Recruiting Mailbag: October 20th edition for the Florida Gators

The Florida Gators coaching staff is using the bye week to go out and see prospects on Thursday and Friday as they look to add more guys to the class.

After the LSU loss, the Gators’ coaching staff will also use the bye week to check in on some commits who haven’t visited Gainesville recently.

GatorCountry brings you a recruiting mailbag to answer your questions on the 2022 class as well as the 2023 class.


Travlingator: Other than beating Georgia, what if anything can be done to reverse our current situation where it feels like we are losing everyone we once thought were locks for this class. Are you even confident that we still get Stewart or is that ship ready to sail as well.

AS: I think the biggest thing is to show fight and improve on field play the rest of the year. You can’t let the season fall completely apart down the stretch. With Evan Stewart, it’s very close between Florida and Texas for him at this time.


Polkgator: Is this class salvageable? Will Mullen make the necessary staff changes to continue to be the Gator coach? What does the athletic department feel about Mullen? Thanks in advance.

AS: I think we will find those answers out this offseason as far if Mullen can make the changes needed to win at Florida. There’s no doubt that something has to change if things are going to be where they should be at for the University. As far as the class being salvageable, yes it can be but they have to land some pieces against some of the top teams like Georgia.


Aesgator: Maybe has been answered earlier in the year, but what is the current culture and approach of UF’s recruiting effort. Is it still a bunch of individuals doing their own things haphazardly or is there a concentrated effort to have a single-minded approach with a CEO or GM type leader?

AS: A lot of guys working on their own and then Mullen and the guys who have been with him for a long time are working together. That’s a big issue as a lot of guys do not have Mullen’s ear like John Hevesy, Billy Gonzales and Greg Knox do.


Gatorconstructor: Do we have a recruiting coordinator and if so who is it?

Seriously – what’s the deal and why isn’t there more accountability with coaches who don’t produce on the recruiting trail?

AS: Florida does not have a recruiting coordinator as far as a coach having that title. As far as accountability for the assistants, it all starts at the top and when the head coach doesn’t like recruiting than how he can be upset at his assistants who don’t like it either.


Wuerffel5220: How concerned should we view the Ole Miss visit for Matt McCoy?

AS: It’s something to watch for sure as Lane Kiffin and has staff has done a good job of recruiting McCoy so far and we all seen how they were able to land Preston Cushman because they pushed harder for him than Florida did. McCoy says Florida will be his last official visit and the Gators just have to get him on campus for that.


Juggernautz: Do you foresee ANY good recruiting news in the near future?

AS: I don’t see any new commits happening until November or December as must guys that are uncommitted either have dates set for those times or want to take visits before announcing.


TebowNut6: Can’t Stricklin see the ineptness/ineffectiveness with which this staff recruits? Does he just buy into the excuses Dan provides, truly not see a problem, or is he not the type of person to step in and force him to make certain changes (i.e., canning his idiot best friend and idiot DC) so we can get back to getting the kinds of recruits worth of UF? … Do other ADs ever get involved in this at some point and force change to affect recruiting, or am I just hoping/asking for something that’s simply not done across the board?

AS: I do not get the impression from talking to people that Stricklin gets involved in forcing Mullen’s hand for recruiting purposes. Now that could all change after this year if Mullen doesn’t make changes but so far Stricklin hasn’t done that.


74gator: I feel that we could use a couple more defensive tackles after last week. Are we trending in a positive direction for any uncommitted DTs?

AS: Defensive tackle Chris McClellan and Tennessee defensive tackle commit Jordan Phillips are the two guys to watch. McClellan likes Oklahoma a lot but there’s some buzz that he wants to leave the state and Florida is the team that McClellan has talked about the most outside of the Sooners. Phillips has visited Florida multiple times this fall and the Gators are trending for him. Those are the guys that Florida has the best chance with.


Devildog820: We know Mullen doesn’t put a premium on recruiting. At this point in his Florida career, is it that he doesn’t like the 100% effort for a 10% chance, he truly believes his guys can develop anyone, he thinks Brewster and others can do the heavy lifting, or something else?

AS: Mullen isn’t going to recruit daily hard like others are and that hurts his assistants at times. For instance, if Florida is recruiting a prospect and he only hears from the assistant coach, but Georgia has Kirby Smart and the assistant calling then he’s going to fill more love from Georgia. As far as expecting others to do the heavy lifting, there isn’t really anyone on staff that can do that.

To answer your question with a short answer, you get what you put into it.


BCNGator99: In your opinion what is harder, keeping a recruiting class together when A. The class knows the head coach is gone by the end of the season and the recruits will meet the new head coach before signing or B. The head coach is on the hot seat but will get another year to fix things?

And does it really even matter anymore with the transfer portal?

AS: Definitely B in my opinion because the head coach is still with the team. For instance, Dan Mullen can tell this recruiting class that they’re the missing piece to making a run. And like you say with the transfer portal it really doesn’t mean as much because guys can leave if a coach does get fired or if they don’t like the new head coach. The portal has changed everything.


Gatorific: Is the Director of Recruiting Operations a position that needs to be upgraded to make a positive impact in recruiting?

AS: The title and actual job description aren’t the same honestly. Lee Davis is in that role now and her main job is to set up official visits and plan the travel to those visits and to also plan coach’s visits. She doesn’t really deal with recruiting prospects daily. She deals more with parents.


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.