Saturday’s matchup against Arkansas will be the first night game in The Swamp since 2011, but Florida has a light visitors list on tap.
The Gators were supposed to host New Orleans (La.) Edna Karr teammates Speedy Noil and Gerald Willis III on official visits, but they have pushed back their trips to the Vanderbilt game on Nov. 9. They previously planned to visit for the Tennessee game before deciding on this weekend, and their latest delay isn’t a good sign for the Gators.
But UF still has some important recruits coming Saturday, and I’ll have a visitor preview up tomorrow.
On to the questions!
Does Lane Kiffin’s firing at USC affect our status with five-star athlete Adoree’ Jackson and other possible California recruits? — Foreverag8r, Tay
The only prospects from that state who the Gators have a realistic shot with are Jackson and linebacker Dwight Williams, his teammate at Junipero Serra (Calif.) Gardena.
Both have been leaning toward Florida since the summer, and for the time being, Kiffin’s firing only increases UF’s lead. If the Trojans make the right hire, the coaching change could help their chances.
However, Florida’s coaches will have put in more than a year’s worth of recruiting them and building relationships before Southern Cal’s new staff even meets Jackson and Williams. They plan to take official visits to UF late in recruiting process, which also bodes well for the Gators.
Are we going to lose out on a top-flight OT for the third straight year? John Theus, Laremy Tunsil, and now David Sharpe? — Rob, Tampa Gator, ATLG8R, Jesse
Things are starting to look that way. He has seen Georgia play in person on three occasions this year, including two trips to Athens (the other was for Clemson-UGA). Conversely, he cancelled his plans to attend the Florida-Tennessee game and will visit FSU this weekend instead of UF.
The Jacksonville Providence prospect has said a decision could come from him during his senior season, and now he won’t have another opportunity to see the Gators for a home game until Vandy.
Sharpe won’t name his top school publicly, but someone close to him told me Georgia has the edge over UF. One of the reasons, the source said, is because Sharpe was turned off by Florida’s offense with Jeff Driskel prior to his season-ending injury. The quarterback change with Tyler Murphy has helped, but what the ‘Dawgs are doing offensively is carrying more weight.
The source added that whoever receives Sharpe’s last trip will likely land his commitment because the most recent school he visits always seems to gain the lead. After Sharpe, the Gators don’t really have any options remaining at offensive tackle as far as top-flight linemen are concerned.
What are the odds Muschamp can pull Bo Scarborough away from Alabama? If we can land him, is it possible that he fills our LB need for this cycle rather than RB? — Jake, Rob, Robert, ReRockRemix
In mid-September, the odds were very promising with the Tuscaloosa native out of Bradenton IMG Academy. He was scheduled to be at the Tennessee game and return for an official visit later in the year. But Scarbrough didn’t make it to Florida’s SEC opener because he had to take his ACT, which was the third time his plans to visit Gainesville fell through. Now he isn’t sure if he will even take an official to UF.
Florida tight end commit C’yontai Lewis told me his cousin could have made it to the Tennessee game if he really wanted to. He also said Florida State is the school with the best shot to steal Scarbrough from Alabama. There will be more opportunities for UF to get him on campus, but that has to happen multiple times if the Gators are going to change his mind. Oh yeah, and he’s a running back all the way.
Zach, now that he’s committed to UGA, can you shed some light on DE Keyon Brown? His tape is really good, he fits our system and I heard he was a Gator fan. What’s the deal? — AH, Robert
The Florida staff evaluated him at Wauchula Hardee in the spring but never offered. They asked him to come visit and/or camp but he never did. For whatever reason, his relationship with UF just never materialized.
He was a Gator fan as you mentioned, so I assume the coaches were aware of that and knew they could get him if they wanted to. But with limited scholarship numbers and guys like Lorenzo Carter on the board at defensive end, they weren’t ready to pursue yet and he wasn’t willing to wait on an offer.
Is the fact that UF offered JUCO Tennessee WR commit Eric Lauderdale a sign that Travis Rudolph, Speedy Noil, etc. aren’t coming to UF? — Mike
Noil was never coming, but Rudolph has been trending toward Florida State lately after once having UF in front. The West Palm Beach wideout was in attendance for the Florida-Miami game, and I think the Gators’ poor performance that day hurt them somewhat.
Moreover, UF signed five receivers last year, landed Ermon Lane for 2014 and have a shaky situation at quarterback. The ‘Noles, on the other hand, have Jameis Winston lighting it up through the air this season. Although Rudolph’s recruitment is still up for grabs, I think FSU is more appealing to him right now.
As for Lauderdale, who plays for Mission Vejo (Cali.) Saddleback C.C., he was offered by Joker Phillips on Monday and plans to set up an official visit to Florida despite his verbal to the Vols.
Please list the recruits on Florida’s board and a percentage of our chances. — Jesse
Signing day is four months away, so this list of recruits and UF’s chances with them will change. These are also just the known recruits on Florida’s board. I’m sure there are other targets the media and public aren’t aware of at this time.
RB Bo Scarbrough — 25%
RB Joe Mixon — 5%
WR Josh Malone — 10%
WR Speedy Noil — 15%
WR Travis Rudolph — 50%
TE Bryce Dixon — 5%
TE DeAndre Goolsby — 35%
OL Damian Prince — 10%
OL David Sharpe — 45%
DT Thomas Holley — 20%
DT Gerald Willis III — 15%
DE Lorenzo Carter — 75%
DE Lorenzo Featherston — 40%
DE Da’Shawn Hand — 25%
DE Cory Thomas — 20%
LB Raekwon McMillan — 15%
LB Clifton Garrett — 30%
LB Dwight Williams — 90%
CB Jalen Tabor — 35%
DB Jamal Adams — 85%
ATH Adoree’ Jackson — 90%
That’s all for this week! Be sure to leave your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below.