Florida Gators recruiting mailbag: January 28 edition

Florida Gators recruiting is doing well and this week’s recruiting mailbag had a lot of great questions about the Gators’ recruiting class heading into the final week of the class of 2016.

Here’s the written version of this week’s Florida Gators recruiting mailbag:

Note: There is no audio version for this week’s mailbag but that will be back next Thursday.

SWATSGator: Who are the top five uncommitted targets for the staff in 2017?

AS: Dang, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves aren’t we? 2017 is loaded in state wise. I would say the top five guys are receivers Trevon Grimes and James Robinson. Next, I would go with offensive linemen Alex Leatherwood and Calvin Ashley and then I’ll go with defensive end Zach Carter.

Brainstorm: When are you going to give us a mock class?

AS: I posted my mock class on Monday and I plan to post another one next Monday as they will be my final mock class.

Mdmcgarry: Give me your current odds in landing the following prospects:
1. Fulton
2. Wilson
3. Cleveland
4. Another offensive lineman.
5. Burns

AS: 1.) 45% but if he visits that goes up. 2.) Wilson 10% and I would put zero but nothing is impossible. 3.) 60% 4.) Johnson Simpson 55%. 5.) 50%

Red4512: Linebackers and Mack Wilson update?

AS: I think Florida is finished at the linebacker position as I believe Mack Wilson is Alabama bound on signing day.

Lurkingator1: Did you know about Malcolm Pridgeon’s Ohio State visit when you projected him in the class or is that a new development? What’s the latest on the Cleveland visits?

AS: I don’t think Pridgeon ends up visiting Ohio State as they’re basically full with their class. I think it’s either Florida or Baylor for Pridgeon, as I think Florida gets John Simpson. wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland will visit Florida this weekend and he will have his family in town as well. Florida is trending upwards big time here.

Harnettgator: Any pleasant surprise on NSD?

AS: Right now I think we know everyone on the Florida Gators recruiting board but that could change over the next week if they miss on someone. Right now, I would say no surprise name wise, but I think someone could commit that you guys don’t believe is coming.

Msgator1981: Have we confirmed whether or not Cleveland will have his family with him this weekend? I know his Grandmother lives in Jacksonville, will she be part of the trip as well?

AS: Yes, I’m told that the Jacksonville family will be in Gainesville this weekend with Cleveland along with his Houston family. Grandma is scheduled to be in town.

Dhainer24:I know this question pertains to the distant future, but you are the GOAT for a reason. Looking at our DTs on campus and on recruiting boards, it doesn’t seem that deep. (I know some DE may move inside, but I think we need some true beef) I looked at our offer list for 2017 and then looked each DT up on TOS. It doesn’t seem like we look very good for any of them in these early stages (some have already committed, which might not mean much this early). I know things WILL change in the next year, but what is our outlook at the DT position?

AS: Things will change for sure for next year on the defensive tackle front as the Gators will focus hard on that position in 2017. Florida needs bodies there big time, especially in 2017 when they lose Caleb Brantley and Joey Ivie. They will offer several more guys this spring I’m sure.

Tito22: How does James Robinson (2017 class) compare with the top receivers of 2016?

AS: Robinson, in my opinion, would be the best receiver in the state this year as well as 2017 because he’s that good. Robinson has all of the tools to be a really good player at the next level.

MrB-Gator: Eubanks and Burns……both Gators on NSD?

AS: I feel very good on Eubanks if he visits and I need to see how the Florida State visit goes for Burns this weekend. Right now I would say yes, but that could change after this weekend.

Macbgator: What are chances of John Simpson being in this class????

AS: I feel very good about Simpson being a Gator after hearing some things this week. I know his visit went great to Florida and Jim McElwain had a great visit with him this week as well. Florida has done a great job of recruiting Simpson and keeping the momentum up despite Clemson coming hard after him.

PoeticFuse: How bad have other schools been negative recruiting us? Is it more or less compared to other years? Does Florida use this tactic as well?

AS: Schools negative recruited the defensive back positions bad and Alabama is negative recruiting against Coach Mac right now. Alabama is trying to say that Mac is stealing Alabama’s blue print from them but I’m not sure how that’s a bad a thing. McElwain doesn’t like the negative recruiting tactic but everyone uses it so I’m sure they use it a little.

Msd: How much risk do you think there is with Manuel visiting FSU and Eubanks visiting Michigan?

AS: Any time prospect is on another campus you have to worry, but I don’t think Eubanks goes to Michigan right now. Manuel visiting Florida State is a concern but he liked FSU a lot early on but people still say he will be a Gator. It’s something to watch for sure.

Gatordon: We know Coach Mac likes to use tight ends as an integral part of his offense. Why haven’t we been able to land a top tight end? Will Eubanks be the guy?

AS: I think Eubanks will be the guy in the class as long as he visits. Florida hasn’t exactly struggled; Eubanks is their guy so if they get him then they succeeded this year.

Gatordon: Are you surprised at Sam Bruce reconfirming his commitment to Miami?

AS: Not really because he only had South Carolina and Miami as options and he wasn’t going to South Carolina. Florida and Ohio State didn’t have room for him.

Gator_nica: Is Florida fine with just 3 offensive linemen or is it necessary to add a 4th offensive lineman?

AS: Florida wants a fourth offensive lineman in this class bad and I think they get another one. Again, I think you need four to five offensive linemen in every class.

Ufgator84: So many posters are moaning that Tre Nixon was slow-played. I thought you mentioned months ago (and many times after) that he had the green light since last fall to commit.

So……did he indeed have the green light for months? If so, why do you think he never committed?

Do you feel he was slow-played by the staff?

AS: Florida went after Tre Nixon and he had the chance to commit before Dre Massey got in the class, but he decided to keep waiting and he lost his spot. Nixon is a good player but he needed to add some weight to play. Massey will be perfect for the Gators.

Kinggator12: Is there a offensive line transfer looking to visit this weekend? And have you UF reached out to another Juco Player? Is Arkansas a true threat for Cleveland?(I see he’s getting Crystal balls for Arkansas)

AS: Tyler Catalina is the offensive lineman who is visiting this weekend and he has picked up a lot of interest as of late. Florida will look at Catalina hard this weekend and go from there on him. Arkansas, in my opinion, is a threat but not a huge threat for Cleveland. I think it will be Florida or Houston at the end of the day for him.

Ufgator84: If Cleveland commits to UF, do you think his Texas family would reach out to Wilson’s mom to tell her why they are OK with their kid going out of state? I know, that’s a reach, but that’s why they call you the GOAT

I really hope Cleveland’s family and Wilson’s family (if they come with him) can bond.

If Cleveland commits to UF, do you think his Texas family would reach out to Wilson’s mom to tell her why they are OK with their kid going out of state? I know, that’s a reach, but that’s why they call you the GOAT

I really hope Cleveland’s family and Wilson’s family (if they come with him) can bond.

AS: One of the biggest reasons for Mack Wilson staying at Alabama is because of mom’s love for Alabama not just the instate part. Cleveland also has family in Jacksonville so they couldn’t really use that with Wilson.

Singles: AS- can you give us your thoughts why some of the top flight talent in Florida has not really shown interest in Florida? I know some of the top talent has shown interest but most of them have committed and or will commit to other schools on NSD. What are your thoughts as to why this might be happening? I do not feel like it is lack of effort from the coaching staff. I personally feel they have done a phenomenal job going after these kids but it seems like it is to no avail. Thanks.

AS: Florida did well instate this year. I mean they lost some good receivers, but they also got three really good receivers instate as well. Florida didn’t go after some of the top guys and then others Florida was just too late getting on them because of the new coaching staff being late to the party. I think Florida and McElwain will continue to do fine instate.

IAmBornAGator: Coach Collins made a concerted effort to build relationships in southern GA, specifically Colquitt County, where he talked to OLBs JaQuain Blakely and Dee Walker. He even got a visit from Walker though, by all accounts, neither was as high on board enough to get an offer. Are we positioning ourselves to make some major in roads in So GA especially with powerhouses Colquitt County, Lowndes County, Valdosta High and Camden County for the class of 2017 and beyond?

AS: Coach McElwain wants to recruit the areas that are seven hours away from Gainesville very hard. South Georgia is always loaded with talent and Florida is trying to get in good there with Geoff Collins and the staff. I think they will get some players from there in 2017.

Gators20: Why did we miss on Shea Patterson? He is from Florida and the best quarterback in the nation. Do u think our coaches can lock down Florida in the future? I’m a little worried about it.

AS: He’s from Louisiana and just moved to IMG this summer so he’s not a Florida kid. Ole Miss had his brother on staff and that was the dealmaker there.

Ajoseph: There is a rumor in the boards that Fulton will not visit due to a track meet in Baton Rouge this weekend. Any truth to it? And, how much of an impact has the firing of the DB coach had on recruiting?

AS: Krisitan Fulton is scheduled to be in Gainesville and continues to tell me, players, and coaches that he will be in town this weekend. I truly believe that will be the case too.

Previous articleAntonio Morrison taking it day-by-day
Next articleTaylor glad to see McElwain and the Florida Gators
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.


  1. good thing Coach told all these guys to wait to visit the last weekend of the recruiting cycle. might not be anybody left to visit this weekend the way things are going the last 2 weeks!!! looks like we’re about to lose the OC as well. guess the recruits are sensing some coaching changes instability. hope UF can hold on to at least 23 – 25 of their recruits and still finish with a Top 20 class. Thanks a lot Treon!!! hope your butt is out of town before spring practices start. might as well give some of this bad credit to Grier and his dependency problems also. what a shocking and disappointing finish. we can’t even get guys to come and look before committing elsewhere.