Florida Gators recruiting mailbag part 2: May 12th edition

The Florida Gators coaching staff had a great spring as they were able to get several of their top prospects on campus for visits.

Now that spring football is over at the college level, the coaching staff is out on the road recruiting and visiting prospects at their respective school.

A lot of things in recruiting have improved since Billy Napier arrived and GatorCountry brings you a new recruiting mailbag to answer your questions about recruiting.

The mailbag will be split into two parts, here’s part two of the mailbag.


Northerngator: How many 5 stars do we finish with?

AS: I will say two, Florida is in great shape for Cormani McClain and AJ Harris and they’re running for guys like Keon Keeley and Samuel M’Pemba so that number could increase.


G8trJasonB: Is Clay Wedin out of the picture?

AS: Florida hasn’t really been communicating much with Wedin as of late.


Proudgator1973: It seems to me we are getting more ‘RETURN” visits, recruits coming back multiple times than was true in the past. Is this a function of there being more stuff to see on campus in terms of the new facilities, is it the proliferation of staff and/or possibly other behind the scenes stuff we aren’t even aware of. I’m assuming, however, that overall that like in the sales world the more touches or contacts you can have the better your chances of closing the deal. Do you agree AS?

AS: The biggest thing is prospects love being around the staff and like the staff and all the recruiting people, so they want to return to be around them. Also, the staff does a good job of mixing things up on visits so one visit isn’t like the other and guys like that. This is a big reason that things are changing for the better in recruiting.


BahamaG8r: Please share your thoughts on our IMG breakthroughs and prospects for continued success there.

AS: From day one, Billy Napier and his staff made it a priority to make IMG a priority and they have went all in on the school and understand that they have to recruit the school harder than most schools as the parents are usually far away from the kids, so they have to make multiple stops to see everyone. I think this will continue not only this year but years going forward as guys like Kamari Wilson and Knijeah Harris are close to several guys on the IMG team still.


UFMBA14: With the announcement today from the NCAA about the tightening of the NIL rules, would you say that this 1. Helps Florida, 2. Hurts Florida. or 3. Makes no difference. Please expound on your reasoning when/if you answer. Thanks.

AS: I don’t think it makes much of a difference as I don’t see much changing as boosters will always be involved. Napier is working with the boosters and things are improving for Florida and I believe the Gators will get this NIL thing fixed.


Firemattbaker: What’s the ceiling for this class?

AS: If Florida gets all of the big breaks with the big prospects, then right outside of the top five is very possible. Florida has a chance with a lot of the big prospects so if they can close on them, then things will be very good.


Firemattbaker: Which on field coach has the most ground to make up in recruiting their position?

AS: I don’t think any coach in particular is struggling but the one position that has to play catch up is the quarterback position and a lot of that has to do with coaches recruiting that position for multiple years. Billy Napier have only been recruiting the high-profile quarterbacks for 5 months now while other schools have been talking to them for three years. The quarterback position will improve as Napier has more time.


Gatordadx2: How are we looking as far as numbers ? I did not see the attrition after spring ball. And are we done with the portal this Cycle?

AS: Florida can take a full class this year and Napier will need and use all of those spots, but he will also keep a few spots open for the portal. That’s something all coaches will have to juggle going forward as you need spots open for the portal.

As far as being done with the portal, no Florida is still pursuing several guys in the portal as they hope to add depth at a few spots before the fall.


Ajoseph: Best guess as to who’s next? And when?

AS: Bryce Lovett plans to announce on May 16th and the Gators are the leader for him so Florida has a great shot with him when he announces. Right now he’s the next target that has a decision date set.


Polkgator: What does the safety board look like and how many do we take? Thanks in advance.

AS: The Gators like Tony Mitchell as a potential safety but he’s a guy that can play both corner or safety. The rest of the safety board looks like this. Joenel Aguero, Kenton Kirkland, Jordan Castell, Jalon Kilgore, Bryce Thornton and Jaremiah Anglin. So far, Kirkland, Castell and Thornton have scheduled official visits to Gainesville.


Bigmike64: Complete radio silence on Malik Bryant recently, anything new to report?

AS: Jay Bateman visited Bryant on Wednesday and will get an official visit from the linebacker in June before he commits in July. This is a three-team battle between Alabama, Florida, and Miami right now and official visits will be key.


Shade45: Predicted finish @ WR position?

AS: Right now, Florida has commitments from Tyree Patterson and Creed Whittemore, and I believe they hold onto both guys. The Gators are also in good shape for Aidan Mizell. Florida has gained ground on Tyler Williams and Andy Jean and will get official visits from both guys. Clemson still appears to be on top for Williams, but the Gators have made this really close.


Bigmike64: Any news on Payton Kirkland OT???

AS: Florida remains in good shape for Kirkland heading into his decision in July. Kirkland plans to take official visits to Florida, Michigan State, and Oklahoma this summer. Miami is also likely going to get one as well.

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.