I got a lot of questions this week about Florida offensive coordinator Brent Pease.
Many people asked if I thought he would take the job and who his replacement might be, but some wondered how his potential loss could affect recruiting.
First of all, I don’t think he’s going anymore whether he gets the offer or not. And it was reported he has interest in the job, but we don’t know if Kentucky has interest in him.
Nevertheless, I really think UK is a dead-end job and not a place Pease can use as a stepping stone in his coaching career. He’s got a great gig going on here, and if he stays for a few years and is successful, he’ll have his choice of several schools and all will be better than Kentucky.
However, in the event he does take the job, I think the Gators actually won’t lose any offensive commits from his departure. Quarterback Max Staver (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) doesn’t have any offers better than UF, running backs Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Day) and Adam Lane (Winter Haven, Fla./Winter Haven) are enrolling early and have an opportunity to play right away, and all four receivers seem sold on Florida as a school and weren’t affected when Aubrey Hill resigned earlier this year.
On to the questions!
Defensive tackle situation. — Mike, C-Slim, Derek, Gary, Shawn, Ken, Reggie, Slickgator, Matt H.
Hot topic of the week right here.
It began on Monday when UF coach Will Muschamp announced the transfer of true freshman Jafar Mann. He’s second 2012 defensive tackle signee Florida has lost, which is a big blow on the depth chart.
Sharrif Floyd is long gone in my opinion, and there’s a chance Dominque Easley could leave early for the NFL as well. If that happens, UF will have just two defensive tackles (Damien Jacobs and Leon Orr) coming back for next year.
Caleb Brantley (Crescent City, Fla./Crescent City) is the only commit at the position for the Gators, but defensive linemen Joey Ivie (Dade City, Fla./Pasco) and Antonio Riles (Lawrenceville, Ga./Archer), both 6-foot-4 and in the 270-range, could slide inside if they put on some weight in the offseason. Also, true freshman Quinteze Williams (6-5, 276) has been cross-training at both end and tackle this year.
Still, Florida’s top priority moving forward is to sign another prototypical player at the position in addition to Brantley.
Greg Gilmore (Hope Mills, N.C./South View) is off the board following his commitment to LSU on Thursday, and UF only has two options right now in Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County) and Jaynard Bostwick (Port Saint Lucie, Fla./St. Lucie West Centennial).
Robert Nkemdiche (Loganville,Ga./Grayson) decommitted from Clemson on Thursday, but Ole Miss is all you need to know about him.
After Florida’s win over LSU, Adams said the Gators will “definitely” make his Top 5 and he would “most likely” return to Gainesville for an official visit on Dec. 8. But UF still has work to do to become a serious contender for Adams, and the top task is getting him back on campus for the banquet weekend.
I believe Bostwick the best chance the Gators have at getting another D-tackle. Florida and Miami are his top two schools, although the Canes lead slightly and have for awhile. But if the NCAA slams UM prior to National Signing Day, look for UF to land him.
JUCO DT Toby Johnson (Hutchinson, Kan./Hutchinson Community College) was offered by the Gators in early October, but it looks like Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas State are ahead of the pack at this point. It should be noted that he tore his ACL and MCL last Saturday and will likely redshirt at whatever school he attends next year.
We need some elite offensive linemen. Are there any that might be able to get into the rotation next year? — conjurer99, Doug
The only guy would be JUCO offensive tackle Trenton Brown (Milledgeville, Ga./Georgia Military). The Gators have led since his official visit for the Bowling Green game. He will unofficially visit FSU sometime next week and then take an official to Oklahoma on Nov. 24, but right now UF is the favorite to pick him up when he makes his decision in late November. At 6-foot-8, 350 pounds, Brown will obviously be bigger than every offensive lineman on Florida’s roster and should see the field in some capacity next year.
Does WR Stacy Coley have any interest in Florida? — Brandon, Jay
Last week, Coley told 247Sports he will start taking his official visits after the season and the six schools in consideration are FSU, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas Tech and West Virginia. To my knowledge, UF has not been to any of his games this season or visited his school (Northeast) in Oakland Park. So it’s doesn’t look like there’s interest from either side.
It would appear on the surface that the Miami connections developed by Doc Holiday and Urban Meyer have devolved into FSU/Miami battles and we don’t seem to be the player in S. Florida that we were a few years back. Is this by design or are we just getting beat there? — gatorspook, Les
UF definitely isn’t as dominant in South Florida as it once was, but that’s not by design. I think a lot has to do with the loss of Hill. He was born and raised in Miami and would have built a strong recruiting base for the Gators had he stayed more than one season. Fortunately for Florida, defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson is capable of doing the same in the short-term. Here’s a blog I wrote after Hill’s resignation that addressed how UF can rebound in South Florida.
Do you believe Florida will take 25 signees just to do it, or are they content on their class? — Devin
The Gators now have 77 scholarship players on their roster excluding walk-ons (who won’t count against the 2013 class). With 13 seniors graduating and Floyd and Matt Elam expected to go pro, UF will be able to sign at least 23 recruits. Any other transfers or early declarations will add to that number, and I ultimately think Florida will have room for a full class of 25.
Zach, could you do a list of expected announcement dates for UF targets? — Gator N NC
WR Demarcus Robinson — December (final decision, early enrollee)
WR Marcus North — TBD
OT Laremy Tunsil — Feb. 6 (National Signing Day)
JUCO OT Trenton Brown — late November (enrolling in January)
DT Montravius Adams — January/NSD
DT Jaynard Bostwick — NSD
DE Ebenzer Ogundeko — Decemeber (early enrollee)
S Marcell Harris — Nov. 16 (early enrollee)
Are Muschamp and Co. doing anything to prevent last year’s signing day nightmare? — Matt
By gaining a bunch of commits last winter, spring and summer, Muschamp has already solved the problem. In the 2012 recruiting cycle, he was in contention for eight prospects on NSD and struck out on all of them. This time around, his class should be completed by Feb. 6 and he’ll only have 2-3 targets making decisions. So he avoided the issue by filling up early rather than late, and I expect him to continue doing so in the coming years.
That’s all for this week! Be sure to put your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below!