After spending all of 10 minutes on the recruiting message boards earlier in the week, I came to the conclusion that Florida must be having the worst recruiting year in the history of the school.
Has to be, man, with all that gloom and doom everywhere you look.
Of course, a few minutes later I saw where the updated Rivals recruiting rankings had been released and the Gators were standing at No. 5. Not No. 5 in the state, mind you, not No. 5 in the SEC, but No. 5 in the nation.
So, what gives here? (Other than Florida fans are no different than other fans when it comes to recruiting: they tend to focus on the negative).
With less than two weeks remaining before National Signing Day, this seems like a good time to take a closer look at this class and shatter some of the myths about it.
Myth No. 1: the Gators are dying here at the end, similar to the way they closed out their 2015 season.
Reality: It’s impossible to close slow when you have 26 commitments and 12 members of the class are already enrolled, including three highly regarded wide receivers, two promising quarterbacks and a junior college running back who looks physically ready for the NFL. UF is missing out on some receivers late, but it’ll have four in this class, and that’s enough.
Myth No. 2: With all these three-star prospects in the class, Jim McElwain is recruiting Colorado State talent to Florida.
Reality: This, of course, is preposterous. Before spending three seasons at Colorado State, McElwain helped Alabama win two national titles. He knows what kind of talent is needed to compete and win championships in the SEC. These three-star guys signing with the Gators are players who have been thoroughly evaluated by the UF coaching staff, most of them through their performances in summer camp. Many of these prospects are/were coveted by other big-time programs who also see the value.
Myth No. 3: Elite offensive skill players have been scared off by the poor offensive performance by UF last season.
Reality: Some have, some haven’t. Those who have come on board saw enough of McElwain’s offense early in the season to know where it’s headed once the right pieces are in place. And who’s to say that Josh Hammond or Dre Massey or Freddie Swain won’t turn out to be elite players at wide receiver, just like Antonio Callaway did this season. He was a four-star guy just like those three.
Myth No. 4: There will be no good news for the Gators on signing day.
Reality: Be patient, there will be.