UPDATE: After working the phones Thursday night and Friday morning, I now think DeMarcus Walker is choosing Alabama.
Florida will face D-day this coming Friday.
And no, I’m not talking about Will Muschamp and his staff deciding on the depth chart.
Four-star defensive end DeMarcus Walker will be announcing his school of choice at 5:00 p.m. ET on ESPNU’s first RecruitingNation show of the season.
The finalists for Walker are Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and Tennessee, but it’s expected to come down to the Gators and the Tide despite his recent twitter love for the Vols.
There are many people that believe he’s headed to Tuscaloosa, but three very good sources have been telling me since The Opening that he’s UF bound.
Now maybe Walker has just been telling them what they want to hear, or he could always change his mind between now and his announcement. But until then, I’m going to go with what I’m being told and that’s Florida.
Regardless of who lands Walker on Friday, his recruitment won’t be over until National Signing Day.
On to the questions!
What’s the latest on Alvin Bailey, Laquon Treadwell, Jalen Ramsey, and Mackenzie Alexander? — A.J. and others
I was asked about these four by many of you this week, so what I’ll do is go over each prospect starting with Treadwell.
WR Laquon Treadwell:
Treadwell, who is new No. 1 ranked receiver on Rivals.com, spoke with Muschamp on Monday and received an offer. Muschamp told him he hopes to take one or two more wideouts in this class.
Treadwell has expressed a lot of interest in visiting the Gators and should give them one of his five officials. The other schools vying for a visit are Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss.
Although distance doesn’t seem to be a factor for Treadwell, Michigan is the team to beat for him right now and he isn’t a guy I would count on if you’re a Gator fan. But Muschamp will give him the full-court press moving forward and if does come down to Gainesville, anything is possible.
WR Alvin Bailey:
The only thing new on Bailey was him revealing on twitter Wednesday that he has privately made his decision. Bailey later tweeted that UF freshman running back Matt Jones — his close friend and former teammate — is one of five people that know where he’s going.
Bailey still plans to announce sometime before Sept. 1 and is expected to choose between Florida and UCF. I know the Knights held the lead for awhile, but I would be shocked if he didn’t pick the Gators. If you read my update on him from Saturday, you probably feel the same way.
CB Jalen Ramsey:
I think the USC commit could eventually flip to Florida based on some things I’ve been told, but it will be a process. He still needs to set up an official to UF, although the hold up is not if but when he will visit. Ramsey wants to take the trip with his teammate and UF quarterback commit Max Staver, and it’s only a matter of time before they decide on a date.
Ramsey will visit other schools as well and Southern Cal is supposed to get the final official, but I really like Florida’s chances here. Things just have to fall in place for it to happen.
CB Mackensie Alexander:
Alexander avoids the media attention and doesn’t give much away with his recruitment. He will take official visits this fall and Florida will likely receive one from him. As I said earlier this month, we’ll get a better idea of where Alexander stands once NSD gets closer.
Where does Florida go from here for O-Line depth? — Brett and Kyle
Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Lacey remain the top targets at tackle and the Gators are still keeping the door open with Rod Johnson.
But now they must replace Josh Outlaw at guard and there aren’t many options. Florida will continue to pursue David Dawson and Joe Fennell, but they appear to be long shots right now as Dawson is firmly committed to Michigan and Fennell wants to play defensive tackle in college.
It looks like the Gators will have to find someone under-the-radar this fall or go after a JUCO prospect if they can’t get Outlaw back in the fold. The good things is NSD won’t be here for another five months.
What’s your gut feeling and percentage chances with L. Tunsil, D. Walker, M. Harris, J. Ramsey, L. Treadwell, or A. Bailey? — C-Slim
Laremy Tunsil: 25% — His Top 3 is Georgia, Alabama and Florida … in that order.
DeMarcus Walker: 70% — He visited Alabama twice this summer and loves Nick Saban, but the same can be said for Florida and Muschamp. The Gators have distance and friendships in their favor.
Marcell Harris: 80% — Texas will present a challenge for UF, but there are way too many factors pointing him to Gainesville.
Jalen Ramsey: 3o% — Once he takes his official, this should go up to 50 percent.
LaQuon Treadwell: 20% — I think the Gators are one of his Top 5 teams so they get their portion of the percentage. Their chances could definitely increase if he visits.
Alvin Bailey: 90% — He grew up a Florida fan, his mom wants him close to home, his “big brother” is on the team and two of his best friends are committed to UF. Somebody get this kid a Gator hat.
Who is this year’s Most Valuable Recruit? The Tebow, Hunter, Powell, Debose, etc. Can be verbal or target. — Chad
The obvious choices are Tunsil and Hargreaves because they’re five-star recruits. But the Gators are set at left tackle with D.J. Humphries and they have solid depth at cornerback, so I have to go with Ahmad Fulwood.
Florida hasn’t signed a 6-foot-4 receiver that was ranked in the top 100 in over 10 years. Fulwood is exactly what’s been missing at the position and he will make an impact from day one. He has the talent and opportunity to be a special player for UF.
Looking ahead to ’14, what QB’s are on the Gators’ board for the following class? — Ivo
It’s very early, but the guys to keep an eye on at this point are Wade Freebeck (Davie, Fla./Western) and Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Day). To my knowledge, they are the only two quarterbacks that have been offered by Florida thus far. Both rising juniors earned an offer following their performance in camp this summer.
That’s all for this week! Be sure to put your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below!