I apologize for posting this a day late.
Yesterday my son had a high-grade fever and it was an all-day affair.
He’s feeling better this morning and finally eating some food.
Here’s to hoping I washed my hands enough this week.
On to the questions!
How did the Georgia win affect recruiting? — David Huntsman
It definitely helped the Gators in recruiting. More than a dozen recruits celebrated the win on their Twitter accounts, including Under Armour All-American linebacker Adonis Thomas — who decommitted from Florida late last month — and five-star defensive ends Byron Cowart and CeCe Jefferson.
Four-star wide receiver Antonio Callaway told The Sun that UF made a statement against Georgia and “shocked the world.” While the reaction from recruits was all positive for the Gators, it’s important for them to sustain this momentum with the team’s play on the field.
If Will Muschamp is retained, will it hurt with recruits because they will still see him as being on the hot seat entering next year? — @WilbertVancol, @DevinLamarr
It potentially could, because that’s what kept several prospects in this recruiting cycle from committing to Florida in the spring and summer, and many of them are still waiting to pull the trigger due to the uncertainty of Muschamp’s future.
Program stability — especially concerning coaches — matters a lot to some kids.
Now, Muschamp being retained will require him to win the next three games at the very least. It’s hard to view Florida State as a must-win for Muschamp. The programs are just on different levels right now.
It is important for the Gators to be competitive for the majority of that game, kind of like they were against Alabama.
Most people viewed Florida as a three- to four-loss team before the season, but Muschamp had to finally beat UGA.
Not only did he do it, but it happened in the most unexpected fashion. If UF can finish 7-4 and the offense shows marked improvement as well as potential with Treon Harris, there’s a good chance Muschamp keeps his job.
He’ll have pressure to win next year like he does this season, but I think he can convince recruits that he found his formula for winning again and they shouldn’t be worried about 2015.
If I was Muschamp and ended 2014 with four straight wins and an admirable performance against FSU, I would tell recruits bluntly that Jeff Driskel’s play in the first half of the year gave my team no chance to win one game (Missouri), contributed to the other two losses and almost resulted in a fourth one (Tennessee).
But I made the change at quarterback, I have my guy for the future and the offense is headed in the right direction.
Obviously, that sales pitch will hinge on Harris playing well, the offense improving and Florida winning games.
Is Cowart and Jefferson going to be this year’s version of Dalvin Cook and Ermon Lane? — @gatorb896, @DustinUselton, @Odessagator
They’re definitely not like them.
Cook and Lane were both committed to the Gators and then “trolled” them before flipping to the Seminoles. Cowart and Jefferson have done neither of those things.
If they chose UF it’s going to be late in the recruiting cycle, so they’ll have no time for the Cook and Lane shenanigans. I also don’t view them as those type of kids.
But I do think Cowart and Jefferson are comparable to Nelson Agholor and Stefon Diggs.
When Muschamp missed on both of those five-star prospects for 2012, it was a major setback for Florida’s offense. With Dante Fowler Jr. likely leaving early, failing to land at least one of those defensive ends could have a similar impact on Florida’s defense.
Who are some under the radar wide receivers that UF may look to go after if they miss on some of the big-time prospects? — @justiwood
Callaway and Ryan Davis are two of Florida’s top uncommitted targets remaining at receiver. Javarius Davis is also in the mix, but Georgia is recruiting him as a cornerback and he now prefers to play that position in college.
The Gators will continue trying to flip a few receivers, but it doesn’t look promising as of now.
A new prospect on the board is JUCO WR Dominique Reed out of Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College. He was offered by UF on Oct. 29 and plans to visit the school.
Rivals250 member Stanley Morgan from New Orleans St. Augustine has a Florida offer and received a visit from the Gators in late September.
Some in-state wideouts who have some notable offers except for UF are Trevill Holcy, Tavares Martin and Florida State commit Nyqwan Murray.
Out-of-state receivers Jalen McCleskey (Oklahoma State commit) and Cameron Stewart (UCF commit) both camped at Florida in the summer.
UF’s class is currently ranked No. 72 on Rivals. Has a class been this lowly regarded in the modern day history of the program? — Dustin
Not at all.
I’m not able to look back and see where Florida’s previous classes ranked in the middle of a recruiting cycle, but I doubt it’s ever been that low and definitely not on signing day.
However, as I’ve mentioned on here before, several of the Gators’ top targets are still uncommitted. They have chance to close very strong in the 2015 class if UF plays well down the stretch and Muschamp stays.
That’s all for this week! Be sure to leave your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below.