Zach’s Mail Stack 9/18

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This Saturday’s game is what everyone around the Florida football program has been waiting on.

Players, coaches, fans, media members and, of course, recruits.

UF offensive tackle Chaz Green said the Alabama matchup is a measuring stick for his team, and prospects are going to view it that way as well.

One game — win or lose — doesn’t define a recruiting class. Recruits should be and probably are putting more stock into the 2014 season as a whole.

That being said, the Gators must be competitive in the game. Getting blown out by the Tide could hurt recruiting. If Florida has a chance to win in the fourth quarter, prospects will be impressed.

Did the bad game against Kentucky hurt recruiting?@Realbradglover

I wouldn’t call Florida’s performance against Kentucky a “bad game” as far as recruiting is concerned.

The Gators obviously could have played better, and prospects probably expected a blowout victory over UK. But UF still showed things for them to be encouraged and excited about.

First and foremost, Florida won the game. The fact that it went into triple overtime just added suspense for those in attendance. After seeing the Gators suffer losses all last year, including a few nail-biters, it was good for recruits to watch them pull out a close game in the SEC.

Moreover, there were several positives in the win. UF had a great rushing attack, a record-setting receiver and a dominant run defense. All of that appeals to prospects, as does the areas where the Gators struggled.

For example, any defensive backs who watched the game have to feel like they can come to Florida and compete for playing time. So it works both ways, but nothing impresses recruits more than a W and UF got that.

Currently the Gators have two verbal commits from wide receivers, one verbal commit from a tight end and zero 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? — Gator863

Florida has signed a total of three running backs, six wide receivers and three tight ends (all 2014) in the past two years.

But with a total of three backs (possibly four with Kelvin Taylor) and a total of five receivers (possibly six with Demarcus Robinson) leaving over the next two years and three tight ends gone after this season, the Gators need to land some prospects at those positions for 2015.

Right now I could see their class makeup looking like this: 1 QB, 1 RB, 4 WR, 2 TE, 6 OL, 5 DL, 4 LB, 2 DB

What players are we recruiting that fit the Buck position? Is it just CeCe or do others fit that position as well? — @DevinLamarr

According to five-star defensive end Byron Cowart in my recent interview with him, he is the one Florida wants for the position. The coaches plan to use him just like they use Dante Fowler Jr., and Cowart even told me he wants to wear Fowler’s No. 6.

To my knowledge, the staff has also told Jefferson and linebackers Jeff Holland and Adonis Thomas that they could get some reps at Buck.

What is Florida’s status with WR Antonio Callaway? NardoFaSho

Callaway named the Gators his leader in June and still had them on top earlier this month.

However, he tweeted out his top three schools in “no order” on Sunday, with Florida, Georgia and LSU making the list. Miami, the school Callaway said was the biggest threat to UF in the summer, is no longer a favorite for him.

But Callaway is months away from making his decision and still has offers rolling in. Alabama and Auburn offered him Wednesday.

Is Florida completely out of the running for wide receivers Deon Cain (Clemson commit) and George Campbell (Florida State commit)? If not, what would it take to get them? @mevansfl, Nick

I think the Gators still have a shot at Cain because he wants to take trips. Campbell appears to be solid with his pledge and doesn’t plan on visiting any schools other than FSU.

To flip Cain, UF has to continue to show progress on offense and get a few more performances from Demarcus Robinson like the one he had last weekend. Receiver recruits will be licking their chops at the opportunity to catch passes like he did.

But like I wrote above, the most important thing is winning and Florida must keep doing that with conference play now underway.

Is Ray-Ray McCloud III still solid to Clemson? Prediction for overall class rank come signing day? — @vinnyg18

I don’t believe so. He was at the Kentucky game and plans to return to UF for an official visit.

I view him in the same boat as Cain. If Florida improves offensively and his position produces big numbers, the Gators may change McCloud’s mind down the road.

With the potential flips UF might have and the undecided prospects still on the board, I could easily see this class finishing in the top 10 of every website’s team rankings.

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

14 COMMENTS

  1. I think Ray Ray McCloud will eventually flip to another school because of the pressure that Clemson puts on their verbals to not visit other schools. Cece and Cowart would be great additions and would provide the pass rush that we are lacking. Outside of Fowler, we haven’t been getting consistent pressure so far. I hope we can grab Martez Ivey and also Jeffrey Holland. Ivey could be the backbone of the OL for 4 years and Holland could fit into the role that Neiron Ball plays now where he is a linebacker on normal downs, but is called to rush the passer on passing downs. But CeCe and Cowart are the two recruits that I don’t want to see go anywhere else. Also, on Callaway. I watched him play on TV and he absolutely dominated. He has size and quickness to be a great receiver and if we can snatch him as well as the others, this will be a great class.

  2. This week’s game is the first step to Florida being able to show recruits that they weren’t blowing smoke up their rear when they told them UF was going to be a better team this year. A bullet was dodged last week, if UF had lost to Kentucky, you probably could have stuck a fork in UF’s class, they would have been done. I think winning gives UF another chance, but another performance like that will be disastrous. It’s good the usual suspects are still waiting to see if UF is better. I wouldn’t get too excited about Ivey. D.J. Humphries was rated the best tackle and even the second best overall player in his class. He hasn’t even been a good player yet.

  3. I hope the kids from the State of Florida realize that they can get a great education at UF. There is no reason to go elsewhere. The Gators will be a rising program and they can make it happen while playing in the best conference in the Nation. Gator or Gatorbait. Go orange and blue.

  4. I’m hoping this week is similiar to the final two regular season games in 2012 – a last minute win (at home) to an opponent that we were a 30 point favorit to and then a win on the road to a favored (and top 10) opponent. Hopefully, Bama is looking forward to Ole Miss.

  5. “if UF had lost to Kentucky, you probably could have stuck a fork in UF’s class, they would have been done.”

    In 2013 UF finished 4-8 on a 7 game losing streak and so they only got the #6 class with 13 ESPN Top 300’s. So you can always trust what that Ox2 guy says, cause he’s never done. (being just half-baked guarantees it)

    And here’s yet another prefect example of it:
    “D.J. Humphries was rated the best tackle and even the second best overall player in his class. He hasn’t even been a good player yet.”

    2012: Appeared in all 12 games, starting three (South Carolina, Missouri, and Louisiana)… Named First Team Offense SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman (OL) and Sporting News Freshman All-America in 2012…Made his first career start against the Gamecocks…Graded out at 80 percent or better six times, including 100 percent against Texas A&M and Tennessee…
    Played in seven games, starting the first six at left tackle, before a knee injury ended his season.

  6. Right now I could see their class makeup looking like this: 1 QB, 1 RB, 4 WR, 2 TE, 6 OL, 5 DL, 4 LB, 2 DB.

    So to fill that ‘best guess’ needs class: 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 2 OL,,, 4 DL, 2 LB, 2 DB.
    Looking at the UF leans and the 4-5 star uncommitted, I don’t see the Gators having any problems in filling out this class, as usual. Sign up the Gators, and don’t worry about the gatorbait. There was, is, and always will be, a lot more bait than Gators. ;~)

  7. da-muddler D.J. Humphries has been horrible. A lot of people excuse Driskel for coughing up the ball when hit. Who do you think is protecting his blind side? Humphries is plain awful. Just like Bullard on the other side of the line, he’s a five star bust. If Bullard touches the quarterback tomorrow, I might have a heart attack, that’s how much of a shock that would be. I feel like a guy on death row waiting for a stay, I think Alabama will dominate the Gators like any other bad team they play. By seven tomorrow night we’ll know if UF is better this year or still a bad team. Maybe Kentucky was an anomaly, even great teams have a bad game sometimes, But I am very afraid that isn’t the case, I just think the Gators are a bad team.

  8. A lot of you give Bama too much credit. What have they done THIS SEASON to make you so pessimistic? This is a matchup of 2 teams that have been preparing for one another for months…we are mentally and physically prepared, now, enough talk….Let’s get it on! LUV UF!

  9. As much as I love the weekly mail stack. Is there any reason to do one this week. We clearly aren’t going to get any commitments from anyone after the way we have played the last 2 weeks. I guess I bought into all the bs the coaches were saying at the beginning of the year. Granted we have scored almost as many points as we did all of last year. But let’s face it we are pretty much the same team. Maybe a little better offense with a little worse on defense.

  10. Many knothead’s are included in ‘a lot of people’ and you are welcome to use them as the baseline for your player performance opinions. I will just go ahead and use the SEC coaches (All SEC Votes) and the opinions of those like ‘The Sporting News’ evaluations. Those that choose to can go with you and the other knotheads….. ;~)
    Jonathan Bullard 6-3 270 Jr 2L – A knothead’s bust opinion: 2013: Played in 11 games and started 8 times at DE. Missed the GaSo game due to injury. Ranked 2nd among DL with 33 tackles. Had 2.5 tackles-for-loss and 1.5 sacks and added 4 QB hurries. 2012: Appeared in all 13 games and started 2 as a tFr. Named First-Team SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman (DL). Finished the season with 27 tackles, 5.0 TFL, 1.5 sacks and had a pass breakup. The SEC Coaches and I rate your opinions as the real bust. :~p)

    Just a game played by boys on a Saturday afternoon. Get a Freakin’ Grip fellas….