News & Notes from Under Armour


The Florida Gators came away with some good and bad news from the Under Armour All-America practices and game.

The commitment of Gerald Willis III obviously stole the show, but here are a few other tidbits:

* Bad news first. Ermon Lane and J.C. Jackson are not coming to Florida, which was obvious after Thursday’s game (see end of story). They’re both headed to Florida State if the Seminoles can fit them in their class. Lane should have no trouble getting a spot, but Jackson might not. Look for him to end up at Miami if that’s the case.

* One receiver who is no longer an option is De’Andre Thompkins of Swansboro (N.C.). The early enrollee was up in the air on his Penn State commitment after Bill O’Brien’s departure for the Houston Texans. He reportedly stopped by Florida after the Under Armour All-America to see the school with his family, although no in-person contact was made with the coaches due to the dead period. But he announced on Twitter today that he’s sticking with the Nittany Lions.

* The same looks like it will happen with Brooklyn (N.Y.) Abraham Lincoln defensive tackle Thomas Holley. At the Under Armour media luncheon, he told The Sun the Gators would “probably” become his leader if O’Brien left. However, that has happened and Holley is staying with PSU until the coaching situation is resolved. If the new head coach retains defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who’s been at the school 18 years and personally recruited Holley, it’s unlikely that he flips to Florida.

* Now the good news. There’s a new recruit on Florida’s recruiting board — Under Armour All-American receiver Isaiah McKenzie of Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage. He was offered by the Gators today and plans to officially visit on Jan. 24, the same weekend as UF cornerback commit Quincy Wilson. McKenzie, who is being recruited as a slot receiver and returner, had a game-high 127 all-purpose yards Thursday.

* In addition to Minnesota commit and Under Armour MVP Jeff Jones, who is set to visit Gainesville this month, UF has also offered Havelock (N.C.) running back Derrell Scott. The offer propelled the Gators into his list of finalists, which also includes N.C. State, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Semper Fidelis All-American plans to officially visit Florida on Jan. 17. The newfound mutual interest between UF and running backs Jones and Scott gives the Gators a chance to makeup for the loss of Dalvin Cook with two quality recruits.


  1. Actually the closing period seems to be setting up well for the Gators. Guessing they land a top WR, a high calibre RB, pick up Damian Prince, and a couple more on defense. We had a great haul on offense at WR, RB and OL last year, are coming in this year with another stron group on OL, three TEs, and Will Grier. Add Kurt Roper as architect of new offense and if looks as though Muschamp has been and is addressing our biggest needs.

  2. Already said it would happen about Lane and Cook and it did. Jackson was no surprise either. All heard through certain “grapevines” (some current UF players and others transferring out) what a circus our locker room is and what a overboard temper our HBC has.

    Muschamp’s Flying Circus is driving most of the key offensive players we need off. They know Muschamp will not allow Roper to run his offense here at UF.

  3. Oh bug off Todd! Gator nation is getting tired of all the useless negativity! Every single discussion does not need to be about how you think Muschamp punches children and caused poverty! Shut the hell up! We’re tired of hearing the same crap day after day! Time to either put up and support your team or SHUT UP and GTFO!

  4. Gator Todd – Where do you get your info about the “locker room” issues? I would like to read that info. Funny thing, I know a Gator WR and have known him since he was little. He tells me that the team remained tight during the year, despite the issues. They believe in Muschamp and they know the affect all the injuries have had. There was an issue between Pease and the OL coach, that has become public knowledge, after Pease was fired. Pease did a poor job developing talent, especially Driskel. Driskel should have been much further along, mentally, than he was.

    As for the players that transferred – they did so because of playing time, period. It happens at all the top schools, that attract a line of talented recruits. How you can make more out of it than it is makes you look like you just want to pile on, with no reasoning.

    FSU is the hot place, right now. They are in the NC game and that always attracts recruits. Look at the class we have, a top ten class, despite the season we have had. All of our needs have been met; so, any additions is gravy. We have a ton of talent coming back and Muschamp showed, in 2012, that he can coach. Some forget the coaching job that Muschamp did, almost making it to the NC game. As for Muschamp’s demeanor – I prefer to have a coach with an aggressive personality. Given some of the officiating and the things that went wrong, most coaches would have reacted the same way. Spurrier threw that visor many times. Did that make him a bad coach?

    We will finish with a very good class, despite the negative crowd and we will come back with a vengeance next season. Gator Nation needs to get behind the team and support them.

  5. You nailed it, GIG, we’ve got a team that’s going to rebound sharply from the disaster that was 2013. We’ve fielded one of the youngest rosters in the SEC the last two years. — nine seniors in 2012, ten in ’13. We’ve been recruiting to offensive needs, maintaining high quality at DE and CB, will continue being among the best on defense. Might not win SEC East next fall but we’ll seriously contend.

  6. Gotta say that was bad news and ok news. The Gators D is going to be stout. They just lost arguably the best RB and WR in the country. That is HORRIBLE news. Especially for an offense that was the worst in the best Conference in the country. It will take years to rebound from this mass exodus. God forbid if Muschamp is fired at the end of the season, they won’t recover for 10 years.

  7. Lane is probably not a gator buy anyone who had been around recruiting long enough knows never to rule anyone out especially a long time verbal. Farrell, Bobby Burton etc have learned this over the years. who cares what these guys have been overheard saying. They literally change their minds all the time and many of them are overwhelmed by this whole process

  8. There’s no “mass exodus” from the program. Offense is shifting. Three recruits are heading elsewhere because of a 4-8 year while others may climb on board because they see opportunity. If Muschamp’s dismissed it will be because his team fails badly next fall, and if he succeeds, well, all the better for our team and program.

  9. Cook and Lane leaving aren’t horrible news. We’re fine at both positions. It’d be nice to add to the wealth but we don’t need it. We have Jones, Taylor, Lane, Showers, Herndon, Brown at running back and Joker is doing a great job developing our receivers so I have more than enough confidence in Debose, Dunbar, Pittman, Robinson, Fulwood, Bailey, Thompson, Hawkins, Sousa, possibly Lauderdale, Adoree Jackson, McKenzie, and whoever else may be on the list. In addition the Cook loss could be a blessing. The little I’ve seen from Jeff Jones impresses me more than Cook ever did and we’re now Myles Autry’s favorite. Our staff has done a phenomenal job recruiting. Since the season started going bad we’ve gained 7 recruits and only lost 1 (and will only lose a max of 3). That’s a +6 right now, +4 if you want to already discount Lane and JC Jackson. And we’ll only gain more. Given a 4-8 season that’s phenomenal.

  10. Here’s why I’m worried. Zach, as of right now, JC and Ermon are welcome and are currently still committed. What good does your article do for our two current recruits? They were just at an all star game, that was on national TV. Emotions were high. Look at all the attention Cook got for what he did. It seems like I should do the same thing. Heck, I’m an all star.

    Then emotions calm down. They haven’t decommitted, they are still Gators.
    But then there’s this article saying they are not gators. What does that do? It gets emotional Gator fans, that don’t have frontal lobes, but have a twitter account, and Facebook and wireless Internet to be poor representatives of Gator nation and send nasty tweets to these 18 year old kids. Then you have UnGatorTodd spewing more verbal hate towards the staff.
    Hey GatorTodd, how are you helping the Gators? Oh wait, you’re probably a Nole. If not, you should be. You really remind me of Cook. Here’s the deal. Unless you are in the locker room, you don’t know what goes on there, and all you are doing is speculating. And those are some pretty serious allegations, keyboard jockey. Where’s your proof? Until You have proof of your allegations, keep your allegations to yourself. JUST STOP!!

  11. Isn’t anyone excited about the possibility of McKenzie? He is someone the Gators desperately need, a playmaker with speed. He is a more likely flip than the others because he is from Florida and Notre Dame isn’t what it used to be. That is someone that could be valuable to Roper, similar to Conner at Duke. You never know, less heralded guys like him can be as good as a Lane or Cook. Maybe he wasn’t offered before because there wasn’t space, but he should now be a priority and is someone that would help immensely because none of the present receivers have shown anything yet except Dunbar, and he is only average and doesn’t worry a defensive coordinator.

  12. It’s just awful, i can’t get out of bed anymore, Muschamp is killing all sports at UF, he cost us the two losses in Basketball, we should have signed the top 24 ranked players in football. Well, i do have my buddy Syn to hug and hold thru this just awful depressing time, woe is me.

  13. If Demarcus Robinson gets his act together and Fulwood continues to develop, no one will be concerned about Lane’s departure from the commit list this time next year. And the year the Gators will have as a result will have the Florida coaches commit list much better than it is now, and it is not a bad list right now…..and looks to get better from this news of this article. Go Gators.

  14. The game is won at the line of scrimmage. A good OL coach and players come back from injures, UF will be find. JJ is the truth, but the way Muschamp coach the team…I play who I like and not put the best players on the field. This will be a problem going forward. If he stay out of Roper way, This team will be playing for the SEC championship next year. I predict he want and 7-5 at best. Go Gators!!!

  15. MrMulligan

    It is an excellent class and Im glad you are backing our head coach. Right now, when you look at our average star rating per player, we are in the top 10 in the country. And thats with Lane not counted as a commit. Our overall class ranking is lower because we dont have as many available scholarships as some of the teams signing 30 players or so. Im glad you are astute enough to pick up on that.

  16. OK, Zach-so JC won’t come. Great. Doesn’t mean Lane won’t. Until he says otherwise I’m going to go by what he said recently about if how he doesn’t have to flip just because Cook did. Let’s hope he sticks it out like Quincy & Will Grier. GO GATORS!!

  17. Todd – If you are right maybe thats why we have so many of the talented jr’s jumping early the past 2 years. I know theres a payday involved but 3rd-4th rounders should stay.
    Maybe they have had enough of Muschamp? We need these guys to stay on board if we are ever going to make a move and win any type of championships.
    Problem is during our downturn (since Meyer) fsu has been loading up on talent.

  18. Lane said in a statement that he is still 85% committed to UF and that it was never guaranteed that he was going to follow Cook if he swapped. BUT!!! as we learned from Cook never trust athletes during the recruitment trail. I think Lane is going to try and hear out the new OC b4 he jumps ship. If he likes what he hears he might end up staying but my gut feeling is that DC will text/call/pester the living hell out of him until he flops.

  19. No offense to anyone on this board, but how are any of you shocked by Cook’s departure? I am 21 years old and was able to see months ago that Cook would not end up in this class. It doesn’t take an incredible amount of foresight to see that cook was going to decommit. I think that Kurt Roper and Seales are great hires. They are both proven coaches that can build a program. Secondly most of you are grown men. Stop getting all emotional because two black kids from Miami don’t want to play for your college team.