The Mail Stack comes to you a little late this week due to the news of James Hearns.
Academic concerns caused Florida to drop the Tallahassee Lincoln linebacker on Thursday evening. This comes as no surprise to those who have heard the rumors surrounding him this month and read my story from Monday.
Although UF didn’t want to let Hearns go, the addition of Alex Anzalone earlier this month makes this a non-issue in my opinion. I expect Anzalone to be the future of Florida’s middle linebacker position, and he is the better prospect of the two according to the rankings of every recruiting website and based on what I’ve seen from both of them in person (Hearns at UF camp and his game against Buchholz, Anzalone at Gridiron Kings and the Under Armour Game).
On a separate note, this could change Florida’s position on former LB commit Quinton Powell. I was told earlier this week that the Gators were still on the fence about taking him back, but Hearns might have made that decision for them. As for Florida’s chances with Powell, I feel he’s leaning toward USC at this time. However, I think that can easily change if Will Muschamp decides to turn up the heat on him next week (which I assume he will).
On to the questions!
Who’s coming in for visits this weekend? — Jeff
The Gators are scheduled to have UF commits Alvin Bailey and Roderick Johnson officially visit as well as FSU receiver commit Kermit Whitfield. Whitfied says he’s solid with the Seminoles, although Florida happens to be hosting him at an opportune time with the loss of offensive coordinator James Coley on Thursday. Running back Sony Michel and FSU defensive end commit Denzel Ware, both 2014 prospects, will also be in town.
What are Florida’s chances with CB Jalen Ramsey? — Campbell, C-Slim, Jordan, Julien, Kyle, Ivo
Better than ever thanks to USC firing its defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders. Ramsey really wanted to play for Sanders, and his departure coupled with Southern Cal’s disappointing season should be the nail in the coffin for the Trojans. I’m not sure when, how or even if Ramsey would announce a decommitment from USC, but I believe it’s inevitable.
Florida State has gained a lot of momentum this month and hosted the five-star corner on an official visit Jan. 11. It’s a close race between UF and FSU, but I think the Gators have a slight edge for a few reasons. He is closer with the commits in Florida’s class, has been recruited by the UF coaches longer and has several Gator fans in his immediate family.
Ramsey still has a dozen days left before he signs and in-home visits from the head coaches of all three schools next week. So his recruiting process isn’t over yet, but Florida is in great position to land him.
Same question, new week. Where are the Gators with DT Montravius Adams? — Derek, Campbell
New week, same answer. UF has recruited Adams hard (if not the hardest) this month and got him on campus for an official visit, but the consensus has been and still is that it’s a battle between Clemson and Georgia.
Jaynard Bostwick and JUCO Ole Miss commit Jarran Reed are the more realistic options at defensive tackle for Florida. The Gators are the biggest threat to flip Reed from the Rebels, but I actually like their chances with Bostwick better because they get his last visit on Feb. 1. Reed will take his official to Ole Miss that weekend.
Do you think RB Alex Collins is not an option at this point? — Julien
As I mentioned in my story Wednesday, Miami and Arkansas appear to have pulled ahead of Florida. The Gators had the advantage in mid-December after his official visit, but any ground UF gained has since been surpassed by the Canes and Hogs. Florida isn’t even on his mind anymore judging by his most recent tweet about fans.
Do you expect us to get a huge Signing Day surprise? — C-Slim, Hunter, Adam, Trey, Marcus
I expect UF to land a few recruits on NSD, but I don’t think any will be a surprise. If there is one, it would most likely be a defensive end. All of the known targets on Florida’s board are either committed elsewhere or unlikely additions for the Gators, so they could have someone up their sleeve who won’t be revealed until Feb. 6.
Are you aware of any silent commits UF may have? — Tamayo, Trey, Hunter
I’ve been told by multiple sources of one prospect who has given the Gators his verbal privately, but I cannot name who it is. The only hint I’ll give is that he plays on the defensive side of the ball.
Mock class? — Devin, Chandler, C-Slim, TaylorGang
It’s been a month since I put one out, so what the heck. Just to be clear, these are not my predictions for National Signing Day. This is just how I think Florida finishes as of today. There are 12 days to go and a lot of changes still to come.
QB Max Staver
FB Kennard Swanson
RB Adam Lane
*RB Kelvin Taylor
WR Alvin Bailey
WR James Clark
WR Ahmad Fulwood
WR Marqui Hawkins
WR Chris Thompson
*WR Demarcus Robinson
OL Trenton Brown
OL Cameron Dillard
OL Octavius Jackson
OL Roderick Johnson
*OL Tyler Moore
DT Jaynard Bostwick
DT Caleb Brantley
*DT Darious Cummings
*DL Joey Ivie
DL Antonio Riles
DE Jordan Sherit
*LB Alex Anzalone
LB Jarrad Davis
*LB Daniel McMillian
LB Quinton Powell
*LB Matt Rolin
CB Vernon Hargreaves III
CB Jalen Ramsey
DB Marcell Harris
DB Keanu Neal
DB Nick Washington
* — early enrollee
That’s all for this week! Be sure to put your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below!