The Florida Gators coaching staff has made the most out of the dead period while hosting multiple virtual visitors a day to take the place of actual visits.
Dan Mullen and the coaching staff has already put together a solid 2021 class but have a few holes to fills with the remaining spots available in the class.
GatorCountry brings you a recruiting mailbag to answer your questions on the 2021 class as well as the 2022 class.
Check out the mailbag here to get all the answers to your questions while we wait on the dead period to be lifted by the NCAA.
Ufgator84: O-line recruiting? The remaining names are underwhelming.
AS: Jake Slaughter is the big name that the Gators are after right now but after that, the chances look slim to add another guy. Without camps this summer, it’s going to be something the staff has to really focus on to expand the board as they weren’t able to see guys this spring or summer.
Ufgator84: Sounds like a real possibility of no RBs, so maybe 8-9 DBs?
AS: I don’t think it reaches 8 or 9 but 7 is a real possibility and I can’t say it’s a bad thing as the Gators need to restock depth at those positions.
Ufgator84: Which of the Palmetto kids do you really believe sign with Florida?
AS: Jason Marshall and Corey Collier are the two guys that Florida has the best chance with at this time. There’s still a long time to go but those are the two that Florida sits in the best shape with but guys like Leonard Taylor and Savion Collins are still being recruited hard.
Singles: AS – I would love to know your feeling on RB recruiting. Do you feel we are in a tough spot after this year? I know a lot of us feel this is a real head scratcher of a position for recruiting. Has it just been a product of bad luck with recruits or is it the position coach? Please let us know your thoughts. Thanks!
AS: I think it’s combination of both, I think it has been some bad luck with recruits as guys like Trey Sanders and DeMarkcus Bowman showed interest for awhile and then dipped to other big programs during their senior years. Now you can’t blame bad luck fully and some of it has to lay on the feet on the recruiter. Something has to change here as the depth will eventually run out and the Gators have only signed one high school running back during Mullen’s time in Gainesville.
Gators1992: In regards to Dan Mullen, he is known for being one of the best offensive minds in college football, especially for QBs, yet he really struggles getting 5 star offensive skill players out of high school to seriously consider Florida. I could be wrong but I don’t believe he has every landed a 5 star offensive player out of high school. That is just mind boggling to me…does he not want to deal with their egos or demands? Or is it, he goes for them but just not a good enough of recruiter to land them?
AS: Mullen and his staff goes after the big name guys but just haven’t landed them but also Mullen isn’t going to play games with them and sugarcoat things with them either. Mullen believes he can win with anyone on offense and so far that has proved to be accurate. The one position I question the most is offensive line as far as landing the big five stars because those are guys that can usually play from day one and make the instant impact.
Dhainer24: In regards to RB recruiting, I posted this in a different thread, and Les Also mentioned something similar in the latest Les is more…in 2021 we could be looking at 2 scholarship RBs, Lingard and Wright. Clement is a transfer possibility, Pierce could go pro if he becomes “the guy”, and who knows about Davis. He could grad transfer to a smaller school so he could be “the guy”, especially if a healthy Lingard passes him.
so I guess my question is two parts: 1. How can the staff not want a RB? And 2. Do they know something we don’t about these guys sticking around?
AS: This has been my position all along is that Florida could go from having depth to not having much at all in a year’s time. Lingard and Pierce are the guy expected to carry the load this year and with a good year could easily jump to the league and like you said others could leave the program. I think the staff is taking a huge chance by not taking a back this year but they believe in the depth they have. Now if it looks like depth will be an issue, maybe they circle back to some plan B’s later in the process.
Gatorboy08: How are things standing with Xavian Sorey? I have heard his mom is a big Gator fan. Think that helps some? Would we most likely put him at OLB If he signed?
AS: Florida is right there for Sorey and Christian Robinson has been recruiting him hard but Alabama isn’t going away here. Mom likes Florida and that helps the Gators but it’s going to be a battle with the Crimson Tide until the end. And yes, he’s an outside linebacker.
Liveoak1: How did Tristian Leighs’s swing by visit go ?
AS: To be honest, I haven’t confirmed anything on this visit, Leigh went silent after saying he was going to visit. There’s even some question if he even made the stop in Gainesville or not. This is something that I’m still trying to confirm.
Atllagator: Which 2022 QB do we have the best chance at gaining a commitment from and when?
AS: Jacurri Brown is the most likely quarterback at this time but the Gators are recruiting several guys hard in the 2022 class. Brown however has been on campus multiple times and isn’t shy about his interest in the Gators. As far as when it will happen, I would say likely winter or spring.
Juggernautz: How will “recruiting” (as we know it now) change because of this C-19 situation?
AS: I think the biggest thing is that virtual visits are going to be a huge part in recruiting going forward. It’s a chance to show out of state prospects or even instate prospects what Florida has to offer way before they visit and the virtual visits could even persuade a kid to visit Florida if they were having doubts on visiting.
Juggernautz: Do you foresee Dan Mullen making changes to the staff to improve recruiting?
AS: Mullen is very loyal to his staff so unless someone leaves for another job then I don’t expect him to make changes. Could it happen? Sure but he hasn’t shown that he will in his time as a head coach. Mullen is a big believer is continuity as a staff.
Graylon: How is our staff using the advantage of the players making money off of their likeness for the for the class of 2021 and 2022? Between the two factors what are the responses of the top kids that we want?
AS: They’re using it big time and tried with guys like Jacorey Brooks and Christian Leary but it just didn’t work. I know the staff is also talking to several outside people about ways to use it to their advantage and they’re getting a plan in place to use it even better. I think you will see the benefits of this later in the year and more in the 2022 class.
Gatorfantone247: How Good are our chances with 5 star d tackle Mason Smith? Do you think we land Leonard Taylor when it is all said and done or would you say he is miami bound?
AS: I think Smith is LSU bound and Florida would shock me at this point. Florida is still in it for Taylor but Miami is the team that I would predict today. The Canes have done a great job of recruiting him and his mom.
Happygator: Brewster made a big splash when he was hired to be our new ace Recruiter. He has had a history of success everywhere he’s been, but not so much success here yet, since he has been at Florida? I am not blaming him for our recruiting issues or woes. Brewster has only been here for a short period of time, but it does get me to wonder how he was able to pull in so many five star recruits at other schools, but none so far while at Florida?
AS: Brewster is a good recruiter without a doubt but I think the expectations for him were a little high. He landed two tight ends and has helped with several other players but I think it will take him until the next cycle to truly show his ability as a recruiter at Florida.
Blackbird68: With it appearing more and more likely that a season will not occur, how will the lack of a season affect recruiting. Will it count as a redshirt year, will it give seniors another year, will there have to be adjustments to roster and scholarship limits. I am certain there will be all sorts of unexpected questions and unintended consequences.
AS: I’m not even going to try and predict what’s going to happen and I don’t think Greg Sankey even knows at this point. I would think they would get a redshirt year like they did in spring sports but then it runs the question of which guys would actually take up that offer. Football is different than baseball because of the life of your career in the NFL. I say we just all cross our fingers that a season is played.
Graylon: Where do we stand with Nathaniel Wiggins? In your opinion do you think we have a legit shot?
AS: I have Wiggins headed to LSU at this point and barring a surprise I think he picks them.
Kgoodman: Why do you think the staff feels good about alot of kids they lose out on? Why are they bad at reading kids?
AS: It’s honestly something you either have or you don’t. Some coaches are able to read kids better than others and some just don’t want to believe they’re losing a kid. I know some of the staff has a better read on kids than others on the staff.