Another week, another commitment for Florida.
With Deiondre Porter’s pledge Monday, the Gators have landed at least one recruit every week during the month of January.
A lot of fans weren’t all that excited about UF taking a three-star prospect away from USF, but I think Porter is one of the most valuable members of Florida’s class.
What you essentially have with him is three players in one. The Tampa Jefferson athlete can play quarterback, receiver and defensive back, all positions where UF could use some depth.
The Gators aren’t going to turn away their top targets at those positions because they added Porter, and if they miss on somebody, they can put him where he’s needed.
Porter may not be All-American material and will need to develop at whatever position he settles at, but he’s a great asset to have on the roster.
For example, say Jeff Driskel and Will Grier both get hurt next season and the Gators don’t flip Treon Harris. They’ll at least have the luxury of putting an athletic Porter behind center to run Kurt Roper’s spread offense as opposed to Skyler Mornhinweg.
On that note, I expect Mornhinweg to eventually transfer because of the new system. It’s not a fit for his skill set, and he almost left UF after the 2013 season.
On to the questions!
What happened with JUCO WR Eric Lauderdale? — Rob
He’s just another example of how fluid recruiting can be.
Prior to last weekend, the Gators had led since his official visit in late November and held the top spot heading into his trip to Arizona State. But while out in Phoenix, Lauderdale surprisingly cancelled his last visit to Oregon and announced he was ready to decide via Twitter.
To me that meant Sun Devils, and I made my prediction for them after that trip.
There were rumblings that Florida didn’t want him anymore or ran out of room, but I’m told that’s not true. If it were, Muschamp and four of his assistants would not have seen an out-of-state receiver Monday who’s committed to another school (Wisconsin pledge Krenwrick Sanders) and tried to convince him to visit UF (an attempt that was unsuccessful).
Florida receivers coach Joker Phillips was still in contact with Lauderdale and would have taken him. I just think he fell in love with ASU and chose to go there.
Lauderdale told us in the week ahead of his ASU visit that Florida was a slight leader or neck and neck with ASU but visit won him over
— ASUDevils.com (@ASUDevilscom) January 24, 2014
Will Florida get Adoree’ Jackson’s final visit in your opinion? — Garrett, Keith, Rob
If Jackson is serious about attending UF, he makes it next weekend.
UCLA and USC are the other schools being considered, but he’s been to both multiple times.
He’s seen Florida once, and that was in July. Jackson told me at Under Armour it won’t matter if he doesn’t check out Gainesville again, but I’m not buying that. If I was truly considering a team that I hadn’t visited as much as my other finalists, I would officially visit them.
I feel whichever school get his last trip lands him. That being said, he could opt to visit UF and still end up picking USC or UCLA. But there’s no way he visits one of those schools and then commits to Florida.
How important was it for Will Muschamp to secure the Jan. 30 date as an in-home visit with Lorenzo Carter? — Michael, Travis
It gives the Gators a little bit of hope with the five-star defensive end.
Muschamp will be the last head coach to see Carter at his house before he officially visits Georgia, but the UGA coaches still get the final word with him in-person.
While I don’t believe he’s a lock for the Dawgs, they have several factors working in their favor (last visit, Jeremy Pruitt hire, closeness to home, mom prefers them, etc.). If Muschamp is going to convince Carter to sign with UF, he better have one hell of a message for him and his family before they head to Athens.
In the end, the reasons Carter likes Georgia will be too much for Muschamp to overcome in my opinion.
Are LSU commit Davon Godchaux and Missouri commit Rocel McWilliams legit alternatives to Lorenzo Carter? — Guru, Joshua, Cody
Although they’re different types of defensive ends, there isn’t much of a talent drop-off between Carter and Godchaux. Carter has more upside, but Godchaux is an excellent prospect in his own right. He’s scheduled to officially visit UF next weekend.
McWilliams, like Carter, is being recruited for Florida’s Buck position. He doesn’t have as much potential or ability as the Under Armour All-American, but Missouri thinks highly of him. McWilliams is a solid pass-rusher, as his senior highlights show.
Mock class — Rob, Keith, Amer, Trae
It’s the moment of truth. Well, not really. That will be when I make my signing day predictions. I was 6-for-9 in 2012 and 3-for-5 last year. I’m 11-for-14 so far in 2014, but the February picks are the hard ones.
I’ve seen and heard enough from the visits this month (both by coaches and recruits) to put together a mock class. As of now, I see the Gators signing 26 and having at least one transfer in the near future or after spring practice.
Things can change from week to week as we witnessed with Lauderdale, but this is how I think Florida finishes at this time.
J.C. Jackson flips back to FSU and UF finishes with Adoree’ Jackson, Treon Harris, C.J. Worton, Isaiah McKenzie, Damian Prince and Rocel McWilliams.
QB Will Grier
QB Treon Harris
RB Brandon Powell
WR Isaiah McKenzie or Garrett Johnson (slot)
WR Ryan Sousa
WR C.J. Worton
TE DeAndre Goolsby
TE C’yontai Lewis
TE Moral Stephens
OL Travaris Dorsey
OL Kavaris Harkless
OL Nolan Kelleher
OL Damian Prince
OL David Sharpe
OL Drew Sarvary
DL/OL Taven Bryan
DT Khairi Clark
DT Thomas Holley
DE Rocel McWilliams
DE Justus Reed
DE Gerald Willis III
CB Duke Dawson
CB Jalen Tabor
CB Quincy Wilson
ATH Adoree’ Jackson
ATH Deiondre Porter
That’s all for this week! Be sure to leave your questions for the next mailbag in the comment section below.