Florida Gators recruiting mailbag: September 21st edition

The Florida Gators coaching staff are off to a 2-1 start to the 2022 football season as they head to Tennessee on Saturday.

Billy Napier and the rest of the coaching staff have put together a great class already with 20 commits in the class heading into the fall.

GatorCountry brings you a new recruiting mailbag to get you caught up on things as we head into the football season.


Jimzgator: Any idea when the 3 silent commits may come out and flip to the good guys ?

AS: Guys aren’t really making decisions right now as they’ve waited this long so most plan to take the remaining visits and decide on early signing day or close to it. I expect most of these guys to announce in December but again they haven’t set dates yet so they could move this up.


Floridagatorman: Any feel on new LB recruits? Are we still after the same ones or are there new offers out? Also, any smoke in the transfer portal?

AS: Florida is still working on South Carolina linebacker commit Grayson Howard and Miami linebacker Malik Bryant. Florida is also keeping an eye on several guys that they haven’t offered yet and watching how their senior seasons go.


Gator_Frank: Is Napier trying to add a 2nd QB to this class?

AS: He isn’t trying to add a quarterback from the high school ranks but I do expect him to be active for a quarterback in the transfer portal if the right guy enters the portal.


Pan: Why the lack of focus on the Tight End position last recruiting cycle including transfer window? And it seems this cycle it’s not a focus either. Watching the team play the tight ends are non factors so why aren’t we trying to upgrade the position?

AS: Florida added three guys at the position last cycle so they’re focused on the position and it’s a stable in Billy Napier’s offense but those guys need time to develop. This is another position that Napier could look for in the transfer portal.


Ajoseph: Now that the season is underway and recruits have seen the on-field product of all of their interested teams, are you able to give us a “best guess” on which of our commits will now likely look elsewhere, and conversely which prospects will now lean to us?

AS: I don’t expect the on-field results to play much of a factor into recruiting including losing kids. You will also lose a guy or two from your class as it happens every year but the on-field results are about what most expected from a win/loss standpoint.

Florida is in good shape for UCF defensive tackle John Walker, defensive back Cormani McClain, defensive back Dijon Johnson, and FSU offensive line commit Roderick Kearney. The Gators are also in the mix for defensive tackle Jordan Hall, defensive tackle Kayden McDonald, defensive end Keon Keeley. Guys like Malik Bryant, Qua Russaw, and Cedric Baxter are also still talking to Florida.



Ncargat1: Bonus question: How many QBs do they try and sign from the portal to completely overhaul this dreadful QB room?

AS: One is the number I’ve been told. That would give Florida the numbers they want and then they have to develop guys like Jalen Kitna, Max Browne, and Marcus Stokes.


Kdm: Who are the most likely recruits left on the board to fill in our OL and how good do you feel about the chances of getting each? Also, any chance at Okunlola, Lomu or a flip (other than Kearney) of any other highly ranked prospect?


Gator_nica: With the current commited kids, who is expected to play from Day 1? I can imagine some WR’s, DE and DT.

AS: Several guys in this class will play a good bit next year as they’re simply needed on the field for depth. These guys I think have the best chance as of now. Kelby Collins, Eugene Wilson, Aidan Mizell, TJ Searcy, Kamran James, Shariff Denson, Andy Jean, and Aaron Gates.


Travlingator: Any change in status for Cormani, is he still trending towards the good guys or have inroads been made by other schools.

AS: I still have Cormani McClain trending towards Florida at this time, Florida has done the best job of recruiting him and they’ve made him the top priority from day one since Napier got on campus.


Gatorteachuf: Given the success and the overall improvement of the OL this year, why are we things not going as well with OL recruiting??

AS: This will improve going forward as Sale and Stapleton have more time to build relationships with these guys. A lot of the top guys in the 2023 class committed early and the staff couldn’t build as good of relationships with them as they were with other positions. The good news is that they have two good ones committed and are in good shape with Florida State commit Rod Kearney.


Juggernautz: Do you think our performance on the field thus far will affect the status of our present commitments?

AS: I don’t, everyone that I’ve talked to feel like things are headed in the right direction for the program and they see immediate playing time available next year. Napier and his staff have been honest with the commits that this was going to be an up and down year on the field. While on the field performance is big, recruits don’t pay as much attention to it as we do.


Asmith1460: What do you feel is our biggest need currently in recruiting?

AS: Defensive tackle without a doubt has to be the top priority. The lack of depth is very concerning at the position and with Gervon Dexter likely to head to the NFL after this year, the need is the top priority. The good news is that Florida is in good shape for several tackles.


Northerngator: Do you think Desmond Ricks will reclassify?

AS: At this point, I haven’t heard anything that suggest to me that Ricks will reclassify, right now I expect him to be the number one target at defensive back for the 2024 class. Again this could change but right now I don’t expect him to reclassify.


NapaGator: Does the staff think a Top 5 class in 2022 is absolutely essential the way a lot fans (and statisticians) do?

AS: Not at all, the coaching staff doesn’t pay attention to recruiting rankings, they pay attention to filling needs with the best possible players they can. Sure Napier wants the fan base to be happy and excited about the rankings but he also understands that some kids simply don’t fit what he wants at Florida no matter their ranking.


NYGator96: Many guys that have been on campus for 2+ years have either been passed over by freshmen or just don’t sniff the field. Do you think we have significant attrition after this season, and how would that impact our numbers for the 2023 class?

AS: I do think you will see several guys hit the portal this offseason as they’ve been passed over and see the writing on the wall. I think this will allow Florida to be very active in the portal this offseason as well. Napier has a lot of holes he would like to fill in the portal and this will give him the spots.







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.