The Florida Gators coaching staff is in the middle of the summer dead period as they prepare for the rest of summer camps later this month.
This is a big period of recruiting, as the staff is able to make one final push this summer to get guys on campus and also have them work out for the staff.
Gator Country’s members have a lot of questions about how the 2019 class will shake out and who are the top prospects that the Gators are after right now. We answer your questions in this week’s Florida Gators recruiting mailbag.
Well let’s dive right in to this week’s recruiting mailbag:
Anerdin: Seeing the recent trends in Gator recruiting, will the staff be changing or altering their approach moving forward?
AS: No, Mullen is a guy that will continue to battle for the top players in the country no matter where they are from. Mullen does however know that he has to put a good product on the field in order to fix the recruiting problems that Florida is facing now and have been facing the last few years.
Texator: What is the mood in the recruiting department? I know that a lot of the fans are freaking out because we missing out on the out-state kids i.e. Mycah Pittman, Chris Steele, Nathan Pickering……Do the coaches feeling that although kids committed to other school that if they have a good season they can get back into the mix with some of the committed recruits?
AS: Florida will continue to push for those guys and Pickering has already said he plans to still take visits so that’s good news for the Gators. Mullen and his staff know that a good season this year can do wonders for them off the field and that’s something he’s focusing on. They aren’t going to quit on those guys by any means.
MrB-Gator: How many offensive line do we take this cycle and who looks good for us?
AS: 4-5 is what the staff is telling the current commits at the position. Guys like Keiondre Jones, Warren McClendon and Kamaar Bell are all very high on Florida. Florida is still chasing several other guys and it wouldn’t surprise me to see them turn up the heat on Evan Neal after he had a good showing at the Opening.
Gator_Frank: Our team speed is not what it used to be. When Urban Meyer was here he recruited speed, speed, speed. He wanted the fastest team in college football. Is Dan Mullen following that same philosophy?
AS: Mullen wants a fast team and that’s going to be a something he pushes for but I don’t get the impression that Mullen will sacrifice speed for the quality of player he brings in. For instance at receiver he has shown that he likes to take a taller guy over a speed guy in certain cases.
BCNGator99: If things do not work out with the California recruits, do you expect Mullen and the staff to reprioritize Florida and the Southeast more moving forward?
AS: Yes, I still expect them to recruit the state of California and out west as Mullen has the approach just like Urban Meyer does. And that’s to recruit the best players no matter where they’re from.
TheGator: What are your overall thoughts on our recruiting? What is going good? What’s going bad?
AS: Florida is doing a great job of getting guys on campus and getting guys interested in the program but the downfall has been landing commitments. The closing aspect has been the biggest issue and that’s something that Florida can help itself with by having a good on field product this year.
Emaness: With guys like Trey Sanders and Mycah Pittman trending away, what does the board look like for those positions and what kind of shape are we in for their backups?
AS: Elijah Higgins is the name trending up right now. TJ Jones is also expected to visit for FNL and that’s a name to watch. At running back Florida is still pushing for Sanders and also still recruiting John Emery at the position.
Emaness: Do you expect any commitments in particular at FNL, or just maybe because it usually happens?
AS: Not one name that sticks out as expected at FNL but several guys to watch at the event but like you said commitments at FNL always seem to happen. If Chester Kimbrough shows up at FNL than he’s definitely one to watch.
Gator_n_Bmore: Haven’t heard a peep about coach Greg Knox on the trail and since he is the guy who essentially replaced JaJuan Seider I’m interested to know if he is heavily involved in recruiting or is he more an X’s and O’s guy? What is the area he is responsible for? Have you heard anything at all about him from any recruits?
AS: Knox is recruiting the Orlando area and guys have said good things about him early on. Knox is big in recruiting Lloyd Summerall right now but yes I would say he’s a better coach than recruiter. And that’s not a knock on Knox at all.
Ncargat1: What does the defensive line board look like, particularly guys who would be nose tackle or strongside defensive end?
AS: Florida is still in the mix for Kayvon Thibodeaux, Khris Bogle, Lloyd Summerall and Florida State commit Quashon Fuller. I expect the board to grow at these positions.
Gatordon: Who are the names remaining on the board that the Gators have the best shot at?
AS: No matter what Trey Sanders says, I believe Florida is still in the mix for him until the end. Elijah Higgins and Ethan Rae are two names that Florida is in good shape for at this time as well.
Gatoronenemyturf: Does Keiondre Jones make it to FNL and if so will Emory Jones continue to try to wrap him up?
And on the other Jones front will Jalon Jones be throwing the ball around and leaning on some recruits ?
AS: Florida is trying to get Keiondre Jones down for FNL and Emory is working on him. Florida gained ground with the official visit. Also Jalon Jones is unsure if he will make it down for FNl at this time.
Jmike131014: Any interest in Cord Sandberg ?
AS: Yes, Florida has spoken to Sandberg about being a preferred walk-on. Auburn and UCF have also offered him a scholarship. The thing is that the Philadelphia Phillies will pay for Sandberg’s school so a scholarship isn’t necessary here.
Mika: Trey Knox. Is the staff not high on him?
AS: The question is where he will play at in Dan Mullen’s offense. Is he a tight end or receiver? That’s the question they have.