Zach’s Mail Stack 10/11


Other than the season-ending injury to Florida defensive end commit Jordan Sherit, it’s been nothing but good news for the Gators on the recruiting front.

UF was the place to be last weekend and the upset over LSU produced a special atmosphere that opened the eyes of some targets in attendance.

The Gators didn’t gain any public commitments, however, several sources told me they received two silent verbals. I cannot name these prospects or give any hints, but I promise Florida fans will be excited about them when they announce.

The South Carolina game on Oct. 20 is going to have just as many big-time visitors as LSU and a similar outcome (packed crowd, beat a Top 5 team) could lead to more (possibly public) commitments.

On to the questions!

Is there any recruits that your gut tells you we turned with the performance vs. LSU?  Garrett, Travis, Alex, T.J.

Most of the visitors didn’t need to be turned because they were already high on Florida. But receiver Marquez North, FSU offensive guard commit Ira Denson and defensive tackle Montravius Adams are the three recruits I would say the Gators improved their chances with.

North and Adams called UF the best school they’ve been to and it sounded like both will be back for Florida’s banquet weekend on Dec. 8. Denson said he’s going to officially visit for South Carolina.

When North returns it will be on his dime, which tells you how serious his interest is. Tennessee is still his leader, but if the Vols struggle the rest of this season with their head coach on the hot seat and the Gators capture the SEC East and/or win some more big games, that could certainly change. But they have to show more production in the passing game for him and his father to be completely sold. Saturday’s 12 pass attempts and 61 yards won’t cut it.

UF was assured a spot in Adams’ Top 5 when it’s released and he said he’ll most likely take an official here in December. I still doubt he ends up in this class, but I don’t think the Gators have to sign another defensive tackle even though they want to. Caleb Brantley will contribute right away and either Joey Ivie or Antonio Riles can slide inside if needed. Florida’s depth should be fine for the 2013 season with those three freshmen, Damien Jacobs, Leon Orr, Jafar Mann and the possible return of Dominique Easley (who would likely move back to tackle if Sharrif Floyd leaves early as expected).

Hey Zach, is there any prospects we have a shot at if Marcell commits elsewhere? — Sleezie, Devin

Georgia safety commit Tray Matthews has said he would like to visit UF and the Gators could make a late run at Preist Willis or Leon McQuay, but all three appear to be long shots at this point. If Florida REALLY wants another safety, it could offer the infamous Demar Dorsey!

All jokes aside, I think the coaches are happy with the two commits they have and see Harris as a plus-one guy (although he’s probably near the top of their board). If he doesn’t pick the Gators, I don’t think they can or will want to add another safety. But out of all the targets that visited for the LSU game, Harris is by far the most likely to join the class.

Who is the one recruit left on the board you feel the Gators have to sign?  Doug

The Gators have to sign another offensive lineman, and it doesn’t really matter which one out of Denson, Michigan commit David Dawson, Trenton Brown, Laremy Tunsil and former Florida commit Roderick Johnson.

Brown is the surest bet to be UF bound because the Gators lead, he will visit for the South Carolina game and I don’t see another school swaying him before he makes his decision in November.

What’s the status of DT Greg Gilmore after the LSU game?  I have not seen any comments by him afterwards. Alex

Gilmore would not answer the phone for me this week, but here was his reaction on Sunday courtesy of

“Honestly, this game is weighing in my a lot right now. LSU has all juniors on their defensive line and they are going to be leaving, and I mean they have a good class coming in, but they are going to be rebuilding after they leave.”

“Florida’s defensive line is full of freshman defensive ends and linebackers, and they are just needing tackles to make them even better. The Carolina boys are there and they are doing good, too. Florida can do nothing but get better with the young players, but they just need some tackles to get be even better.”

Gilmore still has the Gators and Tigers even for his services. He will officially visit Oklahoma (Oct. 27) and LSU (Nov. 3) before making his decision on Nov. 8. I will try to get a hold of him after his trip to Baton Rouge for a preview story on his announcement.

Do we have a shot at WR Demarcus Robinson? I heard he still is going to visit Florida despite Clemson coaches telling him not to.  Tamayo

Robinson was planning to visit for the LSU game early last week, but apparently the Clemson coaches told him his offer would be pulled if he did. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but Robinson now says he will officially visit Florida as well as Notre Dame. If he does indeed come down, the Gators will definitely have a shot. Remember, they were his leader at one time.

What are the chances of the Florida signing a tight end in the 2013 class? Matt

Near zero. JUCO tight end Beau Sandland the only prospect Florida was still pursuing  eliminated UF and all other SEC schools on Oct. 1 because the online math class he’s taking to enroll early is not accepted by the conference.

The Gators struck out on all their previous targets at tight end, but I never felt it was necessary for them to sign one. They have five on the current roster and all will be back next year.

Zach, can you tell me about our chances with OT Denver Kirkland? And as for recruiting on defense, how about Isaac Savaiinaea at MLB? tomk

Neither has an offer from Florida and Savaiinaea is committed to Stanford, so these two don’t seem to be targets for the coaching staff. The only offensive linemen on the board right now are the ones I mentioned above, and Notre Dame commit Alex Anzalone is probably the only linebacker the Gators would take since they already have three committed.

Zack, I keep seeing on other sites that Florida is still pursuing Robert Nkemdiche. Do we ACTUALLY have a shot, or is this just Muschamp being stubborn again? Austin

Well if he shows interest, that wouldn’t be stubborn of Muschamp to at least listen. But I don’t believe he has nor will. If anyone is going to flip Nkemdiche, it will be Ole Miss or Alabama. Florida was never in the picture for him.

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? Mack

In the 2012 recruiting class, the Gators came up short at several positions and weren’t able to sign as many as they could have. That isn’t the case this year. They’ve already met most of their numbers and have as many commitments (19) as they do scholarship openings for 2013. So you won’t see as many plan B guys targeted as you did last year, but here’s still some prospects to keep an eye on as possibilities at positions of need (though most of these names aren’t under-the-radar).

RB: Miami commit Alex Collins
WR: Taj Williams, Richard Benjamin, Dominic Walker
DE: Stacy Thomas, Kendrick Hair
DT: Marqudius Bain, Rod Crayton, Bobby Leath, Deadrin Senat
LB: Auburn commit Trey Johnson, Keith Kelsey, Jermaine Grace

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


  1. i know who 1 of the supposed “silent commits” are but im interested to know who the other is. hearns and powell arent completely solid so i would guess that is wht we are still going after anzalone. trey johnson may take a visit to the gators as well.
    and i overheard my teammate bo scarbrough talking to james cox today. he says he is going to take some officials but saban doesnt want him to, and that if it comes down to it, he will decommit. also heard him say he will most definately visit florida. straight from the horses mouth.

  2. With Driskel and Jacoby being Juniors next year, I’m surprised we don’t have a top 10 rated QB as a commit. Is it that recruits don’t want to play in our system or is it Muschamp and Pease not interested in any of them?

  3. I wouldn’t give up hope on somehow landing Robert Nkemdiche next February. I talked to him within the last week and he said that UF was “in his top three”; he also made a point of saying that Alabama’s atmosphere/culture “didn’t feel right”. As he’s from Maryland, family travel issues shouldn’t be an issue (excepting his brother, of course). Keep on him, Will!

  4. I’m really beginnign to like our chances for Gilmore, and as for DeMarcus Robinson? North better get on the train because I think Clemson is showing signs of some insecruity telling him not to go to another school’s game. Recruits don’t like that kind of stuff.

  5. I hope the coaches convince North that UF DOES want to throw more, that our running game prowess will open up passing game opportunites; that our inexperienced QB can obviously make all the throws, and, above all, that one reason we don’t throw more is that we don’t have ANY WRs that scare anybody!

  6. When a personality type such as Ira Denson continues to give an open ear to our coaching staff even after some really rough patches in our recruitment of him, shows up in Gainesville, publicly expresses appreciation for the team/O line, coaches, and fans…THAT my friend is saying something and it ain’t silent! ‘Fight Til You Die G.A.T.A.!

  7. Sign language can be used.

    To do so, one must make a fist (with pinky finger to the bottom, then lift the thumb in an upward direction until fully extended.

    Sorry, punch drunk from a long week, I guess…GO GATORS!

  8. I’m getting greedy! I want all of them. But, I must say…Adams, Brantley, and Gilmore would really make this class a beast. Those are some big beastly dudes that can plow through the line. And, we offer immediate playing time being short handed…I know we can move guys around if we have to but lets not do that until we have to. And, with 19 on the books…we’ll probably only take what another…4-5 commits?

    Awesome job ZACH!! Quality material…gets me fired up everytime! Gator Nation!!

  9. I was thinking the silents came from Anzalone and Dawson, but since Dawson did not make it down, maybe not. Anzalone wouldn’t surprise me. You don’t make a trip from 7 states away, 4 times in 3 months at your own expense if you don’t have big-time intrest in the place your going to. Harris would surprise me, only because I don’t see the need in keeping it silent.

  10. Dear Zach, Sorry!! I just don’t believe in silent commits. Why don’t you hear of any of the other major schools having silent commits? I once heard it was pressure that would come from ot her schools or neighbors if they were to leave the state, but then why don’t people who choose Alabama,FSU or others care about those things. If you truly wanted to go to Florida, wouldn’t you get your name out there to help in the process? You are eventually going to need to tell people where you are going, I believe it is somewhat gutless to hide it. Don’t you??

  11. Like John, I too am waiting to hear what’s up with WR Stacy Coley.

    Silent committing is usually a guy locking up a spot on the wagon for himself. Usually done when a guy wants to bring his parents in on it or want to have some type of official setting/ceremony.

    Don’t be surprised if we have news of decommits…necessary pruning.

  12. I see that Daniel Mcmillian is taking visits. Is that because Alex Anzalone is a silent, or is there something else. I am hoping he doesn’t leave and its just taking his free trips. He is a beast. He must have the grades if he is an early enrollee

  13. Hi Zach,

    Can you give us a running list of prospects that UF is in the mix for and when they plan to make a selection (If Known)? I know this is fluid but it would be a nice working document to see during the updated mail bags as it changes etc…. If they do not have a date just a TBD or N/A next to their name(s) but at least we can look forward to the ones that are coming soon.

    Thanks for the consideration!