t decommitted since Shannon’s firing, he has become more vocal about taking visits.

“My commitment is pretty soft right now,” Jackson told Rivals. “I have to watch and see what happens to the coaching staff and see who they hire. I have to see if I like the coaching staff they hire.”

One uncommitted player to keep an eye on is Miami Monsignor Pace safety Jabari Gorman. Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin paid him a visit this fall and Gorman said recently that he’s showing a lot more interest in Florida. Miami, Ohio State and Alabama are still his top schools.

63 COMMENTS

  1. This all sounds wonderful, even better if we can either get Addazio to step aside as OC and become a full time o line coach. I would also love to see Kerwin Bell and yes I said Kerwin come and be the OC. With this spring coming up it is important for us to find a good OC and heat up the competion between Reed and Drisckell. Brantley would be a solid back up if he decides not to transfer.

  2. Either Addazio be full time o line coach or nothing and I almost want to stick with the later because the o line has not shown any improvement since 08′ when Tebow was barely touched. Out of all possible OC’s available Kerwin Bell seems to be the most suitable for our offense being that he runs a spread similar to ours and because all of his Gator ties.

  3. Addazio is a plague to this year’s team and is a major negative to our recruiting. NO offensive recruit that’s watched this season’s offense is going to believe a word out of SA’s mouth. The man is an unqualified amateur at best as OC, and why he hasn’t been fired and is being allowed to interact with recruits we’re interested in is self-destructive IMO.

  4. Ken it’s simple, Kerwin is HC at a school that doesn’t even offer athletic scholarships and this would be an awesome opp. for him to show he can handle the big stage, in whitch I think he is more than capable of doing. look at the stats his offense has been putting up on scholarships schools. It would be be perfect for him and UF.

  5. Kerwin Bell? Why not just lop off a couple of fingers while we’re at it. We need someone innovative and proven if we’re going to get some excitement generated for the top offensive recruits — not to mention our fickle-*ss fan base.

  6. Kerwin Bell makes perfect sense for the OC job but I dont see it happening unless Urban is willing to abandon his feelings toward the spread. Kerwin would bring a wide open attack that would be compatible to the players currently on the roster.The ball is in Urban’s court and I dont see him making the move. I hope I am wrong.

  7. I have heard Kerwin on the radio here in Jax and he’s basically said that while he would definitely be interested in returning to UF in some capacity, his and Urban’s offensive philosophies are about as opposite as you can get and therefore he couldn’t see himself coaching under Urban. Kerwin does not run a spread similar to ours, which is a run-oriented offense with short passing routes – he runs a Fun and Gun style offense featuring a vertical passing game similar to that of Steve Spurrier.

  8. MARK, Bell runs a spread offense, just not an optio-based one, but he did implement some option into his syetm this past season too. Bell is a qualified OC, and could easily adapt to UF’s system and introduce a quality vertical passing game whereas Addazio has no grasp of passing games.

  9. As much as I support Urban , I agree that we need a chaqnge at OC , or a change is our gameplans. Make Burton a tailback , he is a gifted runner and must not be much of a passer. Keep Reed in the goalline package since he is a true option QB and adds passing to his arsenal. Keep Brantly and groom the new kid

  10. The AD will have strong opinion in the selection of the OC….I have more confidence in Jeremy Foley’s experience (listening to fans, media,staff, players)& vision (what is best for UF athletics) than UM’s
    inability to change his staff…it is my belief that AD has high regards for KB….

  11. Urban will get this turned around, i have faith in him. He’s done it before and now more than ever Urban needs our support as fans. Ive Seen Urban Meyer rebuild this program twice if you count 2007 when we pretty much lost our entire defense (much like this year but no Tebow to lean on) and i dont want any other coach in Gainesville.

  12. Kerwin Bell? Seriously? You guys are too soaked up in nostalgia. This is the University of Florida – and the OC position should be attractive enough to pull in one of the top 5 offensive coordinators in the nation. A head coach in the P-u-neer league is not that guy. We should be throwing around names like Kevin Wilson at Oklahoma or Gus Malzahn at Auburn. After watching a legacy at quarterback throw down the stinkiest Gator season in two decades, highlighted with retro orange uniforms, I’m sorry, but I’m not feeling nostalgic. I don’t want some off the radar guy, I just want THE BEST GUY AVAILABLE.

  13. snaps…get a clue! Kerwin is a VERY SOLID choice for OC. Forget the name guys, I’ll take a winner. And don’t blame Brantley for the lack of production….it starts with play calling and O-Line play. Both of which were the worst I can recall in Hogtown.
    Go Gators!

  14. Snaps, you gotta get your head out of the clouds. All those guys you just named would be great. Only problem is they all are involved in big time football programs already. It wouldn’t make sence for any of them to move unilaterally,duhhh. Besides none of them know Florida football or the magnitude of the many rivalries we have to stay competitive week end and week out. Kerwin would be the best choice and fit without having to bankrupt the program to lure. Lets please stay realistic.

  15. Who’s the OC for Oregon? Their offense is always smoking hot! Defense has been their weakness. I still like the idea of Mike Leach too, but don’t think he’ll take a non HC job.
    Meyer needs to also have a sit down with Austin and see if he’s capable of in-game adjustments. If not, then let’s look for a new DC too.
    I trust the Gators will be a different team next year.
    Go Gators!

  16. Urban knows his coaches and other coaches that might be available better than any of us. All the same, I would love seeing Randy Shannon arrive on the staff and Kerwin added as QB coach/coordinator. I think Steve Adazzio is a terrific OL coach if that’s where he can really focus his teaching and motivational skills. Peter Drucker 45 years ago introduced the business world to the “Peter Principle,” which is that people get promoted for outstanding work until they finally reach a position where they are not competent. They get no more promotions; instead they establish mediocrity. Adazzio is too good of a guy and coach to let that become his story. Go Gators!

  17. Again guys we keep naming OC’s at big time schools. Most of these guys will be head coaches in the next year or so. They wouldn’t just come to Florida and leave a comparible program as far as popularity and resume building is concerned. Those guys have a resume already and are just waiting on HC jobs.

    I too wonder about Austin but the position he coaches which is the secondary was a strength and with a better pass rush could have been lights out. Macarney leaving may just be a blessing in disguise to get some young firery former d lineman to come and coach the dline like Brad Culpepper. I’m just sayin!!!

  18. Chris Klenakis and the Pistol from Nevada is a viable answer. They run the ball 2/3 of the time which Urban seems to favor anyway. Alabama runs the Pistol, but Nevada runs it better because the Pistol operates more efficiently with a true running QB (Sorry Brantley). We need to get this guy before he is snapped up by someone else.

  19. One of the best D-line coaches in the country is FSU’s ODELL HAGGINS. I would love to see URBAN contact him and see if any interest exists!!! Believe me,he is the best young defensive line coach in AMERICA and he has sent many defensive linemen to the pros. He is an FSU alumnus who may want to see what its like in GATORLAND…….

  20. SNAPS, then you don’t know much about modern day offensive coordinators. Bell has run a very successful spread O in Jax and has had tremendous success with it. You obviously know nothing of Bell, who is one of the most impressive offensive minds outside of Spurrier himself. Nostalgis you say? You probably weren’t born when I watched Bell play. The man knows offense.

  21. Coach Myers should have quality coaches in place before he recruits tough-ass players. The memory is still fresh in recruits minds of the poor coaching displayed this year. We already have a great defensive end decommiting. Mark Helfrich, offensive co-ordinator coach of the year, averaging 541 yds per game , I understand is interested in coming to Florida and would make an immediate impact on our offensive players talent. I just cannot see new recruits coming to Florida until they fix the coaching problems.
    Gatormitch

  22. Edward – I knew Pagan blew his knee out and probably won’t play next season but I hadn’t heard he decommitted. Too bad. What are our chances of picking up both Chickillo and Jernigan. That would rival last year’s D-line recruits.

  23. Pagan is a fool. Who decommitts from a top school when they have a torn ACL and PCL. I don’t care if he’s the #3 DE, he’s lucky to even have offers. He might well never play again, with that injury. Throwing it all away to have a hat ceremony on signing day. What will he do when his only hats are NCState and Rutgers?
    ~
    As for Bell, if he also coaches QB’s, I want him. Our biggest weaknesses on offense are organization, playcalling and QB/OL play. Hiring Bell, moving Daz back to OL and firing Loeffler takes care of all those problems. Meyer is very close to Addazzio, so he’s not leaving the team.
    ~
    This is the only way to make it work. It doesn’t have to be Bell, but it DOES need to be a guy who can coach both OC and QB for a spread offense. But if it IS Bell, and he does well, he will stick around and can step up and take over for Meyer if and when he does decide to leave. This is where he’s better than the other guys mentioned, who are only looking to have a quick stopover on their way into a head coaching job. Some stability at OC would be nice for a while.

  24. Urban has to have an OC.addazio is a good offensive line coach not an oc.the spread offense can still but it starts with the qb.Meyer has to decide on a that position first.I think reed is the perfect fit.To bad it took meyer a whole season to figure that out.to much talent not to be in the SEC championship this weekend.

  25. I wish you guys would get off the OC position. There is no OC position. The NCAA limits us to 9 assistants. Our OC has alway been a position coach first, with Mullen it was QB’s. We do not have any openings on the offensive side to bring in someone just to be OC, somebody would have to go. So if you want Kerwin to be OC he would also have to coach a postion. I would assume QB’s. That would mean Loeffle would have to go to make room for Kerwin. But the problem with that is that if Loeffler leaves, Driscal would go elsewhere as it has been reported. Look for Gonzalez to return to coach WR’s and be named OC.

  26. I understand that UF is searching for that “big” back, but ultimately its talent that makes the biggest difference on the field. With that being said, how can we LET a superb talent like Lakeland’s Stewart Butler leave the state. This situation reminds me of the Denard Robinson situation. Butler has smashed EVERY single season record set by Chris Rainey by 200+ yards and still has at least one more game. His field vision is superb, he’s tough to bring down and excels at yards after contact, has WR hands, and sub 4.4 speed. He’s over 2,000 yds this season! How do we not bring Stewart in with Javares?

  27. Fellow Gators one MAJOR PROBLEM I turst will not carry over into next season is our lack of a pass rush from our ends. How did we go from HOF Jack Youngblood, Wilbur Marshall, Kevin Carter, Javon Kearse, Alex Brown, Bobby McCray, Jarvis Moss & Derrick Harvey, Cunningham & Dunlap to Justin Trattou and Duke Lemmons. We finished tied with KENTUCKY for second to LAST in the SEC in sacks one spot ahead of Vandy. I hope as long as Gator football is played we are never in the bottom three with Vandy and Kentucky again. I know how hard Lemmons and Trattou play but the numbers dont lie. P.S. number 67 on our O-line reminds me of an offensive version of Trattou and Lemmons.

  28. The only logical position coach for the OC is Quarterback coach. Besides, Gonzalez isn’t coming back. Remember how he left? Remember that he was AT the party where our best DE got drunk last year before the SECCG? No, Gonzo is PNG around here. He won’t be back.

    I’d rather lose Driskel and have a good staff than vice-versa. If we wouldhave had the right guy at OC last year, we might have DENARD ROBINSON here now playing QB. There are plenty of fish in the sea. We need to have the right fishermen, then worry about the fish later.
    And nobody spout that “it’s not the X’s and O’s, it’s the Jimmy’s and Joe’s” garbage. I think we proved this year that a bunch of top rated Jimmy’s and Joe’s running around the field with no idea what they are doing isn’t a good plan.

  29. Besides, Loeffler needs to go. Tell me what QB he did ANYTHING with this year. He’s a dropback QB coach. We don’t run a dropback QB offense. We need a coach who can teach our guys to run all of our different option plays, and also throw on the run. Frankly, I don’t care if we ever put a QB in the pro’s, I want to win COLLEGE games. If that means taking RB’s and TE’s and turning them into title winning QB’s, so be it.

  30. why is no one talking about azzanni being promoted to OC. I know a lot abouth him and he is the real deal when it comes to high powered fast pace offense. He is high energy and he knows Meyer and his offense front and back. He will be a head coach in the future. Recruits love his personality and high energy and he is just what we need as our OC. SD is an excellent recruiter as well however he needs to stick to offensive line production. Bell would be a good adition but we dont need him when we have a great coach in waiting in Azzanni

  31. As a Gator loyalist from afar, I must comment on the “comments” concerning K. Bell as the new OC. Florida is no place for a high school coach, no matter how successful, to learn the collge coaching game. Adazzio must go. He exemplifies my comments about K. Bell; no experience at the demanding UF/SEC level in the position. Urban needs to look towards the mid-majors or to the recently fired BCS coaching ranks for a new staff. UM’s recently fired head coach would be a coup if Urban could persuade him to join his staff (think South FL recruiting). The ’10 season was a perfect storm for disaster (pardon the cliche): new coaching staff, Urban’s health concerns, and a large senior class exiting to the NFL. The kids on the squad need and will get an opportunity to rove themselves but the coaching staff deserves no such opportunity. Let’s hope the Urban “Decay” doesn’t lead to Urban “Flight” because of poor coaching decisions. It’s time for another round of Urban “Renewal.”

  32. I really don’t care who the OC is. As long as he can evolve with the talent that is always changing. Gameplan around the talent we have and stop trying to force guys into roles that they are not wired to do.

  33. When all is well, fans dont care who the OC is when we have one rough year all hell breaks loose and people start pointing fingers. Urban is a great coach and whatever he does it will work you just got to wait and see, our class coming in looks pretty good and will get better like always. Next year we will turn it around

  34. Move D. Thompson to Safety, he can’t catch, but we know he’s fast and does’nt mind contact. Move O. Hines to the Mike position, he’s built like house, Bostic and JJ are more effective on the outside anyways. And for the love of god, stop requiring players to learn 6 different positions through out the season. If a player could concentrate on one position and one position only, rather than learning 4 differnt playbooks they might perform better…..wait Adazzio’s is only a page and half, nevermind.

  35. One of the best D-line coaches in the country is FSU’s ODELL HAGGINS. I would love to see URBAN contact him and see if any interest exists!!! Believe me,he is the best young defensive line coach in AMERICA and he has sent many defensive linemen to the pros. He is an FSU alumnus who may want to see what its like in GATORLAND…….

    by Danny Jack

    Danny, Danny, Danny…WHAT KIND OF BLASPHEMY ARE YOU TALKING??? HIRE AN FSU FORMER PLAYER AND LEGEND, ARE YOU EFFIN KIDDIN ME???

  36. If you want to have the best coaching staff in the country and your athletic director gives you the go ahead to hire the BEST because your football program has made the UNIVERSITY so much money,THEN YOU GO AFTER THE BEST QUALITY POSITION COACHES TO BUILD YOUR STAFF REGARDLESS OF WHERE HE IS CURRENTLY EMPLOYED AT. I know JEREMY very well and if URBAN wanted to hire someone and the cost was higher than expected,JEREMY would definitely sign off on it. Basically,the GATOR FOOTBALL PROGRAM has an unlimited budget(within reason of course)….and most of all,JEREMY trusts URBAN!!!!! I would love to see ODELL in the orange and blue. He has sent many players to the NFL and is highly respected by his peers. There was 0 PASS RUSH this year and that is coaching!!!!!

  37. Randy Shannon as DC and South Florida Recruiter, Mullen is going to South Beach. Offensive Coordinator needs to be someone who is here for the long run and is able to coach. I watched a video of Addazzio coaching it up on the sideline and all that he did was sit on a bench and watch some of the plays on the field while we were getting our butts handed to us. We need a real time motivator and real time spread OC someone help us out. I don’t know who to say or where to go just give us some one new

  38. Why is everyone on here trying not to discuss Urban’s biggest problem, which is Jimbo Fisher? The Seminoles were 7-6 last year, but Jimbo has the third-best recruiting class in the country. The fact is, Urban isn’t competing with Bowden anymore—he now has met his recruiting match, and a superior game-caller in Fisher. I’m not knocking Urban here, but there is no questioning that Jimbo is a scholar of football whereas Urban is more like a manager of football teams. The recruits see this. They see other things: the culture in Tallahassee, the capital, the campus, the girls, the stadium, the history, the new coach……and it’s just something Urban will have to compete with. He’s been up against two bankrupt programs in FSU and Miami these last six years, but now everything is different at FSU. Ask Urban Meyer about the legacy that Bowden created—these kids (in Florida) want to be Seminoles. And now they can go to FSU and be successful, which hasn’t been the case for eight years. I say Urban has a tough battle ahead. He’s from Ohio, isn’t doing well without Tebow, has health problems, and isn’t showing these kids he can compete with the likes of Jimbo Fisher.

    Danny Jack, Odell Haggins has been at FSU since before I was born.

  39. If I were a top 5 recruit at any position I would want to sign -up with a college that is:
    -a winning program, (how about three national championships in the last 14 years.)
    -led by a top name coach who has contacts with NFL coaches (like a Bill Belicheck.)
    -an incubator for players in the NFL (try five in the last year alone.)
    -in need of help on both O & D and is willing to start many freshman (try 15 this year.)
    What team could that possibly be? Hmmm.
    Lakeland GatorNaught

  40. Obviously this JACK guy is a Seminole. Jack before you start talking about Jimbo keep in mind he didn’t just arrive this year at FSU, he’s been the past three years and has been murdered the last two. Don’t think because you beat a down Florida team, that next year will even be the same. You had a veteran QB and no pass rush coming at him when we played you last. He’ll be gone next year and running QB’s don’t fair well against Florida .It amazes me how after one down year by UF they think they have arrived. You guys lost 3 games so far this year and will lose against Tech, believe it. That will make four loss B-4 your bowl game. If you think losing four games has you guys back on the map then the standard at FSU has certaintly drop. Speak again when your playing for national titles, which should be easy to do in the ACC if you have arrived. Seriously!!!

  41. Oh, And Jack concerning Recruiting we had the best recruiting class in the nation last year. We have not been losing those battles to you. We recruit by need not a High school players stars.We needed D-lineman so we signed the the best d-line ever, and we are playing them. We needed a QB so we will have enrolling early the Gatorade HighSchool player of the year in the state of Florida and probably nationally at QB put up or shut up one year of beating Florida doesn’t prove anything except Florida had a down year not that you guys are back. Remeber the Oklahoma pounding?

  42. Just a comment on Randy Shannon, having lived in south Florida for much of my life. Shannon is an excellent defensive coach, and an outstanding recruiter. But even more important in my mind is that he is class act, a man immense character, and the tyupe of mentor and disciplinarian that this current crop of Gators needs desperately. Common sense says that it woulld be a million to one shot fro both he and Meyer agree on bringing him here, but I am confident he would do Gator Nation proud.

  43. The number one issue the Gators need to address is the Offense. This year’s defense was not that great, but given the complete lack of help they got from the offense, it’s understandable. I like the idea of trying to get Sylvester Croom to join the staff, because he has always done a great job with marginal talent.

    On the other hand, Steve Addazio has been a complete bust. The same problems were there last year, but Tebow and the defense covered most of them up. This year Addazio didn’t have that luxury, and the result was a disaster. After attending the first two games I made a prediction that we’d be 8-4 at best, and 7-5 more likely (nailed it). That prediction was based on the glaring problems with the offense; the inability to make a decision and get a play called timely; the inability to snap the ball (what a bust Pouncey was this year); no downfield passing attack; inability to score in the red zone, and the complete predictability of the offense.

    When things started to go from bad to worse, Addazio watched a Friday night Oregon game and decided to “speed it up” without having a clue of how it worked or why. The “three headed monster”…er…QB system was a joke. Brantley in? It’s a pass. Burton back there? It’s a run. There was a bit of mystery when Josh finally showed up, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

    To anyone with the slightest knowledge of offensive football, it was clearly apparent that the primary issues didn’t lie with the players, but with the play calling. “Execution” Meyer and Addazio kept saying. Excuse me, but you can’t execute a play that gets busted by a defense that knows exactly what play is coming.

    If the Gators start next year with Steve Addazio as the offensive coordinator, it’ll be a 7-5 season at best, with 6-6 more likely. You read it hear first. Steve Addazio WILL ultimately be fired. The question is whether Meyer will make the right call now, or be forced to do so later. Loayalty is a good thing….until it damages the team. In addition to the damage that was and will be done on the field to UF, Steve’s continued presence at UF will hurt the team with recruiting, pshing the Gators further down the rankings. I hope Urban will man-up and do the right thing, but misguided loyalty has been demise of many men.

  44. Closed pre-season practices so that the press couldn’t see us practice sideline passes? A team so awesome we didn’t want the rest of the football world to see such precision, talent and unbeliveable plays? PLEASE