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Recapping the Florida
Gators recruiting weekend: Podcast

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Written by Andrew Spivey, January 19, 2016, 0 Comments,
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This GatorCountry podcast focuses on the Florida Gators recruiting weekend this past weekend where the Gators hosted eight official visitors on campus.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down how each of the eight official visits went, plus break down which prospect the Gators have the best chance at landing.

Andrew and Nick also breakdown the Kirk Callahan firing and what it means for recruiting, plus who are some top candidates to replace Callahan at Florida.

TRANSCRIPT:

Nick:                         What’s going on, Gator Country podcast listeners? They don’t want you to listen to the podcast, but Andrew, we want you to listen anyway.

Andrew:                 That’s right. Listen if you want the news. If you don’t want the news, then don’t listen. If you want the scoop and the place for Gator news, Gator Country is the only place to be.

Nick:                         Major key. We’ve got some stuff going down in Gator Nation. We’ll start off with Signing Day is approaching, and Florida will go into Signing Day, as we’re talking now, it might change this week, but as of now Florida does not have a defensive backs coach after making a move and parting ways with Kirk Callahan who only spent one year at Florida after a couple years at UCF. I guess the first thing that’ll be on everyone’s mind, Andrew, that you can answer, is how does this affect recruiting as far as defensive backs who were looking at Florida? Who’s going to be my position coach? We had kind of talked about Florida the past couple years had kind of a had to deal with some negative recruiting in the sense of you don’t know if Muschamp’s going to be there, or that entire coaching staff’s going to be there. They’ve kind of avoided that until this point. What does this change, what does this move do?

Andrew:                 Is it good? No. Never is a coaching change good. I’ll say this. This is with all due respect to Kirk Callahan, who is a phenomenal football coach. Let’s put it that way. I think he’s a very good football coach. Recruiting probably wasn’t his strong suit, and that’s what probably is a good thing for Florida here in that he didn’t have the best relationships with a lot of guys. He didn’t have bad relationships. Let’s not go there, but guys like Kristian Fulton, he was more close to Tim Skipper than anyone. A guy like Quincy Litton is more close to Geoff Collins. You’ve got CJ McWilliams is more close to Randy Shannon. Aaron Robinson’s close to Kerry Dixon. It’s kind of that way.

While it isn’t a good thing that you lose your DB coach, it is good that those guys had relationships otherwise. I say the same thing even with kind of what we talked about before. Florida did a good job in not having one coach on each guy. If Kirk Callahan leaves, it’s good that there’s other coaches involved. You and I talked about this in the off season about Florida’s recruiting strategies. It’s a good thing for Florida that they’re there, but Florida needs to get a DB coach and need to get one pretty soon, in my opinion.

Nick:                         You’re under the opinion, because the staff was not complete by Signing Day, if I remember correctly, it was not complete by Signing Day last year, but you’re of the opinion that Florida needs to get somebody in when you’re starting to look at guys like Kristian Fulton, some DBs that Florida is still trying to fill this class with. In your opinion it would be better for them the sooner the better, even though Jim McElwain has kind of shown that he’s not going to rush decisions, and he showed that when he was hired. People were getting on him. Why isn’t the staff hired? I think to McElwain it’s more important for him to make the right hire than to make a quick hire just so it’s done.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’s tough to say.

Nick:                         It’s a balance. You don’t want to go and not have a defensive backs coach in July, because you’re waiting for the right guy. You don’t want to be in this position next year because you rushed into it and didn’t get somebody who fit, not only with the other staff, but with the players and with the culture that you’re trying to build.

Andrew:                 It’s tough to say a kid’s going to go to Florida without a position coach, and it is, it’s very tough for that to happen, especially with a guy like Kristian Fulton, a big name guy, even a guy like Jawaan Taylor from Alabama. Mac and his staff have done a good job that I think, I don’t want to say it’s a must. It’s a positive for sure, but is it a must? I don’t think it’s a must. I don’t know. I don’t know if they have one by Signing Day. I don’t. If you look at Mac’s past, kind of to me I would say favors that they don’t have one by Signing Day, but it wouldn’t put it past me either way for them to have one or not have one. I would say that it’s probably better to have one than not to have one, and you really need it that last weekend of the official visits when guys like Kristian Fulton, Jawaan Taylor, possibly Aaron Robinson, all those DBs come into town. You’d like to have one on the 29th when those guys visit.

Nick:                         Yeah. For sure. What about the timing of this? It coming out three weeks till Signing Day. It comes out after some early enrollees come in. Is the timing peculiar to you?

Andrew:                 Here’s my thing. This is what, you and I talked about this, and we were like, should Florida have waited until after the Signing Day? I give Mac props for firing Callahan, or letting him go, or whatever we want to call it, now instead of after Signing Day when these kids have already enrolled. I don’t like that move, because it’s like you knew he was going to leave, and you lied to me for a month. That relationship already starts off bad. It’s like you signing up for a job, and you saying this is going to be my boss. Then you come in, and you’ve got some crazy person you don’t like. That’s not cool. I actually applaud Mac for doing it now, more so than hiding it until after Signing Day. It may hurt Florida a little bit, but I give him props. For me that’s a stand up, that’s something you can walk into a kid’s house and say, I took a bullet here. I probably lost a little momentum with a kid, but I did things right.

Nick:                         Yeah. I don’t think there’s ever a right time to make a change like this. No matter when the move was made there could be an argument that you shouldn’t have done it now. No matter what decision you were going to make, there was going to be some blowback on it, so I think it’s kind of one of those situations where, we feel like we need to make a change, let’s just rip the Band-Aid off. It might not put us in the best situation right now, but we think moving forward it’s a move that has to be made. There’s no sense in delaying the inevitable. If this is what Jim McElwain thought was going to be best for the program, then it had to be done, regardless of the time.

Andrew:                 My thing is this as well. We can go ahead and start discussing some potential names. The obvious names out there are Deshea Townsend at Mississippi State, Corey Raymond at LSU, Derek Ansley at Kentucky, Corey Bell at Virginia Tech. Those are the obvious names. There’s a few more names. I’ll say this. I’ve been told that up to 10 people have already reached out for this job, and that Mac’s dealing with it.

Let’s just give a what if here. What if a guy like Corey Raymond goes to Florida? That’s a big what if. I’m not saying he’s going to Florida. I actually don’t think he goes to Florida, but we’ll see. If he goes to Florida it could be a positive, because he’s recruited guys like Kristian Fulton. That’d be a plus for Florida there. Also, he’s recruited some other guys that maybe Florida can get a late visit because of their relationship there. There’s pros and cons to it all. If a guy, just say Chauncey Gardner hates Corey Raymond, then it wouldn’t be a good move. It’s vice versa there. I’m just saying it could help Florida by getting a good coach in if they are able to get one.

I guess, Nick, what have you heard, and what do you think? Where things are going to head this way.

Nick:                         Chauncey’s in kind of a situation where it doesn’t really matter if he likes the coach.

Andrew:                 No. I’m saying who do you think is going to be the leading candidate here? What are you leaning towards? What would be your best fit in your opinion?

Nick:                         I would probably say Raymond. To me though you start looking at what Florida pays their assistants, and for someone like Travaris Robinson, Robinson was making over $600,000 at Auburn last year as a defensive backs’ coach. That’s what Florida paid Geoff Collins, their highest paid assistant and defensive coordinator, last year. Collins will get a bump as long as he’s on staff in February, but Florida isn’t going to pay a defensive backs’ coach $600,000, or at least they haven’t. If they did it’d be a first. So to me for Raymond to leave LSU that would have to be not just defensive back coach to defensive back coach. There would have to be some kind of other name title to go along with that, because he’d also need to probably match the $500,000 or so that he gets at LSU. To me that’s something that’s interesting to watch.

It just gets tough when you’re thinking about these coaches. You look at the situation at LSU. They completely bungled that whole Les Miles situation towards the end of the year, and that has to make their assistant coaches start to think, what’s my job security? What’s Les’s job security? To me, that’s kind of could play in Florida’s favor, but you’re not going to take a pay cut to go from LSU to Florida, in my opinion.

Andrew:                 I mean, no, you’re not. You’re definitely not. Some of the things that are being thrown around, and that I continue to hear, is that a lot of people are worried about the future in Baton Rouge with LSU. Maybe that’s it. A guy that I really like, and someone that I think should be mentioned is Deshea Townsend at Mississippi State. Coached with Geoff Collins, so it’d be an easy transition. Very good recruiter. Tons of NFL experience. I was talking to Keiwan Ratliff yesterday. Keiwan played with him up in Pittsburgh with the Steelers, and Keiwan told me, he’s got a four year old son right now, and he goes, “In 10 years, 12 years, if my son wants to play DB in college and Deshea Townsend’s coaching I’m sending to Deshea.” You and I both know Keiwan. That’s speaking very highly of things. I like Deshea Townsend a lot.

Corey Bell at Virginia Tech, he’s put a lot of DBs in the league. We’ll see. I think there’s a lot of really good candidates. The thing I can say is this. Florida should land a big time hire here to be a recruiter. Geoff Collins does a lot with the DBs already, so this hire, this person needs to be a big time recruiter in order to earn their pay if Collins is also helping with the DBs.

Nick:                         That’s something that I think we didn’t mention a lot all year, ever since Collins was hired, is that he has worked with DBs, and it’s something he’s comfortable doing. Probably something that’s just a little bit over looked in my opinion.

Andrew:                 That’s exactly right. It’ll be interesting to see. It’s a big move for Florida here, because Florida is starting, in my opinion, to get, I don’t want to say they’re losing all their big name DBs, but you look at Jalen Tabor, Quincy Wilson, after that these younger guys need to be coached up. They need, whether it’s Geoff Collins, Corey Raymond, whoever it is, they need a good technician as a DB coach to coach these guys up to be the next big thing for Florida to continue their dominance in the defensive backfield.

Nick:                         That’s a big thing. I’ve mentioned it several times. When you take out a JC Jackson and DeAndre Porter, you can already see that Florida was still deep, because they had three corners this year, four with Brian Poole, but you look at after. Going into 2017 don’t expect Jalen Tabor to be on the roster. I think Quincy Wilson it would depend on what kind of season he had this year, his junior year. You’re getting really thin there pretty quickly. So to have a good coach and a good recruiter, because good players make coaches look better, to get someone that can do both of those things is going to be very important for Florida.

Andrew:                 Exactly. We’ll see. What is today? We’re taping this on Monday. So today is the 18th. You’ve got roughly two and a half weeks to Signing Day, three weeks Wednesday, something like that.

Nick:                         Two weeks.

Andrew:                 Something like that. I don’t know.

Nick:                         Two weeks from Wednesday.

Andrew:                 So you got two weeks from Wednesday. Time is closing down. It’s time to go. Florida did have eight official visitors on campus this past weekend, and it was…

Nick:                         Before we get to that, we’ll stay on football before we get into recruiting.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         As we tape this Monday, today is the day, the last day for everyone to declare for the draft. Jarrad Davis and Marcus Maye will both be staying, and to me that is huge for Florida and for the defense moving forward. When you think about losing Jonathan Bullard, Antonio Morrison, Jeremy Powell, Keanu Neal, you’re losing a lot of guys who played a lot of time for you, and to be able to get Maye, who really came into his own this year, back and to be able to get Davis back for another year, that’s going to help Florida. They’re doing well recruiting this year, but getting these guys back will allow some of these other guys to kind of mature and be in the program before they’re asked to be thrown into the fire and play and contribute huge amounts of time.

Andrew:                 It’s big, like you said. You get a guy like Maye back, and he’s kind of the leader of that backfield. Tabor is really good. Quincy’s really good, but your safety is always your quarterback of your defense, per say, and then Jarrad Davis, Antonio Morrison says he’s going to be the best linebacker in the country, and he very well could be. Those were two five star gets that people don’t realize. That’s two very good gets. I know from talking to different people, getting their degrees were important to both of these guys, but also both of them feel really good about where things are going to be next year for Florida.

Nick:                         I think that’s something that maybe a lot of people don’t understand. When you get somebody like that, Marcus Maye easily could have gone to the draft. He had his best year by far in college, maybe didn’t get the draft grade that he wanted. Probably wants to come back and be a featured name. Last year if you weren’t Morrison, Bullard, or Hargreaves you were kind of second rung. Tabor maybe asserted himself a little bit, but those three guys really kind of were the faces of the defense, and Maye coming back gives him a chance to be in that group. It’ll also give him a chance to finish his degree, which is important to him, his future, his family. It is kind of like recruiting. You got a guy in, we’ll call him a five star Juco guy, because he doesn’t have four years left. He only has one year to play, but a guy who is coming in, and it’s basically like getting a five star recruit. This guy’s ready to play, ready to call, an All-SEC type guy.

Andrew:                 But the sky’s falling, Nick.

Nick:                         Yeah. Benjamin Victor committed to Ohio State. It’s all over.

Andrew:                 It’s all over.

Nick:                         Maybe they shouldn’t play in 2016. Shut it down. Let Mac go recruiting for an entire year, and we’ll pick it back up in 2017 against Michigan for the opener.

Andrew:                 Hell no. I can’t handle that. Let’s not be making some ideas like that. It’s close to Signing Day, so the sky’s falling. Gainesville’s shutting down. University of Florida sucks. This, that, and the other. My thing to fans is this. Florida had 12 plus Appleby enroll early. Florida hit the needs they needed to hit the needs. They got a kicker that’s ready to go. They got two quarterbacks. Neither are ready to go, but two quarterbacks. They got a linebacker in David Reese that’s ready to go next year. They got Chauncey Gardner. They got two big receivers. They got a Juco running back. You hit the needs where you are.

The thing is this, and this is what I continue to tell people. Florida’s in a position where they can’t be in the news every day. They only have four, five, six spots available to round out this class. They can’t be taking a commitment every day. Georgia has 15 recruits. They can’t be taking a commit every day. Alabama the same way. They have smaller classes right now, they can’t be taking guys. When everyone was wanting recruits in the summer and in the fall, Florida was getting them, but now they can’t get them, because they’re full.

The sky’s not falling. This is a very good class. Does Florida need to finish strong and get a couple more big name guys? Sure. Nate Craig-Myers out there. There’s a lot of good players out there that Florida’s after, but remember it’s only the first weekend of the thing. McElwain’s going to bring in his big name guys this coming weekend and the last weekend of the recruiting cycle. That’s when he wants to finish strong. Getting a kid to commit January 15th is nothing if he’s going to take two more official visits.

Nick:                         That is true. Every time we talk about this it reminds me of what Randy Shannon said when we had a chance to talk to him during the season. He said, “I don’t understand how you’re committed to somebody and then going on visits somewhere else. That’s like having a girlfriend and then going on dates with other girls.” To me I always laugh at the I’m committed to DeVry, but I’m going to take five officials, and I’ll make a final decision. Then you’re not committed.

Andrew:                 That’s kind of what a guy like Antonneous Clayton said. He’s like, “I feel bad taking an official to somewhere else, because I’m committed here. I promised this school that I’m going to go here. So if I take a visit to this school then I’ve kind of disrespected Florida, because I’m committed here.” He just said he kind of feels weird about it. I have mixed emotions about that. I really do. I understand kids wanting to take the official visits. It is only one time to do it, and schools push so much for a commitment. I’m torn here. I really am. Part of me says let them go ahead and take an official, and then part of me says, you committed for a reason. If nobody committed and took officials visits, then everybody would commit on Signing Day.

Nick:                         That’s true.

Andrew:                 Then I would have no job during the season.

Nick:                         You’d have a lot of time to golf.

Andrew:                 That I would, but you’ve got have money to golf. I don’t know if Gator Country’s going to pay me for my football insight.

Nick:                         Maybe, maybe not. They do pay you for the recruiting insight, and as you mentioned before I cut you off, lot of recruits on campus this past week. What are they saying? How did the staff do? What’s the latest coming out of Gainesville after the first weekend of official visits after the dead period?

Andrew:                 Like I said, it wasn’t a huge weekend. Didn’t get a lot of success out of the weekend, but it was some of these guys that maybe Florida had less of a chance with visiting this weekend. Run through the official visitors real quick. Brett Heggie, Jawaan Taylor, and Jachai Polite were all commits on campus this weekend. Jachai is a guy that has got USC coming after him a little bit. Florida did do a good job there. He said he’s very solid to Florida. Still plans to take that trip to USC. I think this trip really helped Florida. Everything I’ve been told, his parents want him close to home. LA ain’t close to home. I like where Florida’s going to go with Jachai. Then Brett Heggie and Jawaan Taylor they were just recruiting. Brett’s one of the most solid kids in the class. Nothing there.

The uncommitted guys were Chris Brown, the DB about of Texas. I think it was just a Florida’s going to invite me over here for a trip, so I’m going out there. I just don’t see Florida landing him. His buddy, linebacker Dontavious Jackson, Florida in his top five, with Michigan, Alabama, Texas, and Florida State. Florida’s in there. Florida’s got a shot. My opinion is Texas gets him at the end of the day. I don’t think he’s a good fit for the SEC. I don’t think he’s a good fit for the Big 12, to be honest with you. He’s a Big Ten linebacker in my opinion. He’s a big, can’t move really linebacker. I think he’s better for Big Ten, but Florida’s got a shot. I think it’s a slim shot, but they’ve got a shot.

Then they hosted Georgia linebacker commit, Jaleel Laguins. I think that’s how you say it.

Nick:                         It looks like Laguins.

Andrew:                 Okay. Laguins is sticking with Georgia. You heard it here first. If it’s not Georgia, it’s Alabama. He just came down to Florida because it was Gainesville, and it wasn’t freezing cold in Gainesville on Saturday.

Nick:                         Why didn’t you say this when I asked you last week? I said, who’s coming just for the free trip?

Andrew:                 Because then people wouldn’t read my stories.

Nick:                         Unbelievable.

Andrew:                 Unbelievable. No. I did think he had a littler interest, but after talking to some more people about it, it was more I get to down there and chill this weekend, so that’s there.

Final two guys on campus this weekend were offensive lineman John Simpson and big offensive lineman Landon Dickerson. Start with Simpson real quick. Florida/Clemson’s got to be the battle here. Florida made up a ton of ground this weekend. Florida’s got a great shot here. There was some kind of blowup between him and Clemson during the fall, and that kind of pushed Clemson out of the lead. We’ll see if that gets taken care of when he takes his official there this coming weekend, but Florida’s got a shot there.

Then Landon Dickerson, my opinion Florida State’s still the leader there. He doesn’t like to talk a lot, but from everything I’ve heard Florida actually feels pretty good about it, from what Brett Heggie and a couple other guys told me. Florida thinks they may be in the mix there. Coming out of the weekend I would say Florida probably has the best shot with John Simpson, and I think that’s who I even predicted heading into the weekend who Florida would have the best shot with. I guess I’m batting 100.

Nick:                         There you go. Florida is looking for how many more offensive linemen?

Andrew:                 Two. One to two more, preferably two, but can get away with one. Juco Malcolm Pridgeon, that’s the kid out of New York. That’s probably the top target right now for the Gators. He’s a Juco kid. He can come in, play guard or tackle, and we all know there’s one spot left on that offensive line after you look at a guy like Fred Johnson, Sharpe, Ivey, and Tyler Jordan. There’s one spot available. Who’s going to take it? Could be a Juco guy, or it could be one of those freshmen guys. One to two more. I can say this. Marcus Tatum, see you. Get off the list. He didn’t show up this weekend. I think Mac, I don’t want to say got his feelings hurt, but I think Mac basically said, you didn’t come, so we’re moving on.

Nick:                         That’s how it should be.

Andrew:                 I agree. I completely agree.

Nick:                         It’s kind of what we said before. You commit to Tennessee, and I think it was me, it might have been you, but we said if you show up at Florida it means that commitment to Tennessee is probably not that strong. If you don’t show up, then you’re probably shutting it down. Doesn’t show up. Good for you. You’ve made your decision. Florida will see you the next three, four, five years.

Andrew:                 Have fun at rocky top. Say hello to Butch Jones for me.

Nick:                         Yeah. I think that’s something good to talk about, because we had mentioned it. You don’t show up, no hurt feelings, but we’re just not going to talk to you anymore.

Andrew:                 People say, don’t give up on it, but it’s one of those deals where you’re going to waste four to five hours with that kid a week. You say, four to five, that’s a lot of time. You’ve got to think they’re going to go in home from probably two, two and a half hours there. They’re going to go to the school, see him there. We’ll see. I think they made a good decision.

Nick:                         To me, if he had shown up, and you had it, and then he’s still showing interest, absolutely. Continue recruiting him. This was kind of the moment where you decide that. If he shows up, we’ll continue recruiting him. If he doesn’t, wash our hands of it. I think you got to wash your hands of it. There’s other kids who aren’t committed that are still showing interest, and you have to put your time and energy into them.

Andrew:                 Exactly. There’s many guys out there. I mean, Monday when we’re taping this Coach Mac is visiting Quincy Litton and Kristian Fulton with Coach Skip. Coach Shannon is up in Montgomery visiting with Mack Wilson and those guys. It’s getting that time of the year where prospects are coming on campus. You’re just trying to get the last word and gain some momentum. Again, I think Florida finishes this class well. You look at what they’re looking at right here. If they can get two more offensive linemen or one more offensive lineman, get another DB in the class, get a receiver and a tight end, you’re looking at this, and you’re thinking this is a pretty good class. Maybe sneak in another linebacker or so. It’s a good class.

Would you have liked to land Nate Craig, Benjamin Victor, all those guys, at the last minute? Sure, but we all know everybody’s not going to land that. Georgia has to almost go perfect towards the end, because they don’t have anybody in the class right now. They’re trying to load their class up.

Nick:                         Right. Jim McElwain and Shannon were also in with Josh Uche.

Andrew:                 Uche.

Nick:                         Uche.

Andrew:                 I don’t know. That’s what I call him.

Nick:                         Uche.

Andrew:                 I just say, what’s up, Uche.

Nick:                         That works. He probably hates you. They were down in Miami visiting him, defensive end.

Andrew:                 Linebacker. Do not call him a defensive end. He will rip your head off.

Nick:                         Outside linebacker.

Andrew:                 He will rip your head off.

Nick:                         I don’t want to make him angry.

Andrew:                 Uche will rip your head off and say ouch to you. That was a pretty good play.

Nick:                         There you go.

Andrew:                 Florida has got a great shot there. Florida, Auburn, and I believe it’s either Miami or Michigan is his third. Basically it’s Florida or Miami for him. I think it’s Florida, Auburn, and Miami is his final three. Might be Florida, Auburn, and Michigan. I don’t know. Florida’s the school. I think he goes to Florida. I really do. I think he’s a good outside linebacker that can be kind of that rush end. Kind of like that Jeremy Powell role where he can rush or can also play outside in the flat. Good player there as well. Kind of like Jeremiah Moon a little bit. Good player, for sure. I think that as long as Florida has a good official visit with him on the 29th that the Gators can get him. Should be a fun week.

I know we’ll have one on Friday where we’re going to preview what’s going on for this coming weekend. Basketball, Mississippi State this weekend, or tomorrow, correct? Nicholas?

Nick:                         I’m here. It was actually a huge win for Florida down there at Ole Miss, other than it being a homecoming for Mike White. It snapped a seven game SEC road losing streak dating back to last season. Big for Florida. Even if it’s just got the monkey off our back, we won one on the road. We don’t have to think about it or have questions asked about it, talk about it anymore. That’s big. You’re going to get two home games. There’s only 14 games left, 8 of those at home, 6 on the road. Florida’s going to have to win some big road games, including in Nashville at Vanderbilt, in Lexington at Kentucky. There are some big games still left on the schedule. They’re going to need to win those on the road.

KeVaughn Allen, you just need to, if I’m Coach White I’m bringing him into my office, and I’m saying, “Listen. The time to be nice and to be selfless is over. You are our best scorer. We need to attack.” That’s kind of the mentality he had against Ole Miss. Attack, he was aggressive. Scored 27 points. You need to get that kind of production, maybe not 27 points every night, but that kind of attitude and that kind of aggressiveness is what you need from KeVaughn Allen, a diaper dandy.

Andrew:                 Diaper dandy, baby. That’s my guy, Dickie V. KeVaughn’s a player. I said this to someone when he committed. I was like, this guy’s a player. Richard Davenport, a good friend of ours from Arkansas, was telling me. He was like, this guy can shoot the rock. He is playing really good ball. Even Egbunu is playing good ball as well. Mississippi State. It’s a big on this weekend, so maybe they can do well. Also, the women’s basketball team did well. They’re ranked 22nd now in the country. First time being ranked since 2009. Amanda Butler got the girls rolling.

Nick:                         Yeah. We are only just over a month away from softball and baseball. Both of those teams will be making runs to the World Series. You can just go ahead and book that flight for both of them, and recruiting, so there’s still a lot going on.

Andrew:                 The best thing about the College Football Championship game, there’s a bad thing and a good thing. The bad thing is there’s no football. The good thing is that means baseball is right around the corner. Less than 100 days till opening day for Major League baseball.

Nick:                         Can’t wait to watch the Marlins again.

Andrew:                 I absolutely cannot wait to watch the Braves. It may not be very good, but it is Braves baseball all day long.

Nick:                         Who will the worst team in the NL East? Will it be the Braves or the Marlins?

Andrew:                 Phillies.

Nick:                         I think the Marlins can give everyone a run for their money and hold down that bottom spot.

Andrew:                 Phillies are going to be awful. Phillies are going to be terrible, really, really bad.

Nick:                         So are the Marlins.

Andrew:                 I don’t know. I just don’t understand Miami’s program in general.

Nick:                         Neither do they.

Andrew:                 I guess it could be worse. I guess it could be like Tennessee and go hire your interim offensive coordinator after you just fired the head coach there. What are the Titans doing? I’d hate to be a Titans fan. Are you kidding me?

Nick:                         Poor Marcus Mariota.

Andrew:                 Let me ask you this. Would you rather be a Titans fan or a South Carolina Gamecock fan? Hire Willy Muschamp, or hire Mike Mularkey?

Nick:                         Titans. There is more of a chance of Mularkey being successful.

Andrew:                 Yes. Also, next week, Nick, big week for us. We’ll have senior bowl coverage next week. Should be fun.

Nick:                         Jake McGee, who else? Jake McGee, Antonio Morrison, and who am I forgetting?

Andrew:                 Bullard.

Nick:                         And Jon Jon Bullard. Big week out there. Also Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett will be out there.

Andrew:                 I think the real thing is you’re just happy to be in Mobile.

Nick:                         Negative. Alabama, worst state in the Union.

Andrew:                 In the Union? We weren’t in the Union.

Nick:                         The Union. Worst state in the United States of America.

Andrew:                 Then you say the US of A.

Nick:                         All right, Andrew.

Andrew:                 The Union is the northern people like in the war. It was the Union and the Confederates. The Union was anything north of Kentucky, and everything south of Kentucky was the Confederates.

Nick:                         Thank you for the history lesson.

Andrew:                 You’re good. That’s $20. People are probably tired of listening to our history lesson. Let’s send everybody out on a good note. Tell the people where they can find us.

Nick:                         @NickdelaTorreGC on Twitter. @AndrewSpiveyGC on Twitter. @GatorCountry. It’s also TheGatorCountry on Instagram. Edits going up there on the daily. Check out our Facebook page. Go to Facebook.com. Search Gator Country. All the edits, stories, and breaking news that you will find on the site, on Twitter, will also be on Facebook. We’re building a good community over there where people can talk. It’s like a little supplement to our message boards. Check it out across all social medias. Go ahead and double tap on my Instagram pictures. Hit the follow button on Twitter. I’ll see you guys there.

Andrew:                 I’m close to 10,000 followers, so get me there. I’ll give a shout out to somebody. As always, Butch, Mark, you know the drill, and chomp, chomp. Go Braves.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country

Andrew Spivey

About 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.

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This GatorCountry podcast focuses on the Florida Gators recruiting weekend this past weekend where the Gators hosted eight official visitors on campus.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down how each of the eight official visits went, plus break down which prospect the Gators have the best chance at landing.

Andrew and Nick also breakdown the Kirk Callahan firing and what it means for recruiting, plus who are some top candidates to replace Callahan at Florida.

TRANSCRIPT:

Nick:                         What’s going on, Gator Country podcast listeners? They don’t want you to listen to the podcast, but Andrew, we want you to listen anyway.

Andrew:                 That’s right. Listen if you want the news. If you don’t want the news, then don’t listen. If you want the scoop and the place for Gator news, Gator Country is the only place to be.

Nick:                         Major key. We’ve got some stuff going down in Gator Nation. We’ll start off with Signing Day is approaching, and Florida will go into Signing Day, as we’re talking now, it might change this week, but as of now Florida does not have a defensive backs coach after making a move and parting ways with Kirk Callahan who only spent one year at Florida after a couple years at UCF. I guess the first thing that’ll be on everyone’s mind, Andrew, that you can answer, is how does this affect recruiting as far as defensive backs who were looking at Florida? Who’s going to be my position coach? We had kind of talked about Florida the past couple years had kind of a had to deal with some negative recruiting in the sense of you don’t know if Muschamp’s going to be there, or that entire coaching staff’s going to be there. They’ve kind of avoided that until this point. What does this change, what does this move do?

Andrew:                 Is it good? No. Never is a coaching change good. I’ll say this. This is with all due respect to Kirk Callahan, who is a phenomenal football coach. Let’s put it that way. I think he’s a very good football coach. Recruiting probably wasn’t his strong suit, and that’s what probably is a good thing for Florida here in that he didn’t have the best relationships with a lot of guys. He didn’t have bad relationships. Let’s not go there, but guys like Kristian Fulton, he was more close to Tim Skipper than anyone. A guy like Quincy Litton is more close to Geoff Collins. You’ve got CJ McWilliams is more close to Randy Shannon. Aaron Robinson’s close to Kerry Dixon. It’s kind of that way.

While it isn’t a good thing that you lose your DB coach, it is good that those guys had relationships otherwise. I say the same thing even with kind of what we talked about before. Florida did a good job in not having one coach on each guy. If Kirk Callahan leaves, it’s good that there’s other coaches involved. You and I talked about this in the off season about Florida’s recruiting strategies. It’s a good thing for Florida that they’re there, but Florida needs to get a DB coach and need to get one pretty soon, in my opinion.

Nick:                         You’re under the opinion, because the staff was not complete by Signing Day, if I remember correctly, it was not complete by Signing Day last year, but you’re of the opinion that Florida needs to get somebody in when you’re starting to look at guys like Kristian Fulton, some DBs that Florida is still trying to fill this class with. In your opinion it would be better for them the sooner the better, even though Jim McElwain has kind of shown that he’s not going to rush decisions, and he showed that when he was hired. People were getting on him. Why isn’t the staff hired? I think to McElwain it’s more important for him to make the right hire than to make a quick hire just so it’s done.

Andrew:                 Yeah. It’s tough to say.

Nick:                         It’s a balance. You don’t want to go and not have a defensive backs coach in July, because you’re waiting for the right guy. You don’t want to be in this position next year because you rushed into it and didn’t get somebody who fit, not only with the other staff, but with the players and with the culture that you’re trying to build.

Andrew:                 It’s tough to say a kid’s going to go to Florida without a position coach, and it is, it’s very tough for that to happen, especially with a guy like Kristian Fulton, a big name guy, even a guy like Jawaan Taylor from Alabama. Mac and his staff have done a good job that I think, I don’t want to say it’s a must. It’s a positive for sure, but is it a must? I don’t think it’s a must. I don’t know. I don’t know if they have one by Signing Day. I don’t. If you look at Mac’s past, kind of to me I would say favors that they don’t have one by Signing Day, but it wouldn’t put it past me either way for them to have one or not have one. I would say that it’s probably better to have one than not to have one, and you really need it that last weekend of the official visits when guys like Kristian Fulton, Jawaan Taylor, possibly Aaron Robinson, all those DBs come into town. You’d like to have one on the 29th when those guys visit.

Nick:                         Yeah. For sure. What about the timing of this? It coming out three weeks till Signing Day. It comes out after some early enrollees come in. Is the timing peculiar to you?

Andrew:                 Here’s my thing. This is what, you and I talked about this, and we were like, should Florida have waited until after the Signing Day? I give Mac props for firing Callahan, or letting him go, or whatever we want to call it, now instead of after Signing Day when these kids have already enrolled. I don’t like that move, because it’s like you knew he was going to leave, and you lied to me for a month. That relationship already starts off bad. It’s like you signing up for a job, and you saying this is going to be my boss. Then you come in, and you’ve got some crazy person you don’t like. That’s not cool. I actually applaud Mac for doing it now, more so than hiding it until after Signing Day. It may hurt Florida a little bit, but I give him props. For me that’s a stand up, that’s something you can walk into a kid’s house and say, I took a bullet here. I probably lost a little momentum with a kid, but I did things right.

Nick:                         Yeah. I don’t think there’s ever a right time to make a change like this. No matter when the move was made there could be an argument that you shouldn’t have done it now. No matter what decision you were going to make, there was going to be some blowback on it, so I think it’s kind of one of those situations where, we feel like we need to make a change, let’s just rip the Band-Aid off. It might not put us in the best situation right now, but we think moving forward it’s a move that has to be made. There’s no sense in delaying the inevitable. If this is what Jim McElwain thought was going to be best for the program, then it had to be done, regardless of the time.

Andrew:                 My thing is this as well. We can go ahead and start discussing some potential names. The obvious names out there are Deshea Townsend at Mississippi State, Corey Raymond at LSU, Derek Ansley at Kentucky, Corey Bell at Virginia Tech. Those are the obvious names. There’s a few more names. I’ll say this. I’ve been told that up to 10 people have already reached out for this job, and that Mac’s dealing with it.

Let’s just give a what if here. What if a guy like Corey Raymond goes to Florida? That’s a big what if. I’m not saying he’s going to Florida. I actually don’t think he goes to Florida, but we’ll see. If he goes to Florida it could be a positive, because he’s recruited guys like Kristian Fulton. That’d be a plus for Florida there. Also, he’s recruited some other guys that maybe Florida can get a late visit because of their relationship there. There’s pros and cons to it all. If a guy, just say Chauncey Gardner hates Corey Raymond, then it wouldn’t be a good move. It’s vice versa there. I’m just saying it could help Florida by getting a good coach in if they are able to get one.

I guess, Nick, what have you heard, and what do you think? Where things are going to head this way.

Nick:                         Chauncey’s in kind of a situation where it doesn’t really matter if he likes the coach.

Andrew:                 No. I’m saying who do you think is going to be the leading candidate here? What are you leaning towards? What would be your best fit in your opinion?

Nick:                         I would probably say Raymond. To me though you start looking at what Florida pays their assistants, and for someone like Travaris Robinson, Robinson was making over $600,000 at Auburn last year as a defensive backs’ coach. That’s what Florida paid Geoff Collins, their highest paid assistant and defensive coordinator, last year. Collins will get a bump as long as he’s on staff in February, but Florida isn’t going to pay a defensive backs’ coach $600,000, or at least they haven’t. If they did it’d be a first. So to me for Raymond to leave LSU that would have to be not just defensive back coach to defensive back coach. There would have to be some kind of other name title to go along with that, because he’d also need to probably match the $500,000 or so that he gets at LSU. To me that’s something that’s interesting to watch.

It just gets tough when you’re thinking about these coaches. You look at the situation at LSU. They completely bungled that whole Les Miles situation towards the end of the year, and that has to make their assistant coaches start to think, what’s my job security? What’s Les’s job security? To me, that’s kind of could play in Florida’s favor, but you’re not going to take a pay cut to go from LSU to Florida, in my opinion.

Andrew:                 I mean, no, you’re not. You’re definitely not. Some of the things that are being thrown around, and that I continue to hear, is that a lot of people are worried about the future in Baton Rouge with LSU. Maybe that’s it. A guy that I really like, and someone that I think should be mentioned is Deshea Townsend at Mississippi State. Coached with Geoff Collins, so it’d be an easy transition. Very good recruiter. Tons of NFL experience. I was talking to Keiwan Ratliff yesterday. Keiwan played with him up in Pittsburgh with the Steelers, and Keiwan told me, he’s got a four year old son right now, and he goes, “In 10 years, 12 years, if my son wants to play DB in college and Deshea Townsend’s coaching I’m sending to Deshea.” You and I both know Keiwan. That’s speaking very highly of things. I like Deshea Townsend a lot.

Corey Bell at Virginia Tech, he’s put a lot of DBs in the league. We’ll see. I think there’s a lot of really good candidates. The thing I can say is this. Florida should land a big time hire here to be a recruiter. Geoff Collins does a lot with the DBs already, so this hire, this person needs to be a big time recruiter in order to earn their pay if Collins is also helping with the DBs.

Nick:                         That’s something that I think we didn’t mention a lot all year, ever since Collins was hired, is that he has worked with DBs, and it’s something he’s comfortable doing. Probably something that’s just a little bit over looked in my opinion.

Andrew:                 That’s exactly right. It’ll be interesting to see. It’s a big move for Florida here, because Florida is starting, in my opinion, to get, I don’t want to say they’re losing all their big name DBs, but you look at Jalen Tabor, Quincy Wilson, after that these younger guys need to be coached up. They need, whether it’s Geoff Collins, Corey Raymond, whoever it is, they need a good technician as a DB coach to coach these guys up to be the next big thing for Florida to continue their dominance in the defensive backfield.

Nick:                         That’s a big thing. I’ve mentioned it several times. When you take out a JC Jackson and DeAndre Porter, you can already see that Florida was still deep, because they had three corners this year, four with Brian Poole, but you look at after. Going into 2017 don’t expect Jalen Tabor to be on the roster. I think Quincy Wilson it would depend on what kind of season he had this year, his junior year. You’re getting really thin there pretty quickly. So to have a good coach and a good recruiter, because good players make coaches look better, to get someone that can do both of those things is going to be very important for Florida.

Andrew:                 Exactly. We’ll see. What is today? We’re taping this on Monday. So today is the 18th. You’ve got roughly two and a half weeks to Signing Day, three weeks Wednesday, something like that.

Nick:                         Two weeks.

Andrew:                 Something like that. I don’t know.

Nick:                         Two weeks from Wednesday.

Andrew:                 So you got two weeks from Wednesday. Time is closing down. It’s time to go. Florida did have eight official visitors on campus this past weekend, and it was…

Nick:                         Before we get to that, we’ll stay on football before we get into recruiting.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         As we tape this Monday, today is the day, the last day for everyone to declare for the draft. Jarrad Davis and Marcus Maye will both be staying, and to me that is huge for Florida and for the defense moving forward. When you think about losing Jonathan Bullard, Antonio Morrison, Jeremy Powell, Keanu Neal, you’re losing a lot of guys who played a lot of time for you, and to be able to get Maye, who really came into his own this year, back and to be able to get Davis back for another year, that’s going to help Florida. They’re doing well recruiting this year, but getting these guys back will allow some of these other guys to kind of mature and be in the program before they’re asked to be thrown into the fire and play and contribute huge amounts of time.

Andrew:                 It’s big, like you said. You get a guy like Maye back, and he’s kind of the leader of that backfield. Tabor is really good. Quincy’s really good, but your safety is always your quarterback of your defense, per say, and then Jarrad Davis, Antonio Morrison says he’s going to be the best linebacker in the country, and he very well could be. Those were two five star gets that people don’t realize. That’s two very good gets. I know from talking to different people, getting their degrees were important to both of these guys, but also both of them feel really good about where things are going to be next year for Florida.

Nick:                         I think that’s something that maybe a lot of people don’t understand. When you get somebody like that, Marcus Maye easily could have gone to the draft. He had his best year by far in college, maybe didn’t get the draft grade that he wanted. Probably wants to come back and be a featured name. Last year if you weren’t Morrison, Bullard, or Hargreaves you were kind of second rung. Tabor maybe asserted himself a little bit, but those three guys really kind of were the faces of the defense, and Maye coming back gives him a chance to be in that group. It’ll also give him a chance to finish his degree, which is important to him, his future, his family. It is kind of like recruiting. You got a guy in, we’ll call him a five star Juco guy, because he doesn’t have four years left. He only has one year to play, but a guy who is coming in, and it’s basically like getting a five star recruit. This guy’s ready to play, ready to call, an All-SEC type guy.

Andrew:                 But the sky’s falling, Nick.

Nick:                         Yeah. Benjamin Victor committed to Ohio State. It’s all over.

Andrew:                 It’s all over.

Nick:                         Maybe they shouldn’t play in 2016. Shut it down. Let Mac go recruiting for an entire year, and we’ll pick it back up in 2017 against Michigan for the opener.

Andrew:                 Hell no. I can’t handle that. Let’s not be making some ideas like that. It’s close to Signing Day, so the sky’s falling. Gainesville’s shutting down. University of Florida sucks. This, that, and the other. My thing to fans is this. Florida had 12 plus Appleby enroll early. Florida hit the needs they needed to hit the needs. They got a kicker that’s ready to go. They got two quarterbacks. Neither are ready to go, but two quarterbacks. They got a linebacker in David Reese that’s ready to go next year. They got Chauncey Gardner. They got two big receivers. They got a Juco running back. You hit the needs where you are.

The thing is this, and this is what I continue to tell people. Florida’s in a position where they can’t be in the news every day. They only have four, five, six spots available to round out this class. They can’t be taking a commitment every day. Georgia has 15 recruits. They can’t be taking a commit every day. Alabama the same way. They have smaller classes right now, they can’t be taking guys. When everyone was wanting recruits in the summer and in the fall, Florida was getting them, but now they can’t get them, because they’re full.

The sky’s not falling. This is a very good class. Does Florida need to finish strong and get a couple more big name guys? Sure. Nate Craig-Myers out there. There’s a lot of good players out there that Florida’s after, but remember it’s only the first weekend of the thing. McElwain’s going to bring in his big name guys this coming weekend and the last weekend of the recruiting cycle. That’s when he wants to finish strong. Getting a kid to commit January 15th is nothing if he’s going to take two more official visits.

Nick:                         That is true. Every time we talk about this it reminds me of what Randy Shannon said when we had a chance to talk to him during the season. He said, “I don’t understand how you’re committed to somebody and then going on visits somewhere else. That’s like having a girlfriend and then going on dates with other girls.” To me I always laugh at the I’m committed to DeVry, but I’m going to take five officials, and I’ll make a final decision. Then you’re not committed.

Andrew:                 That’s kind of what a guy like Antonneous Clayton said. He’s like, “I feel bad taking an official to somewhere else, because I’m committed here. I promised this school that I’m going to go here. So if I take a visit to this school then I’ve kind of disrespected Florida, because I’m committed here.” He just said he kind of feels weird about it. I have mixed emotions about that. I really do. I understand kids wanting to take the official visits. It is only one time to do it, and schools push so much for a commitment. I’m torn here. I really am. Part of me says let them go ahead and take an official, and then part of me says, you committed for a reason. If nobody committed and took officials visits, then everybody would commit on Signing Day.

Nick:                         That’s true.

Andrew:                 Then I would have no job during the season.

Nick:                         You’d have a lot of time to golf.

Andrew:                 That I would, but you’ve got have money to golf. I don’t know if Gator Country’s going to pay me for my football insight.

Nick:                         Maybe, maybe not. They do pay you for the recruiting insight, and as you mentioned before I cut you off, lot of recruits on campus this past week. What are they saying? How did the staff do? What’s the latest coming out of Gainesville after the first weekend of official visits after the dead period?

Andrew:                 Like I said, it wasn’t a huge weekend. Didn’t get a lot of success out of the weekend, but it was some of these guys that maybe Florida had less of a chance with visiting this weekend. Run through the official visitors real quick. Brett Heggie, Jawaan Taylor, and Jachai Polite were all commits on campus this weekend. Jachai is a guy that has got USC coming after him a little bit. Florida did do a good job there. He said he’s very solid to Florida. Still plans to take that trip to USC. I think this trip really helped Florida. Everything I’ve been told, his parents want him close to home. LA ain’t close to home. I like where Florida’s going to go with Jachai. Then Brett Heggie and Jawaan Taylor they were just recruiting. Brett’s one of the most solid kids in the class. Nothing there.

The uncommitted guys were Chris Brown, the DB about of Texas. I think it was just a Florida’s going to invite me over here for a trip, so I’m going out there. I just don’t see Florida landing him. His buddy, linebacker Dontavious Jackson, Florida in his top five, with Michigan, Alabama, Texas, and Florida State. Florida’s in there. Florida’s got a shot. My opinion is Texas gets him at the end of the day. I don’t think he’s a good fit for the SEC. I don’t think he’s a good fit for the Big 12, to be honest with you. He’s a Big Ten linebacker in my opinion. He’s a big, can’t move really linebacker. I think he’s better for Big Ten, but Florida’s got a shot. I think it’s a slim shot, but they’ve got a shot.

Then they hosted Georgia linebacker commit, Jaleel Laguins. I think that’s how you say it.

Nick:                         It looks like Laguins.

Andrew:                 Okay. Laguins is sticking with Georgia. You heard it here first. If it’s not Georgia, it’s Alabama. He just came down to Florida because it was Gainesville, and it wasn’t freezing cold in Gainesville on Saturday.

Nick:                         Why didn’t you say this when I asked you last week? I said, who’s coming just for the free trip?

Andrew:                 Because then people wouldn’t read my stories.

Nick:                         Unbelievable.

Andrew:                 Unbelievable. No. I did think he had a littler interest, but after talking to some more people about it, it was more I get to down there and chill this weekend, so that’s there.

Final two guys on campus this weekend were offensive lineman John Simpson and big offensive lineman Landon Dickerson. Start with Simpson real quick. Florida/Clemson’s got to be the battle here. Florida made up a ton of ground this weekend. Florida’s got a great shot here. There was some kind of blowup between him and Clemson during the fall, and that kind of pushed Clemson out of the lead. We’ll see if that gets taken care of when he takes his official there this coming weekend, but Florida’s got a shot there.

Then Landon Dickerson, my opinion Florida State’s still the leader there. He doesn’t like to talk a lot, but from everything I’ve heard Florida actually feels pretty good about it, from what Brett Heggie and a couple other guys told me. Florida thinks they may be in the mix there. Coming out of the weekend I would say Florida probably has the best shot with John Simpson, and I think that’s who I even predicted heading into the weekend who Florida would have the best shot with. I guess I’m batting 100.

Nick:                         There you go. Florida is looking for how many more offensive linemen?

Andrew:                 Two. One to two more, preferably two, but can get away with one. Juco Malcolm Pridgeon, that’s the kid out of New York. That’s probably the top target right now for the Gators. He’s a Juco kid. He can come in, play guard or tackle, and we all know there’s one spot left on that offensive line after you look at a guy like Fred Johnson, Sharpe, Ivey, and Tyler Jordan. There’s one spot available. Who’s going to take it? Could be a Juco guy, or it could be one of those freshmen guys. One to two more. I can say this. Marcus Tatum, see you. Get off the list. He didn’t show up this weekend. I think Mac, I don’t want to say got his feelings hurt, but I think Mac basically said, you didn’t come, so we’re moving on.

Nick:                         That’s how it should be.

Andrew:                 I agree. I completely agree.

Nick:                         It’s kind of what we said before. You commit to Tennessee, and I think it was me, it might have been you, but we said if you show up at Florida it means that commitment to Tennessee is probably not that strong. If you don’t show up, then you’re probably shutting it down. Doesn’t show up. Good for you. You’ve made your decision. Florida will see you the next three, four, five years.

Andrew:                 Have fun at rocky top. Say hello to Butch Jones for me.

Nick:                         Yeah. I think that’s something good to talk about, because we had mentioned it. You don’t show up, no hurt feelings, but we’re just not going to talk to you anymore.

Andrew:                 People say, don’t give up on it, but it’s one of those deals where you’re going to waste four to five hours with that kid a week. You say, four to five, that’s a lot of time. You’ve got to think they’re going to go in home from probably two, two and a half hours there. They’re going to go to the school, see him there. We’ll see. I think they made a good decision.

Nick:                         To me, if he had shown up, and you had it, and then he’s still showing interest, absolutely. Continue recruiting him. This was kind of the moment where you decide that. If he shows up, we’ll continue recruiting him. If he doesn’t, wash our hands of it. I think you got to wash your hands of it. There’s other kids who aren’t committed that are still showing interest, and you have to put your time and energy into them.

Andrew:                 Exactly. There’s many guys out there. I mean, Monday when we’re taping this Coach Mac is visiting Quincy Litton and Kristian Fulton with Coach Skip. Coach Shannon is up in Montgomery visiting with Mack Wilson and those guys. It’s getting that time of the year where prospects are coming on campus. You’re just trying to get the last word and gain some momentum. Again, I think Florida finishes this class well. You look at what they’re looking at right here. If they can get two more offensive linemen or one more offensive lineman, get another DB in the class, get a receiver and a tight end, you’re looking at this, and you’re thinking this is a pretty good class. Maybe sneak in another linebacker or so. It’s a good class.

Would you have liked to land Nate Craig, Benjamin Victor, all those guys, at the last minute? Sure, but we all know everybody’s not going to land that. Georgia has to almost go perfect towards the end, because they don’t have anybody in the class right now. They’re trying to load their class up.

Nick:                         Right. Jim McElwain and Shannon were also in with Josh Uche.

Andrew:                 Uche.

Nick:                         Uche.

Andrew:                 I don’t know. That’s what I call him.

Nick:                         Uche.

Andrew:                 I just say, what’s up, Uche.

Nick:                         That works. He probably hates you. They were down in Miami visiting him, defensive end.

Andrew:                 Linebacker. Do not call him a defensive end. He will rip your head off.

Nick:                         Outside linebacker.

Andrew:                 He will rip your head off.

Nick:                         I don’t want to make him angry.

Andrew:                 Uche will rip your head off and say ouch to you. That was a pretty good play.

Nick:                         There you go.

Andrew:                 Florida has got a great shot there. Florida, Auburn, and I believe it’s either Miami or Michigan is his third. Basically it’s Florida or Miami for him. I think it’s Florida, Auburn, and Miami is his final three. Might be Florida, Auburn, and Michigan. I don’t know. Florida’s the school. I think he goes to Florida. I really do. I think he’s a good outside linebacker that can be kind of that rush end. Kind of like that Jeremy Powell role where he can rush or can also play outside in the flat. Good player there as well. Kind of like Jeremiah Moon a little bit. Good player, for sure. I think that as long as Florida has a good official visit with him on the 29th that the Gators can get him. Should be a fun week.

I know we’ll have one on Friday where we’re going to preview what’s going on for this coming weekend. Basketball, Mississippi State this weekend, or tomorrow, correct? Nicholas?

Nick:                         I’m here. It was actually a huge win for Florida down there at Ole Miss, other than it being a homecoming for Mike White. It snapped a seven game SEC road losing streak dating back to last season. Big for Florida. Even if it’s just got the monkey off our back, we won one on the road. We don’t have to think about it or have questions asked about it, talk about it anymore. That’s big. You’re going to get two home games. There’s only 14 games left, 8 of those at home, 6 on the road. Florida’s going to have to win some big road games, including in Nashville at Vanderbilt, in Lexington at Kentucky. There are some big games still left on the schedule. They’re going to need to win those on the road.

KeVaughn Allen, you just need to, if I’m Coach White I’m bringing him into my office, and I’m saying, “Listen. The time to be nice and to be selfless is over. You are our best scorer. We need to attack.” That’s kind of the mentality he had against Ole Miss. Attack, he was aggressive. Scored 27 points. You need to get that kind of production, maybe not 27 points every night, but that kind of attitude and that kind of aggressiveness is what you need from KeVaughn Allen, a diaper dandy.

Andrew:                 Diaper dandy, baby. That’s my guy, Dickie V. KeVaughn’s a player. I said this to someone when he committed. I was like, this guy’s a player. Richard Davenport, a good friend of ours from Arkansas, was telling me. He was like, this guy can shoot the rock. He is playing really good ball. Even Egbunu is playing good ball as well. Mississippi State. It’s a big on this weekend, so maybe they can do well. Also, the women’s basketball team did well. They’re ranked 22nd now in the country. First time being ranked since 2009. Amanda Butler got the girls rolling.

Nick:                         Yeah. We are only just over a month away from softball and baseball. Both of those teams will be making runs to the World Series. You can just go ahead and book that flight for both of them, and recruiting, so there’s still a lot going on.

Andrew:                 The best thing about the College Football Championship game, there’s a bad thing and a good thing. The bad thing is there’s no football. The good thing is that means baseball is right around the corner. Less than 100 days till opening day for Major League baseball.

Nick:                         Can’t wait to watch the Marlins again.

Andrew:                 I absolutely cannot wait to watch the Braves. It may not be very good, but it is Braves baseball all day long.

Nick:                         Who will the worst team in the NL East? Will it be the Braves or the Marlins?

Andrew:                 Phillies.

Nick:                         I think the Marlins can give everyone a run for their money and hold down that bottom spot.

Andrew:                 Phillies are going to be awful. Phillies are going to be terrible, really, really bad.

Nick:                         So are the Marlins.

Andrew:                 I don’t know. I just don’t understand Miami’s program in general.

Nick:                         Neither do they.

Andrew:                 I guess it could be worse. I guess it could be like Tennessee and go hire your interim offensive coordinator after you just fired the head coach there. What are the Titans doing? I’d hate to be a Titans fan. Are you kidding me?

Nick:                         Poor Marcus Mariota.

Andrew:                 Let me ask you this. Would you rather be a Titans fan or a South Carolina Gamecock fan? Hire Willy Muschamp, or hire Mike Mularkey?

Nick:                         Titans. There is more of a chance of Mularkey being successful.

Andrew:                 Yes. Also, next week, Nick, big week for us. We’ll have senior bowl coverage next week. Should be fun.

Nick:                         Jake McGee, who else? Jake McGee, Antonio Morrison, and who am I forgetting?

Andrew:                 Bullard.

Nick:                         And Jon Jon Bullard. Big week out there. Also Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett will be out there.

Andrew:                 I think the real thing is you’re just happy to be in Mobile.

Nick:                         Negative. Alabama, worst state in the Union.

Andrew:                 In the Union? We weren’t in the Union.

Nick:                         The Union. Worst state in the United States of America.

Andrew:                 Then you say the US of A.

Nick:                         All right, Andrew.

Andrew:                 The Union is the northern people like in the war. It was the Union and the Confederates. The Union was anything north of Kentucky, and everything south of Kentucky was the Confederates.

Nick:                         Thank you for the history lesson.

Andrew:                 You’re good. That’s $20. People are probably tired of listening to our history lesson. Let’s send everybody out on a good note. Tell the people where they can find us.

Nick:                         @NickdelaTorreGC on Twitter. @AndrewSpiveyGC on Twitter. @GatorCountry. It’s also TheGatorCountry on Instagram. Edits going up there on the daily. Check out our Facebook page. Go to Facebook.com. Search Gator Country. All the edits, stories, and breaking news that you will find on the site, on Twitter, will also be on Facebook. We’re building a good community over there where people can talk. It’s like a little supplement to our message boards. Check it out across all social medias. Go ahead and double tap on my Instagram pictures. Hit the follow button on Twitter. I’ll see you guys there.

Andrew:                 I’m close to 10,000 followers, so get me there. I’ll give a shout out to somebody. As always, Butch, Mark, you know the drill, and chomp, chomp. Go Braves.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country

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University of Florida safety Marcus Maye celebrates a tackle against the Vanderbilt Commodores- Florida Gators football- 1280x852
Florida Gators get Maye and Davis for one more season

Marcus Maye and Jarrad Davis will both return to the Florida Gators for their senior year.

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