Post-Signing Day Update

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    • #46466
      Graham Hall
      Moderator

      Hey everybody, hope all is well! Hoping to make these posts more frequent and engage more about recruiting here in the coming months, but I just wanted to post a quick update in the interim about Florida’s recruiting.

      Without factoring in three five-star transfers, UF’s 2020 class is currently ranked No. 8 by 247Sports, and the Gators technically remain in the mix for their two commits, Marc Britt and Leonard Manuel. Britt plans to sign with either Ole Miss or the Gators on Feb. 20, just a week from now. It’s hard to get a read on the situation with either prospect. While many people presume he – and Manuel, too – will flip to the Rebels or another Power 5 program, don’t rule Florida out here.

      As for the 2021 class, the Gators are sitting pretty with 11 prospects in the fold, which has Dan Mullen’s fourth recruiting class at Florida currently ranked No. 4 in the nation and No. 1 in the SEC by 247Sports. Although, as everyone here knows, a lot can change in the next few months. Have thoughts on Florida’s 2020 class? Anyone you want to see UF target in 2021? Let me know!

    • #46469
      Gator-6
      Blocked

      Immediate question for 2020 — how will recruiting this year impact the offensive line in particular?

      • #46470
        StLGator
        Participant

        Other than provide quality depth in case there’s a rash of injuries, true freshmen OL’s are the first candidates for red shirts in every recruiting class. The gap between blocking high school and SEC DL’s is about equal to the gap between the looks and athleticism of typical high school cheerleaders and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders!

        Of the four OL recruits signed in the 2020 class, only Josh Braun has the potential to get significant playing time next year. It would not speak well for the upper class-men OL’s if he wins a starting job.

      • #46579
        Graham Hall
        Moderator

        Good question, Gator-6! With 15 scholarship offensive linemen right now, Florida can really be picky at the OL position in 2021, but the goal every class is to sign 5 OL and 4-5 (or more) DL/DE. Not having to overload at those positions should let Florida focus on areas of need (S, CB, WR, RB,) in 2021.

    • #46471
      StLGator
      Participant

      Graham, with respect to the 2021 class, what’s it going to take for the Gators to keep top Florida prospects from leaving the state. According to 247, there are two 5* prospects from the state in this class. One is a safety committed to UGA and the other is a defensive end currently pointed toward Oklahoma, although he’s at least giving the Gators a look see. Both would really fit well into the Gator defense.

      • #46580
        Graham Hall
        Moderator

        Hey STLGators, good note there. I think it’s important to remember how recruiting has become more of a national (and sometimes international) thing, as opposed to traditionally you’d want to land your top local and in-state guys and focus on development. While Power 5 programs surely want to land four-star and five-star prospects, they go by their evaluations, roster need, depth, etc. over proximity.

        • #46581
          Gator-6
          Blocked

          That’s been developing for 30 years or more, unfortunately, all across the board. College football has expanded to a national game, while fan loyalties and fan support have remained pretty much a regional or geographical thing. Of course, why W. Virginia is in the BIG-12 does still baffle the horse dookey out of me………….

        • #46583
          StLGator
          Participant

          I understand we shouldn’t generalize based on sample sizes of one or two. However, given the Gators’ obvious need of safeties in the 2021 recruiting class, I find it incomprensible that James Williams of Opa Locka, FL hasn’t even shown interest checking them out. That was one powerful sell job he got from Kirby Smart!

          Terrance Lewis of Hollywood, FL fits another Gator position of need at OLB in 2021. He at least has been listening to the Gators and is now favorably disposed to committing to play at UF.

          Does UF have higher academic admission standards than Alabama, UGA and LSU?

          • #46585
            Gator-6
            Blocked

            I can answer that one.

            • #46594
              StLGator
              Participant

              The answer to this question will ALWAYS have a bearing on where Gator recruiting classes will rank relative to those other three programs, or for that matter where they’ll rank relative to the Semis!

            • #46595
              StLGator
              Participant

              To be clear, I’m referring ONLY to football recruits, NOT to general academic student admission standards.

            • #46814
              Graham Hall
              Moderator

              Sorry I’m just getting around to answering this STLGator – football recruits typically have to meet UF’s minimum academic standards, from what I understand. And yes, the standards are higher at UF than they are at LSU, Alabama, UGA – really any other SEC program except possibly Vanderbilt.

            • #46841
              StLGator
              Participant

              Thanks for that answer Graham. It adds context to the relative recruiting success of some programs over others. Extreme opposite examples are Alabama and Vandy.

              There’s more to recruiting success than relative academic standards. However, when we get into the top 10, or even top 5 recruiting classes, any significant factor yielding advantage to one program over another can affect final class rankings. That may be why we hear Gator 2021 class recruits regularly mention that CDM and staff have been pushing UF’s top 10 ranking in BOTH football and academics. CDM is trying to attract the blue chip recruits that are also interested in academics. If pursued hard every year in the recruiting process, that strategy should turn a potentials handicap into a selling point and yield a more coachable squad with fewer trouble makers.

            • #46916
              Graham Hall
              Moderator

              Very good points, and it’s something coaches sometimes have to adjust to when they land at a new program. I think it’s fair to say that in retrospect Mullen and his coaching staff pursued several prospects in his first two cycles in Gainesville that were risky plays considering UF’s academic standards.

            • #46922
              StLGator
              Participant

              I believe CDM and staff didn’t have much choice during the first couple of recruiting cycles at UF. The recruiting game has turned into a long-term process, where coaches develop relationships with recruits that often go back to middle school. Such relationships for CDM at MSU were rarely with blue chip players because MSU stood little chance of landing most of those.

              When CDM was hired by UF, he initially had to settle for recruiting the blue chip players that didn’t already have strong bonds with the schools they would ultimately sign with. You have to admit, there’s a reason most of those players didn’t already have strong bonds with a particular program. Academic deficiency is certainly one of those reasons and it showed up in the number of CDM signees that never qualified academically.

              Fortunately, that handicap is fading fast. The 2020 recruiting class will have fewer academic washouts and the 2021 class might not have any at all.

            • #46998
              Graham Hall
              Moderator

              Yes, definitely worth noting that often new HCs don’t have the luxury of immediately reorienting their recruiting player rankings when the academic standards change. Especially if you become the Florida HC.

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