Zach’s Mail Stack 10/25


With offensive guard David Dawson not pulling the trigger last weekend, it may be awhile before we see another commitment for the Florida Gators.

Defensive tackle Greg Gilmore makes his decision on Nov. 8 and I really think he’s LSU-bound after speaking with him briefly on Sunday.

He will be three days removed from his official visit to Baton Rouge, which is for the Alabama game, and I just have a feeling that the Tigers are going to gain back the lead they had for much of his recruitment.

Gilmore told me he was indeed “amazed” by Florida’s win over LSU and the Gators have grabbed his attention even more with their recent success. However, he’s equally impressed with the way LSU has bounced back from that loss in The Swamp and continues to talk about how he’ll be able to play early because the Tigers are losing six D-linemen.

One recruit who won’t be picking UF anytime soon is five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. His statements in my recruiting weekend rewind generated a lot of opinions from Gator fans in the comment section of my blog.

Several readers asked me why the Florida coaches keep letting him visit if he has no interest. First of all, he is not costing them any money or resources. Tunsil’s last two trips have been on his own dime and he’s not taking away a seat from anybody, although he may be blocking a few folks with his 6-foot-6 frame.

But the bottom line is, if I’m Will Muschamp and the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle wants to attend my game, I welcome him with open arms. Even though Tunsil says he wasn’t swayed by the last two wins at home, there was a chance it could have happened and that’s why you let him come. If he wants to officially visit later this year, you better believe Muschamp would love to have him back. Even though Tunsil is frustrating for a lot of fans, Muschamp has a job to as a recruiter and representative of UF, and he’s not going to ruin a relationship with a kid, his teammates (possible future prospects) or his high school coaches just because he isn’t high on the Gators.

On to the questions!

Should we be worried about losing out on S Marcell Harris on his last visit? If Marquez North is hurt do we take another WR? — Mike

For those who missed my tweet Wednesday, someone close to Harris told me he’s talking about visiting Ohio State for his last official. This is a bit of a surprise since the Buckeyes aren’t in his Top 6, but Urban Meyer has been after Harris since he was a freshman. Meyer certainly has the recruiting ability to make Ohio State a factor for Harris, but Florida and Texas are really the only schools in the running right now according to that same source. So I wouldn’t worry about the Buckeyes at the moment.

North suffered a torn labrum and will miss the remainder of his senior season, but I doubt the Gators will go after another receiver besides Clemson commit Demarcus Robinson. North is their top target and that won’t change. UF safety commit Nick Washington had the same injury and he recovered just fine from it.

What is the latest on Notre Dame commit LB Alex Anzalone? — Hector, Dustin Brian, TG

It may be only a matter of time before Anzalone ends up in this class. He spent three days in Gainesville (on his own dime) the weekend of the LSU game and then cancelled his official visit to Notre Dame last weekend. Rumor has it that he’s even filled out his early enrollment paperwork for UF already.

I haven’t been able to confirm that with him because he still isn’t doing interviews, but it wouldn’t shock me one bit. His dad graduated from Florida, Anzalone grew up a Gator fan and he lived out his childhood dream when he worked out in The Swamp at Friday Night Lights.

What’s the case with DE Elijah Daniel? He just decommited from Clemson. Is he going to officially visit? Are we in serious contention for him?Lighty, Tamaro

Last Saturday, this came from Daniel’s twitter account: “Im goin to decommit from clemson tigers today just don’t feel lik its the right fit for me and family doesnt think either.”

Minutes later, Daniel deleted the tweet and said his account was hacked.


I don’t buy that at all because this has been brewing for weeks. I think he just spoke too soon and quickly realized it. Nonetheless, Daniel says he’s still committed to Clemson but remains open to other schools.

Florida is a serious contender for him and will likely be his landing spot once he part ways with the Tigers. But until Daniel gets the necessary test scores he needs, the NCAA Clearing House won’t allow him to take any official visits (see Shaq Wiggins).

Would Muschamp take both David Dawson and Ira Denson, or is it one or the other? If both, does an Octavius Jackson get dropped?Chas, Dustin, Roy

The Gators are only going to take one more offensive guard and yes, it will be either Dawson or Denson. They are not going to drop Jackson to get both of them. Muschamp has said in the past he doesn’t do things like that.

I tweeted it a few hours before the LSU game, but Denson was the FSU commit I talked about in my Mail Stack on 8/8. At the time, Dawson wasn’t really in the picture because he didn’t come for Friday Night Lights and Denson was calling the UF coaches in hopes of receiving an offer. He told me that if he did, he would flip to Florida.

Well, Denson still hasn’t gotten one because things have changed with Dawson since then. The Gators are really confident they can land Dawson now that he’s officially visited. But if he doesn’t return for the banquet weekend like he said and/or commit to Florida, expect the coaches to turn the heat up on Denson.

Zach, everything I see with CB Jalen Ramsey seems he is all-Trojan. Are the Gators still recruiting Jalen or is he off the board? — Jimmie, Seth

He’s definitely still on the board, and reported that Ramsey was going to call the Florida staff Wednesday. But you’re right, he seems solid to USC judging by his tweets, and the fact that he didn’t attend any of Florida’s last three games (including nearby Vanderbilt) doesn’t bode well for the Gators. Unless he makes a return trip to UF at some point, it looks like he’ll stick with the Trojans.

Does Florida have a real shot at O.J. Howard? — Richard

Probably not based on his video interview with 247Sports on Tuesday. Howard said he had a great time in Gainesville and enjoyed the gameday atmosphere, but he’s still solid with Alabama and considers Florida as a fallback option. One interesting note from the interview was that Howard said the main recruiting pitch from the UF coaches is they expect junior tight end Jordan Reed to leave early for the NFL.

Zach, say this happens: we fall short of a National Title causing Sharrif Floyd, Matt Elam, etc. to stay to try and win one. This also causes us to land our big targets like Anzalone, Harris, Dawson, Gilmore and Ramsey. How do we handle scholarships? We seem to be in serious contention for big names with a full class. I can see the juniors not declaring. This is a problem.  — Kaleb, GatorHess, Mark T., C-Slim

With offensive lineman Tyler Moore transferring and 19 members in the 2013 class, Florida currently has no more scholarships available for next season. However, the Gators are anticipating 3-4 transfers and Floyd and Elam are as good as gone. The results of this season, good or bad, are not going to change their minds in my opinion. You also have the possibility of guys like Reed, Jelani Jenkins and Dominique Easley going pro.

So while there could be a potential problem if a bunch of top targets try to commit, I don’t think it will be an issue because the numbers are going to work out. The only kids I feel confident about Florida landing is Dawson, Anzalone and Harris, and the Gators can add them with Floyd and Elam gone and just one transfer. Anybody else (Ramsey, Tunsil, North, another D-linemen) would be a plus-one, and I expect Florida to have room for any late additions because of multiple transfers.

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


  1. By the way I like Dawson but give me Denson all day long. Denson, Harris, Alex, T.Brown, Daniel are my draft picks for this class. I would take on one last minute guy between M.North, D.Robenson, OJ.Howard. Anybody else should have jumped on board by now. Sorry I can help them all. I wish they could all be Gators. Zach, whom would you pick/take for the NSD draft? 6 spots.

    • Denson definitely has more of a mean streak, but I think Dawson is a “Will Muschamp guy.” If I’m Florida and could choose anyone, I’d go with the big names:
      North, Howard, Tunsil, Adams, Ramsey, Harris

  2. Saying Floyd and Elam go pro,if Easley doesnt do the coaches move him back to Dt and does that affect our class.I wouldnt blame Easley but he still isnt 100 percent,which could cost him big money at the combine.

  3. Yea, I hope Reed stays.. he still hasn’t developed enough as a true TE yet.. Clowney ran right by him last week several times… and every NFL team has a whole lotta Clowney’s, he misses some blocks still, he has no good reason to leave for the NFL except his size.. and his toughness.

  4. Good stuff Zach…I think that the silence is deafening concerning Harris…OK-so I was a little harsh on Tunsil…let dude come in & watch the games, hang out, blase’ blase’ but I still don’t think he pulls the switch to UF…Jordan Reed needs to stay put…the way he got clowned by Clowney was a joke…he did the same to Xavier Nixon too but then again who hasn’t…I think Easley needs to stay put & come back…another yr & I think he’s a legit 1st rounder b/c it takes a yr to fully recover from an ACL tear & along w/ Ronald Powell the defense should be a force next year as well…wouldn’t it be great if all of them stayed to go for that championship?!?! Is it me or does it feel as though UF’s win over LSU is getting the Heisman stiff-arm? Seems as if everyone is discounting their win as a fluke & looking for the Tigers to spank UF in a rematch…not gonna happen in my book…I think Bama waxes them & then UF beats big bad Bama in the ATL…oh-shouts out to Tyrann & JJ…how’s the weed in parish prison taste?!?!

  5. I met Alex Anzalone’s dad a few months ago. He told me that Alex would be a gator and how good the kid is. He said that Alex is a really good basketball player as well. I have been eagerly waiting for him to announce for UF. Hope he does soon.

  6. Zach, can you give us updates or information about the following recruits?
    1. Reuben Foster- Auburn commit; any interest from him or Dee Liner in schools like UF since Chizik might be on hot seat?
    2. Mackensie Alexander- I haven’t heard any updates about him; any chance of him joining the class and teaming with Hargreaves?
    3. Montavious Adams- I see him as a must get for this class, teaming with Brantley. Do you have any insight about where he might end up?
    4. Leon McQuay- What are our chances if Harris bolts for OSU?
    5. Tyrone Crowder- #2 OG in country and on our board. Did he have grade problems? I never saw you mention him.
    6. Eric Mayes- # 16 DE from Sarasota Booker. Did we show any interest in him? Would he be an option if Daniel doesn’t work out?
    7. Demarcus Walker- Another Florida kid sold on the green pastures of Tuscaloosa…do you think he flips to UF since it’s so close to home?

  7. Definitely Reed needs to stay one more year to develop, but it’s his decision , IMO they all should stay with the exception of Elam and Floyd. However we should be okay if the other juniors decide to leave. I think thats why muschamp is trying to play a lot of guys to get some experience under their belts. The only issue I have is the limbo we’re put with Top recruits in because of uncertanity who we will sign and who will leave early for the draft.

  8. We really don’t need to run after guys that don’t want to be Gators regardless of the number of stars. For the very first time I truly believe our coaching staff is so good at developing players (in the weight room and on the field) that we can take motivated 3 star guys and turn them into first round draft picks.

  9. I think the recent arrests at LSU for marijuana use by 4 former LSU football players and the murders/gun violence at a party attended by LSU football players this summer (after the violence at a bar fight last year) may give Mom concern and perhaps steer Gilmore to Gators on NSD. Mom may be concerned that LSU program is out of control and may not be best place for her son.

  10. yea i see some auburn decommits after season given the mess there although i understand Chizik is paid too much for them to get rid of him and hire another highly paid coach. Cant we just pay Patchan to leave also…

  11. Homer J is 1000% correct! Jordan Reed would be making a tremendous mistake in leaving early ala Dee Webb and Ryan Smith! He does have talent but he needs to stick around!
    I believe Shariff Floyd leaves! I hate to say it but I think he is the best DT UF has had since Reggie McGrew or Ellis Johnson. Matt Elam is a toss up! Another year under Coach Muschamp and Coach Quinn would do him some good! I would say a third round pick right now but another year would make him a second round pick or late first!
    We need Montavious Adams! Games are won on the trenches and we have to replace great players with more great players!

  12. Reed has great height,speed,and will likely lead this team in YAC and catches for the second straight year.Plus who knows what his financial situation is.If they want to pay him the money more power to him.After C.I. i’ll never blame a player for taking the money.Kwame wouldnt have made nearly as much if the Nba had a year to scout him.Who would ever rag on a T.E. that couldnt block Clowney,thats expected.

  13. Floyd elam jenkins easley reed are gone. Reed is the best TE in the SEC no LB can cover him. The only reason he isn’t ranked high is because we barely throw. He will have very good numbers at the combine and improve stock. Anytime your a lock for top 3 rounds you leave early. Top 3 rounds mean gurranteed money.

  14. My issue with Tunsil is him having the opportunity to negatively impact our commits or guys we are recruiting, while he is on a visit. Say he manages to sway one guy – it my be that one guy we really need. I know his family and some close contacts and the only way he comes to UF is if Hump were to transfer or do something where he would not be a serious contender for LT. That LT position has trails to some serious money and he plans to go get it after his Jr year and he will need to play a lot, his Freshman year, to have a chance to go high after his Jr year!

  15. Jordan Reed, PLEASE be the hammer…run thru the guy. We have lots of room for improvement so I hope our commits and red-shirt guys are getting ready because we’re going to rely on several of them from day 1 to play at a high SEC level. WRs, OL, RBs, DL, LBs…show up in shape and BE READY! Tunsil, you can c’mon! Keep in mind, you’re not competing against Hump or any other OL…we’re looking to see what you can do against the J. Clowneys and J. Jones of this league. Tough loss but ALWAYS proud to be a GATOR! BTW, GOD bless M. Lattimore and his family. Seeing his dream shatter brought tears to my eyes…LIFE.

  16. I say go after Denson if he wants to be a gator. From the film I saw of him this summer, he looked like a kid with a mean streak, and we need some big, nasty guys on the line to hold up against the better pash rushers in the conference. I understand wanting to try to sign someone as highly regarded as Dawson, but I think we should reach out to Denson before we hurt ourselves in his recruitment. GO GATORS!!!

  17. Read somewhere Dawson was expressing interest in possibly staying close to home “near my support system.” I agree with Gator N NC, get Denson on board! The guy was an unknown going to The Opening; he showed up and showed out! Ask Caleb Brantley. Big, strong, mean and with development, a trend setter for us on the OL. I just hope we haven’t turned him off.