Zach’s Mail Stack 10/18


Two weeks ago, I said the LSU game was the biggest recruiting weekend of the year.

And it was at that time.

This Saturday’s matchup against South Carolina may top it.

The Florida Gators will have three official visitors (Cameron Dillard, David Dawson, Marcell Harris) as opposed to the one they had for LSU (Marquez North), and there’s a greater chance that we’ll see some commitments.

UF probably won’t host this many recruits again until the banquet weekend on Dec. 8, when most members of the 2013 class and some top remaining targets will be taking their official visits.

You can read the visitor preview for the South Carolina game HERE and a running list of attendees HERE.

On to the questions!

I heard WR Laquon Treadwell is off the board. What are our chances with Marquez North? Do we add another playmaker to this years class? — Pat, Jerome

Treadwell named his five finalists earlier this month (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Michigan State, Michigan) and the Gators are now out of the picture, although they were probably never in it. His tweets about Florida could have been just him trying to get more followers on twitter.

As for North, he still has Tennessee leading and isn’t very fond of Florida’s passing game right now. But as I said last week, if the Volunteers and their coach continue to struggle this season and North visits UF for the banquet weekend like he plans to, things could get very interesting.

However, I believe Clemson receiver commit Demarcus Robinson is the best shot Florida has at adding a fifth wideout in this class. He will unofficially visit this weekend for the South Carolina game and then return for an official later in the year. UF is recruiting him harder than any other school, including Clemson, and he favored the Gators for several months before committing to the Tigers on July 20.

Do we have a chance of getting Rodney Adams back? And are we in the hunt for Stacy Coley? We have a chance at Taj Williams out of Tallahassee? John, HE15MAN, Woody King

Florida stopped recruiting these receivers awhile back for various reasons, some of which I’m not quite sure of (specifically with Coley). But the Gators are happy with the four receivers they have, and the only guys they still want and would take at this point are North and Robinson.

What’s the latest on Gilmore? Are we in driver’s seat for Dawson? — Jerome, Austin

Nothing new on Gilmore. Florida and LSU are still tied for the lead and he will officially visit Oklahoma (Oct. 27) and LSU (Nov. 3) before making his decision on Nov. 8. I’ll have a better idea of where he’s leaning after his trip to Baton Rouge.

The Gators are definitely in the driver’s seat for Dawson. He named Florida his leader this past Sunday and it may be a matter of time (or days) before he commits. Out of him and Harris, Dawson is much more likely to pull the trigger this weekend.

Why is O.J. Howard visiting, he’s a solid commit to Bama. Do we have a chance? Tamayo

Not really. Howard’s father told 247Sports that his son is still solid to Alabama and just wants to see a good football game and check out the atmosphere at Florida. Maybe the Gators can make an impression with their use of Jordan Reed, but I doubt it will be enough to turn him away from the Tide. In my opinion, none of the top 2013 tight ends want to join this class because of the two that UF signed last year.

What’s up with the rumors about Robert Nkemdiche, the DT committed to Clemson? Possible Gators interest? Ryan

Clemson defensive tackle commit Robert Nkemdiche, the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect, does a weekly diary with ESPN Recruiting Nation about his senior season and recruiting process. In his latest entry, Nkemdiche revealed he has some interest in the Gators. However, the people I’ve talked to who covered his recruitment closely say it’s going to come down to Clemson and Ole Miss, where his older brother plays. Their mom, who is a politician in Nigeria, wants both boys at the same school to make visiting them easier.

“Recruiting is going great, but I am just really confused right now because I love Clemson, but you know everything that is going on with my family and Ole Miss. (Clemson coach) Dabo (Swinney) is trying to win my mom’s heart. He is sending her letters, but there is only so much he can do. A lot of people have said he plans to go visit her in Nigeria, but I have not heard anything about that.

I have to decide between this and that and it is complicated, and there are a whole bunch of different things to think about, including Alabama, Florida and LSU, too.”

Should we be worried about LB James Hearns to Ohio State or DT Caleb Brantley to FSU? Clay, Timmy

It may seem that way based on their recent comments, but right now I find it hard to see them in any other colors but orange and blue. These two have been at UF for every home game and constantly recruit for the Gators, especially Brantley. I feel like their visits to other schools are about as serious as Howard’s visit to Florida this weekend. But as you all know, things can change real fast with recruits and it will be important to hear what Hearns and Brantley have to say after their trips.

Hey Zach, any news on the linebacker out of Crestview, Dillan Lawson? I heard he is very good. Grade problems? Woody King

I don’t know what the status of Lawson is now and whether his grades have improved or not, but the Gators haven’t recruited him since they parted ways in July. HERE is the story on what happened in case you missed it.

With Driskel and Brissett 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 were Muschamp and Pease not interested in any of them? Anthony

Muschamp and Pease were definitely interested, but they struck out on every quarterback they pursued. HERE is a timeline of how it all unfolded in the spring and summer. Max Staver was literally the last option for them, but he has turned out to be a steal for the Gators given his rise in the recruiting rankings and performance at Friday Night Lights.

Staver and his Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy football team play on ESPNU tonight at 8.

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)? 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. Braxton

Some guys don’t have a set date set yet, but they know what month they want to make their commitment.

WR Demarcus Robinson December (final decision, early enrollee)
WR Marcus North TBD
OG David Dawson — TBD
OT Laremy Tunsil Feb. 6 (National Signing Day)
JUCO OT Trenton Brown  November (enrolling in January)
DT Montravius Adams — January/NSD
DT Jaynard Bostwick — NSD
DT Greg Gilmore — Nov. 8
DE Ebenzer Ogundeko — Decemeber (early enrollee)
CB Mackensie Alexander — NSD
S Marcell Harris — November (early enrollee)

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


  1. Way to GO HARD Zach! Thanks for the update on Stacy Coley…wonder what flaw turned us all the way off… WRs need to understand our QBs are young and our passing game will only get better in time, especially with the quality OL, RBs were rounding up! Fight Til Your Death G.A.T.A.!

  2. Awhile back you said Adam Lane reminded you a little of a Ray Rice type of back. Are there any other current Gator commits you could compare to current college or pro players? for example is Ahmad Fulwood another Julio Jones or AJ Green type of player?

  3. When will Florida land a difference maker at receiver? They missed on Stefon Diggs last year who is now looking like the player we all thought Andre Debose would be. He has the same number of receptions as Florida’s leader (Reed w/21) and almost twice as many yards. He also had 3 TD’s and Florida as a team only has 4 though the air. Granted he plays in the ACC but the Gators haven’t exactly faced top tier D’s outside of LSU.

  4. With Muschamp coaching in Texas and knowing most of the high school coaches there, I’m surprised we haven’t landed or been close to landing any solid Texas recruits. Lots of talent in that state and it seems like we are ignoring it?

  5. Funny that North isn’t sold on our passing game and favors UT. He would rather throw the ball every down and lose each week than win. Our QB is young and theirs is about to leave. Good luck with that decision.

  6. Homer, just goes to show you that some people just care about themselves rather than winning.. I hope that isn’t the case for North and he should realize that Driskel can pass, and he will only improve going forward.

  7. If you were 18 would you rather win (not a guarantee) or play and get the ball. I have been on teams that won and did not play or contribute – it sucks. As a father now I see my boys playing and would much rather them get the ball and contribute than be on a winning team. Now winning is the bottom line and myself and my boys are very competitive and want to win everytime and it hurts like hell to loose. I am just very much understanding M. North and his dad. Bottom line as much as I hate Tennessee it is still a major program, any of us would be lucky to go to a school like that.

  8. I understand why North and his dad(who I think is driving this train) feel this way, but they should consider:
    – That Bray will be GONE soon after North gets to Tenn, and possibly before, and the same can probably be said of Dooley.
    – That a BIG reason we don’t throw more is because we have precious few(None, really) receivers with size, – a solid work ethic AND ability to get open and make big plays. None of our WR’s have all 3 of those qualities.
    – That if he wants to play in the league most like the NFL, it needs to be in the SEC, if he just wants teams that wing it around like arena ball, try W.Va or a Big 12 or Pac-12 team, where defense, coverage and tackling are foreign concepts.

  9. North, himself, was actually impressed after the visit. Steve is right, the father is the one really calling the shots and favoring Tennessee…..and can you really blame them? We have not shown anything in three years that comes close to resembling a passing offense. Yes, it may change with better personnel, but the way Muschamp speaks at the media and pressers and such its ‘run’ run’ run, physical defense and power football. I completely understand why some top notch receivers aren’t exactly sold on our offense. And its not like Tennessee is Kentucky, they’ll get more competitive eventually.

  10. I don’t know, scooterp, Tennessee has almost no home grown talent, they recruited for years based on the idea that they were good. This extended dry spell is hurting them. They are I think 9th in the SEC in recruiting rankings this year. Don’t look for them to turn things around any time soon.
    Funny that North doesn’t care that the fans are screaming for Dooley’s head. If you decide to go to a school because of the scheme they run, DON’T go to one that is about to get a new coach, and therefore a new scheme.

  11. No, you’re right Lizard, they aren’t very good. What I was getting at was it was not a program that is accustom to losing and their fanbase is like ours………. impatient. They will not sit with mediocrity for long. If Dooley does’nt turn thing around fast, they’ll have no problem handing him his pink slip. And Tennessee is one of the dozen or so best coaching jobs in the country they should land someone good – if their smart. I don’t necessarily see the allure of why his family appears hell bent on the Vols. I just understand to some degree why a highly recruited WR might look at our team and not see the appeal.

  12. Zach,
    Given the renewed interest some of the top prospects are showing UF now, do you see a potential issue approaching for Muschamp where he has more commitments than scholarships?

    If so, do you believe that he will resend the scholarship offer to some existing commitments?

    Or do you think Muschamp will honor the existing ones and pass on the ones that wait too long?

    I know this sounds like a delusional or arrogant question but the reality is that we have about 19 commitments and 6-7 viable recruits we are still working on so it is possible.

  13. Todd, I would say right now Dawson is 90% and Brown is 80%. A very good possibility we get both. As for DT, I feel better about Gilmore than Adams. He won’t come out and say it, but Gilmore is a 60/40 lean toward the Gators right now, but LSU getting the last visit scares me. I would say a 75% chance right now in getting one of those two. JMO

  14. Don’t know what the rest of the year will hold, but man I love this freakin team. Muschamp has instilled an attitude that I love to see my team play with. Hope we finish out the recruiting season strong, focus on the remaining games (1 week at a time), and keep this program pointed in an upwards direction. GO GATORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. I know whenever the number 1 player at his position is interested or semi-interested, you listen and you make room, but why’s Florida continuing to push so hard for O lineman? We have the two really good transfers and two commits. Don’t get it.

  16. Zack I know you said that Ira Denson from Madison really liked Florida during his visit. I also know that he lives really close to Talahassee and has been committed to them for a long time. I seen some videos of him and he really looks impressive, do you think theres a chance we can sway him or is he solid to FSU?

    • Doug,
      Dawson and Harris are still on their official visits and I’m not going to bother them until they’re done.
      The only other uncommitted target that visited was Laremy Tunsil and I talked to him this afternoon. When I asked if UF’s last two wins at home, which he attended, have helped the Gators’ chances, Tunsil responded, “Not really, Florida is still the same to me.” He said George and Alabama still lead and he just doesn’t have interest in UF. When I asked if that would change if Florida beats those two teams this year, Tunsil replied, “We’ll see.”
      That’s all I got for now. As was the case with the LSU game, I’ll have a recruit reaction story up late Sunday night after I’ve spoken with all the visitors (or tried to).

  17. The update is very much appreciated. Not to worried about Tunsil; wish him luck were ever he ends up. I want someone that appreciates the opportunity they are getting at Florida without conditions. Trent Brown maybe?

  18. I wish the Tunsil would move on Monday to Georgia or Alabama so he will stop coming to THE SWAMP and acting like anyone in Florida cares where he takes his behind in February. Fact is…..Humphries, Green, Garcia, and Moore….are just better than you. Have fun losing to Florida in the future….Mr. “Full of Yourself” Tunsil. Hint: Go to Georgia….you will fit right in with those “non team” 4 and 5 stars. Best place for you!

  19. Thanks Zach. Tunsil is playing the game man! He’s there amongst THAT atmosphere during ‘modern’ UF’s biggest games, he grew up a Gator fan, PUBLICLY he has UF 3rd (not 13th but 3rd) on his list of favorites…but he claims NO interest. None! Nada! C’mon Man! How can you NOT be interested? It’s in you Big Bwoy! Maybe UF is a distant 3rd; my suggestion would be: use this time to familiarize yourself with those who will be vital to your college career, IF you’re not already doing exactly that…

    BTW, good to see D. Fowler get his 1st sack and M. Jones get him a TD! Next time Matt, get violent! That first carry should have been your touchdown! Be the Hammer, NEVER the nail!

  20. What we need to remind ourselves is the unerring truth that there is a balance that occurs with every good team….if UF establishes itself as an 80% running team, the coaches in the SEC will throw 8 men in the box, and then the passing game comes into play. No national championship team will be one-dimensional for long; the opposing defense will force the push toward a balance. So receivers, you can come to UF and the pendulum with of necessity swing periodically. Driskel can throw the football better than anyone we have had at QB over the past 6-7 years!

  21. Hey Zach,

    Thanks for all your timely recruiting updates — they are much appreciated.

    Regarding silent commits — I know that you can’t tell us who without revealing stuff that was told to you in confidence, but can you tell us how many there currently are?


  22. Zach,
    I understand UF’s class is getting close to full. How many do you expect to sign with UF, and which recruits do you believe at this juncture will most likely fill those spots?

    Obviously we all know that recruiting is an imperfect science, and you do a phenomenal job. I believe I’m not the only one saying this; you have been outstanding with your information to GatorNation and appreciate all your hard work!

  23. Zach, where’s the blog? I’ve been jonesing for this thing since Sunday. Come on man, don’t make me wait too much longer. Glad to hear you’re feeling better, and can’t wait to see what the recruits had to say about their time in the Swamp on Saturday. It looked like the place was rocking!