Zach’s Mail Stack 2/1


We’ve reach the end of the road, my friends.

It’s been a long and eventful recruiting cycle for the Florida Gators in 2014, and I’ve enjoyed keeping everyone updated and delivering news throughout the process.

I appreciate all of your kind words and comments as you have followed my work. I love doing my job, but the readership and interactions I receive make it that much more rewarding.

We will have a ton of content Wednesday on, so be on the lookout for that.

As always, this will be the last Mail Stack until August. Next week I’ll be nowhere near a computer or phone, and later this month I’m taking a four-day trip to the mountains with the misses.

I’m looking forward to another year of football and recruiting coverage, and my graduation this May will allow me to put even more time into this in the summer and fall.

On to the questions!

Could Florida have a big NSD this year like Ole Miss did last year? — Anthony, Uncle Willie Sam

With 10 prospects announcing Wednesday who have UF in the running, it could potentially be a big day for the Gators.

I expect them to add five members to their class, but it will still be a successful day if they land just three or four more recruits.

If Will Muschamp gets Adoree’ Jackson and at least one more receiver and defensive end, this could arguably be his best class on paper considering the needs met and the season Florida had.

As I’ve stressed before, it’s important to remember that the Gators’ positional priorities for 2014 were quarterback, tight end, offensive line, defensive line and cornerback. They filled all those areas with depth and quality recruits.

Zach, can you explain the absence of linebackers and safeties. Did we just lose out or were we not really looking for any?Howard

UF signed four linebackers and three safeties in the last class, and that’s the biggest reason. With the numbers tight this year, the Gators were only going to sign a safety or linebacker if they could get a good one.

Three of their top targets ended up with LSU in Jamal Adams, Edward Paris and Clifton Garrett. Once the coaches missed on them and a few others, they weren’t settling for lower-tier prospects.

But Florida will be fine. The guys they got last year have the potential to be special players, and 2015 is loaded at those positions.

Which four recruits do you think are most important for UF to receive commitments from next week? — Ryan, Tj

Even though there’s currently four scholarships left to offer, Muschamp will probably pick up five more commitments. It seems like there’s a transfer that has already happened with the way he’s been recruiting, and I think you’ll see him announce it at his signing day press conference.

That being said, the most important prospects for UF to land (in order) are Adoree’ Jackson, Lorenzo Carter, Treon Harris, Damian Prince and C.J. Worton. If you could look at Florida’s recruiting board, those five would be sitting atop it in my opinion.

What is your take and percentage chance on our remaining targets? — Ryan, Phil, Johnoy, Uncle Willie Sam, GaGator02, Guru, C-Slim, Drew

Here are my thoughts on them at this time:

DE Lorenzo Carter (40%)
I believed Carter when he told me Florida hadn’t fallen behind other schools, but the last visit to Georgia seals the deal for the Dawgs.

QB Treon Harris (60%)
I see it coming down to Auburn and Florida because he wants to play quarterback in a spread offense. I’m going with the in-state school.

ATH Adoree’ Jackson (55%)
I’ve been back and forth on him since he decided not take his final official, but I think Florida’s track program will be the difference.

ATH J.C. Jackson (70%)
I didn’t have him in my mock class last week because he was scheduled to visit Florida State this weekend. That trip is now off.

OL Derrick Kelly (30%)
His finalists are Florida and LSU. I could feel him beaming through the phone when he talked about the Tigers.

WR Isaiah McKenzie (35%)
The Gators have closeness to home going for them, but there’s just too much smoke out there about Virginia Tech and Ole Miss.

DE Rocel McWilliams (80%)
His family was decked out in Gator gear when they were leaving from his UF visit. He is there for the taking.

OL Andrew Mike (25%)
Expect him to end up in the SEC, but I don’t see it being at Florida.

OL Damian Prince (65%)
It’s hard to go against the Terps with a Maryland kid, but I think Mike Summers and Jalen Tabor > Mike Locksley.

WR C.J. Worton (90%)
The writing is on the wall. Facebook wall, that is.

And for those who asked about Travis Rudolph, he’s not in the cards for Florida anymore.

What is your latest mock class? — ljg, Keith, Johnoy, Uncle Willie Sam, Vinny, Gator Fan King

I’ve added Jackson and taken out McKenzie. I’ll be making my official predictions Tuesday.

QB Will Grier
QB Treon Harris
RB Brandon Powell
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 J.C. Jackson
ATH Deiondre Porter


  1. Any concerns missing out on our top WR targets this year? I know a turn around on offense will change that and also signing 5 last year but the fact we lost out on Lane, Mackenzie, Rudolph, etc has to be concerning. Still a great class either way just looking for input.

    • Joshua,
      Receiver is not an issue for Florida in my opinion. Could they use more playmakers there? Absolutely. But the offense is getting held back because of other positions. Five were signed last year. I think Fulwood is going to be a great player, and Bailey and Robinson have the all the ability in the world. All three are still young and haven’t had their opportunity. Moreover, if the Gators can sign Adoree’ or J.C., either one of them could see time at receiver and be a nice complement to Sousa and Worton.

  2. Hope you’re right, Zach. Recruiting has so many twists and turns that no one can count on being absolutely right five days ahead. How accurate were you last year on your similar forecast the weekend before? And many thanks for keeping us well informed. You’ve made it plenty of fun following the adventure to NSD.

  3. Zach what happened to Garrett Johnson? For the longest time he was our sure thing if we missed McKenzie and now he’s not even a possibility?? Someone else we’d rather have? He get tired of being a back up plan? What gives?

  4. Ill sign up and take that mock right now. Even w/o carter, Rudolph and Mckenzie – would love for adoree to be in orange and blue.
    If that class is the one in a week, which one miss do you think muschamp would want the most? Cook, lane, Rudolph, hand, carter, McDowell, miller, McMillan, garret, or Adams?

  5. Zach-great, GREAT work my man!! Excellent job during these tough recruiting cycles. I admire your diligence in getting the info out. Kudos! Let’s hope that UF gets a great haul come Wednesday. Will continue to follow you on twitter as well. As always, I remain…the BRGF! GO GATORS!!!

  6. i think wr is our biggest need – with all due respect to Worton he looks looks like a redshirt- if we miss our on lane rudolph lauderdale and mckenizie that would be bad- mckenzie is more important than Carter to me as the defense is loaded

  7. The Gators signed 5 wide receivers last year. I think quarterback and offensive line were the biggest needs. If the Gators get better play at those two positions, they receivers they already have will be fine.

  8. Hats off to Coach Will great recruiting class regardless of NSD. Losing record and we still should end with a top 10 class. Now lets just hope we can turn around the Offense. All for the change to an up tempo offense, but i think we still need to keep some of those power run plays. Mix those in with a better passing game and we might atleast get going in the right direction again

  9. I mostly agree with Zach but still think the Gators did not fill their most pressing need, a dynamic playmaker that could possibly make an immediate contribution. Cook was that guy. With apologies to those who think differently, I think UF is not is great shape at running back. Matt Jones may never play again. I didn’t see any difference between Taylor and Brown last year. They both have average quickness and speed. If you had the same number on each player, I ‘d bet that you couldn’t identify which guy ran the ball. We don’t know bout Lane yet, but he didn’t have great speed coming out of high school. Brandon Powell does have the quickness and speed but seems pretty small to be able to contribute right away. Roper likes to get players out in space, not any different than what UF did last year with Patton that was the source of most of their explosive plays. UF did well this year recruiting, but unless Adoree Jackson comes and Muschamp lets the offense have him, which I doubt since he undeniably favors the defense, the failure to get a player that the opposing defense fears will be the missing component that may put the final nail in this coaching staff’s future at UF.

  10. playmaker/ a top wide receiver i think is what most are seeing as the need. We have a ton of pass rushers/ ends , if we want to rationalize the need for another good defensive player with this new term “buck” so be it but we need playmakers- percy harvin type would be great but they dont come aroumd very often- mckenize is going to be the most important guy to get along with prince- adoree would the next guy. the idea of some guys want to be gators so take them isnt very good reasoning.I am surprised we would take Worton. Finally I like predictions without percentages- 50/50 70/30 etc isnt a prediction- to be the next mike farrell, jamie newberg etf you got to make true predictions. thanks for the great covrage Zach-until next year Shariff
    is out of the house- enjoy March Madness and go gators

  11. I believe our only potential playmaker this class besides Adoree, would be Powell. He’s bigger and stronger than McKenzie. Powell runs like a RB but has hands like a WR, roper will most likely but him or showers in the slot a lot.

    • I admittedly have not been keeping up with the comments until this week, so I don’t know what snowprint has said in the past to make you all feel the way you do about him. I’m not taking sides here. He may have attacked posters or been exceedingly negative, and I just didn’t see it. Like I said, I wasn’t paying attention. But now I am after all the emails I’ve received about problems on here.
      I’m going to delete any comment that attacks others or is posted under someone else’s name. Snowprint did neither of the two in his last comment. If you disagree with his opinion, that’s fine. But give yours without name calling or directing any of your post at him. That goes for anyone, including snowprint whenever he responds to someone.

  12. i really feel o-line has been one of the major problems with our offense the last few years…i think prince is probably the most important recruit left on the board…without a line “playmakers” are irrelevant…….anyways……hope we close strong.. thx zach:)

  13. When I look at recruiting I put each year’s incoming class with the preceding one, as it takes a core of about 42-45 solid players that include a few stick-outs to be successful. The previous class and this one being assembled are going to have their biggest impact in 2016-17. Thankfully many of our 2013 guys and a handful of our ’14s will be vital this coming season. One older “playmaker” who is easily overlooked: Valdez Showers. Don’t forget this fast, shifty athlete is likely to find a far larger role in Kurt Roper’s spread and might be one of the most important “recruits” if the year for our transformed attack. If so, Showers lessens the impact of missing on Cook and Lane.

  14. Over all, this class is goig to be pretty good. In fact, after the year we had, it is REALLY good. But then again, recruits are looking at the opportunity that they have on the team. Have a reverse on the record next year and 2015 will be a GREAT year in recuriting. We just need to develop the players we have and show the college world that we are on the right track back. Zach, I don’t post much, but I have enjoyed your work which has been consistent with the writers across the nation.

  15. I feel like Zach is on the money with the is class. I feel strongly about UF getting Prince and Adoree. With them too and CJ Worton I think this class could finish in or near top 5 on most boards. I know Iv said it no other posts 100 times but with the season UF had this class is beyond amazing and feel like Zach said, it fills a lot of needs especially on O line. After UFs success the last 20 years (3 National Championships, more SEC title appearances than any other school in that time frame 10 I believe with most wins 7 I believe, 2 Heisman trophy winners, etc) most want and expect UF to be down (especially Tennessee, UGA, FSU, Miami etc) but its just not happening. Go Gators!!

  16. Looks like it’s going to be a near top 5 class or perhaps right at #5 or so. Another good job by the coaches at recruiting.

    And lets remember something folks… a lot of us seem to get frustrated when we don’t land every top-star recruit we want on NSD, but don’t forget all those great kids who committed early and stuck or enrolled early too.

    Another solid class. Now, lets get this offense rolling in the right direction.

  17. It is so nice to read all this back and forth comments on the recruiting being done, without all the negative stuff I was reading a while back. Really pleasurable reading. I am glad Zach is going to monitor the comments. I feel really good about the recruiting. Can’t wait for spring ball. Go Gators.

  18. Worton may not be a 5 star recruit, but he did get offered scholarships from Oregon and Florida State. He also seems to be good fit for the new offensive scheme. If the Gators get A. Jackson and Prince it will be a great signing day.

    How much better will the playmakers the Gators already have look, if they had an offensive line that could block. Every time I think about last year, I picture the two Gators offensive linemen blocking each other.

  19. Zach, let me echo all the other comments about your work — you are fantastic, and the first place I go for updates on recruiting. Like some of the other posters said, I hope you’re around for a while, but I’ll understand if you’re moving on soon — you’re like Vernon Hargreaves: too good to keep for long! Anyway, if your mock class were to come to fruition, it’s almost too good to be true, and a real testament to the recruiting power of this coaching staff! It more than fills the team’s greatest needs. The top five biggest needs for the football team in this class: Offensive line, offensive line, offensive line, offensive line, defensive line. Okay, a little tongue in cheek three, but with all the talk about playmakers, the biggest problem with offensive execution over the last 3 seasons has been offensive line play. We’ve got a lot of big bodies now, and a lot of them got experience last season, so now let’s see of any of them can play!

  20. Zach you are the best the Sun has had and far superior to the clown at the AJC up where I live in NE Georgia. Be patient young man I see you replacing Dooley someday. If you had to pick one surprise get and one surprise loss on Wednesday, who would it be?

    Thanks for the great work.

  21. Zach, Arizona Gator, or other hardcore recruiting followers- I’ve read other websites mentioning a “big flip” and some have speculated it was Rudolph, however I can’t imagine he was it considering how open he was about loyalty to FSU. I also heard the term “silent commit” so I’m wondering if this person is still in the cards or is he the “transfer” you mentioned?

  22. Hey Zach, Arizona Gator, or other hardcore recruiting followers- I’ve read other websites mentioning a “big flip” and some have speculated it was Rudolph, however I can’t imagine he was it considering how open he was about loyalty to FSU. I also heard the term “silent commit” so I’m wondering if this person is still in the cards or is he the “transfer” you mentioned?

  23. Zack….

    You communicated like a middle school teacher to misbehaving students with that post.

    Also….the west coast “recruitnics” are saying it will be UCLA or USC for Adoree Jackson. Are they getting information you are not, or are you getting information that are not? But the national writers are all saying they have no clue with him and that applies to a lot of people very close to him. He has said publically that his announcement will surprise the nation. If that s the case, I don’t feel it for the Gators. Will be the most interesting announcement to watch for sure.

  24. Not to attack anyone and I rarely post here but to say there is a big difference between Kelvin Taylor and Mack Brown. Kelvin Taylor showed last year he will be a Star and I saw him run away from people last year so he has the speed he needs to be a difference maker. They said the same thing about Emmit Smith but I never saw him caught from behind and he is the All Time leading rusher in the NFL. Taylor will be a major playmaker in Roper’s offense. Also Adam Lane is not “Slow”. Please see this Prospectus writeup from Zach:
    and here is an excerpt “Lane shoots through the crease and has breakaway speed.” So we have two playmakers at RB so missing out on Dalvin Cook was not a big deal. We are going to be fine. Go Gators!!!

  25. Hey, JaxGator! I’ve been a Gator since age nine, followed recruiting since 1967, and I never recall Emmitt Smith being caught from behind either. Kelvin Taylor is the natural, gifted and instinctive running back at UF since some other guy named Taylor back in the 1990s. Thanks for your observation re: Emmitt and KTaylor. And Lane is a heck of a prospect. Powell adds an explosive speed quotient that will complement the talent already on hand.

  26. 2003Gator, I heard the same thing. A big time flip and a silent commit. I can’t see it being Rudolph flipping because it was out in the open. If we have a flip it has been very quiet and the silent could be any of the bigtimers.

  27. Let me echo the earlier thoughts on Valdez Showers. I agree completely! Don’t sleep on him step up and be a big time playmaker. He’s really speedy and has that natural ability to be that home run threat everyone wanted out of Cook. Don’t forget he was switched to RD only in the middle of fall practice. Given a whole offseason and entire fall to practice and actually learn the position and I expect him to make huge strides. Watch out for Showers. Go Gators!

  28. lol it’s a crapshoot his year.. even more so than most years.. you might as well write all those names on pieces of paper and throw em against a wall and pick out 4-5 of em. That methodology will be about as accurate as anyone’s predictions.

  29. I am kinda surprised Damien Prince was listed so low on Zach’s list of needs. I’d say #1 for him seeing as line performance has been one of our biggest core problems the last few years and we already have a QB.

    Btw.. I’m impressed by this staff’s ability to consistently lock down most of the class before signing day.

  30. I think they were thinking that would be Rudolph or something. Lately people are not really looking for a surprise flip or silent commit anymore. Unless Rudolph is planning on pulling a Cook and Lane on FSWho which would be amazing but also highly unlikely

  31. Anyone who thinks Emmitt Smith is better than Kelvin Taylor needs to get a grip. Emmitt Smith got so many yards because he was fed the football. Kelvin has an impact with a lot less carries and in a terrible offense.

  32. I am very impressed with how the staff has put this class together. I have followed the recruitment process intensely and, based on what happened last season, its incredible that they have been able to do this. I was once a recruiting analyst with so I am pretty up to date with recruiting practices and what Muschamp has done is very impressive.

  33. lol at ppl on this board randomly using each other’s names..

    Early enrolees count:

    UF – 9/21
    Alabama – 2/25
    Georgia – 0/18
    FSU – 5/27

    The last two years Muschamp’s class has mostly been done before signing day with a high percentage of EE’s. You don’t have to be a professional scout to see that’s pretty good planning.

    Now if they can actually develop some of these players..

  34. anyone who says “they don’t see any difference between Taylor and Brown” should remember this chinese proverb:

    It is better to be thought a fool
    than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

    Just one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read anyone post here.

    Snowprint, your posts are usually negative but at least you state your reasoning. People can disagree with your logic or your perspective but you have the right to think whatever you want. However, that statement is laughable.

    Your point about Jones is valid because you never know about how severe the injury was. Having had 6 knee injuries myself, I for one pray that young man recovers fully and comes back and fulfills his full potential.

    Go Gators

  35. Here is some information for people who said they never saw Emmitt Smith get run down from behind. The first play the Gators had on offense against FSU at Florida Field (there wasn’t a ‘Swamp’ yet) when Emmitt broke a big run and was heading to the end zone. Someone did catch him and make a tackle. It doesn’t take anything away from Smith, he is one of the greatest backs to ever play the game, that he was caught. The player’s name that did it was Deion Sanders, who was one of the fastest players to ever suit up. Whoever thinks the son of Fred Taylor is better than Emmitt Smith must see something that no one else sees.

  36. AZG – Read JaxGator comments where he compares Smith and Taylor. He says that Smith is not better than Taylor. K Taylor showed some signs that he could be very good and hopefully he will have better blocking this year.

  37. While I disagree with most Jax says I don’t think he was saying Kelvin was better than Emmitt. He said Fred was better then said Kelvin had AN impact (not a bigger impact) with less carries in a terrible offense. I think he was just saying Kelvin is a good player. I could be wrong. Only Jax knows what he meant

  38. I would rank the all-time Gator backs with Emmitt first, then Errict Rhett, Neal Anderson and Fred Taylor. On pure talent it’s Emmitt and Fred, Neal and then Errict, who ran hard and tough on every carry to get the most out of his ability. Emmitt was at UF at a very different time for offense than was Fred, who might have been our all-time best had he come along in the mid-1980s. And remember that Neal had to share the running load with John L. Williams, Lorenzo Hampton and at the outset James Jones. Of course, some guys did catch Emmitt from behind, but his ability to turn on a dime, shift gears, keep his balance and utilize his tremendous strength set him apart. Kelvin has potential to join that esteemed group.

  39. AZG – I do not see where JaxGator mentions Fred Taylor in his posts. Fred Taylor definitely was great, but still would put Emmitt ahead of him. He did say that Emmitt was not better than Kelvin Taylor. I would agree that K Taylor had an impact even with a poor offensive line. I would also agree with him that Kelvin is better than Mack Brown. Hopefully with a new offensive coordinator, new offensive line coach and some new recruits, the line play will be a lot better. Prince would be a nice addition to this recruiting class. I am very interested to see what happens on Wednesday with all these pending commitments. Hopefully can add at least one of the remaining top uncommitted recruits.

  40. I do not think it is a stretch to say that Kelvin Taylor is better than Emmitt Smith. Has anyone seen the escapability Kelvin has? Ive been watch boys and young men play for a long time and Kelvin is one of the best Ive ever seen. Ill go as far as to say that Kelvin will probably have a better pro career than Emmitt did.

  41. My bad 863. He did say Kelvin is better than Emmitt. That is laughable. Maybe ( big maybe) he’ll reach that by the end of his career. But not now. Now I believe Emmitt is better than Fred but I could see an argument either way for that one. 2 GREAT backs

  42. AZG_77 – That would be great if Kelvin were to reach that level. I do agree that you could argue whether Fred Taylor or Emmitt Smith was the better back at UF.

    Any news on how Golden’s visit went with Jackson and how Prince’s UF visit went?

  43. @AZG_77 “Ill go as far as to say that Kelvin will probably have a better pro career than Emmitt did.”
    If you are interested in putting money on that I would be more than happy to take you up on that wager. Multiple Pro-bowls and All-Pro selections, multiple NFL MVP awards, 3X Super Bowl champ, NFL career record for yards, touchdowns, and 100 yard games, HOF inductee. Seriously, you name the amount – the higher the better.

  44. Jimmyjohns don’t bother listening to that crappie. I have an obsessed imposter who makes it his goal to try to post things to make me look stupid. That was one of his. It’s quite hilarious really. As if a bunch of people I don’t know who don’t know me or what I look like, thinking a random screen name is stupid is gonna at all affect or hurt me. Haha. Some people just have way too much time on their hands. Just ignore stupid posts from me like that because they’ll be him.