Podcast previewing the Florida Gators official visit weekend and football updates

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we preview the Florida Gators official visit weekend for this weekend as the Gators are expected to have a big weekend.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre break down the six official visitors for this weekend, including which one the Gators have the best chance with.

Andrew and Nick also break down how the first week of workouts went for the Gators football team, plus how the basketball performed against Arkansas on Wednesday.


Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, got a lot to talk about on this podcast, on this good Friday. We’re taping this on Thursday. Later today, as you’re listening to this, the Gators will have six guys arrive on campus for officials. That’s six guys as of us taping this Thursday afternoon. Could it be more? Sure. Right now we’re expecting six guys, and six guys that are big needs for Florida.

Nick:                         This is really the first big week for official visitors, because you’ve only got three more weekends before Signing Day. You’ll see players coming into Florida. Guys that Florida’s still looking at going elsewhere as well. Big sprint to the finish line here. Some people were asking, and were kind of upset that Florida didn’t host visitors last weekend. My response back to that was, “Listen, there was only two guys that were going to possibly visit, one that was realistically going to visit. Why have one guy on campus when you can go out and be in homes with a lot of guys, and save it?” The guy, Justin Watkins, that was going to visit last weekend, bring him this weekend. Allow him to be around more guys, and make it a memorable weekend. Having one guy on campus, sure he’d have gotten a lot of attention, but it wouldn’t have been the same as if he’d had a bunch of guys on campus.

Me personally, I like it. I’ve always said have big weekends and get one guy to pop, and let that momentum go. That’s something Georgia and Bama do a lot, and that’s something Nick Saban talks about all the time. When kids get caught up in the emotion of it, they let themselves enjoy it a little bit. That’s something McElwain didn’t like. He didn’t like big weekends, because he thought that you couldn’t spend enough time with kids. I understand that, but the counterargument to that is you can have a good weekend. I personally like this approach with Mullen. I think the bigger the weekend, the bigger chance for homeruns.

Nick:                         A lot of that is coaches may not be able to recruit kids individually as much, because of the bigger crowd, but you get that kind of excitement that builds where kids recruit themselves. You see this collection of talent around you, and guys start to talk. You build relationships that way. I’m with you in the boat of I like it. I like having it. Have as much talent as you can. Don’t bring five quarterbacks on campus if you’re still looking for a quarterback, but bring as much talent as you can any week that it’s possible.

Andrew:                 It’s one of those things of you have to trust your coaching staff, your support staff, and you have to do a good job of planning it out. There’s no question about that. You have to do a good job of doing that, but if you’re a well-oiled machine, and you believe in yourself and believe in your plan, then you should be okay. I think that this staff does that. Again, I think it’s a good weekend.

Let’s just go ahead. Let’s dive right on into it. You got six guys coming on campus this weekend. Three of them are going to be committed elsewhere. Kind of leading that charge is a big defensive tackle out of American Heritage, Nesta Silvera, that’s committed to Miami. Big guy, a guy that may get a five-star ranking. Really did well out at the Army All-American game. He’s been committed to Miami for a while now, but Ja’Juan Seider on the low has kind of been recruiting Silvera very hard, and is a guy that Florida has some confidence in, when he didn’t sign with Miami, and then took his official to Miami last weekend, and is still going to take visits. Guys are definitely confident when that happens, because every school tries to shut down that visit.

I still think it’s an uphill climb for Nesta, but it’s a situation where get him on campus and show him Sal and that kind of stuff, and I think you got a chance. Nick, you and I both know Florida’s success at American Heritage has been good. A guy like Marco Wilson is going to recruit the hell out of Nesta this weekend.

Nick:                         There’s some good ties with really all of South Florida, but Marco obviously played with Nesta. Played with each other for a while. Those kind of relationships can help. I think with a guy like Nesta too, I think it’s really going to be about his position coach. Someone that good, it’s kind of like when you’re thinking, “I’m going to be a three year, three and done kind of guy, who is going to be my coach? How are they going to make me better?”

I said it before on the podcast. It doesn’t matter if you are white, African American, Asian. If the person you’re trying to recruit, and the person you’re trying to talk to, perceives you as this person can make me better, they can make me a better person, better player, they’re going to listen. If they perceive you as someone who can’t help them, can’t make them better, why am I going to listen to you? I think it really comes down to Sal Sunseri, who’s got a ton of college experience, professional experience, working with defensive linemen. I think, to me, that is going to be a big, big factor with Nesta this coming trip, building that relationship with Sal. What is his initial reaction of Sunseri going to be when they sit down and go over some plays? How are you going to be used? What’s that reaction going to be?

Andrew:                 Right. That’s a big one. The thing that I think you have to keep an eye on with Nesta is his good buddy, Andrew Chatfield. He’ll visit next weekend, after he visits Florida State this weekend. They’re very good friends. If a guy like Chatfield comes to Florida, then watch out, because they’re good friends, and they’ve talked about playing together and all that good stuff. You have to watch out for that.

Moving on. Probably the biggest position of need, in my opinion, is linebacker. They’re going to bring in the big Under Armour All-American in Kentucky commit Xavier Peters this weekend. Now, the biggest thing with Xavier Peters is academics. He has some issues and needs to really improve his test score, which he’ll have three more chances to do that, in order to get in. Florida’s been the team that’s been on him the longest, outside of Kentucky.

Now, it’s a different coaching staff. Tim Skipper was the main recruiter for him, but still I think Florida has a decent shot here, if he’s able to get in school. He’s going to take that official this weekend, and then Florida State and Miami are trying to get him on later on, after this visit. We’ll see about that. Again, if he’s able to qualify, watch out, because I really think that Florida can get him in school, or get him to Florida, if he can get into school. He’s a guy that really performed well at the Under Armour game. As an inside linebacker, Florida needs that in this class. They need that depth at the inside linebacker position. Do they need outside linebackers as well? Sure, but I think they really need that one elite inside guy, and that’s Xavier Peters.

Nick:                         He is committed right now?

Andrew:                 Yeah. He is committed to Kentucky. Been committed to Kentucky for a while. A lot of that is academics. Kentucky thinks they can get him in. They took a shot on him early. Schools like Florida kind of backed off, or didn’t back off, but kind of slow played him a little bit, because of the academics. You got three chances to make a test score, and a lot of these guys, when it comes down to time of, “Listen, you’re not going to go to school if you can’t get the test score,” a lot of these guys get it into gear.

Nick:                         I guess, to me it’s more of how many times have you taken it. It might be more of a red flag, but a lot of kids figure it out that last time.

Andrew:                 Exactly. Wouldn’t you agree though? That’s a big position of need.

Nick:                         Certainly, it’s a big position of need, especially when you’re considering switching defensive philosophies. I still don’t think you’re only going to see Florida running a 3-4. There’s offenses you face you’re going to be in nickel or dime and moving that stuff all around. If your base is a 3-4, you’re going to need another inside linebacker. Right now, I think you’ve got one. Vosean Joseph, for all of his big hits, I don’t think he had a great season last year. Kylan Johnson’s had hamstring issues, and he’s still banged up. Really, I think you’ve got one middle linebacker right now in David Reese, and I see him as a four year player. I’d guess you’d have him for two more years, but you need to start finding some interior linemen, linebackers.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. I say this, and I don’t mean this as anything towards David Reese and Kylan Johnson, but both of those guys struggled last year. Kylan was injured, of course, but both of those guys struggled a little bit in coverage, David Reese in particular. That’s something that is going to have to change, especially in a 3-4. You’re going to do more of that covering guys. It’ll be really interesting to kind of see how that plays out this spring. Then you’ve got to remember, does James Houston and Ventrell Miller come back from the credit card thing? We’ll see about that as well. Again, I think Peters is a big, big need.

Moving on to the third guy that’s committed elsewhere, and that’s Noah Boykin. Committed to Maryland. Cornerback that kind of came out of nowhere, until Mullen got there. Was a guy that Florida wasn’t really recruiting until Mullen and company got here. It’s a guy that is committed to Maryland, but didn’t sign. Has been looking at Notre Dame really hard, and now looking at Florida. He’s a guy that I think Florida can sneak in and grab, just because of the fact of he didn’t sign.

Then he’s a guy that is looking at Florida’s DB depth chart. If you’re a guy, yes, you look at CJ Henderson, you look at Marco, and you say, “Both of those guys played early as freshmen, but behind those guys there’s nothing.” There’s zero. If you’re a guy like Boykin, especially with his size, at 6’2” 170, you think you can come in and get some playing time. I think that’s a big draw for him. It’s a guy that I think could come in and compete for time. It’ll be interesting to kind of see where that visit goes this weekend. First time on campus. It’s a little late in the process. Notre Dame has the longer relationship with him, but Florida’s done a really good job of at least getting him on campus. Again, a long corner like that is a big need, in my opinion, because I just don’t see depth.

Nick:                         I guess I see a little more depth. There’s guys. Brian Edwards, he’ll be back. Brad Stewart, I think we both see him more of a safety. There’s some guys, but, yeah, when you look at CJ McWilliams, McArthur Burnett, there’s not a ton of depth there. I don’t think Florida’s hurting for depth at cornerback right now, but I don’t think that depth chart is scaring away anybody.

Andrew:                 Right. That’s what I’m going to say. I mean, do you trust any of those guys behind those guys, behind Marco and CJ right now?

Nick:                         I really liked the class last year, Stewart and Edwards. I’m forgetting somebody. Stewart, Edwards, Henderson, Stiner. I like those guys. Edwards and Stiner, I’d probably say are safeties, or Stewart and Stiner are safeties, with Edwards being a corner. Like I said, is that depth chart empty? No. I like those players. Is that scaring anyone away to say, “I’m never going to see the field”? No.

Andrew:                 Right. I agree with you. To me, I’m not comfortable with those guys. If you tell me CJ McWilliams has to start for Florida against Florida State, I’m telling you, “Oh shit. Watch out.”

Nick:                         Whoa, whoa. I didn’t say I was comfortable there.

Andrew:                 I know. I’m just saying if you tell me that some of those guys have to play, if a CJ Henderson has a twisted ankle or something like that, if you tell me that, I’m saying, “Ugh. Okay.” I’m worried. That’s why I say guys like Noah Boykin are big. Then you lose Randy Russell, who’s going to be a nickel guy. I’m not saying Noah Boykin’s a nickel, but you lose Randy Russell there, and Russell is a guy they were probably going to be able to play next year with him enrolling early. Again, it’s a big one, and you flip it from Maryland. You get back into that DC area, where there’s a lot of talent, and Florida just hasn’t done much there since Urban left.

Nick:                         That’s a good point.

Andrew:                 Let’s move on. This is a guy that’s intriguing to me, and has been intriguing to me since his freshman year, when he got that offer. That’s Justin Watkins. Listen, he has his quirks about him. He’s been in four different high schools in four different years. There’s that question mark and all that there, but when you turn on the tape, and when you watch him in person at the Under Armour game, and you watch him in person in high school, he can play.

I will say this. We’ve all heard about how good Brandon Powell was in the slot, and that kind of stuff. We all thought, “Let’s see what he can do.” Justin Watkins is that electric player in the slot that everyone talks about, when you talk about a slot guy. Speedy guy. Can stop on a dime. Can move around. Has that Dre Massey, Kadarius Toney shake about him. Like I said, does he have his off the field issues? Yes. On the field, he’s a playmaker. 5’11”, 175, and he looks bigger than that, because he’s just bulked up. Played really well in the Under Armour game.

He was going to commit to LSU or Alabama, was going to be LSU at the Under Armour game. Pushed that back when Dan Mullen and Ja’Juan Seider reached out to him. Florida really went out and recruited him hard, and have recruited him hard. That’s something that really showed up on him. Listen, Florida was always the school he wanted to go to, and now there’s push there. Heading into the weekend, I’m on commit watch. To me, he’d be a big, big upgrade.

Nick:                         We’ve talked about this before, but with the past offensive scheme and coaching staff just really not a fit.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Listen, I understand that. My counterpoint to that is you can’t teach speed. You got a guy like Justin Watkins, just like Kadarius. Everybody said, “Kadarius isn’t a fit.” I mean, at times, Nick, Kadarius Toney was the best playmaker on the field for Florida.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 Justin Watkins, same thing.

Nick:                         This is what we get back to, and Dan Mullen said the right things. Great coaches make their system fit, instead of trying to make guys fit.

Andrew:                 Agreed. You look at Mullen’s past.

Nick:                         He’s done that. Absolutely.

Andrew:                 Right. He’s done that. Again, like I say, like you said, you can say it. You have to do it. Justin Watkins fits this system to a tee. He’s a guy that on 3rd and 2 can he slide into the backfield and take a handoff? Sure. Is he a guy that you can slide and run an option play with? Sure. There’s a lot of things you can do with Justin Watkins. For all of his off the field, and I don’t want to say issues, but all the off the field quirks he has, he makes up for it on the field.

To finish off, to round out the six, there’s going to be two defensive linemen coming in this weekend. One is defensive end, Caleb Johnson. 6’3”, 250 out of Northside, Columbus, Georgia. The other one is Caleb Tanner. 6’3”, 225 out of Lithuania, Georgia, Miller Grove High School. Both of those guys are kind of a Florida-Auburn battle right now. Both of those guys are end rushers that can also drop back a little bit in that 3-4 defense.

That’s a thing you have to remember. Mullen’s going to get guys that can drop back a little bit, as well as that edge rusher you want. That Jason Taylor type. That’s exactly what I think like a Jeremiah Moon is going to do is be able to drop back into coverage. That’s what both of those guys do. Florida’s been recruiting those guys hard. Caleb Tanner was committed to Georgia, backed off that commitment. Georgia kind of wanted a defensive tackle, so they weren’t showing him love completely. Kind of a little bit of a mutual parting of ways. Anyway, Florida needs another guy at that defensive end position. They’re going to bring both of those guys in this weekend.

Overall, you look at it, and they’ve got five out of the six are defensive guys. When you look at this class, someone asked me yesterday, “Talk about the class.” I said, “The offensive class has been really good. The defensive class has a little bit of improvement to do.” Boom. They’re doing it this weekend, and the final two weekends. The final two weekends are loaded with defensive guys, especially Juco guys, at the positions.

Nick:                         What’s your take on this coaching staff’s perception of Junior College guys, and how ready they are to take them?

Andrew:                 I say this, and I think it’s a little early to say exactly how Mullen is going to approach the Junior College. I think he will always put an emphasis on that. He did that at Mississippi State, where he had to, but, also, think about it. The state of Mississippi is loaded with Jucos, more so Juco prospects than high school prospects there. For me, right now, at the positions he’s hitting, he’s hitting it at that positions he needs to improve.

Listen, Dan Mullen has zero obligation or loyalty to any of these guys. He didn’t recruit none of these guys that are on campus. He’ll recruit over them. He goes in with an open mind and says, “Joe Bob on the defensive line is not good enough to be a starter here, so I need to go recruit defensive end Dorian Gerald from Juco.” Maybe Jim McElwain and his staff were a little bit more biased to their guys, thinking, “He’s going to be okay. He’ll grow in at defensive end.” Or whatever it is.

I say this to everyone. Recruiting Jucos isn’t a bad thing. When you look at Alabama, every year Bama is recruiting one or two Jucos. You go back, and you look at the national title game in the playoffs. Their left tackle, Jonah Williams, in the Clemson game, Juco guy. When you look at one of their biggest guys on the defensive line, Isaiah Buggs, a Juco Guy.

Recruiting Jucos on the line of scrimmage is always a plus, in my opinion, because why not recruit that veteran guy to jump in and replace guys that go early? The game in won in the trenches. One or two Jucos in the trenches every year is not a bad thing at all. I think that everyone gets the perception of Juco ball as they’re not good enough. There’s some really good Jucos, and Bama’s proved that.

Nick:                         That’s for sure. I think, to me, it makes more sense too, especially with them coming over. That’s a quick plug of a hole that they perceive. We perceive that we are weak with what we want to do here on the roster. Let’s plug somebody in. We might get a five-star kid to play that position who’s just not ready to start as a freshman, not ready to play 40, 50, 60 snaps as a freshman. Let’s get someone else that we can help. Hey, this kid’s played three years of college football already, whether it be one year at a regular level or two years at a Juco level. He’s already played. We think he’ll be able to plug and play, get him out right away.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I mean, that’s the thing too. You look at it. They only have two years of eligibility. If they’re really good, like some of the guys that you’re going to recruit, they’re going to pro in one year. Why not? Why not go and get those guys to plug and play? I’m going back and kind of looking here at some of the classes Bama’s had. The last two years Bama signed four Junior College guys. I mean, let’s just be honest here. Bama has no holes, but they’re recruiting Juco guys. If you’re going to be …

Nick:                         Bama has a glaring hole.

Andrew:                 What?

Nick:                         They need a kicker.

Andrew:                 Oh, yeah. They need a kicker. That was whatchamacallit. That was Mr. Eddy Pineiro that said, “I want to go somewhere where I score all the points.” That wasn’t going to be Bama.

I mean, going back to that. I don’t think recruiting Jucos is a bad thing. Now, do you want a class full of Jucos, so that you’re being John Calipari, where you’re just bringing in a new class every year? Hell, no. Bringing in one or two on the trenches in the defense and offensive line, not a bad thing. Nick, let’s just be honest here. If you would have looked at Florida the past couple years, especially last year, what would Florid have done to have a Juco right tackle?

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 They’d have killed.

Nick:                         You’re right.

Andrew:                 I take it as it’s not a bad thing. I’m okay with it. You look at it this year, Florida’s kind of recruiting a couple Juco guys. They’re recruiting the Juco D Ends in Dorian Gerald. They’re recruiting Noah Jefferson. They’re recruiting Emmett Goodin. Kind of messing around a little bit with a Juco linebacker in Chauncey Manac. Those four guys. You look at it. You just said linebacker was a big need. Defensive line is a big need. There’s not a ton of depth at the defensive end position that have proven depth right now. Why not?

Nick:                         I think I’m on the same page as you. Maybe a Juco linebacker. Maybe not linemen. I have no problem taking Junior College kids. I just think there will be a segment of the fanbase that is probably angry about all the graduate transfer quarterbacks and yada, yada, this and that. If Florida starts landing some Junior College kids, I think you’ll be hearing about, “Why are we doing this? These players aren’t coming. They’re not staying long,” this and that. Giving you a chance to get ahead of people complaining about landing some Junior College players.

Andrew:                 Again, when you look at it, you have to separate grad transfers and Juco guys. Listen, I understand the grad transfers. A lot of times if a guy grad transfers away he wasn’t good enough to go to the League, or he was on a team that wasn’t going to play. I get all that. Juco guys are guys that most of the time just weren’t able to get into school, or a guy, like a Dorian Gerald, who went under the radar, who didn’t grow into his position until he got into Junior College. Again, there’s been a lot of good Junior College players that have come out and done well. I just say to fans, “Don’t take grad transfers and Junior College guys in the same boat.”

Nick:                         Got you.

Andrew:                 Anyway, let’s move on a little bit, Nick. Tuesday was a big day in Gainesville. They started their strength and conditioning program. The guys got woken up with a nice little three-mile run around campus. Not too bad, I guess.

Nick:                         I’ll tell you what, it’s cold. It’s been cold in Gainesville.

Andrew:                 Yeah. First day, let’s just go on a three-mile run with some rope in our hands, so that they have to carry it around, teamwork. That’s something Dan Mullen talks about, competition. We’ve heard that, and we’ve talked about that a little bit on the message boards and stuff. They’ve broken into teams, and it’s a race. Everything’s a race. Everything’s a competition. This is just me, and maybe I’m weird, but everything I do I want to win or lose. I want to win. Why not compete? I like it.

Nick:                         That’s the way everything growing up, for me. Everything was competitive. Didn’t matter if we were playing basketball in someone’s driveway, or playing checkers. Didn’t matter. There was always winners, and there was always losers. That’s how you learn. That’s how I learned how to compete and how to be competitive. Do it. Whether it’s who can finish reps faster when it comes to sprints, or who’s putting up the most weight in the weight room, everything should be a competition.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I completely agree. I like the seven captains and the competing on an everyday basis. The ropes, having to carry the ropes and finish, and that kind of stuff. You have to like it, because not only does it create competition, but it creates that team vibe. Nick, I think you’ll agree with me when I say this. There has been, really since Urban Meyer left, there’s been a division among the players, especially the last seven years, of the offense and the defense maybe not getting along. Just competition and that teambuilding is huge. It’s something you and I have talked about for a while. They need more of it.

Nick:                         Yeah. They can say whatever they want. It’s undoubtable that at times, extended periods of times, there has been a big divide between the offense and the defense. For good reason too.

Andrew:                 Right. Would you agree that it’s something that has been bad all along? You can tell. I mean, like we’ve talked about before, you can tell how the team just walked out of the tunnel as a team whether or not they were going to win or lose.

Nick:                         Yeah. There were a lot of times, especially later in the season. There was a lot of things wrong. There was a lot of, I think the last coaching staff put them in bad headspaces, where they’re going out there, and they think that their fans hate them. The fans don’t hate them. The fans would love for them to be good. They’re going to voice their opinions when things aren’t good. If you want to be patted on the butt for being mediocre, you should have gone to Utah or Utah State, or something like that. You shouldn’t have gone to Florida.

Andrew:                 Utah wins football games now.

Nick:                         Yeah. Maybe you should have gone to FIU, where nobody shows up to the games, and if you win five, they’ll be super happy about it. That’s not going to happen at Florida. That’s not going to happen in life. I think maybe the last coaching staff didn’t get their guys ready for that, and probably focused too much on stuff like that, instead of focusing on stuff that they should have been and getting their guys ready to play games.

Andrew:                 I mean, some of the coaching staff, they were biased against where you were from, and that caused a division. He’s at UCF now causing that crap. Anyway, we’ll kind of see how that continues to go. I have heard different things about how the team will be, that Mullen has told the team, “Listen, you go to other sporting events. You support your university. You support the other athletes,” and all that. I expect that to continue. It’ll be something that is interesting. I can only name a handful of guys, Nick, that have been very vocal towards the other sports. Guys like Max Garcia, Jake McGee, those guys, but only a handful of guys that were. You look at other universities, and it’s kind of an athletic department spread, where they all support each other. I like it.

Nick:                         I agree.

Andrew:                 I wanted to move on to the rules. We all saw the rules get posted about the weight room. Nick, I just have to say, did Mike Kent just not give a shit in the weight room last time? Because some of those rules were kind of self-explanatory. No eating. No cell phones. No headphones. What? Was that stuff okay? Stepping on the Gator head. Was that stuff okay in the past?

Nick:                         To me, a lot of that stuff is self-explanatory. When I played college baseball, if I went into a gym by myself, sure, I had headphones. If I’m in the gym with my team, I’m not wearing headphones.

Andrew:                 You’re not eating.

Nick:                         Yeah. It doesn’t make any sense. I’m not eating. I either eat on the way to the gym, or I eat after the gym. When I’m there and with my strength coach and with my team, we’re broken up into groups, and we’re going through the workout. The workout sucked, and that’s at a little D3 school. The workout sucked. To me, I look at that sign, and I’m like, “Yeah. That makes sense.”

Andrew:                 You don’t step on your log.

Nick:                         Then you say, “If it’s stuff that makes sense, you shouldn’t need to put it out.” If you print out a sign like that, that sounds like you’re trying to change behavior, break bad habits. If those are habits that were going on, then that’s atrocious.

Andrew:                 Stepping on the logo?

Nick:                         Yeah. I’m not a big guy about that. I get it.

Andrew:                 It’s a respect thing.

Nick:                         When I was at UCF, they had the logo in the student union roped off. I thought it was very inconvenient to have to walk around this gigantic logo whenever you went in the student union, but I get it. To me, it’s not a big deal, but I understand why it is a respect thing, or why it is a big deal for somebody. I get it.

Andrew:                 Every school has them roped off. When you look at photos at Florida State or Georgia or Bama or wherever else, in the locker room it’s always roped off. It’s respect thing. You don’t walk on your logo. You don’t want another team walking on your logo. You don’t walk on your own logo. I just wonder what was that? It kind of makes me go back to what you said, and that was did the last coaching staff preach anything to these guys? Why is this stuff happening?

Nick:                         Yeah. Like I said, it’s so self-explanatory, the stuff on that thing.

Andrew:                 Only thing that wasn’t self-explanatory was no yawning. What happens if you hit a stretch, and you’re like, “I’m exhausted”?

Nick:                         Shoot. If I’m waking up at five to run three miles, and then get in the gym, I’m probably going to be yawning.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I don’t know about all that. That’s some wild stuff. Nick, let’s move on real quick. Let’s talk about that basketball game. We don’t have our man, Eric, on here to talk about it. One of our point of emphasis on that podcast on Wednesday was get KeVaughn Allen going. Wow, did KeVaughn Allen get going.

Nick:                         Welcome back to KeVaughn Allen. I think something that was pretty cool was the Rowdy Reptiles had that shooters shoot sign up yesterday. They’re all spelling out shooters shoot, and it’s a funny saying. I like using it, but I think that might have just been a straight message to KeVaughn Allen. It’s like, the lone preseason All-SEC guy keep putting it up. It’s probably what we talked about with Eric yesterday, about guys who didn’t have conscience. Kenny Boyd, no conscience. Shane Hudson, no conscience. KeVaughn Allen, maybe too much of a conscience. He comes out, and Florida’s really not shooting well in the first half, but KeVaughn Allen pours in 20. That helps make an 18-point lead in the first half, and he finishes off with a season high 26, or 28?

Andrew:                 26.

Nick:                         Finishes off with a season high 26. That’s the KeVaughn Allen that Florida needs to show up, at least that mentality. Need him to show up for a deep run when it comes to SEC and NCAA tournament time.

Andrew:                 I look at it, and I say maybe this is the game that gets him going, because he was pulling up and making his shots, but he was also dropping to the basket a little bit. I just look at this game and say maybe this was the game and the opponent. Arkansas is his home state school. He didn’t go there. He decided not to go there. Maybe this is the game that gets him going, and this is the game that kind of gets all these guys going. Hudson, Egor, and Allen together, all in double digits. Didn’t even have to rely on Chris. Just a big, big game for him. A big game for Florida heading into this Kentucky game.

Nick:                         I think it was only the fourth time that those three have been double digits this season, and that’s a problem.

Andrew:                 Exactly. It’s all working towards getting big John back.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 Anyway, Kentucky this weekend. That’ll be a big one as well. Then Florida comes home for two, and that’s something that Mike White and his guys are ready for. Nick, we’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone next week with Eric, and then our podcast as well. Stay tuned to Gator Country as well. We’ll have a ton of recaps on these official visitors and everything happening in recruiting. Florida’s sending out offers left, right, and sideways. If you’re in California, or at St. Thomas, you’re getting offers. Underclassmen are getting offers everywhere. It just is what this staff is doing. No stone unturned. No challenge unaccepted. If you’re a guy that is a highly rated player that they think can play, they’re going to offer you and try to get you on campus.

Nick:                         Yup. Remember, Florida at Kentucky. That’s 8:00, 8:15, tip on ESPN Saturday.

Andrew:                 Follow along with those there. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out. We’ll see everyone next week.

We can’t hear you there, Nicholas.

Nick:                         Sorry about that. www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can also find the podcast on iTunes. Search @GatorCountry. Let us know how we’re doing there. Social media, do your thing. It’s @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter, @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. I’m @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:                 There you go. Guys, we appreciate it. As always, come check us out on Gator Country. Doing a lot of good things over here. A lot of things are going on on basketball and in recruiting. Just a lot of good stuff going on. A lot of new stuff. Come check us out. As always, go Braves. Chomp, chomp.

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.