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Discussion: Florida Gators 2024 Recruiting

DRU2012

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GROAN!!! Now comes word that on the heels of the Mack flip, 5-star commit Xavier Filsaime has also now scheduled a visit to his homestate's powerhouse, Texas.
This once so promising a class is in process of being EVISCERATED.
If Billy cannot stop the bleeding AND somehow shore up a decent portion of what is already lost, we are doomed--as is HIS future as our Coach.
We are starting to get a picture of a guy who, like with his staff and gameday DETAILS, doesn't CLOSE THE DEAL--doesn't pay enough attention to FINISHING WHAT HE STARTS!
The thing is, it is all just BREAKING MY HEART:
And in the process, this is all just "breaking the collective heart of Gator Nation!"
Despite the other mistakes and misteps large and small, the promise of the FUTURE--embodied in that once oh-so-PROMISING 2024 recruiting class, now melting away BEFORE OUR EYES in parallel to this SEASON'S inescapeable decline--has simply become, more and more, TOO MUCH TO BARE.
I certainly can no longer bare it.
I was willing to "BE PATIENT",...there seemed little choice
--no good ones, at any rate.
But things have very quickly, sadly turned--are now spiraling downward, acceleratingly out of control! I see little sign that our Coach anticipated nor has any plan for staunching, let alone reversing, that decline.
And as I hinted elsewhere here in the last 12 hours, there ARE now stirrings of a sadly somewhat desperate "step in and take charge", make some big changes here by, perhaps even BEFORE the END of the 2023 season after ALL.
BUT...TO WHOM? OR WHAT???
It's an enormous mess--with potential to become enormously WORSE!
 

DRU2012

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You KNOW the "next one"--the "news" that will amount to our true "death knell", right?
It will come from DJ's camp...
At which point:
I will be reduced to
"BOUNDLESSLY DISILLUSIONED HOPELESSNESS"
...That would probably then be my USER NAME.
 

DRU2012

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Yikes.
Things have gotten VERY BAD
VERY QUICKLY
for me to be typing stuff like this on a Saturday gameday in November in the SEC!
And considering everything at stake, unless we somehow manage a STRING of Gator triumphs of SOME kind, well, it ain't likely to IMPROVE around here!
 

DRU2012

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Right now, with all the "smoke" out there I am mostly trying to stay AWAY from the rumor-mongering and tea-leave reading--never MIND those "crystal balls"!
The main one I AM still eyeing now is Filsaime...
Our sole clear 5-Star on the defensive side, he's one we can NOT afford to lose (to SEC-bound Texas, or anyone ELSE for that matter!).
I expected there to be SOME attrition, naturally, even before our ignominious wilting down the stretch. But at this point, taking all the various trends and "unfortunate realities" that seem to be playing out around, upon and of late against us, I feel all we can do is hunker down, hope for the best and see how it all in fact plays out.
I remain skeptical of any late-game faith in the transfer portal. Would love to be surprised, proven wrong, but our Coach hasn't shown a whole lot of interest OR acumen there so far.
We won't bother worrying or arguing about all that now. There's a limit out there, it is ticking down, and the next major signpost is "just up ahead"...
 

Escambia94

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Expect the worst and pray for the best. I honestly have no idea how Napier plans on keeping the #4 or #5 recruiting class with back-to-back losing seasons.
 

DRU2012

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@Escambia94,
And in that vein, funny how Texas keeps winning--and at the same time starts flipping its pick of some of our best pending recruits.
Meanwhile, Norvell brings FSU back with aggressive activity in the portal, and having mastered AND found success on THAT side of things, he now has our rivals solidly placed in that #3 recruiting ranking WE once held--and looking to now close the deal (and THEN some) in BOTH areas.
During that same period. we have witnessed/suffered Mullens' last gasps of futility and inactivity, immediately followed by Napier's "two losing seasons"--and now his once-promising jab at "recruiting prowess" appears to be inevitably slipping through his not-so-deft fingers after all.
In this latest light, I really do wonder if the "like it is not" time range we have come to assume is "at the very least how long he will get here" is really as solid as we think.
I won't go into what essentially amounts to the tight-lipped hints of someone I know who is close to the "insiders group at UF", except to say that I am getting the impression that two different lines, one following the "money available" and another tracing "building disillusioned impatience", are beginning (albeit "slowly but surely") to converge...and it is EASY to see WHY.
Sorry--having more or less myself also to have chosen the "wait'n'see", "expect the worst, pray for the best", bend-in-the-wind attitude in order to maintain calm and SANITY, I will NOT now revert to premature panic. Even those currently backpedalling, when pressed, themselves go to "Let's see what the next few weeks bring..."
But if things really do "go South" in coming days, we ALL might need to brace ourselves.
I too neither see much way forward nor much of a "way OUT".
 

DRU2012

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Again, I apologize:
I am glad to have a place to say these things--but take no pleasure in the situation that brings them to mind. I keep searching for POSITIVE signs, but FINDING little other than discouraging ones so far. The way this season turned, then turned out, game-by-game AND play-by-play, only heightened that sense of "descending expectations".
I promise to TRY and return to "just letting the future come to us".
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Here is the visitor list for our non-bowl game weekend of December 8th.

Position/ PlayerClass/YearSchoolRating
DL DeAndre Jules2019Pittsburgh0.8596
DL Joey Slackman2019Penn0.9200
WR Chimere Dike2020Wisconsin0.9000
DB Trikweze Bridges2019Oregon0.8874
DL Brien Taylor2020Blinn College0.8931
S Gregory Smith2024Sumner (Riverview, FL)0.8844
RB Jadan Baugh2024Columbia (Decatur, GA) [Arkansas Commit]0.8967
OL Noel Portnjagin2024Germany0.8656
 

DRU2012

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(What a disappointing mess.
Please see my post/response over on the "2022 Recruiting" thread, mistakenly posted there instead of here, where it more aptly belongs...)
 

DRU2012

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As several have already begun to note, Napier and his staff have slowly, progressively more effectively at keast BEGUN to "cjaw back" a significant portion of that "lost 2024 Top Ten recruiting class" of late...in some cases ot is more a matter of semantically and perception (for example, where a kid like Grimsley, due to circumstances and the new realities if college football, will technically be returning to us in tge portal rather than as an official part of tge recruiting class--but it all glhapoened between NSD and the state of spring classes, so from a practical point-of-view makes almost no difference at all now.
We've still got a ways to go to truly even APPROACH the overall level that '24 class was originally projected to be--but they are working hard at it, clearly never quit, and of they can reclaim or at least replace a few more perhaps a certain amount of pride and hope CAN be redeemed after all.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
As several have already begun to note, Napier and his staff have slowly, progressively more effectively at keast BEGUN to "cjaw back" a significant portion of that "lost 2024 Top Ten recruiting class" of late...in some cases ot is more a matter of semantically and perception (for example, where a kid like Grimsley, due to circumstances and the new realities if college football, will technically be returning to us in tge portal rather than as an official part of tge recruiting class--but it all glhapoened between NSD and the state of spring classes, so from a practical point-of-view makes almost no difference at all now.
We've still got a ways to go to truly even APPROACH the overall level that '24 class was originally projected to be--but they are working hard at it, clearly never quit, and of they can reclaim or at least replace a few more perhaps a certain amount of pride and hope CAN be redeemed after all.

This is the first time we had this many portal moves this late in January, and the recruiting services' class calculators are not equipped to recalculate the rankings. I manipulated the 247 ranking calculator and got a guess that the additions of D'antre Robinson from Texas and Jameer Grimsley from Alabama moves the class ranking from #15 (#13 with transfer portal) to #9 (#11 with transfer portal). For some reason, 247, On3, and Rivals will drop the athlete ratings for any transfer if they have not accumulated any statistics. Robinson and Grimsley are considered transfers because Texas and Alabama refused to release them from their national letter of intent (NLI), so they had to file for entry into the transfer portal. The system is broken in that regard. The athletes are allowed a free transfer because the position coach who recruited them has moved on, but the schools still want to keep the athletes. I am not sure what good it would do for Texas and Alabama to have an unhappy athlete eating up a scholarship spot assuming the new position coach would make them happy. These kids have established relationships with coaches on multiple teams, so it is understandable why they would want to leave when their recruiter leaves.

Edit: Texas did release Robinson from his NLI.

Note: There is no legal requirement to sign an NLI.
 
Last edited:

DRU2012

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Staff member
Super Moderator
This is the first time we had this many portal moves this late in January, and the recruiting services' class calculators are not equipped to recalculate the rankings. I manipulated the 247 ranking calculator and got a guess that the additions of D'antre Robinson from Texas and Jameer Grimsley from Alabama moves the class ranking from #15 (#13 with transfer portal) to #9 (#11 with transfer portal). For some reason, 247, On3, and Rivals will drop the athlete ratings for any transfer if they have not accumulated any statistics. Robinson and Grimsley are considered transfers because Texas and Alabama refused to release them from their national letter of intent (NLI), so they had to file for entry into the transfer portal. The system is broken in that regard. The athletes are allowed a free transfer because the position coach who recruited them has moved on, but the schools still want to keep the athletes. I am not sure what good it would do for Texas and Alabama to have an unhappy athlete eating up a scholarship spot assuming the new position coach would make them happy. These kids have established relationships with coaches on multiple teams, so it is understandable why they would want to leave when their recruiter leaves.

Edit: Texas did release Robinson from his NLI.

Note: There is no legal requirement to sign an NLI. L
Nice try, anyway, E--: Given how completely BENT this whole "ranking" system is (not to mention how much of an inaccurate mess it was to begin with), there was never much chance of a "fair and accurate assessment" in the 1st place.
I'm not sure there was much reliably tangible material with which to judge the ongoing progress in the first place...By now there's been so much banging, bruising and situational "reevaluation" as to probably now require an actual extended period of practical onfield competition before moving on to judging the various teams' actual relative improvement (or lack thereof).
Of course, this eventual "assessment in the court of reality" WAS ALWAYS, when came to "frank public opinion, the inevitable, eventual "place of final atbitration".
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Nice try, anyway, E--: Given how completely BENT this whole "ranking" system is (not to mention how much of an inaccurate mess it was to begin with), there was never much chance of a "fair and accurate assessment" in the 1st place.
I'm not sure there was much reliably tangible material with which to judge the ongoing progress in the first place...By now there's been so much banging, bruising and situational "reevaluation" as to probably now require an actual extended period of practical onfield competition before moving on to judging the various teams' actual relative improvement (or lack thereof).
Of course, this eventual "assessment in the court of reality" WAS ALWAYS, when came to "frank public opinion, the inevitable, eventual "place of final atbitration".

The point is we need something to measure and useful metrics for comparison so we can draw meaningful conclusions later. The early data shows that Billy Napier is an excellent recruiter of high school athletes, as indicated by his ability to hold the #3 class from July to October. The data hints that UF’s NIL programs could be better, because other schools leveraged Florida’s evaluation process and poached the best athletes. That means Napier’s evaluation process is better than just about everyone else’s but Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio State. He needs the backing of NIL to close the deal in December. One knock against his process of that it is too slow for transfer portal recruits. He only landed 2 of the transfer candidates who visited, and both of them came from strong academic institutions and were attracted to Florida’s academics.
 

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