Recapping National Signing Day for the Florida Gators: Podcast

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap National Signing Day for the Florida Gators on Wednesday.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre recap the six guys that signed with the Florida Gators on Wednesday.

Andrew and Nick recap the class and talk about how these guys fit into the Gators program, plus much more.


Andrew:                 What’s up Gator Country, your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, Signing Day is over. We get a little bit of a breather, and softball is right around the corner. Baseball is right around the corner for you. Basketball is still in full swing. Guess what? They’re already ready for 2019 recruiting.

Nick:                         Most important thing that happened on Thursday though is Wade County is back. My boy, Dwyane Wade getting traded by the Cavs. Just went nuclear in Cleveland. They blew up everything. I think they got rid of everyone except for LeBron, and they sent my boy, Dwyane Wade, back to Miami. Wade County is back. Love to see it. Yeah.

Long day for Signing Day. Baseball is picked to win the SEC. Softball just a week away.

Andrew:                 Softball starts, you guys are listening to this on Friday, so softball starts today. That’s the way things are going to go. Like I said, 2019 recruiting is already going on. With Signing Day yesterday pretty much being as is, the coaches were able to talk to a lot of 2019 guys on Signing Day, on Wednesday. So things are in full motion.

Man, what a day. Listen, I know somebody’s going to say, “What a day, Florida shit the bed.” Whatever. Florida had a good day. Outside of Noah Boykin, the Gators got who they thought they were going to get, and they also landed Malik Langham, who a couple days if I’d have told you that you would have asked me what I was smoking, because Florida had zero chance of getting him before a late push from Sal Sunseri.

Nick:                         Here’s the thing. What was the miss?

Andrew:                 It’s Noah Boykin.

Nick:                         Yeah, but what was the miss? I feel like the Noah Boykin to Notre Dame, I feel like just the fact that he went to Notre Dame, I feel like that was a surprise, but if you’d been following along and been listening to what you’d been saying, what you’d been putting on the message board. Petit-Frere wasn’t coming. I’m blanking on the two offensive linemen that went to North Carolina. You knew that they weren’t coming. So what was the miss that made you so angry from 10:00AM until Jacob Copeland committed at 2:30? What happened that pissed in everyone’s Wheaties for that period of time? Other than Barnes, it was what you expected.

Andrew:                 Yeah. That’s what I’m saying. Listen, I understand some people believed other sites that said Nesta was coming to Florida. Listen, there was a time when the Florida coaching staff felt like there might be a chance. Never did they think he was coming. I think I told you guys on the podcast, and I put it on my mock class on the message board. I said, listen, is there a chance he comes? Sure. Don’t think so. I mean, I just don’t. He had been committed to Miami for so long now. Miami’s right down the street for him, and it was going to be tough for him to turn it down.

Did Florida have a chance? Sure. But it was a slim chance. Had Mac stayed at Florida, maybe there would have been a little bit more of a chance, because he was a little bit more familiar with him, but it was too little, too late. I don’t understand why people are all mad about that. Would it have been nice to get him? Hell, yeah, it’d been nice.

It’d been nice to get Nick Petit-Frere. It would have been nice to get them all. It would have nice to get Noah Boykin. It just didn’t happen. To say it was a bad class, it wasn’t. Listen, I understand that Florida was 14th in the recruiting rankings or whatever. They signed 19 guys. Had you been able to add Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson, two five-stars, to the class, looks what different.

Nick:                         I asked Mullen about it yesterday. He said, “Listen, we’re not going to at 85 next year.” No fault of his own. It’s kind of what we talked about, and kind of what I had been asking you, and we had been getting at for probably two weeks now. I’ve been asking you, and we’ve been talking about it on the podcast. Do you take some guys just to fill out a class? What are you going to do? He flat out said, “I’m not going to do that. That’s not something we’re going to be doing.” You see that with the class that was at 19. I like that.

This is why I asked the question to him yesterday. He also brought up, “You don’t want to ever get behind on the offensive/defensive line.” We talked about it on the pre-Signing Day show. You could lose three guys on the offensive line this year. You don’t want to get into a situation where you have to sign like seven guys, seven offensive linemen in a class.

Andrew:                 Right. Listen, I understand. Not getting Nick was big, but there was never a feeling that Nick was coming to Florida. There never was that feeling that he was going to come. Was there times when people were more optimistic? Sure. I can’t speak for Dan Mullen, but I can bet you a lot that Dan Mullen never walked to the chalkboard and put in ink, Nick Petit. I don’t think so. There was never that full confidence.

Now, Barnes and Montilus was two guys that Florida was in good shape with under Mac. With a coaching change, it messed it up. Barnes and Montilus decided they wanted to go together, and a lot of schools didn’t want Montilus, including Florida.

You signed Richard Gouraige. That was a big one. I do, I think Chris Bleich, however you say it, from up in Pennsylvania, I think he’s a pretty good one. I think Noah Banks is a good Juco guy. Then you bring in Griffin McDowell, who’s a center. Centers are never really ranked high. Centers got to be smart, that kind of stuff. My thing to people is you signed four offensive linemen. John Hevesy has done more with less than Florida has done with five-stars, four-stars.

Nick:                         I know I had some people tell me yesterday, when I put the quote out about Mullen saying, “I’m not going take kids.” They said, “What about McDowell?” You brought up the center point. It’s also something we’ve talked about before, that I didn’t know about until yesterday. He’s also a wrestler. You and I have talked about that.

Andrew:                 Competitive.

Nick:                         The competitiveness. The mental strength it takes to be a wrestler. I made it through one wrestling practice in high school, and I said, “This is not for me.” Also, the knowledge of your body and leverages and getting into positions where you’ve got better leverage, getting low and knowing angles, stuff like that. That’s stuff that wrestling teaches that really there’s no other way to teach it, or no better way to teach it than to do wrestling.

The other thing is Mullen has seen him a lot. This is a kid that camped three or four times when Mullen was there. Somebody who Mullen extended an offer to at Mississippi State. Listen, no disrespect, but some of the kids that you’re going to offer at Mississippi State aren’t Florida caliber. Mullen didn’t go ahead and extend offers to every single player that he had Mississippi State. He waited and talked to him. Obviously, if he’s going to offer him twice and recruit a kid twice, then maybe he knows something better than the recruiting sites know.

Andrew:                 Listen, here’s the deal too. This is what I want to say. Could it end up being just a huge swing and a miss with him? Sure, but it could be a huge swing and a miss with Gouraige. I mean, let’s call a spade a spade.

Nick:                         Emory Jones could be a bust. Four-star and five-star guys bust.

Andrew:                 That’s what I was going to say. Look at Martez Ivey. This is no disrespect to Martez Ivey. Has Martez Ivey ever lived up to his five-star potential yet? No. What’s the big lineman that was in Jacksonville that’s in the League now? The left tackle. Hell, I can’t even think of his name. Just left two years ago. Anyway, five-star guy, never lived up to expectations. Guys aren’t living up to expectations at Florida. A lot of that is coaching, sure, but I’m okay with one take of McDowell. I mean, Mac and Muschamp were filling classes with those guys.

Nick:                         Yeah. I called some guys out last time. I won’t do it again.

Andrew:                 Here’s my thing to that, Nick. Let’s just run through the guys they picked up yesterday. They picked up Gouraige. They picked up Copeland. They picked up Malik Langham. They picked up Justin Watkins. They picked up Griffin McDowell, and there’s one more. Who am I missing, Nick? Am I missing one?

Nick:                         Say them again. Run them through.

Andrew:                 Griffin McDowell, Justin Watkins, Copeland, Langham, and Gouriage. Am I missing one?

Nick:                         You’re missing Chatfield.

Andrew:                 Chatfield. Andrew Chatfield. How’d I forget that? You picked up those six guys. Five of those six guys are four-stars. You’re mad? Two years ago we were all talking about how Mac signed five three-stars.

Then let’s just go back to the wins. Chatfield, beat Miami for him. Watkins, beat Alabama and LSU for him. For Copeland, beat the shit out of Saban and Pruitt up in Tennessee for him. Langham, beat Alabama and Auburn for him. You beat guys. Gouriage, you beat Clemson.

Here’s the thing with Noah Boykin. It’s no fault to Florida at all. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it wasn’t a loss, because it was, but he silently committed to Florida. Florida thought he was good. Langham, silently committed to Alabama for weeks. He flips.

Listen, everybody talks about look what Willie Taggart did. Willie Taggart signed a huge class, full of three-stars. Lost his quarterback to Jimbo. He’s bragging about flipping a three-star from Tennessee.

Nick:                         Who’s the wide receiver everyone was freaking out about?

Andrew:                 Florida or FSU?

Nick:                         FSU.

Andrew:                 I’m not even sure, Nick. Couldn’t tell you. They got Warren Thompson, and that’s the guy they’re all jumping up and down for. Nobody in the SEC wanted him, except for South Carolina.

Nick:                         That makes sense.

Andrew:                 Willy Muschamp wanted him. It is what it is.

I want to talk about something though, Nick. I’m not going to talk about it very much, but I wanted to talk about the Copeland situation. What happened? I’m not going to talk very much about it, because I simply think it takes away from what Jacob Copeland has accomplished, and rightfully so. I’ve made no secrets about it, I’ve talked to Jacob a lot throughout the process, gotten to know him really well. I’m a little more biased, I guess, toward him.

What happened on Wednesday was just simply she wanting him to go somewhere else. Jacob followed his heart. Here’s the thing too, and that is Jacob doesn’t live with her either right now, hasn’t lived with her for a while. A lot of people are bashing her. Listen, everybody can have their opinion on what it is. First of all, I will say this. Don’t tweet Jacob about his mom. It don’t matter what your mom does, you’re always going to protect mom. It just is what it is.

Nick:                         As you should.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Fans tweeting him talking about tell his mom to shut up, this, that, and the other, come on. No. Let’s just stop that. On Jacob, proud of Jacob for doing what he wanted to do. I said this on the message board with Fabien Lovett. He wanted to go Mississippi State, and his dad wanted him to go to Florida. I said, “He needs to go to Mississippi State.” These kids are the ones that have to go to these schools.

I’m proud of these guys who stand up and go to the school they want to go to, not where anybody else wants to go to. Nick, you and I wouldn’t want to go to a school we didn’t want to just because our parents wanted us to go there. You have to live there three, four, five years and play football and be happy there. Again, proud of Jacob for doing what he wanted to do. He didn’t want to go to Alabama, and he didn’t want to go to Tennessee. He followed his heart. Glad for him there. Just like Fabien Lovett. Glad for him that he followed his heart and went to Mississippi State.

Nick:                         It’s exactly what you said. Your parents could want you to go to whatever school. You’re the one that is dealing with the academic advisors, the students.

Andrew:                 Classes.

Nick:                         Your classmates, the classes, teachers, the workouts, teammates. You’re the one that’s day in, day out. You’ve got to live it. So, you take what your parents say. Listen, nobody, theoretically, hopefully, nobody in your life is going to have your best interest at heart more so than your parents. You hope that they are able to take out a bias and say, “Listen, you’re going to go where you want to go. You have to make your decision.” At the end of the day, you’ve got to make a decision for you, whether or not your parents agree with it.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. Like I said, don’t tweet at Jacob about it. Here’s the thing too, and this is what I can say is probably the best thing that can happen in this whole situation, and that is forget it. Forget it. If you’re a Florida fan, or you’re a fan of college football, instead of talking about that, talk about how good of a player Jacob is. Talk about what kind of player he’s going to be at Florida. Give him some support.

Obviously, you kind of see what he goes through on day to day life. I’m not getting into that. I’m hinted at some things, that he doesn’t have the best at home life, that kind of stuff. So give him some support. That would be my thing. Let him know, you did a good job. We support you. Whatever it may be that’s on your mind, don’t talk about his mom. In my opinion, that’s a low blow, and that’s something that Jacob doesn’t want to hear that. He doesn’t need to hear that. Nobody wants to hear their mom being talked about.

Nick:                         That’s how you catch hands. You don’t talk about mama.

Andrew:                 No. You don’t talk about mama. Again, we spent a little more time than I wanted to on that, Nick, but I just wanted to hit on that. I saw one of these so-called blog sites who likes to spout off at the mouth, same one that said Treon Harris and Antonio Callaway got in trouble for dorm noises, tweeting about how bad of a person his mom is. We don’t know that. That’s just hearsay. I just don’t like that, Nick.

Nick:                         Got to give you some props to an Alabama boy, which I’m sure you’ll like.

Andrew:                 Malik Langham?

Nick:                         No.

Andrew:                 Who’s that?

Nick:                         Jawaan Taylor. Little Jawaan.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Little Jawaan, five for five.

Nick:                         Did you see the video that they tweeted out? It was during Copeland’s commitment. It was Dan Mullen or the Gators Twitter account tweeted out. Jawaan ran in to let Mullen know that he was five for five.

Andrew:                 Jawaan’s been the host for Jacob. When they come on unofficial visits they kind of hang around a player or whatever, and Jawaan’s been that guy for Jacob. He’s five for five this year. Jawaan has landed Van Jefferson, Emory Jones, Trey Dean, Jacob Copeland, and Malik Langham. Nick, I think it’s time. He might get the Nick Washington Recruiter of the Year award. It hasn’t been to a current player, but I think it might be time.

Nick:                         Yeah. I think we’re going to have to. It’s going to have to be Jawaan Taylor. In a first for the Nick Washington Recruiter of the Year award, it goes to a current player and not another recruit.

Andrew:                 It was kind of crazy when I went back and was looking at it. I know Jawaan, and I had seen some people tweeting at him about it and different things like that. Jacob had nothing but good things to say about Jawaan. Jawaan’s a very good ambassador for the University of Florida. It’s crazy.

I do have to go give props up to Malik Langham. Nick, being from Bama, it ain’t easy to tell people you’re going out of state. When you tell Saban no, and you tell Auburn no, and you tell them you’re going to Florida. Poor guy had to send in his LOI at 7:00 yesterday morning, and then announce at 3:30. I think the man was a little afraid the LOI would be lost.

Nick:                         Florida’s been able to go in there. Lamical Perine, Jawaan Taylor, Kadarius Toney. Now Langham. Even up into Mississippi for Quincy Litton. The past couple years they’ve been able to do that, but, like you said, when you’re born in the state of Alabama, I don’t know how it happened to you, but when you’re born in the state of Alabama, it’s either Roll Tide or War Eagle. You’re getting pulled either way, one of those two ways.

Andrew:                 Yeah. If it ain’t one of those two schools, it’s probably a Mississippi school, since they’re so close. It’s definitely not the Gators. Nick, I’ll say this, and that is it really shows Sal Sunseri. We talked about this. The man may be an older guy, but I can tell you what, that man is the guy that can seal the deal. That is a closer if I’ve ever seen it. I was talking to some Bama boys that I know that’s on staff up there with Saban in the recruiting office, and they were all talking about, “Listen, Sal’s a lot of things, but the best thing he does is close.” When it comes time to close and put ink to paper, he’s the guy you want on a player.

It showed with Malik Langham that he’s able to go up there. A couple days ago, Florida had no shot. Zero shot. He was all Alabama, and Florida was able to, listen, this is how you get on the field early. This is the physical therapy program that he wants to be in, and Florida had the better program of the three schools. They were able to get him. Props to Malik for doing that, and props to the staff, because Malik Langham is one of the better prospects. His stock rose tremendously through the summer, through the fall, and he’s a guy that could potentially get on the field next year, Nick. Long, long defensive end.

Nick:                         We’re going to need to see just how we, not we, I’m not figuring anything out. Just how everything gets figured out in terms of who is fitting into what roles in terms of guys that are coming back, like Cece Jefferson, and who’s going to be in that pass rusher role. There’s going to be a very different look.

Andrew:                 Let’s go to Chatfield real quick. I know we talked about him more on the preshow on Monday, or Tuesday when you guys listened to this. I can tell you one thing, and that is he’s going to do big things at Florida. I just feel that way. He is an elite pass rusher, someone that can just really get to the passer and does a good job of getting to the passer. Athletic enough to get out and play a little bit into coverage. I really do, I think that’s going to be a big pickup for Florida at that outside linebacker position. Him and Jeremiah Moon are going to do some special things in this 3-4 defense.

Nick:                         Any other guys you think that potential instant, potential early impact kind of person?

Andrew:                 Trey Dean’s playing early. You’re not going to tell me he ain’t. I really do believe Trey Dean plays early somewhere. Maybe it’s even nickel, but Trey Dean plays early. He’s too talented of a football player not to play early, I really do. I believe he plays early. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Jacob Copeland didn’t play early as well. I think Chatfield and Langham will have to compete, but, again, we always talk about defensive linemen, would it shock either one of us if they got some time playing? No. It wouldn’t shock either one of us. If I was saying a guy that I just think is going to be tough to keep off the field, it would be either Copeland or Trey Dean.

Nick:                         Okay. I like that.

Andrew:                 Got to go on, Nick, real quick. Dan Mullen, are we best friends?

Nick:                         Are you?

Andrew:                 He’s taking shots at Georgia. I think me and him could be friends. I think me and him could be friends, Nick.

Nick:                         In case they missed it, run them through what the Georgia shot was.

Andrew:                 Let me pull it up real quick. He definitely had some shots over here at Georgia, and it was at a Booster event, Nick? Is that what it was?

Nick:                         Booster event. It was a Booster event with, I think, the Gainesville Touchdown Club. They did it in the IPF yesterday, right after he spoke with the media, and before basketball started.

Andrew:                 He’s having, what? Four more? Is that correct? Four more.

Nick:                         Yeah. I’m going to be going to a couple of those, because Dan’s not afraid to say some stuff now.

Andrew:                 Why not? Why not? Why be afraid of talking about it? Why not just go ahead and go? I don’t have the full quote, Nick. I can’t find it. Part of the quote that I was given was, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then. They’ve just got one SEC title in 10 years. Let’s relax. We’ve been to the SEC Championship game two out of the last three.”

Nick:                         It was basically winning one SEC Championship game doesn’t make you a dominant program. He said two of the last three years Florida’s been to the SEC Championship game. You didn’t win either of those.

Andrew:                 Neither did Georgia. Here is it, Nick. I found it. It says, “Listen, winning one SEC Championship game doesn’t make you a dominant program, you know what I’m saying? In two of the last three years, we’ve been to the SEC Championship game. So even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, so let’s relax.”

Nick:                         Yup.

Andrew:                 The man has a point.

Nick:                         That’s your bestie right there.

Andrew:                 Me and him may become friends. Here’s another thing, Nick. Rocky Top? Is Butch still up there?

Nick:                         No. They have one coach on the entire staff that has hair. Jeremy Pruitt went out and signed a bunch of coaches that look just like him.

Andrew:                 Yeah. I mean, down in the Under Armour week they were talking about they were 100% getting Jacob Copeland. Boys, you guys never even had a chance in hell of getting Jacob Copeland. Then it was they were going to Taylor Stewart out of Cali. No chance in hell was you getting him. That was a Cali boy. You wasn’t getting him. Then they were flipping another guy. Then they lost their running back commit to Florida State. Rocky Flop again. It’s one thing after another.

Here’s the thing. Some Alabama guys, they swear up and down, they’re like, “Listen, Pruitt may be able to recruit some, but the guy is in over his head. He’s not ready to coach at a big-time level.” On Wednesday, Nick, it kind of showed.

Nick:                         He’s had like a meteoric ride. I was talking to a buddy about crazy that Peterson, the Eagle’s coach, was coaching high school ball nine years ago. Pruitt was coaching high school ball, what, 10 years ago, 11?

Andrew:                 Yeah. He was coaching it. I mean, he’s a good coach. Don’t get me wrong. Whether he’s a good head coach or not is another question, and he doesn’t stay anywhere long.

Nick:                         He sure hasn’t.

Andrew:                 Rocky Flop. Nick, what about Georgia?

Nick:                         Oh my God. I think I just committed to Georgia. Did you just commit to Georgia?

Andrew:                 No. I did not just commit to Georgia.

Nick:                         You might have. Everyone committed to Georgia, I think.

Andrew:                 No.

Nick:                         Listen, man, there’s no spin. There’s no way to say, in my mind at least, and obviously you and I, everyone knows what we think about rankings and this and that, but Georgia got some dogs. They got some players, some guys. To me, it seemed like Georgia had a day kind of like Florida did in 2010. Remember, that was the recruiting class of the Century, the best recruiting class ever, and that thing was in shambles by the time three years after they all signed. That entire class was in shambles. Maybe that happens to Georgia. To me, that’s kind of what it reminded me of, in the sense of it was just like one after another, another one, another, another one. Five-star, four-star, five-star, five-star, four-star. These kids just one after another putting on Georgia hat, grabbing babies that were in Georgia shirts and committing to Kirby Smart.

Andrew:                 You said this, and I’m going to turn it back to you here. You said this yesterday, and I think people need to understand this. That is, listen, Georgia’s the hot team right now. They made it to the National Championship game, won the SEC Championship in December, their first one in forever. They’re the hot program right now.

It’s like you said, it’s a domino effect. It’s the domino effect of one guy announcing, this guy goes. Justin Fields was the #1 player in the country. He goes. So it’s a domino effect. I’m going to turn it back to you, I guess. Do you think that’s a big reason? Am I looking at it wrong that Georgia is just the hot team right now, even though they lost the Championship game?

Nick:                         Yeah. I mean, shoot, you look at the way they lost it. Can’t blame them. Yeah, absolutely the hot team. I think what winning early for Kirby Smart really does is, kind of like I said with Mullen, where when you’re a new coach there’s some kind of enthusiasm and excitement built in already that you don’t have to manufacture. It’s new, and everyone’s excited. You haven’t had any failure yet. I think what Smart did was carry that into his second year, and then have that kind of year. You really are now building on that momentum, and they’re the hot team.

If they go out and win seven games next year, you’re not the hot team anymore. Other teams can kind of swoop in there. For sure, absolutely, they’re the hot team right now. I don’t think that says anything bad about Kirby Smart. Oh, he’s not going to be able to recruit. He’s recruiting his ass off right now. It absolutely helps winning on the field.

Andrew:                 It’s like you said, he’s doing a great job recruiting.

Nick:                         He’s doing a great job.

Andrew:                 The thing he’s doing the best job with, Nick, is he’s really locking down the state.

Nick:                         Yes. That’s up there with Texas, California, Florida. One of the most talented states in the country in terms of prep football.

Andrew:                 I think you could argue, Nick, that Georgia, the state of Georgia, may be the state that has come up the biggest in the last few years. Obviously, they’re not going to have as many guys as Florida, Texas, and California have a whole, but I’m saying the state that’s risen the most is probably Georgia. I think you can say Georgia might be the fourth best state to recruit in.

Nick:                         I’d say fourth.

Andrew:                 I mean, I was looking at yesterday it said that Gwinnett County had the biggest, what is it, per capita of guys sign out of any city. It was crazy the way the state of Georgia’s done. I went through the state of Georgia last year talking to guys, and it was a lot. It’s not just one guy. It’s guys all through the classes. It used to be just Buford in the state of Georgia that was loaded, and now it’s several schools that are loaded year in and year out. I guess a lot of that is the jobs and stuff in the state of Georgia have improved over the years, but it’s definitely getting bigger. It’s benefiting Georgia.

Richt wasn’t able to lock down Georgia. That’s something that Kirby’s now going to have to do a better job with in the coming years as more and more teams are starting to focus more on Georgia. I mean, you look at Florida yesterday. They signed Dean and Emory, not just yesterday, but in the class. They recruited that state hard, and they’re going to continue to recruit that state hard. You have to continue to watch that, and that’s something Georgia’s going to have to do, just like Florida has to do.

You’re not going to be able to keep all the kids, but you need to be able to keep the kids that are the top of the echelon guys. I was listening to ESPN about that yesterday, and they said if there’s a guy that’s a can’t miss, you need to keep him. If there’s a guy that’s maybe questionable, you let that guy go. That’s going to be the job for Kirby.

Nick:                         Shoot. You look at how important it is to have a quarterback. Getting that, it’s obviously not a franchise, but getting that franchise type quarterback, how important that is. When you look at Jacob Fromm and Fields, where does this thing end?

Andrew:                 They were talking about this on ESPN yesterday. It’s something you just talked about as well, and I wanted to hit on. We’ll see how this class stays together. There’s a lot of guys on campus now. There’s a lot of competition. Let me just say this, Nick. I’m just throwing this out there. What happens if Justin Fields comes on campus next year and is a better quarterback than Fromm? You don’t think Fromm’s sticking around to ride the bench.

Nick:                         I don’t know. Shoot.

Andrew:                 You really think he would sit around to sit the bench?

Nick:                         I didn’t think Eason would be gone after two years either though.

Andrew:                 Jacob Eason, you knew the moment he sat the bench Jacob Eason was gone.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 He’s gone. It’s just like Bama. The rumors are out there already that Jalen Hurts wants gone. You know what I’m saying? It’s the nature of college football, especially if that new transfer rule happens. Shit. You can forget it.

Nick:                         They would still have to sit out a year with the transfer rule.

Andrew:                 One rule is allowing one-time transfers without sitting out, so basically a free agency.

Nick:                         I don’t mind it.

Andrew:                 I don’t mind it either. They were joking that Saban would have to have a scouting department to be at every college football game around the country.

Nick:                         He would.

Andrew:                 Oh, he would.

Nick:                         He’d have 217 support staff. Everyone would watch a game.

Andrew:                 It’d be like, tell me about this quarterback over here at Idaho State University of the Southeast.

Nick:                         Maybe he’d finally find a kicker.

Andrew:                 Maybe he would. That’s another story, Nick. Florida goes and steals the #1 kicker in the country, and he’s in Saban’s backyard. How does that happen?

Nick:                         Just can’t find a kicker.

Andrew:                 I guess Nick doesn’t relate to those kickers very well.

Nick:                         Can’t find a kicker. It’s sad.

Andrew:                 They did have a bad day yesterday though, Nick.

Nick:                         Bama?

Andrew:                 Bama.

Nick:                         I mean, for Bama standards?

Andrew:                 For Bama standards. I mean, just overall. Shoot, Florida fans would be killing Saban right now. They lose Copeland. They lose the #1 receiver in the state in Justin Ross. Bobby Brown flips from them to go to A&M. They lose Quay Walker. Then again, they pick up two five-stars, a five-star receiver and then the #1 quarterback in the country in Patrick Surtain.

Nick:                         Patrick Surtain’s a player. They also had, I think he signed early, it was the Eyabi Anoma.

Andrew:                 Yeah. From Baltimore.

Nick:                         Yeah. The defensive end.

Andrew:                 The train’s not stopping up there. Let’s just call it what it is.

Nick:                         You’re not putting the brakes on the train there?

Andrew:                 No. I do say this. You look at Bama losing a lot of assistants. We talk about Kirby. We talk about Pruitt. Lost Mario Cristobal last year. They’ve been losing some guys, some of those heavy recruiters now. You’re wondering kind of how that’s going about. The guy, what’s his name? Brian Dabo, the OC that left, whatever his name is. Daboll, whatever his name is. He was a sorry recruiter. You look at Carl Dunbar, who just left from the defensive line to go coach the Steelers. He was a sorry recruiter. Saban don’t put up with that.

Nick:                         Quick question for you. I know we’re getting probably close up to our time here. Maybe this is more well known, and I just don’t know. What was the story with Jamar Chase? Obviously, stayed home. Signed with LSU. When he committed, that was a player that I was very excited about just from watching him.

Andrew:                 Billy Gonzales and Dan Mullen just weren’t as high on him as others were. Somebody said, “That’s stupid.” I mean, I understand that. Do I like Jamar Chase? Do I think Jamar Chase is a damn good football player, a fine football player? Yeah. I do. I don’t get paid the money they get paid. They didn’t like him as much as other schools did. I mean, you look at it. Bama didn’t like him. There was other schools that didn’t like him.

Here’s the thing. He went to LSU because they were the home state school, not because he exactly wanted to go to LSU. It is what it is. I know several people that are very close to him, and he would tell those guys, “I don’t want to go to LSU.” He had hard feelings against LSU, didn’t want to go to LSU. Ended up going there just because he didn’t want to go to Michigan up there. So that’s where he went. Best of luck to him. Again, one staff didn’t like him, and another staff did. It just is what it is.

I mean, look at some of the guys that Mac had committed to him. Corey Gammage signed with Marshall. Jalen Williams signed with Toledo. Florida was battling Toledo and Marshall for guys?

Nick:                         My goodness.

Andrew:                 I can’t exactly fault Mullen. That makes a good point real quick, Nick. What is going on at LSU? Orgeron is getting his seat a little hot.

Nick:                         I think the seat was, I don’t know what those people thought, why they thought he would be a good hire to begin with. Hey, Ed Orgeron is going to be a very rich man when he gets fired.

Andrew:                 I mean, Surtain was their guy for like years, and they lose him.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 I don’t know, man. I don’t know, Nick. Something wild going down there in Baton Rouge.

Nick:                         Baton Rouge. You know what I wanted to talk about real quick, not a Florida guy. Good for Tanner McKee. As far as I can tell, for now, good on Stanford. Tanner McKee is the #3 overall quarterback in the country, big 6’6” kid from Corona, California. He’s Mormon, and in that religion you go on a two year mission for the church. He’s going to do that right now. Some guys will go to a year of school, and you lock yourself into that spot.

One of the questions to him was, “You’re doing this right out of high school, a lot could change.” Coaching staff can change. You’re signing a one-year deal, a one-year scholarship with them, right now. Then you’re leaving for two years. They don’t have to honor your scholarship when you get back. Good for him. It’s definitely not easy. Could you imagine being 17 years old, getting to go to a school like Stanford, and saying, “No. I’m going to go to a third world country for my church and do charity work, do a mission, instead of going to Palo Alto, California and getting a chance to be the starting quarterback at Stanford”?

Andrew:                 It’s exactly what it is. It’s good on their part, and good on Tanner’s part. If that’s something, like we think, he really wanted to do, I’m glad he didn’t change his standards just to go to school. It’s a lot of it. We say this all the time. This is the last chance they get to pick. Here’s the deal. If Tanner comes back and Stanford don’t want him, they’ll be plenty of schools that want him.

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 Plenty of schools that want him. Nick, we’re going to get out of here. We will see everyone back next week. We’ll be back on routine. We’ll talk some baseball and softball next week. We’ll have Eric back on to talk basketball. Just didn’t do it this week because we knew you guys were all on Signing Day. We’ll be getting going here. Basketball is good. They got a big win on Wednesday night against LSU, so they seem to be back on track, hopefully. This team seems to be an up and down roller coaster. All is good right now. Gators get a good signing class. They’re undefeated in 2018. Baseball and softball are starting.

Nick:                         We’ll get a big preview show for you guys to get you all caught up to speed next week on baseball and softball. Until then, follow all the stuff at 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. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. You can find me, @NickdelaTorreGC, and him, @AndrewSpiveyGC.

Andrew:                 There you go. As always, guys, we appreciate it so much. Come check us out on Gator Country. As always, chomp, chomp. Go Braves.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

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, 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.