Zach’s Mail Stack 1/25


It’s the end of the road, my friends.

We’re one week away from National Signing Day and this is the last mailbag of the 2012 recruiting cycle. The Mail Stack will be back this summer.

Being able to answer your questions for the last two months has been very rewarding for me. I hope I’ve provided you all with the content you crave!

The month of January has been very hectic and things will only intensify as we close in on Feb. 1.

Nearly all of the questions I received this week were along the lines of, “where do the Gators stand with so-and-so?” Those are the only questions that matter at this time of year.

So I’m just going to review all the remaining prospects on Florida’s board and include their announcement dates (for you, Erick and Charles).

Ready, set, go!

Zach, in this week’s update can you walk down the list of all the key recruits that are on the board and what you believe our chances are with each of them? — Brian and others

QB Skyler Mornhinweg, (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph’s)
Announcement: TBD

The Penn State commit, who is the son of Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Mary Morhinweg, took an official visit to Florida last weekend. The three-star has been given a Thursday deadline to choose the Gators or they will move on. But with the Nittany Lions picking up another QB commitment Tuesday and telling Morhinweg they want to try him out at safety, I think he makes the switch.

QB Paxton Lynch (Deltona, Fla./Trinity Christian Academy)
Announcement: TBD

Should Florida miss on Morhinweg, Lynch is the next option on the board. On Thursday night, new UF offensive coordinator Brent Pease will inform Lynch if he has an offer. If he does, Lynch said he will commit on the spot and take an official visit this weekend.

QB Jacob Guy (Dade City, Fla./Pasco)
Announcment: TBD

Guy is the third option on Florida’s QB board, but it appears doubtful that the Gators will strike out on Morhinweg and Lynch. However, Guy said he may come to Gainesville as a preferred walk-on. He currently has offers from Ohio and Western Michigan, but he likes the idea of staying close to home and getting an education from UF. His brother, South Florida redshirt freshman tight end Tyler Guy, took a similar route with the Bulls.

WR Stefon Diggs (Olney, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel)
Announcment: Feb. 10

Fresh off his official visit to Florida, Diggs had nothing but positive things to say and the consensus among reporters and recruits is that the five-star receiver will end up a Gator. He still has official visits left to Ohio State (1/28) and Maryland (Feb. 3) before he makes his final decision, but it’s been reported that his family (specifically his mother, Stephanie) will not take those trips with him. And if she doesn’t, that would mean UF is the only school that received a visit from her — and she’s been to Gainesville twice.

WR Nelson Agholor (Tampa, Fla./Berkeley Prep)
Announcment: NSD

Rumors are running rampant about Agholor. Over the last week, Southern Cal has suddenly become a major player for his services according to multiple message boards. Four out of six analysts have him slated as a Trojan. His high school coach, Dominick Ciao, has a close relationship with USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin that dates back to his days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Meanwhile, Agholor has a tight bond with a handful of UF commits, plenty of playing time available and a favorable distance from home. It appears to be a toss-up at this point, especially with USC getting his last official visit this weekend, but I still believe the deciding factors at Florida will outweigh those at Southern Cal. Just my gut.

OL Avery Young (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens)
Announcment: NSD, 2 p.m.

I have Young in my mock class (see below), but I feel the least confident about him. He’s kept things close to the vest throughout his recruitment and it’s hard to get a read on him. Auburn, Florida and Georgia are his top three teams, but it’s thought to be a race between the Tigers and Gators. In my opinion, his decision will come down to his parents. He lives with his dad down south, but his mom lives near Auburn and she wants him close to her. If you consider the mileage, UF is the “fairest” school in regards to how far each parent would have to drive to watch Young play. That’s why I ultimately think he will end up at Florida, but I wouldn’t be the least-bit shocked if he went elsewhere.

OL Jake Meador (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland)
Announcment: NSD, 10:10 a.m.

The longer Meador waited to makes his commitment, the less likely it would be to Florida. He was supposed to decide last week, now he will wait til NSD. His family and friends want him to stay close to home, and with Wisconsin hiring former Mississippi offensive coach Mike Markuson on Saturday, the Badgers are now the front-runner for him. Markuson was Meador’s primary recruiter when he was committed to Ole Miss. The four-star lineman will take an official visit to Wisconsin this weekend. Missouri is also a finalist.

DT Vincent Valentine (Edwardsville, Ill./Edwardsville)
Announcment: NSD

Valentine loved his official visit on Jan. 13 and is good friends with DE commit Bryan Cox Jr., who went to middle school with him up north. But Gainesville is far away, Nebraska has too much of a lead and Florida already has three defensive tackles in this class. I don’t see him being a part of it.

DE Darius Hamilton (Ramsey, N.J./Don Bosco Prep)
Announcment: Jan. 31, 8 p.m.

Hamilton is down to Rutgers and Florida, but the home team has led from the beginning of his process and still does at the end. Dan Quinn and Bryant Young blew him away on his Dec. 9th trip, but his mom is extremely close to the Rutgers coaches. She may come to UF before or after Hamilton’s official visit to Miami this weekend, but he will be hard to steal from the Scarlet Knights.

DE Leonard Williams (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland)
Announcment: NSD

After missing three scheduled visits to Florida, Williams finally made it to Gainesville on Monday following his trip to USC. The Gators were co-leaders with Auburn at one point and seemed in good position to land Williams, but I believe Jonathan Bullard’s commitment turned him off. With UF picking up Cox over the weekend, the chances of getting Williams are very slim now. Auburn, FSU and USC are the favorites, but he has an official to Miami this weekend.

B Dante Fowler Jr. (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood)
Announcment: NSD

If you watched my video with the Florida State commitment, you’ll know why he’s favorite recruit to interview. He always give me a quotable and whether you like him or not, he keeps things interesting. Fowler says he’s still 100 percent to FSU but will make his final decision on Feb. 1 (if he’s solid then why the annoucement?). I genuinely believe he wants to be a Gator, but I think he feels obligated to stick to his verbal so he can make other people happy (cough, dad, cough). I still see him signing with the Seminoles, but he’s not just playing games with Florida when he visited SEVEN times. If there is a surprise on NSD, this would be it. Or would it?

LB Josh Harvey-Clemons (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes)
Announcment: NSD, 9 a.m.

Publicly this is a two-team race between Florida and Georgia, privately is another story. There are all kinds of rumblings about where he’ll go and each one sounds different. UF was the leader in early January and then UGA made it even following his trip there on Jan. 13. This is another one that will come down to distance. Harvey-Clemons was raised by his grandfather and wants to be near him in college. It takes four hours to get to Athens, but Gainesville is just an hour away. Couple that with the fact he grew up a Gator fan, and I think he bites instead of barks.

LB Schyler Miles (Tampa, Fla./Berkeley Prep)
Announcment: NSD

The finalists for Miles are Florida, Kansas and West Virgina. Need I say more? His mother visited Gainesville over the weekend while he was at KU, and Florida switching its offer from fullback to linebacker (his preferred position) sealed the deal.

CB Tracy Howard (Miramar, Fla./Miramar)
Announcment: NSD

The five-star cornerback favored the Gators early on and now has them way out in front following his official visit this weekend. He says it’s a tie between the “Big Three” in Florida, but sources behind the scenes have told me this one is in the bag. Miami will get an official visit this weekend and FSU is still being mentioned, but both of them weren’t even finalists two weeks ago.

Of the 14 prospects, here is how I would rank them based on most likely to sign with UF:

1. Tracy Howard – 90%
2. Stefon Diggs – 85%
3. Schyler Miles – 80%
4. Skyler Mornhinweg – 70%
5. Nelson Agholor – 65%
6. Josh Harvey-Clemons – 55%
7. Avery Young – 50%
8. Dante Fowler Jr. – 49%
9. Darius Hamilton – 40%
10. Paxton Lynch – 35%
11. Leonard Williams – 30%
12. Jake Meador – 25%
13. Vincent Valentine – 20%
14. Jacob Guy – 5% (as a walk-on, 50%)

Mock class as of now? — Devin and Titan Gator

It’s now apparent the Gators will sign a quarterback in 2012, which put my class at 27. Add Cox Jr. and take away Meador from last week, and here’s my final mock.

QB Skyler Mornhinweg
RB Matt Jones
WR LaTroy Pittman (EE)
WR Nelson Agholor
WR Stefon Diggs
TE Kent Taylor
TE Colin Thompson
OL D.J. Humphries (EE)
OL Jessamen Dunker (EE)
OL Avery Young
DT Damien Jacobs (EE/JUCO)
DT Jafar Mann
DT Omari Phillips
DE Jonathan Bullard
DE Quinteze Williams
DE Bryan Cox Jr.
B Alex McCalister
LB Josh Harvey-Clemons
LB Antonio Morrison (EE)
LB Jeremi Powell
LB Schyler Miles
CB Tracy Howard
CB Brian Poole
CB Willie Bailey (EE)
S Marcus Maye
S Rhahiem Ledbetter
K Austin Hardin

That’s all, folks! Have a happy NSD!


  1. Love the latest Mail Stack. Need more coverage in the days to come to feed the hunger, for me anyway. Thanks
    Is Fowler’s dad giving him the old “stick with your commitment, your word is bond” thing? Would he say the same thing if he had committed to UF first?

  2. Again, very optimistic. Sounds like a best case scenario more than a mock class. I agree with 1-4, but I think we might only land one between Agholor, Young and JHC. I still think Fowler is wasting everyones time…. and I think we have a better shot at Hamilton than most think. If he can ever get his mother down here – then book it. I think this is where he wants to be and his mother is getting in the way. That battle is not over.

  3. Thanx, I like your mock list, but I hope these kids understand a monster class like this could be program changing if the stick around and live up to their potential..if any good news comes early please let me know…still wish we could steal another rb

  4. Based on the video I would say we still have a shot with Fowler just judging from his body language. We really need him as he is the only Weakside Defensive End that we are recruiting since the coaching staff lost out on Jordan Jenkins and screwed it up with Tyriq McCord. McCallister is a WDE, but he won’t be able to contribute right away. Cox is going to play the buck position, but he isnt anywhere near the pass rusher that Fowler is. I’m really hoping we can land Darius Hamilton also in this class because we could use all of the pass rushing help we can get. No matter who else we land, this is going to be a pretty stellar class. I must say I have been a critic of Muschamp’s all along, but Recruiting has been a strong point so far for this coaching staff.

  5. This is the first time I’ve come across this site since practically everything in my office is “blocked” relating to “sports”. My husband is a diehard Gator and is dying from lack of info on recruiting. This will certainly get the adrenalin pumping. Love reading others insights into players.

  6. 1. Tracy Howard – 90%
    2. Stefon Diggs – 50% After UM gets done, good luck.
    3. Schyler Miles – 80% Don’t know
    4. Skyler Mornhinweg – 70% Don’t know
    5. Nelson Agholor – 35% Word is he is all about USC
    6. Josh Harvey-Clemons – 15%–I hope I’m wrong but everyone in Valdosta seem to know he is all UGAY team.
    7. Avery Young – 10%–UGA I’ve heard
    8. Dante Fowler Jr. – 1% -Hopefully coaches will take note of time wasted on a kid and never play their game again.
    9. Darius Hamilton – 40% –I like this kid the most…But he will stay up North
    10. Paxton Lynch – 35% Don’t know
    11. Leonard Williams – 10% —He used to be a Gator but something happened along the way.
    12. Jake Meador – 25% Don’t know
    13. Vincent Valentine – 20% Don’t know
    14. Jacob Guy – 5% (as a walk-on, 50%) Don’t know

  7. I hope and pray Florida will pursue and land the BIG POWERFUL HARD RUNNING SMASH BAM BACK that will run HARDDDD between the tackles like how LSU and ALABAMA beat us with. Speed is great around the ends at times and downfield, but to be able to beat Alabama and LSU, Georgia, and South Carolina and now Texas A&M, we have to now be BIG AND RUN HARD UP THE MIDDLE.

  8. Couldn’t agree more, Kyle. Other than depth up front, defense has not been the problem. And I believe the “we have no playmakers on offense” whine is waaaaaay over-stated. We just haven’t had an OC that can manage the one’s we do have, effectively………. but 2 OLinemen will not cut it. It was easily the weakest unit on the field last year. We can sign all the Agholors, Diggs and Howards we want, but it won’t amount to much if we get manhandled on the line of scrimmage.

  9. DE Darius Hamilton may want to watch the news real close. I would not be surprised that Schiano waits till after Feb 1 to agree to caoch the Bucs…

    “620 WDAE in Tampa reported (via the Tampa Bay Tribune) that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano also is a candidate, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter later reported that team plans to hire Schiano and that the two sides are working out a contract agreement.”

  10. Zach, You have done an outstanding job keeping us informed on UF recruiting. I will look forward to following you in the coming months and years (hey! stay away from those ESPN guys). The Mail Stack will be on hiatus till next summer but I hope you will keep us informed with some good articles, etc till then.

  11. Hey Zach, I really enjoy reading the information you put out and I am a die hard Gator. But…I think you are drinking the Gatoraide a little too much and that you are too optimistic. You leanings do not match up to some of the other articles and comments I am reading. I hope it works out the way you have it, but think you might want to be a little less homer. Thanks again.

  12. Scooter, Kyle, bringing in quantity and not quality won’t necessarily help either. The coaching staff has only brought in 2 lineman, but it isn’t for a lack of trying. Kyle Murphy is a 5 Star offensive tackle who has been on the gators board for quite sometime visited on 11/04/11. However, most believe distance is a factor and he will stay in California. Adam Bisnowaty, a four star OT, visited on 09/16/2011, but decided to stay close to home and committed to Pitt. Visesio Salt is a 340 lb 4 star DT that was committed to the Gators and was going to play OG, but could not enroll in the spring so he decided to play close to home and committed to Utah. Avery Young is a 4 Star OT that the gators have been going hard after, but many believe he will end up at Auburn or Georgia. Pierce Burton is a 3 star OT from California that Florida was going to take a shot at because he is 6’7″ 290lbs and rivals claims he runs a 4.8 40. We lost out on him to Ole Miss. Jake Meador is a 3 Star OT that the coaching staff is going hard after now, but like young, many believe he will end up at another school; either Mizzou or Wisconsin. Dante Phillips is a 4 Star DT, currently committed to the Gators, that I believe will get playing time at OT until he adds more weight. If only a couple of these guys had picked us then we would be in a much better situation. Recruiting has went great for us at almost every other position, we’ve just missed out on a few on the offensive line. We have a lot of talent currently on the roster, they just haven’t reached their potential.

  13. Great post Zach, I think we have a bright future ahead of us. Next yr. We will be able to get two good backs and more linemen. I wouldn’t read too much into quality of o-line. They were just really young up front. We should be more physically mature next year. Also a year more experienced.lastyr was the first time most of these guys played or even played together. The oline is a position that usually takes time to mature.We will be fine. Anctious to see spring ball and how Peaase developes our two young QBs and don’t sleep on Murphy. I here he is using this opportunity as a fresh start. Go Gators!!!

  14. Personal predictions for final commits:

    QB Skyler Mornhinweg
    WR Stefon Diggs
    DE Darius Hamilton (Schiano leaving)
    B Dante Fowler (look at video and body language)
    LB Schyler Miles
    CB Tracy Howard

    Solid class, great on defense but thin on offense. Plenty of WRs and RBs in 2013 but we need so much OL depth, it’s not even funny.

  15. Others:
    Nelson Agholor – USC (USC wouldn’t come visit so much if they didn’t feel good about him)
    Josh Harvey-Clemons – UGa (home state team even though UF is closer)
    Avery Young – UGa (haven’t heard much good about UF from him)
    Paxton Lynch – won’t get UF offer, so maybe IU
    Leonard Williams – Auburn (as someone said, once a big gator but something changed)
    Jake Meador – Wisconsin (hired OL coach he likes)
    Vincent Valentine – Nebraska (too far and too late for UF)
    Jacob Guy – UF walk-on or low level offer somewhere else

  16. Gatorfanatic- I’m aware of the list of OL we have missed on in this recruiting cycle and the and the last one for that matter. And yes, this class is shaping up to be top notch …….. everywhere else on the roster. We’ve pooled too many resources chasing Fowler, Marshall and a few other long shots that I think we dropped the ball on the weakest position on the field. We can sign all the Agholors and Diggs we want, but it won’t matter if Brissett/Driskell or picking their asses off the turf at the end of every play.

  17. I have been a Urban fan from the start and have always had alot of respect for him. Wepractically paid him an extra four mil. When he knew his heart wasn’t in it…cool. We allowed him to take a leave of absence to get healthy…cool. Heck we even gave him an office after he retired for so called health reasons…cool. ONE YEAR LATER HE TAKES THE OSU JOB…COOL, but for him to go after any player THIS recruiting season that was one of our top priorities and one we have basically waste the entire season on is flat out disrespectful. Next year he could go after any player in the country. Everyone will be free game. To act like you care about UF and then try to snag our top priority to me shows no respect. I understand he has moved on and his loyalty is with his new team but don’t crap on this institution as if we havn’t been good to you. These are just my opinions and I wish him the best. Just don’t disrespect us by going after Diggs who he knows was a strong UF Lean. If Diggs wasn’t sure about us would be one thing but this guy was basically a shoe in and now Urban has put on the full court press. DISRESPECTFUL!!!!

  18. Another fine job, Zach! I look forward to your post signing day coverage and your opinion of the top ten schools will be, at the end of the day – in other words, I would like to see you rank the top 10.

    The relationship between Agholor’s coach and Lame Kitten, Sr., is the wild card and will be a major factor in this battle. The one thing that may beak it, is if Monte wants him to play defense.

    I’m going out on a limb by making such a bold prediction, but, no guts, no glory. Fowler will be a Gator! I believe his Dad will step back and let him pick the school he wants, in the end.

  19. Gatorbread. I agree!! UF paid him a million dollars to be a consultant b/c he loved UF and wanted to help us. Now, it makes it look like he was just keeping track of who we were recruiting, so he knew who he might want to go after as well if he received a job offer.
    I thank him for all he did, but I have no respect for him anymore.

  20. Zach, did you even talk to any of these players? I knbow recruiting is’nt a guarantee…but in your mail stack on 1/25 the only players that actually committed today are the kids that were already verbals! What happened to aghlor, clemmons, howard, young…the only one we got today was Fowler…that’s it!!!??? Look at, four of the last 5 committs for UF are 3 star players most people have never heard of! that’s how you finish???


    January 26th, 2012 8:03 am