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NSD: We Are On Our OWN Path--and LOOKING GOOD!

Discussion in 'Gator Football' started by DRU2012, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    I don't wanna get on a whole "thing" here, just making a point I think we Gators understand and would do well to quietly reinforce among OURSELVES this particular "first Wednesday in February":
    While the "EXPERTS" have ultimately more or less come around and now (with Elam and others' making good their earlier pledges yesterday morn) put us in their list of "Top Ten Recruiting Classes", in truth they are all only "confirming" a MUCH more IMPORTANT "list"--the one Coach Dan Mullen and his guys had of "their kind of young men", by all accounts as much about character, personality, honor, and the eventual CHEMISTRY of our Head Coach's long-imagined and slowly-developed idea of the KIND of team he wanted to build down here. He got a lot of insight and practice in testing his ideas and theories trying to approximate the process under the constraints limiting him at MSU--but now he is finally able to begin truly shaping the onfield product with fewer obstacles.
    I won't say that "the experts" rankings and surrounding hype are just plain wrong OR "irrelevant"; Talent is talent.
    But there is ALSO "fit", and ideas like "team" and "chemistry", not to mention "CHARACTER", must also be considered--or will catch up with a program eventually.
    Mullen has clearly made these (and more) part of their "winnowing process" on the front end. So that, as he once again stressed in his long and refreshingly open address to the press (and by extension, US: ALL of "Gator Nation") once the last of our openings were filled yesterday, this whole process was, is and will CONTINUE TO BE run with OUR OWN (mostly HIS AND HIS STAFF'S) ideas about what they need and who will best FIT the coming "TEAM TO BE" they have been determined to build here from the moment he took the job. The team on the field, of course, but not JUST there but EVERYWHERE IN THE PROGRAM--top to bottom, first on the staff then every nook and cranny of the eventual depth and onfield product.
    It's an ongoing thing that never stops--and Mullen is one of those very few who GETS IT, came IN swingin' and hasn't stopped.
    So the really great and encouraging news is this: I truly believe that this "TEAM" he and his people (and they ARE "his people"--they are tight and together in their determined, ongoing "same page/same direction" orchestrated long-term drive to see the whole thing come together in CHAMPIONSHIPS. When they talk about "family" they really mean it--and the recruits and THEIR families FEEL that when they visit. It is an enormous advantage--one that the Coach and his staff are LOOKING for in their prospective recruits... a background in and natural attraction TO a commitment to those around them--that they are and will be a part of something BIGGER than merely "the sum of the parts".
    And that all has a way of "feeding on itself"--getting more and MORE that way as time goes on and the whole thing gathers its own momentum. More and more, I think we will only see it grow. Oh, there'll be set-backs...There are always trials and challenges. How we react, deal with them and support each other, adapt and rally--THESE are the MARKS of Champions. We will be tested. But I see this Head Coach, staff and kind of TEAM he is building as exactly the types who can deal with it, adapt and react to it all in positive fashion. I can't say exactly what, when, how or where--but we WILL ultimately GET there.
    I can FEEL it. Feel it coming.
     
  2. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    The complete thread is in http://www.gatorenvy.com/threads/florida-gators-2019-recruiting-class.19599/, but here is what NSD looked like:
    • #9 February 6, 2019 (NSD)
    1. DB Trent Whittemore 6-3 185. Bucholz High School. Gainesville FL. 3*. 5.28.2017 commitment.
    2. OT Wardrick Wilson 6-4 295. Norland High School. Miami FL. 3 * 7.21.2017 commitment.
    3. ATH Ja'Markis Weston 6-3 195. Clewiston High School. Clewiston, Florida. 3*. 7.28.2017 commitment.
    4. WR Dionte Marks 5-11 178. Deland High School. Deland, Florida. 3 *
      2.24.2018 commitment.
    5. OT Ethan White 6-5 315. Superior Collegiate Academy. Clearwater, Florida. 4 *. 3.23.2018 commitment.
    6. QB Jalon Jones 6-3 180. Saint Frances Academy, Baltimore, Maryland. 4*. 4.7.2017 commitment.
    7. OLB Tyron Hopper 6-2 205. Roswell High School. Roswell, Georgia. 4*. 4.26.2018 commitment.
    8. DT Jaelin Humphries 6-3 303. Mountainview High School. Lawrenceville, Georgia. 4*. 6.5.2018 commitment.
    9. OG Riley Simonds 6-4 324. Buford High School. Buford, Georgia. 3*. 6.20.2018 commitment.
    10. OLB Jesiah Pierre 6-2 220. Christian Home and Bible School. Mount Dora, Florida. 3*. 7.2.2018 commitment.
    11. ILB Diwun Black 6-4 216. Forest High School. Forest, Mississippi. 4*/ 5*.
      8.2.2018 commitment.
    12. CB Chester Kimbrough 5-11 170. Warren Easton High School. New Orleans, Louisiana. 4*.
      8.13.2018 commitment.
    13. OLB Mohamoud Diabate 6-4 215. Auburn High School. Auburn, Alabama. 4*. 8.22.2018 commitment.
    14. OT William Harrod 6-5 315. National Christian Academy. Fort Washington, Maryland. 4*. 9.3.2018 commitment.
    15. CB Jaydon Hill 6-0 174. Bob Jones High School. Madison, Alabama. 4*
      9.6.2018 commitment.
    16. RB Nay'Quan Wright 5-9 188. Carol City High School, Miami, Florida. 4*. 11.25.2018 commitment.
    17. OT Michael Tarquin 6-5 290. North Marion High School, Citra, Florida. 4*. 12.2.2018 commitment.
    18. OG Kingsley Eguakun 6-3 295. Sandalwood High School, Jacksonville, Florida. 3*. 12.2.2018 commitment.
    19. OL Deyavie Hammond. 6-3 353. Lakeland High School. Lakeland, Florida. 4*. 12.19.2018 commitment. Early Signee.
    20. DL Lloyd Summerall. 6-5 220. Lakeland High School. Lakeland, Florida. 4*. 12.9.2018 commitment. 12.19.2018. Signed LOI.
    21. TE Keon Zipperer. 6-2 240. Lakeland High School. Lakeland, Florida. 4*. 12.19.2018 commitment. Signed LOI.
    22. WR Arjei Henderson. 6-1 180. Fort Bend Travis High School. Richmond, Texas. 4*/5*. 1.3.2019. Committed at Under Armour All American Game.
    23. CB Chris Steele. 6-1. 187. St. John Bosco High School. Bellflower, California. 4*/ 5*. 1.5.2019. Committed at US Army All American Game.
    24. DE Khris Bogle 6-4 212. Cardinal Gibbons High School. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 4*/ 5*.
      2.6.2019. Signed LOI.
    25. CB Kaiir Elam 6-1 185. The Benjamin School. North Palm Beach, Florida. 4*/ 5* . 2.6.2019. Signed LOI.
    Preferred Walk-Ons
    • K Taylor Waxman. 6-1 165. West Broward High School, Pembroke Pines, FL. (4.5)*. 1/27/2019.
    • DT Lucas Alonso. 6-3 285. Westminster Christian, Miami, FL. 1/31/2019.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    All in all, this after our "Early Signing" success really puts us on a nice wave as we move into spring. Just FEELS good, positive--can't WAIT to see how it all plays out! More than ever, that opening game against Miami that filled me with concern is steadily changing to pure excitement. Oh, how badly I always wanna beat them, PLUS of course there's the whole phony deal where they actually go out and PURPOSEFULLY get a Coach who turns out to be another typical two-faced Hurricane scumbag after all:
    It only ADDS to that aching DESIRE to see us CRUSH them mercilessly--and that feeling will no doubt only grow, intensify between now and then.
    In contrast to, well, the last 10-plus years at LEAST, rather than the familiar concerns and qualifications we discuss now I am mostly full of HOPE--a growing CONFIDENCE shared with Gator Nation at large.
    Don't y'all FEEL it too?
    The feeling that we are embarking on a journey upwards? ...That crazy fun ride we were once on but lost the thread of in darkness somewhere back along the way.
    I keep having a flash of a particular memory from the past season: Franks is standing on the sidelines near Coach Mullen after having to come off the field with the offense after a stalled drive. As I recall the situation, the defense was in the process of quickly shutting down our opponents' offense (I THINK it may have been in the LSU game) and forcing them to kick it BACK to us. Franks looked on, distracted and frustrated--but Mullen tapped him on the tummy, motioned at something in the stands there in the Swamp, and pantomimed a little dance, as if to say, "It's a nice day, we've got this... Relax!!!" I thought, "RIGHT! IT'S COOL, KIDDO! THIS one is OURS, you'll see...Just play your game, OUR game..."
    It hit me that it has been a long time since we've had that kind of calm, cool-headed, good-hearted and confident support overseeing things on the sidelines. Even SS lost his cool from time to time (sparingly, but dramatically, with a notorious visor-slam)...Mullen even less often--and then mostly in defense and/or outrage at an unfair call or in defense of his players...In virtually every way, the man is in tune with himself, his team, and the flow of whatever "part of The Game" he is involved with at any given moment. And the rest of us--players, fans, his staff, the University in general and the program overall--all are now more and more seeing/feeling the benefits!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    According to some sites, The Gators finished ahead of the defending National Champions Clemson.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    I saw that. I have a theory that there are three conditions necessary for a national championship:
    • Top-15 recruiting + Top-3 coaching
    • Large numbers of upperclassmen
    • Cohesive coaching staff and team
    Clemson won national championships with recruiting classes that finished between 9th and 15th. Alabama won its last couple championships with classes that finished 1st or 2nd. Florida's 2019 team will be comprised of recruiting classes ranked 13, 19, 18, and 9. Mullen's first class in 2018 has an adjusted ranking of 9 when considering transfers.

    Unless Mullen has a new formula for success using lower ranked classes with better coaching (which is certainly possible), the signs point to a 2-year climb into the top using the Dabo Swinney formula.
     
  6. Escambia94

    Escambia94 Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE) Moderator

    I am quoting myself here, because I saw a story hinting that Clemson may have "accidentally" given its players PEDs. Until they are proven guilty, I assume this is fake news. My earlier post about Dabo Swinney is based on my belief that he can build a good team without #1 recruiting rankings.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    First of all, for the very same reasons as you note, PLUS a host of others that have been collecting in my lower-consciousness and simmering over the past few weeks, I too have come to a similar (if more intuitive-based) conclusion: I call it "the wild ride" ahead, but in practical terms I expect it to involve a mostly fun but still somewhat chaotic season coming up in 2019, one that gets us "closer", but lands us short...Followed in 2020 with a more inevitably-seeming (even relentless) march to The Promised Land.
    Now, the good news here longer term is that the aforementioned reasons and conditions (including BOTH an improving, upward trending recruiting picture AND a more favorable scheduling set up) dovetail nicely that season (2020) with team and staff's overall build-up towards Mullen's particular approach to eventually having our program in position to reach and sustain Championship-level success--for some seasons-to-come.
    Saban had HIS plan, somewhat more rigidly formulaic (like the man himself), but undeniably efficient and well-executed. Depends too much on stacking the odds in one's favor and seeing them indeed pay off, though, IMHO...At some point even "BAD luck" begins to build as a possibility--and that'll bite you too. I believe Nick senses that himself: hence the simmering talk more and more surfacing of his possible pending retirement--or at least "moving on" (choose one).
    Speaking of "talk", turning to DABO and his plan for CLEMSON'S "turn" here, well, personally it has been for me once again a more intuitive thing, but I have all along seen their ongoing "popping up" to Championship-level, attaining IT then almost immediately falling off and back to reload, as embodying a pervasive inconsistency of character and follow-through that dooms him and his programs' longterm stability.
    He can get 'em UP there, but he is too much the "Cowboy with a 'LIKE ME!' complex" to keep himself or his charges smoothly operating there.
    Now, I too saw that note about the "performance enhancers", and in this day of mega-trolling and bigtime net-smears, I reserve judgment unless/until I hear more (THAT would be a collossal, self-destructive sudden downfall beyond anything my more counter-evolutionary suspicions mentioned above meant to imply will consistently catch up with him). But one way or another, I find both Bama AND UGA in their respective "fighting/fading" modes during OUR rise more formidable adversaries along the way--always have.
     
  8. Leakfan12

    Leakfan12 VIP Member

    Speaking of which, if Saban does retire, we got to do something to prevent Swinney from coaching Alabama. Start a Go Fund Me page getting money to Clemson, something.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. DRU2012

    DRU2012 Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    I could actually just as easily "AGREE" with your take on this, Lf--but for now I prefer to see the ironic humor inherent in even just the idea of such a move, were it to happen. Were it to even to surface as a possibility!
    There are so many reasons I don't see it: The two programs' respective cultures, so disperate to start with, have by now developed more and more differently in so many ways--as much BECAUSE of the differences in the two men, their personalities and respective approaches, as the circumstances that separately molded them...
    Not to mention the fact that it would pretty well make glaringly mistaken fools of every commentator out there who has been relentlessly, pontificatingly babbling away about them of late. As if THAT'S anything new.
    But of course, then again: There's the MONEY.
    "Changes everything", so they say.
    Goes hand in hand with, "NEVER say 'never' ".
    All in all, though I doubt it--personally I can't help but secretly WELCOME that particular outcome:
    "Let confusion reign, and hilarity ensue!"
    (Anyway, it WOULD ultimately leave us just the one consolidated target to smash to bits eventually in one big game, on one big day.)
     

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