Florida Gators recruiting mailbag for June 23rd

The Florida Gators recruiting class is starting to take shape during the summer months and Gator Country brings you a new edition of our recruiting mailbag.

Florida picked up a new commit on Wednesday that brought some attention to this recruiting class so we will talk about that and much more in this mailbag.

The NCAA’s summer dead period starts on Monday, June 27th and runs through July 10th so no unofficial visits will be able to take place during that time.

Here’s Gator Country’s Florida Gators recruiting mailbag as we take your questions on Gators recruiting.

MrBGator: What does the offensive line recruiting board look like and which ones are Gator leans?

AS: Here are the prospects that Florida is looking hard at on the offensive line.  Alabama commit Alex Leatherwood (6-5, 298, Pensacola, FL Washington), Auburn commit Calvin Ashley (6-8, 311, Orlando, FL First Academy), Kai-Leon Herbert (6-4, 279, Plantation, FL American Heritage), Wyatt Davis (6-3, 328, Bellflower, CA St. John Bosco), Jordan Reid (6-4, 284, Detroit, MI Cass Tech) and Miami commit Navaughn Donaldon (6-5, 335, Miami, FL Central). Florida is in the running for all of those guys right now heading into July.

Genesis: On a serious note, what are your thoughts on James Robinson? He is a stud receiver who we could probably have if we pushed, but we seem to be holding back. Character concerns, or maybe just a few higher on the board?

AS: He has some off the field concerns that has scared off Clemson and others. Florida is still recruiting him but much like other schools they’re aware of the issues. They will keep a close eye on Robinson.

Gatorman_07732: How are we looking on linebackers? This is one of the few positions that has me concerned.

AS: Florida is in good shape with Ventrell Miller (6-1, 225, Lakeland, FL Kathleen) as he just took a visit to Gainesville two weeks ago. Florida is battling Nebraska for James Houston (6-1, 225, Plantation, FL American Heritage) and are in the mix for K.J. Britt (6-1, 223, Oxford, AL High). Florida needs to get two of those guys in this class to pair with the three they had last cycle.

Gatorfanseth: The month of June as been less than spectacular, so is the month of July look more promising?

AS: July is usually a good month for Florida because that’s when they hold Friday Night Lights and that has been a good camp for the Gators. I think July should be a good month for Florida as they will host several big name prospects during that month, plus it helps push momentum into the season.

Joeg: How many Silents do we have/Do we have silents?

AS: If they’re a silent then they aren’t a commit in my book. Silent commits are nothing anymore with the way recruiting changes daily.

Tito22:What’s the deal with Randy Shannon? Why aren’t we landing the big name defensive studs in South florida?

AS: Shannon has always been a guy that recruits the under the radar guys and coaches them up to be stars on the field. That’s how Shannon has been and that has shown during his two cycles at Florida. Guys like Keivonnis Davis and Luke Ancrum are guys that come to mind that have shown improvement since arriving in Gainesville.

Dfalco2: AS how are we looking Donovan Peoples-Jones? Are we a real contender? Any updates on Trevon Grimes? What receiver’s do you see in the class? Also do we land the big studs at defensive back? Very concerned for defensive back after this season we need studs asap.

AS: Florida and Michigan are the top two schools for Peoples-Jones and yes, Florida is a real contender here. Peoples-Jones has admitted he grew up pulling for Florida and he has already made two trips on his own dime to Florida.

With Grimes, Florida is recruiting him that much and he’s going to Ohio State.

Florida will get their guys in the defensive back class of 2017. They just landed Elijah Blades and they have several other big name guys on the board that are absolute studs on the field.

Msd:Can we just lock down Carter and Parks?

AS: Zach Carter and Jarez Parks are both huge targets for Florida and the Gators are in the top group for both of them. Right now Clemson has the momentum for Carter after a weekend long visit up there but he plans to visit Gainesville for Friday Night Lights before announcing a decision.

Parks still has a ways to go in his recruitment, as he still doesn’t name leaders or anything like that so his recruitment will go into the fall and early part of next year.

74gator: Kai-Leon Herbert and Zach Carter have been reportable Gator leans for some time. What’s the holdup in their commitments? How are we trending for T. Truesdale?

AS: Both prospects have said they aren’t ready to make decisions and now other teams are getting heavily involved and slowing down the process. This is a big decision for these kids to make so they have to make to take a step back and look and everything.

Florida continues to recruiting defensive tackle Tyrone Truesdale hard and he’s supposed to visit in July and that will be a big visit.

Ufgatordad: I saw in another thread you mention that we aren’t pursuing Latavious Brini which came as a surprise to me as I hadn’t heard that around here yet. Are there any others who we have backed off of lately?
Along those lines, if today were NSD, who would our DB class include?
With Toney and Green already in, do you see us only taking one more WR, or does it seem like the staff wants to nab 2 more studs?

AS: Brini missed his spring game and a lot of practices this summer and that has caused a lot of teams to back off of the defensive back as of late.

Right now, I don’t want to predict the class but I will say that I think Florida gets one of Shaun Wade and AJ Terrell and adds Shawn Davis to the class to go with Blades.

I think Florida would love to add one more receiver unless two studs like Jerry Jeudy and Peoples-Jones wanted in. If that happened then you take both of them.

Juggernautz: Will we take any other quarterbacks other than Jake Allen?

AS: Florida is done at the quarterback position for the class of 2017.

74gator: Does 2018 QB Trevor Lawrence have any plans on visiting G-Ville over the summer?

AS: To my knowledge he doesn’t and it sounds like he could announce a decision at anytime now. Georgia the likely choice here.

BCNGator99: With Solomon committing to Michigan, who is left on the defensive tackle board and what would you give as a percentage chance at landing them at this point? Any chance of flipping one or both of the defensive tackles from Newberry currently committed to Florida State?

AS: Florida is still working hard on DT Fred Hansard (6-3, 314, Princeton, NJ) and Tyrone Truesdell are both high targets. The Gators are scheduled to host both in July.

Florida isn’t recruiting Jalen Parks and Cory Durden from Newbery as both have had below average off season’s this year.


Bherny22: Who are our other top targets at running back besides Adarius Lemons?

AS: Khalan Laborn (5-10, 193, Virginia Beach, VA Ocean Lakes) is another running back that is high on Florida and the Gators have also been recruiting him hard. Laborn is scheduled to visit in July and the Gators are riding high momentum with him.


Ol2ange: How many players do you think UF finishes with for this 2017 class?

AS: I would say it’s between 20-23 depending on who leaves early and if anyone decides to transfer away.

Ol2ange: Other than just winning on the field, what can UF do to get back to being the premier football university in Florida? FSU has that title now (based on their recruiting and Andrew saying they are the ‘hot’ team in FL) and other teams such as Alabama, Clemson, and others have done very well in Florida the last few years. Any information on this subject would be great.

AS: Mac just has to continue pushing his brand and winning on the field those things should fix things. Mac has done a great job of getting positive momentum around Florida from the time he arrived and he just has to continue to do that.



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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.