This weekend will either be the final nail in Will Muschamp’s coffin or possibly breathe new life into his dying football program.
The former is what most people expect to happen, but Saturday’s game against Georgia will still be intriguing for Florida.
The Gators will give Treon Harris his first career start, which is what fans and recruits have wanted for weeks. They’ll also get to see how UF looks after a much needed bye week.
Coming off a lopsided loss and a few extra practices, Harris may not be the only (young) player getting more action than in previous games. That will be a welcomed site for Gator Nation.
Win or lose, Saturday could signal a changing of the guard for Florida’s personnel, particularly on offense, and seeing some new faces on that side of the ball could potentially excite the recruiting base.
On to the questions!
Are there any big Miami targets who could be favorably impacted by Treon Harris having success? — @BransonSmith, @Bigro94
Five recruits from two high schools in the city of Miami will be much more likely to attend Florida if Harris permanently takes over the quarterback position this season.
Three of those UF targets are from Harris’ high school, Booker T. Washington. Tight end Devonaire Clarington, wide receiver Antonio Callaway and cornerback Da’Vante Davis have all visited Gainesville and list the Gators among their favorites.
The emergence of Harris could put Florida over the top in their recruitments. Clarington, ESPN’s top-ranked tight end, told The Sun after the LSU game that seeing Harris play would help Florida’s chances with him because of their friendship.
Two other Miami recruits who might be impacted by Harris are running back Jordan Cronkrite and safety Tim Irvin. The teammates from Westminster Christian attended the Kentucky game and plan to return to UF.
Irvin, a Rivals100 member, told The Sun he thought Harris should be the starter after watching him lead the Gators to a comeback win at Tennessee.
Do you think we still have a shot at Javarius Davis? Or has that ship sailed? — @justiwood
Florida is definitely still in the running for Davis, but his recruitment is starting to pick up.
Georgia, Miami and Oregon offered him last week, and he previously held offers from the likes Ohio State, Ole Miss and Southern Cal.
The ’Dogs appear to have emerged as one of his top teams, but the Gators are going to be in it until the end.
They’re chances will likely hinge on what happens with Florida’s coaching staff, although that is the case with most kids.
Davis is another recruit who could be affected by Harris.
“I love Treon,” Davis said after the Tennessee game. “He just has that swag, man. He’s a big playmaker, and that’s what you need on offense. He’s going to help in recruiting. Guys want to play with him just like I do. If I went there with him as the quarterback, we would have a very explosive offense.”
What’s next year’s QB situation going to be with Sheriron Jones coming in from Cali? — @official_bhill
There’s a good chance that Jeff Driskel and Skyler Mornhinweg won’t return to UF next year based on how their seasons have played out.
That would leave the Gators with a QB depth chart of Harris, Will Grier and Sheriron Jones, who will probably redshirt. Those are young but quality players for the position, and there shouldn’t be any drop off between Harris and Grier.
Florida is also trying to flip Louisville commit Lamar Jackson for the 2015 class.
Who of the current verbal commitments is most likely to decommit if Florida does not finish strong? Of the two decommits, do you see either recommitting if Florida finishes strong this season — @RCarmichael601, @dolphe1
Wide receiver Derrick Dillon and offensive lineman Mike Horton are two commits who could jump ship if a coaching change is made and they aren’t crazy about the hire. Jones might also look around, but UF is his best offer and the top West Coast schools already have a QB commit.
Jerome Baker is long gone, in my opinion. I wouldn’t be surprised if Adonis Thomas rejoined the class, but Muschamp would need to win out or Thomas would have to love the new staff. Otherwise, I believe he’s Bama bound.
Out of the recruits we’re currently pursuing, who will still commit even if we hit rock bottom? — ryan_grimaldi
Outside of Dillon, Horton and maybe Jones, I don’t foresee any of Florida’s other commits switching schools. Guys like Kalif Jackson and Tyler Jordan couldn’t be more solid to the Gators.
Of the targets remaining on the board, Jeff Holland, Martez Ivey, CeCe Jefferson and Jeremy McDuffie are four prospects who could commit regardless of what happens with the coaches or the rest of the games this season.
I’m not saying they’re ‘locks’ to Florida, because no one is. But they seem to like the school enough that if the football program hits rock bottom, it won’t keep them from coming.
Are we better off from a recruiting standpoint if Muschamp finishes out the year or is terminated immediately?— @vinnyg18, @burtcannon
Personally, I don’t think much will be gained in recruiting by firing him now. UF is not going to gain any more commitments until the coaching situation is settled.
Letting Muschamp go during the season would obviously let recruits know that he won’t be back next year, but that’s only part of the process for them. They will still want to see who gets hired, talk to the new coach on the phone and meet him in person.
Those three things aren’t going to happen until mid-December at the earliest, so canning Muschamp next week or soon after won’t make much of a difference.
That’s all for this week! Be sure to leave your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below.