Florida Gators recruiting mailbag: October 17th edition

The Florida Gators recruiting efforts picked up some major momentum in recruiting over the last two weeks heading into the bye week.

The Gators will have the coaching staff out on the road later in the week to watch several prospects as the Gators have a bye week before taking on Georgia.

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 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:


Tbod41: How does the Staff feel about defensive end & defensive tackle? Any legit chance with the following:

AS: Florida did a really good job with Justin Eboige and Byron Young on their visits but right now they both are solid to Alabama.

The Gators will host Jaren Handy and Nathan Pickering on visits later this year and are still in the mix for them despite commitments to other schools.

Florida hasn’t really talked with Jaquaze Sorrells much and they’re still in the mix for Derick Hunter but he’s in no rush to make a final decision.


Blake_usmc: I’m sure the staff feels comfortable where we are at with a lot of our top targets, but when do we start pushing for commits from our #1 and #2 guys. Waiting until signing day seems like risky business to me

AS: They’re pushing for commitments now but most guys want to take official visits before making a decision since it’s already this late in the fall. Also most guys will now wait until December to make announcements.


Woodman44: Correct me if I’m wrong Andrew, but it seems as if Dan Mullen is wanting his guys to hold off on their commitments until later to make a “splash” in recruiting. Similarly to how we finished 2018 pretty strong as well. Do you think Coach Mullen could be purposely setting up a strong finish? There’s NO WAY we didn’t get at least one commitment after that #5 ranked LSU win.

AS: I don’t think any coach would ask guys to wait to announce at one time as they want any positive momentum as they can get in recruiting. Florida definitely gained ground on a lot of guys during the LSU game and has set them up for a strong finish but it isn’t planned to have guys to wait.


KHC_DAD: Who are all the coaches visiting this week?

AS: They will visit several prospects this week, Kaiir Elam, Keon Zipperer, Lloyd Summerall, Deyavie Hammond and Trent Whittemore have all said that they expect the Gators to be at their games on Friday.


Mfpardnor2: Evan Neal supposedly down to Miami and Alabama.
Since Miami’s season isn’t going as well as was predicted is there any chance at all that he gives Florida any consideration given our better than expected success so far.

AS: Neal is still talking to Florida and listening to the Gators but there’s no plans to visit Gainesville at this time.


UFGator402: Based on where we stand now and who’s remaining on the board, what’s your best guess/prediction as to where we finish in the class rankings?

AS: Top 10 is where I see the class finishing if they finish up with some guys that they’re in the running for.


Irgator12: Are there any recruits looking to jump off the sinking Auburn or Miami ship?

AS: Florida is working on several guys committed to both programs. Jarvis Brownlee is the big one from the Miami class that the Gators are after. From Auburn, Florida is working on Jaren Handy and Keiondre Jones and both are planning to visit Gainesville.


Travlingator: For the last couple years we kept hearing that the top talent wants to see Florida deliver on the field. So why is it that we can’t seem to lock down the top talent even though we are now delivering on the field. I keep hearing about all these great players coming in for a visit and then they commit elsewhere. Is this trend going to continue or do you see us starting to get some of these top guys.

AS: Guys are starting to take notice behind the scenes of what Florida is doing. Florida has already hosted commits from Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State and are getting the attention of several other big name guys. For instance guys like Chris Steele, Nathan Pickering and Jaren Handy are still listening to Florida because of the year they’re having. Just because Florida is having a good year doesn’t mean it will be instant success but it will set up for success in the coming months.


SirRaj: We have Ja’Markis Weston and Dionte Marks committed at receiver, and it seems the coaches prefer them over the higher rated Knox and Jones. What are the rating services missing on these guys? What do you see them bringing to the table? Do either have a chance at being elite?

AS: With Weston, he’s a long guy who is athletic and that’s something the staff likes and with Marks he has good speed, ability to make plays happen after the catch and is just a really good athlete. Marks is having a great year this year and leads his area in receiver yards so I think he has a chance to be pretty good at Florida. Florida is still going after others at the position to pair with those guys.


Liveoak1: With regards to Trey Sanders, how big would it factor into his decision if say not only Scarlett turns pro but Perine as well? All given that we sustain this good turn in our offensive performance.

AS: That would help for sure but Sanders isn’t really worried about guys in front of him, he’s a guy that knows he can compete against the best.


Mikekaiju: With the Auburn ship likely sinking, do you think Florida has ANY chance getting interest from Owen Pappoe? He’s an absolute monster and we need linebackers.

AS: Pappoe is someone that Florida has stayed in touch with but haven’t really gained any momentum with him. Tennessee is a team to watch here if Pappoe does flip to someone.


Emaness: As the class rounds out, how well do you think it addresses the needs of the roster? Where could it stand to improve as it relates to that?

AS: I think they’re addressing the big needs in this class with the exception of safety depth so far. Heading into the year they needed to address depth on the offensive line, linebacker and defensive back. They’ve done all of that with the exception of safety so far and with Donovan Stiner and Brad Stewart playing well, the need for safeties went down a little.


Macbgator: What is the next weekend that we will have a lot of recruits or which game???

AS: The South Carolina game looks to be the next big weekend and really the only big football visitors list left this fall. They will have guys in town for the other home games but South Carolina should be the biggest.


UFMBA14: What’s your early feel on the 2020 class in terms of where we end up? I know there’s a ton of impact players we feel good about. Is this the year we finally come back and compete for a top 5 class?

AS: The 2020 class has a chance to be special for Florida because of the amount of instate talent in areas that Florida typically does well in. When you look at the Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa areas, they’re loaded with big time prospects. And yes, I think Florida has a chance to have a top class next year for sure.


Juggernautz: Is the pipeline to Jacksonville getting more attention now that we have a real coaching staff in place?

AS: Dan Mullen is putting a lot effort into Jacksonville and Charlton Warren is the area recruiter for that area and he’s working it hard. Next year is a big year for Florida in that area with the talent in that area.

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.