The Florida Gators recruiting efforts took a back seat when Jim McElwain left as head coach of the Gators.
Prospects are now in a wait and see mode as the Gators look for their next head coach before the early signing period.
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:
MrB-Gator: Matt Corral seems to have a very good attitude.
Does he stick once we get our new coach and does it matter who that is?
AS: Everything I’ve heard makes me believe Corral sticks with Florida but a for sure answer won’t be known until a new coach arrives and Corral gets a chance to meet him.
Jonsantiago: Do you see JaMarr Chase coming back into the class if Chip Kelly has been hired?
AS: I think this will depend on which assistant coaches are retained but I do know that Chase is still talking to Florida and still has interest in the Gators. Chase wants to play in a spread offense that throws the ball a lot. TCU is his likely leader at this point.
TebowNut6: Corral has done nothing but impress me throughout this whole process. Seems so unlike your “traditional” elite QB with his choice of school nationwide. He commits to UF, and even in the midst of a crap season and coaching search, never really waivers to the point where he starts looking around … not seriously anyway. He’s a Cali kid too. So I have to wonder, what is it about Florida (now that coaches/relationships are gone) that makes him so steadfast in his commitment? Is it truly as simple as the depth chart at the position? And if so, how is he selling this to the other commits that maybe don’t have as obvious a depth chart issue? Not that I think UF is a bad place right now obviously, but these kids don’t bleed O&B like all of us here… so it’s just so amazing to me that only ONE kid decommitted to explore other options when we probably could have/should have expected our top 5 — such as Corral, Copeland, Pierce, Clement, etc…
AS: Corral knows that he can play early at Florida and that’s a huge thing for him. He also likes the city of Gainesville and the fact that Florida is in the SEC. Corral also likes the fact that Scott Stricklin spoke to him and that Florida has had his back through
G8RNTN: How would the High School coaches take to Chip Kelly (if he gets hired)?
AS: Honestly, I haven’t asked but he would have to get out and make his rounds with those guys for sure. Kelly would have to win them over just like any other new coach.
ASpeed: How many of the current recruits that are in the lower ranked portion of the class will stick with the new staff? Or will the new coach honor those commits?
AS: To soon to tell but I would expect that some of them will be asked to leave or will see the writing on the wall. The new coach will look at all of the commits and evaluate them on his own but I would expect that he keeps a majority of them.
Trader5jl: You think our offensive line commits stick if Brad Davis is not retained?
AS: Richard Gouraige really likes Davis but it’s too early to say for sure if they will stick or not if he isn’t retained. It will depend on who the new offensive line coach is and how they relate to both Gouragie and Curtis Dunlap.
Jmike131014: I believe you reported that JaJuan Seider was offered to stay with the new staff. Do you see the new coach asking any other coaches to stay from McElwain’s staff such as Tim Skipper or Drew Hughes ?
AS: Nobody has been offered to stay at Florida and that won’t happen until a new coach has arrived. I have said that I believe a guy like Seider will be back at Florida but nothing is official. I think the new coach would be smart to also ask Skipper and Hughes to stay on staff because they’re good at what they do and they also are keys to this recruiting class.
Ajoseph: Have the recruits indicated any particular style (I.e, spread, Air-raid, pro-style) that they’d like us to go to?
AS: I haven’t heard much of a preferred style from guys as most players are just waiting to see what happens and then if that coach contacts them or not. Styles are overrated in my opinion because kids just want to play and get shown off for the NFL.
TebowNut6: Is Kelly a “good enough” recruiter on his own to put most of his budgeted asst. money on assts with better coaching ability vs recruiting chops? Or will he still have to focus on getting guys that are maybe more renowned for their recruiting ability? I only ask because we have some areas (ie, wr) that seem to have talent, but are in dire need of elite level coaching. And it’d be awesome if we could get a few truly great nfl-level coaches that know the game or position better than anyone, but might not know the recruiting game as well….
AS: I don’t like the notion that coaches can only do one or the other. A good football coach can recruit well too and that’s something Florida has to get back to having on staff. Guys like Tim Skipper and JaJuan Seider do both and that’s what makes them so valuable. Also I think you can’t afford to have too many coaches that are just good recruiters because then you have issues with the development of your team like this year’s Gators team has.
Brainstorm: What do the recruits know, if anything, at this point? If they know it’s Chip Kelly, have you heard about their reactions?
AS: Recruits don’t know anything official at this time either and they will likely learn of the news when everyone else does. Assistant coaches aren’t given a heads up so they aren’t able to inform the recruits of the decision. If it’s Kelly I would expect it to be a positive reaction from the prospects.
Gatordon: How does Chip Kelly’s style of offense fit with Matt Corral?
AS: Corral would fit into that offense but a good head coach fits his offense around his quarterback so I would Kelly or whoever the coach is to do that. Corral has a good arm and is athletic but you want him throwing the ball more than him running it.
Dopplegangerg8r: Are there linebackers that could be interested in us that the former staff did not pursue?
AS: JJ Peterson, Quay Walker and Dax Holifield are all names that I would expect a new coach to go after hard. If Tim Skipper stays on staff at the position then I know those are guys he would pursue harder.
Juggernautz: Are we recruiting a place kicker?
AS: Florida has put that hold somewhat until they find out what Eddy Pineiro is going to do. If they decide to take one then Connor Davis is the likely candidate to be the kicker in the class.
TheEraser: How quickly does Anthony Schwartz pull trigger if Kelly is the guy. Seems like a perfect fit.
AS: It goes back to what I’ve been saying for a while now and that’s does Schwartz really want to play football or just run track. Carl Lewis is personally recruiting Schwartz to run track at Houston and that has caught his attention. If he wants to do both then I like the Gators chances a lot.