Merrick decides on Arkansas

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A Florida offensive line target who revealed little information about his recruitment down the stretch made his decision Sunday night.

In somewhat of a surprise outcome, four-star guard Jalen Merrick announced his pledge to Arkansas on Twitter and will enroll early at the school. His enrollment status was in limbo earlier this week, but the NCAA cleared Merrick academically on Friday.

The Razorbacks beat out Florida and Florida State for the in-state prospect from New Smyrna Beach.

The Gators were the favorite for Merrick early on, and he almost committed at the LSU game in October. But Florida’s lead took a hit following Will Muschamp’s firing, and things didn’t look good for UF when he chose not to officially visit despite having one more trip available.

Many thought FSU had emerged as his top school after the Gators faded, but Arkansas and it’s afro-wig-wearing coach won him over in the end.

Fortunately for Florida, his decision not to attend the school had been expected for weeks, and the coaches would much rather see him in Fayetteville than Tallahassee. Moreover, all three of UF’s verbal commitments at the position are interior linemen.

Tackle is the offensive line spot the Gators need to address most for 2015, and they’re still the favorite to land five-star Martez Ivey and have three others officially visiting this month (Fredrick Johnson, South Carolina commit Christian Pellage and Miami commit Tyree St. Louis).

Also, Florida’s OL board will likely expand between now and signing day as UF looks to add at least three more linemen to the class.

76 COMMENTS

  1. “They’re still the favorite…” I really wonder if that’s true for anybody now? We have read a never ending record of how this or that guy is favoring UF, but when they make a decision, it’s always some other school. Doesn’t UF have to actually get someone, and soon? Or will this be a year akin to the boy who cried wolf, a lot of noise and “buzz,” but is a complete dud?

  2. aux2 – Can really only look at the guys that were favored to go to UF, since this coaching staff took over. Can’t blame them for guys that change their mind when they were not even hired. Hard for this group to sign players that they have not even had a chance for the staff to meet the players. Once they can start visiting players again you will see some commits, but probably not the big names yet. Most of the remaining top recruits will not make their decision until NSD. What college football team are you a fan of?

  3. Ignore aux2. He’s a Noles fan. He sees the writing on the wall. Won’t be long before the clown college regrets that contract extension for Jimbo. Jimbo under-performed until Winston showed up. McGuire isn’t Winston. Let’s see what Jimbo can do without an NFL #1 pick.

  4. Oxtoo is still picking up fireworks debris in his trailer park after the day Oregon slaughtered halfassyew 59-30. Oops 59-20. He has grown tired of listening to the homer Jeff Ca-moron show in Tallahassee.
    He was digusted when he found out that Jimbozo could not get on the adult rides at the fair and had to have a person over 5’3″ take him to ride the bumper cars. For an extra 5 bucks, his babysitter did it.
    Tell Famous to use those wipes after eating stolen crab legs.That ball was so slick that it made a sports blooper for years to come. Oregon just scored again… I think FSU has just quit!!!

  5. aux2 makes good points; we all have to understand and expect the recruiting state that we’re in…this is what we’ve earned based on the Muschamp era. He was a good recruiter and prospects liked him but he almost always missed on the ones he needed most. If he were still around, we might have several of our #1 defensive targets committed, however we would continue to miss on offense and the boat would still have duct tape over the many leaks. We’re moving forward and in due time we’ll again pick and choose from the very best. LUV UF!

  6. @Stan. OK, so you are not a big fan of Coach Mac. May I ask why not?
    What does your crystal ball reveal about his future here? Are you not even in the least bit excited about the staff he is putting together?

    Lastly, if not him, who else would have made YOU happy? since you are the AD and all. Nick Saban maybe?

  7. Merrick is a very big deal. He’s just another sign of how badly UF is being received by the top players in Florida this year. None of them are coming to UF yet. Sooner or later, it’s time to remove your head from the sand and see reality, not what you wish was true. I think that even the UF coaches are starting to figure out that this year UF isn’t attracting anyone. That’s the reason you are seeing names pop up that UF didn’t even want a couple of months ago. It’s looking very grim and UF may even lose two guys, Dillon and Horton, as well. Ivey? Is he any different from all the others that UF was favored to get, but have either already enrolled or pledged to other schools? No one likes to join a dumpster fire, and UF is still burning, it appears.

  8. Aux2 conveniently overlooks that Merrick (who he says is a bid deal) just rejected FSU. That means that it was a big deal loss for FSU.

    With FSU being very close to the top of the infamous list of teams with the most NCAA MAJOR VIOLATIONS maybe this is blow back.

    With the NY Times down FSU’s throat and not UF’s maybe Aux2’s petty attacks on UF can help FSU. Unlikely. UF has been clean with the NCAA for over two decades while FSU keeps the MAJOR VIOLATIONS coming.

  9. Pick the School not the coach. You want a chance for early playing time, great education, and awesome fan and network support? It doesn’t get much better than UF. The Florida kids have no idea of the value UF provides and it’s right in their backyard to share with family and friends; it’s a network they can share and leverage for a lifetime and yet they choose schools such as Alabama, OSU, Mississippi, Auburn and now Arkansas over UF? They need to consider the big picture and pull their head out of the a$$.

  10. aux2 – I will ask again, since you did not answer. What college football team are you a fan of. You seem to be repeating basically the same “sky is falling” post. This elicits a similar response from me each time. Whenever you have a coaching change at the end of the season, it is going to have a negative impact on the next recruiting class. McElwain had 8 days as the head coach of the Gators to visit recruits. He did not have his coaching staff in place. As I have said previously hard to get top recruits to sign when they have not even met the coaching staff.

    As for different names popping up, there are a few different reasons for that. A different coaching staff will have different views on who they want to recruit. Secondly some of the recruits who were not interested in the Gators previously, are now interested because of the coaching changes. They also are going to have to reach on a few players and hope they hit.

    Dillon and Horton verbally committed to the previous coaches. Not unusual for verbal commits due to a coaching change.

    Would love to hear you tell me “all the others” that have signed elsewhere since McElwain took over, that the Gators were favored to get. If UF misses out on Ivie and the rest of the top OL available, then it could be a big deal that Merrick signed with Arkansas.

    We will have to wait and see if you are right that this recruiting class is going to be a disaster with UF missing out on all their top targets or if I am right and they will get a few of the top targets, a few recruits who flip and end up with an ok recruiting class. I still would not be surprised for them to finish some where around the top 30 classes.

  11. To the real Gator fans please remember that Aux2 is a dropout from FSU and has wanted to get with a real team for quite awhile. Never heard from him before last year and won’t hear from him after this coming season. just have to put up with the nonsense until then. By the way does anybody know of a recruiting blog for the Noles? seems there isn’t one or wannabees like Aux and fisher would be there and not here.

  12. Here are some of the players’ at one time,listed as favoring UF. George Campbell, Deon Cain, Jacques Patrick, Dexter Williams, Ray Ray McCloud, Auden Tate, Da’Vante Phillips, Kendrick Norton, Abdul Bello, Jake Fruhmorgen, Byron Cowart, CeCe jefferson, Martez Ivey, Jeffrey Holland, along with the numerous players who have decommitted last year.There are more that e are told will picj UF, like Pertile, that never seem to actually do so. I think it’s pretty clear that UF is missing on a very high percentage of their targets. It’s not signing day yet, but there has been zero reasons to be optimistic. Words like “buzz” are great to hear, but it hasn’t translated to any highly rated player saying yes yet. I’ll be optimistic when an Ivey or someone like him says yes to UF, until then I can only go on what actually happens, not the continuing drought.

  13. aux2…..Shocked Merrick did not go to your beloved FSU, as he could have easily overcome his academic challenges there and earned his I.S.C. degree. Which is better known as “Inadvertent Shellfish Collection.

  14. ntcrze….

    Not many players say “yes” to anyone during the dead period or just before signing day, as most are looking forward to taking all those wonderful official visits to at least three schools around the country. I would imagine that Ivey, Jefferson, Holland, and Cowart and numerous others have already made up their minds as to where they are going. But few of them are willing to just pass on those officials. Or, you can ignore that and continue to look at your glass half empty. Or realize that McElwain is a very good recruiter and has put together a talented staff that can do a great job of recruiting as well. They will also be out soon on the recruiting train and I fully expect they will close great on players considering Florida and will also flip some that are already committed. That would be a glass half full, by the way.

  15. Muschamp’s last 3 classes were 4-2-6 (average 4). He was stronger on the D side, and that was his weakness, but it was not what broke the bank. Some think that Foley kept him a year too long, while other long time Gator fans thought that he fired him a year to early. Opinions vary, and speculation is just that, not proven facts. ————– “Twudant fo badadd luc I’d hav no luc atoll”……

    “Merrick is a very big deal. He’s just another sign of how badly UF is being received by the top players in Florida.” Ox-tu — Merrick is an OG, what UF already has 3 of, 2 of which are ESPN Top 300’s. As he attempts to ignore the fact that SEC/Ark beat out his criminoles for Merrick. UF had not been in the running for him for weeks, if not months. I’m guessing that Ox-tu is a criminole plant here to attempt to sabotage UF with his constant mega-BS. Come NSD, the S.I. ‘Mountain Top’ of college sports will come down on his head and he’ll disappear under the avalanche of reality,,, dousing his own dumpster fire bs-lies. What the idiot Clown-U’s don’t realize is that they and their constant BS is the proof that they are scared chitless of UF and it’s new coaching staff. Otherwise, they’d all be off parting to celebrate their own class, instead of wasting their time here. (moe-rons!)

    Nutcase, recruiting classes are always in flux, right up to and including on NSD. When the LOI’s are in, then we will all KNOW the outcome of the 2015 class. Until then, your bs is just that.

  16. I’ve heard from FSU fans that aux2 was kicked off some of their sites for constantly posting his negative nancy know-it-all bs and just trying to ruffle feathers and annoying everyone. I think he’s just a sick person with a personality disorder that gets off on this. Just look at how much he posts his sky-is-falling spiel on every site (he’s also snowprint and black juju on other sites) just ignore him or make fun of him like they do on alligator army. It’s just a shame that some recruits may read these comments and see his anti-gator propaganda.

  17. “UF would have loved to gain a bit of momentum by getting Merrick in Gainesville as the NCAA-mandated “dead period,” expires at midnight Tuesday. The Gators, however, remain stuck at eight commitments to the 2015 class and are getting more and more desperate as National Signing Day, Feb. 4, draws near.”-Orlando Sentinel Those of you who are whining about depicting things as they really are should take notice that it’s not a secret how badly UF is struggling on the recruiting front right now. Don’t hate the messenger.

  18. I know everyone thinks MAC should have cured cancer by now, but only 8 days in the job with the recruiting door open…what did you expect. And those that are whining that MAC wasn’t the sexy homerun hire that we were looking for…the way I see it is Saban and Meyer are the only 2 out there that would qualify as a “homerun”. One is not leaving and the other was rubbed the wrong way from our bitchy, Whiny fan base. This was the best possible hire…allow the guy to coach a game before complaining too much.

  19. Forget Muschamp…he’s gone…we are now must be focused on now and the future…Muschamp will only be at Auburn for one year…then he will become the head coach of South Carolina that’s already a done deal.

  20. Scooterp I, for one, am not complaining. It would be not realistic to expect McElwain, a coach with no name recognition to come in and immediately get a bunch of big name recruits to come to UF, when the reason he was hired is because UF is a dumster fire right now. It’s just that some people seem to completely ignore that fact and still think that recruits are falling all over themselves to come to UF. Maybe that will be the case next year, but it;s foolish to think that it will happen this year.

  21. Aux…the fact that we are at the top of the list with Ivey, Cowert, CeCe, Davis, Holland etc. especially with the current climate within the program says a lot about the UF brand. I’m not sure you follow recruiting too closely. Mac has made quite an impression in a very short time with many of the recruits. Dumpster fire?…we’re fine! A decent HC could get 9 or 10 wins with this roster right now. Talent isn’t the issue. Coaching and player development is. Don’t take my word for it, follow the players on twitter, read or listen to all the recruiting experts…decisions are being pushed back to allow more time to to do some relationship building with the new staff. This class may not be what we’re used to, but it will be fine come NSD.

  22. Scooterp I do follow recruiting closely and Florida is not getting anyone to say yes. If UF was at the top of the list, they’d have someone that’s a top recruit by now. McElwain hasn’t made any impression that has actually translated into anyone coming to UF. UF is a dumpster fire right now, that’s the reason McElwain was hired . Talent? What talent? Compared to who? UF still doesn’t have a proven quarterback, average running backs, mediocre receiving corps, and a very questionable offensive line. The only area that UF can be considered “talented” is the defensive backfield. But every other area ifs filled with unproven players, average, or mediocre players. It’s not coaching, it’s the talent level at UF that is not up to par. McElwain is here to correct that, but it doesn’t appear that this year will be the time that UF will upgrade it’s talent through recruiting since, among the top recruits, no one is choosing UF right now.

  23. Scooterp – It seems aux2 is here only to out a negative spin on everything. He must get some sort of perverse pleasure from trying to upset others. No matter what you say he is not going to change his ways. When he is proven wrong about something, he changes the subject. If the Gators sign a good recruiting class, he will find something else to be negative about.

    Going to be a crazy few weeks for the Gators staff. Already have a nice list of high school players coming in the next couple of weekends. I am guessing that list will grow when the coaches are able to actually meet with the players. I am Zach will keep the Gator fans updated on who the coaches are visiting and what players are visiting. Should be a fun couple of weeks.

  24. Aux2 may have some valid points with these recruiting misses. regardless of what the reasons are that we are losing some pretty valued prospects. I’m hopeful that we can pull in a decent class but to continue to lose prospects from the state to Arkansas is disheartening. We have to get on the ball and soon. The reasoning about prospects not signing during the dead period is not valid, look at the Merrick case and all of the ones you see on ESPN stroller at the bottom of the screen, we are never on that scroller, except that we were an also ran. I believe in this staff and their ability to pull in recruits but they may have started too late to overcome the deficit. GO GATORS!!!!

  25. Creek – It is a valid point with a team that replaced their coaching staff. For example, see how many recruits Michigan signed during the same period. Amazingly enough the players want to meet their coaches before committing to a college. It really is only logical that the would want to do do before making so a big decision.

  26. Creek/Gator86-I think Aux2 used the term “dumpster fire” 3-4 times. I am assuming that he WANTS it to be an omen or his house is really on fire. If the coaches get a chance and flip a couple of these guys, our class will be about what is expected for a coaching turn over year.

  27. GatorMike – exactly- not expecting a great class, but a decent one for a year with a coaching change. Bet Coach Mac and the rest of the coaching staff will be doing a lot of traveling over the next few weeks. Wonder what the latest is on hiring a Receivers Coach?

  28. “A coach with no name recognition (McElwain).” Ox-tu

    Yep, a coach with 2 recent BCS-NC’s as an OC.

    A HBC that was just named the MWC Coach of the Year, and his QB was MWC PoY.

    A coach that just won the AFCA Region 5 Coach of the Year Award.

    Gee-wizz, how much more totally nameless could he be….. LMFAO at BS Ox-tu!

    Those ‘big name recruits’ that have long said that they’ll wait until NSD.

    Dumpster fire UF, 13-10 over the last 24 years in bowl games, with only 1 losing season since 1980, and a 6-4 W/L record over the crimioles, and 2 BCS-NC’s over the past 10 years. (idiot)

    Ox-tu seems to not know many people, and I can guarantee you that he doesn’t know Jac-Chit, much less anything about UF or HS recruiting. The fact that he’d use the Orlando Slantinal as a source of wisdom is all you need to know about him.

    Average class in a coaching turnover year, 18+ recruits and Top 25.

    A Very Good class in a coaching turnover year, 20+ recruits and Top 20.

    A GREAT class in any year is 23+ with a Top 10 ranking.

    I’m seeing a Very Good year with a GREAT class still a possibility, with what’s left on the board.

    LOI’s on NSD is when we’ll KNOW. FACTS on this class don’t yet exist, just a lot of BS.

  29. Early last evening I was watching a replay of the UA/ND BCS-NC game. They zoomed in on the UA OC and what a great job he was doing as McElwains OC replacement at Bama, (UA 42 – 14 ND). And now both McElwain and Nussmeier are at UF together. Somebody is doomed, but it ain’t gonna be the Gators…. ;~p)

  30. My point was we are behind and if we are not able to catch up to what we would hope to be a “VERY GOOD CLASS” we should be realistic about getting “some good Players” and moving on with that. I’m not going to hold anything against this staff if we don’t pull the talent that we really need in this class, because as Gator863 stated The Relationships and meetings with the new coaches are a Big factor. I understand that .I just hope that they can show these kids the “UP SIDE” to choosing the “UF”. GO GATORS!!!!

  31. There is a “HUGE” amount of uncommitted (UNSIGNED) talent out there and I know we will get a couple of FLIPS and some players that really wanted to be apart of the GATOR NATION. We will get a good class out of this thing, don’t worry!!! GOGATORS!!!!

  32. Creek Gator I’m just curious. You, and many others, keep saying there’s no need to worry and, someone like me who thinks things are going very badly, are everything is fine. When is it time to start worrying? January 31, when the last contact period ends? Or will that date pass and we shouldn’t be concerned, everyone will flock to UF on signing day? When is this “dumpster fire” going to be extinguished?

  33. Creek – The coaches have to be so excited that they will finally be able to go out and meet the players. Can sell a product a lot better face to face. I think you will see some commits the weekend. I am seeing a lot of different players that the recruiting experts are predicting will end up as Gators. Will be a crazy few weeks.

  34. aux2, I really don’t see any reason to panic, I fully understand your points but If we only get a few of the remaining high value players we will be ok. Im not even worrying about the “dumpster Fire” when there’s nothing else to burn it will go out on it own. We have some very good players on this TEAM as it stands and if thats what we have to go to battle with next fall, that’s what we go to battle with AND WIN. I’m not one to blame too much on the players. Our biggest problem was the staff and their decision making abilities. SURE we all would love to have all the talent that’s left in the pool but that’s unrealistic. So to get bac to reality let’s see what we can get and go to battle with that.GO GATORS!!!!

  35. Gator863 – First of all, When is the dead period over, 15 – 16, Jan?? second, I agree with you 100%, I know these guys are raring to go and honestly the prospect are waiting for them, I believe most of them really want to be GATORS but they are looking for assurances and confirmation that they are about to make the correct decision.GO GATORS!!!!

  36. It seems as if we’ve all forgotten the meaning of the word PATIENCE. Does anyone remember 1979? We were 0-10-1 with a QB named Larry Ochab. The lack of PATIENCE also seems to apply to certain student-athletes today. If a QB doesn’t become a starter he then requests a transfer. I remember Kerwin Bell working his way up from a walk-on to leading the Gators to an SEC championship. This also applies to upperclassmen that declare for the draft with a possibility of not even being drafted. Coach Mac haa a proven track record of rebuilding programs. He is laying a foundation brick by brick. He has assembled a top notch staff of assistants that rival anyone in the country. I love his motto “RECRUIT DAILY OR DIE”!! Let’s just sit back and enjoy the process. As far as Merrick goes, I guess he’ll just have to be GATOR BAIT!

  37. we want kids who are die hard Gators, grew up dreaming of putting on the orange and blue, and can’t and will not put themselves in position to play for other schools. lets see this years class was born in 1997 or 1996, so when they were 10 2006 2007 Urban Meyer was winning his first championship at UF, either you are a gator or you are gator bait!

  38. Mac has been making mistakes ever since he’s been hired along with Foley not making a decision to fire Musty until very late in the season. Gators are ranked 94th in recruiting class right now and are counting on OL signees that are playing close to the vest. Probably won’t see UF in the top 20 this year in signing class. Dead period really hurt too. just over two weeks til signing day

  39. Macs mistakes and chumps late firing will amount to JACK SHLITT. Orange 60 ,james fisher and aux2 . GO suck on the sour grapes you are trying to plant in GATOR TOWN. Enough of your B..S.. The gator nation will do well in this transition year and better next year. Gator team has some very good players ready to go, for some reason Muschamp chose not to play. I dont understand why but we will be ready. GO GATORS//// Eat them bad apples u of little faith….

  40. Perhaps I’m being too pessimistic, but there’s not been any reason to be optimistic for a long time. Do you realize that UF has had only one commitment, Daniel Imatorbhebhe, in several months? UF has also had a slew of decommitments and I expect one, maybe two, more to flip from the EIGHT now pledged. Two, if Kalif Jackson enrolled early, are signed up. If UF loses two from the current commitments, that means UF will need to get over 20 players over the next few weeks to fill up the class. I don’t think you save any scholarships in this day and age when players bolt for the NFL at the drop of a hat. Just to make the number available for UF to sign this year, if spread out evenly, UF will need to get about five recruits after each of the three visit weekends left, and an additional five on signing day. If UF doesn’t get a handful of commitments after this upcoming weekend, it will get even tougher. The math and the time left don’t lend one to feel optimistic. I just find it hard to believe that after only getting ONE commit in over four months, that UF is going to get around 20 in the next three weeks. Of even if the numbers are there, that they will be good enough players to improve the talent base already on campus. It’s just math and time, you can’t manipulate either one.

  41. Seems like UF traded one Coach with an average win/loss record for yet another! Personally, I am NOT on board with this choice and think Jeremy pulled the trigger WAY TO EARLY! You’re going to tell me for 7 MILLION Dollars, there wasn’t a proven Head Coach, with a known name and reputation to bring back the glory days the “I have a Tummy Ache – Meyer” screwed up?

  42. And before ANYONE jumps my 7 Million Dollar comment,… , it matters NOT if it is paid compensation or reflected as contractual buyout money, it is still a capital expense either way! So if they were willing to spend that amount of money, you’re telling me Mac was the best man on the short list? Maybe the short list needed to be a longer list! YES! I was and am a Will M. fan. A STAND-UP Man! He inherited a pile of Poo as can be read in a long SI article, created by Urban.

  43. Skeeters – I suggest you become an Auburn fan. I am a Gators’ fan and will root for whomever is the head coach of the Gators. Respect Muschamp as a person, but not as a head coach. Why not give Mac a chance before declaring he was the wrong choice. Unlike Muschamp, he comes in with head coaching experience. He managed to turn around a program.

    I figure trying to discuss this with you probably useless. It seems that most that are negative on here have already made up their minds and nothing you say will change it. Would be better just to stick talking to those who are not just here to try and upset the Gator fans.

    I wonder at times if certain people are posting under several screen names.

  44. Kerr dog you are living in a dream world. There are very few kids dreaming of playing for the Gators . The Noles are where Florida kids dream about playing. You need to wake up.those days are long gone.

    It is a telling sign when schools out of the state can come in here and beat UF on kids , really without much of a battle. Only the Noles can win those battles and to a point Miami.

    Florida, you have a big problem.

  45. So if I am correct, the dead period is over. I had heard it ended Tuesday night at midnight. Coaches can finally start meeting the recruits today. Excited to see what Shannon can do in South Florida. Hopefully Mac is visiting guys like Ivie and Cowart.

  46. @Skeeters, Muschamp is GONE, there’s no turning back. face the reality and either get on board and keep your doubts or shed them (makes no difference to me), but give the current staff a chance and your support. Don’t just be a Bit…. A..s and keep talking about what a class character Champ was. No one said that champ was not a high caliber individual, or someone easy to like. CHAMP WAS A HORRIBLE HBC, move on. KERRDOG, We will take good athletes that have not always bleed orange and blue, as long as they are willing to go to WAR once they put that uniform on and exhibit great character for this university. GO GATORS!!!!

  47. Hey Mike. Mike-Mike-Mike-Mike, guess what day it is? :~))
    And the Gators are about to get over the (recruiting) HUMP, as the saying goes!
    As to when to worry about the 2015 recruiting class? I say never.
    However, everyone will know just how good it is on NSD, and not before.
    PATIENCE is knowing when to look, decide, and judge what has happened.
    No worries mates…. (a full 3 weeks to go)
    As far as Merrick goes, he was an academic borderline that had to get an NCAA hall pass.
    IF he can’t take the academic strain at backwoods Ar-kansas, then FSU/Clown-U is the place to end up, and either way, he’s now just more GATOR-bait.
    (UF 10 – 0 tennis-sea, soon to be 11-0 in the SWAMP this coming year)————————
    “Perhaps I’m being too pessimistic, but there’s not been any reason to be optimistic for a long time.” — Ox-tu > Tough nuggies, it goes with being a criminole. UF 6 – 4 FSUcks over the last 10 years, and you chumps will never have the overall W/L record over the premier school in Florida. Get used to it.
    Skeeters, the All-barners and schmuckeyes are both looking for you, their village walls are open for you.
    Jimmy Wisher, UF last 3 classes were (4-2-6) so you’re the only dreamer here.

  48. @gator863 I’d love to talk about it. I’m not closed minded and am a gator fan probably for longer than you have been alive. I clearly stated that the team of coaches assemble under the HC is very impressive read above. My point is 7 million of capital outlay for similar records at CSU AND Uf by both incoming coach and outgoing coach respectively, is ALOT of money spent when all options, in my opinion were NOT looked into because too many teams and names were off the board due to on going team play and coaches could not be approached BOTH in the NFL and the NCAA.

  49. May be you will understand this. UF lost its chance to sign Merrick when they fired Muschamp. Most thought he would commit to FSU. FSU lost him to Arkansas. So using your logic – it is a telling sign when out of state schools come in here and beat FSU on kids.

  50. I do not need to be an Auburn Ffan and thanks for the offer. If this experiment doesn’t work out the Athletic Association will be debt burdened going forward. SI had a HUGE article about NFL cap and cap manipulation financially strapping teams. If one is spending such huge sums and I believe Urban coming from Utah back in the day was only 3 million, a more than double the price tag , including buyout, in my opinion, should have been spent on a more notable coach. Not that I wanted the Nebraska coach,but he’ll, even he had a 9-4 record.

  51. The people who write on this site as about as patient for results as kids waiting on Christmas morning. I wonder how long they will be patient 1 yr. 2. I hope he succeeds way past anyone’s expectations and make foley look like a savant!!!!

  52. da-muddler Just to clear up one thing. Merrick was not anything close to being ‘borderline’ academically. If you’re an early enrollee, that alone says you are not an academic risk. His hold up was over an online class he took, something I’m sure you never did and probably don’t understand. Apparently that matter has been cleared up. UFwanted him very badly. FSU also wanted him. He chose Arkansas.You again show your lack of understanding when you denigrate someone, that UF wanted badly, because they chose to go elsewhere. You’re not going to get everyone you want, and it appears that UF struggling to get anybody they want right now. That could change, but since we live in the present, not the future, it’s clear that UF is getting it’s ass kicked on the recruiting trail.

  53. Skeeters – First of all, I like Muschamp as a person. I do not wish him ill. However, he is no longer the head coach of UF, so I will no longer root for him. McElwain is the head coach of UF, so I will root for him to succeed.

    You say we changed one coach with an average win loss record for another. The difference is that McElwain took a team that gone 3-9 in the three prior years to him getting there and led them to – 4-8, 8-6, 10-2. Each year the team got better. Muschamp gave the Gators their first losing record in long time. He only had one season where he had a winning record in the SEC. The Gators lost to Georgia Southern under his leadership. Muschamp did not get the job done.

    I like that McElwain is coming in to the job with head coaching experience – that he has experience in the SEC – that he is offensive minded coach. I like that he seems to be a coach on the upswing. Only time will tell if he was the right hire.

    As far as UF’s financial situation, as of year ago UF was one of a handful of programs that actually turned a profit on their athletic programs. Don’t know if that is still the case or not.

  54. Gator863 – IAs I said, I hope the choice makes me and my comments look like I rode in the front seat of the short little yellow bus! I hope Jeremy ends up looking like He picked the Winning Lottery Numbers. And I appreciate you comments Sir!

  55. Skeeter & Gator863, You guys were pretty intense! But I admire how both of you respected each other opinion and explained your thoughts with out getting into the childish stuff. This is how all OPINIONS should be looked at and respected, not necessarily have to be agreed with. GO GATORS!!!!

  56. Thanks Creek – I enjoy discussing a topic with someone who can do so like an adult. Hate the name calling tactics and those that are here just to be negative.

    Something like 30 visitors in the next three weeks. The list seems to grow daily.

  57. “Da mud , that is possibly the worst post I have ever tried to read. I’ll never get that time back.”

    Under the ‘inverse reality rules,’ that’s high praise coming from a flaming-idiot criminole…. ;~)

    On-line classes did you say Ox-tu? Well, then he should certainly have gone to Clown-U, where they seem to ‘specialize’ in ‘top quality’ on-line joke classes. Is the NCAA still having to monitor the FSUcks on-line excuse for college courses? LMAO! IF so, then there’s always the crims ‘chair stacking’ classes to fall back on….. The only thing that I need to judge a recruits intelligence on, is his choice of schools.

    If one goes to criminole, Deion Rules, Clown-U, then he deserves whatever happens to him later on….

    Skeeters, ignoring McElwain’s coaching history is your problem as I see it.

    McElwain has 2 BCS-NC’s as UA’s OC (2009-11).

    His hand-picked replacement for UA’s OC was 2012 BCS-NC Nussmeier.

    McElwain was MWC CoY in 2014 with 11-2 ColoSt. (they were 3x 3-9 before him)

    MWC PoY for his ColoSt QB. His WR was a Bilentnikoff Finalist with better stats than UA winner Cooper.

    McElwain was also the AFCA Region 5 CoY.

    While you act like Foley just hired chopped liver as the Gator HBC….

    You also don’t seem to understand the buyout structure and who plays what and when.

    List the details for us so we’ll know that you understand it?

    Finally, I was for keeping Will another year, but that’s in the past now, so I’ve moved on.

    And at this point in time, I wouldn’t trade the current coaching staff, for the 2014 staff.

    Cheek, while you can’t live on the ‘childish stuff’ it’s like the icing on the debate cake. It’s the fun that keeps things moving, just like raggin’ on a fishing buddy that ain’t catching nuttin’. It’s an ‘art-form’ if you use it well and appropriately. Being a mean ‘hater’ is the real problem, not some good natured raggin’ on the competition. JMOHO of course, as always. :~))

  58. As the days wane closer and closer to February, I try to read Zach’s blogs a few times a day to scour any news re: success on the recruiting trail. I think any of us can stand in agreement that the life of these coaches is a tremendous burden because there is a never ending work load! Hope for success, safe travels and patient families as the coaches try to reload the Florida Cupboards!

  59. Gator863 See more research I did.

    A direct and copied quote!

    “For anyone wondering how Florida is going to afford all these coaches’ buyouts, it should be no problem at all. According to a survey done by the Wall Street Journal, the UF football program is No. 5 in the nation in terms of total net worth. UF has an estimated program revenue of $99,454,773 and an intrinsic value of $815,420,000, according to the WSJ. Ohio State is No. 1 by the way, with an intrinsic value of over $1 billion.”

    Maybe I should not worry about the capital outlay LMAO!

    I eat my humble pie slightly warmed, with a scoop of humility from time to time!!! LOL!

    Have a Great Day! Look forward to more conversations!

  60. Skeeters – No worries – I don’t want to see them waste money either. If McElwain wins, it will be money well spent. If he does not, there will be a bunch of Gator fans unhappy with Foley. Overall he has done a good job. UF is among the best athletic programs in the nation.

  61. While AD Foley doesn’t get all of the credit for this Gator history, he certainly deserves part of it.

    * UF is the ONLY university in the entire Nation to finish in the Top 10 for the Directors (Natl. All Sports) Cup for the last 31 consecutive years (since 1983-84).
    * UF virtually OWNS the SEC’s All Sports Trophies (Men’s, Women’s, Combined).
    * UF is the ONLY university in NCAA History to ever hold the NC in both Football and Basketball in the same season, or in the same calendar year.
    1995 Baseball runner up to Tx in CWS
    1996 Basketball
    1996 Football
    1996 Heisman Trophy
    1997 Basketball
    —–
    2006 BCS-NC
    2007 Heisman Trophy
    2008 BCS-NC

    In 2013-14: A dozen top-10 finishes in national championship action – including a pair of NCAA NC titles – led the University of Florida athletics program to its third consecutive second-place finish in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. Florida’s 12 top-10 national team finishes equals the third-highest total in school history. At least 10 Gator teams have turned in top-10 finishes in each of the last 13 seasons. The program’s record of 14 top-10 finishes came in 2009-10. Eight Gator claimed individual NC titles in 2014.
    Florida led the SEC with five 2013-14 Southeastern Conference titles (baseball, men’s basketball, soccer, men’s swimming & diving, women’s indoor track & field). Florida swept the Halifax Media Group Southeastern Conference All-Sports Titles for the 14th time in 2013-14. In addition, the Gator Lacrosse team won its fourth consecutive American Lacrosse Conference (ALC) title in just the program’s fifth year. Nine Gators picked up SEC Athletes of the Year honors in 2013-14.
    Florida was also successful away from the athletic arena in 2013-14. A total of three UF student-athletes earned Capital One Academic All-America honors and two received NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. Eighty-three (83%) percent Graduation Success Rate for UF, as reported last fall in 2013 NCAA Federal Graduation Rate Data. Of the top 10 programs in the 2013-14 Learfield Sports Director’s Cup Standings, Florida is one of seven to post a GSR of 83% or higher in 2013. All Gator teams are in good academic standing in latest Academic Progress Report released earlier this month by the NCAA.
    345 Gator student-athlets participated in 4,034 hours of Community service in 2013-14, partnering with 25 local schools, 12 civic organizations and 20 non-profit organizations.
    This is why S.I. called UF the ‘Mountain Top’ of college Sports.

  62. Warning — Brain Fart! — Date Scramble — Fingers typing way ahead of the thought stream.

    1996 Football
    1996 Heisman Trophy
    —–
    2005 Baseball runner up to Tx in CWS
    2006 Basketball
    2006 BCS-NC
    2007 Basketball
    2007 Heisman Trophy
    2008 BCS-NC

    And where’s that darn (much needed) EDIT function on this board?

  63. AUX2:
    You REALLY don’t know anything about recruiting and you just sound like a pathetic noles homer trying to explain why you do. WE WILL NOT KNOW THE STRENGTH OF THIS RECRUITING CLASS UNTIL NSD. The dead period JUST ended, SO, Coach Mac and Co. have had absolutely NO TIME to build relationships and explain coaching philosophies with these young recruits. NONE OD THE TOP TIER RECRUITS will commit to a school before building a relationship with their head coach, and more importantly their positional coach. DID YOU REALLY EXPECT KIDS TO START JUMPING ON THE UF WAGON BEFORE EVER MEETING THE COACHES?

    And for real, quit callin Mac a no name coach. That comment REALLY makes you sound like a senseless noles homer still butt hurt that you got destroyed by Oregon.Do yourself a favor, go read up on McElwains coaching career and accomplishments, then come back here and try and tell me hes a no name coach. You’d probably never heard of Randy Shannon either huh?

    Stop trolling OUR message boards. Come back when you have the slightest understanding of how the college football world spins

  64. Whoever the Gators pursue, rest assured that they’ll avoid prospects who steal groceries, date rape women, mouth off to their coaches on national TV, etc. So there’s that. We want to win, but not at the expense of demeaning the program to the point that folks nationally perceive us as a convict-laden institution and an academic punch line.

    Aux2 knows as well as anyone that, his estrogen spewing aside, the Gators are a big-time brand and a program that won 11 games only two seasons ago. I don’t expect a typical top 5 class, but the truth is that the current roster features gobs of talent, especially on defense. A top 25 class is easily within reach, and that will give McElwain and his new crew the bodies they require to challenge for supremacy in the East this coming season, and will buy the new staff time to make inroads with the 2016 class. It’s all good. Relax, and don’t be manipulated by the insecure fan of a rival squad who, like most FSU fans, is driven by a simmering inferiority complex they’ll never quite overcome.

  65. AUX2 is finally a voice of reason….I am sick and tired of the frigging fantasy land everyone is living in. And then the other people saying it’s only football, it’s just a game, it’s not the end of the world….then what the hell are you doing in a college football chatroom? I’ll admit it, it’s a pretty big god d**n deal to me. I live Gator football and we are a very short way from becoming a second rate afterthought of a team. It’s been a pathetic few years and it’s about to get worse.