New Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain has hit the recruiting road running and hasn’t stopped since he was introduced on Saturday morning in Gainesville.
Recruiting is certainly picking up with McElwain making visits now and Gator Country’s members have a lot of questions about how this class will turn out with him at the helm.
In this week’s recruiting mailbag I’ll answer everyone’s questions and get everyone caught up on recruiting for the Florida Gators.
123: What wide receivers can you see in this class and who do we have the best shot with?
AS: I like Florida’s chances with Antonio Callaway and Ryan Davis right now and I think Florida can get in the mix with Van Jefferson. Moving Kalif Jackson to receiver means Florida only needs 2-3 more this year.
G8torb8it1408: With the slow start / defection’s, and new coaching staff in your opinion what’s the number you see the gators signing in this class in total
AS: 22-25 is still the number they want but I think 22 is closer to the number.
TheGator: Which recruits do we have the best chance of flipping, since we are on verge of becoming an offensive powerhouse again?
AS: I like Florida’s chances with Auden Tate that is committed to Florida State and I think Florida can get in with Van Jefferson and Ray-Ray McCloud.
Colin: Do you think any of our offensive line recruits, assuming we sign them, can play as freshmen?
AS: Martez Ivey is the guy that I can play next year but Florida is also trying to sign two JUCO offensive linemen.
FlowMotion11: Needing 3-4 LBs in this class, who else, after Roquan Smith and Jeffrey Holland, do we go after?
AS: Florida only needs 2-3 in this year’s class but after that Florida is still after Tevon Coney and Charles Perry. Derrick Graham is also an option moving forward.
74gator: What RB are interested in the Gators? What JUCO’s are we recruiting? What recruits are interested in enrolling early? Have you met coach Mac? Have you noticed any positive changes from recruits who play offense since the coaching change?
AS: Ray-Ray McCloud, Jordan Scarlett, Mark Walton and Dexter Williams are the most likely options to visit Florida. Florida is after Martinas Rankin who is a JUCO offensive lineman.
I have met Coach McElwain when he was at Alabama and he was a great guy and was very knowledgeable about the game.
Kennystyle: So we know anything could happen recruiting wise top 10 class or top 30 class. My question is after to talking to some of these guys how do they feel about Mac? Are recruits glad a change was made?
AS: They also seem to really like him a lot and say they know his track record of developing good players. The overwhelming thing is that recruits are interested in Florida again so I guess you could say yes a change was needed.
Itogator: I know it’s very early in the process, but what are your thoughts so far on how coach is handling recruiting?
AS: He’s doing the best he can possibly do and I mean that because he’s work from sun up until the time he goes to bed. For example on Wednesday he’s in South Florida all day and he flies up to Atlanta and meets with a prospect and then is back in St. Petersburg on Thursday.
Stuckupnorthgator: AS, What is the general attitude amongst the recruits? Are they still in a wait and see mode or are they getting fired up like we are?
AS: Most of the offensive guys are fired up about the hire because Florida finally has an offense.
Pan: Here comes Coach Mac. In your opinion has the hand off between Drew Hughes and Coach Mac been clean and are the recruits quickly or slowly opening up to UF and Coach Mac to the point where they are willing to give us an equal opportunity as the other Colleges.
AS: Drew Hughes has done a great job and he’s a big help to Coach Mac right now and recruits are giving him a chance. Once a prospect looks at his track record they have no choice but to look if they want to succeed.
BahamaG8r: Besides the EEs, who would be our top 3 prospects that could commit to us before Jan?
AS: Daniel Imatorbhebhe, Tim Irvin and a quarterback.
BigOlGator: Coach offered Mark Walton and talked to Shi’kim Coward and McCloud – all seemingly smaller, faster guys. You have to believe Coach would take Walton. Do you think he’d take McCloud if he wanted in? If so, would we maybe still want a “big” back – meaning 3 RBs in all?
AS: Walton is a more physical back then McCloud but McCloud can play a lot of different positions. Florida will only take 2 at most in this class.
Sinner: – Who is the most dynamic playmaker left out there on the offensive side of the ball that you think Florida has a shot with?
AS: Van Jefferson in my opinion is a force to be reckon with on offense and someone that would play from day one at receiver.
Nicklegator: Your best guess as to who coach Mac chooses for his staff. Anyone on staff staying and who is being added ?
AS: I think D.J. Durkin and T-Rob are going to be kept but I think Mike Summers could be back on staff as well. I’m honestly not sure on who he brings in to be honest.
Swampie: Andrew! Hope things are heating up for you. I want you to make a guess that no one will hold you too, do you think Coach Mac will turn someone and if so, who’s the most likely turnee or turnees in your book?
AS: I think Coach Mac will turn someone and I really like Florida’s chances with Auden Tate right now.
Lurkingator1: what day does the dead period start? when does it end ? what does it mean in terms of coaches being able to contact and communicate with recruits? and do you expect any commitment before the dead period? Thanks AS you do a great job
AS: December 15th- January 14th. Recruits have to call Florida first and the coaches are not allowed to see a prospect in person during this time.
Churst33: AS, great job thus far! Outside of keeping Lawing, T-Rob, and Durkin what coaching hire or hires could instantly impact and better this recruiting class? What recruits could that coach or coaches sway into this heating up gators class and solidify some wavering or pending commits?
AS: If Florida keeps these coaches then things will be fine but I’m honestly not sure who Coach McElwain will get right now.
Gators81: Who is Bama’s primary recruiter for the 5 star WR Calvin Ridley? If we get Napier for OC is there any chance Ridley would want to play WR for Napier at UF? Haven’t seen his name mentioned at all as interested in us, but with the potential coaching changes is there any chance?
AS: Florida is not able to recruit Calvin Ridley due to the NCAA situation with Joker Phillips.
MrB-Gator: Who will be visiting this weekend?
AS: Kalif Jackson is the only official visitor as of right now but that could very well change.
Wilbur11: What coach at Florida or at another program, do the recruits mention the most in a positive way (and negative, too if you want)?
AS: I hear a lot of positive things about Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney. I hear a lot of negative about Mark Richt honestly.
15gator05: Has Coach called or visited Van Jefferson? Any idea when a visit may take place?
AS: They’ve spoken but I’m not sure when he will visit him.
Gatorchamps0607: Do you see any surprises from now until signing day that have a wow factor?
AS: I can see a few but right now I think it’s too early too tell if it will happen or not.
15gator05: anything to the rumors that Deondre Francios is wavering in his commitment?
AS: Yes he is and Florida will visit him on Thursday so I’ll have an update after that visit occurs.
Gatorstein: Andrew, apologize if I missed it in another thread… Not directly a recruiting question, but anything new on Willis after the FSU game? Thanks!
AS: Not that I’m aware of, he’s still working out with the team.
Genesis: Seems that Mac is still recruiting spread style QBs. Do you think we will actually run a spread or eventually move into more of a pro/spread hybrid as some have suggested.
AS: I think they will run more spread honestly but I think it will depend on the players on the team.