Zach’s Mail Stack 9/20


All is well with Gator Nation after Florida’s impressive victory over Tennesse last weekend and the addition of former Nebraska offensive lineman Tyler Moore on Thursday.

Will Muschamp is on a roll right now and recruits are taking notice based on my conversations with them and their various tweets. Muschamp said in his Monday press conference that the recent success on the field undoubtedly helps in recruiting, but he believes prospective student athletes want to attend UF because of the school itself — not momentum from two SEC road wins.

“I think a lot of the young men want to come to the University of Florida, regardless,” Muschamp said. “It’s a great institution, it’s got great facilities, it’s got a great tradition, there’s a lot of positives here. Certainly winning helps, I’m not going to say it doesn’t. (But) It’s a long year and we’ve got to continue to improve and we’ve got a lot of improving to do.”

My visitor preview for the Kentucky game will be published Friday at noon.

On to the questions!

I think Sharrif Floyd will enter the NFL draft this year, so we need one more DT. What is the gap between DeMarcus Walker & Greg Gilmore? — C-Slim, Ivo and Sebastian.

Completely agree with you on Floyd. Matt Elam is also long gone after this year and possibly Dominique Easley if his knees hold up.

Walker doesn’t fall into this category because he’s more of an strongside defensive end, although Alabama recruited him for its Jack linebacker position. But he’s definitely not an interior lineman. If Muschamp & Co. can make him switch, he will be an edge rusher for Florida.

Greg Gilmore and Jaynard Bostwick are the only defensive tackles UF wants and realistically has a shot with. Gilmore is officially visiting this weekend for Kentucky and the Gators hope to take away LSU’s long-time lead. Miami has been Bostwick’s front-runner for awhile now, but UF is still recruiting him as hard as the Hurricanes and will receive an official visit from him this fall. I ultimately don’t foresee Florida landing either, but maybe their trip to Gainesville will prove me wrong.

I saw Marquez North say he’s going to OV to UF, but when? What game is he coming to? Is Laquon Treadwell visiting UF? And which WR is more likely coming to UF? — Tamayo, Roy

North hasn’t scheduled any dates yet, but he says he will visit Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State and Tennessee officially and North Carolina and Clemson unofficially. The latter two schools are reportedly leading for his services.

The only trip Treadwell has planned is to Oklahoma on Oct. 27. The schools in the running to receive his last four official visits are Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma State and Ole Miss. The Wolverines and Sooners are believed to be his favorites at this time.

In regards to Florida’s chances, I feel the same way about these two that I do Gilmore and Bostwick. All of them have schools ahead of UF and I need to hear some VERY positive reviews after their official visits for me to believe they have serious interest.

How many more RB’s and WR’s would we like to sign and who do you think have the best chance of becoming Gators? Taylor Crews

The Gators should be fine with the four wideouts they have and aren’t actively pursuing any other receivers besides North and Treadwell. As for running back, the coaches don’t have room for a third back and they already got the two running backs that were on top of their board from the beginning.

I’ve seen on other sites that we may not be done with David Dawson, the offensive lineman committed to Michigan. Do you have any insight on this? — Gator N NC

The UF coaches are definitely still recruiting him, but they’re after lost-cause Laremy as well. Doesn’t mean there’s something to see. Until Dawson reopens his recruitment and shows up on campus, I wouldn’t put any stock into him. He flirted with Florida back in the summer and nothing ever came of it.

Zach, I see that Georgia has 28 commits. Didn’t the SEC make a new rule that you can’t sign more than 28? How can Georgia accept a Tunsil commitment? John

If you recall, last year Muschamp said he could sign anywhere from 32-34 recruits in 2012 because he could count early enrollees toward the 2011 class. I imagine Georgia is in a similar situation.

“Our numbers are down,” Muschamp said on Nov. 24 radio show. “With the new SEC rule, you can sign 25 National Letters in February. But as long as you can sign players back to the previous year, which is what we’ll be able to do with some of the high school graduates that are coming in January (early enrollees), we can add anywhere from seven to nine players.”

Do you foresee Jacoby Brissett redshirting this year? Will that affect our attempts to recruit a top flight QB in 2014? Will we take another QB in 2013 if the coaching staff is notified that either Brissett or Tyler Murphy intend to transfer?  Timothy K

Since Brissett has played, the only redshirt he can receive is a medical one for an injury. The Gators are already receiving interest from top 2014 signal-callers such as Wade Freebeck and Will Grier, and they don’t seem bothered by Brissett being on campus.

If he or Murphy were to transfer, I doubt the coaches could sign a second QB in the 2013 class because they don’t have any more options. Max Staver was basically the last resort when he committed, although he may end up being a steal in my opinion.

I know it’s early, but, which recruit(s) do you see making major contributions next year? — GIGator

Kelvin Taylor, Adam Lane, Ahmad Fulwood and Caleb Brantley will all play and often in 2013. Matt Jones and Mack Brown haven’t wowed me through the first three games and I think the incoming running back recruits, especially Taylor, could get into the rotation fast if they learn the playbook. The Gators haven’t had a receiver like Fulwood in over a decade and his skill-set along with the lack of depth should lead to immediate playing time for him. UF could potentially have just three defensive tackles when Brantley reports to campus next fall, so he will be the first true freshman to see the field.

Who do you think will commit to UF next? — Christian

Moore transferring gives the Gators 20 incoming players in 2013, which is the exact number of scholarships they currently have open for next year (65-man roster after 13 seniors graduate). Those numbers exclude the walk-ons that are only on scholarship for this season.

With that in mind, UF will only be able to add about 3-4 more recruits to this class after juniors leave early for the NFL and/or a couple players transfer as expected.

JUCO offensive tackle Trenton Brown will most likley be the next one to pull the trigger. The Gators still lead for his services and, yes, they can take both him and Moore. After Brown, I think the last few commitments will come from Marcell Harris, Jalen Ramsey, a defensive lineman or a surprise flip at another position.

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


    • Jimmy,
      I didn’t feel they were enough to be in the blog. You asked why UF doesn’t recruit the Orlando area more heavily and why Muschamp is going after Ramsey instead of Alexander. The Gators recruit where the talent and interest is, it doesn’t matter where. They are recruiting Marcell Harris from Orlando Dr. Phillips and he appears to be the only prospect in the area this year with interest in UF and top-tier talent. Correct me if I’m wrong.
      As for your CB question, Muschamp is certainly going after Alexander as well. But his recruitment has been all over the place (decommitted once already, names different leaders) and he isn’t very high on UF based on what I’ve been told and read. Ramsey on the other hand has handled his process better, shown consistent interest in UF as of late and is visiting this weekend. That’s why Ramsey is the priority at the position and he’s just as good as Alexander if not better.

  1. Zach thanks for the article man. Ramsey and Harris and Gilmore will be icing on the cake for me know that we have our OL worked out for the future. I feel we are done and anything else Muschamp gets is gravy. That JUCO TE is also one i would be looking at heavily. How are with him Zach? You didn’t mention him with the other JUCO prospects.

  2. Zach, I cant wait and read your article each and every week. You give us gator fans great insight to the team. Thank you. My question is about the coaches. Do you think that WM is going to be with us a long time or a short stint. Again, thanks

  3. Hey Zack: Over the past couple of seasons I’ve noticed how Stephen Alli & Earl Okine are not consistently on the field. With Alli I often see him on special teams. That dude needs to be on the field-he’s the biggest WR on the roster but is never on any offensive snaps. WHY?!?! And Okine-I don’t even know where to start w/ him. This dude is a physical speciment at 6’7″ 290+ but for whatever reason is relegated to backup. He should be ashamed of himself for being a backup as big as he is. He should be DOMINATING the SEC each & every week. Does he not practice hard or is he just not that good? Also why doesn’t the UF staff recruit more of NW Florida i.e. Pensacola/Panama City? Bama plucked a 4/5 star safety from Arnold last year but I don’t see or hear of many trips to that part of Florida to recruit. Thanks

  4. Baton Rouge,

    Okine is in the playing rotation at DE. He plays a pretty good deal. As to why he isn’t dominating…..I think it is obvious. He doesn’t have a good first step and is relatively slow for an SEC DE. He is a power guy that is good against the run…period.

    We have got to hammer the D-line in recruiting this year and next. We are going to lose Omar Hunter, Shariff Floyd, E. Okine, and D. Easley over the next two years. Without a dominate D-Line we will struggle.

  5. Have to agree with Lee and Gator Todd, give Jones time especially since hes a frosh. But he should make an impact this year cause Gillislee cant carry them all. So its important for games like this to get a big lead so these other two get more carries.

  6. Thanks for all of the good work, Zach.
    Since this recruiting class seems like it is close to being wrapped up, I’d be interested to know a little bit more about how the Gator coaches approach the whole recruiting process from an organizational standpoint: who does what, when; how do they agree upon and construct a wish-list; how they collect information; how do they reach out to players on the west coast, in the midwest, etc; how do they choose to target one player over another when skill sets appear equal? That sort of thing.
    I know that might be more than can be covered in a Mail Stack, but I think it would be good reading. At least it would educate me a little bit.
    Thanks again for all the Gator information.

  7. I don’t understand the talk about some of these guys leaving early. Floyd has played well this year, but he hasn’t exactly dominated. Even with his measureables, it’s hard for me to see him as a top-round draft pick unless his production really increases the rest of the year. As for Easley, same thing. He’s obviously still slowed by his knee, and has been solid but not dominant. He’s got even farther than Floyd to go to be a first or second round pick this year. If you’re going to be a third or fourth-round pick, why not come back for another year?

  8. Jeff,

    Hunter is a Senior and Floyd is rated the #20 overall pick on Mel Kiper’s Big Board. So he is projected to be a first rounder. If Easley has a solid year and wants to leave then there is your problem. Your rock solid D-line just took a massive hit with those three departures.


  9. Zach!! I always enjoy your material man!! Great job…but I’m calling you out!! haha…I read your stuff all the time! And, you’ve mentioned several times the possibility of a “surprise” flip. I think you know of a player out there that will flip and come on home to Gainesville!! I think I recall you saying it may be a FSU verbal?? Either way it’ll keep me focused on things you say later on…see if I can figure it out. Hopefully, it’s Ira Denson(huge need and potential for us).

    Anyways, say we get another 3-4 commits. What happens if we flip Demarcus walker or just someone unknown. How does that work if we’re at our ceiling for scholarships this year but we get someone like a Demarcus Talent or another unkown prospect to flip? Will early enrollees be a way out? Sure don’t want to loose a prospect!!!

    Thanks Zach. Appreciate your efforts man!

  10. Zach,
    Why is it that we’re recruiting huge WR that are 6-4 and 210+ lbs. or thereabouts rather than the smaller, speedy burners we’re used to. Bigger means slower and stronger. All SEC schools seemed to be going this way. Is this because of Muschamps power, pro-style offense or is it just a coincidence the past two recruiting seasons? Thanks and keep up the great reporting. Love reading your recruiting posts!!! Go Gators!!!

  11. Thanks for the updates! I was wondering if any of the Coaches ever mention the obvious??? If the majority of defensive line is leaning towards the NFL. Why do we not sign 3 or 4 large bodies who are projects to keep the rotation alive. We will be back to square one with no twos to give the starters a rest or have only frost to play. Just wondering…

  12. I know you’ve mentioned a few of the 2014 QBs like Will Grier and Wade Freebeck, but what is the status of Jason Driskel and his chances of signing with Florida? also, how talented is he compared to his older brother Jeff?

  13. Jeff- Floyd comes from a family thats poorer than dirt and had an NFL body when he stepped on campus – he will have decent if not very good NFL career. Easley is the fastest 300 pounder I’ve ever seen and creates problems with offenses all the time, though his health has been an issue. You don’t have be N. Suh to have a good shot in the NFL.

  14. I’ve been reading your column for 2-3 years and I don’t think I’ve ever posted before. Love the recruiting updates and it is obvious you do your homework. Keep it up.

    What are our current scholarship numbers and how many players do we expect to lose to graduation/draft/transfer? Is any walk-on expected to earn a scholarship for 2013?

  15. Zach – comparing LSU’s current roster, to UF’s, which school will Gilmore have the best chance of playing as a Freshman and playing a lot? UF stands to lose several defensive linemen; so, his chances would seem pretty good @ UF.