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!