How Hill’s resignation impacts recruiting


As much as it hurt Florida’s offensive staff and wide receivers when coach Aubrey Hill resigned Friday, his loss will be felt most in recruiting.

Though some have raised questions regarding Hill’s coaching abilities, few doubt his recruiting skills.

Born and raised in Miami, Hill joined the Hurricanes in 2008 as the receivers coach and quickly became a force in his hometown along the recruiting trail. UM named him its recruiting coordinator in 2010 and he was hired by UF coach Will Muschamp for those same responsibilities in January 2011.

The biggest recruit Hill landed for UF was Kelvin Taylor, the top 2013 running back in the country according to ESPN. But Hill didn’t dominate South Florida as much as he did with the Hurricanes and primarily recruited receivers during his UF tenure.

In the 2012 cycle, Hill helped keep Latroy Pittman on board and convinced Raphael Andrades to sign to Florida the night before NSD. This year he played a big role in the commitments of 2013 receivers Rodney Adams, Ahmad Fulwood, Marqui Hawkins and Chris Thompson.

The latter three remain 100 percent committed to the Gators, but Adams and offensive lineman Rod Johnson (who was recruited by Hill) have re-opened their recruitment.

However, they were actually “open” before Hill’s resignation and are in a situation similar to former UF linebacker commit Dillan Lawson. A source told the Sun both have grades issues and didn’t meet some of the academic requirements set forth by Florida’s coaching staff.

Though Adams and Johnson have expressed interest in several schools, the common official visit they’ve scheduled is to West Virginia — which has very low academic standards.

In speaking with on Saturday, Adams admitted he’s thinking about decommitting and Johnson said he’s “not much” of a UF verbal. But the reality is these two were on the verge of being dropped by the Gators and are using Hill’s departure to save face.

Excluding Vernon Hargreaves III and two of the four ensuing 2013 commitments, Adams and Johnson were the only members of Florida’s class that didn’t attend Friday Night Lights. Looking back now, the surprising additions of Thompson and offensive lineman Octavius Johnson make much more sense.

One UF commit who seems to be truly wavering as a result of Hill is 2014 receiver Ryeshene Bronson. Hill was his main recruiter and Bronson told the Sun he’s now “80 percent” committed.

But offensive coordinator Brent Pease was also a key factor for Bronson and he will wait until Florida hires a new coach before making his final decision. Bronson visited Gainesville with his mother on Friday night for Florida’s practice.

Moving forward, Hill’s absence will certainly hurt the Gators with 2014 prospects such as Bronson. But over time, UF should have no trouble reestablishing itself in South Florida.

“I think short term this does hurt them a little bit, especially since they’re trying to get in early with the 2014 kids down in those areas where he was heavily involved,” said recruiting analyst Chris Nee, who has been covering recruiting in the state of Florida since 2006. “He was the face of that relationship and it’s now been kind of severed. But long term, we’re talking about the University of Florida. I don’t think it will have any drastic effects. They’re going to find somebody who is an effective recruiter with great ties to that area or another talent-rich area.”

Nee believes the new receiver coach doesn’t necessarily need to have ties to South Florida.

“If you can find somebody who fits what coach Pease does as an offensive coordinator and they are from that area, then that’s an added bonus,” Nee said. “But if you find a guy who is an effective recruiter and you put him in a new area, yes he’ll have ground to make up and yes it will take time for him to become known. But if he’s a good recruiter, he’ll get the job done. It just might take him a little while to get the inroads built.”

Fortunately for UF, one of its current coaches has already started construction.

Like Hill, Travaris Robinson was born and raised in Miami and is 10 years younger than him. In fact, Robinson is Florida’s primary recruiter in the Miami-Dade area while Hill had recruited the surrounding counties.

Muschamp said he will be the recruiting coordinator this year and handle Hill’s assigned areas. With Robinson and Muschamp tackling South Florida together, the former defensive backs should have things covered pretty well.

“I think coach Robinson is a guy who can definitely make a big impact down there,” Nee said. “He’s an excellent football coach and kids loving talking to him and playing for him. There’s a lot of commitments in Florida’s class already who chose Florida due to their relationship with T-Rob. So he’s a guy that if you’re looking for somebody on that current staff to immediately go down there and make an impact, he’s on the top of that list. I think he and Muschamp can weather this short-term storm that’s going to come from losing coach Hill.”

Should Adams and Johnson part ways with the Gators, here are some other prospects at their positions to keep an eye on.

Alvin Bailey, 5-11, 175, Seffner, Fla./Armwood
Stacy Coley, 6-1, 173, Oakland Park, Fla./Northeast
Marquez North, 6-3, 2o5, Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek
Laquon Treadwell, 6-3, 183, Crete, Ill./Crete Monee
Levonte Whitfield, 5-9, 176, Orlando, Fla./Jones
Taj Williams, 6-4, 170, Tallahassee, Fla./Lincoln

Ander Bodkin, 6-5, 291, Marianna, Fla./Marianna
Tyrone Crowder, 6-2, 315, Rockingham, N.C./Richmond County
Kenny Lacey, 6-6, 270, Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe
Joe Fennell, 6-5, 310, Fort Myers, Fla./South Fort Myers
DeVondre Seymour, 6-6, 290, Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett
Laremy Tunsil, 6-6, 295, Lake City, Fla./Columbia

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  1. Hopefully this speed bump does not slow us down too much! I think these kids really need to ask theirselves ” did I choose to committ because of my relationship with my recruiter or because I want to be a Gator?” If it’s not because you want to be a Gator, you made a bad decision anyway, & personally, I would rather them be somewhere else Instead! We need guys who are going to play because of their love for the Gators & because they know it will get them to the next level! Not because they are “boys” with a recruiter!!!! If you want to be a Gator…….be a Gator…..for LIFE!!!!

  2. Let him go then! What is he waiting on? We can fill his spot. I’m tired of these unsolid attention wanting kids.Before we offered him, he was an after thought now he is getting some props. He is acting like this attention is getting to his head even thou Hill left. Coaches leave all the time. It’s the school you commit to not a coach so peace Rod ROLL OUT.

  3. The resignation of Aubrey Hill is (a) two years overdue and (b) shows once again that ‘on the job’ training for the position of head coach is really not a good idea. Hill just did not decide to resign. I guess is that he was told to resign by either the UF President or the AD. WM just did not decide to stop acting like a fool with sideline rants early last year. He was told to get his act togther by his bosses. Maybe WM has what it takes to be HC at UF. On field results are the only thing that matters. Right now after 2011 he has one year experience as a HC and owner of the worst win-loss record at UF in thirty (30) years. Ranting by posters on this site will not change that reality!!

  4. Zach…..

    A lot of people posting on other recruiting sites are saying Tunsil has eliminated the Gators from consideration. I have not heard anything like that…..have you? Georgia fans seem to think he is set to be a Dawg. If so, how could the Gators get swamped (no pun intended) by Georgia when this kid is from Lake City? Any insights on Tunsil’s current recruitment status? Thanks.

  5. EMK, so original. No experience as a head coach, blah, blah, blah, worst win/loss record in 30 years, blah, blah, blah, won’t change this reality, blah, blah, blah…For God’s sake, say something original! Same crap from you on every article and post. Geeesh.

  6. We are the Gator Nation and we stand behind our players and our coaches. Once a Gator always a Gator, “One for all and all for one” I agree that we want only those players who feel that they want to be a part of everything that we are building here. A chance for a young man to be a part of something great, something of true value. Players that bleed Orange and Blue.
    Go Gators!

  7. With the exception of Creek Gator and a few others most of you gentlemen need a heavy dose of maturity. Blindly supporting another is fine if you are so inclined. I will not do so. Why don’t we try this. Many of the ranters have promised never to reply to what I write. That’s a wonderful idea. Why don’t we try to do that. Otherwise, keep it going for it is fine entertainment to hear from Rantsville. Best wishes, Gentlemen

  8. “shows once again that ‘on the job’ training for the position of head coach is really not a good idea.” Huh? Every head coach had a first year of being a head coach at some point. Therefore, it’s always on the job training. Even after decades of coaching, there’s always something to learn.
    I don’t care if someone wants to be negative on here, that’s their right, but at least make sense.
    I agree that Hill was probably told to resign. I actually never liked the idea of him coming here anyway, b/c of all the signs pointing to him being involved in all the recruiting scandals at Miami. Florida did not need someone like that possibly bringing the NCAA eye upon us just because he was here and under scrutiny.

  9. Tunsil may just feel like been there done that since Lake City is so close. I mean who feels like going away to college when it’s so close. Georgia is definitely in the drivers seat, but I doubt we are all the way out of it. He is NSD decision guy so there is a long road to go. With so much of the class wrapped up a lot of work can be put toward Tunsil.

  10. Just wait and see what kind of year Champ gives us. He deserves a chance. I think we will all be pleasantly surprised.

    Also, I think that if we beat the sh&&&&t out of the leg humpers Tunsil will come “home”!

  11. No, Tunsil has not eliminated UF completely, but UGA and Bama have put some considerable distance between us. He won’t announce till NSD, so there is a lot of time between now and then to make up. A lot of teams come out of nowhere and put on the full-court press at the last minute and get a commit. Look at Howard and L. Williams last year. The rate we are going this class will be full by September and with Tunsil being a plus one we can put all of our resources into getting him to sign. I think how well or how poorly we play this year will determine alot. If we go out there and suck again and our offense looks anemic as it did last year, Tunsil will pull the trigger for someone else. If we look like we have improved considerably and finish, maybe 10-2 and look competitive we have a good chance.

  12. Emk, just go back to the front door of Walmart and greet your family & friends! You sir are the mayor of ” Rantsville” as you call it, all you do is comment about EVERYTHING, but in a negative way. Just go away bro! We are trying to enjoy the TEAM we happen to love. If anyone needs a dose of maturity, it would you my enemy, go root for someone else and rant on their forum…….fool!

  13. Seriously people. I don’t know why you continue to fall for it every time. Each piece Zach puts together morphs into a post bitching about EMK. By the 8th post you can’t even tell what the blog was about by reading the responses. Quit ghiving this goof a platform and stop responding to him.

  14. Dear all: I have come to believe that you are correct about me. I do need more maturity and I am trying to work through my mental issues. I apologize for my self-hating rants and will work toward becoming a better person and not so smug and snarky. I take full responsibility for offending anyone and will strive to be the best poster on the Gatorsports message boards. Best Wishes, EMK

  15. @ scooterp, on the Tunsil issue. When is the last time we got a good recruit from Lake City? The kid 2 years ago “grew up a Gator Fan”, but virtually RAN to FSU. Now Mr. Tunsil, and I’m sure this kid is a great player because everyone is salivating over him, but according to all the stories about Ga. and BAMA is he openly talking about Florida in any positive light? Is he saying anything about his recruitment are are all these just stories about where is is leaning? I know that I may have swerved away from my original point (Lake City), but what is the Kid saying? OK now back to Lake City, what good athletes have we gotten from that program in the last 5 years (and this is a legitimate question, I really don’t know), Do we have a bad relationship with the coaching staff at Lake City, do they have animosity toward the UF for some pass dealings? I can’t believe it’s because the kids are not being recruited hard. I know Jernigan was probably tired of seeing and hearing from UF.

  16. @ Gary, The investigations at UM is the reason that Hill resigned. It has already been stated publicly that he was apart of the investigations. He stated himself that he did not want that to affect the UF program, so he resigned.

  17. i know i make a lot of comments about that emk guy. my problem isnt necessarily the negativity. my problem is, y is it always about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the article. its always about muschamp and how he cant coach. get a life kid.
    Best Wishes……..Gatorfan

  18. Zach,

    Now that it appears we are going to be losing a few commits, who does UF have the most legitimate shot of getting to replace them. Also, any word on stacy coley? It seemed like he might commit but I haven’t heard anything about him recently.

  19. Hill quits over his involvement in cheating at scUM but Michael Barrow was up to his eyeballs in iy, even more than hill and scUM is still embracing hm. Why you ask? Either they STILL havn’e learned their OR Golden needs to keep up the front that he wasn’t involved so they all pretend all the calls Barrow made to the illegal surrogatge recruiter were not relateed to recruiting. Pathetic.

    With Golden its simple if he didn’t know, he should have, he was in charge and he was supposed to be the white Knight to clean up the program. If he did know he gotta GO!

  20. ps Phat Doolittle, doesn’t remember Aubrey Hill’s playing days, doesn’t remember Paul Dee, doesn’t know about Michael Barrow’s involvement in illegal RECRUITING before and after Golden’s arrival.

    Phat add Jetrho Tull’s song “Fat Man” to your ipod and nod off in a recliner.

  21. @Creek – Believe me, the Tunsil train has not stopped with UF. Six months is a long, loooooong time. L. Williams went from strong Gator lean to a USC Trojan two weeks before NSD. T. Howard changed his mind two days before. The earlier commits, over the summer have been a higher priority this summer with VHIII, Walker, Anzalone, Sherit etc. all announcing early. We do have a lot of ground to make up, but we have now put ourselves in a position to almost exclusively recruit him through the fall. And don’t be surprised to hear schools like Clemson and Auburn start to get thrown around before this is over either……… and to answer your queston about Columbia HS, no we have not had a big name recruit come out in a while, but I’ve not heard anything to suggest the relationship with UF is strained.

  22. Darby: Please carefully think about what I am about to write. You want me to give you a reason for the UF record. THIS IS IT: In each game in which UF was the loser, the other team score more points. Is that incorrect? Now, why don’t you demand that I go to another site or not post b/c you don’t like what I write or you do not agree with it or that it upsets you. EMK

  23. In reference to lake city, the reason kids who grow up so close and do not commit to the gators, are not recruited hard by Florida. For some reason the gator staffs present and past assume it as a foregone conclusion that these kids will come to Florida. The head coach is an FSU alumnus who does not steer his players to a particular school. His two concerns are player development and preparation for the next level.Look at Jernigan and tunsil play and you see guys ready to step from high school to college and compete.

  24. Everyone,

    Keep your comments on target with the article. Otherwise, don’t post anything. This is getting ridiculous. I am sick of how every article turns into an EMK fest. I haven’t posted in months because of this crap.


  25. Please ‘boys and girls’ follow Lee’s suggestion. Fourth (4th) post by me (EMK) on Hill & on topic. Followed by these comments on me and my post: (1) Harold, (2) TampaGator, (3) John, (4) Sean, (5) Down7, (6) John, (7) Harold (again), (8) Scoopterp, (9) an EMK imposter, (10) darby, (11), Gatorfan, etc. Does any one see the point that Lee is trying to make? Perhaps we should just express your opinions on the given topic and ease-up just a little on the need for complete agreement on everything Gator. Just a suggestion!!

  26. @ GBREAKER1, At the risk of pissing someone off for not being on subject, I followed the Jernigan recruitment because I wanted to see the local kid come here and compete with all these great players we were getting from out of state and represent the local area. They recruited him PRETTY HARD. Now that you tell me that their HC is an FSU Grad that seals the deal for me. I know you said the things that are fit and proper about him steering the players where they will develop and move to the next level, is that saying that that can’t be accomplished at UF???

  27. Travis—-shame on you!! (see: Lee’s post on deportment). Let’s clean up your syntax and get with the program. What you were trying to write was, ” I respectfully disagree with your selection of subject matter’. There now doesn’t that correction make you feel better. Go Gators!!

  28. PSU just lost the number 2 OT commit in the country. Need to get involved and see if he would be interested. He is just as big as Tunsil and is a more developed pass blocker. I’m not worried. WM is doing a great job.

  29. Creek gator the point is simple,Tim felt more comfortable with Odell Haggins and Jimbo F. than WM and Bryant Young. Those two have a successful track record of developing talent. That being said you notice the schools for Laremy no FSU because Rick Trickett does not have a history of producing next level OL men.The coaches at UF all have strong ties to the NFL,but they have never readied someone for the NFL.

  30. GBR, I stay on top of FSU up here in enemy territory and usually know more about the nolies than most FSU fans do. lol Good to have friends near the FSU program where I can get some news tidbits on them each year. Your comment about Rick trickett not producing much NFL OL talent was spot on too. I have had the opportunity to get first-hand info from some folks who get to watch the practises over there and Fisher has openly expressed he was not happy with their OL so far, mainly because most of them showed up to camp out of shape. These guys are going to have such a problem on offense this year and trying to run the ball because they are going to have a very weak OL.

  31. GBreaker1 – The FSU staff has been together longer. I don’t think the Jernigan situation is a good measuring stick for UF recruiting out of Lake City. WM was hired 7 weeks before NSD that recruiting cycle. Then he blew up the whole staff. Any relationships TJ developed with the UF staff were all gone. Apples and oranges.

  32. GBreaker1…..

    If rumors are correct and Georgia leads for his OL talents…..tell me then what record does the Georgia OL coach have for putting players into the next level? So goes that theory. Tunsil and his mom obviously like Georiga because of Richt’s overt fundamental approach to Jesus. A lot of recruit and their families are drawn to Richt and Dabo Swinney because they preach Jesus when recruits visit with families. It is working.

  33. @GatorTodd – You could make the case that we don’t develop O Linemen very well, either. Since ’05 we’ve had a tone of highly recruited 4/5 star OL come on campus that didn’t live up to the hype. We were lucky to have a QB with a very unique set of skill sets that kept defenses guessing and great defenses to offset weak OL. Hopefully Davis will take care of that. I think its funny that the two OL that were most successful were a couple of 3 stars (Pounceys).

  34. Tampa gator Will Friend is georgia’s new ol line coach ,young , likeable,and has a teaching style young guys love. He just placed three lineman in this years draft including ot Cordy Glenn who was not high on NFL draftboards heading into his senior year. Nfl coaches all give Friend high reviews on his coaching ability.

  35. Big thanks to all of you guys for your post on the Tunsil, FSU coaching and OL period (GBREAKER1, scooterp, Gator Todd,Tampa Gator) It was insightful reading. What about the kid that just re-opened his recruitment from PSU, the one “J” mentioned earlier, the number 2 OT. Does anyone have any info on that situation, if he’s de-committed then he’s open game . I don’t see holding out for Tunsil if he is legitimately leaning towards GA. We won’t lose anything by checking in with this kid. Surely I, along with many others would love to have Tunsil line up for UF, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, maybe a chicken or two!!!

  36. Tunsil is a left tackle and has let it be known that is where he wants to play (and where #1 picks in the NFL come from…not right tackles. Guess what, D.J. Humphries is Florida’s left tackle of the future, not Tunsil. And Chaz Green will be the right tackle after Patchan leaves for a couple of years. And Georgia moved Theus to right tackle this week….so…..I will give you one guess….and one guess only… to where Tunsil will be playing his college football…..and it is not in Gainesville, Florida, or in the state that George Wallace and MLK made famous.

  37. @scooterp…..

    No recruiting site had the Pouncey brothers as 3 stars. Scout and Rivals had them at 4 stars. Some sites had them at 5 stars. They were two of the most highly recruiting OL in the country when they came out of Lakeland HS…along with Black, Rainey and friends.

    and….from 2005 to 2010….here are the 4 and 5 star OL they have come to Florida and where they ended up…or are now…

    1. Mc. Pouncey, 4 star…..Plays center for the Steelers
    2. M. Pouncey, 4 star….Plays center for the Dolphins
    3. Marcus Gilbert, 4 star….Plays right tackle for the Steelers
    4. Maurice Hurt, 3 star…..Plays guard for the Redskins
    5. Carl Johnson, 5 star….Played guard for the Saints
    6. James Willson, 5 star….projected starting LG for the Gators this year
    7. Jim Barrie, 3 star….injured in college and left the game
    8. ??? Young, 2 star…..never played much at Florida and no longer playing
    9. Matt Patchan, 5 star….projected starting RT for the Gators this year
    10. ??? Robey, 3 star…..2nd string center for the Gators at the moment
    11. ??? Codrington, 3 star…..injured and out of the game

    So…since 2005….the Gators have had four 4 and 5 star players leave the program….and all four of played or are playing in the NFL….and one 3 star was developed (Hurt) and is playing in the NFL. The two other 4/5 star players up through 2010 that were 4/5 stars…are Patchan and Wilson….and I think both of them are headed to the NFL (Wilson…if he stays healthy).

    So….Scooterp….your 12:39pm post was highly inaccurate.

  38. The problem for the Gators….particularly Meyer…..was that he (Meyer) did not recruit bundles of OL and therefore the problems the Gators has last year…in the SEC. You don’t win without a good and deep OL and DL in the SEC….and the Gators did not have either last year. I think they will go into the SEC deeper and better prepared this year.

    And Muschamp is already doing a better job of recruiting OL and DL…don’t you think?

  39. Also…Xavier Nixon, 5 star…projected starting LT this year and bound for the NFL as well.

    Chaz Green will be in the NFL some day as well. 4-star.

    Jon Halapio….3 star…will be in the NFL as well.

    Just saying…..Florida has had a bunch of quality OL since 2005….but Meyer left Muschamp with development and depth issues on the OL….and he and his staff have worked very hard to fix the problem that Meyer left.