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    Florida Gators recruiting camp on June 3rd in Gainesville- GatorCountry photo taken by David Bowie

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Written by Andrew Spivey, June 7, 2016, 0 Comments,
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This Gator Country podcast brings you the latest on what happened during the Florida Gators football camp last week, as the Gators hosted several commits on campus for camp.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down how each of the Gators commits during the camp, plus what other visitors impressed us while on campus.

Andrew and Nick also talk the latest trash talk from Jalen Tabor, plus recap how the Gators baseball team during the Gainesville regional last weekend.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey here. My man, Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, what’s up in the baseball world, my friend?

Nick:                         All is good in the baseball world. Excuse my voice, getting over bronchitis. That was fun. Florida moving on. All is good in the baseball world. Got some recruiting to bring to you, and a little Jalen Tabor Tennessee smack talk, which Andrew will love, and I’m sure you guys will enjoy his thoughts and feelings on that one.

Andrew:                 That made my day. Nick, show the people what I sent you, quickly after Tabor posted that.

Nick:                         Andrew has a new favorite player.

Andrew:                 That’s right. Anybody who doesn’t know who that is by now, we share the Tennessee hate together, and that’s only Mr. Tabor. It was good. Nick, as far as being sick, the only pain that matter is the pain that leaves your body.

Nick:                         Pain is weakness leaving the body.

Andrew:                 It is, and that’s weakness. You’re a stronger man today.

Nick:                         I don’t feel like it, but I guess. You were in town. There were a lot of prospects. Like 300 kids in town?

Andrew:                 Yeah, give or take a few. There was a lot of what I call the paying members of the offensive line and defensive line camp, and then seven on seven was there. They had that annual seven on seven tournament, which Vanguard, local school, walked away with the title. Some good players. You had South Bridge team that’s really load, has Kemore Gamble on that team, and some 2018 receivers, Daquarius Williams, a Miami commit. Mark Pope is another guy on that team. Then you had Daquon Green’s team from Tampa Tech. Vanguard, as I mentioned, won the championship, and they had Justin Watkins, the big time 2018 receiver, slot receiver, athlete, on that. Then they had the Miami quarterback. You had Miramar in town, and a few other schools. You had William Poole, the Georgia commit, in from Atlanta. It was a really good event. Then you had a few OL/DL that was pretty good as well. That was good. Good event overall. The weather stuck it out.

Nick:                         Over at the Mac we had weather delays in all three games, but you guys at the camp were able to run into the indoor when there was lightening. So that’s just another advantage. When you think of all the advantages of having that indoor facility, just another one when you look at these camps and being able to not have to push it back or even cancel a camp because of weather. It looked like a camp crowd for the big man challenge, but it seemed like the seven on seven is where really the big prospects and maybe some of the recruiting was going on. With Daquon Green, probably causing the biggest splash. I’m sitting on Twitter covering the baseball game, and my entire timeline is just Daquon Green and people reacting to some of the catches he had. Just fill us in. How did the commits look? Kemore, Daquon, how do the commits look, and what were they telling you about their visit, about their experience?

Andrew:                 Let’s start with Daquon Green real quick. You had it in the Swamp, and then you had it in the indoor, then you had it on the practice field. Didn’t see his first two games in the Swamp, but I heard he did good. He comes over to the practice fields, and he’s playing against Oak Ridge, who has a corner who’s got some big offers. He doesn’t have a Florida offer yet, but he’s got an FAU offer. Got a UCF offer, and I believe he’s even got a Miami offer already. Couple of other schools around the country offered. Daquon Green goes up first touchdown he catches, and he just skies over the guy, overthrown ball, makes a grab where the ball was in his chest. Gets way up in the air, makes the catch. Unbelievable catch. I’m sitting here thinking, this is a good play. Makes a really good play. Next possession, double covered, and he takes a post pattern off the guy’s head. Unbelievable catch. Just back to back really good catches. Had the entire staff, Kerry Dixon, Drew Hughes, those guys that were out there watching that particular game, running up to him and chest bumping him, that kind of stuff.

I think the biggest thing with Daquon, Nick, I was telling you this before, because with you being at baseball you weren’t able to see this, but he’s gotten a lot more physical looking. His body’s definitely bigger right now, but he’s able to really go up into traffic and make those catches that I don’t know if he could have exactly done last year with him being a little smaller. At 6’1” he definitely plays that height, and Mac talks about that with Ahmad Fulwood. Play your height. If you’re 6’1”, play like you’re 6’1”. Don’t play like you’re 5’10” or 5’11”. Play your height, and that’s exactly what he did. I was really impressed by his ball skills. I thought he was much improved for him, and we list him at 190. I would say he’s probably closer to that 195, 200 range. He just looked really good.

Then Kemore Gamble. Nick, I know you saw this as well on Twitter, him beating William Poole. Was that a topic on Twitter that came up?

Nick:                         Yeah. That was on Twitter. Of course, when you have a Georgia commit and a Florida commit going head to head in anything, checkers, people are going to pay attention to that.

Andrew:                 I called it the World’s Largest Cocktail Party in the summer, because we’ve all talked about William Poole being a little soft, and I had seen it a little bit at the Under Armour event that he was at, but he looked bad on Friday night. Then I’ll be the first to admit that I was still up in the air on how good Kemore Gamble was, but at 6’3”, 225 pounds, Kemore Gamble can play some football. He really uses not only his size advantage at 6’3”, but he uses his quickness. When he’s matched up on linebackers from that tight end position he did well. Then when they moved him out, split him out wide to go up against corners, he did really well on back to back plays. He just humiliated four start Georgia commit William Poole. There was a stop and go, and he just let William Poole fly right out on the ground on the stop and go, and then the next play he runs a fade, hits his out X pack, or his inside chest, and just runs a fade and simply outruns him for a touchdown.

That was just two of the touchdowns Gamble had on the night. Mac and those guys getting him on board at that tight end position, he’s going to be a good football player. He’s a lot like a DeAndre Goolsby, probably quicker and a little bit taller than Goolsby, but I was really impressed by Gamble. I thought Gamble did really well, and he definitely caught my attention on several plays in several games.

Nick:                         Then, who else? We always talk about, you and I have talked about these camps as far as being recruiting events. Those guys, I think you’ve said, and you’ve written, that Kemore and Daquon are both very solid commits. When you’re looking at other kids at the camp, were there other people that maybe weren’t on the radar, are on the radar now? Were on the radar before, and Florida’s still trying to recruit? Anyone else pop out on Friday night?

Andrew:                 Yeah. I mean, Brian Edwards, the corner out of Miramar, checked in at a little under 6’2”, 6’1.5”, 180. He actually picked up an offer at DB. He’s a guy that can play safety or corner. He looked good, maybe not great, but looked good at the event. Randy Shannon and Torrian Gray and Mac watched him a lot during the event. They really liked him, and gave him the offer. Maybe the guy that was the best player there, outside of the two commits, was 2018 athlete Mark Pope, the receiver from South Ridge, where Gamble’s at. He’s a 6’1”, 6’0” receiver, somewhere around in that range, about 165, but is electric with the ball in his hands. He can make the cuts, stop and start, and runs really smooth routes. I was really impressed by him, and I even told someone that I thought he had the chance to be that best player on that team, even over Gamble, and that’s no slouch on Kemore at all. Pope’s just that good of a player. I was really impressed by him.

sThen speaking of the offensive line/defensive line camp, one of the guys that I’ve been high on for a while is a defensive tackle out of my neck of the woods in Alabama, Timaje Porter, Perine’s teammate.

Nick:                         That’s a big boy.

Andrew:                 Checked in at 6’3”, 330 pounds, and was consistently whipping the younger kids on the different drills, the four cone drill. They always do the drill where you lay on your stomach, pop up, and have to get to a cone. It’s kind of like a drill that they do in the game, and he did really well there. Impressed Rumph as well, and Rumph pulled him aside after the camp and spoke one on one with him in the indoor, so that was very telling for him. Florida’s in good shape there. Florida, LSU right there for him. Auburn’s offered. Bama’s about to offer. So good shape there.

Then another guy was the 2018 offensive lineman from Apaca, Martez Ivey’s school, William Barnes. 6’4”, 290 pounds is what he came in, and he earned an offer. Any time Mac is watching you the whole time, chances are you’ve done something well, and Mac and Summers watched him the entire drills that they had during their in the lightening delay, and picked up the offer.

All in all, really good event. Even Justin Watkins from Vanguard impressed a lot of people. He’s 6’ and maybe there was some question mark of how good he could be at 6’, but when you’re 6’ you better be lightening in a bottle, and he was. He looked really good. All in all, first camp of the year was successful. Got to see the two commits, and also Kadarius Toney came into town, so he was able to meet those guys as well. All in all, good first camp for the Gators, and I think they were able to offer some kids, and get a leg up on some prospects.

Nick:                         Now where does Florida turn? I know we’ve got some stuff coming up this week, so what is the schedule? What does that look like in the near future?

Andrew:                 Over the weekend they did have some other guys come in for unofficial visits, Elijah Blades, George Scott, those guys.

Nick:                         Forgot about that. We’ll talk on them.

Andrew:                 We’ll talk on them in a second. They still have a camp in Gainesville through Wednesday. Then Wednesday evening they go to Jacksonville for the Trinity Christian camp. They go to Atlanta on Thursday as well as Nashville, so the satellite camp is officially underway starting Wednesday. A lot of good prospects will be there. Nick, you’ll be in Jacksonville with our intern, Austin, to see Shawn Wade and Tyree Johnson, the two big corners that are there. That should be good, because it’s always good when you bring your entire staff to an event, and they’re bringing the entire staff to Jacksonville to show Wade and Johnson love. The satellite camp circus, parade, whatever you may call it, gets underway on Wednesday.

Nick:                         I will be there. Looking forward to it. Last time I was at Trinity Christian it was to, let me see. I’ve been there a couple times. The first time I went was to see Nick Washington, and the second time was actually I think it was to see, forget his name right now, Tolliver.

Andrew:                 Yeah, Kevin Tolliver.

Nick:                         Nick Washington was there. He was on campus on the sideline with me that night. So I’ve been there a couple times.

Andrew:                 Chances are Nick Washington’s going to be there Wednesday.

Nick:                         Maybe, unless they have workouts.

Andrew:                 Maybe, but you’re going, so you may need to tell Nick so he can get there.

Nick:                         Yeah, my buddy. Then, big name, I don’t know how I forgot him. Sorry, guys. Big name as far as fans, definitely someone that the coaches are looking at, what kind of impact player is Elijah Blades? How hard is it to get a kid from California? I know there are some other ties, but how hard is it to get a kid from California, and how much progress did Florida make this week with his visit?

Andrew:                 First things first, he’s 6’3”, and he’s a buck 75, buck 80. Throw that out the window.

Nick:                         That’s really what Torrian Gray is looking for in that position though.

Andrew:                 Yes. He is long. When you put eyes on him, and you look at his arm length, I am the world’s worst of saying what a guy’s arm span is, that kind of stuff. I don’t cover basketball, so couldn’t tell you, but I would imagine he has a very, very above average arm span for a guy his size. It’s tough to get a kid from California, but Blades is a guy that grew up really like Florida. That’s unusual out there in Cali, and they already got him out here. USC and UCLA are kind of slow playing him a little bit. Florida’s taking advantage of that. Florida put themselves in excellent shape to where I will be shocked if he doesn’t pick Florida when he makes a decision this summer. He says he’s not sure when he’ll make it. Could be any time now. Put him on that watch, because he is. Florida did a great job. Tim Skipper did an excellent job of getting him out here. Torrian Gray and Mac, with Skip, sealed the deal there. He walks down to the practice fields on Friday night; he’s not working out. He lands, comes out there, and the entire staff swarms him giving him hugs, high fiving him, shaking his hands. You know you’re a priority when that happens. That was big for him, but to see him in person, good grief the kid is long.

Nick:                         That’s sort of the new breed of cornerback when you look at the NFL, and you look at these guys. There aren’t really the Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves, for as great a career as he had in college, that was a big knock on him. Is he not big enough anymore? As receivers get bigger, and get faster, you’re starting to not see as many of these 5’8”, 5’9”, 5’10” cornerbacks. They just can’t compete with how big, fast, and physical the receivers are getting. So you’re seeing not just one position in wide receiver start to evolve, you’re starting to see, you have to start evolving on the other side of the ball too. So Torrian Gray has said multiple times to us that that’s what he’s looking for. Florida has two guys like that right now in Quincy and Jalen, so trying to find another, and it’s so important for Florida this year to get that next, not even guy really. I was going to say to get that next guy at corner. You really need to get two, three guys, and probably two that you can count on playing as freshmen. If they miss this year, DBU turns into DB Who real quick. You can’t miss in this recruiting cycle.

Andrew:                 Yeah. The thing I was going to say is the day and age of playing cover, cover two, cover three, is kind of getting out. It’s more of you’re in nickel, you’re matching up man.

Nick:                         You’ve got cover two, and then what do you do when you get a tight end like a Rob Gronkowski or a Jordan Reed, someone that can just attack you vertically up the middle and split the two? You just can’t do it anymore. The game’s completely evolving.

Andrew:                 Exactly. So it’s definitely very important to get these long athletic corners there. It’s good. Florida will continue to be getting those guys on campus, and I think it’s off to a good start, and everyone wants to see it and is begging for a commit, and it’ll happen. I don’t think it’s a concern at all for that. It’ll happen soon. Before we move on, Nick, I think we have to talk about the two latest commits that Florida did land, and to say they were massive would probably be an understatement.

Nick:                         Good thing the NCAA has lightened up on what kind of food you can give recruits, because these guys will be eating anything and everything that is offered to them.

Andrew:                 Chris Rumph made a joke on Twitter. He joked. They can’t tag kids, but he said the dorm rooms are begging for help, and that is definitely the case. Javier Edwards out of Blinn College, he’s a Juco guy, 6’3”, 345 pounds, committed to Florida, and then Largo out of Pinellas Park, Jordan Scott, defensive tackle, 6’1”, 340 pounds, committed to Florida. To say Florida added some beef is an understatement. That’s what? 790 pounds, 690 pounds? That’s a lot of weight.

Nick:                         That’s a lot. The Amada will be in business for a long time in Gainesville.

Andrew:                 Yes. Nick, let’s talk about that real quick though.

Nick:                         The Amada? Great hibachi.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I knew you were going to say that, but let’s talk real quick about the adding the beef up front. Here’s my thing, and it’s a situation that I’ve kind of talked to a couple people about, and have thought about. The way football is moving, it is a lot of nickel. You’re playing a lot of more three down linemen. To have that one big, I mean I’ll just say it, the big hoss up the middle that is able to help with the run game is needed. I think that that’s something. Caleb Brantley’s not 340 pounds or anything like that, but we’ve all seen when you have that big defensive tackle like Alabama has, like a guy like Brantley who’s able to cause problems. It opens up everything for the other defensive linemen, and it does stop that run game when you are in that nickel package, because it helps with the linebackers. Nick, I mean, how many times have we looked at the Alabama roster and go, “Good God, how many 330 pound defensive tackles they got?” It’s every year, and something Florida, quite frankly, doesn’t have, and I think it’s good that they do get that.

Nick:                         It’s something that Mac saw that he had at Alabama, and it worked there. Talking about that Terrance Cody type, or this year. Who is that terrifying human they had?

Andrew:                 Jarran Reed.

Nick:                         Everyone knows about Jarran Reed. Next to him, A’Shawn Robinson.

Andrew:                 A’Shawn Robinson, yes, but he’s 50 years old.

Nick:                         I think he eats humans for breakfast. Massive, massive man.

Andrew:                 Werewolf?

Nick:                         I don’t know what he is. He’s a giant. Yeah, we’ve talked about Florida needed defensive tackle, but then you look at what else do we need? Sure, the game is favoring the pass, and you’re getting four wide, five wide sets, or four wide sets with an athletic tight end, or three wide with a tight end who’s in line, but is someone like a Jake McGee that can go and make a catch, and now a guy in the backfield, a running back, who can also catch the ball. The game is definitely changing, but you look at Florida’s schedule this year. LSU’s going to try to pound the ball down your throat. Arkansas is going to try to pound the ball down your throat. Georgia’s going to do the same. Florida State with Dalvin Cook’s going to do the same. There are still teams, and there’s so much parity and so many different schemes in college football that you can’t just say, everything’s changing; we’re going to get rid of the nose tackle completely, because you’re going to face a brand new offense and a brand new scheme. Someone’s going to attack you differently every week. So for Florida to be able to get those guys that you can stick in there and say, just on your sheer size alone you’re going to draw double team. It’s going to take two offensive linemen to keep you in front of them, and that’s going to create opportunities for those fast guys that we have playing that buck position or playing defensive end.

Andrew:                 Well, let’s take it a step further. You’re playing the nickel against Tennessee. Tennessee is more of a gun team.

Nick:                         They’re gun, but they’re going to try to run the ball.

Andrew:                 They are. That was my next point. You have a guy like a Jordan Scott, or a guy like a Javier Edwards, in your nickel at that. It’s going to be tough to run that draw right at the middle at that 340 pound guy, without drawing a double team. Then that does help that linebacker. It won’t be this year, because they’re not on campus, but next year it does help a guy like a David Reese come down that A gap, that B gap, and make that tackle, because that’s one less defender that you have butting up against your defender. So it’s a plus. I like it. I always think you need one big hoss up the middle that can just grind it out, and then when it does come time, and it’s 4th and 1, give me that 345 pound monster to be sitting up there.

Nick:                         Yeah. I agree. It’s something that Florida needed to hit on. I think we both agree on that, need to hit on this recruiting cycle, and you pick up two early. One’s a Juco, and you assume probably should be able to get him playing that first year, so that’s someone that can step in right away, because you’re losing Ivie, probably losing Brantley.

Andrew:                 You’re losing Brantley.

Nick:                         I thought Caleb Brantley could have left last year.

Andrew:                 Outside of injury, and cross our fingers that that doesn’t happen, I think he’s gone. You want to talk Tennessee next, or you want to talk baseball?

Nick:                         Let’s go with Tennessee. I’m at the baseball game last night, and I see Jalen Tabor tweet, and he’s saying that the basketball game, it was Sunday night, that the basketball game the Calves got blown out. Sidebar, Braun, wife still has a juice bar down in Miami. Nice weather, just come on back, man. Arms open. Come on back to Miami; we’ll embrace you. Tabor says, “Not even watching the basketball game. I’m bored.” When I see Jalen Tabor tweet that he’s bored, I go, Jalen’s got some time tonight. Something’s about to happen up on the Twitter box, because Jalen Tabor is bored, and taking it out on Twitter.

So, in a flurry of tweets, every game is key, but everyone circles a couple when the schedule comes out. It’s natural. I circled four, Neyland, Doak, Everbank. So that’s Tennessee, FSU, Georgia, and wanna be DBU, LSU. What do you think about those four? Me, personally, when that first game comes up Neyland I’m going to say, this is a game you circled, and when you get that game week talk of no, it’s just another game; it’s the second SEC game, and they’re all important. I’m like, on June 5 you didn’t feel that way.

Andrew:                 That’s never just another game. Mac will tell you it’s just not another game.

Nick:                         No. Mac’ll tell you that they probably expect to kick our butts.

Andrew:                 They probably expect to win by 50, but I hope our guys are ready to go. Yeah. Well, okay. Here’s the thing. I agree with those four, and I respect Jalen for that. Jalen, can we agree Jalen’s probably the face of the program right now? Vernon move on, Jalen’s probably the face of the program? Can we agree on that?

Nick:                         Yeah. Jalen is great. Jalen is great with the media, so we enjoy having him be the face of the program, and look forward to speaking with him as often as possible.

Andrew:                 So yeah, I think that’s there. I think that that is definitely the four biggest games for Florida this year, and I give him respect for that. I would list it probably: 1, Tennessee; 2, LSU; 3, FSU; 4, Georgia, or maybe flip flop LSU and FSU. Beating FSU this year is very important for recruiting. They got to find a way to beat FSU for recruiting purposes. I like that. Keep going down his Twitter rant.

Nick:                         That’s all I had. Did he keep going?

Andrew:                 Yeah. You didn’t see the back and forth with him and Quincy?

Nick:                         I did. Hold on. I also have that one. Then Quincy said that the Calves are tripping. They were getting blown out, and Tabor responds, “They ain’t tripping; they just can’t hang. Something like UT, Tennessee, in the 4th. LOL.”

Andrew:                 That’s when he became my favorite player. That is when he became my favorite player. 0, that’s what they are against top 25 teams.

Nick:                         So I had, Vince, we had him on the show, Ferrera. Had him on the show, and he also runs a radio show up there, and their Twitter page retweeted me, because I tweeted Jalen saying, “Jalen Tabor’s the best, because he goes on these rants, and they’re enjoyable.”

Andrew:                 Let me guess. Your profile just filled up with Tennessee fans.

Nick:                         No. I said, I laid my mentions to rest. I read the eulogy. I was ready to bury my mentions. I got one mention from a Tennessee fan that said, “He’s right. Butch Jones sucks on game day.” That’s the only Tennessee fan that tweeted at me was he’s right; Butch Jones sucks.

Andrew:                 I’m going to stay low key here. I’m going to stay low key. Today’s Monday. We’re taping this Monday. Ya’ll are listening to it on Tuesday. Let’s stay low key. Props to that Tennessee fan, because Butch really is. Nick, and I’m not going to call the person out who told us this, because that’s not fair, but a Tennessee writer told us the biggest question is Butch Jones’ game day coaching. You remember that conversation?

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 Okay. Butch is 0 against top 10 teams, and has one win against top 25 teams. Give me a break. I’m going to end on this real quick, and this is going to be the last thing, but I was looking through my Twitter timeline. I tweeted so much over the weekend that I can’t find it, but you were at SEC spring meetings the other day, and someone tweeted that the overwhelming response from several media members is they don’t understand why Tennessee’s overhyped again this year. My response was, thank you. They’re always overhyped, and it is once again. When Tennessee and Butch Jones can find a way to not lose close games against top ranked teams, I’ll believe it. Until then, they’re overrated. See you.

Nick:                         Yeah. Last year a lot of people were picking Tennessee to beat Florida, and I said…

Andrew:                 Even beat Oklahoma.

Nick:                         Yeah, I said, I’ll be a year late. I’ll be a year late picking Tennessee to beat Florida, just because the streak is real, and that’s something that these guys have to hear all week heading up to the game. You’re a freshman. You’re 18. Last time your school beat Florida, you were 10. You were in middle school. So it’s real, and there’s like this inferiority complex with Tennessee fans that’s building, and I don’t know how, to me, if you’re catching that many Ls, I don’t know how you still run your mouth, but more power to you. Hope it ends better for you, I guess.

Andrew:                 Here’s my thing. We’re not going to discuss this, Nick, so I’m just going to tell you. I’m going to hit this, and then we’re going to go to baseball talk. Just because you and I don’t want to talk about it, or you don’t want to talk about it. I’d talk about it all day long. Three different people this weekend, not on football staff or anything else, but people who write about the game, all told me the same thing. They said, I hope Butch has done enough for Tennessee fans to okay the violations that are coming. That was where it was left, because I have been very active in saying violations are happening in Tennessee. We all know about the police department, all that stuff. Tennessee hasn’t won a national championship yet. Was all this okay for it, just like Ole Miss? Was it worth it? I don’t know.

Nick:                         They have won a championship.

Andrew:                 Several spring championships.

Nick:                         They’ve won a national championship. They won the first BCS national championship.

Andrew:                 No, with Butch.

Nick:                         Oh, absolutely. Not even close.

Andrew:                 With Butch. Now, they are three time…

Nick:                         Not even SEC East.

Andrew:                 They are three time defending spring national champions under Butch.

Nick:                         They are not.

Andrew:                 They are.

Nick:                         You perpetuate this. Georgia was picked last year.

Andrew:                 It doesn’t matter. You and Barrett, and, again, Barrett’s a good friend of mine, you all look at one thing, one thing, and that’s SEC Media picks. You’re not looking at the national picture of magazine after magazine after magazine after reporter after reporter. It’s Josh Dobbs is going to win the Heisman. Tennessee is the dark horse to win the national championship. Tennessee is the dark horse to win the SEC.

Nick:                         I wouldn’t put a dollar on it.

Andrew:                 Exactly. It’s like, what are you talking about? Forget you. That’s what I want to say. Forget you. Every time you say Josh Dobbs is going to win it it’s like, forget you. Forget you. Forget the five seconds you just told me, because you just lost all respect from me.

Nick:                         I think it’s more of their fan base, and I think that the media has gotten into it. Last year, and then this year they’re definitely being way overhyped. I don’t understand the hype this year. I get that they returned a lot, Jalen and Dobbs. You’re returning a lot, but to me it’s just a team that…

Andrew:                 Did they get better from last year to this year?

Nick:                         No, and we talked about it. We went through their schedule. I think it was like two weeks ago we went through their schedule, and the last six teams they beat, they finished the year strong, but they had a front heavy schedule, and they lost all those big games. To me it’s cool, beat Kentucky, beat South Carolina, beat Vanderbilt, beat a bad Northwestern team, or a Northwestern team that had fallen off towards the end of the year, in a bowl game. That’s cool. What are you doing against Alabama? What are yo doing against Florida?

Andrew:                 What’d you do against Oklahoma?

Nick:                         Choked.

Andrew:                 Choked. Exactly. Nick, we got a few minutes left. Talk baseball. Tell us about the regional.

Nick:                         The regional, great outing from Logan Shore. You get a great outing from Alex Faedo to close it out. The bats returned. Pete Alonso returned.

Andrew:                 That ball’s still flying.

Nick:                         Pete Alonso did his best to take down a tree, hitting it twice on Friday. So he finished with 8 of 13. That’s pretty good. Three homeruns, 8 RBIs. The stats help, but just having, it’s something you can’t really calculate. You can’t show, but having that bat back in the lineup helps everyone else out, just from a confidence standpoint. You know that we have a bat where if we’re slumping, if some guys are coming down, and we’re piling up outs, Pete’s going to get it going. It just brings a level of confidence. Hitting is contagious, and when you’ve got somebody who’s pounding out eight hits in three games, that’s going to start trickling down. Florida scores 10 runs to close out Georgia Tech. Scored 8 runs the night before. You’re really starting to see this team with Pete back going to the plate with confidence. JJ Schwarz was 0 for 9 before Sunday. He gets two hits, 2 RBIs. So maybe JJ, other than his last at bat, he looked kind of lost there, but JJ started to swing the bat better.

The freshmen are really what’s really impressive, with Jonathan India, Deacon Liput, Nelson Maldonado, and Danny Reyes coming out of nowhere, starting in the SEC tournament. These guys, the freshmen are the ones leading everybody. So Florida will host Florida State in a Super Regional. There’s no schedule for that yet. All of the regional games have to be finalized, finished, before the NCAA releases the Super Regional schedule. Florida will either play Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Saturday, Sunday, Monday, with that Sunday, Monday game being optional, depending on when you start. Florida has beaten Florida State five consecutive times in a row. That’s the longest consecutive win streak in the series for Florida. They’ve also beaten Florida State 10 of the last 12.

Andrew:                 Not bad. Pete Alonso, good God. I mean, it’s not human to come back from a three week break and hit balls like that. It’s just not human.

Nick:                         A broken hand. He walked in last night to the press conference, and he goes, three days in a row, and he pats himself on the back. Then Kevin O’Sullivan, somebody asked, Coach, did you expect Pete to be rusty coming back not having played for 27 days? Sully said, “I saw him practice Wednesday before the regional, but no. I didn’t expect him to hit like this,” and Pete kind of looked at him like, come on, Coach, are you serious? You didn’t expect this?

Andrew:                 He looked really good, and then Faedo. When you’re trotting out your #3 pitcher, who very well may be a first round draft pick next year.

Nick:                         Alex Faedo will be a first round pick in the 2017 draft. Alex Faedo will be a top 20 pick in the draft.

Andrew:                 When you’re looking at Florida, the #1 pick in the country might be, well is their third best pitcher.

Nick:                         He’s their fourth best pitcher.

Andrew:                 I meant in their starters.

Nick:                         I go Shore, Faedo, Dunning, Puk, and maybe even, Shore has been more steady, but Faedo’s had higher peaks than Shore this year, but he’s also had lower valleys than Shore has this year.

Andrew:                 For everyone listening to this podcast, please do me a favor and send all tweets to the Philadelphia Phillies begging and pleading with them to take AJ Puk #1. A, it’d be cool to see a Gator #1, and, B, just do. Just do that, please.

Nick:                         That’s what you got?

Andrew:                 That’s what I got. I’m asking. It’s like we won’t talk religion on here, but I’ll say it, I’m praying he goes 1. Praying he goes 1. For obvious reasons, and if you don’t know that, then just Gator at #1.

Nick:                         Yeah. I started to do some research. I’m pretty sure Florida has not had a #1 overall pick.

Andrew:                 I thought #3 was the highest, but maybe I’m wrong. Who knows? Wouldn’t be the first time. Probably won’t be the last time. Nick, we’ll have some good stuff, probably hit you guys later in the week maybe. We will catch with you guys soon. Nick, tell the people where they can find us, and we’ll get out of here.

Nick:                         It’s going to be a busy week, but we’ll try to see if we can shoot in another one, and I’ll have some updates from Trinity Christian, and we can preview the Super Regional against Florida State. Maybe we’ll bring on somebody to talk some baseball with us for that as well. As always, www.GatorCountry.com, all your Florida Gators news. On Facebook, @GatorCountry. On Instagram, @TheGatorCountry. I am @NickdelaTorreGC; he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC. That is all the social media. Like, share, favorite, double tap on Instagram. Tell your friends about us. Have your mom tell her friends about us. Thank you. Thank you for the continued support.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Right now we’re dominating things. I don’t mind saying it. We’re dominating things on Gator Country. Tell your friends to join us. Hit me up. I can get you a deal. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.

Andrew Spivey

About Andrew Spivey

Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.

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This Gator Country podcast brings you the latest on what happened during the Florida Gators football camp last week, as the Gators hosted several commits on campus for camp.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down how each of the Gators commits during the camp, plus what other visitors impressed us while on campus.

Andrew and Nick also talk the latest trash talk from Jalen Tabor, plus recap how the Gators baseball team during the Gainesville regional last weekend.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey here. My man, Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, what’s up in the baseball world, my friend?

Nick:                         All is good in the baseball world. Excuse my voice, getting over bronchitis. That was fun. Florida moving on. All is good in the baseball world. Got some recruiting to bring to you, and a little Jalen Tabor Tennessee smack talk, which Andrew will love, and I’m sure you guys will enjoy his thoughts and feelings on that one.

Andrew:                 That made my day. Nick, show the people what I sent you, quickly after Tabor posted that.

Nick:                         Andrew has a new favorite player.

Andrew:                 That’s right. Anybody who doesn’t know who that is by now, we share the Tennessee hate together, and that’s only Mr. Tabor. It was good. Nick, as far as being sick, the only pain that matter is the pain that leaves your body.

Nick:                         Pain is weakness leaving the body.

Andrew:                 It is, and that’s weakness. You’re a stronger man today.

Nick:                         I don’t feel like it, but I guess. You were in town. There were a lot of prospects. Like 300 kids in town?

Andrew:                 Yeah, give or take a few. There was a lot of what I call the paying members of the offensive line and defensive line camp, and then seven on seven was there. They had that annual seven on seven tournament, which Vanguard, local school, walked away with the title. Some good players. You had South Bridge team that’s really load, has Kemore Gamble on that team, and some 2018 receivers, Daquarius Williams, a Miami commit. Mark Pope is another guy on that team. Then you had Daquon Green’s team from Tampa Tech. Vanguard, as I mentioned, won the championship, and they had Justin Watkins, the big time 2018 receiver, slot receiver, athlete, on that. Then they had the Miami quarterback. You had Miramar in town, and a few other schools. You had William Poole, the Georgia commit, in from Atlanta. It was a really good event. Then you had a few OL/DL that was pretty good as well. That was good. Good event overall. The weather stuck it out.

Nick:                         Over at the Mac we had weather delays in all three games, but you guys at the camp were able to run into the indoor when there was lightening. So that’s just another advantage. When you think of all the advantages of having that indoor facility, just another one when you look at these camps and being able to not have to push it back or even cancel a camp because of weather. It looked like a camp crowd for the big man challenge, but it seemed like the seven on seven is where really the big prospects and maybe some of the recruiting was going on. With Daquon Green, probably causing the biggest splash. I’m sitting on Twitter covering the baseball game, and my entire timeline is just Daquon Green and people reacting to some of the catches he had. Just fill us in. How did the commits look? Kemore, Daquon, how do the commits look, and what were they telling you about their visit, about their experience?

Andrew:                 Let’s start with Daquon Green real quick. You had it in the Swamp, and then you had it in the indoor, then you had it on the practice field. Didn’t see his first two games in the Swamp, but I heard he did good. He comes over to the practice fields, and he’s playing against Oak Ridge, who has a corner who’s got some big offers. He doesn’t have a Florida offer yet, but he’s got an FAU offer. Got a UCF offer, and I believe he’s even got a Miami offer already. Couple of other schools around the country offered. Daquon Green goes up first touchdown he catches, and he just skies over the guy, overthrown ball, makes a grab where the ball was in his chest. Gets way up in the air, makes the catch. Unbelievable catch. I’m sitting here thinking, this is a good play. Makes a really good play. Next possession, double covered, and he takes a post pattern off the guy’s head. Unbelievable catch. Just back to back really good catches. Had the entire staff, Kerry Dixon, Drew Hughes, those guys that were out there watching that particular game, running up to him and chest bumping him, that kind of stuff.

I think the biggest thing with Daquon, Nick, I was telling you this before, because with you being at baseball you weren’t able to see this, but he’s gotten a lot more physical looking. His body’s definitely bigger right now, but he’s able to really go up into traffic and make those catches that I don’t know if he could have exactly done last year with him being a little smaller. At 6’1” he definitely plays that height, and Mac talks about that with Ahmad Fulwood. Play your height. If you’re 6’1”, play like you’re 6’1”. Don’t play like you’re 5’10” or 5’11”. Play your height, and that’s exactly what he did. I was really impressed by his ball skills. I thought he was much improved for him, and we list him at 190. I would say he’s probably closer to that 195, 200 range. He just looked really good.

Then Kemore Gamble. Nick, I know you saw this as well on Twitter, him beating William Poole. Was that a topic on Twitter that came up?

Nick:                         Yeah. That was on Twitter. Of course, when you have a Georgia commit and a Florida commit going head to head in anything, checkers, people are going to pay attention to that.

Andrew:                 I called it the World’s Largest Cocktail Party in the summer, because we’ve all talked about William Poole being a little soft, and I had seen it a little bit at the Under Armour event that he was at, but he looked bad on Friday night. Then I’ll be the first to admit that I was still up in the air on how good Kemore Gamble was, but at 6’3”, 225 pounds, Kemore Gamble can play some football. He really uses not only his size advantage at 6’3”, but he uses his quickness. When he’s matched up on linebackers from that tight end position he did well. Then when they moved him out, split him out wide to go up against corners, he did really well on back to back plays. He just humiliated four start Georgia commit William Poole. There was a stop and go, and he just let William Poole fly right out on the ground on the stop and go, and then the next play he runs a fade, hits his out X pack, or his inside chest, and just runs a fade and simply outruns him for a touchdown.

That was just two of the touchdowns Gamble had on the night. Mac and those guys getting him on board at that tight end position, he’s going to be a good football player. He’s a lot like a DeAndre Goolsby, probably quicker and a little bit taller than Goolsby, but I was really impressed by Gamble. I thought Gamble did really well, and he definitely caught my attention on several plays in several games.

Nick:                         Then, who else? We always talk about, you and I have talked about these camps as far as being recruiting events. Those guys, I think you’ve said, and you’ve written, that Kemore and Daquon are both very solid commits. When you’re looking at other kids at the camp, were there other people that maybe weren’t on the radar, are on the radar now? Were on the radar before, and Florida’s still trying to recruit? Anyone else pop out on Friday night?

Andrew:                 Yeah. I mean, Brian Edwards, the corner out of Miramar, checked in at a little under 6’2”, 6’1.5”, 180. He actually picked up an offer at DB. He’s a guy that can play safety or corner. He looked good, maybe not great, but looked good at the event. Randy Shannon and Torrian Gray and Mac watched him a lot during the event. They really liked him, and gave him the offer. Maybe the guy that was the best player there, outside of the two commits, was 2018 athlete Mark Pope, the receiver from South Ridge, where Gamble’s at. He’s a 6’1”, 6’0” receiver, somewhere around in that range, about 165, but is electric with the ball in his hands. He can make the cuts, stop and start, and runs really smooth routes. I was really impressed by him, and I even told someone that I thought he had the chance to be that best player on that team, even over Gamble, and that’s no slouch on Kemore at all. Pope’s just that good of a player. I was really impressed by him.

sThen speaking of the offensive line/defensive line camp, one of the guys that I’ve been high on for a while is a defensive tackle out of my neck of the woods in Alabama, Timaje Porter, Perine’s teammate.

Nick:                         That’s a big boy.

Andrew:                 Checked in at 6’3”, 330 pounds, and was consistently whipping the younger kids on the different drills, the four cone drill. They always do the drill where you lay on your stomach, pop up, and have to get to a cone. It’s kind of like a drill that they do in the game, and he did really well there. Impressed Rumph as well, and Rumph pulled him aside after the camp and spoke one on one with him in the indoor, so that was very telling for him. Florida’s in good shape there. Florida, LSU right there for him. Auburn’s offered. Bama’s about to offer. So good shape there.

Then another guy was the 2018 offensive lineman from Apaca, Martez Ivey’s school, William Barnes. 6’4”, 290 pounds is what he came in, and he earned an offer. Any time Mac is watching you the whole time, chances are you’ve done something well, and Mac and Summers watched him the entire drills that they had during their in the lightening delay, and picked up the offer.

All in all, really good event. Even Justin Watkins from Vanguard impressed a lot of people. He’s 6’ and maybe there was some question mark of how good he could be at 6’, but when you’re 6’ you better be lightening in a bottle, and he was. He looked really good. All in all, first camp of the year was successful. Got to see the two commits, and also Kadarius Toney came into town, so he was able to meet those guys as well. All in all, good first camp for the Gators, and I think they were able to offer some kids, and get a leg up on some prospects.

Nick:                         Now where does Florida turn? I know we’ve got some stuff coming up this week, so what is the schedule? What does that look like in the near future?

Andrew:                 Over the weekend they did have some other guys come in for unofficial visits, Elijah Blades, George Scott, those guys.

Nick:                         Forgot about that. We’ll talk on them.

Andrew:                 We’ll talk on them in a second. They still have a camp in Gainesville through Wednesday. Then Wednesday evening they go to Jacksonville for the Trinity Christian camp. They go to Atlanta on Thursday as well as Nashville, so the satellite camp is officially underway starting Wednesday. A lot of good prospects will be there. Nick, you’ll be in Jacksonville with our intern, Austin, to see Shawn Wade and Tyree Johnson, the two big corners that are there. That should be good, because it’s always good when you bring your entire staff to an event, and they’re bringing the entire staff to Jacksonville to show Wade and Johnson love. The satellite camp circus, parade, whatever you may call it, gets underway on Wednesday.

Nick:                         I will be there. Looking forward to it. Last time I was at Trinity Christian it was to, let me see. I’ve been there a couple times. The first time I went was to see Nick Washington, and the second time was actually I think it was to see, forget his name right now, Tolliver.

Andrew:                 Yeah, Kevin Tolliver.

Nick:                         Nick Washington was there. He was on campus on the sideline with me that night. So I’ve been there a couple times.

Andrew:                 Chances are Nick Washington’s going to be there Wednesday.

Nick:                         Maybe, unless they have workouts.

Andrew:                 Maybe, but you’re going, so you may need to tell Nick so he can get there.

Nick:                         Yeah, my buddy. Then, big name, I don’t know how I forgot him. Sorry, guys. Big name as far as fans, definitely someone that the coaches are looking at, what kind of impact player is Elijah Blades? How hard is it to get a kid from California? I know there are some other ties, but how hard is it to get a kid from California, and how much progress did Florida make this week with his visit?

Andrew:                 First things first, he’s 6’3”, and he’s a buck 75, buck 80. Throw that out the window.

Nick:                         That’s really what Torrian Gray is looking for in that position though.

Andrew:                 Yes. He is long. When you put eyes on him, and you look at his arm length, I am the world’s worst of saying what a guy’s arm span is, that kind of stuff. I don’t cover basketball, so couldn’t tell you, but I would imagine he has a very, very above average arm span for a guy his size. It’s tough to get a kid from California, but Blades is a guy that grew up really like Florida. That’s unusual out there in Cali, and they already got him out here. USC and UCLA are kind of slow playing him a little bit. Florida’s taking advantage of that. Florida put themselves in excellent shape to where I will be shocked if he doesn’t pick Florida when he makes a decision this summer. He says he’s not sure when he’ll make it. Could be any time now. Put him on that watch, because he is. Florida did a great job. Tim Skipper did an excellent job of getting him out here. Torrian Gray and Mac, with Skip, sealed the deal there. He walks down to the practice fields on Friday night; he’s not working out. He lands, comes out there, and the entire staff swarms him giving him hugs, high fiving him, shaking his hands. You know you’re a priority when that happens. That was big for him, but to see him in person, good grief the kid is long.

Nick:                         That’s sort of the new breed of cornerback when you look at the NFL, and you look at these guys. There aren’t really the Brent Grimes, Vernon Hargreaves, for as great a career as he had in college, that was a big knock on him. Is he not big enough anymore? As receivers get bigger, and get faster, you’re starting to not see as many of these 5’8”, 5’9”, 5’10” cornerbacks. They just can’t compete with how big, fast, and physical the receivers are getting. So you’re seeing not just one position in wide receiver start to evolve, you’re starting to see, you have to start evolving on the other side of the ball too. So Torrian Gray has said multiple times to us that that’s what he’s looking for. Florida has two guys like that right now in Quincy and Jalen, so trying to find another, and it’s so important for Florida this year to get that next, not even guy really. I was going to say to get that next guy at corner. You really need to get two, three guys, and probably two that you can count on playing as freshmen. If they miss this year, DBU turns into DB Who real quick. You can’t miss in this recruiting cycle.

Andrew:                 Yeah. The thing I was going to say is the day and age of playing cover, cover two, cover three, is kind of getting out. It’s more of you’re in nickel, you’re matching up man.

Nick:                         You’ve got cover two, and then what do you do when you get a tight end like a Rob Gronkowski or a Jordan Reed, someone that can just attack you vertically up the middle and split the two? You just can’t do it anymore. The game’s completely evolving.

Andrew:                 Exactly. So it’s definitely very important to get these long athletic corners there. It’s good. Florida will continue to be getting those guys on campus, and I think it’s off to a good start, and everyone wants to see it and is begging for a commit, and it’ll happen. I don’t think it’s a concern at all for that. It’ll happen soon. Before we move on, Nick, I think we have to talk about the two latest commits that Florida did land, and to say they were massive would probably be an understatement.

Nick:                         Good thing the NCAA has lightened up on what kind of food you can give recruits, because these guys will be eating anything and everything that is offered to them.

Andrew:                 Chris Rumph made a joke on Twitter. He joked. They can’t tag kids, but he said the dorm rooms are begging for help, and that is definitely the case. Javier Edwards out of Blinn College, he’s a Juco guy, 6’3”, 345 pounds, committed to Florida, and then Largo out of Pinellas Park, Jordan Scott, defensive tackle, 6’1”, 340 pounds, committed to Florida. To say Florida added some beef is an understatement. That’s what? 790 pounds, 690 pounds? That’s a lot of weight.

Nick:                         That’s a lot. The Amada will be in business for a long time in Gainesville.

Andrew:                 Yes. Nick, let’s talk about that real quick though.

Nick:                         The Amada? Great hibachi.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I knew you were going to say that, but let’s talk real quick about the adding the beef up front. Here’s my thing, and it’s a situation that I’ve kind of talked to a couple people about, and have thought about. The way football is moving, it is a lot of nickel. You’re playing a lot of more three down linemen. To have that one big, I mean I’ll just say it, the big hoss up the middle that is able to help with the run game is needed. I think that that’s something. Caleb Brantley’s not 340 pounds or anything like that, but we’ve all seen when you have that big defensive tackle like Alabama has, like a guy like Brantley who’s able to cause problems. It opens up everything for the other defensive linemen, and it does stop that run game when you are in that nickel package, because it helps with the linebackers. Nick, I mean, how many times have we looked at the Alabama roster and go, “Good God, how many 330 pound defensive tackles they got?” It’s every year, and something Florida, quite frankly, doesn’t have, and I think it’s good that they do get that.

Nick:                         It’s something that Mac saw that he had at Alabama, and it worked there. Talking about that Terrance Cody type, or this year. Who is that terrifying human they had?

Andrew:                 Jarran Reed.

Nick:                         Everyone knows about Jarran Reed. Next to him, A’Shawn Robinson.

Andrew:                 A’Shawn Robinson, yes, but he’s 50 years old.

Nick:                         I think he eats humans for breakfast. Massive, massive man.

Andrew:                 Werewolf?

Nick:                         I don’t know what he is. He’s a giant. Yeah, we’ve talked about Florida needed defensive tackle, but then you look at what else do we need? Sure, the game is favoring the pass, and you’re getting four wide, five wide sets, or four wide sets with an athletic tight end, or three wide with a tight end who’s in line, but is someone like a Jake McGee that can go and make a catch, and now a guy in the backfield, a running back, who can also catch the ball. The game is definitely changing, but you look at Florida’s schedule this year. LSU’s going to try to pound the ball down your throat. Arkansas is going to try to pound the ball down your throat. Georgia’s going to do the same. Florida State with Dalvin Cook’s going to do the same. There are still teams, and there’s so much parity and so many different schemes in college football that you can’t just say, everything’s changing; we’re going to get rid of the nose tackle completely, because you’re going to face a brand new offense and a brand new scheme. Someone’s going to attack you differently every week. So for Florida to be able to get those guys that you can stick in there and say, just on your sheer size alone you’re going to draw double team. It’s going to take two offensive linemen to keep you in front of them, and that’s going to create opportunities for those fast guys that we have playing that buck position or playing defensive end.

Andrew:                 Well, let’s take it a step further. You’re playing the nickel against Tennessee. Tennessee is more of a gun team.

Nick:                         They’re gun, but they’re going to try to run the ball.

Andrew:                 They are. That was my next point. You have a guy like a Jordan Scott, or a guy like a Javier Edwards, in your nickel at that. It’s going to be tough to run that draw right at the middle at that 340 pound guy, without drawing a double team. Then that does help that linebacker. It won’t be this year, because they’re not on campus, but next year it does help a guy like a David Reese come down that A gap, that B gap, and make that tackle, because that’s one less defender that you have butting up against your defender. So it’s a plus. I like it. I always think you need one big hoss up the middle that can just grind it out, and then when it does come time, and it’s 4th and 1, give me that 345 pound monster to be sitting up there.

Nick:                         Yeah. I agree. It’s something that Florida needed to hit on. I think we both agree on that, need to hit on this recruiting cycle, and you pick up two early. One’s a Juco, and you assume probably should be able to get him playing that first year, so that’s someone that can step in right away, because you’re losing Ivie, probably losing Brantley.

Andrew:                 You’re losing Brantley.

Nick:                         I thought Caleb Brantley could have left last year.

Andrew:                 Outside of injury, and cross our fingers that that doesn’t happen, I think he’s gone. You want to talk Tennessee next, or you want to talk baseball?

Nick:                         Let’s go with Tennessee. I’m at the baseball game last night, and I see Jalen Tabor tweet, and he’s saying that the basketball game, it was Sunday night, that the basketball game the Calves got blown out. Sidebar, Braun, wife still has a juice bar down in Miami. Nice weather, just come on back, man. Arms open. Come on back to Miami; we’ll embrace you. Tabor says, “Not even watching the basketball game. I’m bored.” When I see Jalen Tabor tweet that he’s bored, I go, Jalen’s got some time tonight. Something’s about to happen up on the Twitter box, because Jalen Tabor is bored, and taking it out on Twitter.

So, in a flurry of tweets, every game is key, but everyone circles a couple when the schedule comes out. It’s natural. I circled four, Neyland, Doak, Everbank. So that’s Tennessee, FSU, Georgia, and wanna be DBU, LSU. What do you think about those four? Me, personally, when that first game comes up Neyland I’m going to say, this is a game you circled, and when you get that game week talk of no, it’s just another game; it’s the second SEC game, and they’re all important. I’m like, on June 5 you didn’t feel that way.

Andrew:                 That’s never just another game. Mac will tell you it’s just not another game.

Nick:                         No. Mac’ll tell you that they probably expect to kick our butts.

Andrew:                 They probably expect to win by 50, but I hope our guys are ready to go. Yeah. Well, okay. Here’s the thing. I agree with those four, and I respect Jalen for that. Jalen, can we agree Jalen’s probably the face of the program right now? Vernon move on, Jalen’s probably the face of the program? Can we agree on that?

Nick:                         Yeah. Jalen is great. Jalen is great with the media, so we enjoy having him be the face of the program, and look forward to speaking with him as often as possible.

Andrew:                 So yeah, I think that’s there. I think that that is definitely the four biggest games for Florida this year, and I give him respect for that. I would list it probably: 1, Tennessee; 2, LSU; 3, FSU; 4, Georgia, or maybe flip flop LSU and FSU. Beating FSU this year is very important for recruiting. They got to find a way to beat FSU for recruiting purposes. I like that. Keep going down his Twitter rant.

Nick:                         That’s all I had. Did he keep going?

Andrew:                 Yeah. You didn’t see the back and forth with him and Quincy?

Nick:                         I did. Hold on. I also have that one. Then Quincy said that the Calves are tripping. They were getting blown out, and Tabor responds, “They ain’t tripping; they just can’t hang. Something like UT, Tennessee, in the 4th. LOL.”

Andrew:                 That’s when he became my favorite player. That is when he became my favorite player. 0, that’s what they are against top 25 teams.

Nick:                         So I had, Vince, we had him on the show, Ferrera. Had him on the show, and he also runs a radio show up there, and their Twitter page retweeted me, because I tweeted Jalen saying, “Jalen Tabor’s the best, because he goes on these rants, and they’re enjoyable.”

Andrew:                 Let me guess. Your profile just filled up with Tennessee fans.

Nick:                         No. I said, I laid my mentions to rest. I read the eulogy. I was ready to bury my mentions. I got one mention from a Tennessee fan that said, “He’s right. Butch Jones sucks on game day.” That’s the only Tennessee fan that tweeted at me was he’s right; Butch Jones sucks.

Andrew:                 I’m going to stay low key here. I’m going to stay low key. Today’s Monday. We’re taping this Monday. Ya’ll are listening to it on Tuesday. Let’s stay low key. Props to that Tennessee fan, because Butch really is. Nick, and I’m not going to call the person out who told us this, because that’s not fair, but a Tennessee writer told us the biggest question is Butch Jones’ game day coaching. You remember that conversation?

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 Okay. Butch is 0 against top 10 teams, and has one win against top 25 teams. Give me a break. I’m going to end on this real quick, and this is going to be the last thing, but I was looking through my Twitter timeline. I tweeted so much over the weekend that I can’t find it, but you were at SEC spring meetings the other day, and someone tweeted that the overwhelming response from several media members is they don’t understand why Tennessee’s overhyped again this year. My response was, thank you. They’re always overhyped, and it is once again. When Tennessee and Butch Jones can find a way to not lose close games against top ranked teams, I’ll believe it. Until then, they’re overrated. See you.

Nick:                         Yeah. Last year a lot of people were picking Tennessee to beat Florida, and I said…

Andrew:                 Even beat Oklahoma.

Nick:                         Yeah, I said, I’ll be a year late. I’ll be a year late picking Tennessee to beat Florida, just because the streak is real, and that’s something that these guys have to hear all week heading up to the game. You’re a freshman. You’re 18. Last time your school beat Florida, you were 10. You were in middle school. So it’s real, and there’s like this inferiority complex with Tennessee fans that’s building, and I don’t know how, to me, if you’re catching that many Ls, I don’t know how you still run your mouth, but more power to you. Hope it ends better for you, I guess.

Andrew:                 Here’s my thing. We’re not going to discuss this, Nick, so I’m just going to tell you. I’m going to hit this, and then we’re going to go to baseball talk. Just because you and I don’t want to talk about it, or you don’t want to talk about it. I’d talk about it all day long. Three different people this weekend, not on football staff or anything else, but people who write about the game, all told me the same thing. They said, I hope Butch has done enough for Tennessee fans to okay the violations that are coming. That was where it was left, because I have been very active in saying violations are happening in Tennessee. We all know about the police department, all that stuff. Tennessee hasn’t won a national championship yet. Was all this okay for it, just like Ole Miss? Was it worth it? I don’t know.

Nick:                         They have won a championship.

Andrew:                 Several spring championships.

Nick:                         They’ve won a national championship. They won the first BCS national championship.

Andrew:                 No, with Butch.

Nick:                         Oh, absolutely. Not even close.

Andrew:                 With Butch. Now, they are three time…

Nick:                         Not even SEC East.

Andrew:                 They are three time defending spring national champions under Butch.

Nick:                         They are not.

Andrew:                 They are.

Nick:                         You perpetuate this. Georgia was picked last year.

Andrew:                 It doesn’t matter. You and Barrett, and, again, Barrett’s a good friend of mine, you all look at one thing, one thing, and that’s SEC Media picks. You’re not looking at the national picture of magazine after magazine after magazine after reporter after reporter. It’s Josh Dobbs is going to win the Heisman. Tennessee is the dark horse to win the national championship. Tennessee is the dark horse to win the SEC.

Nick:                         I wouldn’t put a dollar on it.

Andrew:                 Exactly. It’s like, what are you talking about? Forget you. That’s what I want to say. Forget you. Every time you say Josh Dobbs is going to win it it’s like, forget you. Forget you. Forget the five seconds you just told me, because you just lost all respect from me.

Nick:                         I think it’s more of their fan base, and I think that the media has gotten into it. Last year, and then this year they’re definitely being way overhyped. I don’t understand the hype this year. I get that they returned a lot, Jalen and Dobbs. You’re returning a lot, but to me it’s just a team that…

Andrew:                 Did they get better from last year to this year?

Nick:                         No, and we talked about it. We went through their schedule. I think it was like two weeks ago we went through their schedule, and the last six teams they beat, they finished the year strong, but they had a front heavy schedule, and they lost all those big games. To me it’s cool, beat Kentucky, beat South Carolina, beat Vanderbilt, beat a bad Northwestern team, or a Northwestern team that had fallen off towards the end of the year, in a bowl game. That’s cool. What are you doing against Alabama? What are yo doing against Florida?

Andrew:                 What’d you do against Oklahoma?

Nick:                         Choked.

Andrew:                 Choked. Exactly. Nick, we got a few minutes left. Talk baseball. Tell us about the regional.

Nick:                         The regional, great outing from Logan Shore. You get a great outing from Alex Faedo to close it out. The bats returned. Pete Alonso returned.

Andrew:                 That ball’s still flying.

Nick:                         Pete Alonso did his best to take down a tree, hitting it twice on Friday. So he finished with 8 of 13. That’s pretty good. Three homeruns, 8 RBIs. The stats help, but just having, it’s something you can’t really calculate. You can’t show, but having that bat back in the lineup helps everyone else out, just from a confidence standpoint. You know that we have a bat where if we’re slumping, if some guys are coming down, and we’re piling up outs, Pete’s going to get it going. It just brings a level of confidence. Hitting is contagious, and when you’ve got somebody who’s pounding out eight hits in three games, that’s going to start trickling down. Florida scores 10 runs to close out Georgia Tech. Scored 8 runs the night before. You’re really starting to see this team with Pete back going to the plate with confidence. JJ Schwarz was 0 for 9 before Sunday. He gets two hits, 2 RBIs. So maybe JJ, other than his last at bat, he looked kind of lost there, but JJ started to swing the bat better.

The freshmen are really what’s really impressive, with Jonathan India, Deacon Liput, Nelson Maldonado, and Danny Reyes coming out of nowhere, starting in the SEC tournament. These guys, the freshmen are the ones leading everybody. So Florida will host Florida State in a Super Regional. There’s no schedule for that yet. All of the regional games have to be finalized, finished, before the NCAA releases the Super Regional schedule. Florida will either play Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Saturday, Sunday, Monday, with that Sunday, Monday game being optional, depending on when you start. Florida has beaten Florida State five consecutive times in a row. That’s the longest consecutive win streak in the series for Florida. They’ve also beaten Florida State 10 of the last 12.

Andrew:                 Not bad. Pete Alonso, good God. I mean, it’s not human to come back from a three week break and hit balls like that. It’s just not human.

Nick:                         A broken hand. He walked in last night to the press conference, and he goes, three days in a row, and he pats himself on the back. Then Kevin O’Sullivan, somebody asked, Coach, did you expect Pete to be rusty coming back not having played for 27 days? Sully said, “I saw him practice Wednesday before the regional, but no. I didn’t expect him to hit like this,” and Pete kind of looked at him like, come on, Coach, are you serious? You didn’t expect this?

Andrew:                 He looked really good, and then Faedo. When you’re trotting out your #3 pitcher, who very well may be a first round draft pick next year.

Nick:                         Alex Faedo will be a first round pick in the 2017 draft. Alex Faedo will be a top 20 pick in the draft.

Andrew:                 When you’re looking at Florida, the #1 pick in the country might be, well is their third best pitcher.

Nick:                         He’s their fourth best pitcher.

Andrew:                 I meant in their starters.

Nick:                         I go Shore, Faedo, Dunning, Puk, and maybe even, Shore has been more steady, but Faedo’s had higher peaks than Shore this year, but he’s also had lower valleys than Shore has this year.

Andrew:                 For everyone listening to this podcast, please do me a favor and send all tweets to the Philadelphia Phillies begging and pleading with them to take AJ Puk #1. A, it’d be cool to see a Gator #1, and, B, just do. Just do that, please.

Nick:                         That’s what you got?

Andrew:                 That’s what I got. I’m asking. It’s like we won’t talk religion on here, but I’ll say it, I’m praying he goes 1. Praying he goes 1. For obvious reasons, and if you don’t know that, then just Gator at #1.

Nick:                         Yeah. I started to do some research. I’m pretty sure Florida has not had a #1 overall pick.

Andrew:                 I thought #3 was the highest, but maybe I’m wrong. Who knows? Wouldn’t be the first time. Probably won’t be the last time. Nick, we’ll have some good stuff, probably hit you guys later in the week maybe. We will catch with you guys soon. Nick, tell the people where they can find us, and we’ll get out of here.

Nick:                         It’s going to be a busy week, but we’ll try to see if we can shoot in another one, and I’ll have some updates from Trinity Christian, and we can preview the Super Regional against Florida State. Maybe we’ll bring on somebody to talk some baseball with us for that as well. As always, www.GatorCountry.com, all your Florida Gators news. On Facebook, @GatorCountry. On Instagram, @TheGatorCountry. I am @NickdelaTorreGC; he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC. That is all the social media. Like, share, favorite, double tap on Instagram. Tell your friends about us. Have your mom tell her friends about us. Thank you. Thank you for the continued support.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Right now we’re dominating things. I don’t mind saying it. We’re dominating things on Gator Country. Tell your friends to join us. Hit me up. I can get you a deal. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.