Zach’s Mail Stack 1/25


Another week, another commitment for Florida.

With Deiondre Porter’s pledge Monday, the Gators have landed at least one recruit every week during the month of January.

A lot of fans weren’t all that excited about UF taking a three-star prospect away from USF, but I think Porter is one of the most valuable members of Florida’s class.

What you essentially have with him is three players in one. The Tampa Jefferson athlete can play quarterback, receiver and defensive back, all positions where UF could use some depth.

The Gators aren’t going to turn away their top targets at those positions because they added Porter, and if they miss on somebody, they can put him where he’s needed.

Porter may not be All-American material and will need to develop at whatever position he settles at, but he’s a great asset to have on the roster.

For example, say Jeff Driskel and Will Grier both get hurt next season and the Gators don’t flip Treon Harris. They’ll at least have the luxury of putting an athletic Porter behind center to run Kurt Roper’s spread offense as opposed to Skyler Mornhinweg.

On that note, I expect Mornhinweg to eventually transfer because of the new system. It’s not a fit for his skill set, and he almost left UF after the 2013 season.

On to the questions!

What happened with JUCO WR Eric Lauderdale? — Rob

He’s just another example of how fluid recruiting can be.

Prior to last weekend, the Gators had led since his official visit in late November and held the top spot heading into his trip to Arizona State. But while out in Phoenix, Lauderdale surprisingly cancelled his last visit to Oregon and announced he was ready to decide via Twitter.

To me that meant Sun Devils, and I made my prediction for them after that trip.

There were rumblings that Florida didn’t want him anymore or ran out of room, but I’m told that’s not true. If it were, Muschamp and four of his assistants would not have seen an out-of-state receiver Monday who’s committed to another school (Wisconsin pledge Krenwrick Sanders) and tried to convince him to visit UF (an attempt that was unsuccessful).

Florida receivers coach Joker Phillips was still in contact with Lauderdale and would have taken him. I just think he fell in love with ASU and chose to go there.

Will Florida get Adoree’ Jackson’s final visit in your opinion? — Garrett, Keith, Rob

If Jackson is serious about attending UF, he makes it next weekend.

UCLA and USC are the other schools being considered, but he’s been to both multiple times.

He’s seen Florida once, and that was in July. Jackson told me at Under Armour it won’t matter if he doesn’t check out Gainesville again, but I’m not buying that. If I was truly considering a team that I hadn’t visited as much as my other finalists, I would officially visit them.

I feel whichever school get his last trip lands him. That being said, he could opt to visit UF and still end up picking USC or UCLA. But there’s no way he visits one of those schools and then commits to Florida.

How important was it for Will Muschamp to secure the Jan. 30 date as an in-home visit with Lorenzo Carter? — Michael, Travis

It gives the Gators a little bit of hope with the five-star defensive end.

Muschamp will be the last head coach to see Carter at his house before he officially visits Georgia, but the UGA coaches still get the final word with him in-person.

While I don’t believe he’s a lock for the Dawgs, they have several factors working in their favor (last visit, Jeremy Pruitt hire, closeness to home, mom prefers them, etc.). If Muschamp is going to convince Carter to sign with UF, he better have one hell of a message for him and his family before they head to Athens.

In the end, the reasons Carter likes Georgia will be too much for Muschamp to overcome in my opinion.

Are LSU commit Davon Godchaux and Missouri commit Rocel McWilliams legit alternatives to Lorenzo Carter? — Guru, Joshua, Cody

Although they’re different types of defensive ends, there isn’t much of a talent drop-off between Carter and Godchaux. Carter has more upside, but Godchaux is an excellent prospect in his own right. He’s scheduled to officially visit UF next weekend.

McWilliams, like Carter, is being recruited for Florida’s Buck position. He doesn’t have as much potential or ability as the Under Armour All-American, but Missouri thinks highly of him. McWilliams is a solid pass-rusher, as his senior highlights show.

Mock class — Rob, Keith, Amer, Trae

It’s the moment of truth. Well, not really. That will be when I make my signing day predictions. I was 6-for-9 in 2012 and 3-for-5 last year. I’m 11-for-14 so far in 2014, but the February picks are the hard ones.

I’ve seen and heard enough from the visits this month (both by coaches and recruits) to put together a mock class. As of now, I see the Gators signing 26 and having at least one transfer in the near future or after spring practice.

Things can change from week to week as we witnessed with Lauderdale, but this is how I think Florida finishes at this time.

J.C. Jackson flips back to FSU and UF finishes with Adoree’ Jackson, Treon Harris, C.J. Worton, Isaiah McKenzie, Damian Prince and Rocel McWilliams.

QB Will Grier
QB Treon Harris
RB Brandon Powell
WR Isaiah McKenzie or Garrett Johnson (slot)
WR Ryan Sousa
WR C.J. Worton
TE DeAndre Goolsby
TE C’yontai Lewis
TE Moral Stephens
OL Travaris Dorsey
OL Kavaris Harkless
OL Nolan Kelleher
OL Damian Prince
OL David Sharpe
OL Drew Sarvary
DL/OL Taven Bryan
DT Khairi Clark
DT Thomas Holley
DE Rocel McWilliams
DE Justus Reed
DE Gerald Willis III
CB Duke Dawson
CB Jalen Tabor
CB Quincy Wilson
ATH Adoree’ Jackson
ATH Deiondre Porter

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


  1. Hi Zack – keep up the great work selecting potential picks that you believe will become a part of GATOR NATION. My question is – do you believe that this class will live up to their potential? I see a great class coming in and with a couple of surprise commits switching at the last minute, could make this a very special year for GATOR FOOTBALL. Thanks and GO GATORS!!!

  2. Usually I just take what zach says because he knows more than I do but I’m gonna have to disagree with him on this one. I think Myles Autry and Lorenzo Carter both end up Gators. They want to be a package deal and UF is the only one with a legitimate shot at both. UGA isn’t even recruiting Carter. If they’re serious about wanting to play together UF is the place.

  3. Carter doesn’t care about Autry, he said it’d be nice but no big deal about going to school together. If that was the case, all the schools would be offering both because Carter is the top guy on everyone’s board, I believe. Unlike Zach, I don’t thnk UGA or anyone else is a favorite, the importance of Pruitt is overstated in my opinion. I don’t think anyone will know until signing day except maybe the coaches of the school he chooses. I also don’t think Harris, Jackson, or Prince will come to UF.

  4. Misspoke Meant to say UGA isn’t even recruiting Autry. My bad. Yeah UGA is definitely recruiting Carter seeing as he’s down to them and us. Last I heard they aren’t recruiting Autry though which is why I see them both landing here. We’ll see

  5. Thanks, Zach, and whether you got six-for-six or miss on a few at the close, you always keep us well informed and up to date. In such an unpredictable arena, that’s good journalism. As for L.Carter, while I would love getting him to UF, guys, in his interview on he says more than once that he and Myles Autry are not tied together at all. He’s really articulate, well spoken. Keep in mind he lives just off Stone Mountain Freeway which is also called Athens Highway. Getting Carter would be a bit like Clemson luring CJ Spiller away from UF several years back.

  6. cant blame Lauderdale. ASU has a potent offense and Tempe is quite noce especially for a JUCO transfer(not an 18 yea old going away for first time) UF loses a few recruits every year due to being small college city- we also pick up a few every now and then who like that type of setting. Tuscon is horrible city and Gainesville is much more attractive(maybe that’s why Tabor came) but Tempe is difficult to beat

  7. Shariff I agree, can’t beat the craft brew scene out West and much more. Tempe is great place. Lauderdale was also comparing an explosive offense at Arizona State versus one of the worst in college football. I also agree Tucson is a dump- not a very attractive place.

  8. My predictions based on what I have read from multiple sites:

    1. Jackson stays close to home at picks USC.
    2. Autry will not come to Florida and neither will Carter(Georgia or LSU)
    3. Penn State comes on strong at the end and signs Prince (wants to stay close to home)
    4. J.C. Jackson sticks with his commitment to Florida.
    5. Harris will flip to the Gators
    6. McKenzie will end up in Gainesville
    7. The OT (Mike) recruit from Arizona will replace Prince in the class.
    8. Godchaux has a good time in Gainesville and sticks with LSU
    9. McWilliams signs with the Gators after Godchaux signs with LSU
    10. Worton flips to Florida (better chance of playing at WR and brother tells him he will disown him if he signs with Free Shoes U)

    But, I hope I am dead wrong about Godchaux, Carter, and Prince.

  9. Not worried about our 3 star Porter he can be an All American as Florida has sent many 3 stars to the NFL. Interesting thing is Pruitt will probably be a one year coach at Georgia as he will probably be someones next coach next year so Muschamp will have that going for him. Great writing Zach and can only hope your class comes out as predicted because this is going to be a great class !!! Being in SEC championship next year will help build for next year !!

  10. If the recruiting services had more film and info on Porter, he’d easily be a solid 4*, and I recall a certain 2* multiple position player named Brandon James who kind of proved he was worth his scholarship offer too. 😉

    Porter is a gemn, and from what I’ve seen, he’d be best used at WR and return man.

  11. Arizona Gator

    Its good to have your expert opinion. Im glad you think your opinion is nearly as valuable as Zachs. Zach follows this for a living, attends camps, attends many games these kids play in, talks to the kids, talks to their coaches, talks to their families, and consults with other recruiting professionals. Im sure your knowledge is just as astute as his. Its is amazing how certain people take recruiting, and sports played by what is largely children, too seriously and start to think they are experts.

  12. I have said this multiple times but I would not lose one minutes sleep on NOT getting Carter. I have seen him play multiple times and while making an occasional spectacular play, he takes off too many and is not even the best player on his HS defense.

  13. My opinion is backed by facts, whether you want to accept them or not is up to you. Zach may do this for a living but I spend most of my free time following recruiting and I know as much about it as anyone out there and certainly more than you. Some people have hobbies, my hobby is following recruiting. There is not a writer at the Gainesville Sun or any other news source that follows recruiting any more closely than I do. So I guess I am an expert. Get over it and grow up.

  14. Thanks for all of the great, hard work, Zach. This is obviously more of a passion for you than an occupation, which is why you’re feeding us great information seemingly 24/7. I would love to see your prediction be accurate. That would make for a GREAT class, especially given the dark times we waded through this year.

  15. My opinion is backed by facts whether you want to accept them or not. I may not get to talk to recruits as much as Zach but I spend virtually all my free time following recruiting. I probably spend more time following recruiting than Zach or any other writer at any other news source. I may not be an actual professional but I am just as competent in my opinions and predictions as Zach or anyone else from any other organization. That being said, I am a professional or just as good as one. You need to educate yourself and grow up.

  16. Zach,

    Why do you assume Grier gets the second spot behind Driskel?

    With the offense that Roper runs, there’s a better chance Harris gets the backup job, or even splits series with Driskel in the Wildcat.

    Fans need to slow expectations for Grier. He played for a small prep school in NC. He hasn’t seen the type of athletes he’s going to see in the SEC.

    Harris on the other hand played in South Florida. Some of the most competitive football in the country.

    We heard the same type of hype about Driskel we’re hearing about Grier. Harris is a really good athlete. Probably better suited to play SEC football than Grier.

    I’m not saying Grier won’t be great. But let’s let the coaches decide instead of pressuring the program to play the guy we “think” is the starter.

  17. Annnnnd now he’s trying mock me by using my monicker with the 12.23, 12.34, and 12.37 posts. Zach isn’t there any way we can ban IPs or something? People like that give Gators a bad name and shouldn’t be allowed. Just saying.

  18. Ntcrze if Travis Rudolph redshirt this year which is more likely cause FSU is loaded at that position only Benjamin left for the league.Quite sure this is Winston last year.Coker transferred to Bama,& Treon Harris a possible Gator flip.So who is Travis Rudolph QB if he redshirt?

  19. Annnnnd now he’s trying to mock me using my monicker with the 12.23, 12.34, and 12.37 posts. Zach isn’t there any way we can ban IPs or something? People like that give Gators a bad name and shouldn’t be allowed. Just saying.

  20. Hey AZ Gator- absolutely LOVE the passion my man!!! Im with you on LoCarter & Autry. I think they become Gators as well. People like JaxGator & snowprint are just negative Nancy’s & have nothing better to do. Keep it up, Zach-you’re doing a great job. GO GATORS!!!

  21. Moneygreen, FSU only has one receiver that is proven, Greene. The same situation is at UF, Dunbar. At each school there are a lot of guys with potential, but none of them have done anything yet. As for quarterback, Fisher’s quarterbacks have been firat rounders and are in the league, Ponder and Manuel. Whenever Winston comes out, he’ll be the first pick in the draft. UF does not have any quarterback in the NFL, and Driskel looks like he’s another Brantley and won’t even be drafted, there’s no threat of him turning pro early, so UF is stuck with him for two more years. Based onthe record Fisher has with quarterbacks and the record or quarterbacks at UF, it’s a pretty safe bet that FSU’s quarterback after Winston will be better than the one at UF. One other thing, UF will get to play against another Fisher quarterback when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Don’t doubt for a minute that FSU’s backup, Coker, will be the starter. ven the backup at FSU is better than the starter at UF. That may change with Grier, but we won’t know until he plays.

  22. James Fisher, I don’t think he realizes that everyone is a ‘professional” when it comes to recruiting. He is no more accurate than you or I. A couple of months ago he was advising us that Cook and Lane were solid for the gators and they weren’t about to go anywhere without their BFF, Grier. Let him go on believing he’s a “professional.” Novices like us will continue to hang on his every word…Anyway what does anyone in Arizona know about football anyway?

  23. Well we have heard from ntcrze and Fisher. The Gators should just go ahead and forfeit all their games because there is no way they are going to be able to beat anyone. You guys must be a blast at a party. Sorry if we do not all share in your pessism. We can imagine that the Gators have a lot less injuries, that the new offensive coordinator and offensive line coach make a positive difference and that the players improve. That the Gators are closer to the 11-2 team from the year before last than last year’s team.

  24. Yes, Zach, isnt there a way to ban IP addresses? If you look, you will see that Arizona Gators IP address is the same as that of the infamous TJ’s who you had to deleted dozens of his posts a month or so ago. So please, see if you can ban IP addresses. It will cut down on idiots who hide behind multiple screen names.

  25. Why is Muschamp such a horrible recruiter of WR? There are basically Zero playmakers on the current team so playing time is available…and the current WR coach is a former coach who can take credit for Cobb’s development into an NFL player.

  26. They signed 5 receivers last year including two pretty highly ranked in Robinson and Fulwood. Gators problems at qb and offensive line did not help the receivers. Their needs offensively this year were at qb, offensive line and tight end.

  27. Arizona, dont worry about the guy posting as you, i thought that didnt sound like you, you usual dont get into the stupid bickering that the trollr start. Thex are just fsu fans who are trying to disrupt a site where gator fans try to discuss recruiting. Unfortunately, fisher and his lot have succeeded in their goal of turning a site dedicated to gator fans discussing gator football to pathetic name calling. I know im doing it now, but PLEASE gator fans, do not respond in anx way to fisher, snowprint, and the like. you are only giving them the attention they so desperately need. every time romeone responds, they win

  28. ppl need to chill……there’s a difference between being realistic and being negative…..i don’t believe we’ll get anymore high profile recruits, i’m just glad we kept most of the class intact considering the circumstances…..relax, champ was sec coach of the year in 2012….now he’s a bum???….come on….good work zach:)

  29. I think Adoree Jackson has changed his mind, and said he wants to be a WR. So there is a CHANCE we get one elite WR. And word is that since F$U will get Lane and maybe one other 5 star WR(an LSU commit), that Rudolph could be wavering on F$U. So we will see. No question that we need playmaking WRs desperately.

  30. Gatorz, im with you, i dont think we get a. jackson, carter, or prince. I hope im wrong, but we havent done well on nsd recentlx. I seem to remember having multiple high profile recruits who were expected to choose florida decide to go elsewhere on nsd. Id be happy with one, prince i believe would help florida the most long term, but 4 expect nsd to be a disappointment once again

  31. This is recruiting. You are dealing with 17-18 year old kids who probably could not name last 3 Presidents or write the first 3 words of the Constitution—-There are exceptions of course but they are usually not recruited in the South. As far as I’m concerned you guys are all equal in prognostication ability because NOBODY can accurately assess a process where Phi Beta Kappas sit in high school facilities around America with 3 to 5 hats on a table and jerk around adults who have their livelihood based upon decisions. There is an expression usually used in war movies and I’ll paraphrase—“Let them get over fooling around and God will sort it out in the end.” I refuse to lose sleep over the machinations of any 17 year old in this country UNLESS he is a genius on the verge of discovering a cure for cancer.

  32. James Fischer Just be quiet. I know what Im talking about and even if you think its bs, I know that I am an informed poster who knows his stuff. You need to quit criticizing people so much. To come on here and only criticize is not fair! I spend a lot of time forming my opinions by studying information and facts. Why cant you do the same?

  33. Signing day will get interesting and we will hear alot between now and then.
    The top recruits left are DE (Carter, Godcheaux, McWilliams) WR/DB (McKenzie, A. Jackson, Worton, Harris, JC Jackson) OL (Prince, Mike) Throw in a possible flip or two to the good guys and it will get very interesting!!!!

  34. Talk about recruiting. Alabama is the man, not only will they get the best incoming class, they now have signed FSU’s backup, Jacob Coker. That’s who the Gators will face in their first real game of the season next year. This will be a test, is Driskel the 5-star better than the 3-star guy that has been tutored by Fisher? I think they both left high school the same year. Will Driskel live up to the hype or be left in the dust by a guy that wasn’t even offered by Alabama until after he was committed to FSU?

  35. That is fine to compare the two, but you will also need to factor in the talent around them and the coaching. The Gators offensive line – partially due to injuries and lack of depth – last year was not very good. Not many college qbs look good when they are constantly under pressure.

  36. We better go get McKenzie. Ole Mi$$ with women and $$. Why else would anyone go there? Tennessee must be doing something. They are signing America (35) and counting. McKenzie is exactly what the Gators need!!!! Carter, Adoree, Prince, and McKenzie. Orange and Blue forever.