Muschamp comfortable with 2014 class

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Signing day is less than a month away for UF coach Will Muschamp and his staff. (Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun)

Florida coach Will Muschamp discussed a handful of recruiting topics during his Monday press conference.

Despite a 2014 class that has filled Florida’s major positional needs and ranks in the T0p 10 on ESPN and Rivals with 20 members, there’s a perception that UF has fallen behind on the recruiting front.

Muschamp doesn’t see it that way.

“Not at all,” he said. “Considering we didn’t have a great season, I feel very comfortable where we are recruiting wise.”

Muschamp is still looking to add a second quarterback and running back as well as two more receivers in this cycle. Given that the Gators have ranked worse than 100th nationally in total yards for three consecutive years, what is his sales pitch to offensive recruits?

“Help us improve,” he said. “I think a great opportunity to walk into a great situation to improve and play in an exciting offense. This is still the University of Florida. It’s a great education. We’ll compete and play for championships. That hasn’t changed. Not in one year, that hasn’t.”

Other notes

On how he and his assistants have been able to flip recruits:

“You stay on guys and try to make valid points you’ve made throughout the entire recruiting process all the way through. Some guys, again, recruiting is happening so early sometimes maybe they don’t have all the information and they make a decision before they’re ready. For whatever reason, that’s kind of the way it’s fallen out.”

On the recruiting process seemingly getting crazier and more dramatic: 

“The earlier and earlier recruiting goes, you’re going to continue to see this. That’s not stopping. I think the earlier it is, young men are making decisions before maybe they have the information or they’re sure of what they want to do or how they’re going to do it. I think you’re to continue to probably see this. You’ve got to recruit through it, understand when signing day is and know that you settle that there and at the end of the day, you’ll find out in a year or two, three years sometimes, what kind of a signing class it was as opposed to that day. That’s for sure.”

On how he has divided up the in-state recruiting areas among his staff:

“Mike Summers will be recruiting the Panhandle, which he recruited while he was at Arkansas and Louisville. Brad Lawing is going to go to the local area, which really entails most of all North Central Florida and up to Baker County. Kurt Roper has had Jacksonville before, but he and Travaris Robinson are going to take, kind of split Jacksonville up a little bit there. That’s such a good area for us.

“Travaris will continue handle Dade and Broward. Joker is going to handle Palm (Beach) county up through south of Orlando. Coleman (Hutzler) will handle the Space Coast area up to Duval County. D.J. Durkin will handle southwest Florida, down in Fort Myers up through south Pinellas County. Derek Lewis will have Polk and Hillsborough counties. And Brian White will have the central area of Florida moving west from Orlando to North Pinellas County.”

41 COMMENTS

  1. Anyone who doubts the job this staff has done recruiting obviously has no clue about recruiting at all. The ability to hold this class together so well and continue adding big name recruits through this terrible time really shows how great this staff is at recruiting. Hand it to our staff. Phenomenal job

  2. Amen, MG! Muschamp’s maintained his poise with recruits, focusing on the bigger picture for Florida’s program, and is bringing in a stellar class. Some keen observer a good while back pointed out that head coaches must be excellent planners and organizers in order to be successful. I’m figuring that with four classes in place with a more vigorous approach on offense, these 2014 Gators will go 10-2 that will feel better than 2012’s 12-2 outcome.

  3. Gatorjam…. Comparing Grier to JD is nonsense. You obviously haven’t watched tape on either if you think they’re in the same category. Grier’s arm and decision making is far more advanced than JD’s was coming out of HS…

  4. I think Driskel is going to have a breakout season in 2014 and I’m about tired of people referring to this guy as if he wears a dress, or something. And, if nothing else, the kid is a GATOR, and that’s good enough for me. The coaches are doing a great job recruiting and the offense is going to rock next year. Folks who are pining for a couple of high school divas like Cook and Lane can’t see the forest for the trees.
    Go Gators! No matter what.

  5. Wasn’t it the divas that got us in this mess to begin with? JD hasn’t had a teacher in his 3 years here… Teacher > schemer; no one can ever complain about his raw ability, unfortunately it’s still pretty raw. Not entirely his fault. Roper clearly described spring as well as fall camp as times to teach.

  6. The best thing about Roper is he hasn’t made any conclusions about who will start. He hasn’t recruited anyone so he has no bias as well. As we have seen since Tebow left, a quarterback’s high school career is not a predictor of his ability to play in college. I have no idea why a lot of people continue to think Jeff Driskel is talented, certainly this confidence doesn’t come from his performance on the field. At least now, he, and everyone else on offense, is considered equal. They will have to earn a spot, maybe Driskel will have some incentive to actually use what is on top of his neck because Roper sounds like he will not start a quarterback that doesn’t use his head, which, in Driskel’s case, has not been worth more than ten cents, so far.

  7. I love the class we are putting together. People will complain about who we didn’t get but when you look at who we committed it is a very impressive class and will surely compliment the players we already have.

  8. James Fisher, notice I have my actual name listed here. I don’t have to hide behind some silly pseudonym to protect myself. You must be really bored or really pathetic to constantly troll on this site with your immature banter. I live in Tallahassee and will always be a proud Gator. In fact, there are Gator fans everywhere I go in Tally. Its almost like being in Gainesville. You should be thankful we are here to bring civilization to the savages. Have a blessed day.

  9. Im telling you this is not me…. Someone has duplicated my user .. I have not posted here in a while. You can verify that with any administrator. But I know you are not going to believe me. I will not post here until this other person is eliminated. No reason to lie to you here.

  10. James Fisher – Just to let you know how classy you Noles are compared to us gators – some moron ripped my Gator license tag off the front of my car I suppose for some kind of a trophy. It’ll cost me about $250.00 in parts to fix the damage he/she did.

    So hats off to the new National Champs and their fans. I can’t imagine the circumstance under which I would even remotely consider grabbing some Nole license tag – LOSERS!

  11. WOW, what has our website come to, some idiot who is not even a Gator fan is able to get onto it and make his idiot comments. I hate FSU and have no interest in getting on their website or reading anything about them. I guess he has nothing better to do and lacks proper stimulation in his life. WOW, I wonder what’s next from this twit. GO GATORS.

  12. I have an idiot nephew who would pull off stupid stunts to get negative attention. He liked attention and would do anything, say anything, even to the point of getting arrested. I think my nephew might be the one who is calling himself James Fisher. Too bad, this joker is not the real Jimmy Fisher, the Florida Q-back from I believe the late 70’s. Go Gators.

  13. Listen overall Muschamp has done a good job at recruiting. Player development on the defensive side of the ball has been great. I’m hoping we can get the equivilant on the offense this year and really develop some playmakers.

  14. In last year’s class the Gators brought in quite a few receivers and running backs. This year the main need offensively was at o-line, tight end and quarterback. It seems the Gators have done a good job at recruiting at those positions.

  15. I expect ignorant drivel from FSU fans, so I’m not overly surprised at some of the tripe I read on here. I’m honestly more bummed out with the negative Gator fans who rip their own players, coaches and recruits on sites like this. I’m not advocating that we all put on rose colored glasses, but there’s a point at which you might not really be a Gator fan if all you can do is gripe and whine about every aspect of the program.
    Let’s all elevate the conversation from here on out.
    Go Gators. No matter what.

  16. Gatorjam. No offensive talent?? Not a good class?? Go learn a little about recruiting man! First of all the offensive talent in this class isn’t bare! Ryan Sousa, Will Grier (overrated?? there are some things that are impressove to do even against air and he was doing them against live defenses), Brandon Powell, Moral Stephens, Deandre Goolsby, and Cyontai Lewis are all great players that could really help our offense. Not to mention all the great offensive talent we have a dang good shot for like Adoree Jackson, Eric Lauderdale,Isaiah Mckenzie, Myles Autry, Jeff Jones, Derrel Scott,etc. And even bigger than that we’ve met our biggest need, OL. We got David Sharpe (6’6 288), Nolan Kelleher (6’5 310), Travaris Dorsey (6’5 314), Kavaris Harkles (6’5 269), Dontae Angus (6’5 310), Drew Sarvary (6’6 310), with Tavern Bryan probably playing both ways and a very good shot at Damian Prince. We’ve already got skill players on the roster with Kelvin Taylor, Andre Debose, Matt Jones, Quinton Dunbar, Adam Lane, Latroy Pittman, Demarcus Robinson, Valdez Showers, Ahmad Fulwood. Tevin Westbrook, Alvin Bailey, Marqui Hawkins, Chris Thompson, Ralph Andrades, Clay Burton, etc etc. We’re not in desperate need of a ton of offensive skill players, what we need is to develop the ones we have and actually block for them. The big boys we have coming in on this class plus the big boys we had in the last class could really give us a dominating O line to use our offensive firepower. Your ability to miss how great this recruiting class is shows just how bitter and desperate you are to attack the Gators. What Gator fans is that depserate to attack his own team? Either support your team or quit acting like you’re a fan.

  17. Snowprint, I still want to know what the heck games you’re watching to make you think Driskel isn’t talented!! The biggest critique of his has been that he has trouble reading defenses and because of that makes bad decisions. NOBODY who knows the game and watches him play though questions his obvious talent. He has a big arm, he’s accurate with the football, he’s strong enough to get out of some sacks others wouldn’t, and he has an obvious playmaking ability when he takes off and runs the ball. His problems are all mental. He for some reason hasn’t learned how to read defenses properly (whether that be on him or on the coaches) and therefore hesitates to much and doesn’t see some open receivers. If roper is able to find a way to get in Driskel’s head and teach him how to read defenses he’ll be a dangerous weapon for us. Driskel has the natural ability to be a Heisman contender if he gets the mental side.

  18. Would you want to play for Muschamp? I wouldn’t. Foley has failed the Gator Nation by not letting him go at the end of this past season. The problem is no longer Muschamp, the problem is Foley. You can say all you want about top five AD, hired Donovan, Mary Wise, etc. UF sells itself with great weather, athletes in the state, donors, academics, etc. Bottom line is let’s look at the revenue generating sport at UF and Foley’s impact there. Football is the revenue generating sport at UF, and always will be. Foley has hired Zook and Muschamp. Foley gets half credit for hiring Urban since Machen and Urban were at Utah together. Without that connection, Urban would have gone to Notre Dame, and we all know it.

    So, is 7-5, 8-4 gonna get it done next season Mr. Foley? That’s the reality with Muschamp as HC.

  19. @G8R I’d love to play for Muschamp, and the reaction from theplayers and recruits show they would to. He’s an honest guy that’s got that fire inside him> He gets pumped up and knows how to have a good time celebrating with the players. He demands greatness and he’ll jump all over the players when they do something wrong, but he’s the first one jump all over them celebrating when they make a big play.. Sounds like a really fun coach to me! I’m amazed by the shortsidedness of fans on here! Muschamp is a great coach who just doesn’t have the experience and therefore still needs to learn offense. You can’t deny the great job hes done in the other areas of coaching including recruiting and defense. Once he learns offense he’ll be one of the best coaches of our era. Fans gets so caught up in the negative that they forget to look at the whole picture. Look at Muschamp as a whole and he’s done a good job coaching, but all the fans can see is his failures on offense. I agree that for him to keep his job the offense needs to improve drastically by next year. I was in favor of firing him despite what I believe about himl. I just don’t feel a coach should be able to survive 4-8 including losses to GaSo. We all know that injuries weren’t nearly our only problem, but don’t undersell what 30 injuries to impact players does to a team. There’s still more to fix, but 30 injuries, and who was injured, hurts a lot. And people really wonder why we didn’t do well?? Gator fans need to take a step back and look at the whole picture. Overall Muschamp is a good coach who just needs to figure out offense. Roper coud be the solution to that problem. And the fans who want Foley gone really need to focus on the big picture. Foley has done more for this program than any other person, and this how we thank him??? Gator fans should be ashamed.

  20. Let me just say this… since my late father took me to my first Gator football game in 1969 when I was just 4 years old (I lost him just 12 years later to cancer in 1981), Gator football was one of the few things he and I exclusively shared together, hence I am extremely, E-X-T-R-E-M-E-L-Y passionate and protective of UF football.

    That said, it’s why I am also uber-critical of trouble-making players, poor coaching, etc., that hurts or harms something my father taught me to be so passionate about.

    So many here know I am extremely critical of Muschamp so many of you know why now, but even though I am not a fan of Muschamp’s as our HBC, I can readily admit the man can recruit with the best of them out there, and I think he pulls another top 5 class out of his hat when all of this is said and done.

  21. now we’re going to compare degrees of passion based upon longevity to determine who cares the most and is, therefore, right? what ever happened to simply rooting for the Gators because they’re our team? there are plenty of Gator fans who have been around for 70 years, so being around since ’69 ain’t cutting any cheese.

  22. Well to be honest I don’t think Todd’s post was trying to compare passion or make himself sound better. I have been critical of Gator Todd’s past negative postings because I don’t believe now is the time for negativity, but I don’t believe this post is about comparing his fandom to anyone else or anything. I think he’s just trying to explain how passionate he is and that’s why he is critical of Muschamp and some players and I can respect that. I can respect that he wants the best for the Gators and doesn’t want to waste any time on mediocrity

  23. Again…this class is lacking. Even if we had a good class, these coaches are completely unable to develop any offensive players at all. Kelvin Taylor is about it. Every other offensive player may have talent, but the coaches have failed them. I have all the proof I need any the lack of any offensive output the last 3 years under Chump. Those hoping for Chump to turn the corner are wasting their time. Chump is a failure as a HC. Ga Southern…

  24. Gator Todd, We all have those stories. THAT is what makes Gator Nation Special. No other school in the State has those stories, No other school in the state can say my family has been boosters since the 50’s 60’s 40’s even. SO that being said, yes it has been some boring football on offense the last couple of years, (4 really) but the fact that Muschamp realized this and is bringing in something different tells me, he cares. I have a feeling Will can tell you when he was a kid he went to the games…oh wait he did. Matter of fact he probably sold you and me a coke when we were kids. How can you not pull for a guy like that?

  25. DOUG, go F yourself you pompous a-hole. If you’d been standing in front of me and said that, I’d have decked you. Not once in my most did I say I possessed any sort of loyalty or longevity superiority over my fellow fans, I was just sharing something personal and special to me,, and of course, you, as any number of our lurking sunshine pumping thought police have to say something incredibly hateful because you don’t like my opinions.

    Some of the people on this boards are utterly pathetic. if we had a filter option, I’d use it.