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Florida Gators 2021 Recruiting Class

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Ever seen his highlight reel? I know, I know...but it IS an eye-opener, in its own right—and when you consider what “everyone” figured Mullen would eventually be looking for to build “his kind of offense” around, well, this was an easy “mutual marriage” to arrange.
I’m still curious and excited to see what Emory Jones might be able to achieve from here—but he will have to be ready to ACHIEVE come next Spring; otherwise he will be pushed, and possibly pushed aside soon thereafter, if he doesn’t step forward and step UP.
And neither Jones nor Kitna are the only alternatives in the pipeline OR on the horizon. Mullen, of all Head Coaches, clearly does NOT intend to find himself short on talented options at quarterback, no MATTER the forces of future fate.
I also am aware of the “dessert” that IMG has been for us; I had hoped it was merely mostly one of those “mainly a statistical anomaly” that a new Coach with his own experience afield, unique perspective and rep, and a different approach might change for the better. Same I hoped for that continued trouble with certain out-of-state pipelines that Mullen HAS been able to reopen upon returning to UF—but (to me at least) somewhat baffling, certainly FRUSTRATING difficulty breaking through that “glass ceiling” between 4-Star players (whom we ARE getting) and 5-Star ones (whom we still mostly aren’t). “Perception” may be everything there—making the loss last Saturday (especially it’s manner) particularly mis-timed! At least a good, strong performance tomorrow night against the Tide could go a long way in repairing some of that.
I daren’t hope for a win. Too many questions still out there with this team of ours before I will feel safe fully committing to hope and passion once more.
I love them regardless; SUPPORT them “regardless”. But while SOME questions HAVE been answered about this Gator team AS a “team”, others that HAD SEEMED as if they were BEING answered have reared themselves once more.
Have we ever SEEN such extensive demonstration of the proposition,
“The devil is in the DETAILS” ???

Nobody has a reasonable explanation for the lack of success in the Gators grabbing recruits from IMG. My theory is that many of the coaches and athletes at IMG are from out of state, so there is no motivation to to be loyal to a university football team from the Sunshine State. I have made this point multiple times on this forum and on other forums: the success of the Florida Gators rests in its ability to recruit quality recruits from the Sunshine State powerhouse high schools. Period. End. Dot. Grabbing the thugs from crappy schools this past decade has just led to a large number of kids being arrested, dismissed, or suspended. Look at the past decade of recruiting classes. The Gators failed to recruit any blue chip athletes from the top 20 high school football programs, although they did grab a few 3-stars from those schools. Here the top 20 schools are listed with state championships and national rankings:
  1. Miami Central (6A: 2010 #15, 2012 #14, 2013 #8, 2014 #14, 2019 #21)
  2. St. Thomas Aquinas (5A: 2010; 7A: 2012, 2013, 2014 #8, 2015 #21, 2016 #7, 2018, 2019 #5
  3. Booker T. Washington: (4A: 2012 #15, 2013 #4, 2014 #13, 2015, 2019)
  4. Armwood (6A: 2011 #9)
  5. American Heritage (5A: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 #6)
  6. Northwestern (6A: 2017, 2018, 2019 #24)
  7. Trinity Christian Academy (1A: 2020; 3A: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2015)
  8. Plant (8A: 2011 #13)
  9. Apopka (8A: 2012, 2013, 2014)
  10. Manatee (7A: 2011 #8)
  11. Madison County (1A: 2017, 2018, 2019)
  12. Cocoa (2A: 2010; 4A: 2016)
  13. Carol City (6A: 2016 #10)
  14. Chaminade-Madonna (3A: 2017, 2018, 2019)
  15. Lakeland (7A: 2018 #19)
  16. Dr. Phillips (6A: 2017)
  17. Columbus (8A: 2019)
  18. Norland (5A: 2011 #19)
  19. University (3A: 2012 #25)
  20. Bolles (4A: 2011)
  21. Jefferson (3A: 2020 #8)
Yes, it is good to get occasional, high-quality recruits from out of state. The flagship university in the state of Florida needs to regain the high ground with in-state recruiting. The Gators already have a decent pipeline reaching into the state of Georgia thanks to a few private coaches like Denny Thompson in Jacksonville. Ever since Urban Meyer left, and probably during his tenure, other universities have made it a habit of plucking the best athletes out of our own backyard. The Gators will have good years here and there without consistent access to the aforementioned pipelines, but they will not have enduring success without repeatable access to the best athletes from the best high schools in the state. This would signify to Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Louisville, FSU, and Miami that they no longer hold that recruiting edge over Florida.

To your point about Jalen Kitna, that shows another pipeline that Mullen has built--an NFL pipeline. This is something that great coaches have--the ability to recruit in college off talent placed in the NFL. Emory Jones was recruited by Dan Mullen in 2015. As a matter of fact, Dan Mullen's staff at Mississippi State was the first to offer him, the first to host an unofficial visit, and the first to host him on Junior Day. McElwain's staff was the fifth to offer Emory--after Tennessee, Georgia, and West Virginia. Jones leaned towards Ohio State because he performed rather well at the Columbus, Ohio Friday Night Lights in 2016, after he attended camp at Athens, Georgia and Knoxville, Tennessee. The funny thing is that Emory de-committed from Ohio State only two weeks after getting an in-home visit from Urban Meyer and Ryan Day of Ohio State and then visiting both Gainesville and Tallahassee immediately after that. Here is that timeline:
  • May 18, 2015: Dan Mullen (Mississippi State) offers Emory Jones
  • November 14, 2015: Emory Jones visits State
  • January 30, 2016: Emory Jones attends State Junior Day
  • ...
  • November 26, 2017: Dan Mullen named head coach of the Florida Gators
  • December 5, 2017: Urban Meyer and Ryan Day visit Emory Jones
  • December 15, 2017: Emory Jones visits UF
  • December 16, 2017: Emory Jones visits FSU
  • December 20, 2017: Emory Jones de-commits from Ohio State
  • December 20, 2017: Emory Jones signs letter of intent to Florida
All that to say, my point is that the Gators will not climb the recruiting rankings without winning high school recruits out of the Sunshine State consistently. It does help that there is an NFL pipeline with Dak Prescott and Alex Smith among others. The connections that Dan Mullen built in the state of Georgia and Florida while at Mississippi State are definitely helping now (3-5 years later), but that also illustrates my point that even Mississippi State was able to plunder the states of Georgia and Florida right from under the noses of the Gator coaches at the time. That needs to stop, and it is slowly turning around with Dan Mullen now that he is at Florida.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
You make solid, insightful points that indeed have actually helped put my own questions (bordering on bewilderment) into perspective. THANKYOU:
Looked at in this way in truth assuages many growing concerns; It may be time to move ON, after all.
Fits in with what I am coming around to, where I’m now AT with UF under Mullen RIGHT NOW!
Now:
Let’s go out there and see what they can do with this much-hyped-by-the-“experts” Saban-led Alabama Squad that is supposedly hitting its absolute HIGH-WATER mark of stride and competence RIGHT HERE AND NOW here tonight, to listen to “the usual suspects” in CBS.
Stealing myself to look at it just that way is the only way I can FACE it now. And even THEN it is difficult:
To listen to them we BARELY have a chance to even compete with them out there this evening. Maybe they are right
...But we’ll at least show up: Long as our team does, we OWE them that.
I’ll say no more. In fact, I can’t SAY ANYTHING for sure, WHAT to expect OR what I might feel or say about it, until play and resultant events in fact ensue.
Probably ABOUT damn time I can AROUND to that way of thinking AND behavior.
 

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