Gator fans should tune in to ABC on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET.
That’s when Southern Cal interim coach and offensive coordinator Clay Helton and the Trojans take on Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl.
Our old friend Jeff Barlis reported Tuesday that Florida will hire its next OC within a week, and it appears to be Helton considering the timing. Will Muschamp’s list of potential candidates has also dwindled over the past few days.
Helton’s offense against the Bulldogs will be different than what you’ll see from him at UF. Muschamp wants to convert to more of a spread system, which is what Helton ran at Memphis when he was offensive coordinator. Nevertheless, Saturday is still a chance for the Florida faithful to check him out before he arrives in Gainesville.
Before I dip in the Mail Stack, I need to remind everyone that inappropriate comments will not fly on this blog. I had to delete 142 this week, including a comment where someone was posting under my name. I usually don’t pay much attention to the comments, but I’m not going to let you guys attack each other. I appreciate all of you reading and sharing your thoughts, but comments need to be recruiting and football related or they will get deleted.
On to the questions!
With Tyler Murphy leaving, who are the potential QB options for 2014? — Bryan, Kevin, David, Ivo
As I reported Sunday, Florida is now looking to sign a second quarterback in the 2014 class. Muschamp’s change in offensive philosophy suggests it will be a dual-threat guy.
Taking a junior college quarterback would be preferable to create separation with Will Grier, but there isn’t an obvious choice when I look at the Rivals.com rankings. ESPN doesn’t even have a QB in its Junior College 50.
However, there are a few possibilities from the Rivals.com dual-threat rankings of prep prospects.
The top uncommitted recruit is 6-foot-5, 185-pound Randall Cunningham, whose list of offers includes Baylor, LSU, Mississippi State.
Then there’s three quarterbacks from the state of Florida who are pledged elsewhere — Wisconsin commit D.J. Gillins (6-3, 185, Jacksonville Ribault), Syracuse commit Alin Edouard (6-2, 181, Hialeah) and Duke commit Nicodem Pierre (6-2, 203, Miami Coral Reef).
I know nothing about their recruitments, grades or talent, but these four seem like the most attainable options to me.
What is WR Ermon Lane’s status? Would you put him in a similar boat as RB Dalvin Cook? — David, Joseph, Briwash
In late October I did a blog about five Florida commits on waver watch. Cook and Lane now sit atop that list.
I can’t get them on the phone, and those close to them don’t know or give away much info about their recruitment, so their social media accounts are really the only way to glean where they’re at with things.
Up until December, both posted pictures of themselves every week with some kind of Gator theme (UF gear, doing the chomp, a designed background, etc.). Not only have they stopped doing that, but almost all of those old images have been deleted.
This could mean nothing, or everything. It’s certainly not a good sign, but maybe they’re just playing the game and building suspense for their final decisions (I’m sure Lane will have one as well).
The Gators are by no means out of it, but it’s going to be a roller coaster with them until the end.
Who else are we recruiting at RB in case Cook decommits? — ChocoGator, Rob
If Cook goes elsewhere, it might be Tony James or bust at the running back position.
James tells me he’s solid with Oregon and won’t decommit if the hometown Gators come after him, but we’ll see.
The offense UF ran with Brent Pease was one of the reasons James and the Gators never materialized. James didn’t feel like it was the right fit for him, and neither did Florida.
But with the changes coming under the new coordinator, maybe Muschamp can get his attention. If the Gators put the full court press on him next month, you’d have to think he’ll at least consider staying close to home and playing for his dream school.
D’Ernest Johnson of Immokalee tried to pull the trigger for UF after attending last year’s South Carolina game, but the coaches weren’t ready at the time. He’s currently uncommitted and could be a last-minute option if they still have interest in him.
Where do we stand with Adoree’ Jackson? — jligori
The five-star athlete is reportedly down to Florida and LSU according to Rivals.com West recruiting analyst Adam Gorney.
UF appeared to be the his leader after Friday Night Lights, then LSU gained momentum after his trip there in October. Both schools also have great track programs.
I think the hire of Helton could help the Gators given his relationship with Jackson at USC, but it’s critical for UF to get his final official visit in January. If Florida is truly one of his finalists, that should happen.
Any chance DL Gerald Willis picks Florida over LSU? Where does UF stand with DE Lorenzo Carter and and 2015 WR George Campbell? — GaGator2
No chance on Willis. He’s from Louisiana, and his mother is April Justin (read this about her). You might remember April from the Under Armour All-America Game in 2012 when her other son, Alabama safety Landon Collins, chose the Crimson Tide over her beloved Tigers on ESPN and she was not happy about it (here’s the video). I doubt she goes 0-for-2.
Carter said Wednesday it’s a “Georgia-Florida race” in a video interview with Atlanta Journal-Constitution. UF was his No. 1 school in July, but UGA has likely taken the lead after having Carter on campus a few times this fall. With the ‘Dawgs also scheduled to get his last official visit, he appears to be theirs to lose at this point.
Campbell decommitted from Michigan this week, which didn’t come as a surprise to most people. His decision in the summer was shocking and came out of nowhere. Florida, Florida State and Clemson are the three schools believed to have the best shot at him right now.
That’s all for this week! Be sure to leave your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below.