Zach’s Mail Stack 9/5


I only received a few questions this week for the Mail Stack, which I guess is understandable.

Now that college football has started, I’m chopped liver. No hard feelings, though.

The Evaluation Period began Sept. 1, so recruiting should start heating up as coaches hit the road for high school football and recruits return the favor by attending some games. The Tennessee weekend should be a doozy for Florida.

If you’ve been too busy taking part in #MiamiHateWeek and didn’t get a chance to read my in-depth feature on UF secondary coach Travaris Robinson, be sure to check it out HERE. He’s a guy all Gator fans should get to know, especially with the UM on the schedule this week.

On to the questions!

Do you think WR Speedy Noil and DL Gerald Willis end up in UF’s class? Heard they both wanted to attend the same school. — Ryan, Gary Alan Poe, Uncle Willie Sam

The teammates from New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr tweeted Tuesday that they want to attend the same college, and both have Florida, Southern Cal and Texas A&M as their three finalists. Many in the recruiting world still feel there’s a good chance they eventually end up at LSU, especially with Willis’ mother, April Justin, in the picture. She is infamous for disagreeing with the decision of her eldest son, safety Landon Collins, to attend Alabama over LSU during his announcement on ESPN at the Under Armour All-America Game in 2012.

If the Tigers are indeed out of the mix, this will be a battle between the Aggies and the Gators. At this time, Texas A&M likely has the edge over UF because of the distance factor. But the consensus top-100 prospects will officially visit Sept. 21 for the Tennessee game, and this will be Florida’s chance to make a move for them. The Gators haven’t signed a prep prospect from Louisiana in more than a decade.

Are the Gators a serious contender for Damian Prince and does it affect David Sharpe in any way? — Devin, Nate 

On Tuesday, 247Sports reported the five-star offensive tackle would officially visit for the Florida State game. That news was later refuted on Twitter by Mid-Atlantic recruiting analyst Adam Friedman, who said Prince and his father told him the trip was not set up yet.

Regardless, UF doesn’t appear to be in contention for Prince. If he goes to a school in Florida, it will most likely be FSU. That being said, in-state Maryland has the edge for him in my opinion.

As for Sharpe, I doubt he’s affected by anyone in regards to the Gators because he’s the top offensive tackle target on their board and knows it. He attended the Clemson-Georgia game and is considering a visit to UGA this Saturday for its showdown with South Carolina. I think Florida remains the front-runner for him, but the ‘Dawgs and Tigers are going to be a threat.

Of the key prospects we are looking at, which if any are going to wait until national signing day to announce? — Conky3000

Five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter and five-star athlete Adoree’ Jackson are the only two I know of right now. There are a handful a prospects who have an idea of when they’ll commit but haven’t set an exact date.

Here are the UF targets who plan to announce at the All-American games:

RB Joe Mixon (Army)
WR Travis Rudolph (Under Armour)
LB Clifton Garrett (Army)
LB Raekwon McMillan (Under Armour)
LB Dwight Williams (Army)
CB Jalen Tabor (Under Armour)

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


  1. Thanks for the update Zach aka chop liver. lol With us in contention for so many five stars do you see this turning in to another 2011 situation where NSD comes and none of them sign? watkins, diggs, agalor, taylor, and so on… i am glad for Fowler.

  2. With Florida having a shortage of star receivers at the moment, why aren’t we hearing more about the gators trying to recruit guys like Johnnie Dixon, Travis Rudolph, Moral Stephens, Adly Enoicy, Trevon Lee, and Ryeshene Bronson. Are the gators not interested or are they not interested in the gators.

  3. Zack, how hard are we recruiting Denzel Ware? size wise he seems to be a perfect fit to grow into a “buck”LB, he is in our backyard and he is committed to Kentucky[should be an easy flip]. also Kentavious Street, at 6’3 265 and projected as a SDE, has great size and I like his film. we’ve had some luck in NCarolina lately, what’s the skinny?

  4. Zack, these guys are all committed to in state rivals… but have a lot of potential, so I have to ask. Travonte Valentine was committed here at one point then switched to MIA, I also know that brad lawing likes tall DTs and at 6’4 and a fit 300 his film looks good. And at FSU is there any chance to flip either Kain Daub or Delvin Purifoy? there both headhunters. also is Delvin related to our Purifoy? if so how did this happen?!?

  5. It appears Coach Boom would like to operate like the Nebraska ’95 team did to our poor gators in the Fiesta Bowl, that being said, It doesn’t appear that there is extreme pressure to recruit OL. All the hype seems to be on Def. The last dominant OL was from ’96 with Cooper Carlisle and Co. Why isn’t there an apparent sense of urgency on OL recruiting?

  6. Zach (I spelled it correctly), I know it’s way early; but, it would be fun to see you make a projection of who you think we will sign and compare it to actual class. I and I’m sure others, would like to see how close you can get to the actual class. Please, make a projection of the 2014 class.

    Thanks for the awesome job you do, Zach!

  7. Larry,Ermon Lane isn’t “top notch” enough for you? Robinson,Fullwood,Bailey last year? You’re right, a downfield pass has been treated like a novelty play around here for years,but there is talent being recruited

  8. Are ermon lane, Ahmad fullwood, Demarcus Robinson 2* unheralded recruits? I’m pretty sure they are considered top notch receivers. We don’t have a spread offense, and are patterned after the pro game similar to Alabama. Now that we are getting some consistency with the offensive coaches and getting the recruits that fit champs system, we should see a more efficient offense.

  9. I’m not saying that those guys aren’t big recruiting names, but I’m also pretty sure that Muschamp and Pease realize what a great passing game could do when paired with our running game and defense. It looks like Pease has got his QB in Will Grier but he is gonna need more receivers especially because guys like Fulwood and Robinson will be Juniors by the time Grier gets a meaningful snap.

  10. Hey Zach,

    You do such a good job covering the scene and disseminating the info that all the questions are pretty much answered!

    I do have one question though…

    Are there any recruits that could flip to UF? I know we have a main leaderboard but are we going after some recruits that are already committed elsewhere who are starting to be receptive to what we are selling?

  11. Larry – Are you kidding? Robinson and Fulwood were2 of the top wr’s in the country and we got them. Lane is the number 1 or 2 WR in the country and he’s ging to be a Gator. We will get 1 or 2 more WR’s. We already have a top recruit committed for 2015, as well. Our offense is no different than Bamers; yet, people act like we are the only team with a strong running game. You have to remember, Driskel didnt have much to work with last year. He played behind a banged up o-line and had one receivers he could depend on. I saw some very good signs in last Saturday’s game. We had WR’s running good route, thanks to Joker Phillips and Driskel put the ball on the mark. Pease said they didnt hold back; however, Muschamp said they had some things dialed up, but, didn’t think they needed to use them. That’s holding back. We will see FL test the running game, at first. If Miami finds a way to stop Jones or Brown, we will see some passes down field. If the running game is going well, we will see them go with it, because that’s the best chance of winning the game. If we control the clock and wear Miami’s defense down, we will have our way in the second half.

  12. What number of signees is Florida looking to sign in this next recruiting class and which current players will declare early (or leave the program) for the NFL creating room for more recruits to be signed.

  13. I missed the game earlier but just watched the recording…Bottom line, we bet on the wrong pony! UM loaded the box and waited patiently for us to make mistakes. Our poor offense just rejuvenated a comatose UM program/fan base and surrendered T. Rob’s seat at the South Florida recruiting table. Not the end of the world, the SEC is still out there…but let’s be realistic. Go Gators!

  14. If I see Driskel and the Gators implode in the red zone one more time…..I am going to pull the rest of my hair out. I have no confidence in Driskel inside the red zone. He was horrible vs. the Canes today. Things better improve soon or the Gators are going to have a problem beating Tennessee in a couple of weeks….much less LSU, South Carolina, and LSU….or even Vandy. I sure hope the Gators can get off the floor….but not sure they can do it with Driskel at the helm…and his limited innate quarterbacking skills. And go for two after scoring that first TD….what was that about? Mo killer there for sure.

  15. I’ve been dormant for a short time but I’m back and MUST comment.Everybody knows I’m not a Driskel fan and if he ever gets better fine. All the B.S. talk during the off-season and during camps about how much better he has gotten in his decision making etc.This is the SAME Jeff Driskel we saw last year. Watching these “RED-ZONE” mistakes just brought back the Georgia Lost when he was stepping out of bounds and tried to throw back across the field INTO the end zone for the interception instead of stepping out of bounds and taking the field goal. I think Jeff is looking to be a HERO or what just be an Average QB and WIN and people will think of you as they do the kid at ALABAMA, because he is not a great QB just average BUT A WINNER. You’re not a GREAT QB, be average or even GOOD and you will be looked at as great because you didn’t cause your team to lose. “JUST MY OPINION!” GO GATORS!!!!

  16. Creek Gator you are right about JD. His decisions make him less than average. It is my hope that Pease,Chris Leak and Joker can get him to understand situational football. He does not have command of this offense because he does not know why a play is being called. He has improved in some areas but not critical thinking under duress. This goes back to not knowing why a play is being called. Ex: pass play – deep post route + 10 yd square in + 3yd shallow crossing route. Q) who are we attacking. A) Strong safety and linebackers. If the a blitz is given then slide protection to that side and look to hot read or 3yd shallow route. This is just my opinion. No more excuses for JD.

  17. Welcome back Creek Gator,…theduke1906, I couldn’t agree with you more! He doesn’t understand the big picture and it only worsens when under duress. Like last year, I still have to wonder if he has permission to call an audible…on 4th and 1 – first off that was a TERRIBLE play call (what defense did Muschamp/Pease expect to see?)…if JD doesn’t have the ability to recognize it and get us into a better play or call a time out, he needs to audition for another position. Our staff is discombobulated and stubborn and it shows. We somehow overlooked our success at beating them to the corners and revert back to slamming our heads into the wall for minimal gains against 8 and 9 man fronts! Then when its time to play power ball (4th and 1), we line up in a deep single back set with double-wides to the near boundary, put JD under center with the line in tight splits, telegraphing QB sneak! They counter with 3 DL (avg 350lbs) over center! I gave the benefit of the doubt and automatically assumed we would put on some shift, motion, hard count and call a TO… I hope J. Foley is not as stubborn as our current staff. We have too much talent and potential to be wasting it away like we are. Go Gators!

  18. The Duke….

    It might also help Driskel, innately, if he had Robinson and Fulwood running routes instead of Gigabe, Clay Burton, and Trevin Westbrook. Why is Clay Burton ever in the game on passing downs? Or Westbrook. And whatever happened to those two stud recruit TE’s (Taylor and Thompson) the Gator coaches recruited? I am also starting to wonder about the “coaching em up” skills of the Florida offensive coaches….when I see a Treadwell and other freshmen WRs around the nation having a positive and immediate impact on other teams in their freshmen years. But, 5 or 6 turnovers in big games will not get the job done…anytime. Trey Burton really hurt the Gators chances of winning yesterday as well….and they has never happened before.

  19. Tiger Cat…..

    Muschamp is doing a great job at Florida. Don’t start that crap. We do not need another fire website to scare off good recruits. I just hope I never see the wildcat formation inside the 20 yard line again. It no longer works, period. Hardly anyone is doing it anymore, at least not inside the 20. And Muschamp can’t make Driskel not throw into coverage or Trey Burton run the wrong route and bring the DB right into the path of the ball. But Pease certainly could call better plays in the red zone. I think the Gators will come back strong after this loss. Or I hope they do.

  20. Tampa Gator, we all hold the same hope for our team. Ultimately Muschamp is responsible for the success of our team. I support him and want him to do well, however if I were J. Foley, I’d be meeting with him to review his and my ‘win/loss expectations’ for the season… Go Gators!

  21. When did Florida hire John Brantley as QB coach? This is a program going no where, middle of the road SEC team, not even close to being in the same league as Bama, SC, UGA or LSU. Asking too much from the defense; fall behind by more than a TD with this offensive style and you’re done. We were spoiled during the Tebow years.

  22. Honestly guys, I thought we were going to RAISE Hell in this league THIS year. I think I read toooo much BS from the coaching staff and and got a mind set that we were ACTUALLY ready to play OFFENSE this year. Not giving up but if it wasn’t done in the off season and during the camps, I think we are in for the season that I expected us to have last year and we over achieved. Another year of Hoping the DEFENSE will keep us in the game, that’s iT’s much to keep asking the defense and that staff to play 3/4 of the game and we only get 1/4 production from Pease and the offense, too much!!! GO GATORS!!!!

  23. Not sure how to explain it…but this is what I am feeling:

    What have I become?
    My Sweetest Friend

    Everyone I know
    Goes away in the end

    and you could have it all
    my empire of dirt

    I will let you down,
    I will make you hurt…

    Johnny Cash, “Hurt”

    Go Gators!

  24. Don’t lose heat guys and gals. Its a teachable moment early by all and not a conference game. If they had won off such a poor performance it would have led them to do the same BS in later game. Suffer a little for greater glory later. The way Greir is throwing in HS right now our future is going to see brighter days with this style. You have to have a Great trigger man when you play this style of offense. Driskel still growing so its going to be painful for a while longer.

  25. J,Right now I’m not blaming the system. A poor performance like this from an Offense like this is truly disappointing to watch. I think we expected better and improvement, it appears NOTHING has really changed(except some personnel). I really thought that the O-line did pretty good. Most people know, I’m not really sold on Jeff. Right now we have to ask him not to lose game, don’t go out and try to win them. He’s just not that guy that can go out and win the game. Maybe he’s going to be another Aaron Murry wait until his last ride to get the picture and be able to go out and contribute in away that will help you win the game in tough situations. GO GATOR!!!!

  26. I just hope either Will Greer, Matt Stover, or Chris Wilkes has the innate skills required to make good decisions at QB on the field. Driskel has proven once again that he does not have those skills. Playing QB is not just about the physical skills, which Driskel obviously has. It is 50 percent football brains, and Driskel is lacking tremendously in that area. He just does not process quickly and accurately on the field. Simple as that. But, unfortunately, the guy I though could, transferred to North Carolina State. You remember him, Jacoby Brissett. I kind of think Jacoby would have been a gamer if he had been given the opportunity to play. I could see that he had the football brains if not the physical sills Driskel has. But the coaching staff went with the physical instead of the innate mental football skills….and the Gators have what they have. Can we get a do over?

  27. J….

    Driskel has been at Florida now for his 3rd year. Murray was throwing tons of red zone TD passes in his 3rd year, making good reads, and completely understood the offense and what defenses were doing against his team. Driskel has shown me none of that so far. He still takes to long to get rid of the ball, panics in the pocket, does not move well in the pocket, does not move through his progressions very well, and has no sense of feel in the pocket…especially on that last fumble at the 5 yard line. I have absolutely no confidence that he is going to get better. Maybe Muschamp and Pease are playing a 3 yards and a cloud of dust offense for an obvious reason….no QB that can execute anything better on a consistent basis. They are saying that with the play calling…and Driskel is proving that with his play on the field. I hope I am wrong and Driskel suddenly starts playing and making good decisions on the field….and starts making plays with playmakers. But I just don’t see that kind of progression in him. It could be a 4 or 5 loss season if the offense and Driskel keep playing the way they are. Very frustrating for us who remember the precise execution by Danny and Tim on the field.

  28. But…one thing….Will Greer has to be getting very excited about his potential opportunity to come in right away and play QB for the Gators. From watching him and reading about him, he appears to be better than Driskel at all of the above innate quarterback skills right now. As the other poster said, hope he is planning to join the Gators in January.

  29. I agree with Tampa Gator. Brissett fit in the Pease offense better than Driskel did but the coaches went with the physical skills rather than the one who could process information quickly. Brissett didn’t have the 4.5 speed that Driskel had but he had a better downfield arm, pocket awareness, and better at reading the defense and getting the ball out quickly. I thought he played well when given a chance in his freshman year but all through camp and in the 1st game of his sophomore season, he wasn’t given a fair chance. In the first game, Driskel played most of the game and Brissett came in to hand the ball off. That’s not a fair chance. They should have each gotten a quarter in the 1st half and see who played the best from there. But now we’re stuck with Driskel who hasn’t really improved all that much. Brissett was the ideal pro-style quarterback with the strong arm and we let him get away.

  30. @ Tampa Gator, I completely agree you you especiall about Brissett. I don’t feel that he was given a fair shake but that’s water under the bridge now, we can only hope Grier or one of the other guys show up ready to perform on a high level in an intensed SEC(though this was not an SEC game). I have never sen in Driskel what the coaches say they see (and to be honest they are with him almost everyday), they may see it in practice but HE can not carry what they see to the playing field. GO GATORS!!!!

    jacoby B

  31. Hey do you remember the offense Weis was to bring? Or Pease? Do you remember the shifts, motion, and multiple sets…or what about the hurry up tempo and innovative play calling…what happened to all that? Why has it been dumb-down so much? Ok, let me ask you this, do you remember how we forced a spread offense on a pocket passer? Or when we chose a spread QB (for his running ability) over a pocket passer to lead a Pro Style offense? Guess who has been the common denominator throughout all the changes…Muschamp. Just like Brantley, JD is catching hell for running a system that doesn’t fit his abilities because it distracts us from the rest of the mess that or program has become. Just suppose somehow win out, will all be forgotten? One final question, after all his hard work and dedication to UF, how is Charlie Strong not our coach? Pardon me guys, I just can’t stand watching the empire turn to dirt. Go Gators!

  32. Tiger Cat….

    As bad as the red zone offense was Saturday, plus the turnovers, the offense is a lot better than the two last years of the so called genius, Urban Meyer. It was a disaster those two years. Muschamp is still building his team, as in trying to recover from the mess Meyer left behind. And I think he is doing an excellent job of that. And no Florida defense, including the last national champion, has been as good as last year and this year so far. But, I agree, the Gators could be running a lot more read options with Driskel, as they did several times with Showers vs. Miami. Most of those play calls went for big gains. And why not run more of those type plays inside the 20 instead of wildcat calls that almost always end up being yardage loss plays and drive killers. Time for Trey Burton to play slot receiver only. And…why not on 4th and 2 feet (as in the Tebow years)…beats a QB sneak for a loss inside the 20 for sure. At least it gives Driskel some options.

  33. I appreciate your points Tampa Gator I agree with most, however the problem I see is that we as a National Powerhouse Program we have made very little progress under Muschamp (as a National Power). We’re much closer to 7-6 than we are an ugly 11-2. I just expect more. Our continued mistakes, failures, and undisciplined play will undoubtedly become conditioned into our psyche at some point (if not already). I support Muschamp and want him to do well, very well – IMMEDIATELY. On another note: Get Easley under control and Miami doesn’t get a TD nor momentum and Watkins had an easy 100 yard pick6 on the next play but he panicked and batted it down!). Go Gators!

  34. @ Tampa Gator AND TigerCatZeroZero,
    Both of you guy’s have presented some great reading points and neither should be dismissed (it’s time for a reality check if our program contiues down this road). I’m hoping that we are just panicing prematurely and the ROSES will smell nice and fresh starting next weekend.
    GO GATORS!!!!