Podcast: Midweek Florida Gators vs Idaho preview

GatorCountry.com brings you a new podcast as we continue to preview Florida Gators vs. Idaho on Saturday afternoon in the Swamp.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre breakdown the keys for this game and talk about the potential freshmen that could get in the game on Saturday.

Andrew and Nick breakdown how they would use the freshmen on Saturday, plus we talk about which guys could be playing their final game in the Swamp on Saturday.


Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man Andrew Spivey here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, it’s Vandals week. Yes, you heard that right. Vandals week. Idaho and Gators. Not a ton we’re going to talk about. We’re going to do it a little bit different in this podcast too. We’re going to talk about that, and then we’re going to talk about some guys who could get in this game that are freshmen that are planning to redshirt. Let’s get underway here, Nick.

That’s something Dan Mullen talked about on Monday is this is an opportunity to get some guys in. With the new redshirt rule, I think this is a game that has a lot of purpose. This is a game that a lot of guys who normally wouldn’t get to play at all now get to play in, because of the new rule. I like it. I know some people are against it, but I like the new redshirt rule.

Nick:                         I like it. It kind of created, people call it like a free agency. I don’t see it as that, but it kind of created a situation where Kelly Bryant saw the writing on the wall, and three games after the season it’s kind of like, I see where I stand, and players start like announcing transfers.

Andrew:                 I get that. I do. For that part of the rule, I don’t, per se, like, but you and I, and we’ll get into this more in a second here, but you and I were going through and looking at some of the guys from Florida who have played. When we go through it here in a little bit of guys who have played, typically 90% of these guys who played this year would not have had a chance to play in any games had it not been for this new rule.

Nick:                         We wouldn’t be sitting here talking about this.

Andrew:                 No. We wouldn’t be talking about it at all. I think it’s just a situation where it’s like why not? We want to see this game continue to improve. We all want to see games that are interesting games. The more you can get these freshmen in to play and get their feet wet a little bit, the more they’re going to be ready for next year. That’s only going to help teams all across the country.

Nick:                         Yeah. Mullen’s mentioned that all year about, let’s say here, Jacob Copeland hasn’t played in any games. I think we forget that these are kids, and we just think that they’re robots, people that we see on TV, but what is his incentive to keep coming back from his injury and keep going hard in practice and keep doing things. If I didn’t play in the first couple games, I can’t play now, so I know that I’m redshirting. The only way I wouldn’t redshirt is if there’s a catastrophe of injuries.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Exactly. Again, it’s one of those things where it helps. I think, Nick, I look forward to it more in the bowl game, to see in the bowl game. Listen, I hate that whole practice of guys who are going early not playing in the bowl game, because they don’t want to get hurt. I get it, but I hate it, because it’s not good for football. Bowl games are already meaningless. I hate to say meaningless, because they do, people like them. Guys like them. Schools love it, but it is meaningless for a lot of reasons. I hate to see it happen when you have that where guys just don’t play in it, but now you get to see some of these electric freshmen that we’ve all talked about, and it’ll be interesting to see. I mean, let’s just say, well, not let’s just say. It will happen. When Georgia doesn’t make it to the playoff, and they’re playing in the Sugar Bowl, how much time does Justin Fields get? I think that will be interesting to see.

Nick:                         I guess what you’re saying is it’s different if I’m playing in a playoff game, if I’m playing the Orange Bowl or the Cotton Bowl. Am I playing my freshmen? Versus somebody who just missed out and is playing in the Outback Bowl. Cool. We want to win the bowl game, but do we start focusing on next year already?

Andrew:                 I don’t know if you go full next year mode, but I think that you get your freshmen to play some in the game. Before we get into all that, Nick, let’s talk about Idaho. It is the game this week. Not a ton. They’re FBS, or FCS, sorry. Overall, kind of are what they are. A team that’s getting outscored, which is insane. You don’t usually hear that. Let’s see. They’ve lost to, who was this here? Who is UM? They don’t even have the teams on the roster here. I’m trying to see here. Fresno State beat them 79-13. I was trying to go through the roster to look at some teams that were of interest. Eastern Washington is an FBS team, beat them 38-14. UC Davis, 44-21. Teams of good caliber are kind of beating the brakes off of Idaho.

A team that runs the ball decently, 153 yards per game. Throwing the ball, 229 through the air. So, decent. Dan Mullen said on Monday that they have a really good running back, and that will be something to kind of key in for this team.

Nick:                         That’s nice. This is not a close game. This is not a game that will be close. It shouldn’t be close by the end of the first quarter, certainly by halftime.

Andrew:                 If it is …

Nick:                         Coaches aren’t going to come out and say that, but that’s what it is. You look back like when Urban Meyer, I think there was a game, I can’t remember which year it was. Riley Cooper’s freshman year. I can’t remember which team it was. He had like three touchdowns in this game. The game before Florida State. It was always some FCS or cupcake team before Florida State. There was the year Javier Estopinan, who I think at the time was a sixth year senior or fifth year senior.

Andrew:                 He was pulling a Luke Del Rio.

Nick:                         Defensive tackle that they put in a fullback and let him run a ball in. That’s kind of what I’m thinking this week will be.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Let me ask you this though, Nick. This question was posed to me on my radio spot this week. This is a bad week for football. Everyone in America pretty much is playing cupcake games. You got Alabama playing the Citadel. Except for Florida State, they get beat by Boston College this weekend. Do you think these games ever change? Let me state what I said. I said I don’t think they do now with the redshirt rule, because I think now it’s an opportunity that coaches get to do this. Also, I think the thing we forget about, schools like Idaho have to have these games in order to keep their program running.

Nick:                         Yeah. They have to have these games. This keeps the lights on. It buys new uniforms. It helps them have a recruiting budget. Schools like this, it’s like the dirty part of college football that small schools like Idaho don’t have enough money and don’t generate enough money in their football program to sustain themselves, so they take on these games.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly.

Nick:                         Not just Idaho.

Andrew:                 Listen, my boys at South Alabama have to do it.

Nick:                         South Alabama does it. FAU, which you would think is obviously a bigger school, especially they have a higher profile now, because of Lane Kiffin, but FAU goes on the road and gets beat up the first couple weeks of the season.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I don’t think it does. I don’t think it chances. Do you?

Nick:                         It’s just where college football is.

Andrew:                 Agreed. I think the redshirt rule only magnifies these games more.

Nick:                         Yeah. That’s what I was kind of getting with the dangling the carrot for the freshmen. Just because you didn’t play in nine of ten games, you only played in the season opener, now is your chance to keep working and earn playing time. We’ve got this game, Florida State, which might be different. I’ll get into a little reason why it isn’t different, and then a bowl game, where you’ve got 13 practices. That’s huge. That’s why I think, people are talking about Emory Jones and playing Emory Jones, I think one of the games you’re playing him is the bowl game 100%, because each week you’re getting him prepared for a package, because you’re also getting your starters prepared. Getting the 13 practices, getting six weeks, a month, to get ready for a bowl game, that’s when you get Emory Jones ready to play a half, get him ready to run the full offense, because you have that extra time.

The other thing is that when you get to the SEC you’re very limited on the guys you can dress. When we start going through these freshmen, you’ll see most of them played against Charleston Southern or played against Charleston Southern and Colorado State. Those are non-conference games. You can dress, I think, like 100. You can dress everybody. When you get down to the SEC, you can only dress, is it 75?

Andrew:                 Yes. No, 70. Right? Yeah.

Nick:                         It sounds like a lot, but then you start thinking about it. You probably need 15 offensive linemen. Now you’re down to 55. You’ve got your three quarterbacks that are dressing, four quarterbacks sometimes. Down to 51. You’ve got eight wide receivers. Now you’re down in the 40s. 12 defensive linemen. You start running out. That number starts running down real quick.

Andrew:                 That’s the big thing. I guess we’ve said enough about Idaho already, as far as what they are, but when you go into this game you expect to win the game, for sure. There’s no if, ands, buts about that. You expect to win the game. How much do you go into this game trying to rest Martez Ivey, trying to rest Waany, those guys, and get guys like Griffin McDowell, Chris Bleich, those guys in there? I say I think you play Martez and them for about a half, and then you get them out. You play Feleipe for about a half, you get him out.

Here’s the thing with Feleipe. You can go in there and get his confidence up, but now I don’t think you can get Feleipe out, because I think you have to pretty much play Feleipe the whole game, because do you really want to waste this game as your game for Emory? I’ve said it from Day 1, and I’ll say it again, and that is that game at noon in Doak Campbell in two weeks is a must, must win for the Florida Gators. I don’t care if that means having Emory Jones run the ball 75 times out of wildcat, or whatever you want to call it. If that’s how you win the game, you’ve got to win that game. There has got to be a W on the scoreboard for Florida over Florida State for recruiting. There’s just no if, ands, or buts about it. That’s why I say you would love to have Feleipe just play for a half, but I don’t think you can. I think you have to play him the whole game.

Nick:                         Obviously, if Kyle Trask is healthy, and even if Feleipe is still your starter, you probably split that game, what, half and half?

Andrew:                 Yeah. I mean, in your opinion, do you waste Emory?

Nick:                         No. I’d rather use Emory against Florida State. He got a chance to play in the season opener, and that’s just get your feet wet. Then he got a chance to play in a really big stage against Georgia. That was limited. To put him in against Idaho, yes, he would have more success. Yes, he will be able to play more snaps, but I think it probably is more beneficial to him to play against FSU and to play on the road.

It’s not going to be the crazy Florida-Florida State environment, because it’s two days after Thanksgiving. Florida State sucks. Their fans have checked out, and it’s a noon game, but it’s still the Florida-Florida State rivalry. You’re still lining up against that spear on the helmet. You’re still going to be hearing the war chant. To me, that’s a bigger game. If he’s going to be your guy in the future, those are the games he’s going to need to play in, so get him reps against Florida State, not an Idaho Vandals team that’s going to be getting a six-figure payday.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. That, for me, it sucks. Nick, I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t even know. Is there a walk-on quarterback that could play? I don’t know.

Nick:                         Nick Sproles and Jack Ruskell. You got some walk-ons.

Andrew:                 That’s right. Sproles. Forgot about him. Maybe he gets in the game and plays some. I don’t know.

Nick:                         Here’s where the difference I would have. If I’m up 28-0 in the second quarter, I start taking some guys out. I start taking a Martez Ivey out. I start taking a Van Jefferson out. On the defensive line, Jabari Zuniga can get a little rest.

Andrew:                 Jachai. Cece.

Nick:                         Jachai Polite, Cece, those guys can get a little rest. They’re also, when you look at those guys, Cece and Martez, the seniors. I know you don’t want to get the seniors hurt, but if I’m Cece Jefferson, and it’s my last game in the Swamp, if I’m Martez and it’s the last game in the Swamp, and John Hevesy comes over to me, or Sal comes over to me and says, you guys are coming out, the hell I am. This is the last time I get to play in this stadium, and you’re telling me I’m out before halftime? I don’t think so.

Andrew:                 I think you can do a little standing O for those guys, get them out. Again, I think that they come out. Then again, I think you’ll also see guys be rotating in and out from the beginning, so that it’s not just a full on pull them out, put them in kind of deal. For me, Nick, it’s just a situation of being able to get your guys some game experience in the Swamp. Listen, is the Swamp going to be rowdy at noon against Idaho? No.

Nick:                         Negative.

Andrew:                 Negative. I mean, they’ll announce 80,000 or 75,000, and it will be 50,000 maybe in the Swamp. Whatever. It’s about getting those guys in and playing them and getting them some game action. For Jacob Copeland, getting him some game action. Let him trust that knee a little bit. Those guys on the offensive line, let them block somebody that’s opposite of Jachai Polite or Jabari or Cece. Let them block somebody that’s in a different color jersey a little bit. That will be a big thing.

I am, Nick, I am very, very curious to see how the quarterback situation is handled. I just am. I don’t know that Dan has fully figured out that Emory is not going to play or play. I don’t know. I’m a little …

Nick:                         In your opinion, what would you do?

Andrew:                 I play him Florida State and the bowl game.

Nick:                         That’s where I am. I think we’re both on the same page. The bowl game, to us, is such a no-brainer.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Maybe to Mullen it’s not. Maybe it’s not. Maybe you and I are overthinking it. For me, in the bowl game, it’s just an opportunity that you can get him 13 practices and go in there. If he shits the bed, he shits the bed. I mean, do you want to win the bowl game? Absolutely. Then again, if you don’t, who cares? Then again, it’s one of those things too and it’s like, do you leave Feleipe in for four quarters in this game?

Nick:                         If you’re at a point where you’re up 40, I feel comfortable putting in Nick Sproles and Jack Ruskell. At some point in the game, you might be able to tell Cece, you can go take your pads off. You’re not coming back in.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         At no point in the game are you telling Feleipe Franks, take your pads off.

Andrew:                 Right. That’s what I’m saying. I mean, I say this. This is any game. Hell, we’ve seen it in practice last Wednesday with Kyle Trask, at any point you can twist an ankle. I know people are rough on Feleipe, but you can’t go in that Florida State game with Feleipe out. You’ve got to make sure he comes out of this game healthy as well. That’s that.

Nick, let’s go through here. Let’s go through and talk about some of these freshmen here that have played in some games. I’ll ask you about them playing and how much do you think they’ll play in this game. Let’s start with David Reese at the defensive back position. Played in, what, two games? Is that right?

Nick:                         No. David Reese just the first game of the season. He hasn’t dressed out. I can’t remember about, he has not dressed out for an SEC game, so not Kentucky. I can’t remember if he was dressed out or not for Colorado State. Like last week on the sideline he’s in shorts and his jersey with no pads on.

Andrew:                 Right. I fully expect David Reese to play. Fully. I think that had there been another injury in the defensive backfield you might have seen him play in more. David Reese, I think, is a guy that’s going to play and play a pretty good bit in that secondary, because that’s another position where you can’t afford nobody to get hurt.

Nick:                         Let’s do this first. We talked about Emory. Let’s do Chris Bleich first, because he’s the only other one that’s played in two games.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         He played in Charleston Southern and Colorado State. Are you in the same situation with him where we want to get him in the bowl game? For Chris Bleich, I think this would be his game. For him, I think it would be this week and then the bowl game.

Andrew:                 Yeah. 100%, because you should blow out FSU, but are you getting to the point where you bring in all your freshmen and bring in your second and third-string offensive line? Probably not. I’d say yeah. This is his big game. I don’t even know if he gets into a bowl game. That’s no disrespect to him, but for Emory we’re talking about packages in the bowl game and packages in the Florida State game. It’s not like you have a package for an offensive lineman. So, 100% I think he plays this game. Then you have that one game remaining for a bowl game.

Nick:                         Right. I agree with you. Same thing. Both the freshmen that have played two games, I would play them this week, and then I’d play them in the bowl game.

Andrew:                 Okay. So, that’s Emory and Chris. Run me off the list here. Actually, I’m going to run through the list.

Nick:                         No games is Jacob Copeland. I have them all split up by how many games they’ve played.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         No games is Copeland. He can play in all three of the remaining games. Emory Jones and Chris Bleich we just touched on. They can play in two more. Everyone else has played in exactly one game. It was all Charleston Southern. David Reese, the defensive back David Reese. Running back Iverson Clement. Defensive lineman Malik Langham. Offensive lineman Griffin McDowell. Offensive lineman Richard Gouraige. Tight end Dante Lang, and defensive lineman Andrew Chatfield. Langham was dressed last week, but that was the first time he was dressed since the Colorado State game. He was dressed, but didn’t play.

Andrew:                 So, let me go through this. The guys who have burned their redshirt are Evan McPherson, Trey Dean, Damien Pierce, Amari Burney, and Kyle Pitts. Correct? That’s all?

Nick:                         Correct.

Andrew:                 That’s all the ones that burned them. Okay. Got you. I think the rest is pretty self-explanatory. Chatfield, play, is going to play. Dante Lang is going to play. Richard Gouraige is going to play. Bleich is going to play. McDowell is going to play. Langham is going to play. Burney is going to play. John Huggins and Iverson Clement are going to play in the game. Copeland is going to play in the game, as long as he’s healthy and ready to go. David Reese should be able to play in the game as well.

Nick:                         John Huggins, we were both surprised. He’s played in every game.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Just one of those that when you talk about this redshirt rule, it doesn’t really apply to him. I was shocked. I was really shocked to see that he’s played in that many games already. When we talk about that redshirt rule, Griffin McDowell, Chris Bleich, Gouraige, Dante Lang, those guys, they would not have played in any game this year had they not had that redshirt rule. In my opinion.

Nick:                         Exactly.

Andrew:                 Iverson Clement as well.

Nick:                         Yup. Agreed.

Andrew:                 That’s why I like the rule really. That’s what I get back to and say. It’s one of those things that having guys like McDowell, Chris Bleich, Richard Gouraige, having those guys that are offensive linemen play in games, even Langham and Chatfield, guys that are in the trenches, get in and play in some games, I think are such key to these guys, such key to their development. I really like it.

Now, I’m going to turn the question to this and ask you this, Nick. Who are you looking forward to seeing play?

Nick:                         From the list of guys that I mentioned, or just guys we haven’t really seen?

Andrew:                 Yeah. Freshmen.

Nick:                         I’m hoping Jacob Copeland. Mainly so I can stop getting asked, where is Jacob Copeland? That’s one. I wouldn’t mind seeing Iverson Clement running the ball, because I don’t think Jordan Scarlett comes back next year. I think you have Lamical Perine and Pierce and Davis, so Iverson Clement is a guy that moved over and played some safety when they got hurt, or played some DB when guys got hurt during the fall camp. Get him in there. Is he going to be a running back, or do we need him to spend the entire off season working on a new position with him? Malik Langham is a guy, I think that I’d really like to see.

I think the ones I’m not really interested in would be the offensive linemen, just because you’re going to be facing an undersized offensive line. Listen, if I want to watch Richard Gouraige and Griffin McDowell dominate undersized players, I’ll go watch their high school tape.

Andrew:                 Right. See, I am interested to see those guys. I’m interested to see those guys for a reason. How many times, Nick, in the last seven years, have we watched Florida play these cupcake schools and struggle to get pushes?

Nick:                         That’s true.

Andrew:                 Last year they’re playing cupcake schools, struggling to get pushes. I want to see those guys. I want to see what McDowell does, what Bleich does, what Gouraige does, what Noah Banks does. We’ve talked about it, and I don’t know if we talked about it enough, those guys are going to be needed next year. You’re looking at Martez gone. Tyler Jordan is gone. Fred Johnson is gone. You’re going to need guys to play. You’re going to need guys to step up and play. Can Gouraige be that left tackle Florida needs? Can Noah Banks be that tackle Florida needs? Which one of McDowell and Bleich can step in and be that guy who steps in and is that left guard? Which one can be that guy? We’ll see.

Again, I’m interested to see them play. I’m interested to see Chatfield too. I want to see if Chatfield is a guy who can be that motor guy off the edge in that buck role. How does he do? Then Malik Langham as well. I am interested to see Langham play for that. Overall, if you’re asking me, the #1 guy I want to see in Copeland. I want to see that speed, that agility.

Nick:                         The speed and the agility are one thing, but also it’s just trusting the knee, because that’s been an issue coming back, and he is not wearing a knee brace, after having the knee surgery in the fall. So, just going out there and making the cuts that make you that player. Showing that I’ve had my first surgery ever, had my first real big injury ever, but I’ve moved past that, at least mentally.

Andrew:                 Right. I want to see that. I want to see how he does in the game. Just see him play, because I expected a lot out of him heading into the year. I mean, not a lot out of him heading into the year, but a lot out of him out of high school. I did. I thought he would see some playing time this year, and I still think he would have, had he not been injured. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in the game.

Then, those offensive line, I get what you’re saying. They’re going to push those guys around. They should, but do they? It’s been a struggle the last few years. How do they do? How do they do in pass pro? Because while Idaho isn’t good, they’re going to probably be playing their first teamers most of the game. This is their last game of the year.

Nick:                         Yeah. This is it for them. There is no playoff for them as a 4-6 team, so this is it. This is Idaho’s last game of the year.

Andrew:                 Right. I am. I’m interested to see it. We’ll see how those guys do. Let me ask you this though, I’m going to turn the tables a little bit. Out of the guys who have played, and let me pull the list back up here. Here we go. Out of Emory, McPherson, Dean, Damien, and Kyle Pitts, which guy are you most surprised with?

Nick:                         Take Emory off the list, because you’ve only seen him throw one pass. I kind of knew what Trey Dean would be. I think people get on him too hard for getting beat. Jalen Tabor and Quincy Wilson got beat, and everyone loved them. They were great cornerbacks. Every cornerback gets beat. Find me a cornerback that hasn’t gotten beat, and he’s not playing. So, not super surprised by Trey Dean.

I guess I’ll go with Evan McPherson, and that’s just because, I mean, he’s missed two field goals, but really the first one he missed was last week. It almost was extremely costly. You just don’t expect a freshman kicker to come out there with kind of those nerves of steel.

Andrew:                 I’m going to say not Dean, because I expected it with Dean. I’m going to say Kyle Pitts, Nick. I mean, I get what you’re saying with McPherson, and that’s that. That’s good. I’m going to say Pitts. That’s no disrespect to Damien Pierce, but everyone I talked to about Damien Pierce just told me that the kid was going to be a freak and everything else. They all thought he was going to be that guy. I will say this, and that is with Pierce I did not expect him to be as quick as he was. I knew he was a bruiser. I didn’t expect him to be as quick as he was.

Kyle Pitts is the guy that, Nick, I think when we talk about Dan Mullen and his success, Aaron Hernandez and you can say what you want about him, just guys that they had success with, tight ends, with him and Urban, Kyle Pitts fits that role. Lucas Krull fits that role. Would you agree with that?

Nick:                         Yeah. I think that, to me, Kyle Pitts it’s different. It’s an H back, but I don’t think that they’re just an H back. People probably don’t like me bringing him up, but like Aaron Hernandez wasn’t just an H back. He was also a full big tight end but could fill that H back role with his athleticism and the things he could do on the field. I see Kyle Pitts being that kind of guy, where he’s not just, RJ Raymond is just an H back. He’s not like a prototypical tight end. You’ve got some guys that are just one thing, like C’yontai Lewis isn’t really an H back. He’s more just a prototypical tight end. I’d say yeah. I think Lucas Krull and Kyle Pitts are that multifaceted tight end for the future.

Andrew:                 Right. I’m very high on both of those guys. I think both of those guys, when I say power forwards, they know how to box out and make that defender go over him or through him to make the grab. Both of those guys have made some big catches on those slant routes. The tight end position has evolved, Nick, in such a different way. I mean, you go to the NFL nowadays, and you look. I know Gronkowski is a freak of nature that’s different, but you look at other guys. Eric Ebron with the Colts. You look at just different guys, the way teams are using them nowadays. They’re almost using them as just big receivers. I mean, they’re flexing them out wide in one on one situations, daring a corner or safety to try to guard them.

Nick:                         Yeah, he was out there. I said it to you early on in the game. I was like, man, Kyle Pitts is just like lining up as a receiver.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I like it. I like that with that. I’m interested to see. We have a few minutes here. I’m going to throw something off topic with you here. No disrespect to you, and I don’t mean this to come off as any offense to you, but you don’t follow recruiting as closely during the season, because you’re busy. What would you say the biggest key for Florida is in recruiting, position wise?

Nick:                         I think you need to have a solid offensive line class.

Andrew:                 Okay.

Nick:                         I think you need to have a solid defensive line class. We don’t know how many guys are going to be leaving. And defensive backs. We’ve seen how badly they’ve been hit this year. You need to have a couple defensive backs and a couple that are probably ready to play right away.

Andrew:                 Okay. I agree. That’s something Dan Mullen has been saying. I just kind of wanted to get your take on that, but that’s something that’s been a key for him. He’s talked throughout the entire time with guys and with different prospects, loading up on the defensive back class and the offensive line class has been huge. Defensive line is just a struggle bus right now, unfortunately. It’s crazy with Sal Sunseri being as good a recruiter as he is, but it’s something that has got to pick up. I think it will.

I agree. You’ve got to load up at the offensive line. I still think that they may try to go find a JUCO offensive lineman. I mean, they need somebody. They need experience on that line. Nick, I mean this as no offense to Stone Forsythe, but if Florida goes in with him starting at left tackle next year, I think you have to wonder.

Nick:                         Yeah. Is it Gouraige, Forsythe?

Andrew:                 Noah Banks.

Nick:                         I was talking to a guy, and he is connected with the Draft and with agents and stuff like that. In his opinion, Jawaan Taylor is crazy to leave. He says that he thinks Jawaan Taylor needs to come back and needs to play left tackle. He hasn’t played well enough at just right tackle, and teams aren’t going to draft you high to be a right tackle.

Andrew:                 Jawaan Taylor leaving this year is a mistake. Mistake. That’s a monstrous mistake, Nick. Monstrous mistake. Jawaan Taylor has not played, his sophomore year was so much better than this year. That’s concerning with the ability of John Hevesy as an offensive line coach.

Nick:                         Never played on the left side of the line.

Andrew:                 Never played on the left side of the line. Okay. You make a good point. I’ll run through this. I know we’re just jotting around everywhere on this podcast, and I’m sorry, guys, for keeping everybody. Let me ask you this. Van Jefferson, return or go?

Nick:                         To me, he’s the interesting one. I would say that he, in his mind right now, is probably leaning on leaving. I think he could come back, and that’s part of the reason why I didn’t mention you need to have a bunch of great wide receivers this year. I think you’ve got a couple young ones that will be fine. Trevon Grimes still has three years to go as well.

Andrew:                 I think Van comes back. Jordan Scarlett, I think we both agree he’s gone.

Nick:                         I believe so.

Andrew:                 Okay. Kylan Johnson returns. Tommy Townsend returns. Rayshad Jackson returns. Noah Banks returns. TJ McCoy returns, even though the Outland Trophy still thinks he’s playing.

Nick:                         Yeah. I don’t know where he would even be able to transfer, unless he graduates. I’ve heard some rumblings about him not being happy with his role and with Hevesy.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I have as well. Nick Buchanan returns. Jabari, that’s the key one, Nick. Return or go?

Nick:                         I think he’ll go.

Andrew:                 I think so.

Nick:                         I think he’ll probably get told that he’s a …

Andrew:                 Second rounder?

Nick:                         Late second, third rounder. He’s confident. Listen, when you put him in underwear up in Indianapolis, he’s going to bench press the hell out of that bar. He’s going to run fast, and he’s going to look very fluid in all of those things. He’s a guy, and Zuniga is a guy, that will help themselves in interviews and will help themselves in the underwear Olympics up in Indianapolis.

Andrew:                 I agree. I think he leaves. Luke Ancrum comes back. Josh Hammond back. Vosean, I think Vosean is an interesting one. I don’t think Vosean has played well enough to go, but I think he’s a guy who may test the waters.

Nick:                         I think he stays.

Andrew:                 I think he should, but I think he’s a guy who could. Freddie Swain returns. Perine returns. Chauncey Gardner gone. Agreed?

Nick:                         Gone.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Jeawon back. David Reese I think is one that will test the waters.

Nick:                         I think David Reese stays.

Andrew:                 I think he does, but I think he’ll test the waters. I think he’ll look for feedback, and I think he’ll be one of the last ones that will let you know he’s back.

Nick:                         See, I think I disagree. I think he’ll be one of the ones that’s kind of like, what do you mean? I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t even send in his paperwork.

Andrew:                 Okay. I mean, that’s what this podcast is about. We can do that. We talked about Antonneous, I think he may be looking to bounce.

Nick:                         Yeah. I think the only thing that would keep Antonneous Clayton at Florida, this is the only thing I think would keep him here, if he waits around and kind of sees do Zu and Polite leave? If both of them leave, I’m Antonneous Clayton, I’m thinking I have a chance to have one year.

Andrew:                 Right. Yeah. Tyrie, I think returns. I don’t think he’s put enough. Dunlap returns. Jachai I think is gone. Would you agree?

Nick:                         Yeah. I’d say Jachai. I think both Jachai and Jabari Zuniga. If I had to put a bet on it today, I would bet both of them are gone.

Andrew:                 I agree with you. To round that out, you’re saying you think Jachai, Jabari, and Chauncey are the only three that leaves?

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 Okay. I say those three, and I say it would not surprise me on Vosean.

Nick:                         Okay.

Andrew:                 I think Van returns. I think his dad will tell him, listen son, go back to school.

Nick:                         Yeah. It’s interesting, because I don’t know, the way that the offense is, and the way that we’ve seen it this year, I don’t know how much better Van Jefferson will get at his Draft stock by next year, especially when you’re considering that you’re adding in Copeland, and you’re adding in these other guys. Now you’ve got Dante Lang and Kyle Pitts and Lucas Krull who are all a year into the program.

Andrew:                 I just think Van can come back and do a better job of catching the ball.

Nick:                         I just don’t know if that’s enough. He’s got a daughter. I think he does have a dad who knows, and a dad who has friends that will be people who are making those decisions. He has a great mentor and someone to lean on. I just don’t know, in my mind, how much he improves his Draft stock next year.

Andrew:                 Right. Like I said, I can see it either way. Anyway, Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone on Friday, and we’ll do our prediction podcast. We appreciate everyone following along as we bounce back and forth with all these topics.

One last thing, Nick, I wanted to say this. It was brought up. It’s a little off topic. It was brought up in the Feleipe thing on the forums. I wanted to say this, not that it should be question mark, but you and I do this podcast, A, because we’re asked but, but, B, because we like to. You and I have never made any personal comments about anyone. I know some people tried to make it personal with the whole Feleipe thing. Nick, you and I have never made a personal comment about any of these guys. Our job is to critique their play, their play on the field and how they do. I just wanted to make that clear to everyone. This isn’t a podcast where we make personal comments.

Nick:                         No. Anything we’ve ever said negatively or harshly or critically of players is all on the field. You and I, we have personal relationships with these guys. They’re not just people we see on TV. We cover them in recruiting. I know you know their families, their moms, their coaches, their uncles, the people that are around them, brothers and sisters. We have personal relationships with these guys. I still keep in touch with players who aren’t on the team. I still keep in touch with families of players who aren’t on the team. To take a personal shot at a guy is not what we’re doing at all. If we’re talking bad about somebody, it’s what we’ve seen on the field. It’s nothing that they don’t know. It’s nothing that the coaches haven’t told them. Really, if we’re going to sit here and we never are critical of somebody, then what kind of credibility do we have?

Andrew:                 Exactly. That’s just all. I just wanted to get that point out there real quick. While there has been talk about the whole Feleipe thing, and you said it best on the forum. My opinion may be wrong. Nick, your opinion may be wrong. Heck, we all may be wrong. That is the choice we get. Veterans Day was just on Sunday. This is the opportunity we’ve been given, to voice our opinion. May be wrong, but that’s the way it is. If Feleipe was telling me personally to shush on Saturday, cool. I can take that. That’s whatever. Again, not to get into that anymore, but it’s not a personal thing. We all have opinions, and we welcome everybody’s opinions.

Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out of here, and we’ll see everyone on Friday, prediction time. Guess what, Nick? I’m picking the Gators.

Nick:                         I’ll save my pick till Friday. www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. The podcast is there on any and all places that you listen to podcasts. Just search Gator Country. Subscribe. Never miss an episode. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. I’m @NickdelaTorreGC. He’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:                 There you go. Guys, we appreciate it. As always, chomp, chomp and go Braves.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

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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.