Florida Gators recruiting mailbag: January 11th 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 taken the dead period to set up the recruiting board as they push to signing day on February 7th.

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:

MrB-Gator: Andrew….offensive line board……who do you think we get in this class?

AS: Right now the targets are William Barnes, Nick Petit-Frere and Ed Montilus with Richard Gouraige already committed. Florida still has work to do with Gouraige but I think they can keep him and grab Barnes to finish the class.


Brainstorm: Do you think Dan Mullen will hold open a spot for a possible grad transfer (quarterback) later?

AS: It’s very possible he holds a spot for a grad transfer but I haven’t heard a for sure answer on that at this time. I know that Mullen has been looking at all options including transfers and that’s what helped him land Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson.


Thomadm: Defensive tackle and defensive end who are we looking to get and how many does the staff want?

AS: DE targets are as followed, Andrew Chatfield, Caleb Tannor, Malcolm Lamar, Dorian Gerald and Malik Langham. Florida would like to get two of those guys.

The defensive tackle targets are as followed, Nesta Silvera, Coynis Miller, Noah Jefferson, Rick Sandidge and Jamarcus Chatman. Florida would like to land one to two of those guys depending on how many ends they get.


Bfitzy: A little off topic but I’m interested. About how many reporters are present at the Under Armor game for each the big teams: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Clemson, etc.

AS: Each team usually has about 4-5 reporters out there from the different sites. A lot of guys also cover an area so they report on multiple teams.


Ocalag8tor: Are we making up any ground on our main o-line targets? I know some had no relationships with our current staff and was hoping you could give some insight on if they had made up ground enough to earn a visit.

AS: Florida didn’t get to spend a ton of time with guys like Barnes, Gouraige and Petit-Frere in December because they were busy trying to sure up the early signing guys but they will hit the ground running in making up those relationships on Friday. They have been talking over the phone with those guys and things seem to be going find in the relationship building phase.


Gatorfan228: LBs, any updates on Xavier Peters or Quay Walker? Are we recruiting both as linebacker? Still grade concerns for Xavier?

AS: Peters plans to visit Florida next weekend on the 19tth and if Florida feels he can get into school than they have a solid chance there. Walker moved his visit to Florida to the final weekend of the recruiting period and they’re going to battle Tennessee, Georgia and Auburn for him. His relationship with Trey Dean certainly helps the Gators though.


47Gator: Outside of JaJuan Seider who are our strongest recruiters on staff?

AS: Billy Gonzales and Sal Sunseri would probably be next up after Seider as they’re guys who can close really strong. Todd Grantham is another guy who has done a great job recruiting and Dan Mullen is also very hands on as far as recruiting goes.


Macbgator: Are we recruiting Dax Holifield or is he another recruit that Randy Shannon. ran off!!!

AS: The new staff hasn’t visited him yet so he’s guy that I think you can cross off of the board.


Jump_pass: If reports are true of the Otis Yelverton hire, what are you hearing around the industry in regards to him and recruiting? And how do you personally feel about it?

AS: He’s a guy that certainly knows how to recruiting and guys to visit schools because of his relationship with coaches around the country. Me personally, I like the hire because Mullen needs another guy who has ties to the west coast and the Carolina’s who can also compete with the best of them and Otis can do that.


Lurkingator1: Did you hear any of the negative talk regarding Hevesy coming out of the all star game camps ? so have indicated recruits could not relate well to him. What’s your opinion on him as a recruiter?

AS: Hevesy isn’t a guy that kids are best friends with but he’s a guy that when it comes to talking ball with, he gets it and has a good relationship with guys based off of that. Once guys visit and are able to sit down with him, then they will have a better relationship with him.


rajinGator: From you can gather, overall how would you compare this recruiting staff to the previous?

AS: Heads and shoulders better right now simply because they’re confident they can get anyone and that’s something the last staff didn’t have. Also this staff works as a team and isn’t biased towards one region like the last staff was with South Florida.


Mjhurstygator: With the major need for linebackers and I know we are in the mix for some guys…..do you think we get any of the suspended LB’s back to help or are we totally depended on what the Gators sign in this class?

AS: I think Ventrell Miller and James Houston have a decent shot at returning because they were first time offenders and didn’t have a heavy case against them. I do think Mullen will make them earn there way back on the team though.


SVSqueek7: Offensive line, Defensive line and linebacker, do we have the horses on the roster or on the hook to be able to run what DMC wants to both offensively and defensively…I’ll hang up and listen.

AS: The linebacker position is the position that worries me the most because of depth issues but if you’re able to sign one or two guys there, plus David Reese than you have some options. On the lines, I think you have enough talent there and getting CeCe Jefferson and Martez Ivey back only helps you there.


Johnagator: Any talk of defections with the new coaching staff? Will the credit card gang have an impact on recruiting?

AS: No talk right now but I’m sure there will be some talk after spring ball but that’s the case every year and especially under a coaching staff. And I don’t believe the credit card thing will any impact on recruiting, it’s pretty much a forgotten point outside of Gainesville.


Irgator12: Who can pull the trigger for us before national signing day to give us some momentum? Justin Watkins?

AS: Watkins is one for sure and he’s really the only one who has came out and said he may decide before signing day. Now I do believe others will announce before signing day but right now he’s the only one. Also remember that a lot of Florida’s targets are visiting the last weekend of the cycle.


Mrgator: So far Dan Mullen has gotten more guys than he has lost when he sets his sights on a player, 1)What in your mind separates closers in recruiting from the rest? and 2)are you hearing the right things from players to believe he will close strong on NSD2.0?

AS: 1.) Confidence is the biggest thing that sets closers apart from the rest and Mullen has that. Also a closer is able to stay in touch throughout the process and knows when to put pressure on a kid and when not too. 2.) Yes, I feel that Florida will close very strongly on NSD this year. Mullen is putting together a nice class.


GatorE82: Can you help clarify the receiver board? It looks like there’s a lot of offers and interest but I know there’s only a couple spots available with Van Jefferson and grimes transferring in

AS: Florida would like to add two more receivers at the position and that top dog on the board is Jacob Copeland. Followed by Justin Watkins, Tommy Bush, Marques Ezzard and Geordon Porter who was offered on Tuesday. Florida has the best chance with Copeland and Watkins at this time.


Scottb15: Who do we know is visiting this weekend so far?

AS: Right now, no official visitors for this weekend as Mullen and his staff will be out recruiting and trying to build the following three weekends up.


Gatorcd: Any word on a second quarterback?

AS: I don’t see a second quarterback in the class at this time but that’s something that could change if someone shows interest in the Gators in the coming weeks.


Gatordon: Is it difficult for a new staff to build relationships with recruits at this point in the process?
How ready is Emory Jones to compete for playing time?

AS: It’s kind of difficult but at the same time, these guys have likely crossed paths with these kids or their coaches at some point in the past. Also these coaches are SEC guys so these kids know or have heard stuff about them before.

Jones needs to work on his footwork and gain some weight but I expect him to compete for playing time this spring.



HawthorneGator: Marquez Ezzard and Dorian Gerald in the class?

AS: Ezzard is leaning towards Ole Miss at this time but I like the Gators chances with Gerald heading into his visit in February.

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.