The Outbox 11/2


Heeeeeere comes the future!

The future is still bright, people. Back away from the ledge.

I’ve heard so many Gator fans in distress about this four-game losing streak, it feels like I’m watching the sequel to “Panic Room.” It stars Will Muschamp and it’s called “Panic Room 2: Doom, Gloom and Boom.”

Seriously, how could so many fans have so quickly forgotten that this is supposed to be a transition year? Forgotten the traditional honeymoon period for a new coach? Forgotten the brutal schedule that Florida has? Was the 4-0 start that great that it raised expectations beyond reason?

OK, enough of my interrogation, Gator fans. This blog is about you and YOUR questions.

Here’s one that I’ve gotten from too many people to name …

How will the losing streak affect the current class? Will there be more defections? — Gator fans everywhere

The answer may surprise you. Florida’s Class of 2012 is very committed. I’ve talked to many of the pledges and they all remark how much they love the coaching staff and how much they like each other. There’s loyalty there, and every recruit I’ve talked to has made sure to mention how much character they’ve seen in their fellow UF commits. Muschamp and Co., have done well to secure commitments from 17 recruits who seem to be totally sold on the Gators … in all kinds of weather. It also doesn’t hurt that they all think they’ve got a great shot at playing in 2012.

Since linebacker Lorenzo Phillips decommitted, I don’t think there’s a shaky commitment among Florida’s 17. In fact, there are several leaders who are actively recruiting their peers to join the class. And those that are still taking official visits, as wide receiver Latroy Pittman did last weekend to Notre Dame, appear to be simply enjoying the rewards of five free official visits this fall.

Gator fans looking for a light at the end of the tunnel can look to recruiting in my opinion. Florida is still undefeated in 2012 last I looked at the schedule, and it looks like a very good class will be coming next year.

In the Urban Meyer era, Florida was known for it’s blazing speed and game-breaking ability. How long do you think it’s going to take for the Gators to change their identity from a fast, speedy team to a strong, physical team? And what players in the 2012 class do you think will spearhead that change the most? — Mitchell McGuire via email

That’s a great question, Mitchell. Without a crystal ball I can only say that it’s going to take time. The Florida-Alabama game a month ago was a stark illustration of just how far Florida is from being the kind of team that they lost to — a team that has oodles of talent and depth to keep everyone working hard, a team that can shut down anyone’s running game and make an offense one-dimensional, and a team that can run on anyone. Anyone who really knows football had to see what a wide gap was on display in that game. My feeling is that it will take Florida more than one recruiting class to start down that path. I’m sure only the most patient of fans wants to hear talk of 2013, but the truth is that is when this Gators program will have a large senior class for the first time in three straight years.

I think the Class of 2012 will make an impact right away. The two running backs, Matt Jones and Mike Davis, are good fits for what offensive coordinator Charlie Weis wants to do, which is dominate with the ground game. D.J. Humphries could come in and contend for playing time right away at left tackle. The two tight ends, Kent Taylor and Colin Thompson, appear to be better fits than anyone on Florida’s current roster. Marcus Maye could get into the mix at free safety, and Brian Poole could be a factor at cornerback.

But to specifically answer the question about strong, physical players, I would say Jones, Thompson, Poole, middle linebacker Antonio Morrison and strong safety Rhaheim Ledbetter are the standouts of this class so far. There’s more to come, as toughness is certainly a priority for this Florida coaching staff.

Based on the current holes in our team, is the 2013 season when we should expect the Gators to be competing for a national championship again? — Austen P. Cornell via email

Let’s not get carried away, Austen. It takes time to become a national title contender. I really think Gator fans not only got spoiled by Meyer’s incredibly quick success, but many of you also developed unrealistic expectations. What happened in Meyer’s second season is not the norm. Not even close. Ron Zook may have left Meyer more talent than Meyer left Muschamp, and Meyer was able to combine those seasoned players with some generational recruits like Tim Tebow and Percy Harvin. Florida fans should always enjoy 2006, but it would be wise to not expect it to happen again.

Still, there could be one answer to your question that is more uplifting — Florida could contend for championships in 2013. It’s certainly possible. I just think maybe the SEC is more realistic than the BCS in 2013.

I see Keith Marshall is visiting UF again on 11/25. How serious are we in contention for his services? — ClockedOut via blog comments

I believe that information is incorrect. Marshall, who took an official visit to Florida on Oct. 1 for the Alabama game, is planning to officially visit South Carolina that weekend for the Clemson game. Clemson has suddenly become a pretty big player for the nation’s No. 1 running back prospect, as Marshall is planning to also take an official visit to see the Tigers play host to Wake Forest next weekend (Nov. 12). The whispers all along have been that Marshall was leaning toward Georgia, and the Bulldogs do indeed remain among his favorites. Florida has crept into the mix as well, but perhaps Clemson has a chance to take another elite running back away from the Gators. We should find out soon, as Marshall is planning to decide after his final visit. We should know his verbal some time in December.

So what is the Gators’ number 1 target this recruiting season: big back, OL, DL, etc.? — @tcpipman via Twitter

By Game 8 I think it’s become fairly obvious that Florida’s biggest problem is the offensive line. Florida has a big back coming in the 6-foot-3 Jones, but he won’t be effective until the line play improves. The players UF has are young and in need of much more coaching. Of more concern is the lack of depth. It’s surprising that Florida has recruited so many offensive linemen through the last five years and almost none of them can even get on the field. “Right now, the first string is obviously better,” sophomore Jon Halapio said on Tuesday.

Florida can clearly sell prospects on the chance at early playing time. The staff feels it can work with many of the current players on the roster and convert some of them to the interior line positions. The need specifically is at tackle, and there is good news with the solid verbal of Humphries (6-6, 280) , the nation’s No. 1-rated tackle. Another pledge is from 6-6, 315-pound Jessamen Dunker, who brings tremendous size and raw athleticism.

Florida would love to add two more linemen to this class, but it may not happen. The Gators have been high on the list for five-star prospect Avery Young (6-6, 275) for a long time. But Young, who is Scout’s No. 4-rated OT, recently took an official visit to Auburn and came back with the Tigers as his new leader, with the caveat that he hasn’t taken any other visits. He’ll be at the LSU-Alabama “Game of the Century” this weekend to give the Tide a closer look. He has also said he wants to visit Florida and Georgia. The Gators are still in good shape, but this one will come down to National Signing Day.

Another big-time possibility is five-star Kyle Murphy (6-7, 268) from San Clemente, Calif., who is Scout’s No. 8 tackle prospect in the nation. Murphy will take an official visit to Florida for the Vanderbilt game this weekend, but it seems he’s much more likely to remain on the west coast with a Pac-12 school. Most consider his leader to be Southern Cal, the closest of his top schools at just over an hour from home.

There could be more offers in the works, as Florida looks to address its biggest need and won’t hesitate to make a late play for undecided or even committed prospects. UF coaches recently offered Donald Hawkins (6-5, 320) of Northwest Mississippi Community College, who has been committed to Oklahoma State since August.

How will the outcome of Saturday’s Florida-Georgia game impact the recruitment of John Theus? Specifically, is there still an opening for the Gators to woo this Bolles star to Gainesville? — Martin E. via blog comments

Good follow-up for our offensive tackle discussion, as Theus is regarded by many as the best prospect in the state of Florida. He is, however, firmly committed to Georgia. Last Saturday’s game was ugly on both sides, make no mistake about that. And it was worse for Florida, with just two offensive tackles in the game — both struggling mightily. But UGA coach Mark Richt has to be feeling the relief of a much cooler seat these days. His team is ranked No. 18 and riding a six-game winning streak. Beating Florida, no matter how ugly, is cause for wild celebration in Dawg Nation. Had Richt lost to a Florida team mired in its second straight difficult season, yes, I could imagine commits like Theus might be worried and possibly think about looking around. John’s father, Paul, has said that Florida was closer to Georgia than most people realize when it came to getting John’s verbal, and John does plan to make an unofficial visit to Gainesville for the Florida-Florida State game. But because Richt got the big win in Jacksonville last Saturday, I expect Theus to remain an anchor in Georgia’s class.

I live in northeast Georgia and keep hearing that Brice Ramsey is a Mark Richt committment instead of a UGA committment. By the time this is posted next week we will know the outcome of the Florida-Georgia game (not Georgia-Florida) and Richt’s job will either be in dire jeoprady or secure. What are our chance’s of flipping Brice and the big Yulee running back committed to UGA? — ga gator via blog comments

Ah, now here’s a follow-up to that last follow-up! Richt’s seat may be cooler after finally beating Florida for the first time since 2007, but he’s not out of the woods. He’ll have to beat in-state rival Georgia Tech to truly secure himself in the good graces of his bosses. But the point is that Richt is no longer in danger of being fired. He’ll live to see another signing day, which is usually a good day for him. What about signing day, 2013? Well, I can’t predict that far into the future, but I’ll tell you this — neither Ramsey nor Yulee, Fla.’s Derrick Henry are what you would call solid verbals. Yes, they both like Richt a lot and see a Georgia program that offers them everything they are looking for, but I think Florida will remain in the mix for both. Ramsey does appear to be one of Weis’ top targets for a quarterback of the future. Henry, I’m told, jumped at Georgia’s scholarship offer when Richt made it clear that the Bulldogs want him to play running back. That’s something most coaches won’t promise Henry, as he is 6-3, 235 and runs a bit upright. The bottom line is that February 2013 is a very long way away. Anything can happen.

Who do you think are the 3 most important recruits left out there that Muschamp should bring in for this class? — Gator^2 via message board

That’s a very good question, and I’m glad to see the GSMB spring back to life with some questions. I think the aforementioned Avery Young is one of the three, because he’s an offensive tackle that Florida has a realistic shot at. Next is wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who at 6-2, 185, would give the Gators an explosive athlete at a position where they are just desperate for play-makers. And finally, I have to cheat and give you a three-for-one. UF has to get an elite prospect for the buck linebacker position. Florida has a chance at getting Noah Spence, Jordan Jenkins and Dante Fowler. Even just getting one would do, as the buck might be the most important position in Florida’s defense. For whatever reason, the Gators just haven’t gotten the kind of consistent pass-rush or havoc from Ronald Powell, formerly the nation’s No. 1 overall recruit. Getting any one of those three I listed would go a long way to pushing Powell, either to another position or the bench or at least into sharing playing time.

If the Gators’ Class of 2012 ends up with Young, Agholor and one of those buck linebackers, you’ll be looking at a top 5 class for sure. One that could have an immediate impact on the field in 2012.

That’s it for now. I really appreciate all the excellent questions. Let’s keep ’em coming …

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  1. No one forgot this is a transition year of any of the other obvious obstacles to this years team. Most Gator Fans dwell in an alternate reality where these things don’t exist, and facts don’t factor in. Just feelings.

  2. first of all i just think that the fans are scared of what they have seen coaching whise. Like the fact that they dont play gillislee or MACK BROWN..? What happened to him??? and Ive always like Andre Dubose but if he really isnt as good as we all think then how come we dont have plays to give to Quinton Dunbar (the one they hyped as our downfield threat…) or Frankie Hammond (who was said to be the best all around receiver..). It is just very annoying to see all the stupid things Muschamp says. “we need size”okay RB we have MACK BROWN, WR we have STEPHON ALLI and JA’JUAN STORY and OMARIUS HINES (none of these EVER get the ball..?)what happened to the fabulous TREY BURTON. and Muschamp acted like we would be very fundamental.. (we are the WORST team in the NCAA in penalties literally the worst) and what happened to turnover margin.. (It hasnt been this bad in years and it sucks to watch)

  3. But now for my question How come it takes you so long to put this up? I have been checking the site since like 3 o’ clock c’mon Jeff lol, but seriously this weeks blog was pretty disapointing mainly because of the questions you answered, but thats not all your fault i guess. I do like your articles usually though.. write more please

  4. Now for my real question… Last week you talked about our 25 man limit. Well i really dont see it being at all a problem because i dont see how we are going to get to that number or even close to it honestly. I mean how many more recruits are we TRUELY working hard enough to probably get? It seems to me that our coaching staff does not try all too hard to get their recruits, for example Tracy Howard (the nations BEST corner) who we should love to have FSU is trying much much harder. ALso what happened to BULKINS we seemed like their clearcut favorites especially Bullard, but now watkins is out and it doesnt seem like we are gonna get Bullard.. seems like we stopper recruiting them hard…

  5. We are getting out recruited for guys we were leading for or high with all year. Howard, Bulkins, Marshall, Phillips, Fowler, Young, Murphy, Diggs, E. Williams, Goldman, E. McCarthy, Theus, Alexander, N. Davis, N. Spence and…on…on…on… STEP IT UP GUYS.

  6. If we lose out on K. Taylor to bama Gator nation will lose its mind. It will be safe to say recruiting efforts would come in to Q? He is not a head case. Its our efforts in pursuit. Hire a closer if you have to but get the job done.
    Answer This,
    Brown was having health and ball security problems. Other than O.Hines the WR have to be strong enough to block the edge. No one but Thompson and Hines have been solid on that matter. I think let the other ones see the field if the starters aren’t getting open. Push them to step up in the game with the bench. Hines is not getting any love. That is baffling with his size advantage. He is much better than Reed to me. I am no coach so hopefully they make the right calls on this things. I don’t see it happening to me.

  7. Jeff, please quit putting lipstick on a pig, and calling it a fashion model, and expect Gator fans to buy off on it. We have serious problems with this program and Gator fans know it. As has been stated multiple times, Gillislee is a true running back with talent, and has barely played. Hines is a freakishly good WR and never sees the field. We have lost 8 solid players since the current coaching staff took over this program. We added no one to Meyer’s recruiting class last year (not one recruit was added by this coaching staff). We have the most undisciplined, mistake prone, team I can ever remember (and I’ve been a Gator for over 40 years now). We need to look at the man hired to coach this team, and perhaps start looking at the administration that made this hire without even conducting a proper search of candidates. We have been more talented and should have soundly beaten both Auburn and Georgia. We do not have the talent right now to compete with LSU and Alabama, and I don’t see us getting to that level. It is saddening and sobering to watch how this program has fallen in the span of two short years.

  8. Hey Jeff,
    It seems to me that you value Nelson Agholor over Stefon Diggs. Could you give me your evaluation of both of them and tell me why you think Agholor would be more of an asset to the Gators than Diggs? Thanks 🙂

  9. Excellent summary, Jeff… and you are RIGHT ON THE MONEY about the transition year. As hard as it is to watch, we have to believe that better days are ahead. Its hard to be in your first year as coach, with someone else’s players recruited for their system. The Gators will be back!

  10. This notion that Florida doesn’t have any physical players or that being physical was never an emphasis is absurd. Yeah Florida has been very fast but as equally physical. Remeber Bloody Tuesday’s and winning the fourth quarter? You don’t survive that without being physical. You’re not as succesful as Florida has been without being physical in the SEC. Bottom line is we are being out coached and out recruited. Defensively however I’m not as concerned. I see lots of promise if we can clean up the discipline issues. Offensively…we are in big trouble. We need to hit the weight room and the buffets. We also need to quit crying about what you don’t have. it doesn’t motivate your current roster. I love Rainey and Demps but if they can’t get it done then give those other BIG BACKS a shot. I would even experiment with O. hines in the back field. He is huge and fast. At receiver we better hope both Agholor and Diggs sign because we have nothing there. Go Gators!!!

  11. Answer this,
    I just asked last week about Tracy Howard, when I asked why FSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops has been to Numerous cames of his and even brought Jimbo Fisher with him once, and all we have done is sent an assistant coach ONCE! They are also attending Nelson Agholor games. Jeff continues to talk about us turning some of their committed players, but with all of our losses and the way we look this year, I am starting to think that talk is just wishful thinking!

  12. We should let Mack Brown and Mike Gillisee carryt the load the rest of the year. Assuming they are healthy then what do you have to lose? They should use Rainey in the slot just like the UGA game because he has good hands. He would be a great check down receiver for Brantley underneath.

    Also, the crap about us being all speed is total garbage. The only positions that we are not big at are RB and LB. The RB situation can be solved in 1 recruiting class. The LB’s aren’t the problem…they are the same size as LSU’s LB’s. The D-line is young and that is the issue. Next year, the defense will be great and no one will remember these ridiculous comments.

  13. Tough to read with all the cry’n. Muschamp did add to the 2011 class – Roberson and Brissett. And O. Hines quits on plays. This team is just not as talented as we all thought and lacks leadership at the player level. Maybe a couple of guys will will evolve into one by next season, but right now – none. Elam/Floyd/Easley are the only players, so far, from that heralded 2010 class that are performing near where we expected. Have to be patient, we’re only 8 games into a major coaching transition…………… and how are we getting out recruited? Everyone has us as a top 5?????

  14. Oh yes! Please put Rainey in the slot! That way he can drop more passes and cost us first downs.
    How about we run shorter routes where the line doesn’t have to block as long? Rotate WRs and use their strengths, rather than saying they don’t know the playbook well enough. Surely they know SOME plays, or else how the hell are they in college?!
    Bench Riggs and Watkins and play somebody else. They are the worst CBs I think I’ve ever seen play at UF.
    There. That won’t win the 4 games we lost, but it sure will help win the last 4!

    ps. if we trust Muschamp (which is hard when he lies about injuries all the time) then Gillislee hasn’t been playing the last 1 1/2 games b/c he has a bum ankle. Mack Brown could get carries unless there’s an injury we don’t know about. I’d count him as our next transfer player.

  15. I thought something was wrong when we had 0 signees on FNL.

    People keep saying that the present players didn’t pan out. There is no way the entire team didn’t pan out. We are being out coached.

    Clown-u frosh QB came in against OU and made UF Frosh look stupid. Have you seen their kid? He looks like Mclovin. Our coaches are not preparing the players or have prepared a game plan that fits their talent.

    About the recent transfer. How about WM coddle some players? These are kids. Get off his high horse and COACH the FLORIDA WAY. And that means winning. If WM can’t convince a kid to stay how is he going to convince a kid to come here? How many Coaches are telling recruits “there something wrong over there at UF, look at all the kids leaving”?

    Lastly, how about not posting anything, every time we read the out box the only news is a player that is committed to another program but still likes UF. I believe that makes UF look desperate, although it may be the truth at least act like we are winners.

    Oh and a word to WM and staff

    IT’s about the W’s stupid.

  16. John S,

    Remember how Meyer was going to use Rainey in the Percy position i.e. the slot? Rainey should have been playing the slot his entire career bc he is too small for the backfield. This isn’t the pac-12. He is a lot like Dexter McCluster from Ole Miss a few years ago. He has good hands…he justed choked against UGA.

    Put him in the slot so that you still have him on the field as a threat and then put Gillisee or Brown in the backfield….like I said..what do you have to lose?

  17. Jeff,

    On the Bill King radio show this week, they had a 24/7 recruiting “expert” on there who said Florida’s losing streak will impact our ability to specifically get big-time, out of state recruits. Presuming that’s in addition the ones already committed, what’s your thoughts on the validity of that comment?

  18. I feel like much of Gator Nation’s primary concerns about our team is the lack of creative play calling by our offensive coaching staff. It has been widely publicized that Florida was switching from a spread offense to a more pro style offense. But until Florida has the talent and depth to control both sides of the line of scrimmage, why doesn’t the coaching staff call more plays based on the current level of talent instead of calling plays based on the talent level they wish the had? Until Florida has the talent to allow the QB to go vertical so often why don’t they call more slant patterns to allow the QB’s to get passes off more quickly and beat the rush? I understand that you need to go vertical sometimes to keep the defense honest, but I feel it works in reverse also.

  19. I agree with the comment about the defects that we are having. We should atleast be able to keep some of these guys. Sometimes I feel like WM lets pride cloud his judgement. Ignorance begots ignorance. WM needs to calm down on the sideline a little and stay in the refs good grace. the players see their coach acting out and being undisciplined and it’s hard to preach what you are not practicing. ou want to create competition then bench some of these starters and play some of these backups. Regardless if they are any better or not. I f the starters aren’t producung then what do you have to loose. these coaches spend too much time making up excuses and playing the blame game instead of coaching and creating compition and disciplining them. You jump off sides that’s a quarter you don’t play. QB delay of game…you sit em series. allow the QB to get sacked ride the pine. if the first guy aint cuttin it then he shouldn’t be the first guy.

  20. I beg to differ that it is unrealistic to expect BCS championships after two years. Stoops did it at Oklahoma. Tressel did it at Ohio State and Meyer did it at UF. Saban did it at Bama in three years. It is now expected at the major programs.

  21. I’ve posted this on another site.. what is the fascination with Mack Brown? He’s not that big people, the kid weighs in the 195 range. He isn’t Trent Richardson, and never will be. I have no idea where everyone got this “Mack is a the big power runner we need” thing from.

  22. I agree with several of the passionate Gator fans that have posted. Call it a transition year if you want to, but we have recruited well enough over the last few years to be better than 4–4. Muschamp and Weiss are highly over rated coaches…just look at the recurring penalties, turnovers, lack of a pass rush, poor offensive line play…I can go on and on. How can a coaching staff watch film and practice every week and not correct a coachable area like false start penalties? Where is this mastermind of an offensive coach that everyone was so high on? Give me Gus Malzan anytime!

  23. @c3

    like the first comment, disagree w/ the second

    mack should be on the field because he had the potential to be relatively big and powerful

    maybe fumble issues are the problem, which, would explain his absence. see espn preview video of mack fumbling and muschamp saying “if you fumble you wont play”

  24. Jeff,
    What is the status with any of the JUCO DT and OT? I think we could use some immediate depth. Also, I have some friends from Maryland that are close to the Onley program, and they claim that Diggs is a gator lean. Have you heard any whispers?

  25. Jeff, the 16 and 17 yr old kids we are recruting are young and impressionable. Which do you think is more detrimental to their recruitment to UF: the gators current record or the premature pessimism of the chicken littles and armchair coaches that like to post on these blogs? Remember…in all kinds of weather. Stay classy G-ville…how bout we route for the Gators and think about judging everyonethese kids and coaches in 3-4 years. You gotta let em work. Go Gators!

  26. Mack Brown was a four star recruit, shown on the current roster at 5’11” 205 with 4.4 speed. Ranked 13 by Rivals for all running backs. I agree he won’t be Trent Richardson, but how many of those are there? Scouting during recruiting saw him as capable of being a good runner between the tackles with the additional weight that he has apparently added. Perhaps his blocking or pass receiving is not up to speed. He looked good in a mop up role in one of the early games. I would certainly give him and Mike shots.

  27. Face it. Muschamp has Zook written all over him. Good recruiting means nothing if you can’t coach ’em up. Barking and whining at officials and his own players. Grow up. He should coach Monday through Friday and let his guys just play on Saturday. At the level UF has achieved under Spurrier and Myer, our teams don’t play and win based on emotion – they play and win with discipline and intelligent and innovative game planning. Both have been sadly lacking sine Myer de facto retired 3 years ago. Like Zook, Muschamp will get his 3 or 4 years and then he will be gone to a backwater where his level of ability will be better tolerated. There is something fundamentally wrong with a UF team coached by a person who grew up in G’ville, went to UGA and learned how to coach in Texas. Just a bad fit in so many ways.

  28. lack of discipline and toughness is the entire coaching staffs fault…the main problem during the losing streak is the lack of imagination and adjustments from the offensive side of the ball…weis may be a genius in the pros but he doesn’t understand the college game fully, that was evident at nd…if muschamp wants his job in the future he should re-evaluate that hire after this year.

  29. Oh man o man.
    Our problem is we are thin on football players, and too heavy with “athletes.” There cannot be any “Bloody Tuesdays” because if a starter goes down in practice, then his replacement is a “athlete” too stipid to understanfd a pattern tree at WR or pick up a saftey blitz as a RB in pass protection. Do you pepole really think there is a plot to keep Hines or Brown off the field with no good reason? Why would we play “athletes” who cannot help an immobile John Brantley? WAKE UP! We are mediocre because we are mediocre. We do not have the talent or depth like we used to. No amount of wishful thinking or whining or crying will change that, but one ting will: recruiting!
    I am about tired of fair weather fans. Go root for Boise State.
    Go Gators!

  30. Sorry guys.
    I want to apologize for my last post. Who am I to to say ya’ll’s opnions are not valid. Who am I to say any of ya’ll are fair weather fans? No matter what you post, ya’ll care enough to actually say somthing about the season. None of ya’ll are fair weather fans, maybe you are like me, maybe I care too much and just need to settle down. Humility: I did not spell stupid correctly!
    Go Gators!

  31. “Panic Room 2: Doom, Gloom and Boom” -Classic! Calm it down people, this team is no worse than last year’s. One of these two top ranked QBs will be a star and we will be back in no time.

    Any chance for Noah Spence to be in this class?

  32. What about juco ol and dl? We need more instant depth on dl and prob an instant starter on ol…

    I honestly like where we are at. Fumbles and fumbles alone by 170lb “athletes” are the reason we are not 7-2…

  33. The facination with recruits is the focus of this blog and obviously a big concern to those visiting here, but please put it in perspective. Recruiting service class ratings and numbers of stars are largely meaningless when projecting team success. Coach Muschamp understands the type of football player he needs for what he wants to do. A lot of people who have never played and never coached on this level don’t understand how much of a jump it is from high school to the SEC. This Gator team is mostly freshman and sophmores with some juniors and few seniors. It takes two years minimum to get offensive linemen seasoned; this o-line is obviously boys among men. Toughness is a maturing process that takes time. Jeff, thank you for getting it and talking the crying little girls off the ledge.

  34. Who were the latest visitors and where do we stand with them? heard Nelson was here this weekend along with a big time OL recruit? Where do we stand with our OL recruits…that to me has been the biggest dissappointment!

  35. Hey Jeff, love the blog. Lot of turmoil going on with the Ole Miss and Penn State coaching situations right now. Horrible situation up there in Happy Valley that might turn off some recruits. Any possibility of defections? Know we were recruiting Tommy Schutt, a big 4* DT that could be more enticing with Carlos Watkins going to Clemson, and Florida falling out of Goldman’s top schools

  36. Sadly, Bull Gator may be right (he’s spot on regarding talent – if ratings of recruiting classes have ANY merit).
    PS: Our OL and DL are em’bare-ass’ing. So much for that #1 recruiting class of two years ago – compliments of those “vaunted” (alleged) defenders!

  37. Jeff,
    The question all Gator recruiting fans want to know: how will Penn State’s scandal affect their ability to sign big-time recruits this year, and how can the Gators benefit? Specifically, does Noah Spence become a Gator as a result of the turmoil in Happy Valley?

  38. “Who were the latest visitors and where do we stand with them? heard Nelson was here this weekend along with a big time OL recruit? Where do we stand with our OL recruits…that to me has been the biggest dissappointment!
    by Chris”

    “How can reeling in DJ Humphries and Jessamen Dunker be the biggest dissapointment? you’re crazy.
    by GatorsEverywhere”

    I believe what chris was saying was the play of the offensive line has been the most disappointing this year. I would have to agree with that, but say that the defensive line hasn’t been much better. The problem is Ronald Powell and our insistence to run a 3-4 defense. The problem with Powell is size. We want him to be a buck linebacker, but right now he really doesn’t have the size. Alabama has 2 260 linebackers and Powell is around 245. While that is decent size for the position our defensive line doesn’t have the size to put pressure on the quarterback with the front 3. So when that doesn’t work we move to a 4-3 and play him on the end. Then Powell’s glaring technical weaknesses as a pash rusher come to light. and he really has no presence on run defense. His athleticism has gotten him to where he is now and the problem now is really either effort or coaching. With that said, until we get more size at linebacker and on the defensive line, our defense will not be able to stop the running backs of the sec. My question to you jeff, is what are we doing about our front seven? I have seen the recruiting class this year and no one brings size to the defensive line. The only one close is Quinteze Williams. Rivals has him listed at 295, and Scout has him listed at 260. We have 6 DEs on the roster under 260 lbs, which is precisely why would should run a 4-3 all the time.

  39. Those who are saying Muschamp isn’t the man to lead the Gators based on this year so far are idiots. Will he be the man, only time will tell but to complain about loosing to the #1, #2, and defending champs from last year is insanity. Exspecially when Demps is injured, Brantley was out. The GA game was disappointing but we are in a transition year with LOADS of YOUNG talent. Any team with a lot of young talent will lose a few, combine that with a new coach staff, new scheme, Veteran players being injured, your going to lose a few. I thought we would loss about 5-6 games this year. Guess what we are right on track to do so. Not because Muschamp is bad, not because we can’t get talented players. Its because we are in a perfect storm right now to be bad. We have lots of young players, a new coach staff, new schemes and injuries…what do you expect with all of that. If in the next year or two things are better and we arent’ going the season with only 1 or two “L”s at the most then yes it is time to start re-thinking Muschamp as the coach but until then we need to “stick together in all kinds of weather”. Stop being unrealistic people.

  40. Alabama and LSU, as with any team, have their share/mix of youth and injuries too; and their talent is not THAT much better than ours (based on recent recruiting rankings, if at all!) – YET they are way. WAY better than us!!!
    Urban parlayed what The Zookers left him (acknowledged: Zook was no recruiting slouch; but then, uhh, neither was Meyer!) into,… well, you know — in TWO YEARS!
    BOOM deserves no less (maybe three) before he be declared a BUST; or worse – a BUM!
    No one was more excited about Muschamp than I was at the beginning, but I’m reminded that this is BIG TIME BALL; it’s not the place for on the job training!
    My advise to Coach would echo what “Bull Gator” intimated with his comment in a prior article: exchange the so-called “Pro” coaches (who’re resting on their laurels and not “coaching up” [read: teaching, molding, forming] these post-High School KIDS because they’re accustomed to training/leading already-polished and newly minted NFL draftees!) for HUNGRY, up and coming “lions” who still have something to prove; who understand and relish the fact that these are boys (not in the way of that pervert, Sandusky!) who yet need to be schooled in the craft and mentored into men!
    Though the SEC is the “Big Time,” and a pipeline to the NFL, EVERY High School star (of whatever number) enters said whirlwind as an 18 year old BOY (okay, some are manchilds!).
    No less than Jesus Christ Himself said that “a student will become LIKE [their] teacher.”
    ‘Nuff said!