It’s a huge period of time for the Florida Gators recruiting staff and every coaching staff in America as the recruiting evaluation period is currently under way.
For the last few weeks through the end of May, the Gators coaches will be visiting prospects around the country and watching them practice.
Gator Country’s members have a lot of questions about how the 2018 class will shake out and who are the top prospects that the Gators are after right now. We answer your questions in this week’s Florida Gators recruiting mailbag.
Well let’s dive right in to this week’s recruiting mailbag:
Macbgator: Which recruit do we need to be the cowbell of this class????
AS: The quarterback is the cowbell of most recruiting classes so I will say a quarterback but running back Iverson Clement is doing a good job early on. So adding a quarterback with Clement would create a real good cowbell for the class.
Ufgatordad: Where does Warren Thompson sit on our receiver board, #2 behind Jacob Copeland, or are there better options out there? I know things can change over night in recruiting, but it just boggles my mind that Thompson was on campus for every home game last year and that we’ve struggled to get him on campus since..
AS: Thompson is a big target just like Copeland and Marquez Ezzard are. The Gators have several big targets on the board and Justyn Ross out of Alabama is also high up there. Thompson does need to get back on campus again for Florida to start to feel better about things as right now Florida State has all the momentum.
Macbgator: What does our defensive tackle board look like????
AS: Rick Sandidge, Miami commit Nesta Silvera, Alim McNeill and Dennis Briggs are all on the board. Sandidge really likes Florida a lot.
Gatorca14: How are things looking at offensive line? Who are we prioritizing? Barton Clement seems to be a name that’s rocketing up our board.
AS: Clement has Florida high up there for sure and plans to visit this spring. The big five instate are also up there and they’re William Barnes, John Campbell, Richard Gouraige, Nicholas Petit-Frere and Ed Montilus. Plus you have Jamaree Salyer, Trey Hill and Christian Meadows are up there and plan to visit to visit this summer.
Gatorca14: How are we looking for Kyle Pitts?
AS: Things are going really well for Pitts and he’s visiting in June. Pitts said in his story with me last week that he just needs to see everything so I would say he’s leaning towards Florida a little bit. JaJuan Seider is doing a great job with him.
MrB-Gator: How do you think the early signing period will affect our class?
How many could we sign on Dec 20th?
AS: Really too early to tell how it will affect the class because we haven’t ever went through it but you will find out who is real in their commitment and who isn’t. And you can sign any of your guys that you want on December 20th but only a few will be able to early enroll. That number depends on how many open scholarships are there for the spring.
Mdmcgarry: Who do you see being in our class at the linebackers positions?
AS: The two things that Florida seems to really be focused on are Channing Tindall and David Reese. Things are going well with both right now but the Gators are in fight for both too. The Gators have some other options out there but those guys seem to be the top guys.
Singles: Other than quarterback and Fields what position/ player is a must get this recruiting cycle? I am waiting for that player that is a game changer for our program. Is there one this recruiting cycle that is a must get for Florida? Thanks as always AS! You are the best!
AS: Jacob Copeland is a guy that I think could really change things for Florida because he’s the big name guy this year, plus he’s from the panhandle where Florida hasn’t had much success lately. Copeland also will be a big recruiter for whichever school he signs with so landing him is huge.
Brainstorm: If Fields were to flip to us – are there guys out there, such as Copeland, who our chances with would go way up?
AS: If Fields flips or really any big time quarterback joins the Gators class or really any class, players start taking notice of that school. Everyone wants to know who the quarterback will be for the team they play for but to answer your questions, Fields is a guy that kids will flock too. He’s a very personable guy that kids like a lot.
Mikegator10: What are our chances with Micah Parsons?
AS: Right now I would say slim just because he hasn’t visited yet. He’s coming down in June and that will tell us a lot. Right he’s saying the right things but saying it and doing it is two different things.
Msd: Are we good on Amari Burney? Has seemed positive for a long time, but nothing much of late. Hoping he is pretty much locked in.
AS: Things are still looking good with Burney and he plans to decide on June 1st. Burney likes Florida a lot and so does his parents.
Gatorczar: Who do we have the best chance at signing at tight end?
AS: Right now I would say Kyle Pitts but Florida made a big impression on John Fitzpatrick when they offered him last week.
Gator126: My question is about our coaches who are our best recruiters. I’m always concerned about losing those coaches to other programs for whatever reason. In your opinion have we really stepped up to lock in our best like Coach JaJuan Seider? How competitive are we with other top programs?
AS: Florida has stepped it a good bit actually and that is props to Scott Stricklin. Seider, Tim Skipper and Brad Davis are all guys that the Gators must keep.
UFGator402: Based on what you know today, in what “tier” do you predict our class finishes: Top 3, Top 5, Top 10, 10-15, or oh shit?
AS: Top 10 finish is something that Florida should be able to get and with so many big name targets out there, a top five finish isn’t out of the question.
Firefightinggator: Over or under 3 commits by the end of June ?
AS: I would say over three by the end of the June.
Blake_usmc: As far as future commitments go, which players have scheduled commitments coming in the next two months who are on our board?
AS: The only scheduled commitment right now is Amari Burney on June 1st. Most guys will just pop up with a commitment now days instead of announcing a date.
Juggernautz: Can you tell us which coach is recruiting what area(s)?
AS: Out of state, the guys recruit their position pretty much except Skipper has New Orleans, Rumph has the Carolina. Dixon, Davis and Shannon recruit Texas. Most everyone helps in Georgia and Skipper also has Mobile. Instate, Skipper has Pensacola, Jacksonville and linebackers, Nord has the rest of the panhandle. Dixon has Orlando and the space coast area. Nuss has Pinellas County. Rumph has Tampa. Dixon, Seider, Shannon, Bell have South Florida.
Juggernautz: Are we going to need to recruit a place kicker this cycle?
AS: Yes, camp in June will be a big key for that.
Juggernautz: How many defensive backs are we going to take?
AS: Likely four this year after a big class last year.
Ufgatordad: What do you think the second week-end of June looks like from a commitment standpoint? Big time movement or relatively quiet? Do you think all the Penn kids make it down, and any chance of snagging Fields or others from that group that week-end?
AS: I expect them all to make it down but still a month away so anything can change. Fields will be at the Adidas camp so he won’t be in town. That weekend however is looking to be a big weekend for visitors.
Nickelgators: Dax Hollifield are we going after him hard ?
AS: Still recruiting him pretty hard yes. He says he wants to visit again.
UFsports24_7: Do we have a realistic shot with Tyson Campbell?
AS: Ohio State and Miami are the two teams to beat right now so I don’t think so right now.
Gatorczar: Do you think 24_7’s avatar is somehow affecting recruiting?
It certainly affects me when I see it.
AS: I think it scares everyone and gives everyone nightmares.