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Talking satellite camps for
the Florida Gators: Podcast

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Written by Andrew Spivey, May 11, 2016, 0 Comments,
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This GatorCountry podcast focuses on talking about the new rule of satellite camps and what exactly that means for college football teams like the Florida Gators football team.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down where the Florida Gators may camp at for satellite camps and where would be a good fit for those camps, plus how does the Gators benefit from it.

Andrew and Nick also preview the SEC softball tournament for the Florida Gators that starts on Thursday, plus they preview the baseball team’s upcoming schedule.

TRANSCRIPT:
Andrew:​Your man, Andrew Spivey here. My man, Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, what’s up, my man?

Nick:​How’s it going? Big week for the girls on the softball diamond. A big week for the boys on the diamond, and Swamp life is getting going. Football team is back on campus for summer, so getting a little action back on campus at the University of Florida.

Andrew:​Getting a little action back and getting some more championships. I think the number is 10. Ten conference championships already this year. Not a bad deal.

Nick:​No. Before we get into some football, you have a little beef with what was going on with softball.

Andrew:​Yeah. You see the post-season awards, and it’s post-season awards. I understand that it’s like, who cares about it? But I just don’t understand, how does the #1 and #2 pitchers in the country not win their conference championship award? I mean, their Conference Pitcher of the Year Award. Kelsey Nunley from Kentucky, and she had a good year, but Aleshia Ocasio and Delanie Gourley were #1 and #2 pitchers in the country, and they don’t get it? I don’t understand it. I just don’t.

Then Kirsti Merritt, who is considered to be the best center fielder in the country, doesn’t even win Center Fielder of the Year on the defensive team. I’m dumbfounded here. I don’t understand how you can tell me that another pitcher deserves that over them. Then just tell me how a girl like Merritt doesn’t get center fielder on defensive team? To me that just makes these awards mean nothing to me, I guess.

Nick:​It’s the coaches that vote on the awards, right? To me, when you get a coach that votes on the award, now when we get into like the football ones, and you’re wondering is it a coach, or is it a grad assistant, someone that’s doing it? Then you start to wonder about what was going on. I think I like when the coaches vote on the awards, because they’re the ones watching film and stuff, but then that makes you even question, what was going on there?

Andrew:​Yeah. I don’t know. That’s another thing. I don’t know if it is the coaches. I’m guessing it’s the coaches that vote on it. I’m not exactly 100% sure, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it is.

When you look at the awards, and Player of the Year was Kasey Cooper at Auburn, I’m okay with that. She had a great year. Florida probably didn’t have one girl that really stood out enough to be Player of the Year. You could have put one of those pitchers there as that.

Then the Freshman of the Year was Amanda Lorenz, and that was a great one for Florida, 1 and 2 in the Freshman of the Year votings were Florida girls, Lorenz and then Kelly Barnhill, the pitcher.

Then Coach of the Year is the Kentucky coach, and she deserved it. They were second. Tim Walton, I guess, doesn’t get that, because he’s been there. So that’s fine with me. When you have the #1 and #2 pitchers in the country, and they don’t get it, that would be like saying, Steph Curry, LeBron, you don’t get it. You’re #1 and #2, so Kobe, you’re retiring this year, you get it. People would laugh at that, right?

Nick:​Yeah. As we tape this, Steph Curry was voted unanimous MVP this year, first ever unanimous MVP in NBA history, which that’s pretty cool.

Andrew:​That’s pretty cool. As we’re taping this on Tuesday, Monday night he didn’t have a bad showing. I mean, he came in and decided he was going to put the Warriors on his back and take care of business.

Nick:​Yeah.

Andrew:​I want to hit on a couple things, Nick. I know we want to talk satellite camp, and that’s one of the big things for our podcast, but let’s get everybody caught up real quick. The Gators went out and picked up a commit last week, while you and I were out of town. Let’s get everybody caught up on that. We didn’t have a podcast last week, so we’ll get everybody caught up. The Gators picked up the commit last Wednesday evening. It was athlete commit, Kardarius Toney from Alabama. Really good looking player, 6’, 180 pounds, plays quarterback and receiver in high school ball, and is just a really good player. Think he ends up playing slot in college, but when you check out his film, and if you haven’t checked out his film, I tell you, go check it out, because you’re going to be amazed by what he is. When he gets the ball in his hands, he’s electric. Not only is he fast, but he can move side to side. He’s quick. Get the ball in his hands, and watch things happen.

Nick:​Where do you see him fitting in then?

Andrew:​I think he’s slot.

Nick:​Just a slot, or somebody that can play both maybe? Somebody who, before Brandon Powell got hurt you saw him in the backfield in slot, and kind of just put him in a position where we think we can get the ball in his hands in space, because that might not be in the slot. You might have to kind of manufacture that by putting him all over the field in the backfield, in the slot, maybe even out wide, motion.

Andrew:​I won’t say that he’s going to be just a slot. I think he’ll get some action at little wildcat quarterback. You and I both were told several times that Florida did a little wildcat this year with Dre Massey, and even Jordan Cronkrite a little bit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen as well. He’s got a good arm. He throws it 60 yards, but I think we can agree that Jake Allen’s the quarterback of this class, and Toney’s an athlete. Maybe he does get some time at maybe running back when they’re in 3rd down situations, maybe in the gun a little bit, so they can maybe dump off a screen to him, that kind of stuff. He’s a punt return, kick return kind of guy. I think the best way to say it is he’s a guy that Coach Mac has that get to sheet, the get to the player sheet, and Toney will be a guy that’ll be up there. I think, if he’s not the best athlete in Alabama, as far as athlete goes, then he’s one of them. Super quick, 4-4 guy, and can just jump out of this world.

Nick:​Here’s another thing. Florida continues what they started last year with this little Alabama pipeline.

Andrew:​Alabama pipeline, for sure. They got there. They get him. They got a couple other guys. One Tuesday I had an article on Neil Farrell. That’s a guy out of Alabama as well, south Alabama, a defensive tackle, 6’4”, 285 player. They’re going after him hard, and then in next year’s class the defensive tackle, Timaje Porter, from Lamical Perine’s high school. Big old boy. Nick, you were able to see him as well when we went to visit Perine in January. He’s a good looking player. Alabama is supposedly about to offer. LSU and Auburn just offered him. He’s a guy that is slowly but surely starting to catch up and get on a lot of people’s boards. In the Nike opening event in New Orleans I believe he was 6’3”, 303 at defensive tackle. Good looking player.

Nick:​What does it do, I guess, maybe last year’s class started it, did Florida have a big presence in Alabama before Jim McElwain, before the last coaching staff were able to go in and get three kids from Alabama and a kid from Mississippi, or is this something that maybe these kids in the 2017 class and 2018 class will see, these guys who maybe I grew up with or looked up to, or I knew about, played with, they’re making the jump? You talk to guys from Alabama, it’s tough to leave the state. You have a lot of local pressure to stay in state, go to one of the two big schools. Is that 2016 class maybe something getting the ball rolling for Florida as far as being able to recruit in the state of Alabama moving forward?

Andrew:​Yeah. I think it was. Here’s the thing. It’s very tough to come into Alabama, because these guys hear Alabama, Auburn, every day of the week. They see it from family members, coaches, that kind of stuff. It’s the ties, the Drew Hughes’ of the world. Coach Skipper, Tim Skipper, running back coach, is doing an incredible job down there as well. Then Mac’s presence. I think we talked about this last year, but when you talk to Alabama coaches, they love Jim McElwain. They think of him. Nick Saban’s always going to be that top guy, but Jim McElwain’s right under there, more so than Auburn and Gus Malzahn are right now. It’s just something that’s there.
​Will Muschamp was scared, and I don’t mind saying it. I would probably tell him this to his face if he asked. Well, I probably wouldn’t, because he might have a rampage and get me, but he was scared. You have to have brass balls to come into Alabama and recruit. It’s as simple as that. You’re going to have the turn of the waters like it was with Perine, where there was the Alabama rumors. You’re going to have that. It is the nature of the business. Just like if you were to recruit a guy in Orlando, and Calvin Ashley’s going through that right now where Auburn’s got him, but there’s the Florida rumors there. The Florida State rumors were around him for a while. You’re going to have those rumors around him. You have to have the non-scared attitude, I guess is the best way to say it, relentless approach, and that’s something Muschamp didn’t want to do. He was simply nervous that he was going to lose guys to Bama, and he didn’t want to waste time. Mac’s thing is he’s not afraid to go in there and waste time if he needs to.

Nick:​They sort of ended up, at least in public perception, having to hold on to a guy like Lamical, where you do a good job, scout a guy, get him early, and then the big boys in the state start coming later. It’s kind of like, we feel good about holding him, but we’re going to have to fight off that big name, that in state school. I can see where you’re saying there’s kind of maybe a level of fear going out, because you’re investing a lot of time.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​Into these guys, and that’s time you could be spending elsewhere.

Andrew:​Here’s the thing. Do you get anywhere in life, especially in recruiting, working with fear? Freddie Swain’s a guy that was in North Marion, and you might as well call that backyard of Florida. Am I right in saying pretty much backyard of Florida at North Marion?

Nick:​Yeah.

Andrew:​Yeah. There was concern about Tennessee. So wherever you are, you got to still recruit these guys. Mac’s deal is I’m going to go find the best players, wherever they may be, and I’m going to recruit them, and I’m going to recruit them hard. I’m going to have my guys. I’ll say this. This is high praise coming from me, but when you got a guy like Tim Skipper, who I consider to be one of Florida’s best recruiters on their staff, he’s a guy you want putting there. He’s from New Orleans. He knows how to get in these guys. Then you got a guy like a Perine, who is very vocal with his recruiting other guys. That helps. Next year, when they see Lamical playing at Florida, or whether it be his redshirt freshman year, if he redshirts, they’re going to see that stuff, and they’re going to think, he went and played there; I can go play there, and that’s only going to benefit the long run of success, as long as Jim McElwain, Skipper, Drew Hughes, those guys are still on the staff.
​It’s really good. Recruiting is going well. To catch everybody up, just real quick, staff still all over the place. Starting to see more 2018 offers, that kind of stuff, out there, as they finish out the month of May, and then at the end of May, first of June, is when all hell breaks loose, and we have satellites flying all over the country. I feel like we’re going up into like the 22nd Century or something talking about satellites.

Nick:​The satellites.

Andrew:​Maybe we can all get drones by then, and everybody can just fly their drones.

Nick:​Maybe. I don’t know what the distance is on those, how far you’re going to get those to go.

Andrew:​Speaking of which, hold on, did you see the drone race they had?

Nick:​No.

Andrew:​They had a drone race, Nicholas, and it was pretty funny, because you were standing, and they were racing drones. How fun would that be? That would not be fun to me. That’s boring.

Nick:​Racing drones?

Andrew:​Yeah.

Nick:​As far as like sitting in an arena and watching people race drones, or you actually racing them?

Andrew:​No. They were people in a convention center kind of deal, civic center, watching people race drones. How boring would that be?

Nick:​I don’t know. I don’t get it.

Andrew:​I would like to watch paint dry before I would do that.

Nick:​I would rather do neither.

Andrew:​Exactly. Let’s talk satellite camps. I know you want to talk satellite camps. Before we get into it, Nick, I think we can both agree, this shit’s gotten out of hand. This has turned into a shit storm, a publicity stunt, whatever. This stuff’s getting crazy.

Nick:​Yeah. I think you’re going to see, I think it’s going to get abused. I think you’re going to see it get abused, and I think the NCAA is going to end up looking back into it next year after the season, and possibly even coming up with the conclusion that this got out of control. I don’t know if there’s any way to keep it in control when you have all of these different conferences and coaches who are all very competitive, high paid, high stress jobs. They’re going to look for the advantage any way they can, and while we think that maybe the principle of what these camps are and could be is good, that’s not how they’re being used now, and it’s something that we need to relook at. When you look at the satellite camp, this is why satellite camps are legal, because this is how the NCAA intends them to be run.

Andrew:​Right. Read that rule, because then I have something I want to say.

Nick:​A satellite camp is simply it allows college coaches to travel long distances to work as guests at camps hosted by other institutions. So when you’re saying, Florida is hosting, or Jim Harbaugh is hosting these 10 satellite camps across the country, it’s not really what they’re doing. They’re being invited as guests by other people. For instance, I think it was James Franklin’s first year at Penn State. He came in, and he went to Stetson and Georgia State. He was invited as an instructor. Stetson and Georgia State don’t have the kind of pull that a Penn State, a James Franklin, a Jim Harbaugh, a Jim McElwain have.
​They want to make money by having kids come to their camps to work out with their coaches, just like Florida does their own summer camps, but they can get more people to come if they’re saying, “James Franklin’s going to be here coaching. Jim Harbaugh’s going to come to our camp. He’s going to be working with quarterbacks. We have Chris Rumph coming; he’s going to be working with defensive linemen. Jim Harbaugh’s going to be coming and working with quarterbacks.” It’s a way for these smaller camps, these smaller schools, to provide a camp and to provide a service that maybe we wouldn’t be able to provide this on our own with our own coaches, so it’s going to be good for people in our area.

Andrew:​Right. Florida has guys visit when hold their camps. They have high school coaches coaching their camps, and a lot of that is because it’s a deal where we’ll let you coach the camp; we’ll pay you $100 to work the camp. In return, you bring some of your guys we want up to camp. That’s kind of how it is there. Like you said, it’s a thing. Florida’s going to Mercer in June. That’s in Georgia. There might be 10 kids there that are Florida guys, might be. That’s great for Florida, because they’re going to see 10 of their guys, but 500 kids are probably going to come out, and there are maybe 30 guys that are Mercer’s level. Not only that, but now Mercer makes however much they’re charging, $25 times 500. They’re making a good little penny.

Nick:​Rather than maybe 25 by 100.

Andrew:​Yeah. You have a football camp you’re always going to have rinky dink kids that come out and want to get coached, but now you’re going to have some guys, and then you’re going to have some guys that are the three star, the two star levels that are thinking, “I’m good enough I can go earn an offer from Florida.” In reality, they’re not good enough for Florida, but guess what? Mercer’s there. Georgia Southern’s there. They’re like, this guy’s a player. They start recruiting him. It works out and everything there.
​My biggest thing is this. If it was just for the kids, I love it, but it’s not. It is now a recruiting tool, and it’s something that the SEC and the ACC, like you say, Nick, all the time, they’re just not benefiting from it. What does Florida get out of going to Georgia and recruiting? Yes, they get a little face time with some kids, work with some kids that are in Georgia, but those kids are probably coming to Florida for a camp anyway. It’s working out better for Michigan, those schools. Florida just not. My thing is this. I think you’re going to run off some very good college football coaches because of this. You’re thinking now these guys have been on the road since April 15. They’re going to get off the road May 31, but now they’re not. Now they’re back on the road again for more camps, and instead of being in Gainesville working a camp where they work 5, 6, 7 hours, get to go home and sleep in their bed and relax, now they’re in Dallas, Texas working a three day camp. These coaches aren’t getting a break anymore. Yes, I’m sure I’m going to have some smartass say, they’re getting paid $600,000 a year. Sure. They’re getting paid $600,000 a year in the NFL and not having to do all this.

Nick:​That’s true. We mentioned how hard recruiting is all the time, and we’re talking about kids that are freshmen in high school that guys like Tim Skipper and McElwain, that they need to be watching and knowing and starting to communicate with. You add stuff like this in, and I think that if you look at how the NCAA is looking at it and interpreting it, yes, it makes sense. It’s a loophole, because NCAA prohibited colleges from hosting camps outside of a 50 mile radius, but nothing said they couldn’t go and be a guest host. When you look at it purely, yeah, Florida going to a school like Mercer, or not just Florida, but Mercer has 10 schools coming. If that doubles just the kids coming, that’s great for Mercer.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​Then you have to wonder, how much attention are those kids that aren’t Florida kids, that aren’t Michigan kids, how much attention are they getting versus the 10 kids, the 20 kids at camp that are?

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​Then you start to wonder, what’s actually happening here? Are we really concerned about coaching and developing young players, or are we worried about getting that next guy to come to my school, because he’s going to help me win football games?

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​The reason the ACC and the SEC don’t like them is it’s all coaches from the north are coming down south. They’re not going to Maine to be a part of a football camp. Jim Harbaugh did one camp in Michigan last summer, and everything else is in Texas and Florida and California. If you’re worried about progressing the game, do them all right outside of that, right in your area. That’s the thing. It’s the coaches from northern schools, from Big Ten country, that are coming down into ACC territory and SEC territory, and that’s why the ACC and SEC have been so steadfast against it.

Andrew:​Here’s the thing. I have two points real quick, and then we can move on, or get what you want to say. Here’s my first thing, and someone said this during the draft. Satellite camps are going to prevent things like Carson Wentz going to North Dakota State. Bullshit. You’re still going to have kids that slip through the cracks and go to smaller schools, kids that develop later, kids that get better once they get to college, kids that go to college and start working out harder and getting focused. You’re still going to have great players going to smaller schools. Having satellite camps isn’t finding these kids that if a kid is good, he’s going to be found. He’s going to go to some camp, and he’s going to blow up. Technology now, social media nowadays, it’s there. Nick, you were at the IMG Academy three years ago when Shawn White was blowing up, and he was a nobody. You and I are tweeting all day long about how great Shawn White looks, and there was 50 other people tweeting the same thing. Tell me there wasn’t college football coaches or interns of whatever, GAs, looking at Twitter saying, all these guys talking about Shawn White; we need to go check out his film one more time. That happens. Satellite camps doesn’t fix that problem at all.
​My second thing is this. After this satellite’s camp over with I may do this study. I would like to know what the percentage of kids that never visit the campus that comes to a satellite camp that commits to a school and stays at that school. How is Michigan coming down to Miami telling a kid, come play for Michigan? The kid’s never seen Michigan a day in his life. It’s Michigan, Florida, and Florida State. He’s visited Florida and Florida State. What’s he telling that kid? Michigan’s beautiful. Here’s some photos of this. It’s 28 degrees. I highly doubt that kid’s committing to Michigan sight unseen, never taking a visit, over Florida and Florida State, two schools he’s seen.

Nick:​Yeah. I don’t know. I honestly don’t understand. I understand why they would do it as far as Big Ten schools or American schools. I don’t really see it being used as it’s intended, as the letter of the law. College football coaches are super competitive. You can’t make it to that level, and then stay at that level, without being a competitive SOB, someone that will flip a table over if you lose a game of checkers, that level of competitive. When you get that level of competition mixed with all the money that comes with being a Division I coach at a big football school, now you’re going to start to find gray areas, and start to skirt the rules. I just don’t see this, the rule is to help smaller schools, to help kids who aren’t those big time Division I kids to learn the game of football and have a better experience of football. That’s how it’s written, and I just don’t see that as that being the main focus.

Andrew:​It’s a publicity stunt. It’s a publicity stunt right now. That’s all it is. It’s a publicity stunt, and I don’t give a damn what Jim Harbaugh says. I don’t care what anybody says. I don’t care what Coach Mac says, if he wants to make an excuse. It’s a publicity stunt right now. That’s all it is is a publicity stunt, and I can’t see it. This is my thing. How in the world is the NCAA going to mandate this stuff? Rules are going to be broken. They’re going to be. You have all these coaches everywhere. They’re going to be broken. It’s a dead period for coaches to be out seeing kids. Give me a break. Somebody, Jim Harbaugh wants a kid bad enough, don’t even give me this crap that he may not stop by so-and-so’s house on the way home. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen.
​Let’s move on real quick. Let’s talk about some potential ones Florida may go to. Florida hasn’t confirmed anything. They haven’t put out anything. A few that’s been thrown around on Twitter is one at Mercer. That’s the one you and I have been talking about. There’s been some thrown around with Dallas and Houston, with University of Texas. There’s been some thrown around in Maryland. There’s been some thrown around in Mobile, in my neck of the woods. I think those are all good places to go. You go to Maryland; you see some good kids out there that you’re interested in, and it’s good to get your foot back in the door. Torrian Gray’s got some connections there. Mobile is pretty self-explanatory. They’ve been doing good work there. Then Dallas and Houston is Kerry Dixon, Randy Shannon territory, where they know a lot of people. So that would make sense as well. Then, I think you’ll see them do some in state ones as well. Then, of course, the Mercer one make sense. Again, it’s good, but is it really that good? I mean, I think if you ask Florida they’d rather have those kids come to campus, show them campus, and be okay with it.

Dabo Sweeney made news. Nick, you know I’m not a big Dabo fan. I’m not a big Clemson guy at all, but he made news, and it’s very smart, in my opinion. It’ll hurt him, because he’s not going out to satellite camps, but he said he doesn’t want to do satellite camps, because he wants kids to come to campus, because that’s where he sells the kids on their campus life. To me, that makes sense.

Did we lose you?

Nick:​No. That makes sense. To me, at this point…

Andrew:​He’s going to be behind the 8 ball.

Nick:​Yeah. At this point, yeah, that makes sense. I would rather have the kid on campus, but your hand is almost forced now.

Andrew:​Right. Here’s my thing, and this is the way I think it could have been done. Let me just throw this out there before you say it. Why not have, you got five officials, right? Why not say you can take two officials once you have finished your junior year, okay? All these kids that are wanting to go to these places that the NCAA and the satellite camps are saying they can’t get to, now they can, because the schools can pay for it. Those two schools in the summertime. If Johnny in Houston, Texas is poor as a rock, and he wants to go visit Florida and Clemson, well Florida and Clemson can pay for it to go. They already passed a rule they can pay for two parents to come along with him. Mom, dad, and Johnny can get on a plane; fly to Florida, and fly to Clemson in the summertime. Have a three day visit. Find what they want to find, go on about their business. To me that’s the way you fix this problem instead of having 75 gazillion satellite camps all over the place. I’m looking at some right now. Harbaugh’s having 26 satellite camps in June. 26.

Nick:​That’s a lot.

Andrew:​That’s a lot. That’s a hell of a lot. I mean, I don’t know. I’ll get off my rampage. I don’t understand it.

Nick:​How long do you think it’ll last before it gets relooked at?

Andrew:​I think it’s done next year. I’m honestly surprised that they overturned it. I just think it’s stupid. I think it’s stupid. I really do. I think it’s so stupid. I think it’s so stupid.

Nick:​I think it’s naïve to think that it’s going to be used…

Andrew:​Everyone wants to make it about the kids, and it’s everything the NCAA does. It’s we’re doing this for the kids. Bullshit, NCAA. Get out of here. You say everything’s about the kids on this and that, but you cut down the kids every opportunity you get. You’re not fair to those guys. Get out of here.

Nick:​Let’s bring your blood pressure back down. Tell the people, SEC Softball Tournament starts this week.

Andrew:​Yeah. Starts this week in Starkville, Mississippi, and the Gators are the 1 seed. Surprise, surprise, Nick. Even though our buddies on the message board decided that Florida wasn’t very good this year, somehow or another they decided they were going to be 1 seed.

Nick:​What does that mean for them? A bye. Who are they playing? What’s going on with Florida, the #1 seed who doesn’t have the best pitcher in the conference?

Andrew:​It actually is kind of bad. Florida kind of got a bad draw, if you want to just be frank about it. Heading into the last weekend they were battling Auburn for the SEC Championship. Florida got the win after Auburn lost two games to A&M, but Auburn ends up losing another game, is now the 4 seed, and are going to be in Florida’s bracket of the SEC Tournament, which quite frankly sucks for Florida, because Auburn’s the second best team in the country, in the League, and Florida’s going to have to face them probably in the semi-finals. Florida will have, the first four seeds will have off on Wednesday, so that means Florida does as well. They’ll face the Georgia, Ole Miss winner on Thursday at 4:00, and then the winner of that game will face probably either Auburn or Alabama, who will also have to play on Thursday. Florida got the bad end of the deal, but I think no matter what, whatever Florida does in the SEC Tournament, they’re probably the 1 seed, should be the 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan’s still there, but I still think Florida’s there. Remember this, if Florida does lose, they did lose the SEC Tournament last year as well, so the world is not falling down.

Nick:​What is your prediction?

Andrew:​It’s single elimination. I’ll just say it. Florida’s going to win the tournament. Part of me thinks Auburn will, but I’ll say Florida does, just because they’re #1 in the country. I’m sticking with Florida. Go Florida there. I’m going to be interested to see how Walton uses his pitching staff. He’s been using all three. Does he use all three again? Which would mean that Ocasio would go Thursday. Gourley would go Friday, and Barnhill would go in the Championship game on Saturday. Does he do that, or he go back to a two man rotation like he kind of has in the past years where he’s had three through the year, and then bumped it back down to two? Does he go to two, or does he let Barnhill go? To me that’s going to be the interesting thing as we go through the next few weeks. Here’s the thing. All three pitchers this year have no-nos.

Nick:​That’s not a bad deal.

Andrew:​Not a bad deal at all, but let’s talk about your guys. Now tied for the SEC.

Nick:​Florida will finish up the nonconference schedule tonight, by the time you’re listening to this it will be over, with USF. A win today gives them a 14-0 record midweek, which I think will be the first time. I’ll have to double check on that tonight, but I think it would be the first time. Then host Vanderbilt, which is a bid series, before you hit the road and finish the year up at LSU, who’s been struggling. As it does in the SEC, pretty much every year, it’s going to come down to the last week of the season to really find whoever the winner is going to be, the winner of the regular season SEC, but Florida’s going to get a bye. Right from LSU they’ll go up to Hoover for the SEC Championship.

Andrew:​Who does South Carolina finish with? I know they have Alabama as well coming up, but who does South Carolina have this weekend? I am looking it up as we speak. Like you said, that’s going to be tough, because Alabama has some really good pitching. They just don’t hit very well there, but it will be interesting to see how Florida does against Vandy, and then with LSU. South Carolina has A&M.

Nick:​A&M, then Alabama. Hoover, when you talk about the SEC Tournament, Hoover is interesting, because that is a huge park. Then when you’re talking about teams that maybe don’t hit well, or hit for a ton of power, if you have pitching that’s a big park, and that can make up for even a small pitching mistake. I think Florida could do well there playing at that park there in Hoover. It’ll be interesting to see. I think Florida is in good position. Texas A&M is a very good team. South Carolina stumbled a little bit last week at Kentucky, losing 6-0 and 5-4, and Texas A&M is good. They’re a good ball club. I know Florida swept them earlier in the year, but that’s one of the best clubs in the country. Even though you’re saying Vanderbilt and LSU, I think Florida might have an easier road, just based on how the teams are playing right now finishing up.

Andrew:​Here’s the thing. We keep talking about it’s either Florida or Carolina. A&M is just one game back. A sweep of Carolina and two losses by the Gators, and we’re talking about A&M being the SEC Champions.

Nick:​Yeah. That’s true. There’s a reason that the SEC is the best conference for baseball in the country, and it’s right here. The schedule makers did well putting Florida/Vandy, Florida/LSU, and Texas A&M/South Carolina here on the last two weeks. They did a good job.

Andrew:​Seven teams in the SEC have 30 wins.

Nick:​Florida’s the only team in the country with 40.

Andrew:​That’s right. Should be busy. Be interesting to see really how softball does, and how baseball finishes. Lacrosse did win the Big East, and are the #2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament for lacrosse, so congrats to them. Maybe somebody will get a championship here soon. Nick, tell the people where they can find us. We’ll get out of here and see everyone later in the week.

Nick:​As always, www.GatorCountry.com for all of your Florida Gator news. On Facebook, GatorCountry. On Instagram, TheGatorCountry. On Twitter it’s going to be @GatorCountry, @NickdelaTorreGC, and @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:​Definitely. As always, guys, we appreciate you. Hit us up. If you’re not a member, check us out. Hit me up, get you a deal maybe. As always, go Braves, and chomp, chomp.
April 10th Podcast​​Page 11
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 focuses on talking about the new rule of satellite camps and what exactly that means for college football teams like the Florida Gators football team.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down where the Florida Gators may camp at for satellite camps and where would be a good fit for those camps, plus how does the Gators benefit from it.

Andrew and Nick also preview the SEC softball tournament for the Florida Gators that starts on Thursday, plus they preview the baseball team’s upcoming schedule.

TRANSCRIPT:
Andrew:​Your man, Andrew Spivey here. My man, Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, what’s up, my man?

Nick:​How’s it going? Big week for the girls on the softball diamond. A big week for the boys on the diamond, and Swamp life is getting going. Football team is back on campus for summer, so getting a little action back on campus at the University of Florida.

Andrew:​Getting a little action back and getting some more championships. I think the number is 10. Ten conference championships already this year. Not a bad deal.

Nick:​No. Before we get into some football, you have a little beef with what was going on with softball.

Andrew:​Yeah. You see the post-season awards, and it’s post-season awards. I understand that it’s like, who cares about it? But I just don’t understand, how does the #1 and #2 pitchers in the country not win their conference championship award? I mean, their Conference Pitcher of the Year Award. Kelsey Nunley from Kentucky, and she had a good year, but Aleshia Ocasio and Delanie Gourley were #1 and #2 pitchers in the country, and they don’t get it? I don’t understand it. I just don’t.

Then Kirsti Merritt, who is considered to be the best center fielder in the country, doesn’t even win Center Fielder of the Year on the defensive team. I’m dumbfounded here. I don’t understand how you can tell me that another pitcher deserves that over them. Then just tell me how a girl like Merritt doesn’t get center fielder on defensive team? To me that just makes these awards mean nothing to me, I guess.

Nick:​It’s the coaches that vote on the awards, right? To me, when you get a coach that votes on the award, now when we get into like the football ones, and you’re wondering is it a coach, or is it a grad assistant, someone that’s doing it? Then you start to wonder about what was going on. I think I like when the coaches vote on the awards, because they’re the ones watching film and stuff, but then that makes you even question, what was going on there?

Andrew:​Yeah. I don’t know. That’s another thing. I don’t know if it is the coaches. I’m guessing it’s the coaches that vote on it. I’m not exactly 100% sure, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it is.

When you look at the awards, and Player of the Year was Kasey Cooper at Auburn, I’m okay with that. She had a great year. Florida probably didn’t have one girl that really stood out enough to be Player of the Year. You could have put one of those pitchers there as that.

Then the Freshman of the Year was Amanda Lorenz, and that was a great one for Florida, 1 and 2 in the Freshman of the Year votings were Florida girls, Lorenz and then Kelly Barnhill, the pitcher.

Then Coach of the Year is the Kentucky coach, and she deserved it. They were second. Tim Walton, I guess, doesn’t get that, because he’s been there. So that’s fine with me. When you have the #1 and #2 pitchers in the country, and they don’t get it, that would be like saying, Steph Curry, LeBron, you don’t get it. You’re #1 and #2, so Kobe, you’re retiring this year, you get it. People would laugh at that, right?

Nick:​Yeah. As we tape this, Steph Curry was voted unanimous MVP this year, first ever unanimous MVP in NBA history, which that’s pretty cool.

Andrew:​That’s pretty cool. As we’re taping this on Tuesday, Monday night he didn’t have a bad showing. I mean, he came in and decided he was going to put the Warriors on his back and take care of business.

Nick:​Yeah.

Andrew:​I want to hit on a couple things, Nick. I know we want to talk satellite camp, and that’s one of the big things for our podcast, but let’s get everybody caught up real quick. The Gators went out and picked up a commit last week, while you and I were out of town. Let’s get everybody caught up on that. We didn’t have a podcast last week, so we’ll get everybody caught up. The Gators picked up the commit last Wednesday evening. It was athlete commit, Kardarius Toney from Alabama. Really good looking player, 6’, 180 pounds, plays quarterback and receiver in high school ball, and is just a really good player. Think he ends up playing slot in college, but when you check out his film, and if you haven’t checked out his film, I tell you, go check it out, because you’re going to be amazed by what he is. When he gets the ball in his hands, he’s electric. Not only is he fast, but he can move side to side. He’s quick. Get the ball in his hands, and watch things happen.

Nick:​Where do you see him fitting in then?

Andrew:​I think he’s slot.

Nick:​Just a slot, or somebody that can play both maybe? Somebody who, before Brandon Powell got hurt you saw him in the backfield in slot, and kind of just put him in a position where we think we can get the ball in his hands in space, because that might not be in the slot. You might have to kind of manufacture that by putting him all over the field in the backfield, in the slot, maybe even out wide, motion.

Andrew:​I won’t say that he’s going to be just a slot. I think he’ll get some action at little wildcat quarterback. You and I both were told several times that Florida did a little wildcat this year with Dre Massey, and even Jordan Cronkrite a little bit. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that happen as well. He’s got a good arm. He throws it 60 yards, but I think we can agree that Jake Allen’s the quarterback of this class, and Toney’s an athlete. Maybe he does get some time at maybe running back when they’re in 3rd down situations, maybe in the gun a little bit, so they can maybe dump off a screen to him, that kind of stuff. He’s a punt return, kick return kind of guy. I think the best way to say it is he’s a guy that Coach Mac has that get to sheet, the get to the player sheet, and Toney will be a guy that’ll be up there. I think, if he’s not the best athlete in Alabama, as far as athlete goes, then he’s one of them. Super quick, 4-4 guy, and can just jump out of this world.

Nick:​Here’s another thing. Florida continues what they started last year with this little Alabama pipeline.

Andrew:​Alabama pipeline, for sure. They got there. They get him. They got a couple other guys. One Tuesday I had an article on Neil Farrell. That’s a guy out of Alabama as well, south Alabama, a defensive tackle, 6’4”, 285 player. They’re going after him hard, and then in next year’s class the defensive tackle, Timaje Porter, from Lamical Perine’s high school. Big old boy. Nick, you were able to see him as well when we went to visit Perine in January. He’s a good looking player. Alabama is supposedly about to offer. LSU and Auburn just offered him. He’s a guy that is slowly but surely starting to catch up and get on a lot of people’s boards. In the Nike opening event in New Orleans I believe he was 6’3”, 303 at defensive tackle. Good looking player.

Nick:​What does it do, I guess, maybe last year’s class started it, did Florida have a big presence in Alabama before Jim McElwain, before the last coaching staff were able to go in and get three kids from Alabama and a kid from Mississippi, or is this something that maybe these kids in the 2017 class and 2018 class will see, these guys who maybe I grew up with or looked up to, or I knew about, played with, they’re making the jump? You talk to guys from Alabama, it’s tough to leave the state. You have a lot of local pressure to stay in state, go to one of the two big schools. Is that 2016 class maybe something getting the ball rolling for Florida as far as being able to recruit in the state of Alabama moving forward?

Andrew:​Yeah. I think it was. Here’s the thing. It’s very tough to come into Alabama, because these guys hear Alabama, Auburn, every day of the week. They see it from family members, coaches, that kind of stuff. It’s the ties, the Drew Hughes’ of the world. Coach Skipper, Tim Skipper, running back coach, is doing an incredible job down there as well. Then Mac’s presence. I think we talked about this last year, but when you talk to Alabama coaches, they love Jim McElwain. They think of him. Nick Saban’s always going to be that top guy, but Jim McElwain’s right under there, more so than Auburn and Gus Malzahn are right now. It’s just something that’s there.
​Will Muschamp was scared, and I don’t mind saying it. I would probably tell him this to his face if he asked. Well, I probably wouldn’t, because he might have a rampage and get me, but he was scared. You have to have brass balls to come into Alabama and recruit. It’s as simple as that. You’re going to have the turn of the waters like it was with Perine, where there was the Alabama rumors. You’re going to have that. It is the nature of the business. Just like if you were to recruit a guy in Orlando, and Calvin Ashley’s going through that right now where Auburn’s got him, but there’s the Florida rumors there. The Florida State rumors were around him for a while. You’re going to have those rumors around him. You have to have the non-scared attitude, I guess is the best way to say it, relentless approach, and that’s something Muschamp didn’t want to do. He was simply nervous that he was going to lose guys to Bama, and he didn’t want to waste time. Mac’s thing is he’s not afraid to go in there and waste time if he needs to.

Nick:​They sort of ended up, at least in public perception, having to hold on to a guy like Lamical, where you do a good job, scout a guy, get him early, and then the big boys in the state start coming later. It’s kind of like, we feel good about holding him, but we’re going to have to fight off that big name, that in state school. I can see where you’re saying there’s kind of maybe a level of fear going out, because you’re investing a lot of time.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​Into these guys, and that’s time you could be spending elsewhere.

Andrew:​Here’s the thing. Do you get anywhere in life, especially in recruiting, working with fear? Freddie Swain’s a guy that was in North Marion, and you might as well call that backyard of Florida. Am I right in saying pretty much backyard of Florida at North Marion?

Nick:​Yeah.

Andrew:​Yeah. There was concern about Tennessee. So wherever you are, you got to still recruit these guys. Mac’s deal is I’m going to go find the best players, wherever they may be, and I’m going to recruit them, and I’m going to recruit them hard. I’m going to have my guys. I’ll say this. This is high praise coming from me, but when you got a guy like Tim Skipper, who I consider to be one of Florida’s best recruiters on their staff, he’s a guy you want putting there. He’s from New Orleans. He knows how to get in these guys. Then you got a guy like a Perine, who is very vocal with his recruiting other guys. That helps. Next year, when they see Lamical playing at Florida, or whether it be his redshirt freshman year, if he redshirts, they’re going to see that stuff, and they’re going to think, he went and played there; I can go play there, and that’s only going to benefit the long run of success, as long as Jim McElwain, Skipper, Drew Hughes, those guys are still on the staff.
​It’s really good. Recruiting is going well. To catch everybody up, just real quick, staff still all over the place. Starting to see more 2018 offers, that kind of stuff, out there, as they finish out the month of May, and then at the end of May, first of June, is when all hell breaks loose, and we have satellites flying all over the country. I feel like we’re going up into like the 22nd Century or something talking about satellites.

Nick:​The satellites.

Andrew:​Maybe we can all get drones by then, and everybody can just fly their drones.

Nick:​Maybe. I don’t know what the distance is on those, how far you’re going to get those to go.

Andrew:​Speaking of which, hold on, did you see the drone race they had?

Nick:​No.

Andrew:​They had a drone race, Nicholas, and it was pretty funny, because you were standing, and they were racing drones. How fun would that be? That would not be fun to me. That’s boring.

Nick:​Racing drones?

Andrew:​Yeah.

Nick:​As far as like sitting in an arena and watching people race drones, or you actually racing them?

Andrew:​No. They were people in a convention center kind of deal, civic center, watching people race drones. How boring would that be?

Nick:​I don’t know. I don’t get it.

Andrew:​I would like to watch paint dry before I would do that.

Nick:​I would rather do neither.

Andrew:​Exactly. Let’s talk satellite camps. I know you want to talk satellite camps. Before we get into it, Nick, I think we can both agree, this shit’s gotten out of hand. This has turned into a shit storm, a publicity stunt, whatever. This stuff’s getting crazy.

Nick:​Yeah. I think you’re going to see, I think it’s going to get abused. I think you’re going to see it get abused, and I think the NCAA is going to end up looking back into it next year after the season, and possibly even coming up with the conclusion that this got out of control. I don’t know if there’s any way to keep it in control when you have all of these different conferences and coaches who are all very competitive, high paid, high stress jobs. They’re going to look for the advantage any way they can, and while we think that maybe the principle of what these camps are and could be is good, that’s not how they’re being used now, and it’s something that we need to relook at. When you look at the satellite camp, this is why satellite camps are legal, because this is how the NCAA intends them to be run.

Andrew:​Right. Read that rule, because then I have something I want to say.

Nick:​A satellite camp is simply it allows college coaches to travel long distances to work as guests at camps hosted by other institutions. So when you’re saying, Florida is hosting, or Jim Harbaugh is hosting these 10 satellite camps across the country, it’s not really what they’re doing. They’re being invited as guests by other people. For instance, I think it was James Franklin’s first year at Penn State. He came in, and he went to Stetson and Georgia State. He was invited as an instructor. Stetson and Georgia State don’t have the kind of pull that a Penn State, a James Franklin, a Jim Harbaugh, a Jim McElwain have.
​They want to make money by having kids come to their camps to work out with their coaches, just like Florida does their own summer camps, but they can get more people to come if they’re saying, “James Franklin’s going to be here coaching. Jim Harbaugh’s going to come to our camp. He’s going to be working with quarterbacks. We have Chris Rumph coming; he’s going to be working with defensive linemen. Jim Harbaugh’s going to be coming and working with quarterbacks.” It’s a way for these smaller camps, these smaller schools, to provide a camp and to provide a service that maybe we wouldn’t be able to provide this on our own with our own coaches, so it’s going to be good for people in our area.

Andrew:​Right. Florida has guys visit when hold their camps. They have high school coaches coaching their camps, and a lot of that is because it’s a deal where we’ll let you coach the camp; we’ll pay you $100 to work the camp. In return, you bring some of your guys we want up to camp. That’s kind of how it is there. Like you said, it’s a thing. Florida’s going to Mercer in June. That’s in Georgia. There might be 10 kids there that are Florida guys, might be. That’s great for Florida, because they’re going to see 10 of their guys, but 500 kids are probably going to come out, and there are maybe 30 guys that are Mercer’s level. Not only that, but now Mercer makes however much they’re charging, $25 times 500. They’re making a good little penny.

Nick:​Rather than maybe 25 by 100.

Andrew:​Yeah. You have a football camp you’re always going to have rinky dink kids that come out and want to get coached, but now you’re going to have some guys, and then you’re going to have some guys that are the three star, the two star levels that are thinking, “I’m good enough I can go earn an offer from Florida.” In reality, they’re not good enough for Florida, but guess what? Mercer’s there. Georgia Southern’s there. They’re like, this guy’s a player. They start recruiting him. It works out and everything there.
​My biggest thing is this. If it was just for the kids, I love it, but it’s not. It is now a recruiting tool, and it’s something that the SEC and the ACC, like you say, Nick, all the time, they’re just not benefiting from it. What does Florida get out of going to Georgia and recruiting? Yes, they get a little face time with some kids, work with some kids that are in Georgia, but those kids are probably coming to Florida for a camp anyway. It’s working out better for Michigan, those schools. Florida just not. My thing is this. I think you’re going to run off some very good college football coaches because of this. You’re thinking now these guys have been on the road since April 15. They’re going to get off the road May 31, but now they’re not. Now they’re back on the road again for more camps, and instead of being in Gainesville working a camp where they work 5, 6, 7 hours, get to go home and sleep in their bed and relax, now they’re in Dallas, Texas working a three day camp. These coaches aren’t getting a break anymore. Yes, I’m sure I’m going to have some smartass say, they’re getting paid $600,000 a year. Sure. They’re getting paid $600,000 a year in the NFL and not having to do all this.

Nick:​That’s true. We mentioned how hard recruiting is all the time, and we’re talking about kids that are freshmen in high school that guys like Tim Skipper and McElwain, that they need to be watching and knowing and starting to communicate with. You add stuff like this in, and I think that if you look at how the NCAA is looking at it and interpreting it, yes, it makes sense. It’s a loophole, because NCAA prohibited colleges from hosting camps outside of a 50 mile radius, but nothing said they couldn’t go and be a guest host. When you look at it purely, yeah, Florida going to a school like Mercer, or not just Florida, but Mercer has 10 schools coming. If that doubles just the kids coming, that’s great for Mercer.

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​Then you have to wonder, how much attention are those kids that aren’t Florida kids, that aren’t Michigan kids, how much attention are they getting versus the 10 kids, the 20 kids at camp that are?

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​Then you start to wonder, what’s actually happening here? Are we really concerned about coaching and developing young players, or are we worried about getting that next guy to come to my school, because he’s going to help me win football games?

Andrew:​Right.

Nick:​The reason the ACC and the SEC don’t like them is it’s all coaches from the north are coming down south. They’re not going to Maine to be a part of a football camp. Jim Harbaugh did one camp in Michigan last summer, and everything else is in Texas and Florida and California. If you’re worried about progressing the game, do them all right outside of that, right in your area. That’s the thing. It’s the coaches from northern schools, from Big Ten country, that are coming down into ACC territory and SEC territory, and that’s why the ACC and SEC have been so steadfast against it.

Andrew:​Here’s the thing. I have two points real quick, and then we can move on, or get what you want to say. Here’s my first thing, and someone said this during the draft. Satellite camps are going to prevent things like Carson Wentz going to North Dakota State. Bullshit. You’re still going to have kids that slip through the cracks and go to smaller schools, kids that develop later, kids that get better once they get to college, kids that go to college and start working out harder and getting focused. You’re still going to have great players going to smaller schools. Having satellite camps isn’t finding these kids that if a kid is good, he’s going to be found. He’s going to go to some camp, and he’s going to blow up. Technology now, social media nowadays, it’s there. Nick, you were at the IMG Academy three years ago when Shawn White was blowing up, and he was a nobody. You and I are tweeting all day long about how great Shawn White looks, and there was 50 other people tweeting the same thing. Tell me there wasn’t college football coaches or interns of whatever, GAs, looking at Twitter saying, all these guys talking about Shawn White; we need to go check out his film one more time. That happens. Satellite camps doesn’t fix that problem at all.
​My second thing is this. After this satellite’s camp over with I may do this study. I would like to know what the percentage of kids that never visit the campus that comes to a satellite camp that commits to a school and stays at that school. How is Michigan coming down to Miami telling a kid, come play for Michigan? The kid’s never seen Michigan a day in his life. It’s Michigan, Florida, and Florida State. He’s visited Florida and Florida State. What’s he telling that kid? Michigan’s beautiful. Here’s some photos of this. It’s 28 degrees. I highly doubt that kid’s committing to Michigan sight unseen, never taking a visit, over Florida and Florida State, two schools he’s seen.

Nick:​Yeah. I don’t know. I honestly don’t understand. I understand why they would do it as far as Big Ten schools or American schools. I don’t really see it being used as it’s intended, as the letter of the law. College football coaches are super competitive. You can’t make it to that level, and then stay at that level, without being a competitive SOB, someone that will flip a table over if you lose a game of checkers, that level of competitive. When you get that level of competition mixed with all the money that comes with being a Division I coach at a big football school, now you’re going to start to find gray areas, and start to skirt the rules. I just don’t see this, the rule is to help smaller schools, to help kids who aren’t those big time Division I kids to learn the game of football and have a better experience of football. That’s how it’s written, and I just don’t see that as that being the main focus.

Andrew:​It’s a publicity stunt. It’s a publicity stunt right now. That’s all it is. It’s a publicity stunt, and I don’t give a damn what Jim Harbaugh says. I don’t care what anybody says. I don’t care what Coach Mac says, if he wants to make an excuse. It’s a publicity stunt right now. That’s all it is is a publicity stunt, and I can’t see it. This is my thing. How in the world is the NCAA going to mandate this stuff? Rules are going to be broken. They’re going to be. You have all these coaches everywhere. They’re going to be broken. It’s a dead period for coaches to be out seeing kids. Give me a break. Somebody, Jim Harbaugh wants a kid bad enough, don’t even give me this crap that he may not stop by so-and-so’s house on the way home. It’s going to happen. It’s going to happen.
​Let’s move on real quick. Let’s talk about some potential ones Florida may go to. Florida hasn’t confirmed anything. They haven’t put out anything. A few that’s been thrown around on Twitter is one at Mercer. That’s the one you and I have been talking about. There’s been some thrown around with Dallas and Houston, with University of Texas. There’s been some thrown around in Maryland. There’s been some thrown around in Mobile, in my neck of the woods. I think those are all good places to go. You go to Maryland; you see some good kids out there that you’re interested in, and it’s good to get your foot back in the door. Torrian Gray’s got some connections there. Mobile is pretty self-explanatory. They’ve been doing good work there. Then Dallas and Houston is Kerry Dixon, Randy Shannon territory, where they know a lot of people. So that would make sense as well. Then, I think you’ll see them do some in state ones as well. Then, of course, the Mercer one make sense. Again, it’s good, but is it really that good? I mean, I think if you ask Florida they’d rather have those kids come to campus, show them campus, and be okay with it.

Dabo Sweeney made news. Nick, you know I’m not a big Dabo fan. I’m not a big Clemson guy at all, but he made news, and it’s very smart, in my opinion. It’ll hurt him, because he’s not going out to satellite camps, but he said he doesn’t want to do satellite camps, because he wants kids to come to campus, because that’s where he sells the kids on their campus life. To me, that makes sense.

Did we lose you?

Nick:​No. That makes sense. To me, at this point…

Andrew:​He’s going to be behind the 8 ball.

Nick:​Yeah. At this point, yeah, that makes sense. I would rather have the kid on campus, but your hand is almost forced now.

Andrew:​Right. Here’s my thing, and this is the way I think it could have been done. Let me just throw this out there before you say it. Why not have, you got five officials, right? Why not say you can take two officials once you have finished your junior year, okay? All these kids that are wanting to go to these places that the NCAA and the satellite camps are saying they can’t get to, now they can, because the schools can pay for it. Those two schools in the summertime. If Johnny in Houston, Texas is poor as a rock, and he wants to go visit Florida and Clemson, well Florida and Clemson can pay for it to go. They already passed a rule they can pay for two parents to come along with him. Mom, dad, and Johnny can get on a plane; fly to Florida, and fly to Clemson in the summertime. Have a three day visit. Find what they want to find, go on about their business. To me that’s the way you fix this problem instead of having 75 gazillion satellite camps all over the place. I’m looking at some right now. Harbaugh’s having 26 satellite camps in June. 26.

Nick:​That’s a lot.

Andrew:​That’s a lot. That’s a hell of a lot. I mean, I don’t know. I’ll get off my rampage. I don’t understand it.

Nick:​How long do you think it’ll last before it gets relooked at?

Andrew:​I think it’s done next year. I’m honestly surprised that they overturned it. I just think it’s stupid. I think it’s stupid. I really do. I think it’s so stupid. I think it’s so stupid.

Nick:​I think it’s naïve to think that it’s going to be used…

Andrew:​Everyone wants to make it about the kids, and it’s everything the NCAA does. It’s we’re doing this for the kids. Bullshit, NCAA. Get out of here. You say everything’s about the kids on this and that, but you cut down the kids every opportunity you get. You’re not fair to those guys. Get out of here.

Nick:​Let’s bring your blood pressure back down. Tell the people, SEC Softball Tournament starts this week.

Andrew:​Yeah. Starts this week in Starkville, Mississippi, and the Gators are the 1 seed. Surprise, surprise, Nick. Even though our buddies on the message board decided that Florida wasn’t very good this year, somehow or another they decided they were going to be 1 seed.

Nick:​What does that mean for them? A bye. Who are they playing? What’s going on with Florida, the #1 seed who doesn’t have the best pitcher in the conference?

Andrew:​It actually is kind of bad. Florida kind of got a bad draw, if you want to just be frank about it. Heading into the last weekend they were battling Auburn for the SEC Championship. Florida got the win after Auburn lost two games to A&M, but Auburn ends up losing another game, is now the 4 seed, and are going to be in Florida’s bracket of the SEC Tournament, which quite frankly sucks for Florida, because Auburn’s the second best team in the country, in the League, and Florida’s going to have to face them probably in the semi-finals. Florida will have, the first four seeds will have off on Wednesday, so that means Florida does as well. They’ll face the Georgia, Ole Miss winner on Thursday at 4:00, and then the winner of that game will face probably either Auburn or Alabama, who will also have to play on Thursday. Florida got the bad end of the deal, but I think no matter what, whatever Florida does in the SEC Tournament, they’re probably the 1 seed, should be the 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Michigan’s still there, but I still think Florida’s there. Remember this, if Florida does lose, they did lose the SEC Tournament last year as well, so the world is not falling down.

Nick:​What is your prediction?

Andrew:​It’s single elimination. I’ll just say it. Florida’s going to win the tournament. Part of me thinks Auburn will, but I’ll say Florida does, just because they’re #1 in the country. I’m sticking with Florida. Go Florida there. I’m going to be interested to see how Walton uses his pitching staff. He’s been using all three. Does he use all three again? Which would mean that Ocasio would go Thursday. Gourley would go Friday, and Barnhill would go in the Championship game on Saturday. Does he do that, or he go back to a two man rotation like he kind of has in the past years where he’s had three through the year, and then bumped it back down to two? Does he go to two, or does he let Barnhill go? To me that’s going to be the interesting thing as we go through the next few weeks. Here’s the thing. All three pitchers this year have no-nos.

Nick:​That’s not a bad deal.

Andrew:​Not a bad deal at all, but let’s talk about your guys. Now tied for the SEC.

Nick:​Florida will finish up the nonconference schedule tonight, by the time you’re listening to this it will be over, with USF. A win today gives them a 14-0 record midweek, which I think will be the first time. I’ll have to double check on that tonight, but I think it would be the first time. Then host Vanderbilt, which is a bid series, before you hit the road and finish the year up at LSU, who’s been struggling. As it does in the SEC, pretty much every year, it’s going to come down to the last week of the season to really find whoever the winner is going to be, the winner of the regular season SEC, but Florida’s going to get a bye. Right from LSU they’ll go up to Hoover for the SEC Championship.

Andrew:​Who does South Carolina finish with? I know they have Alabama as well coming up, but who does South Carolina have this weekend? I am looking it up as we speak. Like you said, that’s going to be tough, because Alabama has some really good pitching. They just don’t hit very well there, but it will be interesting to see how Florida does against Vandy, and then with LSU. South Carolina has A&M.

Nick:​A&M, then Alabama. Hoover, when you talk about the SEC Tournament, Hoover is interesting, because that is a huge park. Then when you’re talking about teams that maybe don’t hit well, or hit for a ton of power, if you have pitching that’s a big park, and that can make up for even a small pitching mistake. I think Florida could do well there playing at that park there in Hoover. It’ll be interesting to see. I think Florida is in good position. Texas A&M is a very good team. South Carolina stumbled a little bit last week at Kentucky, losing 6-0 and 5-4, and Texas A&M is good. They’re a good ball club. I know Florida swept them earlier in the year, but that’s one of the best clubs in the country. Even though you’re saying Vanderbilt and LSU, I think Florida might have an easier road, just based on how the teams are playing right now finishing up.

Andrew:​Here’s the thing. We keep talking about it’s either Florida or Carolina. A&M is just one game back. A sweep of Carolina and two losses by the Gators, and we’re talking about A&M being the SEC Champions.

Nick:​Yeah. That’s true. There’s a reason that the SEC is the best conference for baseball in the country, and it’s right here. The schedule makers did well putting Florida/Vandy, Florida/LSU, and Texas A&M/South Carolina here on the last two weeks. They did a good job.

Andrew:​Seven teams in the SEC have 30 wins.

Nick:​Florida’s the only team in the country with 40.

Andrew:​That’s right. Should be busy. Be interesting to see really how softball does, and how baseball finishes. Lacrosse did win the Big East, and are the #2 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament for lacrosse, so congrats to them. Maybe somebody will get a championship here soon. Nick, tell the people where they can find us. We’ll get out of here and see everyone later in the week.

Nick:​As always, www.GatorCountry.com for all of your Florida Gator news. On Facebook, GatorCountry. On Instagram, TheGatorCountry. On Twitter it’s going to be @GatorCountry, @NickdelaTorreGC, and @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:​Definitely. As always, guys, we appreciate you. Hit us up. If you’re not a member, check us out. Hit me up, get you a deal maybe. As always, go Braves, and chomp, chomp.
April 10th Podcast​​Page 11
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Florida Gators beat USF, finish 14-0 in midweek games

The Gators finished 2016 with a perfect 14-0 record in midweek games.

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