Rivals roundtable


The 2015 recruiting cycle is now in the books, and Florida’s recruiting class finished with a top 25 team ranking.

The Gators were ranked 23rd nationally by Rivals.com, which rated a third of UF’s signees as four-star prospects or higher.

The Sun joined Rivals analysts Blake Alderman, Mike Farrell and Woody Wommack for a roundtable discussion of the class.

We each give an overall grade for Jim McElwain’s inaugural class and weigh in on who was Florida’s most important signee, the most surprising signee, the most underrated and overrated one and the biggest recruit missed.

To read the roundtable discussion, click here.


  1. You have to be proud of Coach Mac and Staff for how they turned this class around. It appears they reeled in some outstanding football players and some good citizens as well. I predict Coach Mac will soon be recognized nationally as a great coach. He appears to be pretty savvy.

  2. What was done by the staff with this class was incredible! By far the best job done by an incoming coach in transition that we have had here at Florida! Now, with that being said, it still has to translate to the playing field! We have an all star type coaching staff that seems to be jelling together and that will be important (no critical) moving forward.
    What i thought that stung the most was Ryan Davis and the Holland kid because of the need that we have at their perspective positions! The LB position puzzles me that prospects just haven’t seen the light but I believe it will be a position that they will be lining up to come and be a part this next class! Sure, everyone would like caliber type of player of Cowart, but this wasn’t a damage thing that can have a long term affect! All three are a relational type signing in that the Auburn hired the former coach.
    Moving forward, given the track record of our coaches as a group as a whole, I believe with the talent that we have coming back mixed with this class, we have the ingredients to make some great entrees of food that is going to be a delight to the Gatornation!

  3. The word is that the staff may have essentially let Davis go when he hesitated to commit on his visit, which is consistent with Davis’ tweets. That they didn’t think he had the size needed to get off the line vs. SEC CBs, and they like Calloway better, and bigger WRs will be the order of the day in the future.
    That is ONE example of how national pundits cannot possibly know or comment well on UF recruiting like a guy just following UF, like Zach.

  4. Great effort by the staff considering the mess that Muschamp left behind and the fact that he used the relationships that he developed at Florida to land those same kids at Auburn.

    I doubt this is a class that has multiple first day draft picks come from it, but it doesn’t need to be that to be successful. If they can somehow muster solid production from 10-12 of these guys, it will have been a very productive group of players.

    This class could have been an anchor around this program’s neck for the the next three or four years, but it looks like the staff avoided that outcome.

    Now coach ’em up.

  5. I see that you listed Holland as the biggest loss in the class. While I would have loved to have him, he had 0 chance of qualifying at UF. He said in a recent interview that we stopped recruiting him a few weeks back. Again, wish it would have worked out, but I don’t feel like he is a guy we lost out on considering the circumstances.

  6. I hesitate to even suggest this, but since coach Mc has yet to hire a WR’s coach, here goes.
    Using a 3-Man team – while coaching the QB’s and WR’s together:
    HBC McElwain – OC Nussmeier – WR’s Chris Leak

    Let Mc-Nuss bring Chris along. He’s a highly intelligent and loyal Gator, and it’s about time for the WR coaching merry-go-round to end. Having 7 different WR coaches over the last 7 years has killed the WR production and development imoho. Stabilize the ‘coaching position’ and bring along a great, young, new coach. I believe Chris is someone who’s willing to STAY and GROW with the Gator football program, while the Mc-Nuss combo coaches him up to a level that will make their staff an even more productive group.
    Missing out on Ryan Davis and Derrick Dillon doesn’t bother me that much, because the Gator roster has as good or better already on the 2015 roster, they just need some coaching stability, which that 3 Man team could provide. As a bonus, a ‘MONSTER’ 2016 WR recruiting class would be the likely result.

    Train a ‘kick holder’ using one of the new RB’s, whichever is best at it. That way, he gets game time handling
    the ball, and when you need a ‘fake-kick’ play, you’ve got a guy that can run or throw the ball in the game. Masline and/or Herndon might also be able to do the holders job?

  7. These national guys are discounting the fact that Big Mac started way behind with a class ranked in the 100s and was able to bump it up to the 20s. That has to be the biggest save in the history of college recruiting. When you factor in the fact that The Chump lacthed on with a good SEC program and was able to lure a few of the same guys that were considering us what Big mac did is short of miraculous. If the Chump would have gone to Vanderbilt, Houston or even A&M none of those guys would have followed him. But that is past history now and we move on with a real coach who knows how to play offense.
    On a separate note, where is that big assclown james fisher who a few days ago was spewing manure about CeCe going to Ole Miss or FSU. How do you feel now that the LOI is finally in and CeCe is officially a Gator? Do you feel like the big time fool you are? You should.

  8. agree 305 and rob…i feel we will have a great season as long as the defense stays the same and coach mac coaches up the offense..its funny how primo and fisher were waiting for us to crash and burn but some how we pulled a “sully” and everyone is safe and better than expected..fsu had its little run but now its back to business for uf…GO GATORS!!!

  9. what happened on NSD is just enough to give us hope for the future….we had to stop the bleeding and I think Mac accomplished that….but they still have to prove (the coaches do) that they are talented enough to get us back in the SEC champ game….so much hinges on this staff it is scary…another flop and we will take UTs seat in the dunces chair

  10. Again, I grade this class as a B- …… I don’t understand how we wiffed on the LB and QB positions…sign two projects at least….really needed bodies and we got one 2 star linebacker that will probably be a career ST player… But at least they took care of the LOS….that would have been devastating if we hadn`t …..

  11. It’s interesting now to recall all the panic-stricken naysayers here before NSD. Here we are on the other side of the big day with a solid class that addresses most if our immediate needs, especially at left tackle and edge rusher on defense, and depth on both lines with a home run hitter at running back. All this by a coach who inherited what appeared to be the most disastrous recruiting class in UF history. Now we ‘re learning all about immense changes as McElwain with Jeremy Foley institute landscape chamging infrastructure that most likely will return our Gators to the top. Mac seems to be the coach capable of altering our football culture more than anyone we’ve had since that good guy Steve Spurrier came home to Florida 25 years ago. Who looks smart now?

  12. Phone may not be smart but you are with those thoughts… We are really excited for the first time in years on the direction we are going. Did we miss on a couple ? Sure! But what program got everybody and everything that they needed? Our feeling- A+ effort and results. GO GATORS

  13. I believe recruiting was a success this year. We didn’t get a QB or LB? True but we got tons of help on both lines and we got quite a few playmakers at the skill positions. Like Mick said, you can’t always get what you want, but you get what you need.
    The proof in the pudding will be what happens on the field come the fall. It seems to me that Big Mac and company can work with the QBs we have and can make our offense hum again. With more wins and with a productive offense Mac and staff will have time to recruit another QB and more WRs for 2016 and beyond. Same with the LBs.
    Agree with those of you that say there is hope in Hogtown again, you darn right there is. Can’t wait for next season.
    Gooooooo Gators !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Are most Gator fans insane? Crowing about a recruiting class that is rated the tenth best in the SEC? Do any of you realize that UF plays most of it’s games in the SEC? As for thinking than FSU is worried, did you even bother to see their class? Their early enrollees alone are better than UF’s entire class. Uf took a chance on a lot of players that other schools didn’t want. Now the spin is that they are “underrated” and look like five stars on film. UF, with all the crowing from some of you about academics, took a player, McGriff, that Auburn didn’t want because of academics.As for this “all-star’ group of coaches, what a load of nonsense. They only became “all-stars” when they came to UF. It’s funny how Williams was great until he left, now the new guy is “much better.” I know Mcelwain looks like the Pillsbury Dough Boy and the son of the coach that couldn’t deliver Cowart is a midget. I don’t really mean that, but it’s just something to bring some of you down to earth. Now we’re going to hear all the same claptrap about how UF is so “talented.” What will be the excuse next year when UF is a gain a team that loses more than three games? You won’t be able to blame injuries or coaching. Will it be Muschamp’s fault like Meyer was for the last few years?

  15. Really, Mac’s close out on recruiting was simply amazing. Once you discount the two defections to LSU and Auburn (Dillon, Horton ), Mac grew our class from a net of five commitments to the final 21. That’s A++ work. He’s seemingly smarter than a couple of his predecessors, aiming to build the necessary infrastructure that enables and supports long-term sustained success. In my business world, if you fail to build a sufficient infrastructure to support growth, your successful endeavors will soon collapse in on themselves. I think we’ve seen that with lots of firms on Msin Street and Wall Street, in state and especially federal government endeavors, and with our last two-three football coaches. Mac’s got the smarts and the grasp of building a program that will thrive for years ahead.

  16. ntcrze I need to apologize to you. I am sorry. I made a mistake.
    You see, last week when I put up the nominees for the biggest blog assclown I completely left you out. It is clear you belong in the top 3, I am going to bump primo out to make room for you at the top.
    Your post is full of misinformation and conjecture it is tough to answer it. But just to address the issue about UF and academics, it is not that some fans on a sports blog “crow” about it. It is just a fact that UF is the top academic institution in the Great State of Florida and one of the best in the South East as well. This is not my opinion, this is not up for debate it is a plain fact. Check out the AAU for some background on this.
    It has been my experience that when some moron brings up academics in a sports discussion it means they (the morons) are running out of things to complain about. But when a semihole brings up academics it is just comical since those who attend FSU are the ones that couldn’t get into UF or any other good school in State.
    One more thing, no one here said that Williams was great. In fact some complained that Jefferson and Cowart did not get along with him. All we knew about Williams was that he was an NFL guy. Rumph is by far much better because he is a college guy, a known entity who can coach and recruit and is well liked and well known in college circles.
    Lastly you keep mocking the appearance of the coaches like a silly 5 year old with nothing else to bring up. Definitively belonging in the top 3 assclown race. Good job idiot.

  17. 305″, why all the name calling ? Nacrze and aunt u are 2 of the most factual posters on this board of middle of the pack fans. In recruiting you are 10 th , repeat 10th in the SEC. HOW DO YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING TO HANDLE the future big orange legend Butch and the great man of faith right? I cannot see for the life of me and East crown for UF in a long while.
    305 , you and da mud when to the same name calling school. It is so juvenile. Please bring something to the table. Da mud does give us a review of the gator HS stats. He is very consistent.

    The future: FSU,BAMA,LSU,AUBURN,OHIO ST.,PENN STATE, USCw..TEXAS No one else is getting in

  18. 305Gator The academics have nothing to do with the football program. UF takes the same players that everyone else does. If that wasn’t true, why would UF accept the signature of someone that Auburn rejected because of academics? I know Auburn is not as highly rated as Florida, academicalyy, so that fact doesn’t make sense. He wanted to go to auburn badly, but their class, unlike UF’s was good enough they didn’t need to take a chance on him. The reason McGriff is signed is because UF struggled in recruiting. It’s also the reason you see so many ‘NR’ designations beside UF signees. I just think it’s funny that you get upset over facts. The same “all-star” designation was made while Williams was on the staff, did he not count? Yu can’t have it both ways, you can’t claim to be school that is tougher academically for football players to get in when the facts contradict that. You are just another example of a Florida fan that lives in a fantasy world. I, on the other hand, am realistic and know that McElwain didn’t accomplish anything close to a “miracle.”

  19. yeah I disappeared for a minute, only because I have a friggin job and a life outside the Gators Cmessage board. NTCRZE….I am so happy there is a UF fan that is an actual realist out there. God forbid you don’t look at every aspect of UF as a positive. But these are the same idiots who said the same thing about Muschamp in the beginning and then were calling for his head towards the end. These fans don’t understand the game and recruiting, etc. It is a constant fight and battle, and guess what if you take time off your opponent will be right there to pounce. So go ahead you schmucks keep commenting on what a swell job everyone is doing. I hope all goes well, but as we all know as soon as things go bad, you’ll be crying a river, just like you were with Muschamp

  20. My question is simple..yes that is due to the trolls on this site..
    Why do you support a coach and a team that when facing a loss just up and quits. That game was by far the epitome of fsu and will stand out as the beginning of the end for the Noles.. I’ll take a team rated tenth over a bunch of quitters any day.
    So how do you get the Nole off your front porch?
    Or better yet how do you keep a Nole in suspense..
    Or the best one.. How do you keep a Nole from quitting? So far no one has an answer to that

  21. If you understand recruiting (as some of you say you do), you understand the hole that McElwain started in. He essentially had 7 verbal commits and a class ranked behind just about everybody in college football. The change in recruiting rules with the dead period made it even tougher. So to go from there to a top 25 team with two of the top 10 players in the country is fairly exciting. He was competing with coaching staffs that have been recruiting these players for years and he had under two months with a long dead period. Will be interesting to see what he can do with a whole year to recruit. Having said that – these recruiting rankings are mainly just a guess. Have to wait a few years to really judge how good a class it was.

  22. its funny how some people expected coach mac to come out with a top 5 recruiting class with a team that struggled to process points…i think coach mac did a great job with the time he had..with the results that we got this class, im sure if coach mac had more time he would have landed the guys he wanted..i just beleive that cowart,norton and davis will regret going up their once muschamp leaves next year for a head coaching job and takes t-rob with him again..im sure coach mac can get us to 10 wins this year with his knowledge of the offense and the d pretty much staying the same…GO GATORS!!!

  23. 813 – I hope you are right about the 10 wins, but there are a lot of factors that could change my expectations. The Gators will be thin at qb, offensive line and linebackers. Injuries at those positions could greatly effect the play of the team. I would like to see improved play at qb, wide receiver and offensive line. If they get that and stay healthy, than 9 to 10 wins is a possibility.

    I like that the head coach has previous head coaching experience and turned that team around. I like that a lot of this coaching staff has worked together previously. I like that the oc and dc have had previous success at those positions. I like that we have picked coaches that should be able to recruit the South well. Don’t know how ell it will work out well, but think we have reasons to be optimistic.

  24. No one, that was realistic, expected McElwain to sign a great class in his first year. But to say he did anything remarkable is also not true. To get only two guys, Jefferson and Ivey, of the numerous players that were heavily favoring Florida is pretty mundane. Cowart didn’t come, even after undergoing his high school coach putting the screws to him after his Auburn announcement. It wasn’t a great class, and we don’t know if all the guys will qualify. We don’t have a clue if McElwain will make UF a better team and the assistant coaches are not any better than anyone else’s assistant coaches. It’s the head coach that matters, and we will have to wait until some real games against teams that you don’t pay to lose are played to know if UF will be in line to win even a division championship. I hope McElwain is the answer, but nothing he has done yet has been impressive, unless you think having the worst recruiting class in memory is something to crow about. It’s time to see results, not talk. We all heard, constantly, how impressed guys like Ryan Davis were with McElwain, yet they proved to be just words. We might hear more words about how great Grier or Harris look in Spring and presason practice, but we’ve heard that before as well, and when a real game came around, it was just B.S. Before bragging, wouldn’t it be prudent to actually have something to brag about? UF is a mediocre team right now that hasn’t been to Atlanta for years, that’s reality.

  25. i agree 863..one injury to the linbackers or qb will haunt us…o line i think differently..we dont have the numbers we want but they are alot better than linebacker and qb numbers..summers is the best oline coach in the country and he will get the best out of all of them..he did a great job with the oline this year wen we had a few injuries..the problem with the oline is youth…we have the talent but everyone is very young…but your right and im crossing my fingures that no injuries happen to those 3 position most of all qb or we’re screwed

  26. ntcrze – read through the posts to see if I had missed something. One person had said it was a great class based on where they had started. No one said it was a great overall class, so I am not sure where you are getting that. As far as your heavy leans, they were that last summer and early in to the football year. As soon as the losses started mounting those heavy leans were no more. When they fired Muschamp that made most of the recruits leans elsewhere. About a week before signing day predictions had the Gators getting none of the top recruits – Ivey to Auburn – Jefferson to Ole Miss. So getting two of the top 10 recruits is not mundane in my opinion. Cowart was lost when Muschamp was hired at Auburn. I had heard that Ryan was good friends with Cowart and wanted to go where he went. We did get several recruits that had verbally committed elsewhere – Scarlett, Cronkite & Calloway.

    No, we do not know if McElwain and his coaches will make UF better. However, we can be optimistic because of their previous success.

    The bragging I have seen is in response to posters on here who said things like – UF was not going to get any of the top players – that they would not finish in the top 50 in recruiting – hinted that they might not be able to get to commits, etc. Have not heard anyone saying that this team was ready to challenge for a national championship. I think most on here know it will take a few years to build back up to a contender.

  27. Gator863 You sound reasonable, but some others go off the deep end. Someone saying that Summers is the best offensive line coach in the country is an example of that. I think the Georgia game is the only one that the offensive line shined. A season is longer than one game. There are plenty o good offensive line coaches, and I’d take Trickett at FSU over summers in a heartbeat. With Stork, a two star, now starting for the Patriots, and the other players on FSU’s line that will be drafted this year,along with the others he’s sent to the NFL that were not highly rated recruits, it’s hard to make a claim that Summers is a better offensive line coach than him. I just think that some folks forget that having a Gator logo on your shirt does not mean that you are the best, other teams have coaches and players too. The won/loss record, which is all that matters, is evidence that UF is not the best at anything right now. Maybe that will change with McElwain, I hope so, but he has his work cut out for him if he has to not only improve the quality of the players, but he already has the “best” assistant coaches in the country. Consistency is the key. It’s great to run all over Georgia, but then get stonewalled against FSU is an example of why calling Summers the best offensive line coach in the country is lunacy. Even Summers work is cut out for him. He doesn’t have enough bodies for the Spring, and it’s hard to expect the influx of freshmen are going to ready to play. I am waiting for the unrealistic predictions for the upcoming season. We’ve already heard how UF could have won more games last year from the pumpers. They conveniently leave out the fact that UF could have also lost a couple more games. Remember Kentucky and Tennessee? The gators should have a strong secondary next year. After that, every area on the team is a question mark. We don’t know if UF’s running backs will be better, they were pedestrian last year. There’s only one returning starter on the offensive line, and that one is Trip Thurman, nobody is calling him a great player. The wide receivers were mediocre last year, with only Robinson showing any promise. The tight end is a transfer coming off an injury who has yet to catch a pass at UF. The defensive line is bolstered by one returning starter, Bullard, the rest of the projected starters have done very little. The linebackers are thin, and the top returner, Morrison, is someone that we don’t have the slightest clue if he’ll even suit up in the Fall. The most important position, quarterback, is manned by a returning starter, Harris, that failed to impress anyone last year, backed up by a high school all-star that has yet to play a down, but was unable to beat out the unimpressive Harris. A lot of teams, including FSU, have many of the same question marks, but they also have a recent track record of winning. Until UF regains it’s winning ways, there’s nothing to brag about.

  28. One question to ntcrze…Are you always this pessimistic in life? Get a grip man this is Gator football not the Apocalypse. Lighten up, life is too short. We have as much to look forward to or more with this team and coaches then we have had in years.
    Again lighten up before you have the coronary.

  29. ntcrze – I know very little about Trickett as I am a Gators fan. I do not follow FSU closely. Even if I did, I would not be one to judge which offensive line coach is better. I have read articles that have said that Summers is among the best at his position. I have also read articles with interviews with NFL players who had been coached by Summers in college. They raved about how good he is. Probably Trickett and Summers are both very good at what they do.

    I am not as pessimistic as you in regards to the returning players. I would agree there are questions to be answered, but reasons to be optimistic at several positions. We will now have to wait and see what happens when they start playing.

  30. ntcrze what a long arse dissertation just to say nothing. Why don’t you bring something factual to the table fool? Guess I will stick to the “name calling” since others have been eloquent in describing what a fantastic job BigMac and staff have done in this recruiting cycle and yet you fail to understand. Why argue with an idiot? It is obviously a waste of time. So keep pretending you post relevant discourse when we all know you and your fellow assclowns aux and jumbo fisher are all the same. Nothing new, nothing relevant, just the same tired baloney.
    The only thing you got right is that the play on the field is what will matter next fall. Maybe you didn’t even say that but it is true.
    Next time try to keep your silly posts more concise, they take up too much space.

  31. 305Gator I feel sorry for you that you are unable to discern facts from fantasy. How does it feel to live in the 305 area code, I’m assuming that’s why you list it, and see UF a distinct third place where you live in terms of high school player loyalties. UF does have Treon Harris and did get Antonio Calloway this year, but usually trails FSU and Miami in getting players where you live. I know UF got Jackson this year, but neither Miami or FSU wanted him. maybe it’s your fault, try to do better.

  32. Poor silly ntcrze projecting his fantasies unto others when in reality it is you who are way off in la la land. It feels great to live in the 305 where there are more Gator fans than semi holes and more Gator fans than true Miami fans (but that is a story for another time). You are only partially correct as usual. It is true that FSU has the upper hand in recruiting not only in Miami but statewide. Now that is to be expected coming off a NC and undefeated season and a trip to the playoff this year. That was not always so and it will change in the near future. UF is light years ahead of Miami though even in it’s own backyard and with the new guys in charge it will only get better. Not only did we beat the canes for Calloway, but also for Fred Johnson and Jordan Conkrite and we flipped Scarlett. We almost flipped Tyree StLouis as well. So again you come to the table with half truths, conjecture and exaggerations and try to pass them off as fact. Worthy of a top 3 assclown designation.

  33. Little Clown-U Jimmy Wisher is up to his usual standard, a top 3 azz-clown for sure.
    Head-BJ’s 1st recruit class was 2012, #21 with 24 recruits.
    McElwain’s 1st recruit class is 2015, #20 with just 21 recruits.
    Derri-lick Doo-little was no drain on Tn recruiting, unlike WM at AU.
    UF’s last 4 classes: 4-2-6-20, 4 class average = #8.
    Tn’s last 4 classes: 29-21-5-5, 4 class average = #15
    And don’t compare the number of 5 stars, or it gets worse for the tennis-sea Head-BJ.

    7-5 UF 19 – 24 FSUcks 12-2 (+5 and had to come-back at home to get the win)
    And that was with tFr Harris going 13 of 33, 1 TD, 2 Ints.
    I’d say that with the McNuss offense, you’re screwed in the SWAMP in 2015.
    How’d your chumps finish 2014? FSUcks 20 – 59 Oregon.
    Mediocre UF was 6 pts from being in the SEC-C game.
    They were a total of 11 pts and a rain-out from being 10-2. Mediocre my azz.
    IF UF is really mediocre, then FSUcks is only 5 pts better than mediocre, and
    they are 39 pts (20-59) from actually being a relevant team. LMAO

    Hey Nut-craze, UF doesn’t have the ‘Deion Rule’ to it’s credit, nor a Clown-U designation…

  34. Well said da-muddler but you know it goes in one ear and out the other of these azz clowns. Now why would a Clown U, FSUcks fan come here everyday with the same tired baloney? Beats me. Guess we should all do like primo says and go get a job and spend less time here. Or better yet primo you need a better job that affords you the freedom to be able to post and converse with internet trolls as long as you wish. Tough to do with a piece of paper from FSUcks. Barnum and Baily has a museum over the Naples area maybe with your Clown U exposure and knowledge of the circus you can find something to do there.

  35. ntcrze – That last comment certainly shows that you are not a Gators’ fan. So out of curiousity, why are you here? Is your life so pathetic that you get a thrill out of trying to upset others? Why not spend your time more wisely by chatting with your fellow Noles fans on a Noles’ message board.

  36. this is the situation, all you guys saying this class is an A or an A+ are completely delusional and uneducated. This class is a B or B- at best. Yes, no doubt Mac and the staff pulled out some great accomplishments at the end, however the class is very incomplete. tremendous areas of need were not even addressed (QB, LB, WR)

    this first full class of McIlwain must be a top 5 class, no excuses. We live in the most talent rich football state in the nation. We let WAY too many players get away last year. IMG Academy alone has 6-8 top 300 players in the nation. We need to lock these kids up. Recruiting should be #1, 2, and 3 priority. If we don’t secure a great class McIlwain’s tenure could be a short one. So go ahead and slam me because I didn’t think they pulled off the miracle everyone else did….they did a good job, no doubt, next year they need to do a GREAT job.