Florida Gators recruiting mailbag: December 7th edition

The Florida Gators recruiting efforts are back in full swing under new head coach Dan Mullen and several new assistant coaches.

Prospects are now in the process of setting up official visits as coaches across the country travel to see them on a daily basis.

Everyone has to remember that this is a process that will take some time to work itself as Mullen and his staff work out the new board.

Gator Country’s members have a lot of questions about how the 2018 class will shake out and who are the top prospects that the Gators are still after.

We answer your questions in this week’s Florida Gators recruiting mailbag.

Well let’s dive right in to this week’s recruiting mailbag:

Dfalco2: AS who will be our quarterbacks in the class? How many we take? Is Dan Mullen telling Matt Corral to look around? Any shot at Justin Fields?

AS: I expect Florida to take two quarterbacks in this class now. As far as who those guys will be, here are three names to remember. Matt Corral, Justin Fields and JUCO QB Terry Wilson. Now I expect that list to grow some more but those are the three big ones right now. Mullen hasn’t told Corral to look around and yes Florida has still has a shot with Fields until he signs. The key is getting Fields on campus as he doesn’t plan to sign until February.

 

Jmike131014: With the recent decommits, what does our offensive line, receiver and linebacker board look like?

AS: Offensive line- Richard Gouraige, William Barnes, Jerome Carvin, Chris Bleich, Nick Petit-Frere, Trey Hill, Noah Banks and Jamaree Salyer.

Receiver- Jacob Copeland, Malik Heath, Stephen Guidry, Anthony Schwartz, Tyquan Thornton, Corey Gammage, Antonio Greene to name a few.

Linebacker is the spot that is going to grow the most. Watch for guys like Quay Walker and Nik Bonnito, Xavier Peters to potentially visit.

 

Mrgator: Are some of the decommits a sign that Mullen feels good about landing some bigger fish or just the usual transition losses or both?

AS: A little of both but most of the 2018 guys were guys that Mullen didn’t press to keep because he feels better about guys who fit his system better. It happens with a new coach all the time. Now with the 2019 guys a lot of those guys are just looking to build relationships with the new coaches so they’re taking a step back.

 

Irgator12: Is Anthony Schwartz still an option?

AS: Yes, Florida is visiting him on Wednesday. Houston is making a strong push in the track area though and Auburn is making a push as well. It will be a battle for him.

 

UFGator402: Based the constant changes to the board, de-commitments to date and possibly more coming, what’s your best guess today as to where this class lands in the rankings? Do we still have a shot at top 10?

AS: Yes, Florida still has a shot at a top 10 class, Florida has a lot of big names still out there that are favoring them. This class is far from over in terms of landing guys.

 

Mikegator10: Does not having a defensive backs coach at the moment hurt our chances with guys like Pat Surtain?

AS: No, Surtain is playing for a state championship game this weekend and doesn’t plan to sign until February so still plenty of time to land him. Florida does however need to get a defensive backs coach on campus as soon as they can to land other guys however.

 

Shep: Do you expect Fields to take an official visit?

AS: I think there’s a very good chance that Fields takes official visits and Florida gets one of those visits.

 

Thumper: What is the new # of takes per position under Mullen for this class?

AS: Still pretty much the same from what I understand except for at the quarterback position. I think things break down like this.

QB: 2

RB: 2

WR: 4

TE: 2

OL: 4-5

DL: 3-4

LB: 2-3

DB: 3-4

 

Dhainer24: Also, with no cornerbacks currently committed, how do you see our cornerback board now? Are we looking at only 1 corner since we landed so many last year?

AS: Florida would like to add two cornerbacks in this class and they just offered John Huggins on Tuesday night. They also visited Jaycee Horn on Monday. The cornerback board much like the linebacker board is being recreated this week.

 

OklahomaGator: Do the in home visits done by the previous staff (if any) count against Mullen’s staff?

AS: Jim McElwain didn’t have any in-home visits so there were no in-home visits used by the former staff.

 

Macbgator: What names do we have on the board for defense line??

AS: DE Eyabi Anoma, DE Micah Parsons, JUCO linemen Noah Jefferson and Dorian Gerald. Also add Rick Sandidge, Andrew Chatfield, Nesta Silvera to the mix. Florida is seeing a lot of names on the defensive line board.

 

Subtle_gator: The verdict is still out on Mullen recruiting, we can’t tell if he’s more Mac or Meyer based on Miss St…based on how this transition class turns out will it be fair to compare Mullen to aforementioned and who do you think he’s closer to?

AS: It isn’t fair to judge Mullen on this year’s class because of the short time he has to recruit. Mullen is going for the big guys in the class and has a lot of Meyer in him but you can’t really judge that this year. Mullen knows the types of players he wants on his team and those are the guys he’s recruiting.

 

Cmoeller863: How do you feel about Mullen and his staff as recruiters and should we expect more blue chip recruits then what we got with Mac. Also how do you think Willie Taggert going to FSU is going to effect UFs recruiting?

AS: I feel like Mullen and his staff will do a good job of recruiting and recruiting at a high level. I think they will get back to recruiting instate well but also going out and getting top guys from around the country like Florida did under Urban. I don’t see Mullen being dead set on taking a certain number of instate guys especially from South Florida like Mac did with Randy Shannon.

 

Kirkb919: Has Mullen talked to Malik Zaire about applying for a 6th year?

AS: Not to my knowledge he has not done that. I would expect that Mullen would at least ask him about it but that probably want take place until after Mullen is off of the road.

 

Tonto-86: What do you think is causing more and more prospects to de-commit from Florida? We have had more de-commitments since Mullen was announced as head coach than before he arrived. Is it the change in the offensive system? Is it their first impression of Mullen and his staff? Is it a shift in targeted recruits? Just curious as to why we are losing big recruits. You would think we would have lost more during the coaching search rather than after obtaining a new coach. Thanks!!!

AS: In shift in targets is a big reason why so many have left as they are not priorities or fit in Mullen’s system. A lot of the 2019 guys are just making sure to reevaluate everything as they need to develop relationships with everyone. This is a process that will work itself out but everyone just has to stay patient.

 

Hickorygatorfan: Do you think the new staff will make inroads at IMG? Seems like we were but now that Curtis Dunlap has left, seems like were back to square one.

AS: Yes, I expect them to try and get in with the IMG group quickly as Willie Taggart company will do the same at Florida State. Getting some kind of inroad at IMG is a big need for the Gators and something that has been missing.

 

Mjhurstygator: Any news on Jacob Copeland coming back? Has James Robinson been cleared to play because his size is what Mullen is looking for.

AS: Copeland will take visits to several schools but Florida is still in the thick of things and he likes new coach Billy Gonzalez. Copeland won’t make a decision until February. I haven’t received any new news on Robinson since I was told that they were waiting on results from his test that he received during the season.

 

Emaness: How many tight ends do we end up taking, and what does Mullen typically look for in a tight end? Is he happy with just Kyle Pitts/Dante Lang?

AS: Two tight ends seems to still be the number and Mullen likes athletic tight ends that can stretch the field but can also pull and block in the running game. Mullen has already visited with Pitts and JaJuan Seider has visited Lang. Right now both are solid commits to Florida but the Gators are also recruiting Glenn Beal at the position.

 

TheJGator: Any insight as to why Matt Corral visited Ole Miss? I could see Georgia or something, but Ole Miss seems like an odd choice unless he just wanted a free trip to Oxford for some reason.

AS: Ole Miss is one of the few schools that are still actively recruiting Ole Miss as Corral has been committed to Florida and many schools backed off. Ole Miss and LSU are really the two schools recruiting Corral the most besides Florida.

 

GatorE82: I’ve noticed we are offering a lot of JUCO players… is that Mullen’s style or does he see holes in the roster to fill immediately

AS: Mullen used the JUCO system a lot at Mississippi State but at Florida he’s using it to fill holes that the Gators have. Florida really needs immediate impact guys on the offensive and defensive line and that’s where Mullen is really hitting the JUCO board hard at.

 

 

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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.