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.