Zach’s Mail Stack 10/22


You know it’s a bye week when you write three separate stories on walk-on kicker tryouts.

Florida looks to have found its man in Dallas Stubbs, a GHS alum who walked on at UF in 2013.

Though he fulfills the need at kicker for this season, this week should serve as more ammunition for the Gators to use with Eddy Pineiro.

The fact that they had to hold a midseason audition for a kicker just tells you how bad it is at the position.

Ranked the No. 1 junior college kicker in the country, Pinerio is committed to Alabama but still considering Florida. I’d imagine he’s looking even harder now.

On to the questions!

Zach, does No. 81’s frosh success have any negative impact on WR recruiting as he will be a starter for at least two more years? — @G8RPaul

First of all, if you missed my feature Antonio Callaway this week check it out here. Some great stuff from Reidel Anthony and Chris Doering on how well he’s played as a true freshman.

To answer your question, Callaway’s emergence actually has the opposite effect.

Receiver recruits have been waiting for years to see an offense in Gainesville that’s attractive for their position, and they’re finally getting that this season. His starting role only makes that impact stronger.

After the season opener, five-star WR Nate Craig-Myers said the playing time Callaway and other freshmen received “really made a big impact” on him.

The same went for Florida 2017 commit Daquon Green following the Ole Miss game.

“I know I’ll have a chance to play right away, possibly start,” Green told The Sun. “I mean, look at Antonio Callaway.”

And it’s not just Callaway that’s catching the attention of recruits. Demarcus Robinson’s continued production is also a welcomed sight, and Brandon Powell’s play has impressed Miami commit Sam Bruce.

If Florida was stacked at wide receiver, maybe the production at the position would turn away some prospects. Since there’s only a few legitimate playmakers, one of whom will likely turn pro in Robinson, it’s not an issue.

After Craig-Myers’ recent FSU visit, it appears we have lost ground. Does the winner of UF and FSU gets his commitment? — @WaffleWolf90, @NWyckoff7

That’s not the case at all. From the couple updates I read, Craig-Myers did not make any comments to suggest either school has moved up or down his list.

Like most five-stars, Craig-Myers is very tight-lipped when it comes to the recruiting process and rarely gives any hints as to where he’s leaning.

When you have prospects like that, actions speaks louder than words and you “follow the visits.” Craig-Myers has been to UF several times since the summer, more than any other school.

At the very least, he’ll return to Gainesville for the Florida-FSU game and an official visit after the season. I don’t think the winner of the rivalry will land his commitment solely because of the outcome, but I do expect him to eventually choose between those two schools.

The Gators by no means have Craig-Myers locked up, but they are in the driver’s seat at this time. If the offense continues playing well and the team keeps winning, UF will be hard to overcome. His brother’s commitment to the Gators only helps their cause.

Any update on Shavar Manuel’s recruitment? Does LSU lead? Is the gap between us and them significant? — @TcarterTan

The five-star DT officially visited LSU over the weekend and reportedly had a great time, as you would expect.

But the good news for Florida is that he didn’t commit to the Tigers as some thought. I’m not sure where that report/rumor came from, but several people asked me about a potential pledge from him.

Manuel has been adamant about wanting to take his time. He may not wait until signing day, but he’ll likely use his four remaining official visits before deciding.

Manuel plans to take one to UF after his season to have more one-on-one time with the coaches.

His recruitment should come down to Florida and LSU, with Georgia or another SEC school possibly entering the mix down the road. He’s set on playing in this conference, and I’d say the Gators and Tigers are neck and neck right now.

Any updates on the teammates from Panama City Bay? — Bigro94

That would be USF offensive tackle commit Christion Gainer and defensive end Janarius Robinson, a Florida State commit.

Florida defensive line coach Chris Rumph was at their school this week to see Robinson, though he might have checked in on Gainer as well.

I called Robinson to see how it went but he did answer or reply to my text. He visited UF for the Tennessee game last month.

His pledge to the Seminoles isn’t very solid, but Alabama appears to be the biggest threat to flip him. The Gators are definitely a contender but they have a better shot with four-star DE Antonneous Clayton, who lists UF as his leader.

As for Gainer, Florida led for him early on in the 2016 cycle and he camped at UF in the summer. However, he committed to the Bulls shortly afterward.

The Gators are likely keeping tabs on him, but Marcus Tatum is their main in-state target at offensive tackle.

That’s all for this week! Be sure to leave your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below.