One of the more important decisions that Will Muschamp has to make as Florida’s head football coach is how to divide the state among his assistant coaches for recruiting purposes. At his Monday press conference, Muschamp announced who will be recruiting in which area.
New offensive line coach Mike Summers will recruit the northwestern portion of the state.
“Mike Summers will be recruiting the Panhandle, which he recruited while he was at Arkansas and Louisville,” Muschamp said.
The top players to keep an eye on that area are 2014 receiver Tyre McCants (Niceville), 2015 receiver John Burt (Lincoln) and 2016 quarterback Feleipe Franks (Wakulla).
Defensive line coach Brad Lawing gets the benefit of recruiting the area surrounding the Florida campus.
“Brad Lawing is going to go to the local area, which really entails most of all North Central Florida and up to Baker County,” Muschamp said.
Florida is still recruiting Gainesville High’s Tony James, who is committed to Oregon, and the Gators are working on 2015 Baker County defensive end CeCe Jefferson.
The hotbed area of Jacksonville will now be split up between two of Florida’s coaches and maybe the Gators best recruiter.
“Kurt Roper has had Jacksonville before, but he and Travaris Robinson are going to take it,” Muschamp said. “Kind of split Jacksonville up a little bit there. That’s such a good area for us.”
In the past two seasons this area has produced Nick Washington (Trinity Christian), Demarcus Walker(Sandalwood), Daniel McMillian (First Coast), Ahmad Fulwood (Bishop Kenny), Travaris Dorsey (Raines) and David Sharpe (Providence).
There are way too many players to list in this area but some of the top guys are 2014 quarterback Marvin Zanders (Raines), 2015 players Kevin Toliver, Jeffrey Holland, Dontai Williams all of Trinity Christian and Sherrod Pittman (First Coast).
The Gators have had recent success in South Florida which will continue to be manned by Travaris Robinson.
“Travaris will continue to handle Dade and Broward,” Muschamp said.
Some of the top guys in the area to keep an eye on moving forward in 2014 and further down the road are 2014 receiver Isiah McKenzie and 2015 quarterback Torrance Gibson (American Heritage), 2015 corner Tyrek Cole (Miramar), 2015 running back Jordan Scarlett (St. Thomas Aquinas) and 2015 athlete Tim Irvin (Palmetto Bay)
Florida wide receivers coach Joker Phillips will take care of the all-important, talent-rich Palm Beach County area.
“Joker is going to handle Palm Beach County up through south of Orlando,” Muschamp said.
Florida’s recent success in this area includes Matt Elam of Dwyer, Kelvin Taylor of Glades Day and Janoris Jenkins of Pahokee. Some players to keep an eye on for the upcoming classes are 2015 cornerback Jamal Dean (Cocoa) athlete Derwin James (Haines City) and Shawn Burgess Becker (Coconut Creek).
Florida’s new special teams coordinator/outside linebackers coach Coleman Hutzlier will handle the east coast of the state.
“Coleman (Hutzler) will handle the Space Coast area up to Duval County,” Muschamp said.
This is the area that recently produced Marcus Maye of Melbourne Holy Trinity.
Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin will be the west coast guy.
“D.J. Durkin will handle southwest Florida, down in Fort Myers up through south Pinellas County,” Muschamp said.
The talent-rich Tampa/Polk County area will be handled by tight ends coach Derek Lewis. This area includes Armwood and Lakeland, a couple of schools that have been very good to the Gators in the past.
“Derek Lewis will have Polk and Hillsborough counties,” Muschamp said.
Some of the recent talent haul from this area include Matt Jones and Alvin Bailey from Armwood, Vernon Hargreaves III from Wharton and Jordan Sherit from Hillsborough.
Here are a few players to keep an eye on in that area moving forward 2015 qb Dewayne Lawson (Hillsborough) and Byron Cowart (Armwood).
The central Florida area will be the responsibility of running backs coach Brian White.
“Brian White will have the central area of Florida moving west from Orlando to North Pinellas County,” Muschamp said.
Three recent Gator success stories for this region are Joey Ivie of Dade City, Marcell Harris of Dr. Phillips and Ryan Sousa of Lake Nona.
Here a few names to keep an eye on moving forward 2015’s Martez Ivey and Chandler Cox both of Apopka and Jacques Patrick (Timber Creek).