McElwain feels good about 2016 cycle

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Unlike the 2015 class, Jim McElwain has time on his side for 2016 recruiting cycle. (Photo by Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun)

With Florida just days away from the start of spring football, recruiting is about to pick up for the Gators.

UF currently has three verbal commitments, all of whom have pledged to the school in the past month.

McElwain and his staff put together top-25 class in early February, with 15 of the 21 signees pledging in the final week and a half of the 2015 cycle.

With a full year to recruit for 2016, McElwain feels much better about the future of the current class. He and his staff will host more than a dozen 2016 prospects this weekend.

“We’re ahead of the curve right now, but we’re also a little behind because a whole bunch of people have already been recruiting a long time for 2017,” McElwain said. “So it’s going to take still another full cycle to try to catch up. But believe me, we’ll be a lot farther ahead than that 2-3 week period that we had trying to get (the 2015 class) together.

“And I’ve got to tell you, I was just so proud of how hard everybody in the organization worked those weeks in recruiting to give us the best opportunity to show what it means to be a Gator and the things and the benefits of being a Gator down the road, later in life, and how important that is. So I am looking forward to at least trying to be a little ahead and not wait until the last recruiting weekend to have 16 visits or whatever it was.”

20 COMMENTS

  1. I know we still have to be in that “wait & see” type of thinking, but, to me it just sounds & feels SO much different/encouraging than when Mushmouth spoke. Sounds like we are trending in a good direction, but….. I still just want to “wait & see”!! I welcome Coach Mac & his staff & hoping for a HUGE turnaround….Go Gators!

  2. He should feel good. UF needs playmakers, and, at least at wide receiver, there are plenty of them this year. I don’t recall a deeper group of, supposedly, great wide outs in the state of Florida. On top of that UF already has the brother of one of the top receivers in Georgia ans the top JUCO receiver comes from Tallahassee Lincoln, a school that is a feeder for UF. There are also plenty of linebackers, the biggest need for UF. The Gators should be able to reel in a handful of prospects very soon. The most pressing need, time wise, is to get a quarterback . They go off the board much earlier than any other position, and UF has only two legitimate options on campus right now, and we have no idea if either one will be able to play to McElwain’s standards. He needs to get a quarterback that he has chosen to groom, and soon. Some of the best ones are gone already, McElwain needs to get at least one, two would be better.

  3. OMG is that really AUX sounding positive???? For the first time I have to agree with him. There are plenty of kids coming up that will feed the areas of need. The only thing I disagree with is that so many QB’s are Off the board. Too early in the cycle to count anyone out. But Aux hang in there we will make you a Gator believer yet.
    Go Gators!!!!!

  4. In such a short time McElwain with Foley’s full support has dramatically altered the landscape, literally and figuratively. As the indoor practice facility takes shape and the expanded support staff fills out to twice the size of Muschamp’s at Florida, you can readily see the rapid impact our new coach is making. On arrival McElwain talked about building an infrastructure for success. His support staff includes veteran coaches and he’s doubled the staff in coordinating recruiting. And this is only the beginning. He’s a guy with a jovial personality kids like and a big picture perspective on impacting his players’ steps to satisfying, successful post-college adulthood. He talks about the bigger dimension of being a student at UF. Recruits will come.

  5. Re: QBs, besides the excellent array of prospects this cycle, others will emerge, too. Some kids hit close to their ceiling ahead of others, so they dominate in high school but can’t go far in the higher level of college competition. (Driskel, Bobby Sabelhous?). Others have more room to grow. I suspect Mac will nab some hot shot and a second QB, a late bloomer loaded with developmental potential. Aux is dead-on about receivers and linebackers, and keep your eyes on Frankie Hammonds’ younger brother.

  6. Gatormac It’s very rare if a great quarterback will “emerge” this late in the game. The quarterback pecking order is pretty much a done deal by now. Also you don’t see quarterbacks flipping very often, especially not late in the game. Some flips happen, but usually all the flipping is done before the Summer. There are exceptions, FSU lost Kai Locksley this year and Harris last year, but both were considered to be more of an athlete and FSU had other quarterback(s) already. The quarterback, especially if he’s highly rated, is usually the pied piper of a class, players will come because he’s there. WE should get an idea of what UF’s board looks like after the slew of visitors the next few weeks. I think I already know that they covet K.J. Costello the most, but it’s probably a long shot to pull him from California. I’d lik to see Zach tell us who he thinks is at the top of the board after Costello. I know UF is trying to get Eason to flip from Georgia, as well, but that’s another long shot. I want to know who is the QB that UF wants and is likely to get before June.

  7. Dear, dear Aux! I know great QBs rarely “emerge” as high school seniors. And anyone who tracks college performance knows that often it’s the less regarded high school stars who become the best. Marcus Mariota, for instance, or how about Rex Grossman as compared to Brock Berlin? Kerwin Bell and Shane Matthews come to mind. Up where I live an unwanted two star guy named Shane Carden turned into a highly productive QB for East Carolina throwing to a record-setting walk-on who set all-time NCAA records. More often coaches see possibilities where recruiting gurus fail. McElwain will find his guys for Florida.

  8. Hey Ox-Tu, could you give me the run-down on where Shane Matthews and Kerwin Bell came from, to become Great Gator starting QB’s? Stars, Home State, Race, none of that petty stuff matters to me. What matters is character, leadership, citizenship, scholarship, results on the field. In my experience, those things can come from anywhere, but no where is there a guarantee of getting them. Bell-Matthews-Wuerffel-Leak-Tebow, those 5 are about as different as you’re gonna get coming out of HS. But all have their UF degrees, and although none of them were total angles, none of them embarrassed UF or had to be bailed out of jail, and everyone of them continues to be successful in life after school….

  9. Hey aux, I have to admit, it’s actually a pleasure to hear your posts regarding football when it’s not laced with thinly veiled shots at florida. You clearly know about the game, and I welcome your in site when you just want to talk football and not trolling. I’m not saying you can’t say anything negative about florida football, we obviously have our fair share of issues, but if you keep in the context of a football discussion and not just cheap shots, then I look forward to discussions about football, you can give us the straight view of florida football, not through gator colored glasses.

  10. The 2015 Battle to be the Gators Starting QB: (just my own speculation and opinions of course, not pre-dic-tions).

    QB-PP Skyler Mornhinweg 6-3 221 *** rsJr 1L – SEC Academic Honor Roll, 3 games, 2 backup 2013 starts.
    (QB-DT Treon Harris 5-11 193 **** – Accused Rape. Found Speeding on Campus, Driving w-o Licence, Weed)
    >> So far he has dodged prosecutions, but that doesn’t make him innocent, just not found guilty,,, (yet).

    How about the ‘on the field’ QB skills?

    SCa Skyler – 10 of 13, 76.9% for 107 yds, 0 TD, 1 Int, — to 7 different receivers, cold off the bench.
    (SCa Harris – 5 of 11, 45.5% for 55 yds, 1 TD, 0 Int

    GaSo Skyler – 14 of 25, 56% for 122 yds, 2 TD’s, 0 Ints.
    (EKy Harris – 4 of 12, 33.3% for 162 yds, 2 TD’s, 0 Ints)

    Skyler FSUcks – 20 of 25, 80% for 115 yds, 1 TD, 0 Ints.
    (Harris FSUcks – 13 of 32, 40.6% for 169 yds, 1 TD, 2 Ints)

    Skyler Career – 44 of 63, 69.8% for 344 yds, 3 TD’s, 1 Int, L-46 yds.
    (Harris Career – 55 of 111, 49.5% for 1,019 yds, 9 TD’s, 4 Ints, L-86 yds.
    Skyler, while not a star, is a quality backup with a much better arm than Harris has demonstrated…

    QB-DT Treon Harris 5-11 193 **** A 2x FL 4-A State Champ. 2014: GP 9, 6 Starts (150 yds/gm)

    P – 55 of 111, 49.5% for 1,019 yds, 9 TD’s, 4 Ints — R – 75 for 332 yds, 4.4 ypc 3 TD’s.

    Will Grier 6-2 198 rsFr ***** Parade & Lemmings National HS PoY
    Passing – 14,565 yds, 195 TD’s, 27 Ints. (7.2 to 1 TD/Int Ratio)
    Rushing – 2,955 yds, 31 TD’s, only 7 total LPF’s in 3 years.
    3 Year HS Career Offense: 17,520 yards — 226 TD’s, 34 TO’s, a 6.55 to 1 TD/T-O Ratio.

    QB-PP Jacob Guy 6-5 224 rsJr SQ *** Dade City, FL
    2011 Tampa Bay Times’ All-Suncoast 1st Team. Set Pasco County passing records:
    TD’s (42) and yds (2,672). He led his team to the Florida Class 5A state semifinals.
    * The Gator Offensive Scout Team Player of the Week for the Tennessee game in 2014.

    And there are several other Gator players that were quality QB’s in HS.

    CB/QB-DT Deiondre Porter rsFr 6-0 170 *** SQ
    Like Adam Lame, he’s been judged by his size, not by his on the field ability and production.
    6-A 1st Team All State QB. Tampa Bay PoY. Led ALL FL HS divisions, 4,698 yds, 53 TD’s.
    Senior season: P – 150 of 263, 57% for 3,199 yds, 33 TD’s, 8 Ints — R – 1,499 yds, 20 TD’s.
    He also has a better arm than Harris, and his skill set is similar to Will Grier’s imo.
    Harris to RB/WR/xfer. Then Mornhinweg, Guy, and maybe Porter or Johnson to battle for QB depth.
    RB Treon Harris – 75 for 338 yds, 4.5 ypc, 3 TD’s, L-33 yds – Replaces RB B.Powell that has been moved to WR.

    2015 – FS (QB-DT & CB in HS) Kylan Johnson 6-3 200 Fr *** Dallas Tx. – 36 TD’s, 0 Ints his Sr season.
    ===========

    McElwain 2016 Recruit Offers already on the table:

    QB-PP Jacob Eason 6-6 215 Lake Stevens, Wa **** — UGA
    QB-PP Dwayne Haskins Jr 6-2 185 Potomac, MD **** — List
    QB-DT Brandon McIlwain 6-1 204 Newtown, PA **** — SCa
    QB-PP Feleipe’ Franks 6-6 211 Crawfordville, FL **** — LSU
    QB-PP Jawon Pass 6-4 201 Columbus, Ga **** — List
    QB DT Xavier Gaines 6-3 210 Lake Wales, FL **** — List
    QB-PP Rex Culpepper 6-3 216 Tampa, FL *** — List

    2016 Position Offer Break-downs:

    7 QB’s — 3 OoS QB-PP & 2 from FL, 1 QB-DT OoS & 1 from FL
    39 WR’s, 18 from FL (plus the 1 JUCO commit from Iowa-Tallahassee)
    12 OT’s, 2 from FL.
    10 RB, 2 from FL.
    —————————
    8 Ath’s, 4 from FL.
    —————————
    11 DT, 1 from FL.
    7 DE, 5 from FL. (plus the 1 DE commit from Miami)
    7 OLB’s, 4 from FL.
    4 ILB’s, 1 from FL. (plus the 1 ILB commit from Miami)
    6 CB, 3 from FL.
    4 S’s, 2 from FL.

    2 are JUCO’s (Iowa), a WR from Tallahassee, an OLB from Homestead

  11. da-muddler I thought you would have learned something in an earlier post when someone, I don’t remember who, explained to you that UF has only TWO viable candidates to be quarterback, Morninhweg, bless his heart, is not physically capable of being an adequate quarterback. Porter was not recruited to UF to be a quarterback, The others you list are walk-ons, if they were any good they would have received a scholarship somewhere. I know about Kerwin Bell, but that happened over thirty years ago, and is a very rare event. Also, Rex Culpepper has not been offered by Florida. If he had been, he’d probably commit immediately. So even list is incorrect, along with you not being aware that Harris or Grier are the ONLY quarterbacks that UF has on the roster that have a chance of being a good quarterback. You make lists that include the likes of walk-ons, and even you must be aware that a walk-on never sees the field unless it’s the ultimate garbage time when the scholarship players are playing hang man on the sideline. I’ll give you a hint at someone who UF may want at quarterback, even though he has yet to receive an offer from UF. His name is Austin Kendall from North Carolina, who just decommited from Tennessee and says he now has interest in UF, Kentucky, and Auburn. That’s the real scoop, not listing someone like Deiondre Porter as a quarterback when, even he knew when he signed, that his days of being a quarterback were over. I think it’s particularly comical that you list Morninhweg having an 80% completion rate against FSU. That is the poster child for why statistics are meaningless and for losers. No one who saw him play against FSU would say he was a good or even a mediocre quarterback, unless they only looked at his statistics. I suggest watching the game, not poring over statistics. It might give you a clue why someone like Porter, Morninhweg, or any of the other walk-ons you continually list will never see the field at UF unless it’s an extreme blowout of a paid scrub or something happens to Harris and Grier. That’s just the way it is, and I don’t believe that anyone but you thinks differently.

  12. Gator Rob, aux2 “sounding positive” is part of the gimmick. He is setting the groundwork for doom and gloom later in the season while attempting to sound reasonable right now. It’s part of the western school’s recruiting strategy. This is rebuild legitimacy season for him. Don’t be fooled. No matter how the season or recruiting goes, aux2 will concede a good thing every now and again while continuing to rip apart UF football. Guaranteed.

  13. McElwain feels good about the 2016 recruiting cycle, AND SO DO I.

    Stars and rankings are important and meaningful, IF it’s about your recruit. Stars and rankings are totally meaningless, IF it’s about a rival’s recruit.

    No matter the other details; coaches, systems, decade, conference, etc. The Flagship University of Florida Gators will ALWAYS get enough quality players. And as always, the Admin/Coaches will either succeed with them or they’ll be replaced.
    The long time Gator fans, that helped to build the programs, will ALWAYS be here.
    Other things that will ALWAYS be include:
    The scUM thugs of Mi-Am-I, and the FSUcks criminoles in tallycrappy.
    That’s just how it is, and how it’s going to remain, live with it…..
    Also, UCF has (imo) overtaken the scUM, and USF is on the way to doing the same to FSUcks.

    PS — nuttcase, splain this for us: QB Kerwin Bell, S Louis Oliver, WR Chris Doering. (Doering still holds the SEC’s All Time Record for Career Receiving TD’s (1992-95 – 31) They were all Gator Walk-ons (like BillyD’s current SF Jacob Kurtz) that couldn’t play a lick…..
    PSS – I don’t live my life or form my opinions on what you or anyone else tells themselves or wants to believe. I also don’t attempt to shore up weak opinions by claiming that I know what others choose to think or believe. You sound like a weak minded, company-boy, semi-hole butt-kisser to me.

    As far as who UF has offered, the list I used was on the ESPN Recruiting site, top bar OFFERS.
    http://espn.go.com/collegesports/football/recruiting/school/_/id/57/class/2016/page/offers
    Go argue with them if you need to, I don’t G-a-S about what you think or say.

  14. A new day, so time for another shot across the bow.

    The genius of the nuttcase is on display again:
    “The others you list are walk-ons, if they were any good they would have received a scholarship somewhere. I know about Kerwin Bell, but that happened over thirty years ago, and is a very rare event.”

    QB Shane Matthews was further down on the QB depth chart than Mornhinweg or Guy are right now.
    Just the highlights of Gator walkon history, from then to now:
    QB Kerwin Bell — S Louis Oliver — WR Chris Doering — SF Jacob Kurtz
    And many walkon K’s and others on the Special Teams through the years.
    Also-ran teams have STARS, and scrubs that everyone looks down their noses at.
    Championship TEAMS have 100% commitment and output from every valued member.
    Some coaches know how to get the most out of 100+ student/athletes.
    Some coaches only have the time/ability to coach 30-40 players at a time.
    Those coaches will sort themselves out over the course of a season and mostly get the results that they have earned and deserve. A full tool-box can’t help you, IF you don’t know HOW to make the most of all of the tools that are available.

    “Also, Rex Culpepper has not been offered by Florida. If he had been, he’d probably commit immediately. So even list is incorrect, along with you not being aware that Harris or Grier are the ONLY quarterbacks that UF has on the roster that have a chance of being a good quarterback.”

    From the ESPN Recruiting UF Offers List for 2016:

    QB-PP Jacob Eason 6-6 215 Lake Stevens, Wa **** 87 — UGA 4/300

    QB-DT Brandon McIlwain 6-1 204 Newtown, PA **** 85 — SCa 27/300
    QB-PP Feleipe’ Franks 6-6 211 Crawfordville, FL **** 84 — LSU 51/300
    ———–
    QB-PP Dwayne Haskins Jr 6-2 185 Potomac, MD **** 85 — List 23/300
    #6 QB-PP Jawon Pass 6-5 220 4.50/40 Columbus, Ga **** 84 — List 58/300
    QB DT Xavier Gaines 6-3 210 Lake Wales, FL **** 80 — List 249/300
    QB-PP Rex Culpepper 6-3 216 Tampa, FL *** 78 — List
    ==========================================

    From the ESPN Recruit’s Own ‘Considering UF’ List in 2016:

    QB-PP Dwayne Haskins Jr 6-2 185 Potomac, MD **** 85 — 23/300 List – offered

    QB-PP Jawon ‘Puma’ Pass 6-4 201 5.02/40 Columbus, Ga **** 84 — 58/300 List – offered

    QB-PP Austin Kendall 6-2 201 Waxhaw, N.C. **** 80 — List 225/300 (Tn de-commit)

    QB-DT Xavier Gaines 6-3 210 Lake Wales, FL **** 80 — List 249/300 – offered

    QB-PP Rex Culpepper 6-3 216 Tampa, FL *** — List – not a Jr300 – offered

    ==========

    QB-PP Logan Byrd 6-3 220 Kathleen, Ga ***
    He just de-committed from VaTech and now says that he’s now considering UF.

    “I’ll give you a hint at someone who UF may want at quarterback, even though he has yet to receive an offer from UF. His name is Austin Kendall from North Carolina, who just decommited from Tennessee and says he now has interest in UF, Kentucky, and Auburn.”

    UF has NOT offered Kendall nor Byrd, so far.
    Will Grier is light-years ahead of Kendall imo.
    Parade and Lemmings agree with me, not you.

    You think UF should offer Kendall, but you claim to not know if Grier is any good? lol

    Your IDIOCY has now been fully confirmed imoho, but have a nice day up on your wall anyway…. :~))

  15. i really hope we get rex culpepper…the kid can ball and comes from a hs program that has produce some great qbs…i feel confident he will be a gator because his whole family were gators..the only thing that would stop him is another 4-8 season but even then i still think he pulls the trigger his family ties are too deep..GO GATORS!!!