Recapping the Early Signing period, plus previewing Under Armour week: Podcast

GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we recap the early signing period for the Florida Gators as Dan Mullen found his quarterback and signed 13 players.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre also preview the Under Armour All-American game that take places in Orlando, Florida starting on Saturday as the Gators have five commits in the game.

Andrew and Nick also look at how Dan Mullen is filling out his coaching staff as he continues to put together his first coaching staff in Gainesville.

TRANSCRIPT: 

Early Signing Day

Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. Nicholas, had a little holiday break. Had Signing Day. Had all that good stuff. Now we’re back and ready for action. Things are about to pick up again. Nice little week off, and it’s time to go again.
Nick: Signing Day was about two weeks ago, so that means we got about a month till Signing Day?
Andrew: February 7, so a month next weekend, something like that.
Nick: I don’t have the numbers right now, but there’s only like a couple hundred, 400, 450 something kids left?
Andrew: Yeah. 60%, or 60 of the top 100 kids, signed. So that means there’s still 40 top 100 guys out there. There’s still some good prospects. The fish out there are definitely smaller, but so are the teams competing. You think about it. You look at Georgia, they’re at 20 or 21 guys, so they can only sign two or three more. You’ve got a lot of teams that are close to being filled up, so your competition is a little bit different.
The one thing that I have noticed the most is that a lot of teams are now focusing on 2019. Florida, the day before Christmas, or the day before Christmas Eve, the 22nd-23rd, they sent out something like 25 2019 offers out. Staff was kind of getting a head start. You’re seeing that a lot, and I think you’ll see that pattern kind of continue when they get out on the road. Florida has what? 15 commits in the class, so they have about eight scholarships left after the two transfers. They’re going to be visiting a lot of targets, but then I think you’ll also see them visiting a lot of 2019 guys.
Nick: Do you think that this, as many kids signing at the early period, do you think that’s how it’s going to be, or do you think it’s this is the first time, and it’s almost like a prestige thing? Like I signed early. Do you think if they keep it and do it next year that you’ll see kids maybe hold out a little bit longer?
Andrew: Yeah. You and I talked about this a little bit. I think it was the first time thing. You and I were like the rest of America in that we were …
Nick: How is it going to happen? Is everyone going to sign? Is no one going to sign? What’s going to happen?
Andrew: Yeah. Are they going to sign on Wednesday, or was it going to be Friday? You and I woke up Wednesday morning, and I think both of us were like, “These guys are scheduled to sign this time,” and it was five guys sign, and then it was on. David Reese signed at what? I think 2:00 in the afternoon. A little bit different. I think it kind of depends on how the coaching carrousel goes a little bit. If you see a mass exodus of coaches here in January, I think you start to see some guys say, “I’m not going to sign early,” next year. I really kind of think it’s a year to year thing that’s going to happen a little bit maybe. I don’t know.
Here’s the thing for me. I like the early signing period for the commits. For instance, David Reese or Amari Burney, those guys are never going anywhere. Why should Dan Mullen and those guys, and I don’t mean this is a bad way towards Burney and Reese, but why should Mullen and his staff have to visit those guys every week, and vice versa, why should Burney and those guys have to listen to phone calls, when they know where they’re going? Let them just sign the paper and be done with it.
Nick: What about the kids that are left? How much juggling is going to be going on now with offers they had? I see a lot of on Twitter guys saying that they’ve been re-offered. What does that mean, when somebody says I’ve been re-offered by Florida?
Andrew: Kind of like Mullen comes in, and he’s like, “Listen, the old staff wanted you, so do we.” There were some guys, and not to start naming names, but some of the guys that decommitted or got asked to leave the class in the 2018 class, those are guys that the new staff didn’t want. I think to be re-offered, a lot of these guy now know, “Listen, Dan Mullen and Billy Gonzales, Todd Grantham, they want me at Florida still.” That’s kind of where that is. When you look at it, that’s a lot of guys that they have to reconnect with in that 2019 class. As someone told me, that 2019 class for Florida should be like this 2018 class for Georgia. When I say that, that means it should be really, really good.
Nick: Then, the number for this class is 25. They could take.
Andrew: Right. Then, from what I understand, and, Nick, you know how all this is. It’s a lot of counters and this kind of stuff that you and I, we dig into. You dig into it deeper and deeper, and it changes by what day this person enrolled. The number you and I have been told is that Florida could take 25 total players this year, and that included transfers. That means now they can technically only take 23 guys in the class, since they took the transfers of Trevon Grimes and Van Jefferson. So that means they have eight scholarships to play with in this class, and a lot of holes to fill.
Nick: Do you think Mullen will fill the entire class? That goes back to saying there’s only a certain amount of kids. I don’t think, in my opinion, the little time we’ve had with him, I don’t think he’ll fill a class just to fill it.
Andrew: No. I think you’ve seen that, when he dropped some of those guys that were in the class and wanted to sign early. I think that showed that, that he’s not going to just sign people to sign people. I think, when you go out, and he gets some of these transfers and stuff, he’s looking for guys that can fill a hole. Here’s the thing, and I want to say this now. Mac didn’t leave this thing dry. This is not a situation where it was like Will Muschamp, where you had 50 holes to fill on the offensive line, and I’m exaggerating there. There wasn’t holes there. There was some depth issues, for sure, some keys that he needed, like the quarterback position, the receiver position. Like you say, there’s some depth position at offensive line, but I don’t think he’s going to go out there and do that at all. That kind of leads me to my next point.
With the transfers, a lot of people say, “Why do you take the transfers of Van Jefferson and Trevon Grimes?” That’s two hell of good players. Van Jefferson, Nick, you wrote this, he almost has as many yards and touchdowns as Florida’s receiving core combined returns. You look at Trevon Grimes, big five-star. I could give a shit about five-star, four-star, three-star, whatever it is, but was a big time player coming out of St. Thomas. Had that knee injury late in his senior year at St. Thomas that caused him to recover at Ohio State. Set him back a little bit. Then had the family situation. You got two really good players. You can say those are two Juco guys that are going to fill holes.
Nick: Yeah. I would say Van Jefferson, it seems to me like all of those Michigan guys should be able to play. The process there is Van and the attorney that’s representing him, they will make a case saying, “When we were recruited in 2014, the school was under investigation. The people in the athletic department knew what they did, and we were misled.” They’re going to create a case that says that. Then they’re going to file that to the NCAA.
What the NCAA does is they send it to Ole Miss, and Ole Miss can either say, “Yes, we agree with what they said. No, we don’t agree,” or they can give no answer. Basically, Ole Miss is not in a position where they’re trying to piss off the NCAA any more than they already have, and it’s likely that they will just either say nothing, or say yes, we agree with those findings. Then it goes back to the NCAA, and they will go through a process where we’ll decide on giving you a waiver to be eligible immediately. That’s also something Shay Patterson is going through at Michigan right now. That’s what’s going on with Jefferson.
With Grimes it’s a little different. His mother is sick, and that’s when he left the team. He left Ohio State in October to be closer to home. To me, that one is up in the air. It’s the most commonly applied for waiver, the family hardship. TJ McCoy applied for it, and was granted it. It’s also the one that, from everything I’ve been able to go back and look and see when they were applied for and how it was ruled, it’s kind of one of the most inconsistent rulings the NCAA has.
It’s basically saying that I left a school to be closer to a family member who was sick, and so I could help. Trevon Grimes lives four and a half hours from Broward County, from where he lives. Gainesville is four and a half hours from where he lives. To me, that’s kind of the question the NCAA will say. Is it closer than Columbus, Ohio? Certainly. There’s a lot of schools that play football that are in between Florida and where Trevon Grimes is. Miami, FIU, FAU, UCF, USF, all schools that are closer.
Andrew: I think the thing for that is it’s a situation where he can get up early in the morning and drive home, and that would be the difference for that. I personally think he’ll get it, but we’ll see. We’ll see where that goes end of spring when that happens.
Let’s dig into a little bit on this early signing period deal. The biggest thing, the biggest knock on Jim McElwain, Will Muschamp, and everyone since Tim Tebow left, was couldn’t find a quarterback. Dan Mullen decides he’s going to go find him a quarterback, and everyone hopped on him and jumped on him and wanted him fired when he told Matt Corral basically, “Listen, do what you want to do. You could sign with Florida. You’re not a good fit here, and this, that, and the other.” Everyone got on his case a little bit. Well, he had a plan, and that plan was to go steal his quarterback from his good buddy Urban Meyer and go get Emory Jones.
Listen, Emory Jones is a perfect, perfect fit for Dan Mullen’s offense. A guy that is a very good athlete. Maybe a little rusty throwing the ball. When I say rusty, that means he has some work to do. Probably still a better passer than Feleipe Franks, but you and I are better than that. Is a guy that fits that offense perfectly. Very good running guy, big guy, at 6’3” as well. He won a battle, Nick. He won a battle against Saban, because Emory was originally going back to Alabama the weekend he visited Florida, and he won a battle against the “king of the country” in Willie Taggert, who was supposed to be the best recruiter in the nation coming to Florida State.
Nick: How’s that going for them?
Andrew: Not very good.
Nick: You can disagree with me here. I wouldn’t say they won a battle with Urban. I think Ohio State signed another quarterback, and kind of had moved on a little bit from Emory.
Andrew: Right. That’s correct. What I’m saying is he went and stole a quarterback. It was a situation where when Nuss was recruiting you had no faith in that kind of stuff. Let’s face it. Let’s be honest. Matt Corral fell into their lap. He had nowhere to go. He almost had nowhere to go at the end of the time. Had nowhere to go.
Nick: Yes.
Andrew: To go up and win battles against Saban, to go up and win a battle against Willie Taggert was the best thing that Mullen did. He did, and he did it in a short amount of time, a two week period of time. He went and did it. I think it’s a win for Brian Johnson, quarterback coach. He was one of the first ones to offer Emory at Mississippi State with Mullen. Again, like I said, did he beat Urban out? No, probably not, because Urban supposedly was ready to let him go, because he signed another quarterback, because Emory was flirting with other schools, this, that, and the other, but you still won a battle.
Nick: Yeah. There were certainly other options for Emory Jones. This is a high four-star kid.
Andrew: Top 50 guy.
Nick: Not like he’s looking around scrambling for schools. To me, that’s really the unfortunate side of college sports, when you look at what happened to Matt Corral. We’re going to see more of this, because these coaching staffs that had turnover at the head coaching spot are going to continue to have turnover, and that’s what happens when you have an early signing period. We used to joke about the Wednesday and Thursday after the original Signing Day was when all the coaches would get fired, and other coaches would start moving around. We said that was dirty. Now you’ve got like a twofold thing where coaches are moving around.
In Corral’s case, it’s we see what happens with quarterbacks. Quarterbacks sign early, and if a coaching staff gets fired, and a new one comes in, it’s a different scheme, doesn’t fit you. Sorry, bud, we can’t have you on. It’s not going to be fair to you, not going to be fair to me. We can’t have you just sitting here stealing a scholarship. You want to play football. You’re not going to do that in our offense. He kind of had to scramble. I don’t know why anyone would want to go to Ole Miss, unless you had nowhere else to go.
Andrew: Exactly.
Nick: With everything that’s going on there, that’s not the place I’d want to be.
Andrew: I mean, like I said, there’s so many issues off the field with Matt Corral. Listen, is Matt Corral a good quarterback? Yes. Matt Corral is a really good quarterback. The question is can he stay on the field? That’s a big question mark. We don’t know. I will say this, and that is I think the way Matt showed himself on Twitter, coming after Mullen and Florida and that kind of stuff, honestly showed true colors. I never want to pick on a kid, but social media usually shows the type of person you are. When you start throwing shots saying, “Hope Mullen fails,” this kind of stuff, shows your true colors. Florida gave you a scholarship, Matt, when nobody else was willing to do that, and you showed your true colors.
Let’s move on. Florida also signed a big safety, Trey Dean. A big guy, someone that should have been a slam-dunk for Florida a long time ago, but your good buddy Randy Shannon and Corey Bell decided they’d rather have some one-star South Florida kid to make up for it. Yeah. Go out and win another battle. Saban wanted him as well. You go out, and you pick him apart. You had Coach Warren from Tennessee was the guy that recruited him to Tennessee, where he was originally committed to. That was a big deal. He’s cousins of Ahmad Black. Nick, I think you and I will both say this, and that is if Trey Dean has half the heart that Ahmad Black has, you’re getting a damn good football player.
Nick: Yeah. Tell us a little bit about this recruitment. It’s kind of a name that came out of nowhere, I think, for a lot of fans, until Mullen got here, and until right up until that day.
Andrew: It was a guy that early in the process, his late sophomore/early junior year he’s a guy that Florida was recruiting, and then, like I said, Bell and Shannon, that duo, decided they didn’t want him, so he committed to Tennessee. Had a good senior year. Texas started recruiting him really hard, and then Bama started recruiting him really hard. South Carolina was recruiting him hard as well. He decommitted from Tennessee, and Florida came calling wanting him. That was his dream school. Like I said, Ahmad Black was a guy that is his cousin, had took him to games and stuff before. When Florida came calling, it was kind of over with. Made that decommitment from Tennessee when Butch and Coach Warren were fired, and now he’s down and reconnected with Warren. Again, I think it’s a very good player. Under Armour All-American guy. A guy that I think is a true free safety kind of guy that can sit back there and be that ball hogging type of guy.
Nick: Lot of safeties on the roster right now.
Andrew: Yup. Well, you got to do something. I mean, 23 sits back there, and I think you and I both agree …
Nick: He’s not a safety. He won’t be playing safety.
Andrew: Yeah. He shouldn’t be back there.
Nick: He was back there because he had to be back there.
Andrew: Right. Exactly. We’ll see. Got to get some corners now. You kept Randy Russell in the class, and he’s a guy that’s kind of a nickel guy. You got Amari Burney. He’s a safety that I think could drop down into that star role a little bit, kind of that Cam Chancelor/Keanu Neal role in that 3-4 defense, where he drops down to play a little linebacker. Then you got John Huggins, who is a guy that’s going to probably start out at corner. You got some DBs back there, and that’s the focus going forward.
You got to find some DBs, because you have a roster that has got two really good corners in Henderson and Marco. Now you need some depth back there to go with those guys. That was something that kind of showed last year, Nick. When Henderson and Marco needed to play off, it was that, or when you went to that dime look, where you needed more DBs on the field, that was when CJ McWilliams and Putu and those guys were just exposed.
Nick: I think with everyone they have signed, and the guys that they have, I feel good about, I think everywhere. I feel good about the line. I feel good about the defense. The whole secondary I feel good. I guess my question then would be linebackers, and we got to see how that plays out in the spring, once you start moving people around to fit a 3-4. Even though I think Florida is probably better suited for that 3-4.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s what I was going to say. Florida has to sign some linebackers in this class, and then you kind of have to see what the future of James Houston and Ventrell Miller hold, because those are two guys as well. You have to figure out where that’s going to go.
Nick: Somebody posted on our message board. All of those guys would be available to take a redshirt for last season.
Andrew: Right. Everyone except for Wells, right? Rick Wells.
Nick: He had already redshirted.
Andrew: Yeah. I think you look at it, and you feel good. You look at the offensive line. You got Noah Banks, the Juco transfer. He’s a guy that I think can be a plug and play guy. You got Chris Black coming in from Pennsylvania. He’s going to early enroll. He’s a guy that’s going to add some depth. You have Gouraige already committed, not going to early enroll. You need to sign another lineman, probably, maybe two, on that, and then you turn around, and now you’ve got to focus on the defense line.
That’s where they got two Juco guys they’re looking at hard in Dorian Gerald and Noah Jefferson. Jefferson’s a big nose tackle guy that you need in that 3-4. Gerald is a D end that can also play some D tackle. That’s what you’ve got to remember in the 3-4 is sometimes in the 3-4 on passing situations you’re going to slide a D end to nose or inside to get more of a pass rush, kind of like Jon Jon Bullard did. Just that kind of stuff.
You got some holes that still need to be filled, no doubt about it. So far, Florida did a good job, especially at the receiver position with Van and Trevon.
Nick: Yeah. You really had to kind of start picking things up there, right?
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, you and I talked about this.
Nick: You had like four guys left on the roster.
Andrew: You called me, and I’m sitting here thinking, “Receiver position, man, it’s loaded with depth.” You call me, and we’re starting to name off names, and I’m like, “Damn, it’s low.”
Nick: I called you. I was writing a story about Van Jefferson. I was like, “Hey, man, this number sounds wrong. There’s five scholarship receivers.” You were like, “No.” I was like …
Andrew: You started counting again too.
Nick: Yeah, I started counting again. No, five, that’s it.
Andrew: While we’re on that, best of luck to James Robinson. Get well. Make sure your health is good first. Listen, he’s had some issues off the field and all that kind of stuff. He needs school, and he needs to stay in school and get right, all that good stuff. James is a good dude, outside of his legal trouble. He’s still a good dude. Wish the best for him, especially with heart trouble. That’s nothing to joke around about, and if it means living till you’re 100 and not playing football, do that, bud.
Nick: Yeah. Living to 100.
Andrew: You know what I’m saying. If it means not getting in serious trouble on the field.
Nick, let’s go on to the Under Armour game real quick, before we move into coach stuff. Under Armour players arrive in Orlando on Saturday. The game is the following Thursday. So they arrive on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday is practice. Wednesday is a little walkthrough, and then Thursday is the game. I’ll be out there. David Bowie will be out there. Florida has some guys coming out there. For the first time in a long time, they have five commits going out there in the game. They have Emory Jones. They have Richard Gouraige, Kyle Pitts, Trey Dean, and also the kicker, Evan McPherson, will be out there in the game. They also have plenty of targets.
On Team Highlight, which is Emory Jones and Trey Dean’s team, they have Jacob Copeland, who is still favoring Florida pretty good. They have Jamar Chase on that team. Likely won’t play because of his knee injury suffered this year, but he’ll still be there and on that team. They have the big receiver, Tommy Bush, out of Texas. They have the linebacker commit from Kentucky, Xavier Peters, who’s going to visit in January. As Nick and I just talked about, big need at linebacker.
On Team Spotlight, that has Gouraige, Pitts, and McPherson, you have offensive lineman Nick Petit-Frere. You have FSU offensive line commit Christian Meadows. You have Anthony Schwarz. You have Auburn defensive line commit Coynis Miller. You have Alabama linebacker commit Quay Walker, and then you have Nick Benito from St. Thomas, a guy that Florida is kind of messing around with a little bit.
All in total, they got 16 guys to pay attention to if you’re a Florida fan while out there at the Under Armour game. First time in a long time that there is a good amount of guys.
Nick: What are we looking for this week? Are there any uncommitted guys left in this game?
Andrew: Yeah. You have Schwarz that is uncommitted, but he is a guy that’s probably going to commit to Auburn. Florida hasn’t really turned that up on him. You have Tommy Bush, the receiver. You have Jamar Chase, and you have Copeland. You have Petit-Frere. Those are guys that are there.
Nick: What’s going on with the Jacob Copeland saga?
Andrew: Listen, anybody that pays attention to his Twitter has nothing to do. Nothing to do. Just don’t pay attention to his Twitter. The guys likes to tweet. He likes to hear himself talk. That’s coming from a guy that is close to Jacob. I tell Jacob all the time, “Why do you tweet that kind of stuff?” He does. Anyway, Bama is fallen off. Tennessee is up there, because of Jeremy Pruitt. Listen, Florida’s closest to home. He knows he plays early at Florida. He’s close to Emory Jones. He was recruiting Emory Jones to Florida. Florida is in good shape with Copeland.
Nick: Okay. That would be …
Andrew: That would be a monster get.
Nick: That would be three receivers. How many receivers in the class? Would that be the third?
Andrew: Three or four. That’s kind of the number that they’ve been looking at.
Nick: Got you.
Andrew: You get him, and maybe get a guy like Marcus Ezzard out of Georgia, Stockbridge, who’s also close to Emory Jones. He is a quick, quick guy. One of the guys that Dana Holgerson and Ja’Juan Seider first targeted at West Virginia. Big, big need for him, but he won’t be playing in the Under Armour game. Nick, you know how this is. Every year there’s somebody that emerges out of this Under Armour game that staffs around the country start looking at. You’ve been there several years, and you know how it is.
Nick: Yeah. Every year. Without exception pretty much.
Andrew: Give everyone your take on the week and how that week goes out there at the Under Armour game.
Nick: It’s a crazy week. They’ll say they don’t, there’s a lot of recruiting that goes around. These kids are around each other literally all day, so their schedule is booked from the time they wake up till the time they go to sleep. These kids are with each other all day long. Yeah, they talk about stuff that’s not football, of course, but there’s a lot of recruiting that goes along.
There’s a lot to be said for you say, “I want to go, and I want to win championships.” You look at that and say, “Okay. How does that happen? I need great players.” There’s a lot of recruiting that goes along. To me, it’ll probably even be ramped up more now than it had been in the past, because there’s fewer guys that are still uncommitted, or fewer guys that haven’t signed. To me, it’ll be interesting to see a guy like Jacob Copeland. Everyone’s going to be talking to him this week and trying to recruit him.
It is a fun week. They get a lot of swag. Under Armour hooks these kids up. They get to hang out. They get to talk to Jon Gruden and Mooch. I don’t know if Herm Edwards will be there. He’s usually there, but he’s got some stuff going on. I think that’s probably a recruiting violation for him now, head coach up at Arizona State. It’s a really fun week for them. The game really kind of not so much. There’s not really a lot that goes into the game.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, the game is kind of whatever. We don’t even stay for the game, because it’s kind of like it’s a whatever. We will watch it and all that good stuff. It’ll be interesting to see how Emory does. Be interesting to see how the receivers do up against some top DBs. For the first time since Austin Hardin, I have to actually pay attention to the special teams thing instead of walking around and chit-chatting with everyone.
Nick: That works.
Andrew: It works. Nick, let’s move on. Let’s talk about the coaching thing. I know you got to bust Mr. Buddy Martin’s bubble with some Percy Harvin news.
Nick: Yeah. Saw a bunch of stuff going on on social media about Percy Harvin joining the staff. I’ve been told he’s coming back to finish his degree. Not to say he won’t be on staff. Ahmad Black came back last year and was a graduate assistant. Listen, Percy Harvin’s not coaching anything that isn’t already filled. Billy Gonzales isn’t stepping aside so Percy Harvin can coach receivers.
Andrew: Hold on. Hold on. Billy may not personally step aside, but Percy may push him aside.
Nick: Yeah. Percy Harvin is not going to be on paid staff. If while he’s finishing his degree work something out where he’s going to be a graduate assistant, that can happen. Just the way that news comes around, and people start spreading stuff is just crazy. Just because someone’s on, I’m on campus all the time. I’m not a coach. To me, it’s just be careful where you’re getting your news.
Andrew: Let’s just say what it is. If you’re listening to Buddy Martin, watch paint dry. You got the same. If the paint tells you Percy Harvin is coming to be on staff, you got the same chance of being right as Buddy Martin does. It is what it is. Let’s just call it like it is. Get your news from where it should be trusted.
Nick: Yeah. Percy Harvin will not be joining the staff, unless it’s a graduate assistant role. He’s in town finishing his degree.
Andrew: Give us some updates. Florida has a DB coach now.
Nick: Yeah. Me, I’m still waiting to see what happens with the coaches that are on the staff, but you are starting to fill out the entire staff. They signed Charlton Warren. He was the defensive backs coach last year at Tennessee. I know Florida fans are, “So that was the coach that didn’t cover Tyrie.” He’s not the one covering anybody. Also, his unit allowed the second fewest passing yards, and yards per game, in the SEC. They were, I think, sixth in the country as far as pass defense. Had a good year last year. Young, energetic coach. He’s from Atlanta. Spent three years playing for Air Force, and served his country. Certainly a stand-up, class act kind of guy. Since the last time we’ve talked, that’s the only additional. You’re going to have 10 coaches, right?
Andrew: Yes. That goes into effect tomorrow. When you’re listening to this on Thursday, it goes into effect.
Nick: Florida’s got six right now. Mullen, Grantham, Gonzales, Hevesy, Johnson, and Warren.
Andrew: Seider and Skipper are two guys that are being considered and all that good stuff. You’re right. That’s a look at what kind of it is. I think it’ll continue to amp up as the bowl games finish up. Still got the Knox guy over at Mississippi State that likely comes over and joins and that kind of stuff. You’ll continue to see it. Savage has also come on as the strength and condition coach. I can’t remember if we’ve already talked about that or not. I think we have. You’ve got plenty of stuff going on around that Mullen’s doing. Mullen’s doing a lot of things. He said it, and I think you should take his word for that, and that is he would like to have his staff filled when they hit the road on the 13th to get back out recruiting.
Nick: Yeah. That’s a big thing. The longer it takes, you start to think there’s people that are on other staffs, playing games, stuff like that. People that are still coaching, and that would be the holdup. There’s still Greg Knox, who we think, and we’ve been told would be joining. He’s from Mississippi State. Was the running backs coach for Dan Mullen, and he’s the interim head coach right now. That’s another name to keep an eye on.
Andrew: First, let me talk on Warren real quick. We’ve talked about what he is on the field. Everybody I’ve talked to off the field has praised his recruiting abilities. Talked about how well he is in recruiting and all that.
Nick: Who’s that?
Andrew: Coach Warren. He’s very young, energetic, and that kind of stuff. Did well in the Metro Atlanta area. Had JC Horn, Joe Horn’s, former NFL player, son. Had Dean committed at one time, Trey Dean. Very well-respected in recruiting. I think he’s going to do well there. So far this staff is building out to be a good recruiting staff, as well as a good coaching staff.
Nick: Young guy, energetic. We saw that from his video when they introduced him. You just need someone to gain the trust of the players. It was an ex-NFL GM said this about NFL players, and I think you can say it about college players as well. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, how young you are, if the player thinks that you can make them better, they’re going to listen to you. If they don’t think you can make them better, why am I going to listen to you?” I think that’s for every coach, and I think that will the first thing we see with Coach Warren.
Andrew: Yeah. I think you look at what he did, and he did a good job there. You look at what Mullen has done in the past, and that is that he’s probably going to get a safety coach as well. You look at his past history to go with one. I guess, when you look at it, Nick, do you expect things to be done by the time they get back on the road, or how do you see it filling out?
Nick: They get back on the road the 13th?
Andrew: I believe it’s the 13th. It’s either the 13th or 14th.
Nick: To me, it’s just tough to have that. That’d be like rapid fire, two coaches a day kind of thing. I think you’ll have it pretty close. Maybe not the full class, but I would expect eight or nine guys.
Andrew: Okay. He’s talked about the line coach being an NFL guy, and that could be the holdup, because NFL teams finish up this coming Sunday, but the guy talked about for that job is coaching for the Eagles. Could that be a situation where, I mean, he’s going to be in the playoffs, and he is going to have a bye week. Could be a little bit of time there.
Nick: Yeah. That’s another thing. You got to see how far that team makes it.
Andrew: Right. That’s all I got, Nick. Tell everybody where they can find us. We’ll get out, and we’ll see everyone during Under Armour week.
Nick: www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. Podcast is also on iTunes. Search @TheGatorCountry, and it’ll pop up there. Subscribe. Leave a rating. Leave a comment, and let us know how we’re doing. You can find us on social media. @TheGatorCountry on Facebook and Instagram. @GatorCountry on Twitter. I’m @NickdelaTorreGC, and he’s @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: There you go. As always, guys, we appreciate it so much. If you’re looking to join us, hit one of us up. We’ll get you on. Lot of good stuff going on with us over there. We appreciate all you guys tuning in on Signing Day. We had a record day Signing Day. It was a really good day for Nick and myself, and a lot of good things are heading down the pipe for us. Again, we appreciate it so much. 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.