Florida Gators recruiting mailbag: February 1st edition

The Florida Gators recruiting efforts got some major momentum during the early signing period when they signed 13 players.

Dan Mullen and his staff have just six days left before National Signing Day as they prepare for their final official visit weekend of the 2018 class.

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:

Jump_pass: How strongly do you feel this class closes around 10th overall?

AS: I feel pretty good in saying that the Gators will finish with a top 10 class. They still have some big names out there that will push the class up higher.


Colin: OK, I asked this last time but got no answer: how many spots do you predict will be open/left to fill on NSD?

AS: The Gators can sign nine guys on signing day right now. There’s a chance that they can sign 10 but they’re waiting on a waiver from the NCAA to get Randy Russell’s spot back since he has had to retire.


Blake_usmc: How many of the 2019 guys that decommitted are we still after? It will be interesting to see how many make it back in the class?

AS: The Gators are still after a lot of those guys but the relationship building all started over so the Gators are basically starting from scratch. I do expect that a few of those guys will come back into the class by this time next year. Guys like Jaleel McRae, Marcus Tillman and Jaquaze Sorrels like Florida a lot but just didn’t know the coaches.


Gatorfantm: What are you hearing with Nick Petit-Frere and Jacob Copeland? Do you think we can land either of them?

AS: The Gators are in a good spot with Copeland heading into this weekend’s visit but Alabama is right there. I do think the Gators have a slight edge however. With Nick Petit-Frere, he doesn’t even know where’s going right now but Florida did make up some ground with him over the weekend during his official visit. Notre Dame and Alabama are also real contenders and Ohio State can never be counted out with an official visit still looming.


Dhainer24: Does the new staff have Trey Knox at the top of the 2019 receiver board? Please say yes!!! I feel like with all of Zo’s glowing reports over the years that this kid HAS to be a Gator. I just hope Mullen and staff show him the love and don’t slow play him like Kerry Dixon tried to do.

AS: Florida does have Knox on the board and they’re going to recruit him hard. Mullen likes tall receivers and that’s exactly what Knox is. I expect Knox to get a lot of attention this spring from the Gators.


FormerGatorGreat98: What’s up with the Admin and us not getting the guys with academic issues?

AS: Florida has academic standards and not just anyone can get into school at Florida. This is nothing new and nothing the coaching staff can do about it.


Lurkingator1: updates/ details about the National Signing day Dispatch ! Is gator country hosting anything ? where could you see this class being ranked Nationally and within the SEC.

AS: We will have our usual signing day chat and Ray will be sending out the messages as usual. He will announce all of that on Monday before signing day like he has in the past. As far nationally goes, I believe Florida will be top 10.


Irgator12: Can we reel William Barnes back into the class? He was all Gators before the coaching change.

AS: Florida has a big uphill climb to make on Barnes, North Carolina has done a great job on him and his teammate Ed Montilus. Florida is putting in the work and hosting them on campus this weekend where anything can happen but right now I say North Carolina.


Macbgator: Will we take William Barnes, Ed Montilus, Nick Petit-Frere, Griffin McDowell and Richard Gouraige, if they all decided to commit??

AS: Florida doesn’t have the room for all of those guys so they have some tough decisions to make down the stretch but I don’t expect all of those guys to want in at this point.


UFMBA14: My question is forward looking. How long do you realistically think before we are competing for top 5 or better classes? I know transition classes are tough and you hear about the top recruits that have had relationships being built since they were freshmen or sophomores. I know we’re working on some 2019 kids but will the next homerun class be more likely in 2020 or 2021?

AS: The 2019 class is absolutely loaded instate next year so competing for a top five class isn’t out of the question for next year. Florida should compete for top five classes every year and I believe Mullen will have the Gators doing that on a yearly basis.


Wiskgator71: If a kid takes all his OVs and commits to a school, then he changes his mind and decommits and reopens his recruitment. Do his official visits reset?

AS: No they don’t. You get five official visits per prospect.


Dopplegangerg8r: What is the absolute number we can sign on Feb. 7? Is the absolute number restricted by the 85 limit or the annual 25? Can any of this year’s commits count towards last year? Does Florida still operate with the 85 restriction that was in place under Machen? (where we could not factor the usual 4-5 transfers after spring in the equation)

AS: Right now it’s 9 more guys but as I explained above, it could be 10 more guys on Wednesday. The number is to get Florida to 85 on the roster and yes Florida and all other schools operate under the 85 restriction now due to the NCAA counter rule.


Ajoseph: Andrew: Last year, Mac closed very strong and surprised us with his signing day haul. How has Mullen and his Team done compared solely with Mac’s last recruiting class.

AS: Overall, Mullen and his staff have done a great job in recruiting but it’s all about how you close on signing day. I will say that Mullen has more options and is doing a better job of having those options than in the years past. I do believe that Mullen and his staff are a better recruiting staff in general and that will show down the road even more.


Ocalag8tor: Andrew, are there any surprise under the radar recruits that will come out of left field on signing day if we miss on top targets?

AS: Right now, no there isn’t but Mullen and company could sneak someone in this weekend. So I wouldn’t officially rule it out but right now no out of left field targets for Florida.


RVG: Do you expect we will lose anymore current Gators as we head into Spring / Summer / Fall? If so, do you have a guess at that number?

AS: Every year guys leave after spring practice when they realize they aren’t going to play much at a school. That’s surely to happen again this year and especially with a new coaching staff on board. As far as a number, it’s too early to predict that.

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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.