Recruiting weekend review

The Gators have a chance to flip Florida State QB commitment Treon Harris. (Photo by Al Diaz/Miami Herald)

Not only have the Florida Gators rebounded from the loss of Dalvin Cook, but they’re now in position to steal one of Florida State’s top verbal commitments.

Miami Booker T. Washington quarterback Treon Harris was offered by UF last week and received an in-home visit from the coaches Thursday, the first day of the contact period.

The FSU pledge was then one of nine official visitors for Florida this past weekend.

“It was a great visit,” said his father and head coach, Tim Harris. “He felt real comfortable with everything the coaches laid out for him. They did a great job. His relationship with Florida is gaining a lot of ground. This weekend was a great stepping stone.”

The Gators initially recruited Harris as an athlete. The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder is the same height and weight Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was coming out of high school, only Harris is much more athletic.

He was the first prospect Kurt Roper offered after becoming offensive coordinator at UF.

“With coach Roper coming in, they’re recruiting him differently than they were with the previous coach,” the elder Harris said. “He loves the direction they’re going with the offense and how they’ve made him their top priority.”

Harris, who last month won his second consecutive Class 4A state championship, is scheduled to officially visit Auburn and Miami before making a final decision on signing day, Feb. 5.

His father said the early enrollment of fellow Army All-American quarterback Will Grier won’t hurt Florida’s chances.

“He’s been competing his whole life,” Harris said. “That’s the way he was brought up.”

From upper left on down clockwise, Isaiah McKenzie, J.C. Jackson, Yodny Cajuste and Derrell Scott on their official visits to Florida. (Photos from their social media accounts)

Florida’s new offense has also gained the interest of Isaiah McKenzie, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound slot receiver who was in town along with Harris.

“It was very important for me to go check them out with the coaching change they had,” said the Under Armour All-American from Plantation American Heritage. “I was impressed with their scheme and how they would use me, kind of like they did with Solomon Patton but with more touches.”

Miramar offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste, an under-the-radar recruit who has only played football for a year, has UF leading following his trip.

“Florida is everything I want in a school — a family atmosphere, a coaching staff, great players to be around and a great campus,” said the 6-foot-6, 270-pounder.

Cajuste will visit West Virginia next, while McKenzie has upcoming trips to Ole Miss and Notre Dame. Both plan to make their decisions on signing day.

Also deciding then will be Pensacola West Florida Tech defensive end Rocel McWilliams, whose commitment to Missouri is now up in the air after visiting UF. The Tigers host him this weekend.

“Florida has complicated things for me. My family would like for me to go there because it’s close to home and they’re Gator fans,” said the 6-foot-3, 240-pound McWilliams.

The news wasn’t all positive with the visitors in Gainesville. Havelock (N.C.) running back Derrell Scott told 247Sports the Gators still trail South Carolina and Tennessee for his services. He announces his choice Jan. 27.

Immokalee athlete J.C. Jackson, Perry Taylor County tight end Moral Stephens and Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade Madonna defensive tackle Khairi Clark visited over the weekend as well, and all three UF commitments enjoyed their time.

Jackson, the only wavering member of Florida’s class, is considering cancelling his Jan. 31 visit to Florida State.

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  1. Interesting recruiting tidbit…..

    Of the first 32 players selected in the 2013 NFL draft, 3 star recruits outnumbered 4 star recruits. Same for 5 star recruits. Even a player with no stars was coached up and developed into a first round draft choice.

    0 stars total – 1
    2 stars total- 2
    3 stars total – 12
    4 stars total – 11
    5 stars total – 6

    As mentioned before, it is about coaching, opportunity, development, and desire….not recruiting stars.

    For example, Porter is a 3 star and he could end up being the jewel of the 2014 Florida class if he commits to Florida today.

  2. There are hundreds of potential Division 1 players in the country, so a desire to be a Gator, and the maturity to represent the university with dignity and class, is about the only thing that genuinely matters to me. I think we may look back at this class in four years and think it one of the best ever.
    Go Gators. No matter what.

  3. As far as I can see, our coaching staff is doing a tremendous job and if we keep this up we will be back on top in no time. I am feeling good about our program going forward. Lets put the past behind us! Go Gators!

  4. Porter, Harris (hopefully), McKenzie (absolutely), Lauderdale, Cajuste, and McWilliams are all mentioned. We still have Adoree Jackson, Prince, Carter, Mike, and Jones on the board. I know I have left someone off. We don”t have room for all these guys. How does it work out?
    Adoree and Prince are possible, Carter is a longshot. Mike and Jones?

  5. Tampagator, to the statistically literate, those numbers show the opposite of what you wish to prove. In the future, never swallow a statistic without first looking at the relevant base rates. For example, this year there are 1149 three-star recruits, 338 four-star recruits, and 34 five-star recruits. That’s 3.4 times more three-stars than four-stars. That means it is 3.4 times more likely for a three-star to end up in the draft than a four-star. Yet, the numbers are about equal, which means that a four star recruit is about 3.4 times MORE LIKELY to be drafted into the NFL than a three star recruit. Furthermore, there are around 10 times more five stars than four stars and about half as many five stars were drafted than four stars, which means a five star recruit is about FIVE TIMES MORE LIKELY to be drafted than a four star recruit, and 17 times more likely than a three star recruit. All of this means that in reality, these recruits OVERPERFORM their star rankings coming out of high school, which means recruiting services are underestimating the impact of their own evaluations in terms of NFL draft probability.

  6. Isn’t that a little deceiving though? I know there are less five stars every year by a longshot, so clearly there is a better chance that less will be drafted in the first round. I’m assuming there are also less four stars than three stars although I can’t be sure about that. I think the more sound analysis would be to see what percentage of three stars, four stars and five stars get drafted in the first round out of how many total players are ranked in each of those categories for a certain period of time. I think you will find that generally speaking, a higher percentage of five stars end up drafted in the first round out of the total number of five stars rated than the percentage of three stars in the first round to the total number of three stars. The bottom line is this, if you look at the teams that consistently are in the top 10 (Alabama, LSU, etc.) they are also usually the ones doing the best recruiting via the recruiting services. It certainly isn’t an exact science but there is definitely a correlation.

  7. Corey, On a previous thread a poster had made a remark about Florida going after a guy that had only 3 stars. I think Tampagator’s point was that players that only receive 3 stars can end up being as good as players that get 5 stars. The number of stars is no guarantee of how good a player is going to be.

  8. People can paint something however they want with stats. I agree that every recruit who is a 5 star may not pan out and that a 2 star may become a great player. However, it is proven time and time again that the schools that get the top rated players win the National Championships. It is no coincidence that top recruiting schools like Bama, LSU, Florida, USC are also the schools that have won all the NCs over the last 10 years. Its always been that way and always will. If you arent getting top notch players you will NOT win a NC. Period. Its a fact, not opinion. Just pointing that out. That being said, I believe Florida is getting plenty of highly rated recruits. According to Scout, we already have 9 4 or 5 star players with more to come. Will probably end up with about 12 4 or 5 stars. Thats plenty.

  9. I also had concerns over just what the staff is going to do in terms of numbers. For example if Porter accepts early and they get to 25 scholarships before say Adoree Jackson makes up his mind are they out of luck or is there some “shuffling” that can be done? BTW great point brought up by Corey earlier.

  10. Corey nailed it.

    If you argue that “stars don’t matter,” then you’re ignorant when it comes to what recruiting is all about.

    If your argue that “a recruit doesn’t need to be a blue chipper to become a great NFL player,” you’re right.

    Those two things aren’t the same thing.

  11. I don’t think people realize how many recruits the Gators are seeing. For instance I hear two 3 star commits from Wisconsin are coming in. That along with Harris, McKenzie, Derell Scott, Jones, Lauderdale, Mike, Prince, Jackson, Porter, Carter….I think you get my point. Who gets left off?

  12. I think all of you are starting to drink the Kool-Aid. From being ready to jump off the ledge when Cook and Lane said no to now thinking the Gators will have to turn away the flood of prospects who are begging to be Gators? Get a grip, it’s probably somewhere in between, I doubt that the staff is having to say no, after all, like Muschamp said, you are what your record says you are, and right now that is a 4-8 team. I could be wrong, but I think you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed if you think that UF is now a school that has so many blue-chippers begging to come that some will be turned away. I get where it comes from, when your head coach says that he has a very good football team after a season when his team loses twice as many as they win, it’s not hard to become delusional.

  13. The point was….look at how many 3 stars were drafted in the first round….and don’t downgrade a recruit because he is a 3 star. Porter simply has the athletic skills, if developed both physically and mentally at Florida, to become a first round pick in the NFL. I think all the Florida coaches see that point clearly. Sorry some of you don’t.

  14. Snowprint I am am simply stating a “what if” scenario. The same could be said about any school facing a limit on scholarships. I know you are a Nole fan and they just break the rules anyway but I was trying to gain some knowledge if they do it the right way. Such as does FSU have a limit on how many rapist 5 star QBs they can sign

  15. What I want to know is how many Prima donnas who jerk schools around with their commitments and await till the last moment to make their announcements on tv make it as opposed to the players that don’t seek that spotlights.

  16. Tampa Gator’s post “proves” that a guy can succeed whether or not a recruiting service gives him a 5. How many times has Muschamp stated that he evaluates talent not stars??? You guys think Jimbo or Saban cares about If these guys can ball, we need them!

  17. Tampa, your stats may have been incomplete, as corey showed, but your point is valid. Stars neither guarantee sucess or failure, but 5 star recruits, especially consensus top 10 players, i.e. Hargreaves, have a higher percentage of success than 3 or 4 star players.

  18. Tampa, Point taken and it was very informative data. For the guys that had to do a statistical analysis I understand your point also buttry to go back to look at what Tampa was merely saying.I hope those analysis were not just for the sake of argument. NO SCHOOL will get all 4 & 5 star atheletes, so when you can grab a great 3 star get him. GO GATORS!!!!

  19. I hate to burst your bubble, however, your statistics are misleading there are way more three star athletes coming out of high school than four and very few 5 stars. Therefore, your conclusions based on raw numbers getting into the NFL are erroneous!

  20. G8torb8 – You are a bit late with that response as it has already been pointed out that the percentage of 5 star athletes getting to the NFL is a lot higher than 3 star. Of course his point was that 3 star athletes can succeed also.

  21. Regarding stats: figures lie and liars figure….While the stars behind a kid’s name are worth something in recruiting they are not a guarantee they’ll be a good or bad player. All the stars do is provide a relative reference point when comparing one high school football player to another high school football player. The stars a kid has coming out of high school mean absolutely nothing when it comes to the NFL draft. And, as far as recruiting high school kids, if I’m a coach, I’d rather have a three/four star kid who does the right things the right way, on and off the field, than a five star kid who’s nothing but a headache.

  22. The other thing everyone is forgetting is the importance of development in players getting to the NFL. Wanna know why a higher percentage of 4 and 5 star recruits go to the NFL. BEcause where do those guys go? They go to the Sabans and the Spurriers. The big name programs with the big name coaches with staff that know how to develop NFL talent. Tampa’s point is still valid. It’s not necessarily the star ranking, it’s the individual who gets drafted. That’s why you don’t recruit by star power (except on the video games) you evaluate the talent and evaluate what you can do with that talent. That’s why I don’t care if it’s a 5 star, 3 star, or no star. If the kid is talented and can be developed into a playmaker I’ll take him over a highly touted guy who just can’t be coached and won’t listen. It’s more about development than starts… unless your Vernon Hargreaves. He still needs to be developed too, but some kids just come in already ready to be playmakers. Anyways now I’m getting off on a tangent so I’m gonna quit now.

  23. I believe that 3-4 star recruits should be the target. They are less likely to get drafted early which means that end up staying longer and helping the team and the program more. The better the leadership and the more mature the team is, the chances of a better outcome. Who knows … maybe more of them will graduate …. or maybe not…

  24. We can over-sign, if we have too. Bamer and other schools do it, with impunity; so, we should do the same, if necessary. I’m sure we will see more attrition and grey shirts are available. As long as the coaches are up front with the recruits, I have no issue with leveling the playing field.

    Great job by the coaching staff. It’s obvious that we still have several holes, left over from the Meyer regime and the coaching staff are doing a great job convincing recruits that opportunity exist and that our offense will have a new philosophy and great coaching.

  25. McKenzie is a must…a Percy Harvin type play maker. Need speed and quickness, he and Porter bring that, not sure if we get Harris but we need the depth, Morningweg is now back to just signaling in plays from sidelines!!!

  26. @ Arizona Gator

    If the quality of players dont matter, why does it take people like Saban and Spurrier 2-5 years to get the program winning? Because they didnt have the players. Spurrier has went on record many times about how it was a struggle to get the players he needed to win at South Carolina. If anyone thinks recruiting doesnt matter, they are a fool. Why would these top coaches spend all this time chasing these 4 and 5 star guys if it wasnt ultra important? That thought pattern is just illogical.

  27. I didn’t say that LT. What is it with people like you trying to put words into people’s mouth to win an argument? Does it make you feel better about yourself. Idk. Seems foolish to me. But boys will be boys. I said people are underestimating how important development is in getting players to the pros. That’s why it’s takes time. Those players have to be developed into the kind of talent you need. Talent matters a lot, but it’s very rare to find a Vernon Hargreaves who’s just ready to play right out of high school. Obviously the player has to have a level of raw talent because I know no matter how much Spurrier develops me I’ll never be a pro worthy QB. Just not happening. If you’d care to pay attention you’d know that’s why I said recruiting is about seeing what you could do with a player, not what they are right now. Beta very very few high school players are ready to jump right on an sec school and that’s a fact. If you’d actually pay attention you’d know I wasn’t saying talent doesn’t matter if anything I was saying star power doesn’t matter. All the best recruiters tell you the same thing: you evaluate the players yourself and recruit who you want, you don’t recruit based on stars and rankings. So could you please try actually reading what I’m saying this time? Maybe go back and reread it if you’re a little slow and having problems understanding it? But don’t waste my time putting words in my mouth to try to start and win an argument to make yourself feel better. Thank you.

  28. Has anyone heard anything else about HARRIS, he would be a very nice pick up. Mckinzie, Lauderdale, Porter and the CREW have coming back with the Jokers coaching up, I would think he would give good consideration on coming over. I know he realizes that Grier will be here also, but thats what makes it so much better for the team, you can move them in and out and play “situation football”. That would be a hell of a headache for Defensive coordinators. JUST DREAMING!!!! GO GATORS!!!!

  29. @ Arizona Gator
    Seems like that was what you were suggesting to me. Why dont you take it a little more personally next time and throw a little hissy fit? Try not to get so worked up over someone voicing an opinion on a blog.

  30. You can’t actually refute my argument so now I’m throwing a hissy fit?? Does this really help you feel better about yourself? If you’re really that desperate to feel better about yourself just say so. I can make up some compliments to throw your way! It’s a lot easier than starting stupid arguments and putting words in people’s mouths.

  31. No, you were throwing a hissy fit regardless of what your argument was or what I said. Look at your post. Its was over the top to say the least. Your next post is no better. You are clearly upset and just acting out. Again, this is just people talking about college football. Try to keep some perspective.

  32. Still can’t refute any of my points. Still just coming after me personally. At least when I argue I bring up these little things called facts, these other little things called stats, and another little thing called common sense. You can always tell someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about when they quit arguing the subject and just start attacking the person. Grow up and come back when you have something worthwhile to add

  33. What dont you understand about this? Im not trying to “refute” you. I said what I had to say. And Im not “attacking” you. WTF is the matter with you? I simply stated my opinion on the subject and then point out that , since I did so, you seem to have gone bonkers over it. Calm down. You are arguing while nobody else is arguing with you. Your losing your mind over something that isnt even worth debating. You talk about “starting arguments”. You need to understand that when you post on the internet, people will have different opinions than you. That isnt “starting arguments”. And you talk about “making myself feel better”. Ive got some news for you, I, and most normal people, do not let posting on the internet make themselves feel good or bad about themselves either way. Get a grip. Wow.

  34. I know people disagree with you online. Personally I have fun in a good argument. What pissed me off is when people like you put words in my mouth to make people look bad. I stated my opinion. You started arguing with me by saying I said something I never said. I exposed your underhanded set up and backed up my point with facts and logic. You then started talking about me throwing a hissy fit and crap when you couldn’t refute what I said. I exposed that and you kept up that I was going crazy or something. I don’t mind having arguments but I do mind people purposely trying to make others look bad so they can feel better about themselves or make themselves look better or whatever the heck your stupid motive is. Seriously dude its just stupid. If you disagree with someone that’s cool but it’s dumb to try to make someone say something they didn’t to try to make them look bad. So unless you actually have any points to refute my original post then what is the point of this discussion. Logic or gtfo

  35. Thats quite the paranoia you have going on there. Like I said before, normal people do not worry about “looking bad” on the internet. You seemed more than a little concerned about it though. You have caught on to my conspiracy. I am here to “make you look bad” and to “underhanded set up” you and I try to “make others look bad so I can feel better about myself”. I find it disturbing that you take this stuff so seriously that you make up conspiracy theories in your head. Take a xanax and relax.

  36. At least you got the last part right. “Whats the point of this discussion”? Thats basically what I tried to tell you already. Ive already told you Im not trying to refute you. I m not arguing with you. Im just wondering why you are obsessing over one post and acting so psychotic.

  37. This is awesome!!! I knew I would find this idiot making an jacka** of himself somewhere on here. Hi, TJ (Arizona Gator) I see you are showing your ignorance again. It apperas to me someone isnt making personal attacks on you, they have simply exposed your true colors.

  38. And I see you have reverted to the constant whining and crying and telling people to grow up. lol When I you are the little child who took on about a dozen different poster for weeks before you finally admitted you were wrong but still couldnt just leave and act like an adult. I remember you calling every single one of them things like immature, children, pathetic, and telling them to grow up. Just like then, you fail to see that your are one crazy little child who lives on the internet while residing in your moms basement. Your behavior makes it obvious,