I struck out this week with the three official visitors Florida hosted.
Tight end Bryce Dixon, defensive Lorenzo Featherston and UF offensive lineman commit Nolan Kelleher have always been hard to get a hold of, and this time was no different.
They ignored my attempts to contact them, as they did with most media outlets. But I observed all three of them during the Arkansas game, and they looked like they were enjoying themselves.
Florida quarterback commit Will Grier sat with Dixon and Featherston in the south end zone bleachers and talked to them throughout the night.
Both reportedly had great trips according to Ryan Bartow of 247Sports, and Dixon told him the Gators have taken the lead in his recruitment.
I still feel Featherston stays close to home in the end and chooses Clemson, but Dixon is now a legitimate target for Florida after initially being a long shot.
On to the questions!
What’s up with J.C. Jackson and Miami? Anything to worry about there? Also, with Ermon Lane and Dalvin Cook looking to visit other schools, is it just them enjoying free trips or is that a concern? — John, Nate
Jackson visited Miami for the Florida game and again this past weekend. He says he’s 100 percent committed to the Gators and those two trips were just spur-of-the-moment stops at a nearby school.
As long as he doesn’t continue to visit UM, there shouldn’t be much to be worry about. But it’s definitely something to monitor given the fact that he has already decommitted once before (from FSU). If anyone were to leave Florida’s class, it would most likely be him.
As for Cook and Lane, they have always planned to officially visit other schools. This is nothing new, and it’s probably just them taking advantage of some free trips. Judging by their comments to the media, interactions with recruits and the Gator-themed pictures they post on their Instagram accounts, they seem pretty solid to UF.
Who do you think we have a chance at flipping this year? — Devin, Mark, Tamayo, C-Slim, Ron
Florida’s recruitment of Bo Scarbrough has been well documented on here, and he has to start showing his face in Gainesville before anything can happen.
Junior college receiver Eric Lauderdale decommitted from Tennessee on Sunday, which happened, in part, because of the offer he received from the Gators on Sept. 30. Lauderdale plans to officially visit UF in the future, and while it technically wouldn’t be a flip, he’ll be one that got away from the Vols if Florida lands him.
The Gators are also still going after Clemson receiver commit Artavis Scott, but like Scarbrough, a visit needs to happen for Florida to have a chance.
Per Rivals.com, one prospect committed elsewhere who does plan to check out UF is Auburn linebacker pledge Tre Williams. He will be hard to pull out of the state of Alabama, but getting him on campus is the first step.
Any chance we take another QB to give Grier some competition? — Choco Gator
If the Gators had room and were losing their starter, maybe that could happen. But UF currently has just 15 scholarship available for 2014 before attrition, and quarterbacks Tyler Murphy and Jeff Driskel will be back next season.
Assuming Driskel returns in 2015, Grier would be in line to take over the following year as a redshirt sophomore and have to beat out Skyler Morhinweg and Max Staver if they don’t transfer. Competing for the starting job against two upperclassmen, though not as talented, should be enough of a challenge for Grier.
Looks like it’s 50-50 now for David Sharpe with UF and UGA. If we beat UGA and he visits for the FSU game, it seems like he will be a Gator, right? — Christian
There’s a lot more that will go into his decision than that possible scenario, but it would certainly help Florida’s chances if things play out that way.
After speaking with him earlier this week about his visit to the Arkansas game, I did get the sense that UF had closed the gap on Georgia’s lead. The ‘Dawgs still have a slight edge in my opinion, but if Sharpe comes back to Florida for the FSU matchup and an official visit after the season, it could put the Gators over the top.
The key for them is to continue showing production in the passing game and sell him on playing close to home. A victory over UGA wouldn’t hurt, either.
You said UF told Khairi Clark they want another DT. Are they done with Anthony Moten or looking somewhere else? — Mike, Tamayo
I think the coaches turned the page on Moten as soon as he decommitted. To my knowledge, the primary targets they have been pursuing at defensive tackle are Thomas Holley and Gerald Willis III, both of whom seem unlikely to end up at Florida.
Unless the staff can find someone under the radar or in the JUCO ranks, Clark will be the lone DT in this class. The Gators signed five tackles in the previous cycle, so only taking one this year won’t hurt the depth at the position.
It’s been a while since Florida’s last commitment. Any prospects that may pull the trigger soon? — Jake
Unless someone commits sooner than scheduled, it should be at least another month before the Gators have any additions to their 2014 class. Florida appears to be in serious contention for a dozen recruits at this time, and the earliest time frame of those 12 for a decision is mid-November.
Here are the prospects to watch out for and when they plan to make their announcements: receivers Eric Lauderdale (TBD) and Travis Rudolph (Under Armour game), tight ends Bryce Dixon (mid-November) and DeAndre Goolsby (December), offensive tackle David Sharpe (December), defensive ends Lorenzo Carter (signing day), Lorenzo Featherston (signing day) and Da’Shawn Hand (Nov. 14), linebacker Dwight Williams (Army game), cornerback Jalen Tabor (Under Armour game), safety Jamal Adams (November) and athlete Adoree’ Jackson (signing day).
That’s all for this week! Be sure to leave your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below.