Florida Gators recruiting mailbag: December 21st editon

The Florida Gators recruiting efforts got some major momentum on Wednesday during the early signing period after they signed 13 prospects.

Mullen and his staff landed big time quarterback Emory Jones on Wednesday and has them riding some major buzz heading into the dead period.

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 still after.

We answer your questions in this week’s Florida Gators recruiting mailbag.

Well let’s dive right in to this week’s recruiting mailbag:

GatorNavy: Who do you see the staff looking at as the 2nd quarterback?

AS: Right now, I don’t have any clear names as to who this will be and I have to wonder if taking a second quarterback is a priority anymore. That’s a question that will become clearer in the coming weeks.


Halleygator: Why is FSU’s class ranked #64 right now when Willie Taggart is supposed to be the Best Recruiter ever.

AS: Everyone thought Taggert would bring his whole staff with him and that didn’t happen and he lost his two coordinators who were great recruiters. Everyone that has worked for Taggart have said he’s tough to work for and that’s proven true. Also this isn’t USF he’s recruiting for and he’s going up against the big boys.


Irgator12: Can Dan Mullen recruit?

AS: I think he showed everyone that he knows what he’s doing on Wednesday. Mullen took a risk by letting Matt Corral go and he got his guy in Emory Jones that fits his system. Give Mullen time and he will be competing big time.


Jump_pass: Who do you see on the linebacker board being realistic?

AS: Right now, that’s a tough question as the linebacker board is bare heading into January. The targets that Florida was recruiting are all signed besides Kentucky linebacker commit Xavier Peters who plans to visit in January. He has some academic questions though.


Ajoseph: Is there a back story to Jones as to why he fell out of favor with Ohio State (or the other way around)? The story on him today made it sound like OSU stopped contacting him so he started looking around, where surrendipity intervened.

AS: When Jones started looking around due to wanting to be closer to home, Urban took a second quarterback when he said only one quarterback this year. That upset Jones and his family and Jones stopped talking to them when taking visiting. Urban than started doing the same so it was just a relationship that soured.


LEMONHOPE: Who are the top targets Dan Mullen puts on the wish list/focuses on for February signing day?

AS: Jacob Copeland, William Barnes, Andrew Chatfield, Nesta Silvera, Marquez Ezzard, Nick Petit-Frere, Coynis Miller and Pat Surtain Jr to name a few. This list could go on longer but those are just a few names that have talked about visiting Florida in January that Mullen will go after hard now that the early signing period is over.


UFsports24_7: Now that the early signing period is over, could you give us a quick rundown of positional needs in this class now. And names you expect to be main targets for the staff at these positions after the dead period?

AS: 1 QB, 2-3 WR, 2 OL, 2 DL, 2 LB, 1-2 DB. Those numbers could change some like Florida may not take a second quarterback after all but that’s how I see it going down as of today. As far as names go, I’m going to break all of that down in a story the first of the week after I have time to see who actually signed and such.


Msd: Would love some backstory on Fields mow that it is done. Maybe you can get Brett to spill??

AS: Nothing really to spill except Fields had interest in Florida but ultimately decided sticking with the home state team in Georgia was the best fit. Fields had interest in Florida and had a good relationship with several coaches but it was just too late in the process.


Ufgator84: Chances on Ezzard? BIG-TIME talent!

AS: Right now, I would say it’s a Ole Miss/Florida battle heading into official visits. Ezzard told me on Wednesday that he plans to visit both of those schools, plus Georgia in January.


Homeboygator: What will it take to get us in the top ten after February signing day

AS: Florida needs to land the guys that they’re favored for and they should be in the top ten. There’s no doubt that they will go after some more highly ranked guys that should help the class if they land or two of those guys.


Gator_nica: Who was Emory Jones main recruiter and where are they placing his statue?

AS: Brian Johnson was his main recruiter with Dan Mullen. Those two guys recruited Jones to Mississippi State and had already developed a relationship with Jones before they arrived at Florida.


Jgrow: With locking down our 4 “safety’s”, do we just go after 1 stud corner like PS2 or Tyson Campbell? Or who else is on our board as a pure corner?

AS: Florida needs to add one to two corners in this class. Surtain is the top guy and than the Gators have to look hard to find more options at the position. There’s even some talk that Asante Samuel may not sign early and that Florida may go after him now. The board however still has to expand soon.


Macbgator: How strong is Richard Gouraige commitment and where do we stand with Nick Petit-Frere??,I expect to get Barnes to go with this class!!!

AS: Gouraige’s commitment to Florida is pretty strong and I don’t expect him to go elsewhere because he has developed a good relationship with Dan Mullen and John Hevesy. William Barnes is still a Florida lean and Petit-Frere looks to be headed to Ohio State.


Unclenunzio: When is Bookie signing? Is he NSD or early?

AS: Bookie is announcing at the Under Armour game but it won’t be Florida.


rajinGator: Coach just how much consideration did Jones give FSU the last couple days?

AS: No question that he thought about them but now past Monday night he didn’t. He made his final decision on Tuesday and that was it. The smoke about FSU on Wednesday was just people trying to get clicks as Jones was all Florida as of Tuesday.


Gatorbec: What are the odds that Emory Jones is redshirted next year?

AS: I don’t see Jones redshirting next year unless he just comes in and struggles big time this spring.


Kirkb919: Does Jones have a high football IQ? Was he coached up well in high school or is really talented and really raw (i.e. – F. Franks)?

AS: Yes, he has a high football IQ and is a winner on the field and off the field. Jones is much more advanced than Franks is coming out of high school. Jones works with quarterback coach Quincy Avery who has Jones ready to play.


Kirkb919: Who do you think is our best tight end at this point? Someone in this class or on our current roster?

AS: Kemore Gamble is the guy that I think will shine at the position going forward under Mullen. Lang and Pitts also have a chance to play early.


Apkgator: Is Antonio Nelson a possibility for a corner spot?

AS: I haven’t heard his name mentioned by the new staff at all so I would say no.


Apkgator: If Skip is retained does Chase get back in the conversation at receiver since Heath is off the board?

AS: Right now Chase hasn’t been a priority for the new staff but with the board getting smaller, I could see them making another run at Chase. If Tim Skipper stays than Florida has a real shot.


Gatorboy08: What are our realistic chances with Tommy Bush? Really want this kid but seems UGA has made a good push after his OV. Any chance he visits UF?

AS: Right now I would say Georgia has the best shot but he does say he wants to visit Florida. Bush and his family are all about relationships so that hurts Florida because they came in late.


Bgator21: Dorian Gerald. We getting him?

AS: Florida and South Carolina will battle for Gerald’s signature. Chris Rumph was his main recruiter and they had a close relationship so that hurt Florida some but he’s still planning visiting.


Ufgatordad: Any chance we can get back in the mix for JJ Peterson, or has that ship log since sailed?

AS: I don’t see Peterson at Florida for a few reasons but one of the reasons is academics.

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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.