Zach’s Mail Stack 12/6

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National Signing Day is exactly two months away and Florida should finish strong for the 2013 recruiting cycle.

The Gators are getting interest from a few new prospects and remain in the running for their long-time targets. I’m sure UF coach Will Muschamp already has a good idea of who he’ll end up with, but there will still be a lot of twists and turns over these next eight weeks.

It begins Friday when Florida welcomes 11 commits on official visits for the football banquet weekend. This will be an opportunity for the staff to shore up some soft verbals and give their undivided attention to all.

The Gators also have a chance to seal the deal with 2014 quarterback Will Grier (Davidson, N.C./Davidson Day) and 2014 cornerback Duke Dawson (Cross City, Fla./Dixie County). It’s unlikely that they pull the trigger while in Gainesville, but UF leads for both of them and they will be deciding soon.

I hope to have video interviews with everyone visiting this weekend, and they will begin going up on our website Monday.

On to the questions!

Zach, what’s the story on WR Laquon Treadwell deciding to visit UF? — Jimmie, Kaleb, Gregory, Tamayo, Mr. Tillman, Brian, C-Slim, moneymal, Justin, Brian, Pat, Uncle Willie Son

As you can see by the number of names I listed, this is the question that almost everyone had this week.

It was reported Thursday that Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete Monee) has decided to take an official visit to UF. The Gators want to add another wideout and he’s certainly at the top of their list.

Treadwell, the nation’s No. 1 receiver according to ESPN and Rivals, eliminated Florida on Oct. 7 when he announced a Top 5 of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Michigan and Michigan State.

Now the Gators apparently back in the picture … or are they?

The latest entries on his Rivals.com profile tell different stories.

In a video interview that was published Thursday by Tim Sullivan of TheWolverine.com (the Michigan website of the Rivals.com network), Treadwell said he will officially visit Florida the week after the Under Armour All-American on Jan. 4.

However, Treadwell told Rivals’ Midwest recruiting analyst Josh Helmholdt that his Dec. 14 visit to Oklahoma is the only official set in stone and that if he decides to take more, only Oklahoma State and Michigan will be considered.

“Florida has been through a couple times (for in-home visits) as have LSU and Notre Dame, but I told them I wasn’t interested,” Treadwell told Helmholt on Thursday. “I told them I appreciate them recruiting me, but I just let them know straight up that I wasn’t interested anymore.”

With Treadwell now on record saying completely opposite things on the same day, it’s unclear what he will do moving forward. Maybe Florida’s successful season and hiring of Joker Phillips has made an impression on him, but I don’t think he can be taken serious until he shows up on campus.

While in the Sunshine State competing at Gridiron Kings in late July, Treatwell tweeted that he would visit UF after the event and nothing ever happened. He’ll have the same opportunity next month when he’s in St. Petersburg for the game, so let’s see if he acts on it this time around.

He has never picked up the phone for me or replied to my texts, so hopefully I’ll get a definitive answer from him at the Under Armour Media Day Luncheon on Jan. 2.

Is CB Mackenzie Alexander a realistic get for this class? Seems late in the process. Do you think Joker has that big of an impact?moneymal, Kaleb, Tamayo, Justin, Brian, Sleezie

The renewed interest from Immokalee five-star cornerback Mackenzie Alexander seems to be legit.

Florida was once a favorite for Alexander and he almost committed to the Gators during their Junior Day on Feb. 18. But then UF began to fall behind out-of-state schools when Alexander discovered a desire to play away from home.

Clemson and Texas A&M are the only officials he’s taken and have the advantage right now, but Phillips’ move to UF has grabbed his attention.

“Florida is back in the mix right now since they got Joker,” Alexander told Taylor Hamm of Gigem247 on Tuesday. “They’re fighting their way back in it and they’re doing a great job. They’re showing a lot of love. Coach Muschamp called, stuff like, so it’s going good. They think I can come in and compete right away. They have the number one recruiting class in the country right now. They are ready to dominate so we’ll see.”

Phillips is one of the favorite coaches Alexander has dealt with in his recruitment and could give the Gators a shot at his services. He hasn’t visited UF since March 17, so a return trip to Gainesville needs to happen before he makes his decision at a date yet to be determined.

Are the Gators in competition for these two decommits — South Plantation RB Alex Collins and Winter Park QB Asiantii Woulard?Eric, Tamayo

Collins, who decommitted from Miami on Nov. 7, is still considering the Canes along with Florida and Florida State. His official visit to UF is scheduled for Dec. 14, and running backs coach Brian White saw him on Nov. 28 and this past Monday. Florida’s victory over FSU and increased contact has put the Gators in good shape with Collins.

UF already has its quarterback for the 2013 class in Max Staver (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) and doesn’t need or have room to go after Woulward. Besides, he already burned his bridge with the staff. He was supposed to throw for the coaches on June 9 at Florida’s summer camp and they were going to offer the QB who performed the best. But Woulard was a no-show, Staver stole the show, and the show’s been over at the position ever since.

I’ve noticed some of our recruits have had injuries during there senior seasons, any we should be worried about? — Doug

The future Gators who were injured are Jacksonville Bishop receiver Ahmad Fulwood (sprained shoulder), Orlando Dr. Phillips safety Marcell Harris (MCL injury) and Tampa Hillsborough defensive end Jordan Sherit (torn ACL). None of them will play in the All-American games in January.

Fulwood will be fine for the fall, Harris (an early enrollee) is expected to be full strength before spring practice starts and Sherit is now walking on his own power and hopes to play next season. You can read more about Sherit’s injury HERE.

What name nobody has heard should we all know by signing day?Richard, Victoriam, Alex

As Scar told young Simba in Lion King, “If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise, now would it?”

Still love that movie to this day. I also love signing day surprises, and there’s always a chance of it happening. Last year it was Tallahassee Lincoln receiver Raphael Andrades, who came out of nowhere to sign with the Gators. If UF fails to land another receiver, offensive lineman, defensive end and/or linebacker in this class, we might see a repeat on Feb. 6. But your guess is as good as mine as to who it could be.

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

35 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Zach, if Muschamp wants another receiver, there are still a ton of good ones out there, why can’t we get any? What’s wrong with guys like Jordan Cunningham, Stacey Coley, Taj Williams, Richard Benjamin, Dominic Walker and Tony Stevens? And that’s just the state of Florida.

    • Jimmy,
      Cunnningham has no interest, Florida stopped recruiting Coley months ago for what I’ve been told was an academic and attitude issue, and Benjamin, Stevens, Walker and Williams are UF-caliber receivers. Maybe the Gators will take one of them on NSD, but right now they have other recruits ahead of them.

  2. Good question Jimmy. Zach, what’s the deal with FB Kennard Swanson?
    Since de-committing from LSU he is high on UF and even declares he will be joining the class during or just after his Dec. 13th OV. Maybe his is a name we should get to know…

  3. I’m excited about any kids that we can sway away from LSU & it looks like Mr Swanson will be Hunter Joyer-esque! Great updates but what about James Hearns? It’s been pretty quiet on him lately & I’m worried that he may switch although from reports that I keep hearing is that he’s still going to sign w/ UF. Good job Zach & keep it up

  4. I understand that injuries happen, but at what point do we back away from a prospect because of an injury? Sprained shoulder, wrist, or ankle is one thing but when guys are blowing out ACL’s and MCL’s and then having the closest doc in their (in some cases) one-horse town patch them up..isn’t there some risk in bringing them on?

  5. You’re doing a really good job Zach. I think we were all a bit spoiled when Ed was in charge of recruiting news. When he left, we quickly found out how good he was. This column was a mess for sometime. No need for me to name the writers, you know who they are. Well, you’ve done an outstanding job and I’ve learned to appreciate good recruiting news. Just do me a favor, when ESPN comes a knocking, at least make em sweat a little before saying yes.

  6. @ Delray Mike

    Actually, most MCL injuries are not that bad. Most of the time they do not even require surgery but Im not sure whether Harris was operated on or not. Also, those two kids are from Tampa and Orlando so they are far from one horse towns.

  7. Great job as usual, Zach. Thx for keeping us up to speed. Are there rumblings of any additional tranfers pending that may open additional spots onboard the Muschamp train ? Seems like that more prospects than ever are open to the Gators recruiting pitch. Its great to be a Gator!

  8. Zach, I should have clarified; I read your report last week on K. Swanson but later found an article where he spoke as if things are in order and it’s just a matter of time (OV/Dec13th) before he joined the class “officially.” Also noticed another Gator site had Q. Powell listed as a “Visitor” and another member of the class as a “Commit.” I also see Powell is scheduled to attend the banquet…will he make it? He is leaning HARD to USC. I like him but we’ve already got what he brings in J. Powell. Keep up the great work.

  9. @SD Gator, R. Foster did not list UF as one of the schools he is considering …UGA, UA, Bama, LSU and Washington (huh? WASHINGTON??). My guess is he’ll fall in love with Bama again only to switch out for UA to save face/tattoo.

  10. Hey Zack, I’m kinda worried about filling up all our spots before national signing day, because there are still some very talented prospects that won’t be deciding until around feburary like Laquan Treadwell, Montravious Adams, and Mackansie Alexander. Exactly how many more guys can we take?

  11. Hey Zach, I noticed ESPN.com said that Quinton Powell decommitted, yet on our commits page he was still listed as a Florida commit, and every other story I read made him seem solidly committed to Florida. So is he still committed or not? And on tha subject what’s Florida’s chances of getting back some decommits like David Dawson and Alex Anzalone, and are the coaches even pursuing them anymore?