Zach’s Mail Stack 9/11


Before we get into the Mail Stack, I hope everyone takes time to remember and reflect today.

It’s been 13 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. My memory is terrible and I don’t recall a lot of my childhood, but that is a day I’ll never forget.

All the lives lost. All the people affected.

I still remember coming home from middle school and walking into my living room, where our babysitter was in tears on the couch watching the T.V.

The teachers and faculty at my school decided not to tell any of the students, so I went all day without knowing what had happened.

Back then football was pretty much all I cared about, so seeing the sports world come to a complete stop really hit home with me and changed my perspective in a big way.

At every game I’ve attended since, I’ve said the pledge of allegiance and national anthem with a little more pride and passion.

And I will again this Saturday night.

On to the questions!

How many commits are the coaches looking to get in this class? Taking out current commits, how many open spots does that leave us to fill? — KyGator

The Gators have 11 verbal commitments and will add at least 10 more.

With 17 graduating seniors and 81 scholarship players excluding walk-ons (who won’t count against recruiting next year), Florida currently has room for 21 signees in the 2015 class before attrition.

Dante Fowler Jr. should already have NFL paperwork in order, and his early departure would bring that number up t0 22. However, Jake McGee could return next year on a medical hardship waiver.

When the dust settles after the season, you’ll probably see UF have a full class size of 25 signees.

How are we doing in O-line recruiting, knowing we are short again this year when it comes to depth?@davemock

Florida’s offensive line depth is still not where Will Muschamp would like it to be, but he has made considerable improvement in the past three recruiting cycles (including the current one). After signing a total of just six linemen from 2010-2012, the Gators signed 12 in the last two classes and have four committed for 2015.

UF’s four pledges — George Brown, Mike Horton, Tyler Jordan and Brandon Sandifer — are rated three star-prospects by most recruiting sites, but all hold offers from four of these six schools: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, South Carolina and Ohio State.

The Gators are still in contention for guard Jalen Merrick — another three-star lineman with a lengthy offer list — and tackles Matthew Burrell, Martez Ivey and Isaiah Prince, who are all ranked top-100 prospects by at least two recruiting sites. Those four remaining targets attended Friday Night Lights on July 25.

So UF is on track to have much better offensive line numbers in the coming years.

What are the chances of Florida flipping Jordan Cronkite? Also are they recruiting TE Devonaire Clarington?@DevinLamarr

The Gators are one of Clarington’s top teams and could receive an official visit from him, but they have their work cut out for him.

The hometown Hurricanes are believed to have the edge for Clarington, and UF may have trouble landing a tight end of his caliber with three signed in the last class and one already on board (Camrin Knight) for 2015.

Florida is definitely a threat to steal Cronkite from Miami. With three other running backs committed to UM, his pledge is not very solid and he plans to visit Gainesville this weekend.

UF will likely have to flip a RB to take one in this class, and Cronkite is certainly a candidate to switch his commitment.

Percentage chance we flip Ray-Ray McCloud III?@GatorDad55

I’d say upwards of 40 percent.

The Gators were a close second when McCloud committed to Clemson in late July. Several sources told The Sun his family preferred Florida, but McCloud had reservations about the stability of the football program.

That’s why many believe UF could potentially flip him with another season like 2012 and an improved offense. McCloud is intent on using official visits, but Clemson doesn’t allow its commits to take trips.

Things will get interesting in the coming months if McCloud doesn’t back off his plans and the Gators start winning games again.

Chances at Ryan Davis and any other potential flips? @JonathanMoulden

As I wrote two weeks ago, I think the writing is on the wall with Davis. He attended the first two games and visited Gainesville four times in the last six weeks.

Davis is officially visiting Maryland this weekend with Byron Cowart, but both prospects appear to be Florida’s to lose at this time.

In addition to Cronkite and McCloud, Miami commit Dexter Williams and UCLA commit T.J. Simmons are two more running backs to keep an eye on. North Carolina commits Javarius Davis and William Sweet remain on Florida’s radar.

The Gators will continue to recruit Deon Cain (Clemson) and George Campbell (FSU) as well as Missouri WR/TE pledge Daniel Imatorbhebhe, who is scheduled to officially visit UF this weekend.

Defensively, Texas A&M DT commit Daylon Mack is showing serious interest in Florida and will be at the LSU game on an official.

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


  1. The coaches have done all the selling they can do. In a little over a week from now, the closers take over. That’s the guys on the current team. They’ll have the first chance to prove that the coaches were being truthful about UF being good again or are just snake oil salesmen. The first of the six tests against currently ranked teams happens, pass the majority of them, I’m sure UF will be fine getting guys to say yes. Win half, it’s still a good bet that UF will do well. Less than .500 against the six, it starts getting a little dicey. Lose all of them, and the new coach will need to put the pieces back together. I’m just glad the waiting is almost over, the suspense is killing me.

  2. As always, an outstanding assessment and report, Zach! Thanks for remembering this date 13 years ago. It’s an important reminder that we obsess on a game here, that much more is at stake for us as a people and for the world. Meantime, I agree with ntcrze that wins will deliver a resounding success in recruiting for 2015 and beyond. Go Gators!

  3. I will be supportive of Zach when he takes that better job that is in his near future but I will certainly miss him and his excellent insight. No I havent heard any rumors but someone with Zachs talent wont be here long….thanks Zach!

  4. Listen, although they are not ready to admit it, even our biggest critics recognize THESE GATORS ARE FOR REAL and they’d better bring their A-Game; anything less and its going to be ugly. And every recruiting enthusiast knows its just a matter of weeks before we jump to the top of the rankings. Our future is blinding; I hate D. Fowler is gone…even still, year 2 with this offense should be absolutely magical – and that’s before we add any of the 2015 recruits who are ready to commit/flip to the good side! LUV UF!

  5. TigerCatZeroZero, Do you have some secret knowledge, if so, please share it with us. Demolishing a very bad team does not mean anything. We’ll see next week if “these Gators are for real”, but , until then, we don’t have a clue. You have to actually play, and win against a good team to get recognition. Virginia Tech wasn’t ranked and was not respected like the Gators are now. They went on the road and earned respect. Beating Eastern Michigan and Kentucky won’t earn respect. Going on the road and beating Alabama will. When that happens, you will be able to talk, but right now you lack any credible evidence to back your claims. Why not wait until then, it would be the prudent thing to do.

  6. See what Aux doesn’t understand is, despite how bad ESPN is at it, you can actually watch a team and evaluate and analyze them even in practice and games against overmatched opponents. If you know what to look for and you watch closely you can learn a lot. There’s still some questions that need to be answered next week and a lot the Gators can improve on, but if you watch these Gators and compare them to other teams you can tell they’re for real.

  7. Now after saying that, I realize I may have given off the wrong appearance of going overboard in previous posts. I do not believe this offense is the best in the league or even the SEC. I do not believe this offense to be elite or even great. But I think it’s clear to see this offense is pretty good with the potential for me. And with our D and special teams, pretty good is good enough to have a very special year. Just imagine how good we will be in the future when Roper has had time to develop an elite offense!

  8. ” But I think it’s clear to see this offense is pretty good with the potential for me.”

    I don’t know what was going on there! That supposed to say” But I think it’s clear to see this offense is pretty good with the potential for being more.”

  9. Aux2, its not “some secret knowledge” but rather a ‘kindred spirit.’ Here’s a little insight: In the collective heart, mind and soul of these men, there lives something FEROCIOUS that has been confined over the past 3 years – a caged beast if you will – tethered, forced into conformity, dressed and ordered to perform acts against our nature in the presence of a national audience and they failed ..and everyone blamed them, not realizing BEAST DON’T WALTZ – THEY BEAST! Well that beast is now loose and headed right back into the jungle to claim its territory and no matter who is there when it arrives – IT’S GOING DOWN! This beast will show no mercy and expects none. I doesn’t want your reluctance nor your concern, IT WANTS A FIGHT! Doesn’t matter who or where! Its coming and all other BEAST already hear ’em chanting “WE ALL WE GOT! – WE ALL WE NEED!” LUV UF!

  10. I don’t understand Jalen Merrick. He now says the three state schools are about even. I thought he was a no brainer to UF, especially when he said he loved a coach like Summers who wasn’t one to get in your face. Now he’s seriously considering FSU, a school that has a coach who is very much a guy who gets in your face, in Rick Trickett. I guess you can’t believe a word some of these guys say, they’ll just say what you want to hear when they come to your particular school.

  11. aux2 – During Saban’s tenure, how many games has Alabama lost at home? I imagine it is a very small number. To say we can not talk about our team till they beat Alabama at home, is over the top again. I hope they beat Alabama on the road, but I am not going to be too disappointed if they lose in a competitive game. If they go out and destroy Kentucky, I am going to be excited about this team. My expectations may be a bit lower than some on here, but I would be very happy with a 8 or 9 win season. The Gators face 4 teams currently in the top 10 and 6 teams in the top 25.

  12. aux2 – Out of curiosity, I looked up Alabama results for the last 5 years. They have lost a total of 6 games – 3 of those at home. 2012 the lost to #15 Texas A&M by 5. 2011 they lost to #1 LSU in overtime by 3. 2010 they lost to #2 Auburn by 1. Obviously it is not easy to beat Alabama at home.

  13. Zach – Currently the Gators have 2 verbal commits from wide receivers, 1 verbal commit from a tight end and 0 verbal commits from running backs. You talked about the Gators having a full recruiting class of 25. Ideally how many of those would be wide receivers, tight ends and running backs?

  14. seriously ntcrze, who would you rather be coached by? Trickett a man who will demand the best out of you and get on ur sorry azz or Summers who you can go eat ice cream with and try to make you feel better after a tough day.

    To be a champion you must be tough . We all know who is the Champs right now .. As long as King Jameis is our leader we will be on top.

  15. The W/L Record is obviously the KEY factor in recruiting.

    After a 4-8 season, Muschamp signed 24 (all qualified) with an ESPN #6 Ranking, including these recruits that were 5 Star rated by at least one recruiting service:

    #2 DT Gerald Willis 6-3 270 ***** New Orleans, La. (Edna Karr) UA-AA – USA-Today 1st Team AA.
    #3 DT Thomas Holley 6-4 295 ***** Brooklyn, N.Y. (Lincoln)UA-AA
    #4 CB Jalen Tabor 6-1 188 ***** Washington D.C. (Friendship Collegiate Academy) UA-AA Nike ‘Opening’ & D.C Mr Football.
    #2 OT David Sharpe 6-6 315 ***** Jacksonville, Fla. (Providence) Army-AA, Max Preps 1st Team AA.
    #2 QB-DT Will Grier 6-2 190 4.5/40 ***** Davidson, N.C. (Davidson Day)Parade National PoY, Maxwell PoY, and 2x N.C. Gatorade PoY.247 Sports 1st Team AA and MaxPreps 1st Team AA. Army AA Bowl. – 51 yard pass was longest play of Bowl. Tom Lemming Offensive PoY. Mr. Football USA.
    #2 K Jorge Powell 5-10 170 ***** Coral Gables, Fla. (Belen Jesuit Prep) P-WO Height off the ground is excellent with a 4.0 sec. hang time. Kohl’s Rating – K 5 stars — P 3.5 stars, The star ratings are from Kohl, the Nation’s largest kicker camp and authority.

    So yep, that 4-8 season certainly KILLED UF’s recruiting. (rolls-eyes)


    Dear Numb Ntcrze – Demolishing a whole string of very bad teams (#69 SoS) put the criminoles in the BCS-NC game. The stated reason that Blobby Bow-down put reFSUcks in the ACC instead of the SEC.

  16. Little Jimmy Wisher is just so cute,,,, isn’t he? The Criminoles are so tough that they play in the Almost Competitive Conference and played for a BCS-NC after playing the tough #69 SoS,,, LMAO! And even then, it took a miracle last minute come from behind TD to steal the game from the weakest defense SEC team to play for the championship in the last decade. So the criminole fans are just so proud of that fact, and of their crab stealing rapist – 4x loser Shameous Jaymose…. (typical)

  17. Seminoles seem to have memory loss. They were losing the NC last year to a first year coach with a very young team and they somehow pulled it out in the very end by 3 points. Their program doesnt mind playing a player who is under suspicion for rape and has been given a pass for stealing. This kind of player wouldnt be allowed to play at Florida. I would be willing to bet that the majority of noles fans were calling for Jimbos head even in the last quarter of the NC game. I dont see the noles on top for long. They could never survive in the SEC.

  18. It’s amusing to see people denigrate the Seminoles. The best way to do so is by beating them, not calling them names. I have no idea why the”da-muddler” keeps bringing up high school statistics . They are meaningless. Austin Hardin was rated the number one kicker, rated better than Roberto Aguayo, it’s pretty obvious that was nonsense. D.J. Humphries was rated the second best recruit in America, he is not even a good player, at least not yet. he point is that I don’t have any idea why high school stats are supposed to enlighten us.
    Also, I don’t think aux2 is saying that UF needs to beat Alabama. The point is that we’ll be able to get a realistic expectation of what to expect from this Florida team. Playing Eastern whatever and Kentucky are not good barometers of how good the Gators will be this season. Win or be competitive against Alabama and there’s hope UF is better this year. Lose badly and two choices remain. Either Alabama is a dominant team that will probably be in the playoff or UF is not a good team this year. After all. UF wasn’t a good team last year and easily won over Kentucky on the road. Beating them this year isn’t going to raise anyone’s eyebrows.

  19. I said the same things about them while we were beating them year in and year out. I would loudly protest Florida playing a player like Winston. Also, what I said was truth. They barely beat a young team with a first year coach. Many of them had given up by the 4th qtr. As for beating them again, I dont think thats very far off.

  20. ntcrze – I was just going by what he said:

    Going on the road and beating Alabama will. When that happens, you will be able to talk, but right now you lack any credible evidence to back your claims. Why not wait until then, it would be the prudent thing to do.

    If he had said that if they beat or stay competitive with Alabama they would earn respect, I would have agreed.

    I don’t think you would see posters attacking the Seminoles so much, if there weren’t any trash talking Seminoles fans on here.

  21. Mud, why the name calling? The ACC will be the number one conf in the nation in 3 years. They do house the Natl Champ trophy presently. gator Nation cannot stand that they are behind in football pedigree to UM and FSU. You were once there but not anymore. Maybe if Gator Nation will humble themselves the pain will not be as bad. It won’t be long before the Noles moves ahead in the series

  22. Dan Dixon Why would you “loudly” protest playing a player “like Winston?” As far as I know, we require more than a denunciation of a person by another person. That’s why we accept that the state is the arbiter of whether someone should be charged with a crime. The fact is that we only have the young woman’s word to say that Winston did anything wrong. We have nothing else, so let’s treat him like we would anyone else that’s not charged with a crime, I think innocent is the word. You know Winston has rights too, and that includes being able to continue his education and playing football when he hasn’t been charged with anything. How would you like it if I made a complaint to the police and said that you were a child molester. Yet, when the complaint was investigated, they found no evidence and didn’t charge you. Should you lose your job and be labeled a child molester? If you say no, then why do you castigate Winston?

  23. No Gator fan dreams of any FSU coach or Player….beating a 3rd string QB with the majority of our starters out isn`t much to brag about….seeing as you struggled to put us away….you still have to play us every year and still have to live with the fact that we own the series….

  24. Unless the accuser is your sister or mother. While I agree that is innocent until proven guilty, I think you should do more research about sex crimes victims and the challenges they face before you try to teach us about law. All I know is that this kid has been in trouble with the law several times which speaks volumes about his character. If that gets in the way of enjoying your football game I am sorry for ruining your Saturdays…

  25. ntcrze – If you believe that the Tallahassee police and FSU handled Winston like they would anyone else, you are kidding yourself. If the police had investigated the rape charge immediately, they would have had a video as evidence.

  26. Gator863 First of all, you don’t have any evidence to prove that the case was handled incorrectly, that is an assumption on your part that isn’t based on evidence. If I was the detective investigating this alleged rape, let’s see what I have to work with. First of all the physical description of the perpetrator did not come close to fitting Winston. Second, she was in a class with Winston, yet didn’t identify him as the suspect until a month after the alleged rape occurred.Third, she did not have a coherent story, or as the prosecutor put it, “had memory problems” about what actually happened that evening. Fourth, there were witnesses, and not one corroborated her story. Fifth, there is no evidence that the video would not corroborate Winston’s and the other witnesses accounting of what happened. Sixth, the woman had semen of two different men inside her, neither one coming from he “boyfriend.” Seventh, she was not forthcoming in making herself available for the polive or the university to inyerview her, in fact she just gave an interview to Officials from FSU less than a month ago.
    Given this set of facts, what does the detective have to go on? A woman that has a problem remembering what happened and can’t give an accurate description of the man who “raped” her and only identifies Winston a month later when she is in the same class as him? What chance of a successful prosecution is there of a case where there is only the word of a woman who has difficulty remembering what happened and is not exactly a paradigm of virtue with the semen of two different men inside her, and neither one of them belong to her “boyfriend?” Even a kid that is fresh out of law school whoi s on his first case would have no problem getting an acquittal if the D.A. had tried the case. And you think that Winston was treated preferentially by the police? You say “if”, I’m just glad we don’t prosecute people based on “if.”
    I don’t know what happened that night, and neither do you, but I do know that there is not any evidence that a crime happened. For that reason, I will not denigrate Winston, it’s unfair to do so. Why don’t you put yourself in his shoes? How would you like it if someone continues to insinuate you had done something criminal when you were not even charged, much less convicted? He may be a Seminole, but that doesn’t mean that it’s ok to smear his or the police department’s name with rumor or innuendo. Facts are what matters, and you have none to back your claim.

  27. Facts are facts. Evidence was “lost” and the investigation was “delayed”. Gave him time to steal some things and get more special treatment. Anyone else see the pattern? Why is the government investigating FSU for the handling of the case? We had a star defensive player let go when he screwed up. Seems integrity is more important than status over here. You FSU fans would be screaming if the tables were turned. By the way, where were you guys for the last 4 years or so when we were whipping your butts?

  28. Where will u be in the next 10 when FS will be kicking yours Danny. This is gonna get real ugly . Also please treat the Heismen trophy winner with the respect he deserve. he does community service and is a pillar in the Tally community.

  29. Oh Jimmy boy. We’ll be right here. Do you remember what happened the last time we were in Tally? Exactly! Respect is earned not demanded. If you say this kid is a pillar in your community, I guess it says a lot about our state capital.