Zach’s Mail Stack 8/15


It sure has been an eventful week since our last Mail Stack.

Florida’s 2013 commitment list has shrunk from 22 to 19, with all three losses coming at positions of need. But Gator fans shouldn’t be surprised or disappointed at the decommitments that took place.

Wide receiver Rodney Adams and offensive tackle Rod Johnson had been wavering since the resignation of Aubrey Hill and it seemed inevitable that they wouldn’t last much longer. I discussed the possible replacements for them in last week’s blog.

As for cornerback Tre’ Bell, his exit wasn’t expected but it also wasn’t devastating for the Gators. The nation’s No. 1 CB, Vernon Hargreaves III, is already in the commitment column and they still have several quality options remaining on the board.

Which brings me to the first question.

Who takes Bell’s spot at corner? — James

The top candidates to replace Bell are Mackenzie Alexander, Southern Cal commit Jalen Ramsey, Georgia commit Shaq Wiggins and Priest Willis.

Willis is planning to take an official visit to Florida, but until that happens, he’s going to be hard to land. Alexander’s recruitment will be a marathon not a sprint, and we won’t get a true sense of his intentions until NSD nears. To this point, Alexander has been all over the place as to where he will go. But he has said that if he chooses an in-state school, it will be UF.

I think Ramsey and Wiggins are the two to watch. Ramsey is teammates with Florida quarterback commit Max Staver and was offered by UF on Monday. I’m told he has shown some serious interest and will officially visit with Staver.

Wiggins, who was very high on the Gators prior to his UGA commitment, is also scheduled to visit this fall and I wouldn’t be shocked if he flipped to Florida. Not saying it will happen, but it’s definitely possible with him.

Are we going after a TE with AC Leonard being booted?Scooter

With the two tight ends Florida signed in the last class, this position isn’t crucial for the coaches. They missed on a few kids early in the year and then DeSean Smith (LSU), Josh McNeil (Alabama) and Jordan Davis (Georgia) left them hanging in July. With those three off the board and limited spots left, I don’t UF see pursuing another TE for 2013.

Update on Daniel McMillan and visits. How solid is he? — Nate

In addition to Florida, McMillan is scheduled to officially visit Alabama and Ohio State, but the four-star linebacker says he is “99.9” percent committed to the Gators.

His out-of-state trips are nothing more than him wanting to see another college atmosphere and experience something new. I don’t think there’s anything to worry about with McMillan.

He had a great time at Friday Night Lights and hung out with a handful of his future teammates after the event was over. This kid loves being a Gator and the only official written offer he talked about on his Facebook account was the one he received from the University of Florida.

What do you know about Tyler Moore’s situation? And what do you think our chances are of getting him?Pat

For those who don’t know, Nebraska sophomore offensive tackle Tyler Moore left the school this past weekend and has decided to take the fall semester off so he can reassess his college options.

Moore was one of the nation’s top lineman out of Clearwater Countryside in 2011.

Although he was expected to start this season for the Cornhuskers, Moore’s father told the Tampa Bay Times that his son wasn’t happy about some things at Nebraska.

“He’s going to come home to get his head straight,’’ Brian Moore said Monday. “He’ll take classes at St. Pete College, and then in January he’ll make a decision.’’

The elder Moore, who graduated from Nebraska in 1985 and played tight end there, told the Times that his son will either return to the Cornhuskers or enroll at UF or FSU.

But at this moment, it looks like he’s leaning toward going back to Nebraska.

“He loved Nebraska, he still loves Nebraska,’’ Moore said of his son. “Even when we were driving home yesterday, we were driving by Gainesville and I said maybe you’ll be wearing the blue and orange, but he said I’d rather wear red.’’

Zach, what is going on with David Dawson (Michigan commit)? I heard he was looking at the Gators earlier in the year? — Gator N NC

Early this summer, Dawson reached out to UF coach Will Muschamp, told him he wanted to visit Florida and got in contact with a few Gator commits. He eventually scheduled a trip to Gainesville for Friday Night Lights and even bought his plane ticket.

But when he went to The Opening on July 5, Dawson was hounded by reporters and Michigan commits about the visit. The pressure from both sides apparently got to Dawson and he cancelled his plans after a talk with Michigan coach Brady Hoke.

Dawson has shown zero interest in UF since that time and did not attend FNL. No disrespect to Octavious Jackson, but I think Florida’s acceptance of his commitment is a sign that the ship has sailed with Dawson.

How different is Muschamp’s board from what the services (Rivals, etc.) put out? At times, it seems like there’s a big gap. — Travis

Muschamp has stated several times that he doesn’t pay attention to recruiting services and could care less about star ratings. The biggest difference between Muschamp’s board and a board from one of the websites is the factors that go into them.

The ESPN300, Rivals250, Scout300 and Top247 rank recruits based on talent alone and analysts evaluate games, camps, combines and highlights to create their lists.

Muschamp’s recruiting board takes more than talent into account. He also looks at what kind of person a prospect is, what kind of family he comes from, whether or not he would fit into the program, how good his grades are, how interested he is in Florida, etc. There are many more factors that matter to Muschamp than just athletic ability.

Can you give us a general Top 10 board of who the staff wants most at this point in the recruiting process?Lighty

This board could and likley will change over the next few months, but here are the Top 10 targets I think Florida has. This list consists of the highest-rated recruits at positions of need that have shown the interest in the Gators.

1. OT Laremy Tunsil
2. S Marcell Harris
3. DE DeMarcus Walker
4. CB Jalen Ramsey (USC commit)
5. WR Laquon Treadwell
6. CB Mackensie Alexander
7. WR Alvin Bailey
8. DE Ebenezer Ogundeko
9. OT Kenny Lacey
10. CB Shaq Wiggins (UGA commit)

That’s all for this week! Be sure to put your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below!


  1. Hey Zach With the wr decommitment what woukd you say the odds are we land alvin bailey with his recent offer ? And do you know if the staff is actively recruiting Mackensie Alexander him and vh3 would be a formidable cb combo.. thanks !

  2. Zach, P. Willis and VH3 with Harris + Kneal + Nick would be nice. Bailey might have weaseled his way back on the coaches good side. Great slot WR with deep ball speed. This Tunsil thing seems to be a waist of time. I feel we should make a move for Lacey. If Walker goes Bama on us I think Ogundeko will come on board. Well be fine no matter what happens. Great job Zach. Can you tweet me back your thoughts on my mail Q to you by Don’tAskMeYo? thanks

  3. Contrary to some opinion this has indeed been a very eventful week, just not in a good way. There are two glaring areas of need. One is WR, where a kid can come in from HS and compete for playing time against UF veterans who are some of the least productive receivers in the SEC. Yet, there are only three takers, although Joiner may join the group. The other position is OL where UF has again coming up short. And, no Tunsil and Lacy will not be Gators.

  4. EMK,
    I realize that I am doing exactly what you are fishing for by replying to your post, but your constant poor mouthing has gotten old and stale. I know it’s your trademark and you relish being the tool of the comment section, but it’s time to move on.

    So far we are recruiting with the best programs in the country with a top 5 class and it’s only August. Maybe you should release some of that negativity and look on the bright side for once in your obviously depressing life. Channeling Eeyore is no way to go through life, son.

  5. A Bit of Reality (just if divits benefit): (1) What you call ‘poor mouthing’ is actually called REALITY. Is WR not a position of need? Are UF receivers among the least productive in the SEC. That is called reality, my good friend. Same goes for the OL. Wake-up, reality is not that bad. (2) Only hibitual posters care about the ‘star-system’ and Rival’s top, what it is. WM and coaches everywhere care instaed about positions of need. While you sit there and number stars. WM, coaches everyehere ry to fill needs. Again, reality is there is is biting you in the —–. Does it hurt that much!!

  6. Seems like we are behind in OL recruiting and we have trouble pulling in the ‘big boys’ we want and need to open up holes and block for the QB.  I did a quick comparison of OLinemen on strictly on numbers, not ranking.  May be early yet, but we seem to be in the thick of it with other regional and national powers.  I know this is a flawed comparison due to the numbers of OLineone already on teams.  So is it just me or does UF have a hard time recruiting an OL?  If so are we just in transition from Meyer’s OL philosophy?  Is this just a perception?  Thanks for your feedback…and thanks for all the work you do with brining us the latest!
    Michigan              6
    Notre Dame       5
    Alabama              4
    FSU                        4
    LSU                        4
    Georgia                4
    South Carolina   4
    Florida                 3
    Tennessee          3
    Wisconsin            3
    Ohio St                 2
    Oklahoma           2
    Southern Cal      2
    Oregon                 2
    Texas                    2
    West Virginia     2
    Miami                   1
    Arkansas              0
    Auburn                 0


  7. Perhaps your “reality” posts would be better received if you didn’t always, and I mean ALWAYS focus your “reality” on the negative. Face it sport, you live with a dark cloud hanging over your head and you feel the need spread your “cheer” whenever you see an opportunity.

    BTW, WTF is this supposed to mean, “Only hibitual(sic) posters care about the ‘star-system’ and Rival’s top, what it is.”?

    I will say it again, it is only August. There is still a half of a year until NSD. Chill out. Although I’m an animal lover, I think perhaps kicking your dog might make you feel better.

  8. I am assuming this is an area for Real Gators and not closet brand ex right? I read above about the term reality…Bottom line this the reality of who signs in Feb….Not today! This is just filler time until fall…..So there is NO reality because they are just opinions about what MAY happen in Feb……I always look at the positive side of Reality!!!! Tim Tebow can always make good of the reality and like his approach to life alot better…..So unitl Sept 1 when we kick off…this is just filler time…..Go Gators….I truly believe this is a strong class and will just add to a pretty loaded team that gets to start with the right talent at QB for the first time since Timmy left…and with an OC that will drive defenses crazy!!! Gator Bob

  9. Gator Bob: I agree with much of what your wrote partuclarly about the entire concept of ‘August Commitments’. Strange but when I write that ‘reality’ I am identified as a ‘troller’ by the p’posting intellectuals. But to clarify when I mention ‘reality’ I am talking about the following: (1) WM and staff have publically called WR and OL an areas of need. To me, that is their reality, a reality. (2) the UF receivers were among the least productive in the SEC. That is a empirical fact, a reality. To me the issue is not whether this will be a good recruiting class (I think it will be). The crucial issue is whether UF meets the needs idientifed by WM and staff. That is not so certain. Maybe yes-maybe no. February will tell.

  10. Again we always seem to forget that Max Garcia is also in this class. A stud OT with a year of playing experience already and who is already on campus learning the schemes. So in REALITY we already have 4 lineman in this class not 3. Taking a FIFTH one would be great but not as big of deal is everyone is making it seem.

  11. When we recruited that 3* Jackson, that 3* OL with enormous upside develomental potential, it wouldn’t hurt us to recruit a couple more like him. Bama’s great Ol this year has a pair of 3* kids who have turned into some stellar linemen. The same with a few at LSU as well. It’s all about finding the kids with a big upside and developing them properly.

  12. @Gator Todd, I really believe that is what Muschamp and company are doing. Finding the best guy’s for the system, most of the star gazing is being done by (us) the posters. I recently read an article by Zach saying exactly that, that Muschamp is not overly concerned with the star power and he has his own rating system.

  13. Please don’t respond to EMK, he is a classic troll who most certainly roots for a rival team. When it gets too obvious, he googles some obscure gator fact from the past to quiz people on to prove his fandom or makes up elaborate fabrications of his fan experiences.


  14. Dear Gatorgrad: Thanks for the compliment. I am certainly proud, proud to be, in your wisdom, a ‘Classic Troll’. It means alot to me. And, I will follow your advice. I promise never to respond to EMK. But please get all your poster friend to get with the program. Everyone promises but there is no discipline here. Come on, show some leadership!! Don’t feed the Classic Troll!!

  15. Some times I really wonder if any of you have ever seen a college football game. Consider the following (although I realize that most are too emotionally involved to give much of anything any thought at all): (1) Can any of you name any coach who does not try to ‘find the best guy’s for the system?’ , (2) Can any of you name any coach who would admit to offering scholarships based on the number of stars a kid has been given by someone who probably knows nothing about football, (3) Can any of you name any coach who does not have ‘his own system?’ (Well, no, I don’t have a system I rely on the postr at the Sun!!)

  16. @ Rob M
    I think muschamp is looking for an under the radar CB, seeing as how we have Poole and VH3 entering the system. He has shown that he is more concerned with in-person proven players (such as raph andrades) . We have time to burn to evaluate these players in their senior season.

  17. @ Gatorgrad
    Just curious to why you think we are recruiting a under the radar type CB when we are actively recruiting wiggins, alexander, willis, and ramsey who are all top 100 CB’s? not trying to argue just wondering where that is coming from

  18. Attention Deceit Disorder is a serious neorological disorder. Any one with manifest symptoms should seek immediate medical advice. My dear friend,bsjgator, perhap you should consider it. Don’t you recall you have been told not, repeat NOT, to direct your comments to me. What did you do forget!! Please,try to think. please try to concentrate. Warmest personal wishes.

  19. What’s up Gator family. reading over the churn through the comment section makes me laugh. We all have our own opinions on what is or should be taking place. So…here’s my 2 cents which aren’t worth didley poo…

    I feel like the program is most definitely going in the right direction. Muschamp has really put his stamp on the state of Florida and in the SEC. He’s really doing a good job at selling the recruits on our team and system. I truly feel that when these young kids in HS get to see what we do this year our whole recruiting situation will get even better. We know the defense will be there…hell it was there last year. But, if Pease can bring our offense back from the dead I seriously see us having no issues with landing the big uglies up front and the megatrons on the outside. Right now these skilled WR’s have no clue what our new offense will look like. That’s my worthless thoughts. But, I lover these Gators just as much as you guys. Gators all day!!

    Also, I may be wrong but I think Muschamp has moved Brian Poole to safety due to his love for laying the wood…is this correct?

  20. @ barefootgator

    Muschamp does the recruiting, not the reporters. Just because we have media twitter feeds and “sources close to the program” doesn’t mean we have an insight into CWM’s decision making. All I’m saying is that CWM has shown a preference for players that have proven themselves in person, rather than the national stars. There are many unheralded CBs that have worked out for CWM in the swamp.

  21. Hey Zach,

    Was wondering if you could give your opinion on the elite prospects this year who can change a team right away (i.e. the Percy Harvins, Trent Richardsons, Tim Tebows, etc.) and does Florida have a chance at getting a guy like this. Thanks.

  22. Zach,
    Are you still confident Demarcus Walker picks UF on friday and are you hearing any rumblings of where he is headed from anyone close to him? Also, how serious is Laquon Treadwell’s interest in the Gators? Thanks.