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    University of Florida head coach Jim McElwain leads his team through warmups before the Florida Gators game against the Georgia Bulldogs in 2015 / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

Recruiting mailbag and
Florida Gators diamond podcast

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Written by Andrew Spivey, May 24, 2016, 1 Comment,
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This GatorCountry podcast has a lot different things to offer Florida Gators fans as we take you recruiting questions, plus talk Florida diamond sports on this edition.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down the Gators recruiting class, while answering your questions about certain positions and when the next commit will happen.

Andrew and Nick also talk about how the Gators softball team did in the Gainesville Regional, plus how the baseball team finished last weekend heading into the SEC tournament.

TRANSCRIPT:
Andrew:​What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here. Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, successful weekend for softball; okay for baseball. Tough weekend, and very unfortunate for baseball, but, all things considered, good weekend.
Nick:​Yeah. Baseball ends up dropping. It was a weird weekend due to weather, but baseball ends up dropping two of three at LSU. The team hasn’t been swept since 2013, but that was also at LSU, so that was something we were watching there as the series ended on Saturday. The season is done. A school record 44 wins in the regular season, so the team accomplished a lot, even though you don’t get what you expected or hoped for in that last weekend of the year.
Andrew:​Here’s my take on things, real quick. We can discuss this more here in a minute, but kind of the way that the circumstances of the game, and then Puk being sick, just basically took away Florida’s biggest strength, and that’s their starting two, or their first two starting pitchers. When you throw Shore out there you’re expecting him to go seven or eight, and one or two runs, and then that game gets shortened, and it’s like we just lost possibly our best player on the team for the whole weekend.
Nick:​Look at it. You get two and a third from Logan because of weather, and then Puk has the stomach issue, so your #1, your #2 pitcher give you less than five innings.
Andrew:​Without getting rocked.
Nick:​Nothing you can do about it. Shore hadn’t given up a run. Puk had given up one run. No, Puk had not given up a run, but he left with a runner on base that ended up being charged back to him. The weather, it’s baseball. You can’t really help it, but it’s tough to win games, especially at LSU. That’s a tough place to play. They packed the Alex Box Stadium, 10,000; there were almost 11,000 people there on Saturday, 10,900 people there to see a baseball game. That’s a crazy environment. When you only get that kind of limited performance from guys that you expect to be able to go five, six, seven. In Logan Shore’s case, seven, eight, maybe even working into the ninth, and you only get a couple innings out of them; that really hurts you. Not just from hurting the bullpen, but also hurts you mentally, because these are guys that you feed off of, and they throw zeros on the board, and you’re able to bounce back and build off of what they’re doing on the mound.
Andrew:​That’s kind of what I was at. It’s just, Florida’s starting pitching is really good. Their relief pitching is really good, but when you’re asking guys like Shawn Anderson, when you’re asking Snead, those guys, to come in and start off a game or pitch multiple innings, you definitely make the limit of effectiveness go down a little bit.
Nick:​Especially weird when you play, you start a game Thursday, and then you kind of have to forget that, then play a game, a full game, Saturday, and then turn around 12 hours later and go back to we’re playing Thursday’s game, and then we have another game after. It was just a weird weekend. Florida, obviously, I’m not going to say LSU handled it better; LSU’s a very good team, but it is what it is, and Florida, who was #1 in the country all year long, who was if not #1 then #2 and then back up to #1, they’ll be the fourth seed in the SEC Tournament. That’s just kind of how it goes.
Andrew:​It is. Let’s talk a little softball real quick. We can get more in depth in baseball, SEC Tournament, that kind of stuff, but first let’s talk about the successful softball team.
Nick:​There is a brick wall around home plate when Florida hosts a softball regional.
Andrew:​Yeah. It has gone back to 2013 since the last time Florida has given up a run in regional play. This weekend, this past weekend, play Alabama State. We all expected that to probably get a little ugly. It did. Won 11-0, Florida did. Then they played UCF, who is a really good UCF team with really good starting pitching. Nick, I made the comment to you I thought it would be a 2-0 game. Florida found a way to win 5-0 on Saturday. Turned around on Sunday and run ruled UCF and that really good pitching staff, 8-0, and Florida wins the Gainesville Regional by outscoring their opponents 24-0. It’s incredible to think about this stat that I’m about to throw your way. Ten straight shutouts in regional play in 79 1/3 innings without giving up a run in regional play.
Nick:​It doesn’t make sense. So many things can happen. A walk, a pass ball, and a bloop, and there’s a run. It happens so quickly. To be able to say for 10 straight games on that stage, on a regional stage, where you’re not even letting something like that happen is pretty remarkable.
Andrew:​I mean, it is. Was this regional packed with good teams? I mean, if you’re looking at pitching staff wise they had three of the top eight pitching staffs in America. They didn’t face FAU, who had the #2 pitcher in the country, Earned Run Average; she’s sandwiched between Ocasio and Gourley. They didn’t face them, but UCF’s got really good pitching staff, Alabama State. Still, like you say, a bloop and a blast, or a bloop and an error, gets run, and that streak’s over with. It’s crazy to me that Florida will also be in the Super Regional for the ninth time in 10 years, and four straight years. This senior class has never ended their season without going to the Super Regionals.
Nick:​That senior class has done so many, they’re kind of like the opposite, I feel like if we remember back to football in 2013 it was like the last time, this is the worst since, the worst since. This senior class, the softball team, it’s like this has never happened before. It’s pretty remarkable, and it’s kind of like any stat you can think of with them it’s that’s the first time, that’s the most, or that’s the best. The job that they’ve done is pretty incredible when you look at it on paper. It doesn’t even really make sense, the success that they’ve been able to have, especially when you start thinking about how the pressure starts kind of building and compounding once you win it once, and then you win it again, and now you’re being expected to do more and more.
Andrew:​Here’s my thing, and this is something, Nick, we can discuss here a little bit. We hadn’t even talked about it. We talked about Walton, and we talk about Sully’s out of conference schedule. Florida’s, they’re perfect out of conference this year. They faced Michigan, #2 in the country; they faced Louisiana Lafayette, #13 in the country. Washington, who’s a top 10 team. The top teams in the country Florida has faced. Everybody that goes to Oklahoma City, Florida’s just about going to play, with the exception of Oklahoma, if they make it. My thing is that I’m just not sure that it’s different for them right now. I wonder how the mindset really changes, because they faced these girls. They faced these teams, and it almost, and it’s cliché to say it, everyone says it, but I think it almost could be another game for these girls.
Nick:​What do you mean? In the sense of they’ve played on such big stages that…
Andrew:​They’ve played these teams, you know what I’m saying? They’ve played UCF. When they go to Oklahoma City, I’ll say it; they’re going to win the Super Regional. We’ll talk about that in a second. They’re going to go to Oklahoma City, and they’re going to have played every team that’s in Oklahoma City already. It’s almost like, I don’t want to say no fear, but it’s almost like we’ve already beaten this team; it’s just another tournament. Maybe that’s cliché to say, and maybe that’s not the mindset Tim Walton wants them to have, but it almost seems like he has done it so well. I don’t know.
Nick:​Maybe it’s also, I mean you talk about the schedule, the out of conference schedule, and how tough that is. Maybe it’s also the core group has played on the biggest stage. So when you’re getting to a regional game it’s kind of almost like just another regular season game.
Andrew:​That’s kind of what I was saying. It seems like it’s just another game, as they say. Florida, though, will go into Super Regionals. They play an SEC team in Georgia.
Nick:​The world’s largest outdoor softball party.
Andrew:​I just say, Florida’s faced all these teams, but they haven’t faced Georgia this year. That was one of the rare years Florida doesn’t play them in Super Regional play. So that’s what it’s going to be. It’s going to be Florida and Georgia in a little different setup, Thursday Friday for the Super Regionals. Florida and Georgia will get the prime time slots.
Nick:​Why is that? Is that just a TV thing?
Andrew:​Yeah. TV thing. The way they do the Super Regionals is either Thursday, Friday, or Friday, Saturday, or Saturday, Sunday. Florida’s going to get that prime time spot on 7:00 on Thursday, and then they’ll play two games on Friday if necessary. If Florida wins game two, or Georgia wins one and two, then it’ll be over with, but if not they’ll play game three on Friday night as well. For that, that’s more like you won the first game, we’re going to punish that team that has to win two on Saturday, or Friday in this case; so we’re going to play them back to back.
Nick:​Now, what do you think Tim Walton will do with his pitchers?
Andrew:​Walton likes to use all three. This year he has. When he gets into postseason play he seems to rely more on two, and a reliever. If I’m trying to envision what Tim Walton does, I say he goes Aleshia Ocasio on Thursday in Game 1. He’ll probably go Gourley in Game 2, and if they get ahead in Game 1 probably bring in Barnhill a little bit. I think Barnhill’s going to be more so relocated and positioned as a reliever, even though I’m not really sure she’s the best there. It’s kind of Puk in baseball. Barnhill’s a overpowering pitcher that, do you really want to bring her in if someone’s struggling, with her ability and past nature of walking people?
Nick:​That’s another thing. I guess we already talked about it, but you wouldn’t really think that the stage would be too big for Barnhill, having pitched against Michigan and some bigger teams.
Andrew:​I think that’s what we talked about at the beginning of the year when we talked about that. You throw Barnhill in her first ever appearance, and it’s against Michigan. If you’re Tim Walton, you’re sitting here thinking, Kelly, what are you scared of? You just pitched against Michigan two months ago in your first start ever. They’re the best offensive team in the country. What are you worried about?
Nick:​It’ll be interesting. It’s not even really a question most softball teams have, how do you handle the pitching staff? We’re going to throw our ace.
Andrew:​Yeah.
Nick:​When are you going to throw her? We’re going to throw her every game that we have. Any inning that we have, she will be throwing.
Andrew:​Yeah. It’s funny, because Texas A&M actually had that situation. They lost to Louisiana Lafayette in the tournament, in the regionals, but their pitcher had thrown a double header on Saturday and threw on Sunday. She had thrown four straight days, something like well over 450 pitches in a weekend, and threw 150 in nine innings on Sunday, and then got rocked in the ninth inning for two runs to lose. You start to think about it. When are teams going to start recruiting multiple pitchers, especially a team like A&M. I mean, yes, we all understand throwing underhanded is not bad for the arm, but 150 tosses underhanded has to be getting tired, and you’re in the ninth inning; you give up two runs to lose the regional, because your pitcher’s thrown 150 pitches. I think it might have been time for a Bellsouth call to the bullpen.
Nick:​The way it works is that softball pitchers their legs will give out before their arms do. Just because that’s a natural movement for the shoulder, and you’re really driving with your legs. If you can throw it, then throw it, but it’s definitely much different than baseball. 150 pitches in a week someone’s dad would be running down and wringing Kevin O’Sullivan’s neck if their son was throwing 150 pitches in a weekend.
Andrew:​Hell, you and I are sitting here thinking Sully’s never going to throw Shore and Puk last weekend, and a lot of teams would have come back with their starters.
Nick:​Paul Mainieri said that Alex Lange was available Sunday. Obviously they didn’t need to use him, but said he was available.
Andrew:​Exactly. Anyway, we’ll go baseball here real quick. Just a reminder, real quick, Florida softball Thursday night, 7:00. Friday 5:00, and then an if necessary game at 8:00.
Nick:​I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it will not be necessary.
Andrew:​I highly doubt it will be necessary, highly doubt it’ll be necessary. Stations haven’t been finalized, I guess, ESPN, ESPN 2 or ESPN U. One of those will have it. haven’t finalized it yet, probably later in the week. One side note though, expect Tim Walton to be calling Oklahoma State this weekend. First base coach last year, Coach Kenny Gajewski, is the Oklahoma State coach, and they took a game from Georgia in the regional, and almost had a chance to come down to Gainesville to play.
Nick:​It’ll be a quick weekend, I think. Not even, it’ll be over before the weekend.
Andrew:​5:00, maybe 7:00 Friday. About two hours after happy hour people will be celebrating.
Nick:​Then on the baseball diamond, Florida, the big part about Florida’s weekend was that they did win on Sunday, which made them the fourth seed, so they get a bye. The SEC Tournament starts on Tuesday, and it’s single elimination on Tuesday. So you’ve got a team like Vanderbilt, very good team. Team like LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky, they’ll all play. So there will be four games, eight teams playing, on Tuesday. Win or go home. That gets you into Wednesday, where the top four seeds. The top four seeds are Mississippi State, one, South Carolina, two. Those are the West and East champions. Texas A&M, three, and Florida, four. That starts your double elimination portion of the tournament, and you really don’t want to have to get into the loser’s bracket, especially early. Florida will face the winner of LSU and Tennessee. AJ Puk is going to throw Wednesday. Florida will throw Logan Shore on Thursday, and you would expect them to win at least one of those two games, and give you a third game on Friday, which will be Alex Faedo. Then if you get to Saturday you’re figuring it out from there.
Andrew:​It’s double elimination after the first round.
Nick:​After the first round it’s double elimination. So Tuesday, the games will start tomorrow. Games all day tomorrow. 9:30AM Vandy versus Missouri. Win or go home. 1:00, Ole Miss versus Georgia. 4:30, Kentucky versus Alabama. 8:00PM LSU versus Tennessee. So that will be the late game, and Florida will play at 8:00PM on Wednesday.
Andrew:​Right. So tomorrow, Tuesday when you guys are listening to this, is elimination day. Got you. That’s a little different from softball. Softball’s single elimination. Kind of crazy. Should be backwards. Should be the other way around. Baseball should be single elimination; the arms get tired.
Nick:​It’s a long tournament, especially if you get into that loser’s bracket, and then you’ve got to come back and play even more games to get to the final, and Florida’s had to do that before, battling back and coming back in the tournament. We’ll see what they do, what they do coming up. I think it’s interesting that you throw Puk first. I think it’s probably just a time thing. The announcers were talking on SEC Network, I’d probably throw Alex Faedo. Really? Right now Logan Shore’s your ace, and Alex Faedo’s your second best pitcher. So they were talking about throwing Faedo, but he throws 90 some pitches on Saturday, Kevin O’Sullivan’s not going to run him out there on Wednesday. Not going to happen.
Andrew:​Not happening. We’ll see. Real quick, before we move on, update on Jackson Cowart. Is he coming back?
Nick:​Now that it’s kind of out there, we were just asked by the family not to talk about it until it came out about what the issue was, because we able to break the news that he would be out. Jackson had, he hit a growth spurt. The way it was explained to me, he hit a growth spurt in high school that was very quick, very rapid, and so drastic that it started to give him issues, and he had a collapsed lung in high school. That happened again, his lung collapsed before the Tennessee series. So it was never anything that he did wrong. It wasn’t throwing. His arm wasn’t sore. It was his lung collapsed. Can’t play baseball with a collapses lung. So he had to have surgery, spent some time in the hospital, and lost weight. I remember the first time I saw him back. He kind, he just looked sick, like a gray, or like a greenish tint to your skin, bags under your eyes; clearly he’d lost some weight. So Kevin O’Sullivan today on the teleconference, or Monday on the teleconference, said he’s put on about 5-7 pounds, and it’s really going to be up to the doctors, but everyone is thinking that he’ll be able to come back and possibly pitch in a regional, if he keeps on this trajectory. Also, Pete Alonso got good news last week. The swelling has gone down in his hand, and he is still projected to be able to come back and play for Florida in a regional.
Andrew:​That’s huge news.
Nick:​That’s huge. Pete Alonso is leading the team in the following categories: batting average, doubles, homeruns, RBIs, total bases, slugging percentage, and on base percentage. So that’s what Florida has been missing for the last five games.
Andrew:​Basically he’s leading the offense.
Nick:​He’s leading the offense.
Andrew:​Yeah.
Nick:​Real quick, both of those guys are making the trip to Hoover, so they will be there, at least in spirit, or not in spirit, in person to cheer on and be there for the team.
Andrew:​That’ll cause your offense to struggle a little bit.
Nick:​I mean, you take out the guy who’s leading every offensive category, then you start trying to mix and match around it; it’s going to hurt. A team that isn’t a great offensive team to begin with, and then you take out the best offensive player. Going to have some issues.
Andrew:​Real quick, before we move on, we’re going to move on to do some recruiting questions from the message board, but SEC team released Monday afternoon. Go ahead and say it, tell everybody where they are, and then I’ll make my case on some of the things that were wrong.
Nick:​No surprise, Logan Shore, first team, All-SEC. Shore was a first team All-SEC selection in 2014 as a freshman, and was the freshman of the year. Was not selected to any team last year. He’s a first teamer. Shawn Anderson also, his 10 saves, he’s a first team, All-SEC. Then you have Pete Alonso, Mike Rivera, Dalton Guthrie on the second team, and Deacon Liput and Jonathan India both make the all-freshman team. Two people I think could have gotten some consideration and didn’t. One is Kirby Snead, led the league in appearances, and the other would be Alex Faedo, led the league in wins.
Andrew:​Yeah. Faedo is a guy that is, I don’t even know if you can call him underrated, because, I mean, he is underrated, but I understand him not getting talked about as much, because he is a guy that is not going to be drafted this year. He has another year left, but I don’t know. I feel like in some way or another he’s overshadowed by other guys, and that’s okay. I don’t understand how you don’t put him there. The one that I have a problem with is Pete Alonso not being first team. A lot of people have this as the best team in the country in Florida, and you don’t put their best offensive player there? Come on now.
Nick:​There’s a lot of really good hitters in the league, but Pete’s had a tremendous season. He’s going to be a guy that’s going to be very tough to replace when he gets drafted and leaves.
Andrew:​Yeah. I don’t know. Sometimes, no, it ain’t even sometimes. Just about every time I see SEC or any preseason, postseason, predictions, I lose more and more faith in SIDs and stuff like that, or whoever is voting for this stuff. I don’t know. I lose more and more respect for it. We can still go back to the softball where the best pitcher in the country doesn’t make it, and is not named pitcher of the year. It is what it is.
Nick:​It is what it is.
Andrew:​It is what it is, but we had some recruiting questions. We asked everybody on the message board to give us some recruiting questions. We all know that is what a lot of people are upset about in football or football recruiting. They’re upset because the commits are not coming as quickly as everyone wants it to be. Real quick I’m going to go on a rant about it. So here we go. Prepare yourself. Mute it if you don’t want to hear it.
​You gripe when Florida takes guys that are maybe reaches early on, because you want them to take the big fish. Big fish don’t commit in March, April, and May of their junior years. Most of them don’t. There’s a few that do. Most of them don’t, the James Robinsons of the world, not going to make a decision there. There’s going to be big name guys everywhere that just aren’t. Florida is in for flips in Shawn Wade, in for flips in Alex Leatherwood, Calvin Ashley, those kind of guys. They’re not going to flip right now. It opens up too many cans of worms. Let’s relax and see where things are after the summer. Florida’s not sitting 10-12 commits in the summertime, then you can start to be upset, be nervous. Not in May. Let’s not do it in May.
Nick:​That was a pretty subdued rant.
Andrew:​It was.
Nick:​I actually took my headset off.
Andrew:​You did?
Nick:​Normally when you want to rant I can take my headset off, walk away, make a sandwich. I can hear when you start to slow down and come back and rejoin the conversation without damaging my hearing.
Andrew:​I’m trying to be relaxed in talking about my rant today, but it is, it begins to, I don’t know. I guess it begins to irritate. I guess that’s the best way to say it. You look at the way things are going right now, and Florida’s in on some dudes. I don’t use that word very often, because I think it’s not cool, but when you’re going after some of these big name dudes, as you want to call them, patience. Patience is a virtue, even though it’s not in recruiting. Things are going well. This staff has done a great job of being out in the evaluation period, hitting a lot of different schools, and getting a lot of guys ready to come on camp.
​The first week of June is Florida’s camp, and then they hit satellite camps. There is a ton of guys scheduled to visit Florida in the first couple of weeks, and if Florida’s scheduled to go to these satellite camps, then they’re going to hit the big name guys, the big name targets, at these satellite camps. I think then is when you’ll see some things move, and if Florida doesn’t pick up commitments by then, then there is some concern. Right now I don’t see it as a concern. In my opinion, if February, I think it’s 3rd this year is Signing Day, if you sign a top five recruiting class, are you really going to pissed off because it wasn’t top five in May?
Nick:​No.
Andrew:​Yeah. There you go. Nick, we got some recruiting questions. You want to fire away with them? Nick, did we say goodbye to you?
Nick:​No. I’m here. I’m here.
Andrew:​Okay.
Nick:​First one is from Gators244, who is the first defensive player to pop for Florida?
Andrew:​We just talked about that we didn’t want to, we wanted to be patient, and the first question is that.
Nick:​I’m just going by the questions.
Andrew:​You’re just going by the questions. You’re just going to be that dude?
Nick:​I’m a dude.
Andrew:​Okay.
Nick:​You know that. I’m a dude.
Andrew:​You might be a dude, but I’m the dude.
Nick:​Here we go.
Andrew:​There we go. First one, I’ll say it. I think it’s going to be defensive tackle Jordan Scott. 6’1”, 345 pounds. I think that’ll be it, and I think it’ll be pretty soon. That’ll hit two areas of concern. Somebody committing, and then where is the defensive tackles? So Florida will be able to knock out two of them, and knock off two checkmarks in the concern page for Florida fans.
Nick:​Who was that again?
Andrew:​Jordan Scott, defensive tackle out of Pinellas Park.
Nick:​There you go.
Andrew:​6’1” or 6’ .5”, 345 pounds of raw motor.
Nick:​CTresh wants to know, whatever happened to Kai-Leon Herbert? He was looking to good to commit at the spring game, decided against it. Is Florida still looking good there?
Andrew:​Okay. Yeah. I mean, I think the biggest thing for him was he got on campus. He was with the Allen family, and didn’t have his mom with him. Everything’s still going there. Florida leads by a long shot. You can a trip to Mars, and it still wouldn’t be long enough. Summertime decision for there. Allen and Herbert are best friends. Florida would have to really mess it up not to land Kai-Leon Herbert. Things are fine. That is a right tackle, left tackle. Very good player for the Gators.
Nick:​You’ll need to start replacing tackles pretty soon here.
Andrew:​Tackles is really low. When you sit here, and you look at it, I mean really Sharpe, Ivey, Fred Johnson. Maybe Richard Desire-Jones.
Nick:​I think he’s more of an interior guy, kind of seen him working.
Andrew:​I’m trying to think of who else has really worked at tackle. Harkless had worked at tackle. I mean, you just laughed.
Nick:​You’re going to need to replace tackles.
Andrew:​I don’t know. Is there, who was working at tackle this spring?
Nick:​You’ve got those three, and that’s really, you can slide Martez Ivey maybe out. That’s what you’re going with. There’s other guys that can work there. Harkless has worked there. Andrew Mike has worked there in the past. Those aren’t guys that you’re going to put there in a game.
Andrew:​No.
Nick:​Yeah, they’ve done it in practice. You’re not putting them there in a game. You need to start replacing talent there.
Andrew:​Tackles is huge. I would say that the class is probably three tackles, one, maybe two, interior guys.
Nick:​GatorNica, always in my baseball threads, appreciate that. We really need cornerbacks, corners, that can play as freshmen. Who is Florida looking at, you think, at corner that can come in right away? If you’re looking at corner you think Jalen Tabor, gone; Quincy Wilson, very well could be gone. You’ve got some big shoes to fill there.
Andrew:​I’m going to hit of with two guys. Two guys, and it’s the best two players on the Florida recruiting board, no matter the position. I think Florida’s going to land them. First is Shawn Wade out of Trinity Christian. He’s committed to Ohio State. That’s simply out there because it’s out there. Behind the scenes, I don’t see him committed to Ohio State. He talks to Alabama and Florida as much as he talks to Ohio State. The next one is AJ Terrell that’s out of Westlake. I think both of those guys are guys that Florida eventually lands and are both guys that I think come in and can start, or if not start, play a ton of downs in 2017 when Florida needs guys. That’s exactly what it’s going to be.
​If you’re looking outside of those guys, Elijah Blades is a DB out of California, ran a 4-3, high 4-3, out at the Los Angles camp. He’s a guy there. Latavius Briney’s another cornerback there. Those two guys just are not guys that I see as immediate impact guys. When I say immediate impact guys, it’s guys that can come in and you think, they’re going play right away. When you look at Wade at 6’2” 180, and you look at Terrell at 6’2” 170, you’re very likely those two guys are your two biggest corners, and I think Florida’s got a great shot with them, and both of those guys can come in and be guys that contribute, if not starters.
Nick:​You’re not necessarily right now saying Florida is going to get these guys. There might be guys that Florida gets at cornerback that aren’t starters Day 1. That questions was more just specifically about who does Florida have a chance of getting, and that kid is someone who is a Day 1 player.
Andrew:​Yeah.
Nick:​I just didn’t want, you say that, and someone listens, and they’re like Spivey didn’t mention this player, this player, this player, so Florida’s not going to get them. They’re out.
Andrew:​Right. That’s exactly right.
Nick:​Clear it up so you don’t get yelled at on the Twitter machine.
Andrew:​Yeah, let’s not be yelling at me. I don’t need that. Let’s be calm today.
Nick:​It’s never a calm day on Twitter. We’re moving on. SwampGator asked about Jordan Scott. You already gave an answer to that, so thank you for the question. MSD, when is the next camp event on campus?
Andrew:​June 3rd. That’s seven on seven. They’ll follow that with a June 4th OL/DL camp, and then that whole next week is what I call the Florida camp circuit, and that’s where they’ll have the smaller camps where it’s morning and afternoons there. June 5-8 is what they’re calling the high school camp. Then June 5th is a kicking camp, and then the 13th-15th is kind of their younger guys, 2nd through 8th graders. Then in July they’ll have Friday Night Lights and the OL/DL camp then. June 3rd is the seven on seven camp, and if you forgot, Florida picked up three commits last year on that day. They picked up Josh Hammond, Lavarus Tigner, and Aaron Robison. Tigner and Robinson are no longer commits, but…
Nick:​Welcome to recruiting.
Andrew:​They were there. Hot Sauce, though, that was a big one. He kind of did a little bit this spring.
Nick:​Yeah.
Andrew:​If asking about a commit or two, it’s always 50/50. Do I think Florida does because of past history? Sure. I can say that about Friday Night Lights, because it always happens. I would say there’s probably a higher rate that it does than doesn’t happen, but don’t shoot me if it doesn’t.
Nick:​They’ll probably shoot you anyway.
Andrew:​Probably.
Nick:​Any update on DeAngelo Gibbs?
Andrew:​DeAngelo Gibbs. No. Florida’s still in that top group. He’s still going to take visits. He’s a guy that really and truly, I think if you asked him today where he’d go to school he’d tell you something; tomorrow he’d tell you something different, and the next day. Need to get him on campus this summer, though.
Nick:​Can you throw out five names of the top recruits that the Gators probably lead for? It’s kind of worded weird.
Andrew:​Shawn Wade. We talked about him. AJ Terrell, we talked about him. Kai-Leon Herbert, we talked about him. Trying to think of five, some other names that are different. Zach Carter, the DN out of Tampa, and let me go with, I’m trying to think of a different one that we haven’t really talked about. I’m trying to think of somebody different. James Robinson, we’ll go James Robinson as the fifth one, the wide receiver out of Lakeland. That’ll be the fifth one. I was just trying to throw some different names we hadn’t talked about. Zach Carter, James Robinson, Shawn Wade, AJ Terrell, and Kai-Leon Herbert are all five big time recruits that Florida leads for.
Nick:​That’s a pretty big list right there.
Andrew:​There you go.
Nick:​The next question there was about DBU, kind of already talked about them. Do you want again about interior defensive line?
Andrew:​We can. Let’s just talk about it. I see the question.
Nick:​Here’s the question. Why is Florida having so much trouble recruiting top inside D linemen? It seems that UF always has to go down the wire and pick other schools. Last few years when the Gators played big O lines like LSU, Alabama, the big running backs or D lines always seem to wear down. What gives?
Andrew:​First off, Florida didn’t wear down in those two games. Let’s get that out of the way real quick. Florida didn’t wear down in either game. Alabama game they probably got pissed off and said Treon couldn’t do anything, but that LSU game Florida did pretty good against Leonard Fournette.
Nick:​For a while. Leonard Fournette got his, but Leonard Fournette is…
Andrew:​But Leonard Fournette’s always going to get his. He’s always going to get his.
Nick:​Leonard Fournette is generally going to get his.
Andrew:​Let’s talk real quick. I’ll make it short. In the state of Florida it is very, very tough to recruit defensive tackle and offensive linemen. It just it is what it is. You got to go out of state a lot of times, and it’s a thing where Florida hasn’t done probably the best job doing that, but it’s also tougher to do that. It’s very tough to go out of state and recruit some of these big defensive tackles, especially when you’re going to Georgia, and you’re recruiting that Atlanta area where Auburn’s a two hour drive from there, and Georgia’s right there, and South Carolina’s right there, Tennessee’s right there. They’re all right in that neck of the woods. You’re battling for them all. It’s because of the lack of in state talent at defensive tackle that it’s there. Not an excuse. Florida’s got to do better, and they are doing better in 2017.
Nick:​There you go. It’s kind of at the forefront right now when you look at what Florida could be losing and what Florida is losing. Important to hit on that position this year.
Andrew:​Exactly. Alright, Nick, that’s a pretty good podcast in my opinion. So let’s get out of here. Tell the people where they can find us, and we’ll see everyone maybe later in the week.
Nick:​I forgot to mention, along with the SEC awards, Logan Shore was also named the pitcher of the year, SEC Pitcher of the Year.
Andrew:​Awesome. Great news for Logan Shore. That’s big for him. Really hoping to see him do well.
Nick:​10-0, fourth best ERA in the conference, and you’ve won 15 straight decisions. That’s earned.
Andrew:​Exactly. Tell the people where they can find us.
Nick:​Www.GatorCountry.com, all your latest, greatest news about the Florida Gators. You can find us on Facebook at GatorCountry. Instagram is TheGatorCountry. On Twitter, I’m @NickdelaTorreGC; he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC, and we are @GatorCountry. That’s where you can find us. Hit the follow. Hit share. Hit like. Do all that social media stuff.
Andrew:​There you go. As always, guys, we appreciate it. Come check us out on the message boards, and chomp, chomp; go Braves.
Regional Talk​​Page 12
Transcript by Five Stars Transcription

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 has a lot different things to offer Florida Gators fans as we take you recruiting questions, plus talk Florida diamond sports on this edition.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down the Gators recruiting class, while answering your questions about certain positions and when the next commit will happen.

Andrew and Nick also talk about how the Gators softball team did in the Gainesville Regional, plus how the baseball team finished last weekend heading into the SEC tournament.

TRANSCRIPT:
Andrew:​What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here. Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, successful weekend for softball; okay for baseball. Tough weekend, and very unfortunate for baseball, but, all things considered, good weekend.
Nick:​Yeah. Baseball ends up dropping. It was a weird weekend due to weather, but baseball ends up dropping two of three at LSU. The team hasn’t been swept since 2013, but that was also at LSU, so that was something we were watching there as the series ended on Saturday. The season is done. A school record 44 wins in the regular season, so the team accomplished a lot, even though you don’t get what you expected or hoped for in that last weekend of the year.
Andrew:​Here’s my take on things, real quick. We can discuss this more here in a minute, but kind of the way that the circumstances of the game, and then Puk being sick, just basically took away Florida’s biggest strength, and that’s their starting two, or their first two starting pitchers. When you throw Shore out there you’re expecting him to go seven or eight, and one or two runs, and then that game gets shortened, and it’s like we just lost possibly our best player on the team for the whole weekend.
Nick:​Look at it. You get two and a third from Logan because of weather, and then Puk has the stomach issue, so your #1, your #2 pitcher give you less than five innings.
Andrew:​Without getting rocked.
Nick:​Nothing you can do about it. Shore hadn’t given up a run. Puk had given up one run. No, Puk had not given up a run, but he left with a runner on base that ended up being charged back to him. The weather, it’s baseball. You can’t really help it, but it’s tough to win games, especially at LSU. That’s a tough place to play. They packed the Alex Box Stadium, 10,000; there were almost 11,000 people there on Saturday, 10,900 people there to see a baseball game. That’s a crazy environment. When you only get that kind of limited performance from guys that you expect to be able to go five, six, seven. In Logan Shore’s case, seven, eight, maybe even working into the ninth, and you only get a couple innings out of them; that really hurts you. Not just from hurting the bullpen, but also hurts you mentally, because these are guys that you feed off of, and they throw zeros on the board, and you’re able to bounce back and build off of what they’re doing on the mound.
Andrew:​That’s kind of what I was at. It’s just, Florida’s starting pitching is really good. Their relief pitching is really good, but when you’re asking guys like Shawn Anderson, when you’re asking Snead, those guys, to come in and start off a game or pitch multiple innings, you definitely make the limit of effectiveness go down a little bit.
Nick:​Especially weird when you play, you start a game Thursday, and then you kind of have to forget that, then play a game, a full game, Saturday, and then turn around 12 hours later and go back to we’re playing Thursday’s game, and then we have another game after. It was just a weird weekend. Florida, obviously, I’m not going to say LSU handled it better; LSU’s a very good team, but it is what it is, and Florida, who was #1 in the country all year long, who was if not #1 then #2 and then back up to #1, they’ll be the fourth seed in the SEC Tournament. That’s just kind of how it goes.
Andrew:​It is. Let’s talk a little softball real quick. We can get more in depth in baseball, SEC Tournament, that kind of stuff, but first let’s talk about the successful softball team.
Nick:​There is a brick wall around home plate when Florida hosts a softball regional.
Andrew:​Yeah. It has gone back to 2013 since the last time Florida has given up a run in regional play. This weekend, this past weekend, play Alabama State. We all expected that to probably get a little ugly. It did. Won 11-0, Florida did. Then they played UCF, who is a really good UCF team with really good starting pitching. Nick, I made the comment to you I thought it would be a 2-0 game. Florida found a way to win 5-0 on Saturday. Turned around on Sunday and run ruled UCF and that really good pitching staff, 8-0, and Florida wins the Gainesville Regional by outscoring their opponents 24-0. It’s incredible to think about this stat that I’m about to throw your way. Ten straight shutouts in regional play in 79 1/3 innings without giving up a run in regional play.
Nick:​It doesn’t make sense. So many things can happen. A walk, a pass ball, and a bloop, and there’s a run. It happens so quickly. To be able to say for 10 straight games on that stage, on a regional stage, where you’re not even letting something like that happen is pretty remarkable.
Andrew:​I mean, it is. Was this regional packed with good teams? I mean, if you’re looking at pitching staff wise they had three of the top eight pitching staffs in America. They didn’t face FAU, who had the #2 pitcher in the country, Earned Run Average; she’s sandwiched between Ocasio and Gourley. They didn’t face them, but UCF’s got really good pitching staff, Alabama State. Still, like you say, a bloop and a blast, or a bloop and an error, gets run, and that streak’s over with. It’s crazy to me that Florida will also be in the Super Regional for the ninth time in 10 years, and four straight years. This senior class has never ended their season without going to the Super Regionals.
Nick:​That senior class has done so many, they’re kind of like the opposite, I feel like if we remember back to football in 2013 it was like the last time, this is the worst since, the worst since. This senior class, the softball team, it’s like this has never happened before. It’s pretty remarkable, and it’s kind of like any stat you can think of with them it’s that’s the first time, that’s the most, or that’s the best. The job that they’ve done is pretty incredible when you look at it on paper. It doesn’t even really make sense, the success that they’ve been able to have, especially when you start thinking about how the pressure starts kind of building and compounding once you win it once, and then you win it again, and now you’re being expected to do more and more.
Andrew:​Here’s my thing, and this is something, Nick, we can discuss here a little bit. We hadn’t even talked about it. We talked about Walton, and we talk about Sully’s out of conference schedule. Florida’s, they’re perfect out of conference this year. They faced Michigan, #2 in the country; they faced Louisiana Lafayette, #13 in the country. Washington, who’s a top 10 team. The top teams in the country Florida has faced. Everybody that goes to Oklahoma City, Florida’s just about going to play, with the exception of Oklahoma, if they make it. My thing is that I’m just not sure that it’s different for them right now. I wonder how the mindset really changes, because they faced these girls. They faced these teams, and it almost, and it’s cliché to say it, everyone says it, but I think it almost could be another game for these girls.
Nick:​What do you mean? In the sense of they’ve played on such big stages that…
Andrew:​They’ve played these teams, you know what I’m saying? They’ve played UCF. When they go to Oklahoma City, I’ll say it; they’re going to win the Super Regional. We’ll talk about that in a second. They’re going to go to Oklahoma City, and they’re going to have played every team that’s in Oklahoma City already. It’s almost like, I don’t want to say no fear, but it’s almost like we’ve already beaten this team; it’s just another tournament. Maybe that’s cliché to say, and maybe that’s not the mindset Tim Walton wants them to have, but it almost seems like he has done it so well. I don’t know.
Nick:​Maybe it’s also, I mean you talk about the schedule, the out of conference schedule, and how tough that is. Maybe it’s also the core group has played on the biggest stage. So when you’re getting to a regional game it’s kind of almost like just another regular season game.
Andrew:​That’s kind of what I was saying. It seems like it’s just another game, as they say. Florida, though, will go into Super Regionals. They play an SEC team in Georgia.
Nick:​The world’s largest outdoor softball party.
Andrew:​I just say, Florida’s faced all these teams, but they haven’t faced Georgia this year. That was one of the rare years Florida doesn’t play them in Super Regional play. So that’s what it’s going to be. It’s going to be Florida and Georgia in a little different setup, Thursday Friday for the Super Regionals. Florida and Georgia will get the prime time slots.
Nick:​Why is that? Is that just a TV thing?
Andrew:​Yeah. TV thing. The way they do the Super Regionals is either Thursday, Friday, or Friday, Saturday, or Saturday, Sunday. Florida’s going to get that prime time spot on 7:00 on Thursday, and then they’ll play two games on Friday if necessary. If Florida wins game two, or Georgia wins one and two, then it’ll be over with, but if not they’ll play game three on Friday night as well. For that, that’s more like you won the first game, we’re going to punish that team that has to win two on Saturday, or Friday in this case; so we’re going to play them back to back.
Nick:​Now, what do you think Tim Walton will do with his pitchers?
Andrew:​Walton likes to use all three. This year he has. When he gets into postseason play he seems to rely more on two, and a reliever. If I’m trying to envision what Tim Walton does, I say he goes Aleshia Ocasio on Thursday in Game 1. He’ll probably go Gourley in Game 2, and if they get ahead in Game 1 probably bring in Barnhill a little bit. I think Barnhill’s going to be more so relocated and positioned as a reliever, even though I’m not really sure she’s the best there. It’s kind of Puk in baseball. Barnhill’s a overpowering pitcher that, do you really want to bring her in if someone’s struggling, with her ability and past nature of walking people?
Nick:​That’s another thing. I guess we already talked about it, but you wouldn’t really think that the stage would be too big for Barnhill, having pitched against Michigan and some bigger teams.
Andrew:​I think that’s what we talked about at the beginning of the year when we talked about that. You throw Barnhill in her first ever appearance, and it’s against Michigan. If you’re Tim Walton, you’re sitting here thinking, Kelly, what are you scared of? You just pitched against Michigan two months ago in your first start ever. They’re the best offensive team in the country. What are you worried about?
Nick:​It’ll be interesting. It’s not even really a question most softball teams have, how do you handle the pitching staff? We’re going to throw our ace.
Andrew:​Yeah.
Nick:​When are you going to throw her? We’re going to throw her every game that we have. Any inning that we have, she will be throwing.
Andrew:​Yeah. It’s funny, because Texas A&M actually had that situation. They lost to Louisiana Lafayette in the tournament, in the regionals, but their pitcher had thrown a double header on Saturday and threw on Sunday. She had thrown four straight days, something like well over 450 pitches in a weekend, and threw 150 in nine innings on Sunday, and then got rocked in the ninth inning for two runs to lose. You start to think about it. When are teams going to start recruiting multiple pitchers, especially a team like A&M. I mean, yes, we all understand throwing underhanded is not bad for the arm, but 150 tosses underhanded has to be getting tired, and you’re in the ninth inning; you give up two runs to lose the regional, because your pitcher’s thrown 150 pitches. I think it might have been time for a Bellsouth call to the bullpen.
Nick:​The way it works is that softball pitchers their legs will give out before their arms do. Just because that’s a natural movement for the shoulder, and you’re really driving with your legs. If you can throw it, then throw it, but it’s definitely much different than baseball. 150 pitches in a week someone’s dad would be running down and wringing Kevin O’Sullivan’s neck if their son was throwing 150 pitches in a weekend.
Andrew:​Hell, you and I are sitting here thinking Sully’s never going to throw Shore and Puk last weekend, and a lot of teams would have come back with their starters.
Nick:​Paul Mainieri said that Alex Lange was available Sunday. Obviously they didn’t need to use him, but said he was available.
Andrew:​Exactly. Anyway, we’ll go baseball here real quick. Just a reminder, real quick, Florida softball Thursday night, 7:00. Friday 5:00, and then an if necessary game at 8:00.
Nick:​I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it will not be necessary.
Andrew:​I highly doubt it will be necessary, highly doubt it’ll be necessary. Stations haven’t been finalized, I guess, ESPN, ESPN 2 or ESPN U. One of those will have it. haven’t finalized it yet, probably later in the week. One side note though, expect Tim Walton to be calling Oklahoma State this weekend. First base coach last year, Coach Kenny Gajewski, is the Oklahoma State coach, and they took a game from Georgia in the regional, and almost had a chance to come down to Gainesville to play.
Nick:​It’ll be a quick weekend, I think. Not even, it’ll be over before the weekend.
Andrew:​5:00, maybe 7:00 Friday. About two hours after happy hour people will be celebrating.
Nick:​Then on the baseball diamond, Florida, the big part about Florida’s weekend was that they did win on Sunday, which made them the fourth seed, so they get a bye. The SEC Tournament starts on Tuesday, and it’s single elimination on Tuesday. So you’ve got a team like Vanderbilt, very good team. Team like LSU, Tennessee, Kentucky, they’ll all play. So there will be four games, eight teams playing, on Tuesday. Win or go home. That gets you into Wednesday, where the top four seeds. The top four seeds are Mississippi State, one, South Carolina, two. Those are the West and East champions. Texas A&M, three, and Florida, four. That starts your double elimination portion of the tournament, and you really don’t want to have to get into the loser’s bracket, especially early. Florida will face the winner of LSU and Tennessee. AJ Puk is going to throw Wednesday. Florida will throw Logan Shore on Thursday, and you would expect them to win at least one of those two games, and give you a third game on Friday, which will be Alex Faedo. Then if you get to Saturday you’re figuring it out from there.
Andrew:​It’s double elimination after the first round.
Nick:​After the first round it’s double elimination. So Tuesday, the games will start tomorrow. Games all day tomorrow. 9:30AM Vandy versus Missouri. Win or go home. 1:00, Ole Miss versus Georgia. 4:30, Kentucky versus Alabama. 8:00PM LSU versus Tennessee. So that will be the late game, and Florida will play at 8:00PM on Wednesday.
Andrew:​Right. So tomorrow, Tuesday when you guys are listening to this, is elimination day. Got you. That’s a little different from softball. Softball’s single elimination. Kind of crazy. Should be backwards. Should be the other way around. Baseball should be single elimination; the arms get tired.
Nick:​It’s a long tournament, especially if you get into that loser’s bracket, and then you’ve got to come back and play even more games to get to the final, and Florida’s had to do that before, battling back and coming back in the tournament. We’ll see what they do, what they do coming up. I think it’s interesting that you throw Puk first. I think it’s probably just a time thing. The announcers were talking on SEC Network, I’d probably throw Alex Faedo. Really? Right now Logan Shore’s your ace, and Alex Faedo’s your second best pitcher. So they were talking about throwing Faedo, but he throws 90 some pitches on Saturday, Kevin O’Sullivan’s not going to run him out there on Wednesday. Not going to happen.
Andrew:​Not happening. We’ll see. Real quick, before we move on, update on Jackson Cowart. Is he coming back?
Nick:​Now that it’s kind of out there, we were just asked by the family not to talk about it until it came out about what the issue was, because we able to break the news that he would be out. Jackson had, he hit a growth spurt. The way it was explained to me, he hit a growth spurt in high school that was very quick, very rapid, and so drastic that it started to give him issues, and he had a collapsed lung in high school. That happened again, his lung collapsed before the Tennessee series. So it was never anything that he did wrong. It wasn’t throwing. His arm wasn’t sore. It was his lung collapsed. Can’t play baseball with a collapses lung. So he had to have surgery, spent some time in the hospital, and lost weight. I remember the first time I saw him back. He kind, he just looked sick, like a gray, or like a greenish tint to your skin, bags under your eyes; clearly he’d lost some weight. So Kevin O’Sullivan today on the teleconference, or Monday on the teleconference, said he’s put on about 5-7 pounds, and it’s really going to be up to the doctors, but everyone is thinking that he’ll be able to come back and possibly pitch in a regional, if he keeps on this trajectory. Also, Pete Alonso got good news last week. The swelling has gone down in his hand, and he is still projected to be able to come back and play for Florida in a regional.
Andrew:​That’s huge news.
Nick:​That’s huge. Pete Alonso is leading the team in the following categories: batting average, doubles, homeruns, RBIs, total bases, slugging percentage, and on base percentage. So that’s what Florida has been missing for the last five games.
Andrew:​Basically he’s leading the offense.
Nick:​He’s leading the offense.
Andrew:​Yeah.
Nick:​Real quick, both of those guys are making the trip to Hoover, so they will be there, at least in spirit, or not in spirit, in person to cheer on and be there for the team.
Andrew:​That’ll cause your offense to struggle a little bit.
Nick:​I mean, you take out the guy who’s leading every offensive category, then you start trying to mix and match around it; it’s going to hurt. A team that isn’t a great offensive team to begin with, and then you take out the best offensive player. Going to have some issues.
Andrew:​Real quick, before we move on, we’re going to move on to do some recruiting questions from the message board, but SEC team released Monday afternoon. Go ahead and say it, tell everybody where they are, and then I’ll make my case on some of the things that were wrong.
Nick:​No surprise, Logan Shore, first team, All-SEC. Shore was a first team All-SEC selection in 2014 as a freshman, and was the freshman of the year. Was not selected to any team last year. He’s a first teamer. Shawn Anderson also, his 10 saves, he’s a first team, All-SEC. Then you have Pete Alonso, Mike Rivera, Dalton Guthrie on the second team, and Deacon Liput and Jonathan India both make the all-freshman team. Two people I think could have gotten some consideration and didn’t. One is Kirby Snead, led the league in appearances, and the other would be Alex Faedo, led the league in wins.
Andrew:​Yeah. Faedo is a guy that is, I don’t even know if you can call him underrated, because, I mean, he is underrated, but I understand him not getting talked about as much, because he is a guy that is not going to be drafted this year. He has another year left, but I don’t know. I feel like in some way or another he’s overshadowed by other guys, and that’s okay. I don’t understand how you don’t put him there. The one that I have a problem with is Pete Alonso not being first team. A lot of people have this as the best team in the country in Florida, and you don’t put their best offensive player there? Come on now.
Nick:​There’s a lot of really good hitters in the league, but Pete’s had a tremendous season. He’s going to be a guy that’s going to be very tough to replace when he gets drafted and leaves.
Andrew:​Yeah. I don’t know. Sometimes, no, it ain’t even sometimes. Just about every time I see SEC or any preseason, postseason, predictions, I lose more and more faith in SIDs and stuff like that, or whoever is voting for this stuff. I don’t know. I lose more and more respect for it. We can still go back to the softball where the best pitcher in the country doesn’t make it, and is not named pitcher of the year. It is what it is.
Nick:​It is what it is.
Andrew:​It is what it is, but we had some recruiting questions. We asked everybody on the message board to give us some recruiting questions. We all know that is what a lot of people are upset about in football or football recruiting. They’re upset because the commits are not coming as quickly as everyone wants it to be. Real quick I’m going to go on a rant about it. So here we go. Prepare yourself. Mute it if you don’t want to hear it.
​You gripe when Florida takes guys that are maybe reaches early on, because you want them to take the big fish. Big fish don’t commit in March, April, and May of their junior years. Most of them don’t. There’s a few that do. Most of them don’t, the James Robinsons of the world, not going to make a decision there. There’s going to be big name guys everywhere that just aren’t. Florida is in for flips in Shawn Wade, in for flips in Alex Leatherwood, Calvin Ashley, those kind of guys. They’re not going to flip right now. It opens up too many cans of worms. Let’s relax and see where things are after the summer. Florida’s not sitting 10-12 commits in the summertime, then you can start to be upset, be nervous. Not in May. Let’s not do it in May.
Nick:​That was a pretty subdued rant.
Andrew:​It was.
Nick:​I actually took my headset off.
Andrew:​You did?
Nick:​Normally when you want to rant I can take my headset off, walk away, make a sandwich. I can hear when you start to slow down and come back and rejoin the conversation without damaging my hearing.
Andrew:​I’m trying to be relaxed in talking about my rant today, but it is, it begins to, I don’t know. I guess it begins to irritate. I guess that’s the best way to say it. You look at the way things are going right now, and Florida’s in on some dudes. I don’t use that word very often, because I think it’s not cool, but when you’re going after some of these big name dudes, as you want to call them, patience. Patience is a virtue, even though it’s not in recruiting. Things are going well. This staff has done a great job of being out in the evaluation period, hitting a lot of different schools, and getting a lot of guys ready to come on camp.
​The first week of June is Florida’s camp, and then they hit satellite camps. There is a ton of guys scheduled to visit Florida in the first couple of weeks, and if Florida’s scheduled to go to these satellite camps, then they’re going to hit the big name guys, the big name targets, at these satellite camps. I think then is when you’ll see some things move, and if Florida doesn’t pick up commitments by then, then there is some concern. Right now I don’t see it as a concern. In my opinion, if February, I think it’s 3rd this year is Signing Day, if you sign a top five recruiting class, are you really going to pissed off because it wasn’t top five in May?
Nick:​No.
Andrew:​Yeah. There you go. Nick, we got some recruiting questions. You want to fire away with them? Nick, did we say goodbye to you?
Nick:​No. I’m here. I’m here.
Andrew:​Okay.
Nick:​First one is from Gators244, who is the first defensive player to pop for Florida?
Andrew:​We just talked about that we didn’t want to, we wanted to be patient, and the first question is that.
Nick:​I’m just going by the questions.
Andrew:​You’re just going by the questions. You’re just going to be that dude?
Nick:​I’m a dude.
Andrew:​Okay.
Nick:​You know that. I’m a dude.
Andrew:​You might be a dude, but I’m the dude.
Nick:​Here we go.
Andrew:​There we go. First one, I’ll say it. I think it’s going to be defensive tackle Jordan Scott. 6’1”, 345 pounds. I think that’ll be it, and I think it’ll be pretty soon. That’ll hit two areas of concern. Somebody committing, and then where is the defensive tackles? So Florida will be able to knock out two of them, and knock off two checkmarks in the concern page for Florida fans.
Nick:​Who was that again?
Andrew:​Jordan Scott, defensive tackle out of Pinellas Park.
Nick:​There you go.
Andrew:​6’1” or 6’ .5”, 345 pounds of raw motor.
Nick:​CTresh wants to know, whatever happened to Kai-Leon Herbert? He was looking to good to commit at the spring game, decided against it. Is Florida still looking good there?
Andrew:​Okay. Yeah. I mean, I think the biggest thing for him was he got on campus. He was with the Allen family, and didn’t have his mom with him. Everything’s still going there. Florida leads by a long shot. You can a trip to Mars, and it still wouldn’t be long enough. Summertime decision for there. Allen and Herbert are best friends. Florida would have to really mess it up not to land Kai-Leon Herbert. Things are fine. That is a right tackle, left tackle. Very good player for the Gators.
Nick:​You’ll need to start replacing tackles pretty soon here.
Andrew:​Tackles is really low. When you sit here, and you look at it, I mean really Sharpe, Ivey, Fred Johnson. Maybe Richard Desire-Jones.
Nick:​I think he’s more of an interior guy, kind of seen him working.
Andrew:​I’m trying to think of who else has really worked at tackle. Harkless had worked at tackle. I mean, you just laughed.
Nick:​You’re going to need to replace tackles.
Andrew:​I don’t know. Is there, who was working at tackle this spring?
Nick:​You’ve got those three, and that’s really, you can slide Martez Ivey maybe out. That’s what you’re going with. There’s other guys that can work there. Harkless has worked there. Andrew Mike has worked there in the past. Those aren’t guys that you’re going to put there in a game.
Andrew:​No.
Nick:​Yeah, they’ve done it in practice. You’re not putting them there in a game. You need to start replacing talent there.
Andrew:​Tackles is huge. I would say that the class is probably three tackles, one, maybe two, interior guys.
Nick:​GatorNica, always in my baseball threads, appreciate that. We really need cornerbacks, corners, that can play as freshmen. Who is Florida looking at, you think, at corner that can come in right away? If you’re looking at corner you think Jalen Tabor, gone; Quincy Wilson, very well could be gone. You’ve got some big shoes to fill there.
Andrew:​I’m going to hit of with two guys. Two guys, and it’s the best two players on the Florida recruiting board, no matter the position. I think Florida’s going to land them. First is Shawn Wade out of Trinity Christian. He’s committed to Ohio State. That’s simply out there because it’s out there. Behind the scenes, I don’t see him committed to Ohio State. He talks to Alabama and Florida as much as he talks to Ohio State. The next one is AJ Terrell that’s out of Westlake. I think both of those guys are guys that Florida eventually lands and are both guys that I think come in and can start, or if not start, play a ton of downs in 2017 when Florida needs guys. That’s exactly what it’s going to be.
​If you’re looking outside of those guys, Elijah Blades is a DB out of California, ran a 4-3, high 4-3, out at the Los Angles camp. He’s a guy there. Latavius Briney’s another cornerback there. Those two guys just are not guys that I see as immediate impact guys. When I say immediate impact guys, it’s guys that can come in and you think, they’re going play right away. When you look at Wade at 6’2” 180, and you look at Terrell at 6’2” 170, you’re very likely those two guys are your two biggest corners, and I think Florida’s got a great shot with them, and both of those guys can come in and be guys that contribute, if not starters.
Nick:​You’re not necessarily right now saying Florida is going to get these guys. There might be guys that Florida gets at cornerback that aren’t starters Day 1. That questions was more just specifically about who does Florida have a chance of getting, and that kid is someone who is a Day 1 player.
Andrew:​Yeah.
Nick:​I just didn’t want, you say that, and someone listens, and they’re like Spivey didn’t mention this player, this player, this player, so Florida’s not going to get them. They’re out.
Andrew:​Right. That’s exactly right.
Nick:​Clear it up so you don’t get yelled at on the Twitter machine.
Andrew:​Yeah, let’s not be yelling at me. I don’t need that. Let’s be calm today.
Nick:​It’s never a calm day on Twitter. We’re moving on. SwampGator asked about Jordan Scott. You already gave an answer to that, so thank you for the question. MSD, when is the next camp event on campus?
Andrew:​June 3rd. That’s seven on seven. They’ll follow that with a June 4th OL/DL camp, and then that whole next week is what I call the Florida camp circuit, and that’s where they’ll have the smaller camps where it’s morning and afternoons there. June 5-8 is what they’re calling the high school camp. Then June 5th is a kicking camp, and then the 13th-15th is kind of their younger guys, 2nd through 8th graders. Then in July they’ll have Friday Night Lights and the OL/DL camp then. June 3rd is the seven on seven camp, and if you forgot, Florida picked up three commits last year on that day. They picked up Josh Hammond, Lavarus Tigner, and Aaron Robison. Tigner and Robinson are no longer commits, but…
Nick:​Welcome to recruiting.
Andrew:​They were there. Hot Sauce, though, that was a big one. He kind of did a little bit this spring.
Nick:​Yeah.
Andrew:​If asking about a commit or two, it’s always 50/50. Do I think Florida does because of past history? Sure. I can say that about Friday Night Lights, because it always happens. I would say there’s probably a higher rate that it does than doesn’t happen, but don’t shoot me if it doesn’t.
Nick:​They’ll probably shoot you anyway.
Andrew:​Probably.
Nick:​Any update on DeAngelo Gibbs?
Andrew:​DeAngelo Gibbs. No. Florida’s still in that top group. He’s still going to take visits. He’s a guy that really and truly, I think if you asked him today where he’d go to school he’d tell you something; tomorrow he’d tell you something different, and the next day. Need to get him on campus this summer, though.
Nick:​Can you throw out five names of the top recruits that the Gators probably lead for? It’s kind of worded weird.
Andrew:​Shawn Wade. We talked about him. AJ Terrell, we talked about him. Kai-Leon Herbert, we talked about him. Trying to think of five, some other names that are different. Zach Carter, the DN out of Tampa, and let me go with, I’m trying to think of a different one that we haven’t really talked about. I’m trying to think of somebody different. James Robinson, we’ll go James Robinson as the fifth one, the wide receiver out of Lakeland. That’ll be the fifth one. I was just trying to throw some different names we hadn’t talked about. Zach Carter, James Robinson, Shawn Wade, AJ Terrell, and Kai-Leon Herbert are all five big time recruits that Florida leads for.
Nick:​That’s a pretty big list right there.
Andrew:​There you go.
Nick:​The next question there was about DBU, kind of already talked about them. Do you want again about interior defensive line?
Andrew:​We can. Let’s just talk about it. I see the question.
Nick:​Here’s the question. Why is Florida having so much trouble recruiting top inside D linemen? It seems that UF always has to go down the wire and pick other schools. Last few years when the Gators played big O lines like LSU, Alabama, the big running backs or D lines always seem to wear down. What gives?
Andrew:​First off, Florida didn’t wear down in those two games. Let’s get that out of the way real quick. Florida didn’t wear down in either game. Alabama game they probably got pissed off and said Treon couldn’t do anything, but that LSU game Florida did pretty good against Leonard Fournette.
Nick:​For a while. Leonard Fournette got his, but Leonard Fournette is…
Andrew:​But Leonard Fournette’s always going to get his. He’s always going to get his.
Nick:​Leonard Fournette is generally going to get his.
Andrew:​Let’s talk real quick. I’ll make it short. In the state of Florida it is very, very tough to recruit defensive tackle and offensive linemen. It just it is what it is. You got to go out of state a lot of times, and it’s a thing where Florida hasn’t done probably the best job doing that, but it’s also tougher to do that. It’s very tough to go out of state and recruit some of these big defensive tackles, especially when you’re going to Georgia, and you’re recruiting that Atlanta area where Auburn’s a two hour drive from there, and Georgia’s right there, and South Carolina’s right there, Tennessee’s right there. They’re all right in that neck of the woods. You’re battling for them all. It’s because of the lack of in state talent at defensive tackle that it’s there. Not an excuse. Florida’s got to do better, and they are doing better in 2017.
Nick:​There you go. It’s kind of at the forefront right now when you look at what Florida could be losing and what Florida is losing. Important to hit on that position this year.
Andrew:​Exactly. Alright, Nick, that’s a pretty good podcast in my opinion. So let’s get out of here. Tell the people where they can find us, and we’ll see everyone maybe later in the week.
Nick:​I forgot to mention, along with the SEC awards, Logan Shore was also named the pitcher of the year, SEC Pitcher of the Year.
Andrew:​Awesome. Great news for Logan Shore. That’s big for him. Really hoping to see him do well.
Nick:​10-0, fourth best ERA in the conference, and you’ve won 15 straight decisions. That’s earned.
Andrew:​Exactly. Tell the people where they can find us.
Nick:​Www.GatorCountry.com, all your latest, greatest news about the Florida Gators. You can find us on Facebook at GatorCountry. Instagram is TheGatorCountry. On Twitter, I’m @NickdelaTorreGC; he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC, and we are @GatorCountry. That’s where you can find us. Hit the follow. Hit share. Hit like. Do all that social media stuff.
Andrew:​There you go. As always, guys, we appreciate it. Come check us out on the message boards, and chomp, chomp; go Braves.
Regional Talk​​Page 12
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Seven Florida Gators named to All-SEC teams

The Florida Gators baseball team had seven players named to the coaches' All-SEC teams.

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