October 15th, 2013 08:19pm

What went wrong with Florida’s OL recruiting?

by

Florida’s offense didn’t look pretty against LSU, and the big uglies were to blame.

From a recruiting standpoint, the offensive line issues that arose over the weekend have been a long time coming.

Under UF coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Brent Pease, the Gators have strived to be a ground-and-pound offense that runs the ball at will and achieves balance with the passing game. Controlling the clock, capitalizing in the red zone and avoiding turnovers are also key components.

That hasn’t happened on a regular basis the past two years, and Florida’s offense has ranked as one of the worst nationally. At times, the quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and tight ends have shared responsibility for the problems and lack of production. The coaches have held themselves accountable as well.

But UF has built depth at those four positions and recruited well in 2014 with Will Grier, Dalvin Cook and Ermon Lane in the fold. With the exception of tight end, the skill players have also shown some improvements this season when given the opportunity.

However, the one area that’s still struggling and doesn’t appear to be getting any better is offensive line. The unit is downright dreadful in pass protection and cannot consistently open holes in the run game, particularly against the elite teams in the SEC.

This is a line-of-scrimmage league, as Muschamp likes to say, and you won’t be successful if you’re not good up front.

So what went wrong with UF’s recruitment of offensive linemen? Most seem to think the Gators failed to sign enough highly-ranked prospects and didn’t land the top talent in the state of Florida.

Those two theories aren’t exactly accurate.

There are only three SEC teams in 2013 with two former Rivals100 members starting on their offensive line — Auburn, Florida and Tennessee. Muschamp said the Vols had the best line UF will face all season.

Conversely, there are nine SEC teams with at least three players starting on their offensive line who were three-star prospects or lower coming out of high school — Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Kentucky.

All of those schools except UK rank ahead of UF in total offense this year. While this is just another example that recruiting rankings don’t mean much, Florida has in fact brought in some top-tier offensive linemen.

Dating back to 2010, here’s a look at how the Gators have fared with in-state prospects who were Rivals250 members and offered/pursued by UF.

2010: Chaz Green (Florida), Ian Silberman (Florida), Brent Benedict (Georgia), Brandon Linder (Miami)
2011: Tyler Moore (Nebraska/Florida), Bobby Hart (Florida State)
2012: Jessamen Dunker (Florida), John Theus (Georgia), Avery Young (Auburn), Patrick Miller (Auburn)
2013: Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss)
2014: David Sharpe (undecided), Kc McDermott (Miami), Reilly Gibbons (Miami), Isaiah Wynn (Georgia)

With the addition of Moore, UF has landed more linemen (4) than any other school based on the aforementioned criteria.

So if the Gators are getting highly-ranked recruits and most of their targets in the state of Florida, what’s the issue?

It starts with depth. Although UF has 15 players at the position, which is what Muschamp wants, there’s a major problem that occurred for three straight years.

Only two offensive linemen were signed in 2010 (Chaz Green and Ian Silberman), 2011 (Tommy Jordan and Trip Thurman) and 2012 (Jessamen Dunker and D.J. Humphries). Two of those six (Dunker and Jordan) are no longer on the team.

“This is where you start to see it catch up,” said Mike Farrell, the national recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. “I’m not a coach or a recruiting coordinator, but my philosophy has always been at certain positions you take a certain number every year. And offensive line is one of those where you can never have too many. So if you have the numbers, there should be four or five every year without an exception. They haven’t done that, and now they look thin.”

In addition, Farrell feels some of the out-of-state linemen the Gators have taken weren’t capable of handling their level of competition.

“A few of the guys were highly regarded, but maybe they overshot their value,” he said. “By that I mean, I thought they were tremendous fits for other schools but not particularly suited for the SEC. I’m not talking about Humphries. He’s going to be a special talent.

“I was scratching my head on Tommy Jordan. Trip Thurman I could see being very successful at Boston College, his second choice. But when you go from Delaware competition down to the SEC where every defensive linemen is either a 4.6 guy or a monster, you struggle a bit.”

Florida could see more of the same with the most recent additions. According to the Rivals.com ratings, UF signed five offensive linemen in 2013 who were three-star prospects and have three more committed for 2014. Five of the eight three-stars are from out of state.

But as we saw in the breakdown of starters in the SEC, three-star linemen aren’t always a bad thing if they can hold their own in this conference.

“Next to quarterback, offensive line is probably the toughest position to project,” Farrell said. “You can take a three-star kid and make him a great football player. The Florida coaches haven’t proven they can do that. I think taking kids from areas that don’t play a high level of competition is always risky. What they’re doing is a little puzzling to me, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

“Offensive line coaches like what they like. I’ve looked at offensive linemen and thought they were horrible, and they turned out to be great college and NFL football players. The opposite is kids who you think have everything you’re looking for, and then they stunk at the next level. You can try to be the smart one and see something in a kid that no one else sees, but that’s only going to get you so far. There’s something to be said about outrecruiting other schools for certain players because everybody wants them. The only one I see that everybody wanted in a big way was Humphries, and Florida should be loaded with kids like that at every position.”

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Comments

76 Comments

  1. October 15th, 2013 8:56 pm

    The key phrase…..”and Florida should be loaded with kids like that at every position”

    If we’re not getting the best HS players in the state, that’s on the coaches and the recruiting coordinator.

    Let’s see what happens in the 2014 NSD ceremony. Then reevaluate the coaching staff….

    by Bsjgator


  2. October 15th, 2013 9:03 pm

    it is a very good possibility he will have the same record as zook after year 3. I think we need someone with head coaching history!

    by islander


  3. October 15th, 2013 9:03 pm

    Well geez, this is discouraging. You see Muschamp on Mondays. I triple dog dare you to ask him about why he doesn’t take 4-5 O lineman a year.

    by Chas Morris


  4. October 15th, 2013 9:32 pm

    Morris the whole thing is Depressing. I would open things up to every 6’8 HS or CC guy out there to come and win a job. Come in as a walk on or transfer and earn a spot.

    by J


  5. October 15th, 2013 9:41 pm

    COACH BOOM & STAFF JUST NOT WHAT GATORNATION USE 2 ONLY COACH THAT’S REALLY STOOD OUT SINCE THE BOOM ERA STARTED IS T-ROB COACHING AND RECRUITING JUST GO THROUGH THE ROSTER THIS TEAM IS LOADED,THE TALENT IS NOT BEING COACH UP NICK SABAN RUNS A PRO STYLE OFFENSE ALSO BUT HIS OFFENSE PUT UP POINTS AND TOTAL YARDS

    by MONEYGREEN


  6. October 15th, 2013 9:44 pm

    Ask yourself, if you are a top offensive recruit in Florida or elsewhere, why would you want to play in Muschamp’s 1980′s offense? Seriously.

    by Tampa Gator


  7. October 15th, 2013 9:48 pm

    ….and soon, if this offensive embarrassment continues…..those empty seats in the upper east stands will not be the only empty ones in THE SWAMP on Saturdays. Then, maybe Foley will notice what Gator Nation is already seeing. Muschamp’s conservative approach to offense is not working on the field…..and it is extremely boring to watch. Florida’s offense has become a national joke.

    by Tampa Gator


  8. October 15th, 2013 9:52 pm

    Moneygreen…..

    But Saban does not tell his OC to only run the ball up the middle on first and second down every single series and only pass if you have to in total desperation and without execution of said called play because the OL probably only practices running plays.

    by Tampa Gator


  9. October 15th, 2013 9:54 pm

    Yes, I am not happy with what I am seeing under Muschamp, offensively. The NOISE is going to get real loud if Florida loses to Missouri or Georgia….. in the next few weeks.

    by Tampa Gator


  10. October 15th, 2013 10:00 pm

    Our young coach is in the midst of a challenging year. A spate of injuries, an offense that had progressed little and growing disenchantment in the Gatornation. I like him and hope he can turn the direction by next year. It begins up front on offense and has to show that he values a confident passing game. If not, next year will be one if those media feasts with the proverbial “coach on a hit seat.” I don’t think Urban left Muschamp much offensive talent to start with. After three years, unfortunately, a coach owns his situation. We need to all hope Will and our team put it together.

    by Gatormac


  11. October 15th, 2013 10:34 pm

    GATORNATION YOU ALL ARE KILLING WITH URBAN LEFT COACH BOOM BARE (DRISKEL1 QB,MACK BROWN-4*,ANDRE DEBOSE-5*,2 5* TIGHT ENDS NOT INCLUDING THE TALENT HE’S BRINGING N DO PEOPLE REALIZE THAT EVERY MAJOR RECRUITING SITE THOUGHT THAT WE HAD THE BEST HAUL OF WIDE -OUTS BY FAR ROBINSON,FULWOOD,BAILEY,& CHRIS A SUPER SPEEDSTERS EVERY TEAM N THE COUNTRY WANTED ROBINSON & FULWOOD AND BAILEY WHO ONLY LIT UP EVERY MAJOR CAMP HE ATTENDED LAST SUMMER AND HE’S MIA OUR OFFENSE SHOULD B CARVING UP THE SEC THIS NO MATTER WHO THE QB IS

    by MONEYGREEN


  12. October 15th, 2013 10:42 pm

    ALSO FORGOT SHOUT OUT 2 TYLER MURPHY EVERY1 ACT LIKE HE CAME OUT OF NOWHERE EXCEPT 4 THIS YEAR BECAUSE THE SPRING GAME WAS JUST A SCRIMMAGE THE LAST 2 SPRINGS BEFORE THIS YEAR IF U ATTEND THE SPRING GAME TY WAS BY FAR THE BETTER QB N BOTH GAMES I WAS WONDERING WHEN HE WAS GOING 2 TRANSFER OUR COACHING STAFF DON’T KNOW TALENT WHEN THEY SEE IT

    by MONEYGREEN


  13. October 15th, 2013 11:31 pm

    2 more years then evaluate.At least Grier will fit this pro style offense.Thanks for reminding me why Uf has the worst fans in CFB. 2 bcs championship coaches ran off. If you keep this up the program will always be average at best. Fans are as much to blame as the oline. Pushed out a coach that hasnt lost a game in a season and a half since leaving. SOS has USC built into an equal opponent year in and out.

    by fanan


  14. October 16th, 2013 5:44 am

    Stick to laying down smoove rhymes “MONEYGREEN.” You’re an idiot.

    by Smackaho


  15. October 16th, 2013 6:19 am

    Geez everybody, you’d think it was the late ’70′s or late ’80′s when as Gator fans we REALLY had something to complain about. As a football fan at any level I’d think you’d realize there is no single thing that makes a team good or bad. The O-line situation is an issue but you can’t discount injuries. The last few years we got by relatively unscathed. The odds simply catch up after awhile. Didn’t Maryland lose like 4 QB’s or something last year? Did their coaches get crucified for not recruiting enough top flight QB’s? Same thing here. If we lost by a few TD’s to UM and LSU that would be one thing but we still have a lot to play for and even with one hand tied behind our back we’ve played the tough teams down to the very end.

    I want to win more than anyone but for crying out loud have some perspective. As Gator fans we’ve seen a whole lot worse. Once you’ve been a fan for more than the last 10 minutes you’ll understand.

    by Delray Mike


  16. October 16th, 2013 7:10 am

    Am I wrong in seeing the offensive plays go run-run-pass? Not a whole lot of mystery there.

    by Gatorreb


  17. October 16th, 2013 7:16 am

    Delray Mike, I’ve been a Gator fan since 1960, have my degree from UF, think Gators every day. I’ve been through winless stretches, 51-0 to Dawgs in a deluge in Jax, suffered through seven straight losses to Georgia and exulted in our championships. My first Gator home game was Ray Graves’ first, too. Let’s say that I am loyal as anyone could be. I’m also frustrated and bored with our offensive ineptitude. Everything begins up front in football. We have three brand new starters and beyond Kyle Koehne no experienced depth. Until our younger guys grow into their roles and gel, this team is going to struggle against fast, athletic defenses. I really like Will. I fear, though, it may not turn better for him soon enough to keep the baying hounds from his door. I hope I’m wrong, yet I think 2014 will be the telling year.

    by Gatormac


  18. October 16th, 2013 7:58 am

    We can’t take 4-5 OL every class because we were taking 7-8 DB’s. Muschamp has always been a defensive coach and as such has recruited defense first and foremost. Last year he saw a need for offensive skill positions and he has gone an got top WR, RB’s and a QB. Next we will go after OLine. Remember we haven’t had the same OLine coach 2 years in a row since the Daz left.

    by Joe


  19. October 16th, 2013 8:01 am

    Why not blame Bush while you are at it. This O-Line is WM ! He can’t coach them up then fire him. This crap with excuses has run its course. We can’t keep blaming the past. Did Muschamp take a page from OBama? Its his style that is losing games, not the players. Zach man up and write about why a HC can’t coach up his players. UM man handle our O-Line with half the size.

    by GatorsDog


  20. October 16th, 2013 8:04 am

    I can appreciate Gatormac’s perspective (a true Gator fan!!).

    by Delray Mike


  21. October 16th, 2013 8:16 am

    maybe we should look at the real problem. FOLEY, not only did he bring in muschamp. he also brought in zook. many will say he got billy and sos ,urban. well he ran sos off and urban was prez mac’s boy all along. just think if not for foley sos would be our coach right now. two time’s he went with a guy with no head coaching history.

    by islander


  22. October 16th, 2013 8:31 am

    BRGF here andit is mighty depressing to be a Gator fan right about now. The lsu game was definitely winnable & the fans didn’t even show up!!! They’re not even excited about winning b/c they know that the game was over once it was 14-3 so the usual excitement from beating Florida was not even evident here in the Red Stick. Anyways the offense needs to get their act together. I see all other teams playing freshman. Granted Robinson ran the wrong route on a play & Taylor missed a block but you gotta get these guys in the game. Please go after Baylor’s OC next year to liven up the offense some. Murphy can do the job but you gotta take the restrictions off of him & let if fly. GO GATORS!!!

    by (BRGF) Baton Rouge Gator Fan


  23. October 16th, 2013 8:34 am

    Shore up the O-line & get it together for next year. I’m still a Gator fan for life and wore my shirt proudly to the store & DARED anyone to say anything negative (no one did btw) but I show my pride regardless of record or the noise. Coach Champ will get it together quick or he’ll be a former coach. I trust the staff to ramp up the offense for the next game & get it ready during the bye week. GO GATORS!!!

    by (BRGF) Baton Rouge Gator Fan


  24. October 16th, 2013 8:38 am

    The top lineman in the state will not come to UF for the same reason true offensive game breakers wont. The coaches Will find exscuses for why they they cant play, ie learning the play book and blocking. Both Tunsil and Theus would be in the five best lineman for UF but both were told they would have to sit and wait. Why sit behind someone you are better than? Both would be improvements at tackle, even if splitting reps.

    by Gamebreaker1


  25. October 16th, 2013 8:45 am

    I think all of you are missing the key to why the offense sucks. I don’t care what offensive line or coordinator you have or will have, it doesn’t matter. To make a pot, you need to have clay. UF doesn’t have the clay. What coach is going to have success when his choice at quarterback is John Brantley, Jeff Driskel, Jacobbi Brissett, or Tyler Murphy? Face it, the Gators have missed on quarterbacks and the future doesn’t look any brighter. Murphy has one more year of eligibility and Driskel, in the worst possible nightmare you can imagine, has two years. We certainly don’t have to worry about Driskel turning pro early. Unless there is another option than the quarterbacks mentioned, the futility of the UF offense will continue for at least another couple of years, regardles of the coaches or offensive line. It’s time to deal with reality, folks!

    by snowprint


  26. October 16th, 2013 8:47 am

    As stated in this article, our offensive philosophy hasn’t been consistent the last 2 years. Our thinking is, win the game at the line of scrimmage, control the clock, etc. If it hasn’t happened for 2 years and we still can’t win the line of scrimmage, what is next? More of the same? Every great coach knows to play to your strengths and attack your opponents weakness. If our O-line is not a strength, why more of the same? We have playmakers, spread them out, get them the ball in space and let these kids skill and ability take over.

    by JD


  27. October 16th, 2013 9:11 am

    Is it possible UF’s O-line coach just isn’t very good? Our players surely don’t look like they are coached well, when you see players coming unblocked to sack Murphy. You keep seeing guys double team one player and not block another at all.

    by Mike


  28. October 16th, 2013 9:18 am

    I only hope fans don’t abandon the stands. That would be lame. Please, please, please, don’t turn into University of Miami fans Gatornation!

    by Delray Mike


  29. October 16th, 2013 10:12 am

    AMEN TO JD WELL SAID

    by MONEYGREEN


  30. October 16th, 2013 10:17 am

    Dear Lord…please don’t let my sons grow up to be like some of the Gator ‘fans’ I see here. Please don’t let them be hateful, spiteful, ignorant and entitled. Please give them perspective, patience and the mental capacity to understand that you don’t always get what you want; that, sometimes, things don’t go your way. Please help them understand that grammar and punctuation have very important roles when writing, and that whining and screaming about what you ‘want’ makes them look like stupid, spoiled children. Please don’t let them devolve into an argument about who has been a fan the longest, or who cares the most, because none of us can lay claim to those titles.
    Please let them understand that the Gators owe them nothing, and simply let them grow up and enjoy rooting for their team.
    Go Gators. Win or lose.

    by Doug


  31. October 16th, 2013 10:26 am

    I like this team. At full strength, it would have been a national contender. As it is, let’s try to win the East and see if we can pull out an SEC title. Even after a loss @ LSU, it’s still great to be a Florida Gator. Some of you needed to be reminded of that, I think.

    by Lizardgrad89


  32. October 16th, 2013 10:44 am

    It seems the current coaches cannot necessarily coach offense very well. Muschamp has done a very good job on the defensive side, but the offense is and has been horrid under him. Where are the vaunted WR recruits? Maybe like Zooker (forgive me for bringing him up) Muschamp might recruit decently but cannot coach the other side of the ball. Who says a team cannot be good on both sides? Muschamp way too inexperienced to be the head ball coach at UF.

    by Huuurrr


  33. October 16th, 2013 10:52 am

    Muschamp is paid a handsome sum to win football games. Period. Yes, we want a clean program, but at the end of the day he is paid to win football games. He just does not seem to get the offensive side of the ball is just as important as the defensive side. Weis was an absolute joke, and Pease has done nothing thus far. Both brought in by Muschamp. It looks like a bad high school team when on offense. Defend him and the program all you want, but it seems he may be in over his head…..

    by My 2 cents


  34. October 16th, 2013 11:18 am

    Nice post by Doug. And yes, assuming most if not all of the posters are college grads, some need to go back to high school and revisit their English class for grammar and punctuation lessons. Are you listening Moneygreen?

    by ancientgator


  35. October 16th, 2013 11:29 am

    Expecting UF to be a BCS National Championship contender and being frustrated when we appear to be moving in the wrong direction does not mean that people are bad fans. I guess Vandy has the bestest fans in the world then right? Because ya know they are excited when they’re bowl eligible. If you’re gonna last as the head coach at a top 5/destination job you have to coach like one of the 5 best in the nation. That’s what Muschamp and any other coach at UF signs on for and get paid to do. There’s no reason his seat should not get hot if we don’t make it to Atlanta.

    by Dustin


  36. October 16th, 2013 11:39 am

    In my opinion the simple truth is this. It’s not the talent. We have the talent. It’s the coaching. You give the same players to a different set of coaches and we are not talking about this! It’s all excuses because we don’t have a championship caliber caching staff and it all begins and ends with Muschamp since he’s the head coach and is ultimately responsible.

    by steveob


  37. October 16th, 2013 11:42 am

    Thank you for the article. I’ve been pulling my hair out all season trying to pin point the real issue. It starts and ends in the trenches and your analysis is spot on.

    I went back and combed through our roster. The DL depth is worse than the OL depth.

    Muschamp and Co. have their work cut out for them.

    by jdh5484


  38. October 16th, 2013 11:54 am

    It starts with coaching and development more than anything else. I know these kids we have are not “wash outs” as some like to accuse them of being, but lets face it, coaching and development is a key factor here. Perhaps OL coach Tim Davis needs to be re-evaluated at season’s end. Maybe the OL coach from Arkansas or Wisconsin would be a nice hire, but as for OL coaches, we haven’t exactly had the best of luck over the past few years. Davis is a good coach, but he’s not an elite coach.

    by Gator Todd


  39. October 16th, 2013 12:34 pm

    I’m not even a Gator fan but I can’t help but like WM. For him to manage 11 wins (12 if Reed doesn’t fluke fumble in the endzone against UGA) with this horrid offense is amazing. Some of you UF fans are delusional. Meyer’s team was built off his 06-07 recruits and once they left the signs were evident. I mean lets be honest, Meyer inherited a great qb in Chris Leak and then hit the gold mine with Tebow. Everyone should have realized that Brantley was bad when Tebow had the concussion and Meyer refused to start him. Everyone should have know Driskel was a project when all he did in high school was run.

    UF doesn’t have the horses on offense. Yea a loss is a disappointment but every game they played they were in it despite the loss. The offense aren’t world beaters but they are slowly progressing. To say Muschamp can’t coach up players is laughable. Who was Jordan Reed, Mike Gilispie, Larentee McCray? No coach will go undefeated every year. That being said, for UF to be contending with the talent level on offense right now is amazing. Hopefully you will be able to savage the season with 9-10 wins.

    by Football Fan


  40. October 16th, 2013 12:42 pm

    An 80′s style offense needs an 80′s style offensive line. Charley Pell set the standard for such a line when he brought in just about every 1st team lineman in the State of Florida for a couple of years. It paid off even if it eventually was named the best offensive line you could buy by some! Maybe we need a new offensive line coach. One who has better contacts in the State of Florida, improved recruiting skills, as well as able to get the best out of each of them. Even RG III would have problems playing behind this line!

    by JaxGator47


  41. October 16th, 2013 12:47 pm

    In the past I have seen improvement on teams when they are challenged or called out. Maybe our O line will take this opportunity to pull it together and show us they can get the job done. Remember Tebows apology? Everything got better after that…come on guys, you can do it!!! Go Gators!! Beat Mizzou!!

    by Dan Dixon


  42. October 16th, 2013 12:48 pm

    Amen Doug! I get so tired of reading clueless fools criticize good people. Just because somebody threw a football to their little brother in the backyard and have watched other people coach and play football games on TV or even in person, it doesn’t make them credible, much less an expert. Foley is the best AD in the country and Coach Muschamp understands more than most what it takes to build a solid program. This team has had a lot of adversity and still has a fighting chance to make Atlanta while recruiting is just fine compared to most places, which is a positive reflection of the coaching staff. Relax people, really.

    Zach, I guess you are going negative to try and get ready for a job with ESPN?

    by Mark


  43. October 16th, 2013 1:20 pm

    Well at least the Gators are still relevant in the national conversation. I’m confident they will bounce back. The naysayers are out in full force after that offensive output but I remain loyal to the orange & blue. The fairweather fans here in BR bailed on lsu quicker than anything when UF was constantly whupping their butts & hanging 1/2 100 on them in their own stadium. I expect the UF fans to be there for this team when they turn it around this week at Missouri. I think Pease will open it up & let Murph do his thing w/ the wideouts making more of an impact than jsut 3 yd screen plays. GO GATORS!!!

    by (BRGF) Baton Rouge Gator Fan


  44. October 16th, 2013 1:36 pm

    What’s confusing about this article is that Coach Muschamp believes that Tennessee is/was the best O-line the Gators will face all year. Meanwhile, the Gators beat U.T., and lose to L.S.U. (reason for this article).
    I am not sure what that says, or what the coaches meant to say…but this 1 thing I do know: the ‘line-of-scrimmage league’ won’t change anytime soon! So let’s hope the Gator’s ‘O’ & ‘D’ line get better for years to come.
    And then recognize the other team’s strengths and weaknesses better, too, because Tennessee has the best O-line, ‘BUT’ L.S.U. and Miami manhandle Florida.
    GO GATORS!

    by gatorgi70x7


  45. October 16th, 2013 1:37 pm

    So, back to the subject at hand. If there’s a lack of depth at O-line it’s 100% on Muschamp. He’s had three recruiting classes — more than enough time to make up for whatever Meyer-era roster problems existed (and there were many). The column’s assessment that Muschamp inexplicably ignored recruiting O-line depth is worthy criticism (and ultimately could become Muschamp’s downfall).
    .
    In March 2011, Muschamp only signed 19 recruits even though roster size was a known problem — by the summer of 2011 the Gators were 12 scholarship players below their 85 max, and four of their 73 scholarships were awarded to walk-ons. Knowing the roster was a problem, why would a coach only sign 19? Why not take a few 3-star player (especially linemen, and especially when a 3-star Florida athlete is worth a 4-star from so many other states. See: Bama’s Mark Ingram)? If you think it’s because he wanted to load up to the max the following year you’d be wrong again — By the end of 2011 UF had just 57 scholarship players. Despite the SEC “25 signee rule” Florida could have taken 28 the following March — due to the early enrollee clause — but Muschamp took 23. Yes, a big class, but only if your roster was already near the max, which Florida’s was nowhere near.
    .
    The point being: Yes, bad injury luck has exacerbated the issue, but roster depth was entirely within Muschamp’s control.

    by Greg


  46. October 16th, 2013 2:06 pm

    Its Georg Bush’s fault because we’re in the shape we’re in!!! PO ole Gatas!

    by larry


  47. October 16th, 2013 2:19 pm

    @Dustin – as fans we have to look at the complete picture and understand where this regime is falling down and not throw popcorn at the screen like the Mystery Science Theater guys (robots?). Meyer left the proverbial cupboard bare for Muschamp, compared to a full cupboard he inherited from Ron Zook. In my heart of hearts I felt we were not as bad as our record in Champ’s first year and not as good as our record in the second. We’ve been a legit 8 to 9 win team thus far under Champ and I believe we are a few players away from being a perennial contender.

    I love the Gators, as a grad and as a fan, and I have faith that Muschamp will get it right.

    by Gator Grad '90


  48. October 16th, 2013 2:30 pm

    Been a Gator since about 1945 and was at the U of Fla for the class of ’51. I will always be a Gator yet —- I notice something is wrong in G’Ville. Dropping the the polls to what? – 22 and the 2014 recruit polls show us as number 19. Miami and FSU ( 10/5) in the football polls and something like 4 or 5 in the 2014 recruit polls. We need a coach that has had head coaching experience and one that recruits well and knows what he is looking for in high school players that are 17 years old. I just don’t believe Coach Will is a good fit for the Gator Nation, I see 3 and 1/2 and out. Go Gators!!!

    by Gatortally51


  49. October 16th, 2013 2:34 pm

    I keep hearing excuses from Brent Pease on why the O-Line didn’t block, or let the blitz through or can’t open wholes for the running game or are not allowing Murphy enough pass protection.
    These excuses are running thin. Who is accountable for all that- it’s the coaching staff.
    We have one of the best D’s in the nation. We need O coaches who can equal the D’s production. It’s time to start looking at recruiting some top O coaches for 2014. We need a top ten O in 2014.

    by Lakeland GatorNaught


  50. October 16th, 2013 2:45 pm

    There is alot of noise in the system and Foley has ears….

    by Dan Dixon


  51. October 16th, 2013 3:01 pm

    Maybe we need guys who stay healthy, not worry about the stars they have. O Line is about playing together as a unit too, having continuity and not having injuries, arrests, etc. Muschamp can’t just throw 5 guys in there and dominate, regardless of their rating.

    by Savage


  52. October 16th, 2013 3:09 pm

    you so called gator fans make me sick, we lost two games last year so far we have lost two this year., one to miami which we had five turnovers and are currently underfeated, the other to a team at their place by 11 points who are ranked 7 spots above us in the poles, so quit your complaining and start cheering, the season is only half over.

    by hudson gator


  53. October 16th, 2013 5:36 pm

    MONEYGREEN: Quit using all caps. It makes u look like a tool.

    by ALLCAPS


  54. October 16th, 2013 7:00 pm

    Lol at the people in this thread acting as if they know more than the coaches or saying so and so should be reconsidered as a coach. Half of y’all have no clue what goes into developing/scouting talent. And just because a kid grows up in florida and doesn’t come here don’t mean we did a bad job of recruiting said player. Lmao!

    by Real gator


  55. October 16th, 2013 8:25 pm

    You can’t have a 3rd and long situation and not put a FB/RB in the backfield to help protect the QB, we did that too many times at LSU and Murphy paid the price. Everyone will stack the box from here on out to stop the run and dare us to throw. If protection is there, we’ll be successful, if not, more of the same. Franklin injured helps our chances, but if we fall behind by more than a TD, it’s lights out, this offense isn’t built for playing from behind. The week off will help in prep for Georgia, but if things don’t improve fast, SC will treat us like they did Arkansas.

    by Kevin Patrick


  56. October 16th, 2013 9:01 pm

    look at the past elite 2 qb’s we recruited- Brantley and Driskell- both major busts- both terrible in the pocket. O-Line has taken way too much heat over the years. Murphy is to blame for some of the issues last week, it wasn’t the O-Line’s best game, but tailbacks that can’t block well and QB’s with less than stellar play are also at fault.

    by Mike


  57. October 16th, 2013 9:05 pm

    An 0-Line of Humprhies, Garcia, Moore, Harrison, and Halapio and we are talking about the position not being recruited? Two top transfers and three recruits that are very good players. The offensive playcalling and Brantely/Driskell play make for a more important discussion.

    by Mike


  58. October 16th, 2013 9:42 pm

    I agree. Humphries was one of the best OL coming in as a recruit and played a bunch last year. Garcia was very good at Maryland. Harrison was considered one of the best centers in the SEC in the preseason. And Moore stated at Nebraska as a freshman. Something is very fishy with the OL coaching and with the offensive play calling. I do not believe Pease when he states Muschamp does not have his stamp on the offense during games. No way he doesn’t.

    Wouldn’t it be great if the Gators came out with 5 wide to start the game vs. Missouri and then let Murphy take snaps in the shotgun for most of the game…..and Taylor started and ran for 150 yards. But…..I guarantee you the first play will be out of the I with Brown going to 2 or 3 yards right up the middle, followed by Brown again up the middle to 2 more…..and then Murphy lines up under center on 3rd down and gets sacked for a 9 yard loss. At least we will get to see how good the new punter is…..HOW EXCITING. Go Gators….anyway.

    by Tampa Gator


  59. October 16th, 2013 9:45 pm

    And one thing is fore sure……Muschamps offense is helping the Sun with blog hits. Have not seen this many in a long time.

    by Tampa Gator


  60. October 16th, 2013 9:49 pm

    No doubt Pease hasn’t been able to call his game. He had no choice but to tell the Gville media what he said a few days ago. The sad part about this is, Muschamp may end up dumping Pease if things don’t get better- basically what many other coaches have done around the country when the heat starts getting turned up.

    by Mike


  61. October 16th, 2013 11:11 pm

    WOW, the Gators still control their path to Atlanta and you would think they were 0-6 with some of these comments.

    by Brad


  62. October 17th, 2013 4:56 am

    Could Muschamp be the “Ray Goff” of Gator Football? A ton of talent and nothing to show for it!!!

    by ALC


  63. October 17th, 2013 5:04 am

    Does anyone know what Chad Morris’ (Clemson OC) contract looks like?

    by ALC


  64. October 17th, 2013 7:22 am

    We’ll return three starting guys up front on our O-line next year, get back Chas Green, a fourth starter. Tyler Moore and Humphries had four collegiate starts apiece prior to this season, and Max Garcia had a season at Maryland. These are young, talented guys. We have loads of talent at RB and young receivers including two TEs who will get healthy. We’ve found a play-making QB. RE: Muschamp, he surely is not satisfied with a championship calibre defense and a droll, underwhelming offense. I am confident we’ll show incremental improvement the rest of this year, though W/L record may not be great, but then bust out on O in 2014. Hang in there, Gator fans.

    by Gatormac


  65. October 17th, 2013 11:35 am

    I’ve been hearing for 3 years now that Muschamp inherited a bare cupboard. Not sure how inheriting the arguably the greatest Defensive recruiting class of all time and 8 guys who got drafted last year (plus Easley and Powell who will certainly play on Sundays) was a bare cupboard but either way it’s been 3 years. That is excuse has run its course. As to the depth excuse, you can’t have it both ways, if the numbers aren’t there you need to sign more players. Period. That said whether Muschamp makes it or not comes down to 2 factors for me personally;

    1) Do we want the UF job to remain one of the top 5-10 jobs in the country? Yes.
    2) Is Muschamp one of the top 5-10 head coaches in the country? Not right now on any list that I’ve seen. He gets another year and a half to get there in my opinion but if not something’s gotta give.

    Call me spoiled if you want but being the 5th or 6th best program in the SEC and the 3rd best in Florida doesn’t really fly in my opinion.

    by Dustin


  66. October 17th, 2013 3:36 pm

    Isn’t overindulged and narcissistic the definition of spoiled?

    by Doug


  67. October 17th, 2013 4:25 pm

    Powell an NFL player? Y0u must be dreaming, he is not even an honorable mention all-conference player. Just like Driskel and Brantley, he’s a 5 Star bust.

    by snowprint


  68. October 17th, 2013 5:03 pm

    [...] I didn’t get much for the Mail Stack this week, which I assume is because I answering many of your questions and concerns in my Tuesday blog on Florida’s offensive line recruiting. [...]

    by Zach's Mail Stack 10/17 | Gator Prospectus Gator Prospectus - Gator Sports - Gainesville, FL - Archive


  69. October 17th, 2013 5:56 pm

    Looking at the stats from the LSU game. Subtracting the sacks from the passing yards rather than the rushing yards shows the Gators did ok rushing the ball. They averaged just over 4 yards per carry. The Gators passing offense was horrible.

    As far as the play selection, on 2nd down they rushed the ball 11 times and passed it 12 times. They gained more yards on the 2nd down carries than the pass attempts.

    by Gator863


  70. October 18th, 2013 7:32 am

    Dustin, I think the defensive talent Muschamp inherited was elite, not so with the offense. Rainey and Demps were ideal for the Urban spread but not for the offense Champ and Weiss installed. We also used five different QBs in 2011 and wasted what should have been a redshirt year for either Brissette or Driskel, both of whom needed the time. Our line play has been inconsistent for four years, and no playmaking receivers either. As for this O-line, they came into 2013 very green — Humphries and Moore had four freshman starts apiece, Garcia 11 in the ACC. But I agree with you, in this era, our coach gets next year to turn it around or we’ll be welcoming a new staff.

    by Gatormac


  71. October 20th, 2013 5:25 pm

    Wow! i guess we need to fire all the coaches and dismiss the whole team. Replace all of them with the armchair quarterbacks who have all the answers and can coach better and play better than the players currently enrolled! Oh, and by all means, lets fire Jeremy Foley…what a waste, I guess.

    Come on, people! Get a life. It’s a game, not the end of the world. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course. Don’t you think that the current people in charge are trying to fix the problem? And those college players are definitely trying to do better.

    Be a true fan…not just a complainer!

    by Martha H


  72. October 20th, 2013 6:35 pm

    We had arguably the best defense in the nation until our defense, like Georgia’s offense, hit a tipping point with injuries.

    As for the offense, there is no question that our offensive line is not up to elite SEC standards. While I do not subscribe to the idea that you can predict the future with a four or five star, we are obviously missing the boat when it comes to evaluating offensive line talent… and we need to allocate more scholarships to the O-line.

    by Lake Mary Gator


  73. October 21st, 2013 2:26 pm

    I agree he didn’t inherit much offensive talent, but the point is we’re getting worse. Now, he did have an NFL tight end on the roster, an NFL running back, and the #1 QB recruit in the nation already signed, but the article is on point, he has not recruited anywhere close to the pieces he needs to have any shot at this offensive approach to work, particularly on the offensive line.

    Again, keep it simple, with the guys that he inherited graduating and/or having been under him for 3 years has the offense improved? Has the team improved? This is the first year that the key contributors are Muschamp recruits. How is that working out? Why is it going to be better next year? If the only way to be a good fan is to stick your head in the sand and buy the company line as we go from a top 5 program in the country to the 8th best program in the SEC, then I’m a spoiled, horrible fan. And proud of it. because accepting mediocrity only brings more mediocrity. Though I hesitate to call our offense mediocre. It’s gotta get fixed one way or the other. Go Gators.

    by Dustin


  74. October 21st, 2013 4:58 pm

    Here’s an IDEA!!! RECRUIT OFFENSIVE PLAYERS FROM HIGHSCHOOLS THAT RUN THE OFFENSE THE GATORS RUN!!!!! Hmmmm Just a THOUGHT!

    by Alex G.


  75. October 23rd, 2013 10:16 am

    The Gators problems are on the O-line. They lack BRUTE FORCE, TOUGHNESS, STRENGTH, AND QUICKNESS. I think we need a new hire at O-line coach. It’s a shame we get totally dominated and beaten on the O-line. Our line is mediocre. The Gators this year I am convinced now could get beaten by UCF. They played a sterling game against Louisville, who beat us last year.

    by GoGator


  76. October 23rd, 2013 10:23 am

    I feel the Gators D-line holds their own so far this season, considering they are out there too long when the offense does nothing. I get depressed when I replay, in my mind, the way the O-line gets whipped. They can’t pass protect or open holes for the run game. If you watch UCF they pass block and run block very well. I hope WM next year goes out and finds a new O-line and strength coach. One whos TOUGH.

    by GoGator


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