GatorCountry.com brings you a new podcast as we recap the biggest Florida Gators recruiting event of the summer as the Swamp hosted Friday Night Lights on Friday.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down the big commitment from quarterback Matt Corral, plus the momentum that comes along with him committing.
Andrew and Nick also break down how big of an event FNL was for the Gators and how the Gators have changed the event of the last few days.
Andrew:What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, I thought it was supposed to be Paradise Camp in Miami, but it was paradise/party time/maybe resurgence in Gainesville.
Nick:Paradise Camp turned into a small gathering of friends and family in Coral Gables. It’s somebody’s paradise. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Maybe it’s paradise for somebody.
Andrew:I can’t remember who tweeted it, but somebody tweeted, FSU’s cooking, Florida’s gaining recruits, and Mark Richt’s handing out sticks for the annual roasting of the marshmallows down at Paradise Camp.
Nick:You know me, South Florida is paradise.
Andrew:Before we move on real quick, I have to hit on this, and we’re going to hit on it more in a little bit. One fake guy goes down at Ole Miss, Richt next.
Nick:That was a mess. Not going down what you thought he would go down for, but going down all the same.
Andrew:He might want to go down for this more. I mean, at least he goes down with a reputation of being a … I don’t know. Anyway, let’s go on, Nick. We talked about it Monday or Tuesday, whatever day we podcast last week. Can’t remember. All the days kind of running together here. We said it was going to be big.
Someone on the message board said three to five commits, starting on Tuesday, for the end of Friday Night Lights. Flew by that. Seven, and you and I are recording this at 2:00 on Sunday. I think this podcast might be late on a commit. I think. We’re doing this at 2:00, so Monday morning when you guys are listening to this, we’re saying there’s seven commits, could be eight. Could be eight. We’ll see.
Nick:Yeah. That’s the problem with podcasting early.
Andrew:It’s one of those things where we’re screwed. Whenever we do it, it’s going to be a little late, but whatever. It’s a podcast. You guys are about to hear some fire ass stuff, so let’s go, Nick. Here it is. We talked about a quarterback. We thought that a quarterback could be in the mix by the end of the weekend, and it is what it is.
People were saying Justin Fields was the guy. I said Justin Fields was the guy. I make no mistake about it. I said it from the beginning, I thought Justin Fields was the best quarterback in the country. Dare we say that Matt Corral was the Plan B guy, but if you want a Plan B guy, how about the #3 quarterback in the country? Matt Corral out of California.
Nick:If the rankings hold on, I’m talking about Rivals here, if the rankings hold on he’d be the highest rated quarterback commit Florida’s ever gotten.
Andrew:Everyone knows his off the field situation, where he got into a little altercation with Wayne Gretzky’s son out in California. Nick, you were around him like I was all weekend. I had the chance to speak to him a little bit and casual. Nothing but respectful. Never did he show this weekend that he was a turd or had attitude issues or anything like that. Several of the guys that were around him, commit wise, everybody seemed to all have a love for the guy, seemed that they all like the guy. I would say that it was a one-time thing.
Everybody comes in with a little bit of baggage. I mean, you look at a guy like Percy Harvin came in with some baggage. Did he stay clean all the way through Florida? No, but had a hell of a career and took Florida to two national championships.
Nick:People who don’t know what you’re talking about, what kind of baggage are we talking about here?
Andrew:That’s what we said just a second ago. He had an altercation with Wayne Gretzky’s son. Made him leave one school. Now he’s at Long Beach. Everything we know, that was a one-time incident. Here’s another thing we don’t know. What did Wayne Gretzky’s son do? Whether you’re a hockey fan or not a hockey fan, whether you know Wayne Gretzky or not, Wayne Gretzky has a persona about him that is a little arrogant. Maybe his son does too. Who knows?
Nick:Now he’s at Snoop’s school.
Andrew:Yeah. Well, Snoop don’t have no kids there, so he should be okay. Don’t hurt Snoop, please.
Nick:No, don’t. You don’t want any trouble in the LBC.
Andrew:Yeah. Anyway, here’s the thing. People’s asked me on our recruiting mailbag for the last few weeks, Spivey, where’s the recruiting class going to be? My reaction has been, let’s get a quarterback in the class before we talk about how far this class could be.
Nick:I think in your story that you wrote about him, Iverson Clement said that pretty well. A quarterback is the general. That’s who people want to come and play with. When you get a quarterback that kids like, a kid from New Jersey or a kid from South Carolina, Georgia, Texas. I want to play with him. I remember I was out at the Opening with him, and I liked him. I trust his ability, and I think with him playing quarterback I have a chance to win a championship. Matt Corral is certainly a quarterback that would instill those feelings in other recruits.
Andrew:Exactly. It’s one of those things where, whether you know Matt Corral or don’t know Matt Corral, he’s a five-star quarterback. It is what it is. Not only that, but he’s a guy that is very vocal. Already starting to recruit guys. Hell, he trademarks Matty Ice. I’m a Falcons fan, love my Matt Ryan, but how cool is that? Matty Ice. It’s one of those things. He has a personality about him, being from California, that is a personality that a lot of people are going to like.
Not only that, but Iverson Clement, Nick, and we’ll talk about this more in a second, that’s a hell of a recruiter. That’s a hell of a person. Can’t say too much more about the guy. The guy’s just a great person to be around.
I think that this is going to jumpstart it. Hell, I know it’s already jumpstarted. You look at Saturday night on Twitter, I was afraid Twitter was going to break. It was wild. I had the cruise control set on 95 trying to text with Nick, tweet. I had my man, Zach Hughes, in the passenger seat. He was doing the same. It was wild. It really put Florida out there that things are back, things are ready. Nick, what was your reaction?
Nick:It was certainly a different atmosphere. I told you this at the time. I thought that Drew Hughes, Skipper, McElwain, whoever’s in charge of it, I thought they did a really good job of getting guys to work out. I know Corral didn’t work out.
Friday Night Lights has almost turned into such a big event where kids felt like, if I work out at Friday Night Lights, I’m getting looked down on. You weren’t good enough to just go and hang out? It turned what was a great recruiting event into a great recruiting event where all the great kids were standing on the sidelines watching campers camp. I think this year they did a much better job of getting guys to work out, to compete.
Andrew:I think it started last year with Jared Judy, with those guys. It started last year. I think it will continue moving forward. I think it’ll be a situation where it’ll continue to get big, and I think that it’ll be something that is special going forward that kids are going to be coming in completely.
I’m looking forward to what is going to be happening going forward in the years to come, because it seems like more and more kids are working out. I had someone tell me this the other day, and that’s this. If the top guys don’t want to work out, what are they hiding?
Overall, give me your impressions of it. Just in general, outside just the competition.
Nick:I don’t think it’s ever going to be what Urban had when he first started it, where it’s just the elite of the elite, because it’s so big now and so popular. Like I just said, the competition level compared to other years, as far as kids who were out there competing, I think is a big step. When you get the #2 quarterback in the country coming out there and throwing footballs too, that’s a testament to the coaching staff, and really trying to drill in that this isn’t just a hangout. This is a place where we want you to come and compete, and we want to set that kind of environment.
There was a buzz. Justin Fields lands and tweets that little location dot, and all of a sudden, people are on edge. I think, even the campers who had been there for a couple days knew what was going on. They’re going through instructions. They’re not on Twitter. They don’t know what the tweet was, but the mood kind of changed, and I think things got ramped up Friday once Fields got there.
Nick:It was cool to see Fields and Corral, cool to see them interact with each other. They’re, obviously, getting recruited by the same schools, lot of competition there, but they were very friendly with each other. I think they’ve had time to get to know each other.
Andrew:You said something to me, and it dawned on me a little bit. You said, I don’t think it’ll ever be the Urban days.
Nick:It’s just too big. I mean, when Urban first started it it was all hush-hush.
Andrew:I want to say this, and I said this the other day, and I’m going to stick by it. Somebody’s going to rip me about it. Friday night rivaled some of Urban’s nights. When you think about it, Nick, you had two five-star quarterbacks, possibly a third five-star prospect in Harrison Bailey, the quarterback on campus. You had Jacob Copeland and Jamar Chase, two of the best receivers in the country. You had a guy like Damien Pierce and Iverson Clement, two of the best running backs in the country. You had two monster offensive linemen on campus in William Barnes and Richard Gouraige. You had Channing Tindal, who is one of the best linebackers in the country. You had Gilbert Frierson, one of the best DBs in the country there. You had a who’s-who of people there.
Now, here’s the difference. When you look back at Urban’s days, and you say, he had Percy Harvin, Brandon Spikes, and Tim Tebow. You’re like, oh shit, nobody’s going to match that. We have to remember, when it was that, when it was three five-stars on campus, they were probably talking about it just like we’re talking about this one. Now, I’m not nowhere near saying that what they had is going to equal out to the production those are, but what I’m saying is, as far as headliners in the class, you had the headliners of 2018 class on campus, like Urban did with that headliners of the 2005 class, Tebow. That’s what I’m saying. It had that feel of, damn.
I had someone tell me that they were on the field, and they said they looked, and there were just camera flashes everywhere. Me, and you, who were just walking around completely, we didn’t really notice. But someone who was on the field said there were just flashes everywhere, and it was like it was almost a game. I was like, damn, you’re right.
Nick:Yeah. It was a big event, especially I think they had it planned out. It’s not coincidence that somebody commits on Wednesday, and then somebody commits on Thursday heading in. That’s not a coincidence. To me, credit the staff for building up and ramping up that anticipation those first two days leading into Friday Night Lights. I think that in itself creates another level of excitement around. Look what we did.
Even if it’s a 2019 kid, and I’m a 2018 kid, it’s still, I’m going to play with that guy for two, three years. I’m not just looking at what did they do last year and what do they do this year. What happens with the after me and the class after that? Because those guys are going to be guys when I’m a junior, when I’m a sophomore, that we’re going to be the core of the team. Even getting a 2019 kid, some people might turn their nose up to that. It’s not this class. I’m not concerned about the next class. The players are.
Andrew: I think that it’s a turning point. I want to say this too. People are going to give credit to Doug Nussmeier for landing Matt Corral, and he deserves a hell of a props for that, but the guy that deserves the props for Matt Corral for real is Tim Skipper. Tim Skipper had been working on a guy like Matt Corral for a while now. Even when the Justin Fields thing was out there, on the low he was working on him in Cali. He got him to come out to Florida, stay from Thursday to leave Sunday morning, and just worked it. Worked it.
I said it, and I think it deserves to be said again. Tim Skipper and Ja’juan Seider, that’s a hell of a duo, because those are two guys that’s not going to take no for an answer. That’s a hell of a duo. And relates to the kids, that’s the thing. I feel like I’m pretty fair, in that I give props when props are deserved and credit when credit is due.
This staff in general is great. Brad Davis is just an incredible coach/energizer bunny/recruiter, just really good at what he does. Incredible upgrade there. You just look at this staff in general, it’s just so good of a class. We talked about Drew Hughes having an issue of it kind of being him working, while some of the other guys weren’t working. Now it’s Drew Hughes working, and he’s got an army working with him to make this class special. You’re seeing it. You’re seeing the dynamic of what a recruiting staff can do when it’s a staff, not individuals.
It just is something special brewing. We always said that once a big-time quarterback comes in things pop. Any time a quarterback pops, it pops. That would have been the same thing if Justin Fields would have popped, been the same thing if Matt Corral pops. It’s going to be something special. The buzz there Saturday was just incredible. I mean, the buzz Friday was incredible. To say that was something special.
Let’s move on though. Matt Corral’s huge, don’t get me wrong, but there are some other guys that deserve a lot of credit. You look at Tuesday, last Tuesday. Curtis Dunlap, one of the final five remaining offensive linemen at the Opening, commits to Florida. He was a guy that had struggled a little bit with weight. Got that down. Performed well at the Opening. Got his chance to get in the class. Boom. Commits. In the class.
You got a guy like Kyle Pitts, who, Nick, I’ll say it, he is probably one of the better athletes that this class will have, and we don’t know who’s going to be in this class at the end of the day. As far as his body weight, his athleticism for a guy at 6’5”. Incredible athlete.
They continued on Friday when they got Dante Lang, another tight end. Guy that’s played a lot of defensive end in high school, moving to tight end. You came to me afterwards, and you said—you didn’t even know his name. You said, “That guy that committed, that tight end, that’s a great player.” His hands are the size of mine and your feet.
Nick:Yeah. I was watching the one on ones when they got to that point, and he’s not going against the best competition, but it’s like we said when we were talking about Will Grier. I didn’t see a rep where he wasn’t getting separation, and then if the ball hit his pinkie, he was bringing it down. Saw really good hands from him in those one on one situations in the Swamp. Was very impressed by the way he ran and his physicality.
They’re not in pads, but you’re a big old boy, and you get your hands inside of a linebacker trying to cover you, move him off of where you want him to be and keep going. So I was impressed with him, and I came over to you and said, “Who’s this kid with the red gloves?” I was impressed.
Andrew:I was watching him work with Nord a lot. Don’t laugh at the Nord thing. I’m going to get to Nord in a second, because I got something to say on Nord. But watching him work with him, and he’s just a raw talent, but Nord would tell him something, and then the next play he would go.
I overheard someone, one of the analysts. He said, “That kid punched me, and I felt like I was going to throw up my supper.” Because he punched the bag, and it’s a force. I know the jokes are going to be out there that he signed a defensive end that plays tight end, but sometimes that’s a good move. I’m really liking what’s going to happen with Dante Lang. I think he’s going to be a great player in this class, and, by the way, a phenomenal person as well.
You continue that on Friday night with 2019 offensive lineman Wardrick Wilson. I’ll be the first to admit, didn’t know too much about him before, but watched him in camp. We all get this roster. Nick, you know what I mean. It has the numbers on there. So I’m watching offensive line versus defensive line in the Swamp, and I’m mainly over there watching Gouraige, Ed Montilus, and William Barnes, and I see this left tackle keep punching. I’m like, this guy’s winning every rep. Who is this?
So I look down, and, sure enough, it was Wardrick Wilson. I wrote down a note on the said, make sure to talk to this kid. This kid’s going to be a player. Couple minutes later, get news that he commits. Awesome kid. Yes, sir. No, sir kind of kid. Said that Brad Davis was the reason he committed to Florida. Awesome guy.
Then you turn it to Saturday. You get Randy Russell commits. My opinion, and I’ve said it all along, best nickel in the class. One of the hardest hitters in the class as well. I’m a big fan of him. Someone said, “Well, if he’s just a nickel, he’s not going to be very good.” Bryan Poole played in the Super Bowl, and he’s just a nickel.
Andrew:Started. Yeah. I think you and I will both agree, Bryan Poole’s a pretty damn good football player.
Nick:Absolutely. Bryan Poole, and a testament to hard he worked, because there was a while where he was buried behind some guys there, some really good guys. He played with Janoris Jenkins. Haden left the year before he came in.
Andrew:Yeah. He would have been the ’12 class. Then it ended with a guy that committed last night, Saturday night, Cameron Williams, a 2019 defensive end. He’s John Dunmoore, the other commit in the class, cousin. 6’5”, 220-pound defensive end. Worked out for Rumph and earned an offer, and instantly committed.
I say this all the time. If a kid works out for the staff, he earns an offer, chances are the kid’s pretty good. The offers aren’t being handed out right and left like candy at these camps. I think in total there was five offers handed out, so not very many offers are going on, unless it’s the elite of the elite. Overall, Nick, just an incredible weekend. Loaded with talent and some awesome people.
Nick:Yeah. What was your overall takeaway on the overall mood from last year to this year? We’ll take out Mac’s first Friday Night Lights, because that was kind of a rush job. How do you think the program, as far as recruiting, is growing? This is the all-important year. You and I, some people have said that we made excuses for the coaching staff when we say things like, they’re behind the eight ball in year one. Obviously, everybody agrees with that, but then we say they’re behind the eight ball in year two, and they’re behind the eight ball in year three, a little bit less.
This will be their fourth recruiting class, and this is the one where you and I have kind of said, no excuses. Now you’ve been on campus long enough that these seniors, you were at Florida when they were going into their sophomore season. You should be on a level playing field as far as recruiting.
Andrew:I say this, and I’ve said, and I have no problems saying this again. It was shut up or go home time almost. Not that I’m saying Mac should be fired, because nowhere would I ever say that, because I think he is a phenomenal football coach. It was time. He made that adjustment this spring, going out and hiring Ja’juan Seider and going out and hiring Brad Davis. Those were two huge hires, and he fixed that.
Then it was finding a quarterback, because when you go around and hear schools, and you hear kids talk, and they’re like, I really love Florida. I would go there if it wasn’t for the question mark at quarterback. Now you got a quarterback, so now things are going.
I will say this. The first year Friday Night Lights was absolutely miserable. It was boring. Last year’s Friday Night Lights was a ton better. It was awesome. This year, phenomenal. It was just one of those things. I have two phones, and both of them were dead at the end of the night from taking videos, going around back and forth. We had to split up. We had four of us. We had to split up, and it still wasn’t enough to cover, because every position group had a top guy. It was phenomenal. It was a great weekend, and it really sets it up for Mac to have a strong close to the summer.
I said this at the beginning of the summer. I thought there’d be 15 commits in the class. I think that will be true. Having set up for the summer, guess what? The fall you’re just keeping those guys committed, recruiting some of the elite of the elite, worrying about your football team. Not going into the season with eight commits having to worry about filling up an entire class.
Nick:Yeah. That’s a big thing. That became, people complain about whatever. They’ll complain about anything, but that was a big thing. You remember the Muschamp classes. He’s probably a bad example, but Saban a lot of the time has, if his class can hold 25, then he’ll have 25 guys commit by October, and he’ll sign 15 more on Signing Day, and then let the pieces fall after that. Then you start grayshirting.
But I think it’s good. If you have a strong class, and you have them early, good. Let those go out, enjoy their senior season, and start helping you recruit.
Andrew:That leads me. Good lead in there, Nick. I have to talk about Iverson Clement. I hadn’t been around Iverson Clement a ton in the past, but got the chance to talk with him for a while on Friday, before the visit, and then after the visit. Then for a good while on Saturday. Nick, I can’t say enough. I’m going to let you tell the story about his quotes and interview by yourself. I’m going to let you tell that story, but just his ability to even make me sit back and say, man, this kid’s about to be a senior in high school? This kid talks like a 25-year-old.
He just has that ability to go around. Always has a smile on his face, and is always looking to talk to someone. Give the man props. He went up to Damien Pierce and Leddie Brown and said, “I want you guys to join me.” He’s recruiting competition. Most guys aren’t doing that. He’s from Jersey. Some people say he might not be the best running back. Listen, there’s intangibles that can make up for things. That guy is a football player.
I even said it on our message boards after our story the other night. This guy’s going to be a fan favorite. He’s going to be a guy that people love, because of his personality, because of his play on the field, because of his ability just to attract other guys around, because guys just like him. Saturday, he asked myself and Blake from 247. He said, “Where’s William Barnes at?” We both pointed over there. Next thing we know, he’s talking to William Barnes for about 15, 20 minutes, while his seven on seven coach is saying, “Iverson, we’re going to miss our plane.” Iverson’s quote was, “I have some more things to do before we leave, coach.”
Nick:That’s the kind of kid you want.
Andrew:Yeah. Exactly. That’s the kind of guy you want. You said it. You texted me. I was finishing some interviews while you were doing the worst part of the job and transcribing. You sent me a message, and you said, “This story writes its own. It’s phenomenal, and it’s powerful. I’m sitting here thinking, let me read it. I read it, and I’m like, damn.
Nick:Yeah. He was a passionate kid. He’s passionate about the University of Florida, and, to me, he comes off as a kid that anything you need him to do. He doesn’t want to lose. It’s like you said about recruiting guys at his own position. He doesn’t care. He had a quote. He said he thought Ja’juan Seider was a big addition to the group, and that they really worked together. He says, “I’ll call Ja’juan to say, what kids do you want me to talk to? I think you need to call this kid, or I think you need to talk to this, because I was talking to him. He needs to hear from you.” They’re kind of going back and forth, a little tag team, the road warriors there, with recruiting.
He said, “Even at my position, I want to get the best running back, because I want to win. If you have a winning mindset, you’re going to do everything you want to win, and that even means trying to get somebody who might play over you.” That’s cool. The backup running back’s going to get his carries, and the backup running back, if you win a championship, his ring’s not any smaller than the starting running back.
Not to say that Iverson Clement won’t be a starter, but that’s his kind of mindset. It’s just, I don’t care what it is. I want to get the best of the best. If Marshawn Lynch had some eligibility left, I think Iverson Clement would be on the phone with Marshawn trying to get him to come to Florida. Marshawn would start over Iverson from day one, and I don’t think he would care.
Andrew:That’s the kind of kid he is. He’s the kind of guy that he didn’t work out on Friday, because he had worked out for the staff in the past. I believe he starts practice next week, so it was one of those things of didn’t want to get out there. He had worked out in June, so I have no issue with that. If you work out one time for the staff, cool. You’ve done your part. You showed what you got to show. Why hide? He was one of those guys that was just talking to everybody.
One time he was walking with Channing Tindal. Channing Tindal was in a group, and he’s standing beside Channing Tindal talking to Channing while he gets ready for this drill. He finished his drill. Channing comes back in line, and guess what? Iverson’s back there finishing the conversation. It was one of those things where I really got a chance to see just the specialness of Iverson Clement. First class human being. Just an awesome person. Can’t say enough about Iverson. Just a good person, on and off the field. Really good people.
Nick:Yeah. Very charismatic. I think that’d be the word to give him.
Andrew:It is. Someone said, “How does he compare to Nick Washington?” I say this with all due respect to Nick Washington. Nick Washington is one of my favorite people, but he’s even more charismatic as Nick Washington was. He’s just above and beyond that. He really is. He’s above and beyond that. He’s a guy that is low key, and he’s not going to hit you and say, “Go to Florida,” but he’s just going to hit you with just real talk. He’s going to be smiling, laughing about it, tapping you on the back, and different things like that. Different. Same mentality, but maybe a little bit different personality in general.
Nick:Is it a Jersey thing? Florida hasn’t had many kids from Jersey, right?
Andrew:No. Maybe it is a Jersey thing. I don’t know. I’ll be honest. I’m a southern guy. I’ve never been to Jersey, don’t know very many Jersey guys. I don’t know if that’s a Jersey thing. You might be better to answer that than me. It might be. It might be a Jersey thing, coming with a certain swag about him maybe. I don’t know. That’s a question I don’t know, Nick, because I haven’t been around enough Jersey guys to see if that’s something they all have in general.
I will say this. Matt Corral kind of has that about him, like that. It’s like borderline cocky.
Nick:Yeah. He’s got that. That’s a West Coast swag he’s got.
Andrew:Yeah. I say this, and I hate to get back to Matt Corral, but Matt Corral is a southern quarterback. I don’t mean that in any kind of way, but when you talk about some of the guys that around. Let’s talk about Jacob Eason. Let’s talk about some former guys. Like an AJ McCarron, like a Rex Grossman. That’s cocky, arrogant, borderline in that thing. Also, pretty boy. That’s Matt Corral.
Andrew:As Brett Musburger said, he’s probably going to have the women.
Nick:Brett. I won’t touch that one. For sure, he’s got that West Coast swag, and it’s kind of like a mix of preppy surfer boy, almost—I don’t know. It’s hard to explain. It’s just that West Coast swag, that West Coast attitude, but he’s got it.
Andrew:It’s not a bad thing. When I say arrogant, I don’t mean that in a bad way. I really don’t. I’m saying that as in cocky, arrogant, that mentality together, combined. I don’t mean that, and I just now thought about that. I didn’t mean that in a bad way at all. It’s a good thing.
Nick:I didn’t take it in a bad way.
Andrew:I know. I didn’t want someone to tweet me and say, you’re calling him out now. I’m definitely not calling him out. I’m saying I think he’s a great person. I’m saying he has that, it’s better to say he has more confidence than anything.
Nick:What is next?
Andrew:There’s a lot of things next. When you look at what was firing on the Twitter feed yesterday, with Jacob Copeland announcing now he’s ready to do a video, and he’s not going to wait until Under Armour game. When you look at William Barnes saying something big’s about to happen. When you look at other guys that were one campus. You had guys like Richard Gouraige on campus, Mark Chase on campus. Had Montilus on campus, Channing Tindal. All those guys were around that, and all those guys left Florida with a positive vibe.
A guy like Andrew Chatfield, who, Nick, I’ve said it from day one, and we’ve had to watch American Heritage. I say have to, it’s been a pleasure to watch. Because they’ve had so many Gator guys on there, and also our very good friend, Chad Wilson. I think you and I both would consider him a personal friend. We’ve watched them a lot. Andrew Chatfield’s been one of my favorite players in high school football the last three years. He is just a sack machine. He got that offer from Florida over the weekend, after being committed to Ohio State. Worked out over the weekend, and something may happen there. Florida’s always been a dream offer there. I like Florida’s chances there a lot, so that’s another guy.
You had a guy like Gilbert Frierson. I’m not sure how you pronounce his name. Miami DB commit. He was on campus as well. You had guy like Aziz. Not even going to try to say his last name. Defensive end out of Marietta was on campus. You have Coynis Miller, the defensive lineman from Alabama, on campus. You had a lot of big-name guys.
Like we just said a minute ago about Damien Pierce and Leddie Brown. Those are two guys I really like Florida’s chance. Damien Pierce is built like a freak. He is built like a machine for a running back. Leddie Brown is just a total athlete. He can play receiver. He can the H-back. He can play running back. I said it before, and I’ll eat my words, when I said, you don’t see many Delaware kids playing college football. That’s a Delaware kid that can play college football. If he’s in the state of Florida, he’s a four or five star. No doubt about it. No questions about it. That guy impressed the hell out of me over the weekend at Friday Night Lights. Catching the ball, going through drills. Incredible footwork.
And like I say, Damien Pierce, the guy’s funny. Quick little story on Damien Pierce. He comes out of meeting with Coach Mac, and there’s about four of us reporters there. He give us all bro hugs, and he says, “Thank you so much for interviewing me.” I’m like, “I’m supposed to be on the one telling you thank you.” He’s a country boy from Georgia. That’s the best way to say it, and he looks like a guy that’s been raised on a farm where he’s been picking up fenceposts all of his life. He’s just built like a hoss. Nick, you got to see him, and he’s a big guy.
Nick:Yeah. There were a lot of big guys on campus this week. To me, the biggest one was, who was the lineman that was there on Sunday?
Nick:Saturday, yeah. My days are all mixed up.
Andrew:Aziz or the LSU guy?
Andrew:The LSU commit. 2019 LSU commit.
Nick:That boy is the size of a truck.
Andrew:Yeah. Little background on that. Brad Davis knows his high school coach well, either coached or went to his high school. I need to research that, because I keep getting that confused, because he’s a New Orleans guy. So there’s a connection there. That boy’s a monster. That boy’s big old boy.
Nick:No. He looks like a senior in college already.
Andrew:He’s the first off the bus.
Nick:Yeah. If you can clone him, you have all of him come off the bus. I thought he was a parent or something at first. Did not expect that to be a player, until you said, “Yeah. That’s him.” I was like, “Okay.” He might be starting early when he gets to school.
Andrew:We talked about all these campers, but I think we need to talk on this. I feel like we talk about this every year, and I don’t know if it was just that there were more of them, or they were more engaged, but the team being out there this weekend, helping the staff go through this stuff. It really did. I mean, you had Malik Zaire out there. You had Feleipe Franks out there. Chauncey Gardner and his loud mouth out there.
You had a lot of the incoming freshman that are just enrolled. You had a lot of the coming up sophomores, like the Jawaan Taylors of the class, Quincy Litton. Then you had seniors out there. It was just a who’s-who out there, and they were really engaged. It wasn’t like, I was asked to come out here, so I feel like I have to. It was more of them out there recruiting. A guy like Austin Appleby, who graduated, was out there helping Nussmeier. He’s congratulating Matt Corral on committing. To me, it really shows their likeness of Jim McElwain and his coaching staff, and just their general family feel that they have.
Nick:Luke Del Rio was out there.
Andrew:All the quarterbacks were out there, except for Kyle Trask. I didn’t see Kyle.
Nick:I think he’s in Texas.
Andrew:I do too. That’s the only one I didn’t see was Kyle.
Nick:Yeah. Jawaan Taylor was out there. It was funny.
Nick:Big Jawaan. Both of them were out there. Safety Jawaan, who really, due to the injury to Marcell Harris, might be thrust into a position where he could be called upon back at safety heading into his sophomore year. He was out there. More of just observing, talking to some of the guys, stuff like that. Big Jawaan, Wany was out there, and he was out there working. He’s in his ripped jeans. Duke, what’s his name? He’s a defensive line coach now. Duke Lemons?
Andrew:No. If you wouldn’t have asked me, I’d have just told you.
Nick:Anyway, Duke’s out there, and he was joking around with him. He said, “Wan, you ever going to come coach these kids in non club attire?” Because Wany was in jeans every day, but still getting it done in jeans.
Andrew:Yeah. By the way, I’m just going to talk, rattle off a couple kids that just looked like freaks to me, that have gained some major weight, or gained some major size, and in a good way.
Andrew:Yes. Kylan Johnson. Oh my word. That guy. I had one of our members, and I’m so sorry for forgetting your name. I really am. First of all, my mind’s fried today, but so sorry for forgetting your name. You came up to me, and you said, “Who’s that guy over there?” If you don’t know me, my eyes are terrible. My eyes are terrible. I had to look. I got a little closer, and I could tell it was Kylan, and I said, “Kylan Johnson.” He goes, “No way. No way. That’s a parent.” I’m like, “No, it’s Kylan.” Kylan starts walking that way, and he sees him, and he goes, “Damn.” That was who it was.
Then Jawaan Taylor. My God. I need to find a photo of him from the other night in our photo gallery.
Nick:Before and after of him.
Andrew:And do a before and after, because that guy looks like a million bucks right now. He looks good. Then Kadarius Toney. What in the world has that guy been doing? Just hitting the weights? That is a different guy that left Mobile, Alabama, that I was watching at Blunt High School this time last year. Whoa.
Nick:Who’s that? I didn’t catch the last name.
Nick:Yeah. Kadarius has put on some solid weight. I think Mac Burnett, MacArthur Burnett, had put on some weight. I don’t know if he looks bigger to me than he did. I think the biggest progress he made was probably during that first year. I don’t know if he’s put on any more weight, but he looks big.
To me, your boy Lamical Perine looks kind of like he has added weight, while also slimming down. I think in the past, you can tell me if I’m wrong or if I’m right, Lamical kind of got just a number in his head of I need to be this number, and it didn’t matter how he got to it. Whether it was by eating protein bars and protein shakes and lifting, or if it was going to McDonalds and eating McFlurries to get to that number. He just felt comfortable at that number, and he felt strong and felt fast. I think was Florida did was able to bring him down, and then build up to that number the right way, because he looks slimmer and bigger, if that makes sense.
Andrew:The number you’re talking about was he always wants to play at about 220. That’s his number that he likes to play at. Like you say, it was more that. He’s 220, but he’s 220 of muscle. Lamical probably listening to this podcast, and he’s going to probably get one of us one Twitter or in person when we say this, but he had a little gut. He had a little gut last year, and that might have cost him a few touchdowns. Lamical, if you’re listening to this, Nick and I are sorry for saying that.
He’s slimmed down and gotten quicker. That’s something he has worked on a lot. Him and Jordan Scarlett have been working out a ton, and really focusing on that whole agility/speed/being strong. That’s something they both pride themselves on is being that one-two guy. Also, Nick, I ran into Adarius Lemons a couple times. He looked really good as well.
Nick:I don’t think he has an ounce of fat on him.
Andrew:I don’t either.
Nick:I don’t think he did when he was a recruit, but I don’t think he does right now either. He’s certainly an impressive looking guy. It’ll be interesting to see where he factors in, because we’ve said it before, you don’t redshirt running backs. I don’t think he redshirts.
Andrew:Yeah. Kemore Gamble is another guy that looked good.
Nick:Yeah. He’s put on a bunch of weight. I don’t know if it’s the best weight. Right now it might be a mix of two, a mix of good weight and bad weight, but he’s gotten bigger since the first time I saw him. That was back when he was, I think, a junior going into his senior year was the first time I met him.
Andrew:We got about five minutes, Nick. We got a couple things that we need to hit on real quick. First of all, prayers to Marcell Harris.
Nick:Yeah. Just sick to hear about that news.
Andrew:I know I give you a hard time about your pick for him, but I really do like Marcell Harris as a person, and I thought he was going to be a fantastic player. Nick, I got the chance to hang out with him a little bit in SEC Media Days going from room to room, and just being around him. He was fired up. Prayers to you, Marcell. I’m sure you’re not going to listen to this. Maybe somebody will tweet him. Nick, you and I will tweet him as well, when we hear about when his surgery’s going to be. We think it’s this week. Prayers to Marcell. Hope he gets his sixth year, if he wants to. If not, gets to the League. Prayers to him for that.
Also, broke the news about Nick Smith having meniscus surgery. Prayers to Nick as well, because he was a guy that was probably going to play a lot of special teams this year. Prayers to Nick.
Nick:And Chris Williamson transferring.
Andrew:That was no surprise. We all knew it was. Best of luck to Chris. I think Chris needed to go and do that. Best of luck to him.
Then we got to talk about Hugh Freeze. We got about three minutes left. Let’s talk about Hugh Freeze. That cheater got what he deserved, man. Bad things happen to bad people, and it caught up to him. The things he’s done, we’ve made several points on this podcast, on our stories. The guy’s just a cheater. The guy’s a cheater. He had zero integrity when it came to paying and buying recruits and begging them with cash to come to their school.
Nick:Yeah. I don’t like the whole, he had to pay for it when it came down, but I don’t like the whole, at least it looks like on the outside, pretending to be this God-fearing man and quoting Bible passages, and using that to help you in recruiting. Then it comes out that, maybe not. Maybe you were talking about church on Sunday, but you weren’t living it Monday through Satuday.
Andrew:I think you and I will both agree to this when we say this. We’re not going to judge nobody by their religion. I don’t know what any of these guys do in their personal life, but we do know what they do in their public life. Maybe he really is a God-fearing man, but he did not certainly give off that persona, and his actions sure as hell did not. I joke that Mark Richt might be next, but Mark Richt is the 1.0 of Hugh Freeze. Hugh Freeze just took after Mark Richt. Mark Richt’s a bad person as well, and I have no doubt in saying that whatsoever.
Nick, we’re going to have plenty of updates. You and I are going to get together later on Sunday. We’re going to talk about some of the guys that we’re hearing good off seasons. That’s coming. Sunday we’re also working on some reactions from guys. We had Twitter reaction, but I’m talking some of the commits and targets about what they think of this class, now that Matt Corral’s in. We’ll have absolutely banging coverage the rest of the week. It’s coming. Don’t let nobody fool you, man. GC’s the best place. Been around since 1996. Got the most subscribers of all Gator sites out there. We got great deals going on. Nick and myself, we’re pretty real about it.
Shout out to Baileigh, kicking ass. Great gal. Doing really good. Zach, our man, basketball guru that comes in handy for us with football. Been a fantastic addition, I know you can say as well, Nick. David Bowie, our photographer. Kevin Camps, our edit guy. All of our team came in great this weekend and helped Nick and I really make it through this week.
Nick:Appreciate all of them. Appreciate every one that helped out this week.
Andrew:It’s a team effort. The team makes it all easy and makes the thing go. Nick, tell everybody where they’ll find us. We’ll be back. We’ll have a second podcast this week. Don’t worry about it. We’ll have a second podcast this week. Please, guys, hit us up. We’ll give you that good offer. Come join Gator Country. You don’t want to miss. Stuff’s banging right now. Tell the people where they can find us, Nick. We’ll see everybody on Friday.
Nick:www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is on iTunes. Currently working on Google Play. Podcast is also audio and transcript form on the website. Social media, do your thing there. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. You can find me @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew:You can search my guys Zach Hughes and Baileigh Williams on Twitter as well. Kevin Camps, David Bowie, all those guys are on there. Again, guys, hit us up for that offer. You will not be disappointed. I can promise you that. If you’re disappointed, then we need to talk, because we’ll help you out. Anyway, guys, we appreciate it. As always, chomp, chomp. Go Braves. Mark Richt, sorry your camp sucked, bud.
Nick:You stay classy, Gator Country.
Recap of FNLPage 15
Transcript by Five Stars Transcription