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!
Do you think another linebacker could enter the class, filling the spot that Dillan Lawson left? Also, looking ahead to 2014, what are your opinions on where top RBs Bo Scarbrough and Sony Michel could end up? Scarbrough is a big bruiser and Michel looks like something special and both could compliment KT and Lane. Extremely early in the process, but how do you feel UF’s chances are with both? Thanks.
I don’t really know what to think about this class at the moment. I was super excited but some kids just can’t get the grades to get in so we have to part ways and we lose a commit on the thin OL and we look to be hurtin in some ways. I really hope we can snag 2 out of the 4 of Bailey, Treadwell, North, and Benjamin. We need some more OL commits for sure and i’d like another stud LB if possibly, lets hope Champ can pull some magic and sway some kids to be Gators.
ZACH: Excellent point on the millions dollars worth of recruiting publicity UM and OSU is getting from ESPN. Meanwhile, the WM and Gators are operating in a ‘publicity backhole’. WM has said: (1) The offensive moves on the strength of the OL, (2) OL is an area of need this recruting year, (3) WM has come up short in the OL (No, boys-n girls, Tunsil and Lacy are not coming to G’ville), (4) UF has a hard time getting top=quality OL from the State of Florida (see: 5-star Theus (sp) and Tunsil. The following are EMK Recruiting Realities!!
@ EMK, remember UM once (recently) worked for ESPN so maybe those guys are willing to give him an extra handout. But remember when WM was hired he too was on many ESPN shows, so that stuff is normal (it’s news).Tunsil nor Lacy are not make or break recruits for this team, they or one of them would be a great addition but not make or break. There is plenty of time left and even if another OL is not signed for that class, we can push for a larger number of OL for the next class if it comes to that (patients). Contrary to what I know you believe, I believe WM is doing a pretty good job so far, now we need to perform on the Field, that is what will MAKE or BREAK WM and his BAND OF GATORS, this is what can also increase the quality of recruits for the future!!! GO GATORS!!!!
Creek Gator: Unlike some on this site (including me, on occasion) you post many interesting comments. You are correct about the relationship between UM and ESPN. Regardless it is a boost for OSU, for UM and for OSU recruiting. Tunsil and Lacy will not ‘break’ the class but they would be two outstanding additions to an area of need as defined by WM. Again, agreed that WM seems to be doing a decent job in recruiting. Now, he has two years (this and next) to produce on the field or many who post here will be at his throat with ‘no more’ WM is always right because he is Gator HC. We shall see!!
What are our chances to land Stacy Coley?
Are the Gators looking at Mark Cato from GHS as a possible recruit? He’s a hometown boy with a great arm and good size. not to mention a high 3 GPA. What’s being knocked around on him or any other GHS boys? Thanks
Still want one more LB and 4 WR’s in this class, and IMO, one or maybe two of the new DE recruits are going to grow into DT’s, and RoPo will probably go pro after this year too, so Walker is a good bet to be a Gator because the depth chart favors him picking the Gators.
Now, on to my main area of concern… OL. We need five OL this class. Nope, donp;t want to hear it that we can “get by” on three or four, we need FIVE in this class. We have the Maryland transfer Garcia coming in next year so that’s three good ones in this class, but I am not putting my hopes up on Outlaw or Johnson coming back.
Getting another couple 3*’s like Jackson who have very good develomental upside might be the way to go. Bama has a few 3*’s on their OL right now who are studs, they were just scouted well and developed well.
@EMK, I think we are on the same page with this one on both accounts. Tunsil and Lacy would be GREAT additions and we would love to have one or both of them but from so many accounts neither are pushing open the door or even making whispers so we can even think that they are seriously thinking about coming to Florida and set the OL on fire. So I think as a fan I will forget about both of them, I’m NOT saying the Coaching Staff should give up on them, they may have a better feel for what those guys are thinking. On the case of WM and his tenure time, I actually agree that coach has two more years to have the program in a HIGH state of readiness and producing a very quality football program (not necessarily a N.C., but at the very least winning the east) or the door that let him in will be open again for his departure. Again, this is just MY opinion and if others disagree thats fine none of us will get paid if we are right or wrong on our OPINIONS. GO GATORS!!!!
I know I’ve been beating this drum for over a year now, but we have playmakers and we have quarterbacks – what haven’t had are O Linemen that can give the QB’s time to get the ball into the playmakers hands. I get so frustrated when people say that we don’t have production from the receivers – absolute myth. After watching Brantley/Driskell/Brissett pull turf out of their grill after every play – I don’t see why others can’t understand that. OL is the biggest position of need period, and until we address it like it is the most important position of need when recruiting, we’ll keep watching our QB’s pull turf out of their helmets.
Why isnt big bosie jackson starting nose gaurd getting more shout outs at ghs. The guys a beast. Recruits better take notice fast ,cause he is unstoppable.
I totally agree with you scooterp, but I also think this OL will produce this year barring a rash of injuries. Last year you could see two to three missed assignment in one play and as you say that disrupts everything. I agree about the WR’s and the QB’s as well. If the play up front is vastly improved so will the ENTIRE TEAM. Those guys have watched film and were embarassed of what they saw of themselves and according to the coaches they are a better unit. The DEFENSE was was great for the most part as a unit but they tired because of spending TOOOO much on the field, IF our OL is that improved unit the coaches say they are and with the few additions on the “D” we could see a vastly improved Gator Team. GO GATORS!!!!
In the past, the state of Florida did not produce quality offensive lineman, and not that many defensive lineman. Now that we have legitimate D1 lineman, we can’t recruit them. What’s up with that? How many 4 or 5 star lineman has Florida recruited out of Alabama? I can answer that NONE. We have to be able to protect our own turf in recruiting……yet we can’t manage the top OT in this class when he is less than an hour from Gainesville……? The only comfort in this is that he’s not likely to go to FSU. I will leave recruiting to the man making millions to decide these things……but the Gators have got to land the best talent in our state, or we will never compete with the teams like Alabama and LSU…..their secret is that they land the best players in their state.
What happened to the WR North?
Miami is the dark horse for the ACC championship. (1) Al Golden has proven he can direct the offense to future championships (2) WR is a weak spot that we will excel in this year (3) G’ville will fall to the recruiting might of the hurricanes (4) Miami has established a fence around South Florida. The following are EMK Realities!
I don’t give a damn how many 6’4 receivers we sign or that so and so slot guy can run a 4.3 40, unless we improve upfront its going to be a painfull season offensively………. again. The 3 we have committed now, will not fix the problem. Champ needs to get after it.
Zach, thank you for your update. I wonder what happen to Bailey? A couple of articles ago, you mentioned UF will not give a commitable offer to Bailey since he did not attend to any events such as FNL (I might miss).
Great stuff as always Zach! My question to you is this: Of the few prospects that have decommitted recently, which individual do you feel will come back and sign his L.O.I. with the Gators?
EMK Imposter: It is wonderful to see some of you cannot live without me. I love the attention, although I care little about Miami or the ACC. Please keep writing and making believe its me b/c I shall be busy in the months ahead and will not be able to post as frequently. Best wishes from EMK to my Imposter and other friends and fans!!
Will is putting a lot of pressure on himself not filling the most important need ..OL. We are a tackle injury away from a being .500 and him getting fired. Pease better develop a QB..QUICK. LOST THE NUMBER THREE PLAYER OUT OF JAX? OOUCH
Everybody needs to calm down and let WM do his thing and
Keep recruiting the best players we can get. Sure we lost
Recruits that could have helped out. At the same time most weren’t going to qualify academically. So better to part ways now and go after better student athletes.
Besides its still to early for everyone getting their panties in a was and freaking out that we will be a .500 football team. WM is doing a great job I’m my opinion with bringing in key parts of the staff to get the guys bigger and stronger to be able to gibe the QB more time and feel more comfortable. Regardless we will be better this year and we will be back to winning NC’s before you know it. Go Gators!!!!!!
If we could keep some what healthy this year I can envision us winning the East! Then big time recruits will want to come and play for the Gators. It’s evident kids are very different these days. They want to play for a NC right away! Reality is there is no State Loyalty or Pride by most recruits anymore. It’s just not like it use to be! That being said however, I do not believe all four or five star player are great players. Some of those three star blue collar guys are what makes the world go round. If you get my drift.
I would like to ask a Basketball question with regards to recruiting. How many more guys can we take? I look at recruiting services and they show that Florida has offerd a ton of kids but I would think that they would be over the limit as it stands? If Young leaves would that make it full or give us one more?