Zach’s Mail Stack 10/3


Saturday’s matchup against Arkansas will be the first night game in The Swamp since 2011, but Florida has a light visitors list on tap.

The Gators were supposed to host New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr teammates Speedy Noil and Gerald Willis III on official visits, but they have pushed back their trips to the Vanderbilt game on Nov. 9. They previously planned to visit for the Tennessee game before deciding on this weekend, and their latest delay isn’t a good sign for the Gators.

But UF still has some important recruits coming Saturday, and I’ll have a visitor preview up tomorrow.

On to the questions!

Does Lane Kiffin’s firing at USC affect our status with five-star athlete Adoree’ Jackson and other possible California recruits?Foreverag8r, Tay

The only prospects from that state who the Gators have a realistic shot with are Jackson and linebacker Dwight Williams, his teammate at Junipero Serra (Calif.) Gardena.

Both have been leaning toward Florida since the summer, and for the time being, Kiffin’s firing only increases UF’s lead. If the Trojans make the right hire, the coaching change could help their chances.

However, Florida’s coaches will have put in more than a year’s worth of recruiting them and building relationships before Southern Cal’s new staff even meets Jackson and Williams. They plan to take official visits to UF late in recruiting process, which also bodes well for the Gators.

Are we going to lose out on a top-flight OT for the third straight year? John Theus, Laremy Tunsil, and now David Sharpe?Rob, Tampa Gator, ATLG8R, Jesse

Things are starting to look that way. He has seen Georgia play in person on three occasions this year, including two trips to Athens (the other was for Clemson-UGA). Conversely, he cancelled his plans to attend the Florida-Tennessee game and will visit FSU this weekend instead of UF.

The Jacksonville Providence prospect has said a decision could come from him during his senior season, and now he won’t have another opportunity to see the Gators for a home game until Vandy.

Sharpe won’t name his top school publicly, but someone close to him told me Georgia has the edge over UF. One of the reasons, the source said, is because Sharpe was turned off by Florida’s offense with Jeff Driskel prior to his season-ending injury. The quarterback change with Tyler Murphy has helped, but what the ‘Dawgs are doing offensively is carrying more weight.

The source added that whoever receives Sharpe’s last trip will likely land his commitment because the most recent school he visits always seems to gain the lead. After Sharpe, the Gators don’t really have any options remaining at offensive tackle as far as top-flight linemen are concerned.

What are the odds Muschamp can pull Bo Scarborough away from Alabama? If we can land him, is it possible that he fills our LB need for this cycle rather than RB? — Jake, Rob, Robert, ReRockRemix

In mid-September, the odds were very promising with the Tuscaloosa native out of Bradenton IMG Academy. He was scheduled to be at the Tennessee game and return for an official visit later in the year. But Scarbrough didn’t make it to Florida’s SEC opener because he had to take his ACT, which was the third time his plans to visit Gainesville fell through. Now he isn’t sure if he will even take an official to UF.

Florida tight end commit C’yontai Lewis told me his cousin could have made it to the Tennessee game if he really wanted to. He also said Florida State is the school with the best shot to steal Scarbrough from Alabama. There will be more opportunities for UF to get him on campus, but that has to happen multiple times if the Gators are going to change his mind. Oh yeah, and he’s a running back all the way.

Zach, now that he’s committed to UGA, can you shed some light on DE Keyon Brown? His tape is really good, he fits our system and I heard he was a Gator fan. What’s the deal? — AH, Robert

The Florida staff evaluated him at Wauchula Hardee in the spring but never offered. They asked him to come visit and/or camp but he never did. For whatever reason, his relationship with UF just never materialized.

He was a Gator fan as you mentioned, so I assume the coaches were aware of that and knew they could get him if they wanted to. But with limited scholarship numbers and guys like Lorenzo Carter on the board at defensive end, they weren’t ready to pursue yet and he wasn’t willing to wait on an offer.

Is the fact that UF offered JUCO Tennessee WR commit Eric Lauderdale a sign that Travis Rudolph, Speedy Noil, etc. aren’t coming to UF? — Mike

Noil was never coming, but Rudolph has been trending toward Florida State lately after once having UF in front. The West Palm Beach wideout was in attendance for the Florida-Miami game, and I think the Gators’ poor performance that day hurt them somewhat.

Moreover, UF signed five receivers last year, landed Ermon Lane for 2014 and have a shaky situation at quarterback. The ‘Noles, on the other hand, have Jameis Winston lighting it up through the air this season. Although Rudolph’s recruitment is still up for grabs, I think FSU is more appealing to him right now.

As for Lauderdale, who plays for Mission Vejo (Cali.) Saddleback C.C., he was offered by Joker Phillips on Monday and plans to set up an official visit to Florida despite his verbal to the Vols.

Please list the recruits on Florida’s board and a percentage of our chances. — Jesse

Signing day is four months away, so this list of recruits and UF’s chances with them will change. These are also just the known recruits on Florida’s board. I’m sure there are other targets the media and public aren’t aware of at this time.

RB Bo Scarbrough — 25%
RB Joe Mixon — 5%
WR Josh Malone — 10%
WR Speedy Noil — 15%
WR Travis Rudolph — 50%
TE Bryce Dixon — 5%
TE DeAndre Goolsby — 35%
OL Damian Prince — 10%
OL David Sharpe — 45%
DT Thomas Holley — 20%
DT Gerald Willis III — 15%
DE Lorenzo Carter — 75%
DE Lorenzo Featherston — 40%
DE Da’Shawn Hand — 25%
DE Cory Thomas — 20%
LB Raekwon McMillan — 15%
LB Clifton Garrett — 30%
LB Dwight Williams — 90%
CB Jalen Tabor — 35%
DB Jamal Adams — 85%
ATH Adoree’ Jackson — 90%

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


  1. I am not sure, if I was an offensive star in high school, if I would want to play for the boring offense the Gators now run under Muschamp and Pease. The second half of the Kentucky game put me absolutely to sleep, and I am sure it did the same to recruits watching the game.

  2. It such a chicken/egg thing, we don’t do anything dynamic on offense because we don’t have the personnel. Logic would dictate that IF we could get great talent in the door they would be on the field early and often. Pease ran a wide open attack at Boise because he had the players, he doesn’t today because we don’t have the guys to do it. Seems like a recipe for early playing time to me.

  3. To Delray Mike…it wouldn’t matter what players we have on offense. The offense we are running is what Muschamp wants UF to be, Pease has zero input on our offensive identity. Muschamp wants a run oriented attack, with limited passing, receivers who primarily block, and QB who merely manages the game. That recipe is boring, does not appeal to recruits, and requires an extremely dominating defense to win games. Welcome to Muschamp’s world, and watch the star offensive recruits go to Bama, LSU, and UGA…while the stands empty early! Go Gators!!!

  4. Seriously, people blame the players for this long not being offensive playmakers?? HaHa! Spurrier started off with scrubs and put up points .
    Boise st didn’t have stars at WR, neither do a lot of schools that light up the score board! It’s the coaching, gameplan, and strategy!

  5. Murphy is a junior. Unless he has a breakout season, he’ll be back next year. And Grier will be redshirting unless there’s a huge injury crisis; unlikely with four other QBs (Murohy, Driskel, Mornhinweg, and the one walk-on I can’t remember) on the roster.

  6. lol does David Sharpe not know that UGA will lose Murray next year? and they will suck on offense again? and Kyle.. we can be dynamic throwing it if we need to be.. we’ve all seen what Murphy can do.. but sitll this week will be his 2nd start ever in his college career.. so you can see why they don’t want to sling it 40 times a game unless we have to. If we have a two TD lead in any game.. expect a heavy dose of the running game.. that’s just the way it is.. boring or not.. I would rather win being boring and lose being excited… Driskel just plain sucks.. he has the physical talent but he doesn’t have it there mentally.. I hope Murphy keeps improving and can get us to 10 or 11 wins this season..

  7. Zach, the percentages you presented above as well as your opinions that guys previously high on the Gators but now elsewhere inclined is fairly discouraging. Thanks for your candor. The on field priority is to win each week. But the lack of an aggressive, attacking offense is boring. It is incongruous with the aggressive excellence of our defense. So in your view do we simply lack talent on offense or is this offense both our present and our future?

  8. Sharpe is a pure Left tackle who knows the Lt position at Ga will be wide open next year and he (like Tunsil) will not wait behind someone when he can go to Ga and play right away. People seem to think there is no talent on offense there is. The problem is wanting to out tough every opponent. Commit to the run but take shots deep to keep the safties back. You want to pattern Bama do it on offense also.

  9. I think it unlikely that a head ball coach who values such excellence on defense and special teams would not desire the same from his offense. I think our HBC simply inherited an offense in such a talent deficit for the plan he ultimately will transform into one of the SEC’s best. That would include more passing and downfield shots. Hope so.

  10. Who would want to play in this offense at receiver? The way Muschamp shot down the offense was a joke…He is killing his chances with top guys on the offensive skilled positions…Ermon is not signed yet… I love the gators but that boring offense and the fact they they did not put the right guy to make the little flare the offense has show at QB WOULD TURN ME OFF TOO..No top wideout wants to go to a college to be a blocker for 4 quarters..As a gator fan Im getting upset…There is no good news as of right now…

  11. we will never win anything with this coach. this is the 80s all over again with Charlie pell. lets get 10 points and shut the o down. we will start missing out on exciting o players as they see we have no killer instinct. this coach will learn the hard way you need to get someone down and step on there throat!!! hope i am wrong, go gators!!!!l

  12. That’s the $100,000 question – is the offense not great because of a) personnel; b) Pease’s schemes are not suited for the SEC; c) Muschamps style requires a very conservative gameplan; or d) a little of each?

  13. If it is not the players that make teams great tell that to the Crimson Tide who is winning all the championships. Nick is playing his five star recruits. You keep playing that garbage, you start getting garbage. This is the last year of urban meyer recruits. Powell, Easley this team is in trouble. Miami and FSU back on the map.

  14. Muschamp is as they say coaching scared. Go look at the tapes. One guy running the ball 30 times, Burden and Dunbar catching and people are always asking about a offensive recruit. Please stop asking because if they got any sense they would not play for scared to throw the ball 20 yards. You don’t have to believe me. Go look at the stats. The Gators I hate to say it is going backward. Just wait and GatorNation is going to stop going to the game. Less people attending games.

  15. I watched David Sharpe play 2 weeks ago..he didn’t hustle at all…looked slow and awkward…yes he was big…but they couldn’t even run to his side and lost the game to University Christian…. on 3 rd and short or 4 th and short they ran to the other side….gators don’t need him

  16. Here I am trying my best to believe Muschamp and Pease are going to take full advantage of the reprieve Tyler Murphy’s play has afforded them by making any and all offensive philosophical adjustments necessary…no way they’ll continue with “Stall Ball” and then I read comments like those by Gatorjam, HaHa Dick, and Gator Guy and I am thrust back into reality! Muschamp is good, just not great and his philosophy is out dated…top tier offenses and coaching are too good. It works with professionals who have mastered their skills, contrarily it’s much more difficult for a kid to go game after game without passing or catching and then being asked to do it REPEATEDLY in the most high pressure situations against the best talent they’ve ever faced. Until the identity becomes flexible and adaptable, we are about as good as we’re going to get under this staff. Gatormac, “talent deficit” are you SERIOUS? Listen, the only thing our team is missing is a GENERAL to lead them. There are coaches all over the CFL who would give anything to have our “talent deficit” problem! When Pease meets his contractual requirements and bolts, watch how many he takes with him. Saturday is still hours away, let turn it up! Go Gators!

  17. ‘tard on, ‘tard on naysayers. go ahead and get off the bandwagon if you don’t like the ride. Our coaches are our coaches, and if you don’t support them then go away. Stupid negative posts have nothing but stupid negative effects on the whole program.
    Go Gators. Win or lose.

  18. Muschamp is operating with only half the recipe with his scheme. If wants the success of Saban you have to dedicate as much to the Offense as the Defense. As for Driskel, Not to speak badly of him but his time at QB dies a little more with every win Murphy captures. Driskel seems to be what we all feared. A good QB talent with no killer instinct. He almost single-handedly has appeared to kill our chances with big time recruits with his bad play around the red zones on either side of the field. J. Winston in his first starting season as a QB only magnifies Driskels failings as a legitimate QB. If we where to have any hope with him vanished with Murphy. Murphy’s play only confirms that Driskel is not the guy. If Murphy continues to wins on the big stage with the same guys, Driskel is done here at Florida. Murphy will have to battle Driskel again for next year. Yet, with red-shirt freshmen Staver on board and Greir coming in Driskel will be second or third string at best from the look of things.

  19. @Gatorjam – Pease isn’t a 2nd year grad assistant, if he had 0 input into the identity of the offense he’d already be somewhere else. Pease’s failure was putting his full faith and hope into JD. Unfortunately JD isn’t the guy which is becoming more obvious each passing Saturday as Murph improves.

    Perhaps we are saying the same thing in that Muschamp signs off on the week-to-week offensive game plan, which is dictated by weekly performance at practice. However, I doubt Muschamp pounds the table each Dec-Jan demanding his recruiters stay away from dynamic play makers on offense.

  20. With Murphy at QB we’ll see our passing game become a bigger factor. Pease and Murphy badly need DRob and TE Kent Taylor to develop and fill out our receiver corps. Right now what we do well is run the ball. Muschamp’s a run-first coach but I believe he’ll let Pease open up the O as Murphy and more skill guys develop and others come on board. To be sure, Champ hasn’t successfully recruited Will Grier with a promise of “come to UF and we’ll teach you to master the art of the perfect hand-off.” We’re still a bit short on offensive talent. It takes for/five games for a new O-Line to gel and we’re watching it happen. Murphy has improved our passing and leadership. We’ve got the RBs. All we need are more receivers.

  21. I’m not worried about where we stand with recruits in October, I’m most concerned where we stand at the end of National Signing Day. I think if Florida wins on the field than that can only help us off the field. I’m not saying that this team can win a National Championship, but no other team in the BCS has been very impressive and worse teams have won than the Gators right now.

  22. @FSU – I’m guessing you are interpreting conservative play calling as ‘playing scared’. That’s fair enough and a good observation. Unfortunately when the coaches ‘open-up’ the offense it has resulted in devastating turnovers e.g. UGA, Louisville, UM games. I believe they will quit calling plays ‘live they are scared’ when they have a QB that has developed to a point where he is not ‘scary’.

  23. Well Gator guy go be a UMGuy they need the fans and we won’t miss you . We have plenty of people that are Gator haters. We would not want you to be upset that the head coach does not listen to you and play the way YOU want the Gators to play. Maybe you could call into the Nole phones and get their head coach to listen to your great game plans then you would not be upset…so sorry too bad you are upset ….go whine somewhere else.

  24. Fact of the matter is we only have a few scholarships left in this class. If we get Carter, Williams, Jackson, and Adams (looks like chances are pretty good now) we are more than set for this class as long as we keep everyone we already have. We have explosive players in Lane and Cook already and adding Jackson would be a major bonus. Remember that DRob and Fullwood are only 4 games in – Not everyone can have a Sammy Watkins impact. I have never seen so many people complain when winning. If you are a true Gator it should not matter if we win 7-6 or 49-6. It is the same result in the end- a W. Go Gators!

  25. Time for some positivity-Gators are 3-1. Lets enjoy the ride & see where it takes us. Just because UF doesn’t have an offense like Oregon or Baylor, they still win. I’d rather have a lights out defensive team & win 24-10 than a team that scores 60+ points but gives up 50. Kyle-lsu isn’t all that, dude. They’ll wind up with at least 4 losses before the year is out. Why is everyone on the offense? If my memory serves me correctly running the ball, limited turnovers, & lights out defense is the same formula Bams uses. And who did Champ coach under at lsu? At Miami? Saban. Yet no one loathes their offense because they have lights out defense which is what UF has. KEep doing what you’re doing guys. I see big things a’coming!! GO GATORS!!!!

  26. And as far as recruits are concerned-they want to go to the league. Playing at Florida will get you there dynamic offense or not. I think the other thing is that they see the talent that’s already stacked up & can see playing for championships on the regular. The recruits will be fine at UF-let them take visits & whatnot but in the end the ones that are truly all in for UF will be just that-all in. I mean it’s October. Long way to February. GO GATORS!!!!

  27. Gatordean stop being a chump and be real with yourself and look at whats going on in the recriuting world due to our offense and how how we drop in the rankings because we loose to a team we are better because we dont play the right QB and because we have not play to what the potential of our talent level is..Gator 4ever even the hard times…But truth is truth…And we are better than this 3 yards and a cloud of dust offense…Dont talk crap to me because you are not man enough to say it…I bleed orange and blue chump

  28. Zach, do you think there are some politics going on at Florida? If Murphy was this good don’t you think it would be sort of apparent? Plus I’ve heard that the players were pretty upset when Driskel got the opportunity to start over Murphy in 2011.

  29. Kentavious, your film looks good. The coaches will see and probably already know about you. I don’t recall where, but I’ve read your name before. Participating at camps is the modern way to get on everyone’s radar. Adding stats, size, speed, strength, GPA, etc to your film are also helpful. Make sure you’re doing all you can to improve your value on the field and most importanly in the classroom. Keep up the good work and best of luck. Go Gators!

  30. you guys kill me. We beat a Tenn team that beat Ga but lost, a Kentucky team that gave S.C. all they wanted and a very respected and physical Ark. team 30-10 with excellent receiver and quarterback play. Yet the sky is falling. WTH…..Please don’t teach your kids to be this critical and negative

  31. gatorjack, obviously I can’t speak for everyone, but I have expressed my concerns regarding the progression of our program’s return to prominence under the current staff. I am excited about our recent growth with Tyler and I was delighted to see some offensive ‘bite’ against Arkansas. I wish JD the best but didn’t feel like we were moving to championships with him at the helm. All the games thus far have been against tough opponents and everyone gives us their best, but reality is, we haven’t played any contenders yet. I projected this year and next as our official arrival (I know – who am I?)…hopefully Tyler can get us back on track but that remains to be seen as we enter the deep end of the schedule. As you can see, I have very lofty expectations for our squad and our coaches, and it is my opinion that we had fallen well behind schedule on building an annual SEC/National Championship caliber program – THAT IS THE GOAL. Despite this, don’t ever think I’m not ALWAYS – ALL IN! And I apologize if I ever gave anyone the impression of anything less. Go Gators!