Florida Gators recruiting mailbag: September 21st edition

The Florida Gators recruiting efforts gained huge momentum with the big win over Tennessee on Saturday including have a lot of players in attendance.

Prospects have started their season already so they’re in season mode but also continuing through the recruiting process.

Gator Country’s members have a lot of questions about how the 2018 class will shake out and who are the top prospects that the Gators are still after.

We answer your questions in this week’s Florida Gators recruiting mailbag.

Well let’s dive right in to this week’s recruiting mailbag:


Trader5ji: Any shot William Barnes speeds up his process? We need some of the big offensive linemen too get on board.

AS: I’ve always said that I thought he would speed it up some but he continues to say signing day. I still think he commits before hand but he’s not willing to tip his hand at all.


Jstall_10: What are our chances with Patrick Surtain Jr after his visit last Saturday?

AS: Florida improved their chances a lot here and I would say they’re back in play with FSU and LSU. Still have ground to make up but they made up some.


GatorFanSeth: What’s the latest on Kwaintel Raines?
Heard he was headed to Pitt but it ain’t happened yet.

AS: Raines is still likely to head to Pittsburgh but he has never said when he would announce so no reason to think different now.


GatorFanSeth: Any shot we sign a larger class than 25?  With the attrition possible due to the fraud cases and NFL draft and transfer?

AS: 25 is still the number that I’ve heard but I think we need to wait and see how the fraud case ends up before really knowing. That number could grow some but I wouldn’t expect it to grow that much.


GatorFanSeth: Are we still expecting some attrition to our current class?

AS: Most if not all years you have some attrition to the class and I’m sure that will happen again this year just because guys take visits and find other opportunities.


Dhainer24: Any chance with Xavier Thomas?

AS: He’s going to take visits according to his father so the Gators have to get him on campus but if they do, then I think they would have a shot. He’s friends with offensive line commit Curtis Dunlap.


Dhainer24: 2019 commit Ja’Markis Weston…where does he play? Out of all the athlete commits, I think he is the only one who I haven’t seen any speculation about a position. He looks like typical WR size, but it doesn’t seem like we need more receivers in 2018 or 2019.

AS: He’s a receiver but is someone that could grow out of the position but right now I would say receiver is where he ends up at. He’s very quick for a guy his size.


GatorE82: Our receiver class already looks full but with an eye opening visit from Mark Pope and Anthony Schwartz commitment looking likely, can they take more? Or is somebody going to be pushed out?

AS: They would take those guys and just figure out the numbers later because these things always have a way of figuring there way out.


TheGator: Are we in danger of losing Jacob Copeland?

AS: No, Florida is still in good shape with Copeland but he was always going to take visits and enjoy the process.


Kellykool: Are we taking 3 linebackers?

AS: Richard Jibunor and Channing Tindall are two guys that Florida really wants to add with David Reese. So taking three is very possible.


MrB-Gator: Is Matt Corral an EE?
Also…those that are not EE’s and sign on Dec 20th (early signing day) do you think it will be those already committed?

AS: Yes, Corral is an early enrollee. Yes, I wouldn’t expect anyone not committed to announce and sign early. I would expect a few commits to sign early though.


Juggernautz: Are we done at running back?

AS: Yes, I expect them to be done at running back, they’re very happy with Dameon Pierce and Iverson Clement.


Macbgator: Who is left on our defensive line board and which prospects are most likely end up with on signing day???

AS: Coynis Miller, Miami commit Nesta Silvera, Andrew Chatfield, Rick Sandidge and also Tennessee JUCO defensive tackle Dorian Gerald who is now in the process of setting up an official visit to Florida. Sandidge is the least likely of the bunch right now but the others Florida has a solid chance at.


UFGator402: Do you think this class finishes top 5 when it’s all said and done?

AS: If the guys that Florida is leading for right now actually commit to Florida then a top five class is very likely.


UFGator402: Also, I know some will say “who cares, Corral is our quarterback”, but curious to hear your thoughts on Justin Fields recruitment at this stage. I’d love it if he didn’t end up in Tally as was expected over the summer.

AS: I really could see Fields landing at Auburn, Georgia, FSU, LSU or even Penn State because he really doesn’t have a leader at this time. I do see Georgia being the most likely option right now but guessing where he goes is like guessing the lottery numbers.


Gatorboy08: Any new info on Leddie Brown? Haven’t heard much on him lately. All WVU or are we still in good position?

AS: He’s sticking with West Virginia right now and I honestly expect him to stay with them barring something crazy happening.


StuckUpNorthGator: If the meltdown continues at LSU. How much does it help with Surtain?

AS: Absolutely, I mean there’s already some momentum lost by them so that could continue if things continue going downhill. Florida and FSU would be the two schools to watch then.


Db100123:  What’s feeling with Ja’Marr Chase? LSU gaining momentum? Does Fields affect his decision?

AS: I still feel like Chase will sign with Florida because of his relationship with Tim Skipper and his relationship with the current commits. LSU will always be the team to worry about because they’re in the instate school and he will visit them. I don’t believe he has a relationship with Fields.


Db100123: Thoughts on our tight end board/Commits? Can these guys block?

AS: Both Dante Lang and Kyle Pitts are good blockers who can also catch the ball out of the backfield. Pitts should be a great 1-2 combo with Gamble and Lang won’t be far behind them.


LEMONHOPE: Now this is more a recruiting question about our staff. I know that Tim Skipper/JaJuan Seider are the heavy lifters here and easily our best recruiters at UF.

1) But in your opinion, outside of those two coaches, which coach has maybe pleasantly surprised you on the trail this year?

2) what is this staff selling these recruits that recruits seem to buying more this year than previous years? It seems we have more traction with these kids. Is it Early PT? The Staff? The swamp? mattyice? Or did we just catch up to everyone else in terms of developing relationships early?

AS: I still believe Brad Davis is doing a good job and will eventually land a good class at offensive line this year. He’s battling some bad luck in that these kids want to go the distance but he’s doing a good job getting them on campus a lot.

The staff is just seeing the affects of having long relationships with these kids, plus the opportunity to play early with a guy like Matt Corral. Having a top notch quarterback sells itself and especially one that recruits like he does.


Blake_usmc: TN game was a huge hit for recruits, how many we expecting LSU and how big of impact will these games be on recruits?

AS: LSU will be another huge weekend for recruits to attend and should be bigger than the Tennessee game. One game never determines where a kid goes to school but it’s always good to have a good showing and to have a good atmosphere.



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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.