Zach’s Mail Stack 9/27


Based on the fallout from this past weekend, it looks like recruiting continues to go well for Florida.

The Gators pulled even with LSU for four-star defensive tackle Greg Gilmore and put themselves in a good position to flip USC cornerback commit Jalen Ramsey.

JUCO offensive tackle Trenton Brown also officially decommitted from Georgia on Wednesday and the Gators are his No. 1, a position they’ve held since his official visit earlier this month.

The LSU game on Oct. 6 will be the biggest recruiting weekend of the year and UF could land a couple commitments, especially with a win. I will have a running list of visitors out next week and a preview story on Thursday, but below I’ve included a few early names to get ready for.

On to the questions!

What are your odds on Gilmore committing to UF after his visit to LSU? Usually last visit has the advantage. Chad, Jerome

Based on his comments, I would put Florida’s chances at 50 percent since both schools are now even. If the Gators can upset the Tigers, it’s going to make a big impression on him because he said he would be amazed if it happened.

But LSU gets the last visit and that’s always cause for concern. Although Gilmore’s official to UF went better than expected and complicated things for him, the same might happen when he goes to Baton Rouge and LSU could take the lead once again. Like Gilmore said, his recruitment all lies on that Nov. 3 trip and we’ll get a better indication of his intentions after he takes it.

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? — GIGator

Well Gilmore said he’s been told by the LSU coaches that they’re losing six defensive linemen this year, but they only have three seniors and must be expecting all three of their juniors to leave early for the NFL.

If that’s the case and Sharrif Floyd turns pro as well, both teams would enter the 2013 season with four defensive tackles (counting this year’s commits). So neither has an advantage from a numbers standpoint. But as talented as LSU is, I would assume Gilmore has a better opportunity Florida. I really don’t think playing time matters to him, though.

Who are the early entry recruits that are already committed and targeted? — Wayne

The only guys I know of right now are running backs Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane and defensive lineman Joey Ivie. Linebacker James Hearns and Daniel McMillian are trying to as well. I don’t think any of Florida’s remaining targets are trying to enroll early either, so there won’t be many midyear players in this cycle.

Can you do a list of visitors for the LSU game that you know is coming so far? — Tamayo

Most if not all of Florida’s commits will be there along with top targets such as receiver Marquez North and safety Marcell Harris. The Gators will also have several recruits committed to other schools on hand, including Ramsey, Georgia cornerback commit Shaq Wiggins, Clemson defensive end commit Elijah Daniel and possibly Alabama defensive end commit DeMarcus Walker and Notre Dame linebacker commit Alex Anzalone.

Some notable 2014 kids coming are quarterbacks Will Grier and Wade Freebeck, receiver Johnnie Dixon, offensive lineman Garrett Brumfield and defensive backs Duke Dawson and Kendall Randolph.

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?  TJ-Gators

Right now Florida is seven under the NCAA maximum limit of 85 with 78 scholarship players. That’s excluding walk-ons because they won’t count against the 2013 class. They’re only on scholarship for this season.

With 13 seniors graduating this year and offensive tackle Tyler Moore transferring in January, the Gators currently have room for 19 signees (which they’ve already reached in the commitment column). But UF is expecting to have one-two transfers and lose three-four juniors to the NFL, which would allow around 24 recruits to be signed on Feb. 6.

Now that Kelsey Griffin from Mill Creek HS is NOT committed to UGA, what are our chances of getting him at a much needed DT position? Ga Gator

I haven’t seen him mention interest in Florida since his whole ordeal happened. He may still end up at Georgia, but if not, South Carolina would be his next choice.

How are we looking on the recruiting front for defensive linemen for this class and next year’s? Do you think we will be just fine or is there cause for concern? — Lee, GIGator

Daniel, Walker and Ebenzer Ogundeko are the priorities at defensive end, while the top tackle targets are Gilmore, Jaynard Bostwick and former FSU lineman Darius Cummings, who was offered by UF on Wednesday night and is now at East Mississippi Community College (same school Damien Jacobs came from).

Some big names that could join Travonte Valentine in the 2014 defensive line class are Demarcus Christmas, De’Shawn Hand, Andrew Williams, Bryson Allen-Williams and Gerald Willis III.

If the Gators can land a couple of those targets this year and next, their defensive line will be in great shape depth and talent wise.

I know the 2013 isn’t complete, but what do you believe will the biggest position of need in the 2014 class? — Tim

The three areas of need for 2014 are receiver, offensive line and cornerback. The Gators lose Andre Debose, Solomon Patton and Stephen Alli as well as tight end Jordan Reed, so they need to get some prosects for the passing game. Offensive linemen Jon Halapio, Jonotthan Harrison, Kyle Koehne and Matt Patchan will be graduating, so UF must reload up front and sign at least four. Florida also says goodbye to Cody Riggs, Jaylen Watkins, Jeremy Brown and maybe Marcus Roberson, so the corner position will be crucial as well.

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? — Matt

There aren’t any offers listed on his recruiting profiles and he doesn’t look to be on the Gators’ radar. I’m not sure of his talent level, but I know he isn’t better than his brother was coming out of high school. Not many are, as Jeff was ranked the nation’s No. 1 QB in 2011. Right now, Florida’s focus appears to be on Grier and Freeback.

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


  1. I think Gilmore, like most recruits, DOES care about early playing time. I saw an interview where he stated that UF told him they are expecting Floyd to leave early and perhaps some young DL’s here now not to pan out, and that he could play early for UF. Those are the comments of a player who IS looking at early PT(most DO these days).

  2. Zach,

    I definitely agree that we need some help/depth at cornerback since we will be losing Watkins, Riggs, and Brown, but Roberson is only a true sophomore so we will not be losing him even if he wanted to go pro. Even if he wanted to, he is not ready!

  3. Wes, we lose all those guys NEXT YEAR. That would also be Roberson’s junior year. If it were today, he would not be ready. But he’s a great talent and very well may be ready by the end of his junior year. I, for one, would love to see him stay for his senior year though.

  4. IF Florida SERIOUSLY has this number of people contemplating coming out early, how many guys coming out early would be associated with Alabama, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, FSU and Oregon?? i trust if a team coming off a 7-6 season with doubts about how good they really are, has this many guys thinking about foregoing senior season that these legitimate powerhouses would have juniors streaming out of their schools.

  5. I just noticed that Javon Kearse’s son Jayron Kearse was commited to Clemson. He was rated the 51st ath. and seems to have very good size. I was wondering if the Gators recuited him or they let him get away. I mean his father was the FREAK!