April 8th, 2013 03:21pm

What Cook’s commitment means for Florida


Miami Central running back Dalvin Cook escapes a host of GHS defenders in the 6A state championship game, which his team won 37-14. (Matt Stamey/Staff photographer)

Dalvin Cook’s flip to Florida on Saturday gave UF its ninth commit and sixth Rivals250 member in the 2014 class.

The Gators sent a message to the SEC and their in-state rivals with his commitment: they will have a dominant ground game for years to come and are reestablishing themselves on the recruiting trail in South Florida.

It’s no secret that UF coach Will Muschamp wants to run the football. He and offensive coordinator Brent Pease proved last year it was a recipe for success, as Mike Gillislee became Florida’s first back to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark since 2004.

The Gators have recruited well along the offensive line and are building a talented stable of running backs. Matt Jones is primed for a breakout sophomore season after finishing strong as a freshman. Like Gillislee prior to his senior year, redshirt junior Mack Brown has been buried on the depth chart and slowed by injuries throughout his college career, but the coaches believe he will push for playing time in 2013.

Early enrollee Kelvin Taylor put on a promising performance over the weekend and incoming freshman Adam Lane, a short back with an incredible combination of strength and speed, reminds many of Ray Rice of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.

With Cook now in the fold and UF leading for coveted 2015 RB Jacques Patrick, who already has 33 offers to date, the future looks bright for Florida’s backfield.

The Fun ‘n’ Gun is long gone and the Run-a-Ton offense is making its home in Gainesville.

Cook’s pledge is also a good sign in regards to Florida’s recruiting efforts down south. As expected, UF took a hit in the region with the resignation of recruiting coordinator and receivers coach Aubrey Hill, a Miami native, last August.

The Gators didn’t land any prospects from Miami-Dade or Broward county in the 2013 recruiting cycle, but that isn’t the case this year.

Cook and St. Thomas Aquinas defensive tackle Anthony Moten, Florida’s latest commitments, come from those two counties. UF is also in contention for Homestead receiver Ermon Lane of Miami-Dade and four more top targets from Broward — Hollywood Chaminade Madonna defensive tackle Khairi Clark, Plantation cornerback Chris Lammons, Fort Lauderdale University School safety Quincy Wilson and Fort Lauderdale University School linebacker Richard Yeargin III.

Robinson has helped revive South Florida recruiting for the Gators (Photo courtesy of UF communications).

Florida defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson is largely responsible for the resurgence in South Florida. The 31-year-old, who was born and raised in Miami, is the youngest member of Muschamp’s staff and connects well with prospects from the area.

“He is a good recruiter who can relate to the kids and he has South Florida ties – having grown up in Miami,” Muschamp said of Robinson in an interview with GatorZone.com.

If Cook sticks with his decision, he’ll be the first recruit UF signs from Miami since Jabari Gorman in 2011. Cook cited his relationship with Robinson as one of the main reasons he chose the Gators.

When asked in 2011 about the recruiting impact of his Miami connections, Robinson responded, “It’s tremendous. Guys can relate to a guy who comes from the same environment that they come from. That’s important.”

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  1. April 8th, 2013 4:51 pm

    What Cook’s commitment means for Florida: NOTHING. This is a kid who is still almost a year away from actually being able to sign and he has already changed his “commitment” once. This means absolutely nothing.

    by LT

  2. April 8th, 2013 4:59 pm

    Even if he changes his mind later, his commitment has put it in the minds of other South Florida kids that UF is a destination of choice. The more elite kids seriously considering UF, the more elite kids eventually come to UF.

    by lizardgrad89

  3. April 8th, 2013 5:02 pm

    Who is the better prospect Cook or Sony Michael for our style of play? Is cook the one Muschamp wanted, or is it Sony already knows where he is going and it isn’t florida?

    by Doug

  4. April 8th, 2013 5:05 pm

    With Michel and Leonard Fournette being long shots, Cook was the No. 1 running back target on Florida’s board.

    by Zach Abolverdi

  5. April 8th, 2013 5:31 pm

    Who does he compare to? Lamar miller?

    by Kyle

  6. April 8th, 2013 5:34 pm

    Any time a highly-ranked prospect commits to the Gators, it is a good sign that the reputation of our coaching staff is starting to make an impact in that area. Even if the commit flips later, it still says that our coaches and our school offered enought to him that he seriously considered coming to Gainesville. Furthermore, OTHER prospects in that same area will see what he did, and it may make them think about coming to the Gators as well.

    Considering how much more UF offers than any other instate school, it is a wonder why anyone would choose to go to a place like tally anyways…………

    by GR8R_G8R

  7. April 8th, 2013 5:46 pm

    Very exciting stuff. Go Gators!!!

    by Mike Jones

  8. April 8th, 2013 6:01 pm

    with all this talent at RB, hopefully fla rebuilds the oline to create some big plays—the last few years, the oline has been mediocre

    by Solman

  9. April 8th, 2013 6:58 pm

    He’s a bad (young) man! Btw LT, very few early commits during Muschamp’s tenure have flipped. In fact, I can only think of one. The linebacker last year. Hope he enjoys USC:) Other than grades, they all have stood by there commitment. Coach makes it clear to these kids, do not commit unless you are sure. Boom ain’t playin!

    by Falco

  10. April 8th, 2013 7:03 pm

    Gotta love the trolls who do drive-by’s and try to tear something like this down in an attempt to somehow sway the recruit away.

    Looks like our rivals are really getting nervous.

    by Gator Todd

  11. April 8th, 2013 7:28 pm

    This recruiting stuff just excites me, I don’t care what time of year it happens to be it’s exciting!! Our coaches are pressing to get the BEST recruits available for the positions necessary, the DL was a big thing to me to get them out of South Florida is special. It says we are leaving NO stones unturned anywhere. It also says we are beating Clemson,Bama and Notre Dame at some of the South Florida Talent. GREAT JOB COACHES!!!! Go GATORS!!!!


  12. April 8th, 2013 9:25 pm

    LT – Your comments mean absolutely nothing!

    by GIGator

  13. April 8th, 2013 10:12 pm

    Will Muschamp is worrying all the Gator-haters and naysayers by taking his second team through a rebuilding year all the way to the Sugar Bowl and recruiting the daylights across the state and Georgia. He’s expanded our reach into Alabama of all places. UF hasn’t successfully recruited south Florida for a long time. Give our young, hard focused coach his due. Go Gators!!!!

    by Gatormac

  14. April 8th, 2013 10:35 pm

    Cook is the best athlete in south florida. I have watched him since his optimist days and he is real deal. Been down in south florida for 8 years and this young man is impressive.

    by Fred

  15. April 9th, 2013 12:26 am

    In Saturday’s practice, I thought Mark Herndon, (the walk-on) was the most impressive running back. I think Kelvin Taylor looks more like a small linebacker. He seems enthusiastic and versatile but on his best day won’t break 4.6 in the 40.

    by Randall Ladnier

  16. April 9th, 2013 12:31 am

    Demarcus Robinson really impressed me with his athleticism and his hands. Total passing yards in the practice are deceiving because the refs could have called interference on every single passing play.

    by Randall Ladnier

  17. April 9th, 2013 1:15 am

    The main reason why FSU have so much success recruiting the Miami area can be summed up in one word. FAMU!

    by KW

  18. April 9th, 2013 8:24 am

    Running back depth is huge. If you recall, the ’96 Gators were definitely Fun ‘n Gun, but we had Elijah Williams, Fred Taylor, Terry Jackson, and Eugene McCaslin toting the rock when Danny wasn’t flinging it to Reidel Anthony, Jacquez Green and Ike HIlliard. The first two RBs combined for over 1,300 yds while the other two combined for 700. And we all know what happened to Danny and the other QBs when Spurrier would suddenly eschew the running game. I only mentioned the receivers because we don’t have any like them at this time, and that is the problem on offense.

    by Brr-bon Phil

  19. April 9th, 2013 8:49 am

    This is all well and good, but we’re still getting excited about a guy who is under six feet tall and two hundred pounds.
    I’ll be more impressed when we get even one of the kind of stud runner that Saban gets year after year. Florida hasn’t seen one of those in a good long while.

    by Zoltar

  20. April 9th, 2013 1:02 pm

    Zoltar, we all know that Bama loves to pound, pound, pound. But, there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    by lizardgrad89

  21. April 10th, 2013 8:20 am

    Zoltar-yeldon 6’0, cook 5’10/’11
    Not seeing the big difference

    by Real gator

  22. April 10th, 2013 8:49 am

    Zoltar, you mean like Matt Jones?

    by Jeff

  23. April 10th, 2013 12:22 pm


    Please grow up. If open minded conversation is too much for you too handle, you might need to stay off message boards.

    by LT

  24. April 10th, 2013 11:34 pm

    Hey Zoltar how come Sabin offered kelvin Taylor before any of the so called studs he ended up with.

    by Derek

  25. April 11th, 2013 5:51 pm

    @Randall Ladnier

    It may be true that Taylor cant run faster than a 4.6 but neither could Eddie Lacy and he did pretty good for Alabama. Im sure Herndon is a good player but I find it hard to believe he has the overall talent level of Taylor. If he did I would think we would hear a lot more about him from the coaches and the media.

    by LT

  26. April 11th, 2013 10:59 pm

    This commit means nothing. Robinson could leave tomorrow. Recruiting Dade/Broward isn’t that difficult with UM unable to charter yachts or funnel cash to players right now.

    by Coach Black

  27. April 13th, 2013 10:00 am

    I don’t know if you negative posters are jerks or trolls…but you’re certainly NOT Gator fans…so bugger off!

    by GatorDave13121

  28. April 16th, 2013 5:17 pm

    I think some of the posters on here that are being labeled “negative” are actually just being realistic. To say because someone is realistic that they are not fans is moronic. There may be some people that are just here to pose as Gators and stir people up but Im sure some of these people are legit. Probably the most childish, immature, and simple minded thing I have encountered in sports is when people throw “fits” or become offended or insulting to others simply because someone stated something that is true, or at least is logically sound, about their team or program.

    by LT

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