Zach’s Mail Stack 10/30


The Mail Stack comes to you a day late after spending my Thursday night covering Eastside against Gainesville, my alma mater.

It wasn’t much of a game between the rivals, as GHS shutout the Rams, 41-0.

I’m sure you Florida fans are hoping for a similar result in Jacksonville. I don’t expect the Gators to embarrass Georgia like they did last year, but I do expect them to beat UGA.

That will basically clinch the SEC East for UF, which is just crazy to think about given the expectations for this team heading into the season.

And yes, a trip to Atlanta is just more recruiting ammunition for Jim McElwain and his staff. A win Saturday could also help Florida with a couple prospects.

On to the questions!

With Miami’s coach being let go, are there any UM recruits that we would target now? — Joe, @gatorsteve, @DerekBrian27

The firing of Al Golden definitely opens the door for Florida to poach from Miami’s class.

The most obvious recruit is top-100 wide receiver Sam Bruce, who’s long been a potential flip for the Gators. He last visited for the season opener and was seen by Kerry Dixon II last week.

Bruce tweeted Sunday that he didn’t commit a coach, but then said as long as Miami WR coach Kevin Beard stays, he will as well. Some contradiction there.

Bruce has since deleted the first tweet but kept the one about Beard, who coached him at University School before leaving for UM. Bruce has since transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas.

With the coaching change at Miami, other schools are going to turn up the heat on Bruce and UF will have some competition. But if Beard isn’t retained and the Gators continue winning, they’ll be hard to beat out.

Florida linebackers coach Randy Shannon recently visited Miami defensive end commits Joseph Jackson and Joshua Uche, who could back off his pledge any day now. Uche, who is being recruited by Shannon as a linebacker, visited UF for Friday Night Lights and plans to return for an official visit.

Another linebacker, Miami commit and early enrollee Shaquille Quarterman, visited Florida in the spring and wants to check out other schools this fall. The Gators could be in line for one of his official visits.

One last UM pledge to keep an eye on is four-star quarterback Jack Allison. He doesn’t have an offer from UF at this time, but the Gators are still looking for a second QB in this cycle and he fits the bill of a top passer.

Allison’s commitment to the Hurricanes also appears to be in jeopardy.

Do you think Florida lands WR Tre Nixon? I heard we are now co-leaders for DE Brian Burns and in a good spot for DE Terrell Hall? — @KiddPOET12

Prior to October, Nixon wasn’t even in the picture for Florida. He hadn’t visited the school or mentioned it in months.

But a trip to Gainesville for the Ole Miss games apparently caused a shakeup in his recruitment. Nixon plans to make his decision soon and it’ll likely come down to Florida, Georgia and Penn State.

I don’t necessarily expect the Gators to land him because they’re so late to the party, but UF was his dream school growing up. Maybe the season Florida is having will rekindle that affinity.

Burns named UF and UGA his co-leaders this week. The Bulldogs were once a heavy favorite for him, but the Gators have closed the gap. Perhaps a win over Georgia this weekend could put them over the top.

Hall officially visited Florida the weekend of the Tennessee game, though his family did not come on the trip. But Chris Rumph has kept the full-court press on him and Doug Nussmeier stopped his school last week. It’s always tough to pull a kid out of the D.C. area, but UF has a shot with Hall.

What’ll interesting to see is how the DE board plays out moving forward. Florida is still in play for Burns, Hall, Jachai Polite, Janarius Robinson and Jordan Woods, as well as some others.

Will Antonneous Clayton’s commitment cause any of them to lose interest? If not and more ends join the class, will JaQuan Bailey and/or Eric Mitchell decommit from UF?

What O-linemen are still available with Ashton Julious off the board? — @mmajosh

For those who don’t know him, Julious is a junior college lineman who committed to Oklahoma on Monday after officially visiting the Sooners over the weekend. Florida was recruiting him hard, and he planned to visit later this year.

With him off the board and Branton Autry’s decommitment from the Gators, they don’t have many JUCO options left for linemen. Last week Mike Summers visited Malcolm Pridgeon of Nassau C.C. in Garden City, New York.

The uncommitted prep prospects UF has its sights set on are offensive tackles E.J. Price, Marcus Tatum, Jauan Williams and offensive guards Terrance Davis and Richard Merritt. Florida’s chances are best with Davis and Tatum, but the Gators still need to secure the final official visit for Davis.

Summers also visited five linemen last week committed other schools — Chris Barnes (Georgia), Parker Boudreaux (Notre Dame), Aaron Dowdell (Georgia), Brodarious Hamm (Auburn) and Chandler Tuitt (Ole Miss). Even with two commits at the position and 13 players returning next season, it’s obvious that the offensive line is still a priority for UF in this class.

Do you think the majority of our remaining targets will commit on signing day, at the Under Armor/Army games or earlier? — @ryanponczek, @njnovo

Unless there’s one or two more surprise commitments like Clayton, you’ll see most prospects for Florida make their commitments after the college football season.

The majority of UF’s remaining targets are big-time recruits, and typically those caliber of kids decide during the final two months of a recruiting cycle.

The aforementioned Burns, Nixon and Tatum could all pull the trigger before December. The rest of Florida’s targets, including potential flips, will likely pop afterward.

It should make for another exciting and impressive finish for Jim McElwain & Co.

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