Other than the season-ending injury to Florida defensive end commit Jordan Sherit, it’s been nothing but good news for the Gators on the recruiting front.
The Gators didn’t gain any public commitments, however, several sources told me they received two silent verbals. I cannot name these prospects or give any hints, but I promise Florida fans will be excited about them when they announce.
The South Carolina game on Oct. 20 is going to have just as many big-time visitors as LSU and a similar outcome (packed crowd, beat a Top 5 team) could lead to more (possibly public) commitments.
On to the questions!
Is there any recruits that your gut tells you we turned with the performance vs. LSU? — Garrett, Travis, Alex, T.J.
Most of the visitors didn’t need to be turned because they were already high on Florida. But receiver Marquez North, FSU offensive guard commit Ira Denson and defensive tackle Montravius Adams are the three recruits I would say the Gators improved their chances with.
North and Adams called UF the best school they’ve been to and it sounded like both will be back for Florida’s banquet weekend on Dec. 8. Denson said he’s going to officially visit for South Carolina.
When North returns it will be on his dime, which tells you how serious his interest is. Tennessee is still his leader, but if the Vols struggle the rest of this season with their head coach on the hot seat and the Gators capture the SEC East and/or win some more big games, that could certainly change. But they have to show more production in the passing game for him — and his father — to be completely sold. Saturday’s 12 pass attempts and 61 yards won’t cut it.
UF was assured a spot in Adams’ Top 5 when it’s released and he said he’ll most likely take an official here in December. I still doubt he ends up in this class, but I don’t think the Gators have to sign another defensive tackle even though they want to. Caleb Brantley will contribute right away and either Joey Ivie or Antonio Riles can slide inside if needed. Florida’s depth should be fine for the 2013 season with those three freshmen, Damien Jacobs, Leon Orr, Jafar Mann and the possible return of Dominique Easley (who would likely move back to tackle if Sharrif Floyd leaves early as expected).
Hey Zach, is there any prospects we have a shot at if Marcell commits elsewhere? — Sleezie, Devin
Georgia safety commit Tray Matthews has said he would like to visit UF and the Gators could make a late run at Preist Willis or Leon McQuay, but all three appear to be long shots at this point. If Florida REALLY wants another safety, it could offer the infamous Demar Dorsey!
All jokes aside, I think the coaches are happy with the two commits they have and see Harris as a plus-one guy (although he’s probably near the top of their board). If he doesn’t pick the Gators, I don’t think they can or will want to add another safety. But out of all the targets that visited for the LSU game, Harris is by far the most likely to join the class.
Who is the one recruit left on the board you feel the Gators have to sign? — Doug
The Gators have to sign another offensive lineman, and it doesn’t really matter which one out of Denson, Michigan commit David Dawson, Trenton Brown, Laremy Tunsil and former Florida commit Roderick Johnson.
Brown is the surest bet to be UF bound because the Gators lead, he will visit for the South Carolina game and I don’t see another school swaying him before he makes his decision in November.
What’s the status of DT Greg Gilmore after the LSU game? I have not seen any comments by him afterwards. — Alex
Gilmore would not answer the phone for me this week, but here was his reaction on Sunday courtesy of Gatorcountry.com.
“Honestly, this game is weighing in my a lot right now. LSU has all juniors on their defensive line and they are going to be leaving, and I mean they have a good class coming in, but they are going to be rebuilding after they leave.”
“Florida’s defensive line is full of freshman defensive ends and linebackers, and they are just needing tackles to make them even better. The Carolina boys are there and they are doing good, too. Florida can do nothing but get better with the young players, but they just need some tackles to get be even better.”
Gilmore still has the Gators and Tigers even for his services. He will officially visit Oklahoma (Oct. 27) and LSU (Nov. 3) before making his decision on Nov. 8. I will try to get a hold of him after his trip to Baton Rouge for a preview story on his announcement.
Do we have a shot at WR Demarcus Robinson? I heard he still is going to visit Florida despite Clemson coaches telling him not to. — Tamayo
Robinson was planning to visit for the LSU game early last week, but apparently the Clemson coaches told him his offer would be pulled if he did. I don’t know if that’s still the case, but Robinson now says he will officially visit Florida as well as Notre Dame. If he does indeed come down, the Gators will definitely have a shot. Remember, they were his leader at one time.
What are the chances of the Florida signing a tight end in the 2013 class? — Matt
Near zero. JUCO tight end Beau Sandland — the only prospect Florida was still pursuing — eliminated UF and all other SEC schools on Oct. 1 because the online math class he’s taking to enroll early is not accepted by the conference.
The Gators struck out on all their previous targets at tight end, but I never felt it was necessary for them to sign one. They have five on the current roster and all will be back next year.
Zach, can you tell me about our chances with OT Denver Kirkland? And as for recruiting on defense, how about Isaac Savaiinaea at MLB? — tomk
Neither has an offer from Florida and Savaiinaea is committed to Stanford, so these two don’t seem to be targets for the coaching staff. The only offensive linemen on the board right now are the ones I mentioned above, and Notre Dame commit Alex Anzalone is probably the only linebacker the Gators would take since they already have three committed.
Zack, I keep seeing on other sites that Florida is still pursuing Robert Nkemdiche. Do we ACTUALLY have a shot, or is this just Muschamp being stubborn again? — Austin
Well if he shows interest, that wouldn’t be stubborn of Muschamp to at least listen. But I don’t believe he has nor will. If anyone is going to flip Nkemdiche, it will be Ole Miss or Alabama. Florida was never in the picture for him.
You answered this question for me during last year’s class. Who are the coaches prepared to take as plan B or even C behind the big names on the board? Under-the-radar type guys? Names we aren’t expecting like Octavius Jackson or Chris Thompson at the remaining positions of need? — Mack
In the 2012 recruiting class, the Gators came up short at several positions and weren’t able to sign as many as they could have. That isn’t the case this year. They’ve already met most of their numbers and have as many commitments (19) as they do scholarship openings for 2013. So you won’t see as many plan B guys targeted as you did last year, but here’s still some prospects to keep an eye on as possibilities at positions of need (though most of these names aren’t under-the-radar).
RB: Miami commit Alex Collins
WR: Taj Williams, Richard Benjamin, Dominic Walker
DE: Stacy Thomas, Kendrick Hair
DT: Marqudius Bain, Rod Crayton, Bobby Leath, Deadrin Senat
LB: Auburn commit Trey Johnson, Keith Kelsey, Jermaine Grace
That’s all for this week! Be sure to put your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below!