Zach’s Mail Stack 9/26


It’s been a disappointing week for Florida football with season-ending injuries to Jeff Driskel and Dominique Easley.

Forunately, things are looking much more promising on the recruiting front.

The Gators had a great turnout for the Tennessee game and made strides with the official visitors on campus. Be sure to check back on this blog later this week for my story on safety Jamal Adams and how his trip went.

On to the questions!

Now that Jeff Driskel will presumably get a medical redshirt, how does this affect the commitment of Will Grier? I assumed the plan was for Driskel to play his senior year while Grier learned the ropes and focused toward starting his sophomore year. Now with Driskel around for an extra season, will Grier look elsewhere for immediate playing time. — Chuck, Ben, Ozzie

Grier visited Florida over the weekend (update HERE) and told me after the Tennessee game the possibility of Driskel coming back for 2015 doesn’t deter his decision at all.

He’s one of the most solid commits in the class, and it would probably take Will Muschamp leaving for him to even consider going to another school. He will be an early enrollee in January and plans to redshirt as a freshman.

If Driskel does stay an extra season, Grier would still have three years of eligibility remaining after he left. That’s plenty of time to make his mark with the Gators.

His girlfriend, Taylor, also moved to Gainesville in August to attend Sante Fe College. So I think it’s safe to say he sticks with UF.

It seems as though CB Jalen Tabor is no longer interested in UF and has more interest in Maryland. Does Florida still have a chance to land him?Jake

Florida has a shot and his interest is still there, but it’s not as high as it was in the summer. The Gators were his leader back in June, and I was told he sat atop the cornerback board.

Since then, however, they have land three commits at his position to go along with Duke Dawson, and the Terrapins are now believed to be his favorite as you alluded to.

Tabor is from Washington, D.C., so the distance factor and prospect of being the hometown hero (ala Stefon Diggs) is undoubtedly coming into play. I can hear the Maryland coaches saying, ‘Why go to Florida or Alabama when you can come here and be a star?’

Their pitches appear to be hitting home right now, but UF and other schools have time to make up ground. Tabor tweeted Tuesday that he will officially visit Maryland, Alabama, Florida, USC and Arizona.

How is the relationship between UF’s staff and Travis Rudolph developing? Is he still considered the No. 1 remaining WR prospect? Is his recruitment still between the Tigers, ‘Canes and Gators? — MechEgator

Rudolph is close to receivers coach Joker Phillips, and the Gators checked in on him during their bye week. Five-star athlete Adoree’ Jackson is arguably the top target at wideout simply because he’s a more dynamic player and can also play cornerback.

But Rudolph is a huge priority for the coaches because he’s their best chance at landing another highly-touted receiver after Jackson. As for his recruitment, he’s very hard to read and doesn’t like to talk or give anything away. Auburn doesn’t appear to be the threat it once was, and I doubt Rudolph recommits to Miami. It’s shaping up to be a battle between Florida and Florida State for his services.

Zach, WR Deon Cain (Tampa Bay Tech) still hasn’t been offered. Do you know of any qualifying issues with him or any other reason why we would not extend at least a conditional offer? He got off at FNL and showed he is a playmaker. His film looks like James Clark of last year’s recruiting cycle. He could be a sleeper. — TigerCatZeroZero

Got off is spot on. He was very impressive at Friday Night Lights and was able to hang with the 2014 prospects who participated. He recently added offers from FSU and UCF, and I’m sure they will continue to roll in.

I don’t know whether he has any grade problems, but he’s only a junior and there’s plenty of time for the Gators to pull the trigger. The coaches still have a couple of evaluation periods to go through before they finalize what their options are at receiver for 2015.

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


  1. Zack…..

    An ESPN recruiting reporter said today that the Gators are out of it for the OL, Sharpe, from Gainesville and it is between Georgia and So. Cal. You agree? If so, what is gong on that the Gators can’t get in on the top OL coming out of Florida? Lost Theus. Lost Tunsil. Now Sharpe. What is going on?

  2. From a person who actually watched Clark play in HS, I was surprised his recruitment blew up so much at the end. With the WRs we brought in the 13′ class there was not one that I would have traded for Clark. He is a good kid and a solid citizen. He just liked that number he received while he was waiting in line with so many others at the “You May Be The Next Percy Harvin” Deli.

  3. @ Tampa Gator, the problem with the Tackles leaving Florida is D.J. Humphries. Theus and Humphries were in the same class and Theus was scared that the Gators would move him to right tackle because of Humphries. Tunsil was also scared that he would have to sit 3 years behind Humphries before he could get a start. Sharpe may be thinking the same thing.

  4. Tabor can’t be a star at MD. unless they got another star CB opposite side of him. Opponents just won’t throw his way, thus less pass defenses, INT’s, tackles coming his way. At UF he’ll see more of each ’cause ya know the Gators will have top CB’s playing with him… maybe a star on special teams…

  5. Tunsil was not scared by DJH ,he was willing to compete to be the LT. Coaches stated that DJH was going to be the left tackle. tunsil chose Ole miss werea Senior was starting and took his job after one game. Starting as a true freshmen. The reason top tackles wont come to UF is that the best five linemen do not always start. Why sit behind someone who is not better than you?

  6. Let’s see if Coaches can make (recruiting) hay out of Easley’s injury. Looks like some freshman are going to be in the rotation on the DL this week.

    Read an interesting thread about a scenario with a position change for JD (to TE) when he comes back. It could make sense and calls to question why 2 of the top TE’s in the nation out of HS have not developed for us over that last 2 years.

  7. I suggested last year that we have open and un-bias competition at each position and a few replies crowned Humphries King Starter…I am still not sold on him. He is still underweight, lacks strength and has been beaten 1 on 1 in every game this year. Hope he gets better and bigger. If Muschamp’s pound the ball philosophy is going to work, we have to attract better linemen; surely the best in Florida are a MUST! I’d suggest hosting an elite invitation only OL camp (if they’re allowed anymore)…. Being told I would have to wait to see what other recruits did before I got a committable offer would turn me off too…I hope the coaches use better tact. I too cannot understand our TE situation, however I do like Cy Lewis’ attitude about it! Thanks for the response Zach. Go Gators!

  8. Jimmy…..

    Theus PLAYS RIGHT TACKLE for Georgia. Tunsil, if he did not think he could beat Humphries out for LT, glad he is at Ole Miss. Although, Tunsil is already playing at a much higher level than Humphries is….and he is only a true freshman. I still think Muschamp needs to continue looking for an OL coach….because the current one is not getting the job done from my view….on the field and on the recruiting trail.

  9. Tunsil wanted a chance to compete at LT , coaches said no DJH was the LT. Tunsil chose Ole MIss where a senior was the starter and after one game is now starting. Some players are never going to be backups Tunsil is one. Why go sit behind someone who you are better than? The same can be said for other offensive positions.

  10. to Jimmy: The problem with o linemen loosing interest in UF is not D.J> Hump. Simply put, these young men have ego’s. While we all agree Will, is a great recruiter, he makes it clear defense is where the emphasis is placed in all phases of the game including recruiting.

  11. Zack…..

    What does it mean that Lorenzo Carter went to Georgia games before and after his visit to Florida? And what impact did his attending the Georgia vs. LSU game have….concerning his seemingly now strong interest in Georgia?

  12. Muschamo has gotten a lot of criticism for our lack of offense, and the perception that we play “boring” football, which drives away fans. I really don’t see anyone coming after him hard until he has a national title or two to validate his system.
    (I personally think he’s a great coach and that we are lucky to have him. I’m only speaking to general perceptions.)

  13. Muschamp is a really good coach and a very hard recruiter, an excellent recruiter, he’s just not an excellent Head Coach at this time and that’s what many in the Gator Nation are missing and wanting. Its my opinion that his decision to have Driskel as the SOLE operator at QB vs rotating or pulling him when struggling, coupled with his/their failure to use JD’s strength to run read options more (perhaps believing there was no reliable replacement) has been (to put it kindly) “costly.” Throw in the fact that his brand of ball is seen as boring by many of us and remove Tyler Murphy’s outstanding play and he’s facing the perfect storm. I doubt anyone comes calling…out of respect his name may be mentioned in TX; he’ll ‘decline’ from a distance without ever being contacted. Bottom line, the jury is STILL out, even Muschamp can admit that (…I think). Go Gators!

  14. Lizardgrad89 and TigerCatZeroZero, There is MUCH truth to both of your post. But my hope is none of it will be costly for us, it has already caught up with us but hasn’t been toooo costly to this point. It’s been telling because we all can see now that Camp and Pease locked in on JD two seasons ago and has not allowed any other potential vision to enter their heads. Now that that vision has Temporarily been Blinded and they are Forced to see other options, My hope is it is a fresh opportunity for the both of them to refocus and see how to guide us out of this MESS. GO GATORS!!!!

  15. With the 2nd chance our staff is being afforded, I see no way they do not enthusiastically make ANY necessary adjustments or corrective actions. Win, lose or draw we will continue to grow and improve as a TEAM and as a PROGRAM. Previously I didn’t give us much chance in the SEC; I felt we had the talent to go undefeated but doubted we would. Even when we were winning I didn’t feel we were legit…I am beginning to relinquish that mind frame. This team can take GIANT steps THIS season if we -COACHES, PLAYERS AND FANS work as ONE, being fueled by the same confidence and determination at the exact same moments! You can count on me to do my part! – Go Gators!

  16. Gators are well on their way of returning as the most dominant team in the Country. Champ is rebuilding this program in the right way…talent, strategy, discipline, good students and players! Go Gators!