Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!
Once we get to the New Year, things are going to start picking up on the recruiting trail. Florida coach Will Muschamp and his staff will be out in full force again when the Contact Period resumes on Jan. 4.
The first stops they make will be in St. Petersburg and San Antonio to meet recruits at their hotel after the All-American games. I’m going to be at the Under Armour Media Luncheon on Wednesday and will have several stories and video interviews up in the days that follow.
I only received a few questions this week, which I assume was because of the holiday.
Hey Zach, if you were betting money, who would you say would be the last pieces to this class? — Charles
However, I know which positions those last pieces will come from and who they might be. The top two priorities for the Gators are getting another receiver and defensive end. The only current possibilities at wideout look to be Robinson and James Clark, while the targets at end are Elijah Daniel, Auburn commit Tashawn Bower, USC commit Jason Hatcher and Alabama commit DeMarcus Walker. Whether or not Florida can flip Robinson and Walker before they enroll early will determine what happens with the others.
UF is also in the running for tailback Alex Collins, fullback Kennard Swanson, tight end Durham Smythe, defensive tackles Montravius Adams and Jaynard Bostwick and cornerbacks Mackensie Alexander, Jalen Ramsey (USC commit) and Shaq Wiggins (Georgia commit).
The problem in predicting what these prospects will do is some have grades issues (Bostwick, Daniel, Swanson), some don’t answer their phone and rarely discuss recruiting (Robinson, Walker, Collins, the three CBs) and most have official visits scheduled with other schools. So for me to say exactly who Florida will finish with is a bit premature at this point. That will become more clear once things play out over the next month. But I believe the Gators have a shot with all the aforementioned recruits, and right now I’m most confident in Collins and Daniel.
I have heard some verbal commits in our current recruiting class have major injuries and probably will redshirt next year. Can you please list them and the injuries they have? — Alfredo
Defensive end Jordan Sherit and linebacker Matt Rolin both tore their ACL and will likely redshirt next season. Receiver Ahmad Fulwood suffered a sprained shoulder in his final high school game, but he’s already recovered and will play in the Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 5.
Safety Marcell Harris injured his MCL on Oct. 25 and was expected to be at full strength for spring practice. However, he is no longer enrolling early because he doesn’t have enough credits to be a midyear graduate. He will report with the rest of the freshmen in June.
College coaches heading to the NFL has become a fad again. Given the success Will Muschamp had this year and his previous experience in the NFL, do you see him becoming a hot commodity in the future? — Chuck
Muschamp could eventually become a candidate for a head coaching position in the NFL, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t take the job. At a press conference last year, I remember Muschamp talking about his time in the league. He served as assistant head coach for the Miami Dolphins in 2005 under his mentor, Nick Saban.
Muschamp said he didn’t like the NFL because it was all about business. He had one of his former college players on Miami’s roster who was cut from the team. The player came to Muschamp crying because he didn’t know how he would take care of his family. Muschamp said he would never forget how much it hurt him to see that happen.
Now, he might still have NFL aspirations and just told that story to make media and fans feel like he won’t leave Florida. But if the business-side of the league bothers him, along with Saban’s unsuccessful stint in Miami, I think Muschamp could be in Gainesville for the long haul.
That’s all for this week! Be sure to put your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below!