Florida Gators recruiting mailbag: January 18th 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:

Oklahoma Gator: With the rule changes I am a little confused on who counts against the 25 limit? Can you clear that up? I know there are two caps 25 per year and 85 max.

AS: The transfers don’t count as far as the 25 recruit class but they count against the 85 man scholarship. Florida is close to being at 85 so that’s why the two transfers counted against how many guys Florida can take in this class.


MrB-Gator: Andrew….your best guess on who will the defensive line be in this class?

AS: Dorian Gerald is the guy that I feel best about joining the class. If Noah Jefferson is able to qualify than I like Florida’s chances with him as well. Florida still has work to do with guys like Coynis Miller, Malik Langham, Caleb Johnson, Caleb Tannor, Nesta Silvera and Andrew Chatfield.


Ctresh: Do we have a legit shot at Nesta Silvera? Also, any chance Andrew Chatfield slips in this weekend with him?

AS: With Silvera, Florida has a shot and getting him on a campus is a major step in the right direction. Miami hoped to shut this visit down when he visited them last weekend but that didn’t happen which should be seen as a positive.

Andrew Chatfield is visiting Florida State this weekend but there’s some talk that he will visit Florida on the last weekend of the recruiting period which would be good news for Florida.


Jpgator: Linebacker is a crucial position with Grantham’s 3-4 defense. Other than David Reese II, who else do you predict we add at linebacker, if any?

AS: Right now, I don’t see Florida having a great shot with any of the linebackers on the board. However if they’re able to get Quay Walker and Xavier Peters on campus than their chances of landing one of those guys improve. Peters is a guy that I can see Florida landing if he’s able to qualify.


Macbgator: Who are the defensive backs we have the best shot at to close out this class

AS: Florida will host Maryland cornerback commit Noah Boykin on campus this weekend and right now they have work to do but they’re a team with momentum right now. Also they offered Taiyon Palmer on Tuesday and I think they can get him on campus. Right now those two guys and Mario Goodrich are the only three planning a visit to Florida.


Kirkb919: On paper how how do you think this class will compare to last years class?

AS: If Florida is able to land some of the offensive lineman they’re in for than I think it’s a better offensive class than last year. You get a quarterback who can play early as well. The defensive class still has some work to do but they have a chance to have a really solid class on that side of the ball as well.


Gsacco: AS, I’ve noticed a lot of visitors coming and in-home visits have been with 3 star guys? Are these more back-up plans or do you see the class filling out with these guys?

AS: First, I don’t look at stars so I’m not sure which guys you’re referring too. But secondly they’ve offered a lot of guys to have options heading into signing day. A good coaching staff isn’t caught without options when they have needs at certain positions.


BCNGator99: In general and not necessarily concerning Florida targets, which recruits do you think are getting more attention this year because they did not sign during the early signing period than they would have in previous years?

AS: Guys that likely go to smaller power five schools are now getting a chance at playing at the big schools because of the lack of unsigned guys right now. Some guys that may have slipped to a smaller school are getting noticed now when is years past they wouldn’t be looked at as hard. The counter part of that is that some guys that would’ve signed with bigger schools in February signed with smaller schools in December to early enroll or sign early.


Anerdin: What happened with Quay Walker?

AS: Nothing at this time. Walker is still trying to schedule his official visits for the next three weekends and he will be the first to tell you that things are changing by the day. Florida had a really good in-home visit with him on Tuesday night and will go in-home again next week.


Irgator12: Based on his twitter handle, Guapo, Noah Boykin can rival only maybe Jacob Copeland with the amount he tweets. Can we land both? Would love to see these two practice against each other.

AS: I like Florida’s chances with Copeland right now and I think a good visit with Boykin this weekend could get the Gators up there for him. Boykin is looking around hard right now and the Gators have impressed him.


Juggernautz: Which positions will we be recruiting the hardest with NSD just around the corner?

AS: Offensive line, defensive back and linebacker are the three most important positions heading down the stretch. That has shown in where the coaches in particular Dan Mullen have been the last few days of this week.


Matte984: Is it me or is this coaching staff absolutely working their you-know-whats off?? It seems like they are everywhere and working around the clock. Maybe I didn’t following recruiting as closely under Mac & Co but I don’t remember their efforts being so visible

AS: Mullen and his staff are leaving no stone unturned that’s for sure. Mullen is taking a shot at anyone that he thinks he can get on campus no matter who they’re committed to or leaning too. In recruiting, you have to at least try or you won’t land them and that’s exactly what Mullen is doing.


Gator_n_Bmore: Do you think we take 3 receiver if somehow Marquez Ezzard or Tommy Bush wants in and Jacob Copeland & Justin Watkins end up on board?? Also in regards to Watkins which schools are currently our main competition?? I’m assuming our top 4 receiver board looks like Copeland, Watkins, Ezzard, Bush is that correct? So if Ezzard ends up at Ole Miss and Bush at UGA or somewhere else will the staff take a plan B for the 3rd receiver or be happy with Copeland & Watkins I guess is my question.. thanks as always AS

AS: I don’t expect Florida to take three receivers, I expect two more guys in this class. Right now I would say Florida has the best shot with Watkins and Copeland as both are scheduled to visit. Ezzard looks to be heading to Ole Miss and Bush has yet to set up a visit to Florida but that could change.


Gator_n_Bmore: Defensive line is so important in the SEC and to me Coynis Miller looks like an immediate rotation guy, a great fit at DE in a 3-4, and the type of big athlete with huge upside that contributes to championship teams.. with that being said are we in the thick of it for him? Seems like it’s gone quiet since the UA game

AS: Miller visited Auburn last week and came out that visit saying he will stay take visits which is huge for Florida as Auburn wanted to shut those visits down. Miller is saying the right things but yes, it will be difficult to flip him from Auburn. But a visit can change that.


Gator_n_Bmore: Any feel for how the 2019 kids are responding to the staff so far?? Obviously wrapping up 2018 strong is priority number #1 but as we know there is no time to get behind on future classes.

AS: The 2019 and 2020 guys are excited and like the message that the staff is giving them so far and several are already talking about visiting this spring for junior days. That will be key is who shows up.


Akfloridagator: Anybody on commit watch this weekend ?

AS: Right now, I see Justin Watkins as the guy to watch this weekend.


Edwinvincent: Noah Jefferson has come issues with Grades it seems. Is that all she wrote for him joining this class? What percentage of confidence do you have in him signing with the Gators?

AS: Florida feels good enough about their chances of him qualifying that they’re going to bring him in for a visit. I’m told that it’s close to him qualifying but he will need to work hard this semester.


Cmoeller863: How much will it help us that Auburn changed offensive line coaches.

AS: It helps a lot because it’s so late in the process with visits to Auburn planned already for many of these prospects. Auburn will now have to work hard to replace their offensive line coach.



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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.