Zach’s Mail Stack 10/4


The weekend you’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived and it’s gonna be a doozy.

The UF coaches will have some of their top targets visiting and they have an opportunity to make a statement Saturday night. Gator fans shouldn’t hold their breath on five-stars Laremy Tunsil and Montravius Adams, but if UF upsets LSU and those two witness that atmosphere and locker room celebration, it could definitely leave a lasting impression on them.

Click HERE for the visitor preview and HERE for a running list of attendees.

One prospect who won’t make it in is Clemson defensive end commit Elijah Daniel. He was scheduled to officially visit for LSU, but the coaches decided they wanted him to take it during a less hectic weekend and he wasn’t able to come down on his own dime. Expect him to be in Gainesville later this fall and likely for the next four years if things continue the way they are now.

On to the questions!

What former player or combination of players most reminds you of Adam Lane? Also, what role in the offense do you seem him playing? I am interested to know what kind of year he is having rushing after last year’s injury?  Timothy K, Mike

Personally, Lane reminds me a lot of Ray Rice because of his unique combination of size, strength and speed. Lane is incredible in the weight room (410-pound bench press) for someone so short, but he’ll also be the fastest player in Florida’s backfield next season and that could lead to some early snaps. With big backs like Mack Brown, Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor on the roster, Lane will provide a change of pace in the ground game.

Here’s what national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell had to say about Lane in the spring.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how Adam Lane pans out. He’s listed at 5-foot-8, but he’s put together. Could we be dealing with a Ray Rice? We don’t know. Ray Rice wasn’t a heavily recruited guy. He was labeled too short and a step too slow. He turned out to be pretty good. So you don’t know what you have with guys like that. Lane is a bowling ball of a runner, which could give SEC schools absolute fits.”

As for how he’s doing this season since his return from a broken leg, Lane has 583 yards rushing and five touchdowns through four games. He’s sat in the second half of most games thus far.

It sounds like Henry is the ideal downhill runner that Muschamp has been wanting. Any reason why we chose to bring in Adam Lane instead? I know Lane is also a fantastic back, but is Henry more of Muschamp’s style? I know Henry has said he’s a Gator fan, but did we not have a shot with him?  Dolphe

I was told awhile back about what happened with running back Derrick Henry and why Florida didn’t go after him. I wasn’t planning to bring it up, but since so many people have asked and the story is already out there, what the heck.

During an unofficial visit last year, Henry came to Gainesville with a terrible attitude and disrespected several of the staff members. I’m not sure on the specifics of what he said and did, but I know it was bad enough for UF to basically show him the door.

And as talented as Henry is, he wasn’t worth the headache because Florida already has a back like him in Jones. Moreover, Lane and Taylor were the top two targets on the running back board to begin with.

Do you see the potential for any players to pull the trigger this weekend? If so, who?  Austin, Phillip, Ryan, Sam

I actually don’t anticipate anyone committing, but as I said, the Gators can put themselves in a good position with several prospects. The success from this weekend will be evident later on this year as most of Saturday’s attendees aren’t planning to make their decisions for awhile.

If I had to guess somebody, Marcell Harris would be pick because he said his commitment could come whenever. But he’s still scheduled to take an official to FSU and I think he will wait until after that visit to make a decision.

What is the news on WR Marquez North? Is he leaning toward us? What is our position with him? — Eddie, Kyle

Perfect time to answer this question, as 247Sports caught up with North for a video interview on Thursday that you can watch HERE. North named Tennessee his leader with North Carolina and Clemson tied for second place. Georgia, Florida and Ohio State are his other finalists and will receive officials from him.

His visit for the LSU game is huge, and with it being unofficial, he’ll be able to return in the future. This weekend will be his first time in Gainesville and it’s going to determine Florida’s chances moving forward.

If we don’t get another defensive tackle, will we lack depth next year? What DT’s are Florida recruiting the hardest right now? — T.J., Robert

I answered a similar question in last week’s Mail Stack, but Florida should be fine without another DT in 2013 because defensive end commits Joey Ivie and Antonio Riles can play inside as well. The top targets still being pursued at the position are Greg Gilmore, Montravius Adams, Jaynard Bostwick and former FSU player Darius Cummings, who is now at East Mississippi Community College (same school as Damien Jacobs).

Gilmore is the only one taking a serious look at UF right now. The interest of the other three can’t be truly gauged until they visit.

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


  1. You answered this question for me during last year’s class. Who are the coaches prepared to take as plan B or even C behind the big names on the board? Under-the-radar type guys? Names we aren’t expecting like Octavius Jackson or Chris Thompson at the remaining positions of need?

  2. I think you’ve answered this before so maybe you could just reply in the comments real quick. What is Kain Daub’s connection to LSU if any? Seeing Jacksonville next to an LSU kid’s name kills me. Makes me want Garrett Brumfield simply to even the score

  3. I know you said the coaches have shut the door on Derrick Henry, but taking into account his size, athleticism, and ability to play on either side of the ball, will the coaching staff reconsider him as it gets closer to signing day? maybe the guy deserves a 2nd chance, and i know Muschamp wouldn’t want to lose a top recruit to Alabama. Even though the Gators already have Matt Jones, Mack Brown, and 2 other running back commits this year, Henry is a player who can make a difference on the field. Just imagine having Matt Jones and Derrick Henry in the backfield at the same time. That would make a lot of defensive coordinators panic.

  4. you compared Adam Lane to Ray Rice (a comparison i hope is right on the money giving Rice’s success), but what other current Gator commits can you compare with notable players? is Ahmad Fulwood another Larry Fitzgerald? is Vernon Hargreaves comparable to Darrelle Revis? honestly i hope they play like those guys, but i’m just using those for examples. I just want to get a better feel for what type of players Florida’s getting.

  5. What are the chances of the Florida signing a tight end in the 2013 class? i know they have offers to JC player Beau Sandland and other committed players such as Hunter Henry, Travis Johnson, and Josh McNeil, but i don’t expect them to switch to the Gators. I know Sandland had an issue with an online math class that caused some schools to back off him, but is Florida still recruiting him and if so what are the chances he signs? I know the Gators aren’t hurting for depth at the tight end position, but given Jordan Reed’s nfl prospects and the lack of production from any of the backups, it wouldn’t hurt to have an experienced player like Sandland come in next year.

  6. Next year’s team has only a few pieces of the puzzle remaining(I am hoping, probably unrealistically, for most of Floyd, Easley, Jenkins and Elam to stay). I think Taylor and Lane will be dynamic at RB, like GA’s two FR this season, to replace Gillislee. But we really need a couple(Fulwood is one) WRs who can play right away.
    It seems that North, for now, is favoring schools closer to home. Here’s hoping he is swayed by the electric atmosphere(and the result!) tomorrow at the Swamp. BTW, I expect at least a couple more losses for his leader, Tenn., placing Dooley squarely on the hot seat. More than a couple, he may be out the door.

  7. Henry is not what we want at UF. He does have an attitude of entitlement; so, let him go to Bamer! I’m quiet sure he has been working all of the schools to get what he can out of them and that’s why it didn’t suprise me when he committed to Bamer. They have been known to go the extra yard – their history makes that quiet clear.

    As for Tunsil, drop him! Unless Muschamp knows something we don’t, he should tell him to “fish or cut bait”. Some of these recruits are making a side-show out of recruiting and it’s obvious that there’s more to it than facilities, academics, coaches, etc.. We have Hump, who is playing very well; so, you know Tunsil isn’t going to play right Tackle. We have plenty of sound linemen coming in, so, we will be in good shape. Let him go get extra chicken nuggets from UGA.

  8. Zach, I always love your stuff but I disagree with you airing the story about Henry being disrespectful. While I know that we’ve been wondering what’s going on there, and hounding you for information, I think I would have felt better if you had just stayed with the “Henry and the coaching staff didn’t click” type answers. That being said, keep up the great work, and I think it speaks volumes for your abilities that you were even able to get the story in the first place. As for recruiting questions, I’ve asked before about him but do you think the gators will be able to flip the Michigan commit Dawson? What have you been hearing?

  9. Gator NC- I really think Zach took the high road on this one. And the issue has already been aired by others. He could have painted an uglier picture, believe me, but didn’t………. @ Matt- did you not read what Zach posted? Champ is rebuilding the program and is committed to doing that with high character players. When you start making exceptions on this guy or that guy because they have talent what you get is 30+ arrests in 5 years and a negative reputation. KT and Lane is about as solid a RB signing class your going to find next year. Just be happy with it

  10. Zach, not sure who is the best person to ask this to but I have had a weird thougt running through my head the past few weeks. Will is a Saban disciple, I think it is save to say the team he hates the most the past few years is LSU, Florida had a bye week last week and coach Boom was in Yulee….along with Nick. What do you think the chances are that him and Saban met up for dinner or something along those lines. I just have a weird feeling about it, because it is save to say that Saban outcoached Miles like no one ever has in last year’s title bout. Maybe he even flew up to Bama last week or something, it seems as Saban does take some pride in the success of his former coaches.

  11. Gator N NC,

    When did stating the truth become a bad thing? IF Henry acted this way then that is on him and if someone points that out then so be it. Calling a spade… a spade is not a bad thing.

    Period. Besides, ZMAN did it in about the most respectful/tactful way that you can.

  12. What’s amazing is how OL has suddenly become less of a factor for next year but how DT has become something of a concern. We really need to get 2, possibly 3 in this class this year because we don;t know who we;re losing after this season.

  13. Funny what people are critical of, huh?

    I love the Muschamp isn’t taking kids with questionable attitudes, and think it will pay dividends down the line. That said, the guys we do recruit obviously need to be great players too, you can’t win with a bunch of nice, committed and hard working guys if they just can’t play at the top level.

    I would say that Jones is ‘like’ Henry only in terms of size. I don’t see anything out of Jones that reminds me of the thoroughbred that appears to be Henry. (But I do like Taylor and Lane better, so I’m not criticizing the choices.)

  14. Easley and Floyd will be back after this season. Those guys are not screaming 1st round pick right now. What have they done thus far to make anyone believe that they can leave early? There is no concern at the DT position

  15. Not saying that stating the truth is bad, something about the piece just read wrong to me. I know its Zach’s job to report, which he does a great job of, I just wish he had stuck with his initial feeling. Just trying to state my opinion. Back to recruiting, how does UF feel about Grier, the QB from Davidson, NC? It seems the Gators have been able to reel in quite a few big names from NC in recent years, and I would love to see that trend continue.

  16. honestly i don’t see anybody Florida’s got that is a sure fire 1st round pick in the 2013 draft. NFL teams don’t place a premium on the strong safety spot that Matt Elam plays because they can usually find good players there in the middle rounds. Jenkins has underachieved for most of his career and he’ll only be taken in the high rounds of the draft if he comes back for his senior year. As for Floyd and Easley, neither of them have been really dominant this year, and only truly dominant defensive tackles go high in the draft, plus teams will be weary of Easley’s knee problems. The only guy on the team i think could leave early and go in the first 2 rounds is Jordan Reed, because of how closely he compares to Aaron Hernandez. I think that most, if not all of those guys will be back next season for 2 reasons. They’ll have the chance to upgrade their draft spots with great senior years and they’ll also have their best shot at a conference and national championship. If they stay for next season, the Gators will be so loaded on defense they should be able to beat anybody.

  17. Maybe Henry had a bad attitude and maybe that’s something we tell ourselves to feel better after a major rival comes into our state and steals a spectacular prospect. Maybe Trent Richardson, or CJ Spiller or Sammy Watkins also were “bad tudes” too, eh? We gotta stop missing on in state talent. I get that it’s Bama, and we’re gonna lose kids to Bama. But sorry not to go with the kneejerk “oh he must be a bad kid” reaction. And I have hard time believing that Saban will supposedly put up with a bad attitude or entitled kid. Whatever he’s putting up with seems to be working for him, unfortunately.

  18. @Greg- Are you a recruiting insider? I didn’t think so. This revelation wasn’t something that just came out last week about Henry’s relationship with the Gator coaching staff………and it did happen. It is a credit to the coaching staff for not letting it leak out into the media earlier and destroying the kid. Trust me, they didn’t want him after meeting him on campus several months back.

  19. ………..we legitimately missed on the other three you mentioned and their were no excuses given – just out recruited. Meyer wanted Richardson BAD. CJ had some concern with playing time with all the speedsters we had at the time and Watkins fell in love with Clemson on his visit. Henry is a different story.

  20. Zack,
    can you tell me about our chances with Denver Kirkland? and as for recruting on defense, how about Issac Saviinaea at MLB? they both have at least a small intrest[ kirklands from florida and Issac ha s a “MED” intrest on one of these recruiting sites
    thanks man

  21. @ GREG,
    I get your point but if you read the article Zach wrote it was not a kneejerk reaction. According to the report this happened long ago not last week when the coaches stop recruiting Henry. I for one wondered why they never or stopped talking about his recruitment, at the time, the rumor was he was Ga. bound so I accepted that as the reason. There’s always post that critisizes the coaches for not or stop recruiting kids with QUESTIONABLE behavior (or TUDES as you say), now they are trying to get QUALITY, TALENTED athletes in the program, it appears they are being accused of being “sour grapes” because a kid is going elsewhere. Read the article again and see why they stopped recruiting him. He is a great athlete, but according to the article he “MAY” have caused problems later in his career at Florida. If we can avoid that lets do it upfront not as a reaction after the fact.GO GATORS!!!!

  22. Hi Zach,

    I am sure your going to get as many football recruit reactions to the LSU game as soon as you can and I certainly can’t wait to hear what they thought. In addition, I also wanted to ask if you could find out about all of the 5 star basketball kids that Billy D had in town and what they thought about the overall UF sports atmosphere. Also their impression of their basketball tour etc…? I am copying and pasting below an excerpt from another site thanks:

    “Down in Gainesvile, Fla., Billy Donovan and the Gators will be hosting a very talented group of visitors while the football team plays host to LSU. Just like Kentucky, the Gators have a pair of top-10 prospects committed, and both power forward Chris Walker and point guard Kasey Hill will be on hand for their official visits. Joining them in an official capacity will be the No. 1 player in the class of 2013, Julius Randle. From the class of 2014, big timer Dakarai Johnson will be on hand, as will arguably the top player in the class of 2015, Karl Towns.

    He won’t visit this weekend, but Jabari Parker is going to trip to Gainesville as well. With the No. 2 player planning to visit, it looks as if only Florida will get official visits from the top two players in the class of 2013. It doesn’t mean that either Randle or Parker will sign with UF, but it’s impressive that Donovan and his staff were the only ones able to get them both on campus officially.”


  23. @ Matt – Floyd is already projected to go in the 1st round. NFL teams have seen enough to want him! That being the case, Floyd will be gone after this year. The jury is out on Easley. He may come back for one reason – I see him as a DE in the NFL and it would serve him well to play another year, in college ball, at DE. He could, however, find his mojo between now and the end of the season.

  24. Zach,

    Sometime in the near future could you give us a brief overview of how some of the former players who have transferred are doing at their respective colleges. I.e. players like Dowling, Finley, Shaw.