Florida Gators recruiting mailbag: October 19th edition

The Florida Gators recruiting efforts head into a bye week looking to regain the momentum of the offseason as the staff hits the road to see prospects.

Prospects have started their season already so they’re in season mode but also continuing through the recruiting process.

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:


TebowNut6: Are any of the primary, more influential recruits (i.e., Matt Corral, Jacob Copland, Dameon Pierce, Ja’Marr Chase, etc) being told what’s going on behind the scenes, or what “changes” are coming — likely from Mac himself? Just to keep up communication and keep them in the know/feeling looped in so they A) don’t get any ideas and think about going elsewhere, and B) help us walk a few key targets away from the ledge? Or is it still way too early for that… even though specific names/targets don’t necessarily have to be used in these scenarios?

AS: Mac and the coaching staff are very open and upfront with the commits but I don’t think they’ve been told about any changes because those changes haven’t been made yet. I do know that the commits are being told that things are going to improve but that with the guys suspended and hurt that they’re struggling with numbers. When changes are made, I expect the staff to let the commits know what’s going on.


LEMONHOPE: How are we trending in the Defensive back/Cornerback/Safety department? Pat Surtain/Tyson Campbell/Bookie etc seems quiet on that end. Thanks AS!

AS: Surtain and Campbell are still very iffy at this time and Campbell still hasn’t visited campus yet. With Bookie, Florida hasn’t really turned up the heat on him at this time. Florida is still recruiting those three, Gurvan Hall, Josh Jobe and others though. Right now Florida can be a little picky as they’re happy with what they have already committed.


MrB-Gator: If our two suspended freshmen linebackers don’t come back do we go after a Juco to build back some depth?

AS: I say yes, but Florida hasn’t offered any JUCO linebackers yet but that could change soon. Florida needs depth bad and they need guys that can contribute next year.


Jonsantiago1: Do you see anyone committing before the season is over? If so who is on that watch list?

AS: Right now, I would say no more commits until after the season is over because the guys that Florida is after are all saying they want to take official visits first. As always though, someone can surprise you and do it out of nowhere.


UFGator402: Are their any new additions to the Linebacker board? If not, do you expect to see that happen soon? Assuming we lose the two involved in the CC scheme then we are in desperate need for more.

AS: No new additions to the board at this time but at some point, the board will expand because it has too. Florida has to sign two more linebackers in this class to get depth at the position and right now Richard Jibunor and Channing Tindal are trending elsewhere. Florida did visit Alabama linebacker commit Quay Walker on Tuesday but he looks to either stick with Bama or flip to Auburn. I would expect some new names to be seen later this week and start to appear on the board.


Gatormade94: Are we signing a bigger class to offset losses from players suspended

AS: Still looks to be 25 because of the way the numbers work out, the Gators can’t over sign for those suspended players until a.) their case is resolved and B.) until next year because of the way the class count works.


McLeanti: Are we going to turn up the heat on Dax Holifield?

AS: I don’t get the feeling that Florida is going to do that. South Carolina looks to be the school to beat.


Macbgator: Who do we sign as our kicker recruit this cycle??

AS: Florida hasn’t decided on whether to sign a kicker or not because Eddy Pineiro may come back to school. Florida’s top two kickers are Connor Davis and Thomas Burks out of Tennessee though.


Macbgator: Are we recruiting Conner Shugart, linebacker out of Spartanburg, SC, he is on the list for player of the year in SC?? His dad is a medical Doctor in Spartanburg!!

AS: Not to my knowledge, that’s not a name that I’ve heard as being on the board.


74gator: Other than Anthony Schwartz, do any of commitments or recruits at receiver have that blazing speed where they can simply run away from a defensive back?

AS: Most of Florida’s receivers have that ability to run away from a defensive back but as far as pure speed, Tyquan Thornton is a track guy that can leave defensive backs in his dust. But Copeland and Chase are also really good athletes as well.


Juggernautz: Which of our 2018 commits are EE’s?

AS: So far, Iverson Clement, Matt Corral, Dameon Pierce, Randy Russell, Curtis Dunlap and Taylor Upshaw have all said they plan to early enroll at Florida this January.


Gator78: I noticed we offered a 3 star Offensive Tackle yesterday from South Carolina that’s a current Rutgers commit. He stated he’s currently setting up a visit to UF. Assume this is a back up plan to one of the OL on the board. Most likely Nick Petit-Freer (sp?), as he seems to be trending away and this offer came the day after UF went to visit NPF at school. Any info on the new guy?

AS: Very good athlete that never quits on film from what I’ve been able to tell. Brad Davis visited on Tuesday and was impressed by him and offered later that night. He’s someone that is going to visit and will be someone to keep an eye on. He’s much better than Rutgers from what I can tell and been told.


Southcolgator: Any additional updates on defensive line recruiting? If Taven Bryan and Jabari Zuniga leave early and with the future of K Davis up in the air, do we plan to add additional d-line recruits?

AS: This is the spot that just seems to be a position that doesn’t feel up until later in the year. Florida missed on Coynis Miller but that was expected by most but they’re still in on Nesta Silvera, just offered Christian Barmore and are still recruiting guys like Rick Sandidge and Ronnie Perkins out of Missouri. Florida has a lot of targets but just need to get these guys on campus and get some of them leaning their way.


OklahomaGator: Do you think the coaches will push players to sign early this year? This is the first year with the early signing period I believe.

AS: Yes, that’s something that the coaches are going to work hard to get the commits to sign in December. That makes things a lot easier for the coaching staff and helps them to be able to focus on the uncommitted guys in January.


BCNGator99: Are there any ’19 commitments that are starting to look around to the point where you are concerned?

AS: None of them are really at the point of decommitting but several guys are still taking visits. The guy to watch the most is receiver John Dunmore who visited his dream school Florida State for the Miami game. He’s probably the guy to watch the closest.

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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.