Florida loses out on Wynn


Less than a month after visiting Gainesville and warming up to the idea of staying in-state, St. Petersburg Lakewood offensive guard Isaiah Wynn is off Florida’s board.

The Rivals100 member committed to Georgia on Sunday, two days removed from attending Dawg Night in Athens. UGA had been the public leader for Wynn since May, but the Gators appeared to be trending upward with him.

They received his first trip of the summer on June 16, and he spoke highly of the visit on his Twitter account. His relationship with former teammate and UF sophomore defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. was also working in Florida’s favor.

But the Gators sent out a late offer to Wynn, and while he expressed no hard feelings about the delay, it still put them behind schools such as Georgia in building relationships with the coaches, which ultimately won him over. Wynn says he will not take any more trips and is shutting down his recruitment.

In-state offensive guards Montel McBride (Plant City) and Corey Martinez (Tampa Catholic) made their pledges in early July to Florida State and Alabama, respectively. Neither were offered by Florida, but they had visited the school and were once high on UF.

The Gators will now be hard pressed to find a realistic and quality target if one of their interior linemen commits doesn’t stick. Jacksonville Raines’ Travaris Dorsey seems unlikely to waver following his latest stop in Gainesville. Joseph Paul, however, is a different story.

The 6-foot-4, 340-pounder from New Orleans maintains that his verbal is solid, but he’s visiting Texas on July 27 (instead of Florida’s Friday Night Lights) and plans to use his officials in the fall. UF doesn’t sound completely sold on him, either. When Paul camped in June, he did not speak with Will Muschamp and was told he needed to lose 15 pounds.

Should Paul leave the class one way or another, the only known-option left for the Gators right now is offensive guard Demetrius Knox of Fort Worth, Texas. The Rivals100 member will officially visit Florida for the FSU game and has UF is in his Top 5 along with Miami, Ohio State, TCU and UCLA, his current leader.


    • Robert,

      Demetrius Knox is the only notable OG target I’m aware of. I’m sure there’s some under-the-radar recruits and JUCO guys being looked at, but I don’t know who they are yet.

      As for offensive tackle, Florida has Benjamin Knox committed and looks to be in the lead for David Sharpe. If the Gators can land him and keep who they already have on board, they should be fine given their haul last year.

      Although he pledged to UF as a defensive end, Taven Bryan could also play along the offensive line if need be. Damian Prince, Damien Mama, Brock Ruble and Andrew Shofner are some other targets at the position, but all appear unlikely at this time.

  1. Zach – Is there a chance you can create a”draft” board (maybe in spreadsheet format) of the players UF wants to sign, along with some details about them (ht, wt, where they’ve visited, where they’re leaning, etc.) and keep it updated and posted in the recruiting forum? It’d be a great internship for some enterprising BSJ student. Thx.

    • BSJ,
      We basically had that on our recruiting website in 2012, but last year we made it to where only UF commits are featured. I’ll see if they would be willing to change that back to how it used to be. If not, I can put something together in the forum for you.

  2. I hope someone can convince me otherwise, but the interior of the OL has me worried for 2014. After this year, our only returning interior linemen will be Sr. Max Garcia, Sr. Ian Silberman, Jr. Trip Thurman, Soph/R.Fr. Octavius Jackson and Soph/R.Fr. Cameron Dillard. This combined with the shaky status of recruits Joseph Paul and possibly Ben Knox gives cause for concern.

  3. Weakness up front on both sides of the ball has been a concern for years. Even back to Spurrier days, we’d load the boat with db’s only to be told later we had no speed in the backfield. With a great pass rush, your “slow” DB’s can be saved.
    Coach says he wants to run the ball, a 1,00 yard runner every year. Matt Jones will deliver on that, health allowing, but the down the field vertical passing game requires BEEF, PLENTY OF BEEF.
    Guess I need to get a job as recruiter/hard closer for the Gators…Mr. Go Get Um…Hey, I’ve got a FLO RIDA CD loaded in my car rite now. I always put recruits in charge of the stereo in “my ride.” You have to know how to communicate, right Zach?

  4. FWIW, Coach Spurrier says they will “move Clowney around” not place him in the same spot every down. To beat So. Carolina, a team will have to run a RB away from Clowney, and as for the passing game, it’ll require getting rid of the ball QUICKLY, as Mr 4.46 in the 40 will be closing in quickly.
    Big, wide bodied LT’s and strong centers are needed too anchor the O-line, and with teams moving their best athletes around, you have to have comparable talent all across the front line.
    When Spurrier goes to a balanced run/pass game plan, you can believe things are changing in the SEC. (See Trent Richardson, BAMA.) Big Beef. Men among children it takes now in this conference. A&M, BAMA, and LSU in the West have mastered this, so has Ga., S.C., in the East.

  5. Zach,
    If Paul ends up at Texas instead of G’ville, time to plan ahead assuming you can’t flip a kid committed to another school. (The 340 is ok for pass blocking, but the coaches want the 325 for the run game.)
    That leaves one other talent pool, the much criticized JUCO circuit. Gators have had good success in the past from that gene pool.
    If what you say is the case, time to start building relationships as you say, with some Ms., Ks., and Ca. Junior Colleges. We’ll get two good years out of them, bridge the recruiting shortfall and come through ok until the H.S. pipeline is re-established.
    No time to waste. I can hear the letters printing now. I’ll volunteer to stuff envelopes!