The Florida coaches and players seem to have put the loss to Georgia behind them, but I know a lot of Gator fans still haven’t. Many of you are understandably upset and have asked me if any of the commits feel the same way.
Although all of them obviously wanted UF to win, last Saturday’s game hasn’t caused anyone to rethink their commitment. After a few of Florida’s big wins this year, coach Will Muschamp said he doesn’t believe one game affects a recruit’s decision all that much. The same goes for a loss.
Remember, most members of this class committed prior to this season, and Florida’s 7-6 record from 2011 was the only on-field results they had to go by. While winning has certainly validated their choice, I think most if not all of these commits picked UF because they were sold on the school itself along with factors like distance, playing time, etc.
The Missouri game won’t be a big recruiting weekend for the Gators as expected, and they actually have no 2013 targets scheduled to attend. But there will be one official visitor — offensive tackle transfer Tyler Moore.
On to the questions!
What happened with David Dawson? — Mark, gatorfan, TigerCatZeroZero
For those who missed it, Dawson released his new favorites this week and UF, nor any other SEC team, made the cut. His Top 3 is now Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin, which is a complete change from the Top 3 (Florida, Alabama, LSU) he had after his decommitment from Michigan.
The reason for this change of heart was his official visit to UF. On that trip, Dawson didn’t really enjoy Gainesville like he thought he would and discovered a desire to stay close to his mother, who lost her husband (David’s father) in a tragic accident on April 11 and moved back home to Detroit less than a year ago after working a new job in Texas in 2011.
If that’s the case, which is by all indications, then you can’t blame Dawson and maybe it took him visiting Florida to realize distance mattered. There were talks he would return to Gainesville with his mom for the banquet weekend, but that looks unlikely at this point.
Where do we stand with Denson, and if we can’t flip him, is that the end of the OL board? What’s latest on Trenton Brown? — Chas
Denson was kind of put on hold after the Gators began getting strong vibes from Dawson following their upset of LSU. With him now out of the picture, I would expect UF to turn the heat back up on Denson. Like Dawson, he was impressed with the LSU win and unofficially visited for the game. However, he seems pretty strong to Florida State and it will take some real work from the Florida coaches to flip him. But there’s still a little over two months until National Signing Day, so they’ve got time. He’s really the only other option at guard right now.
Brown took an official to Arizona last weekend and said afterward that UF is still his leader. He may visit Oklahoma or Florida State before making his decision at the end of November, but the Gators have the clear edge here.
Anything new on Anzalone? Notre Dame is winning and looking good on D. — Mike, moneymal
It appeared Anzalone was UF-bound after cancelling his trip to South Bend two weeks ago, but he has decided to head there this coming Sunday and Monday. With the tension surrounding his visit to Florida for the LSU game and then his cancellation with Notre Dame, this will be a key visit for the Irish to keep him in the fold. If things don’t go well and/or he doesn’t have as much fun as he did in Gainesville, then I think he will be a Gator.
With their decision dates coming up, do you see Greg Gilmore or Marcell Harris in this class? — moneymal, Robert
Gilmore sent out a pair of pro-Florida tweets this week, but I will never fall for that again (I’m talking to you, Stefon Diggs). As I said last week, I think Gilmore is going to LSU. He officially visits Baton Rouge this weekend and then makes his decision on Nov. 8.
At his Under-Armour selection on Wednesday, Harris revealed he will announce his commitment on Nov. 16 and won’t take his fifth official. This is great news for the Gators because they got the last visit. I expect them to get him as well.
Can you talk Elijah Daniel and Ebenezer Ogundeko? Odds they go to UF? — Brandon
These two are being recruited to play the Buck position and I doubt Florida will be able (or want) to take both. I think UF likes Daniel more, but he’s still a soft commitment to Clemson and has grade issues. If he can improve his academics and make it down for an official visit, the Gators will have a great shot.
Florida has been the front-runner for Ogunkdeko since his visit in June and still have the advantage over Arizone State, Clemson and Ole Miss. Ogundeko’s high school games are on Saturdays and he’s waiting for his season to end so he can take official visits. He could be a done deal once he makes it back to Gainesville.
With chances of flipping Ramsey looking slim, what do you think the staff does? Is Mackensie Alexander a possibility? — Kyle
Alexander doesn’t have high interest in UF and looks like a long shot. If the Gators can’t flip Georgia commit Shaq Wiggins, who will officially visit later this year, I don’t think they’ll take another cornerback in this class. Keep in mind though that safety commit Nick Washington could play corner in college.
Any shot with JaQuay Williams? Said he is down to UGA and UF. I say we take the risk, and hope his grades can be maintained. — Jeff, Tamayo, Richard
Williams originally signed with Auburn, but he failed to qualify academically in August and enrolled at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. He was teammates with UF freshman defensive lineman Quinteze Williams and flirted with Florida toward the end of recruiting process. But Georgia posed the bigger threat back in February and was the only school he officially visited (on Jan. 20) other than Auburn.
The Gators will need to get him on campus to gauge his interest, but they definitely have a shot if he’s listing them as one of his favorites. He is popping up on the board at a good time, too, because UF is still on the outside looking in with receivers Marquez North and Demarcus Robinson (a Clemson commit).
Zach, I know that we desperately in need of some playmakers at receiver this next year. I know we have Ahmad Fullwood and a hand full of other receivers. Are any of these guys big-time recruits or do they have to be developed over a few years? Which ones do you think have the best chance of making an impact as true freshmen? — Mike, Dwayne
UF has four receiver commits in Fulwood, Alvin Bailey, Marqui Hawkins and Chris Thompson. Fulwood and Bailey are the big-timers and members of the Rivals100/ESPN150. At 6-foot-4, I think Fulwood has a chance to contribute the most next year because the Gators don’t have a skill-set similar to his and they will get him involved in the offense right away.
Bailey is going to be in the rotation as well, but he’ll have to battle with Solomon Patton and Andre Debose for playing time in the slot. The other two will need some time to develop, but Hawkins (strength) and Thompson (speed) both bring quality traits to the position.
Which UF commits will start in January and will those that do count against the 2012 or 2013 signing class? — Ken
Running backs Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane, defensive lineman Joey Ivie and linebacker Daniel McMillian are enrolling early and all four will count toward the 2012 class. Anzalone and Harris are also midyear recruits.
That’s all for this week! Be sure to put your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below!