Zach’s Mail Stack 11/21


As most of you know by now, Jacksonville Providence offensive tackle David Sharpe did not announce his decision today as planned.

His high school could not hold a ceremony for him, and he will now make his commitment after Thanksgiving break.

This delay was not recruiting related and had nothing to do with his decision-making process. My prediction for him is still Florida.

This week I received a lot of questions about running back Dalvin Cook and where he stands with UF.

247Sports reported Thursday that Cook now says he is 80 percent committed. This is the first time he has publicly shown signs of wavering as far as the status of his pledge is concerned.

Quincy Wilson, who speaks with him regularly, told The Sun earlier in the week that he feels confident Cook will stick. Florida receiver commits Ermon Lane and Da’Vante Phillips (2015) are also trying to keep him on board.

But given his latest comments, Florida State’s surge in his recruitment and an official visit coming up with Miami, the Gators have their work cut out for them. His visit to Gainesville next weekend for the FSU game will be a huge trip.

On to the questions!

If Florida doesn’t become bowl eligible, will it hurt the Gators in recruiting?Darrell

I don’t think it will cause any prospects to stop considering UF. Over the course of Florida’s five-game losing streak, the recruiting pitch from the staff has basically been, “We need you.” They’re selling an opportunity to play right away and help get the program headed in the right direction.

If the Gators fail to make it to a bowl game, that will only emphasize their point. The majority of recruits feel Florida has the right coaches in place. The football team just need more talented players, and in their eyes, they’re the missing pieces.

Compare David Sharpe/D.J. Humphries, Dalvin Cook/Kelvin Taylor, and Ermon Lane/Ahmad Fulwood as incoming freshmen. Which players are/were more prepared to contribute in their first year? — Wilbert

At 6-foot-6, 288 pounds, Sharpe is an inch taller and almost 30 pounds heavier than Humphries was coming out of high school. However, Sharpe may not be able to start as easily as Humphries did in 2012. He enrolled early at UF and made up for his lack of size with great footwork and athleticism, which allowed him to handle SEC pass rushers better than most true freshmen offensive tackles. That’s one area Sharpe could have some difficulty with in his first year.

As well as Taylor has played this season, Cook could have a quicker impact in 2014 because Florida doesn’t have a running back like him. One thing that kept Taylor from seeing the field early on was Matt Jones and Mack Brown having somewhat similar styles — big, strong downhill runners. Cook, on the other hand, can be a complement to the offense right away with his top-end speed and ability to break long runs.

Fulwood has three inches and 20 pounds on Lane, so he’s more of a deep threat and will win more jump balls. Lane is faster and more dangerous in the open field. While Lane is probably more skilled as a prep prospect, Fulwood’s height advantage over the other receivers on Florida’s roster has helped him become involved in the passing game. Lane will play as a freshman as well, but it might take him longer to create a role for himself.

Do you believe Darrel Williams is worthy of a UF scholarship offer at the RB position?Rob

In case you missed it, the Arizona State commit from Marrero (La.) John Ehret was offered Tuesday by Florida. It came as a surprise to me, but Willaims has been in contact with the UF staff since the start of his senior season.

The coaches have always had interest in taking two backs this year if they could find the right pair. With the uncertainty surrounding Cook and the lack of interest from Alabama running back commit Bo Scarbrough, the Gators needed to explore their options.

That being said, Florida wouldn’t be after Williams if he wasn’t worthy of an offer. He’s a Rivals250 member and holds offers from LSU, Missouri and Tennessee, among others.

Who is on the board in PK position?Ivo

With Austin Hardin’s struggles this season, UF may want to consider taking a kicker in this class. Three prospects who could get some consideration are Jorge Powell (Miami Belen Jesuit Prep), Austin Jones (Orlando Boone) and Landon Scheer (Orlando First Academy).

All of them are from Florida and received a Kohl’s kicker rating of five stars. It will be hard for the Gators to put another kicker on scholarship given their limited room for 2014, but if they decide to go that route, I would start with these three.

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


  1. I know he’s a freshman, but I’ve seen a few alligator arm reaches by Mr. Fulwood this year. I hope that’s a phase and not a toughness issue. Receivers that want to go to the next level catch the ball in traffic.

  2. He needed to put his body between the defender and the ball..gotta coach ‘im up before it becomes a habit he can’t break! When he gets bigger and stronger and uses the proper ‘box out’ he will start breaking those tackles vs being injured. Go Gators!

  3. Actually, UF can’t afford not to sign a kicker…scholarships are a one year deal…they can take away a scholarship for any player SOS make a habit of taking away scholarships… We’ve lost 2 games because of missing FG’s … the GA game we missed 2 …which would have won the game… The SC game we missed a critical FG which would have put the score at 17 to 16 in favor of UF we wouldn’t have run the fake punt…and we would have punted and instead of punting and putting them back on their own 20 yd line …instead we gave them an easy field goal the win the game…A good field goal kicker is what we need most .

  4. The only play I’ve seen Fulwood get alligator arms on was vs. S. Car. Skyler set him up to possibly get one of those head shots that can leave a guy unconscious, or worse. So I give him a pass on that one. I cringed when I saw the ball coming to him.

  5. Recruits that back off their 100 percent after committing are almost always going elsewhere, and I would expect that will be the case with Cook and FSU. But maybe Lane and others can get him back on board. The Gators really need his skills in their backfield.

  6. We need more speed and Dalvin Cook brings it. Sure hope he sees the opportunity with the Gators as his to star and be part of a renaissance of an elite SEC football powerhouse. Or go to F$U and the weak ACC. Our offense will give plenty of touches in a variety of ways.

  7. If Muschamp doesn’t change his philosophy about running the ball and depending on the defense to win games – we won’t compete very well in the SEC. We need a team that scores lots of points and then have the defense like we do to keep the opponents from scoring. If this doesn’t happen, I am afraid we are in for many more bad seasons and needing a coaching change. GO GATORS!

  8. I believe that we put too much emphasis on how many stars’ a player has coming out of High School! No one knows for sure if they are going to be a Chris Doering or Scott Joslyn! It’s the world we live in now! If Cook stays, great! If not, life goes on! Will Grier is a lock!

  9. Guys, guys, GUYS!!! Ease up, take a breath, & slooooooow down!!! Just because Dalvin has stated that he’d like to take visits it no need for alarm. He’s been solid for a long, long time and I would think that he’d be more apt to inform a fellow commit of his intentions before anyone else. If Quincy says that he’s solid that’s enough for me. GO GATORS!!!!!

  10. Everything I’m hearing is Cook IS going to be a Gator…so relax guys …I recently had dinner with a good friend of mine who is the Defensive coordinator for an SEC team …We were talking about UF’s offense … He said with a smile … UF’s offense, was every DC dream…they think they are a running team, however they are last in the conference in run average per carry … the receivers run awful patterns and the are more concerned about blocking downfield than trying to break free… their pass plays are short flanker and bubble screens …flare side line passes out of the backfield and 3 to 5 yard crossing patterns … and when they do catch a pass their standing still with their backs to the goal post…he said it’s much easier to defend a receiver if he is standing still, than running, especially when you throw the ball within the first 10 yds from the line of scrimmage… UF’s passing scheme sucks with it’s short passes …you don’t have to throw the ball 40 yds downfield but you can throw it 10 to 15 yds with the receivers running towards the goal post …he said our offense was to make first downs instead of touchdowns …one of the reasons why we have so much trouble scoring in the red zone ….another reason why we need to sign a kicker!…if a team scores 40 points or more 98% of the time you are going to win …but if you only score under 24 points there is an 80% chance you are going to LOSE !!

  11. We have a Far greater problem than worrying about Cook, He would be a great addition along with the few others that have committed. BUT, if we don’t have an “Offense” that is creditable in any way all or none of the recruits we get are going to make a big difference. Look at this years Group, and I think it was a good haul. But they didn’t get used or were used in the wrong “SYSTEM” if you want to call it that. The receivers and back we pulled in were not for a “down hill” run team. We are recruiting good athletes but not utilizing them to their greater capacity.Why wouldn’t the better players start to wonder if this is not going to be the better place for them? Most of our talent was buried until they (coaches) were forced to use them. We need Lineman and/or a better o-line coach. I don’t know enough about lineman coaches but we are not getting good performances from our line. All of the “ACL” injury should raise a red flag, something has to be causing that as well, when have you seen so many on one team in the same two to three month period? We got a lot to get straight. GO GATORS!!!