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Florida Gators 2014 recruiting class

DRU2012

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2 hrs later, I turn up the sound just in time to (by coincidence--it was MICHIGAN data they had onscreen at the time) hear Florida enter the discussion--and what's the topic? They're only mentioning that we were "probably the most disappointing team of 2013...", in passing on the way to talking further about Michigan's #12-ranked recruiting-class and how important it was that they had "a class this good". Then it was back to FSU's "PHENOMENAL class", and I am back to the sound turned off.
Not that I disagree with the assertion in itself, but WTF is HAPPENING here? I know that CB Jackson went to USC after flirting pretty seriously with us--but they still have moved us up from #7 to #6 for SOME reason. Regardless, apparently we're not worthy of any real positive note, certainly not much in the way of time and/or analysis. I know I said that I don't place much importance on ANY of these media rankings, but it continues to puzzle me: Here's UGA rated by them at #10, they're interviewing Richt fawningly about how "great a day it's been for you" after a lead-in touting "a very good class", then the same for Golden and Miami, and meanwhile all there is to say re UF is in regards to "the most disappointing team of 2013"?!! (Of course, Golden's using it as a national platform to talk about UM as "the number one program in Florida" and so on as if it's common knowledge accepted by all. ARGH!!!)
Any wonder I've switched them off again?
 

DRU2012

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I am so glad that we got Treon, that was a really good pick up for our program.
Totally--We have Grier, "No.1 Prep Player" nationally, coming in as well, though, so I hope Treon learns from what happened with Driskel and Jacoby, if he's not the immediate back-up or gets red-shirted (as I believe they'll do with the one who's less-far along in his development by late-summer), and doesn't bolt for some D-II school, or sit out a year with someone else, rather than hang in with us. (Again, it's likely Jacoby would have come out of 2013 the solid starter at QB by now had he stayed, having stepped in when JD was hurt.)
What do you think of our overall position as the day wanes, Dale? My only real concern, as I've noted, remains at WR...I'm back to monitoring things more closely: I haven't heard anything so far to give me anything but confidence EXCEPT in that area, but at the same time have caught no word of any particular change THERE either. Anyone else have any news or opinion in this regard?
 

DRU2012

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...Regarding Treon, btw, what about the idea of NOT red shirting him if/when Grier pans out, instead (as an "Athlete" of the first order, able to actually seriously compete at RB and WR by many accounts) play him in the slot, getting him acclimated to the new system AND "SEC speed"? Yeah, it's unlikely, to say the least, not following the "logical" script OR particularly "safe", but if we do end up being short at WR for one more season (we've got 2 of the best out there, tall and rangy speedsters already committed to the 2015 class--the word is that recruiters from elsewhere really hammered on that point, and the idea that "you'll have all kinds of competition, they'll be CROWDED there just as you're coming into your own", in drawing the top prospects in this year's class away from us leading up to today), we'll need to do SOMETHING "creative" to fill things out. We just CAN'T settle for last year's lack of a believably effective long threat.
 

DRU2012

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(As they replay the supposed highlights of the day among all the announcements, not ONE new Gator is shown accepting among the dozen-and-a-half such clips...I guess we just didn't HAVE any, and that supposed "Sixth Best Class"--higher elsewhere--is some kind of mistake, right?)
 

Escambia94

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It is a good thing that ESPN is not showing clips of Florida recruits saying "pick me". Coach Muschamp's plan is to not cater to the attention mongering 17-year old kids. He wants blue collar workers that want to go to school for four years, get a degree, and play some football. Granted, some kids get a little bit of limelight at the Under Armour or US Army All American game, but at least they are not dragging it out and teasing multiple coaches. From time to time, it is okay for kids to be indecisive, but not at attention whore level.
 

DRU2012

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Apropos of a previous post of mine, I sure hope THIS turns out to be true:
According to a source inside our program, new OC Roper actually closed the deal with Treon by telling him he'd get a chance to play "all over the field" on offense next season. This talented, versaatile young "Athlete" is EXCITED about getting a chance to do more than just try and be a back-up QB: He WANTS a chance to run, catch and (if the opportunity presents itself) throw the ball from every skill position in the offensive backfield, and that's exactly what Roper told him he'll get the chance to do here. What this says about the kind of offense we'll be switching over to, AND the range of personnel we'll have and how we'll use them starting next year, is an exciting relief, to say the least. Can't WAIT for next season.
 

DRU2012

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It is a good thing that ESPN is not showing clips of Florida recruits saying "pick me". Coach Muschamp's plan is to not cater to the attention mongering 17-year old kids. He wants blue collar workers that want to go to school for four years, get a degree, and play some football. Granted, some kids get a little bit of limelight at the Under Armour or US Army All American game, but at least they are not dragging it out and teasing multiple coaches. From time to time, it is okay for kids to be indecisive, but not at attention whore level.
THAT part of the NSD-attention-machine I can do without--and am completely content, relieved, even proud that we weren't focused on in that way. It was the "loud silence" when it came to all-things-Gator, even as they focused on publicizing in positive fashion everyone ELSE rated among their "Top 30-or-so" classes that I found suspect and, after a while, insulting. Coach Golden allowed to go on at length about UM being "the top program in the State of Florida" without the slightest challenge was the last straw for me...I switched it off for good.
 
Over all I am impressed, we really did well on the O and D Line, and I think we have got some good building blocks for the next 2 years minimum.
 

DRU2012

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The only real bummer, the "dark cloud" that suddenly appeared early on an otherwise "glorious, sun-filled day", was the Dalvin Cook-flip-to-FSU...Yeah, we got an early shocker on them, too, but this one hurt big time. Cook, 2014 Florida "Mr. Football" and rated by many the No. 2 RB in the nation coming in, committed to us last April and HAD insisted late as a month ago how strongly he was happy and determined to be a Gator, how it was "my school, in my heart--I'll NEVER change my mind on that one..." Well, though there were a lot of signs and talk last few weeks that made this move somewhat less than "a bolt from the blue", now we know for sure how deep his "heart" AND word are. There WERE some questions about whether he'd make the grade academically in time to actually enroll at UF--and whether he'd STAY eligible, even with all the help he'd get here. Gotta better shot at Florida's Second(-rate) University, I guess, that's just the straight-on truth. No wonder Coach Muschamp is normally so careful recruiting barely-intelligible big mouths from South Florida--but make no mistake, the Coach was already dreaming about the seemingly-soon-to-be offensive combination of QB Grier and RB Cook in the Gator backfield on some not-so-distant tomorrow. Imagine a bigger, faster Gillislee--only now we have to wonder if he'll have ANY portion of G's largest asset, his enormous heart. You just don't really know 'til they get out there on a series of gamedays, but as I note here, there IS some reason to wonder at that now. Call me petty, but I don't mind telling y'all: I hope he breaks his leg. Hate shit like that.
(Yeah, when it comes to honor, loyalty, commitment and the Florida Gators, I can be an angry, vindictive S.O.B. Whatta ya gonna do?)
 

DRU2012

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(Btw, re the above: In his first interview, remote from Miami with the ESPN color-analyst on-the-scene in Tallahassee, asked about "How it feels--" I also really hate that stupid question, to everyone about EVERYTHING these days, it seems "--to be a Seminole?", he said, "I'm thinkn' Heisman, right away..." Funny, I'm thinkn' "blindside-shot-to-the-helmet", next November, at the latest...Like I said above, well, let's just say it this way, this time: I'm not averse to the idea that in football, you deliver your OWN "karma"...)
 

DRU2012

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One more thing: Beyond Jones--and our current near-complete dependence on his 100% recovery, continued growth (in both physical and experiential terms) and timely return to dominance in the RB slot for the coming season, does anyone have any thoughts and details on our current personnel and future prospects at that position? Are there anymore potential "dark horses" still available out there, still uncommitted for 2014? I wish we had at least one other prospective young "game-changer" coming in; that and at least one tall and rangy, sticky-handed speedster at WR (we did get C.J.Worton, very talented, at WR, but we are still SO short there) would help me sleep better at night (imagine what it all means for our Head Coach!). What about for '15? I know we are supposed to have two of the best of these, a PAIR of the very kind of WR I describe, committed to us in that class already, but what about RB?
(On that score and a related note, isn't it strange how, seemingly "remote" just days ago, 2015-recruiting has now swung into full gear, having taken center stage as it does truly in earnest the day after NSD? Or maybe the "strange" part is how we all mostly just accept that as a given by now...)
 

DRU2012

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Just heard from my friend/contact w/in the UF athletic dept., who (upon reading the above posts) reminded me about Brandon Powell at RB--and the fact that the staff is VERY high on him, expect to see him with an expanded role in Roper's offense the coming season regardless of Jones' full recovery and return, and whose talent, physical growth and clear steady improvement may well have played a part in Cook's change-of-heart, once Roper went after and got Brandon's commitment: Not only would they not PROMISE Dalvin any "guarantees", they were frank with him that though he'd get "fair and equal shot" at competing, with everyone healthy he might well end up red-shirted for 2014. Now, this is part of a general philosophy/policy from Muschamp on down now that, while obvious needs and "thinness" at certain positions exist, NO ONE is promised anything MORE than that, "a fair shot to compete" coming in, but Powell's commitment and seeming "blossoming" (I've been assured he is "getting bigger AND faster, working out and clearly determined since signing on") meant that this had to be taken seriously by Cook and "his people" and, it is thought, despite Dalvin's claims of understanding, acceptance and overall confidence, may have played a part in his "reappraisal". The good news, far as I am/we are concerned, of course, is that we DO have some real "talent and depth" at RB after all...Still, I welcome all your thoughts and any further info, as requested above, on this subject.
 

DRU2012

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On another note, I've heard commentators and read articles lately saying that certain Head Coaches are better recruiters than all the others, which of course is true, but what kinda makes me laugh is how basically every one of these lists includes the last FOUR Gator coaches (five if you count "Defensive Coordinator/Assistant Head Coach" Bob Stoops when he was here) on all the resulting tallies of the (as the case may be) ten or twenty "Best"--all but one is elsewhere by now, obviously, but fact remains, they're talking about MORE THAN 20 YEARS of stand-out success across multiple regimes, all in one place--and yet either fail to recognize, or it just never occurs to them, that maybe THE PLACE they have been recruiting to at least these four/five have in common may have SOMETHING to do with that success: As we like to put it, "It's great to be a Florida GATOR!!!".
Sure, they can all recruit, recruit their ASSES off, but who, what and where they're asking talented young men to come to play, in a decision their whole future may well depend upon, might have SOMETHING to do with how easy or difficult it is to convince them. These men have ALL done well stocking other teams, even Zook is known as a charismatic guy who can bring in kids his post-Gator programs might not otherwise have gotten, but the one constant in their stints as UF's Head Coach--in every case except that of our current Coach their first real "Big Time" opportunity--has been the place the resulting collections of outstanding recruits came to: THE University of Florida!
 

DRU2012

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(What?--Everyone "NSD'd out"? Busy watching the Olympics 'til all hours? Didn't get a rise out of ONE of ya--and I TRIED here, the last few posts...Really did. OK: I give up.)
 

Escambia94

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My final thoughts on this class:
  • Finally the Gators hauled in a good crop for offense
  • We are short on special teams
  • Surprisingly we did not grab any linebackers
  • Although we stole some good athletes from FSU, they win the stealing game by getting Lane and Cook just based on raw talent. Those two have the potential to be trouble wherever they go, so it might be okay to lose them.
 

DRU2012

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My final thoughts on this class:
  • Finally the Gators hauled in a good crop for offense
  • We are short on special teams
  • Surprisingly we did not grab any linebackers
  • Although we stole some good athletes from FSU, they win the stealing game by getting Lane and Cook just based on raw talent. Those two have the potential to be trouble wherever they go, so it might be okay to lose them.
Agreed, regarding the two "losses" to FSU: Two-edged blade all around, in both cases. (Still, though I hope for better and appreciate this Head Coach's efforts in this regard, I can't help but remember the RESULTS our former-coach got with "trouble-makers"...'Course, he's on that path again at OSU, and it doesn't look so great viewed semi-objectively from afar--and it could finally catch up with him there, signs of such are beginning to seep around the media hoopla and general admiration.
As for the rest, well, yeah, I've got my concerns re special teams, ttoo--voiced 'em during NSD. We're so strong at linebacker, both experienced and red-shirts, I guess concentrating elsewhere (and losing out on a couple we went after, who chose programs "needier" at that position) was to be expected.
Overall, gotta be pretty happy/content with this group, especially on offense, as you say. In fact, I'm excited at it not just based on the talent itself, but the particular focus and what it says about the KIND of offense we'll be running.
 

Escambia94

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I forgot to mention two non scholarship players that the Gators signed:
  • Jorge Powell, K 5-10 160 of Belen Jesuit Prep, Miami, Fla. ** (preferred walk -on)
  • Brooks Abbott, K 6-0 180 of Bolles High School, Jacksonville, Fla. **(Transfer, preferred walk -on)
 

DRU2012

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"One last thought" on my part, too:
'Bout time Gators had someone step-up/break-out-of-nowhere for US--and nowhere would that be more exciting and promising as far as continued growth and timeliness than on special teams. As usual, lotta speed on this team...Looking for maybe one of the less-heralded kids coming out to open some eyes there, maybe move up to more playing time than expected at receiver and blow everyone's minds, in the event. Hey, it could happen...
 

Escambia94

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I am looking for the next Louis Murphy, Joe Haden, or Chris Doering. Murphy was a 3- star receiver that was rumored to decommit, but wound up being our most dependable player. Haden converted from QB to CB. Doering was one of the best walk-ons we ever had.
 
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