Recruiting Mailbag

Q.) Which coach would you say is the most important in recruiting (other than Muschamp)?

A.)D.J. Durkin is very important as is Brent Pease on offense. Durkin’s ability to go into the Carolina’s is huge for Florida.


Q.) It seems like some schools are getting commits left and right, do you expect Florida to start picking up in recruiting soon?

A.) Yes, I think you will see Florida pick up some as kids visit for practices and the spring game.


Q.) How many OL and DL do you think we take in this class?

A.) 4-5 offensive lineman and 3-4 defensive lineman.


Q.) What measures do you see coaches taking to decrease decommitments? With the current rage being the schools getting early commits, the task of sealing the deal and the commit not decommitting appears to be more difficult becuase of the greater period of time between the initial commit date and NSD.

A.) The key is for coaches to continue to recruit the prospect like he is uncommitted. I had a source tell me that it’s harder to recruit a commit that is already committed because it’s like babysitting them. There isn’t too much a coach can do except for continue to recruit them as if they hadn’t given their pledge yet.


Q.) How much of a role did Coach Muschamp have while at Texas in recruiting within the state of Texas?

A.) He had a big role, and I know you are probably wondering well why isn’t he recruiting the state still and it’s simple, most of the kids grow up wanting to be a Longhorn.



Q.) Which teams in the SEC do you consider to be UF’s main rivals in recruiting?
By tier I see it as
Biggest rivals—Ala, LSU, UGA
Middle rivals—USCe, Tenn, Aub
Least likely to be major rival of UF in recruiting—other SEC teams

A.) Alabama and Florida recruit for the same personnel so they will always be a major rival. Georgia is somewhat of a rival but Florida doesn’t look at the same kids too much as them. I wouldn’t call LSU a rival either because LSU very rarely comes to Florida and steals a kid the Gators want. Clemson is a pain in Florida’s side, as is Ohio State and Notre Dame recently.


Q.) How much impact on Cane recruiting did the spectre of sanctions have for their class of 2013? Is there any impact thus far of likelihood of sanctions upon Canes recruiting for the 2014 class?

A.) It will have some impact, but most of the kids in their area will play for them no matter what. It did have an impact on Alex Collins going to Arkansas though.


Q.) The Noles have had a great deal of assistant coaching changes. How much impact did that have on their 2013 class (for good or bad)? What can we expect for their 2014 recruiting as well?

A.) It had a pretty significant impact on their 2013 class. They lost James Coley who was a big impact in the Miami area and you have already seen them lose a commit from that area because of his loss. Going forward, I think their staff will be fine recruiting but how good they are on the field is a different story. The one coach that has and will hurt Florida is Jeremy Pruitt, that guy can flat out recruit with the best of them.



Q.) What is the reason for all the Nole assistant coaching changes? I read somewhere that it is because Jimbo has little skill/etc in working well with subordinates.

A.) I have heard that Jimbo is hard to get along with and is a control freak. How true that is though, i’m not sure honestly.


Q.) For the 2014 class how does each of the three following areas look in terms of quantity of quality talent compared to those regions in 2013 class?
1. Dade/Broward/PB counties
2. Panhandle region
3. Area within 25 miles of so of Jacksonville to Daytona to Orlando to Tampa/St Pete and the towns cities in between(pretty much central Fla)

A.) Dade/Broward/PB has some good prospects there like Johnnie Dixon at receiver, Travonte Valentine, Anthony Moten and Florida is in the mix for those guys. As a whole I don’t think the area is as loaded as years past.

The Panhandle is down this year, especially with Denzel Ware leaving Crestview, that hurt. You do have Delvin Purifoy, but Florida isn’t in it for him right now.

Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa are again very talented areas.


Q.) How does the Gainesville area look for the 2014 recruting cycle?

A.)Down year, besides Tony James there really isn’t a prospect on Florida’s board right now.


Q.) Who do you think commits to the Gators by the end of spring football?

A.) Tough to say, but I would keep an eye on Denzel Ward and Trent Harris for sure.


Q.) I read that we are looking to add 3 or 4 LB’s this year. We have offered like 17 or 18 LB’s so far… So, which two LB’s, after Miller, do you think we have the best chance of signing for this class?

A.) I don’t think Florida gets 4 this year, I would lean towards 3 overall. Florida has a good chance with Richard Yeargin III if they decide to go that route. Tre Williams and Raekwon McMillan are the top two targets right now.


Q.) What outside states are the Gators making a real effort to plant their recruiting flag in?

A.) Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana are states the Gators are trying to make head way in. Alabama and Louisiana more so than in year’s past.


Q.) What positions appear to not have much to choose from for 2014?

A.) Tight end is down again this year, as is safeties but Florida isn’t really needing a safety this year.


Q.) What recruits do you feel are locks for the Gators for 2014?

A.) Never a lock in this business, that much I can tell you for sure. That being said, Justin Thornton is a guy that I feel will be a Gator on NSD.


Q.) Does Alabama continue to have the upper hand compared to the competition, and is it very difficult to swing kids they want?

A.) They certainly have an upper hand, but Florida is doing a good job of competing against them. It’s tough to swing some kids but others are open.


Q.) What are our best chances for defensive tackles in 2014, and is Valentine no longer on the coaches radar?

A.) Khairi Clark and Anthony Moten are guys to feel good about, and Thomas Holley is another name to watch for.


Q.) Does Florida have a disadvantage in recruiting because of academic standards?

A.) Not really, plus it helps those kids stay qualified once on campus.


Q.) Will Will’s recruits finally beat Jawja?! (He hasn’t beat ’em yet; and if they lose again… conspiracy talk will jump!)

A.) Yes, they will beat Georgia soon and conspiracy shouldn’t even be talked about. Muschamp wants to beat them bad, I can assure you of that.


Q.) What are the biggest non-football, non-academic hot button items that impact recruits’ decisions between schools?

A.) Trust in the coaching staff is huge. They also love the city and the atmosphere around the town a lot.


Q.) Do you think UF will recruit Justus Reed? I think he is a great option at de/buck.

A.) Not right now.

Previous articleGators Spring Position Battles Preview: Buck LB
Next articleSenior night preview
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.