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.