As Jim McElwain tries to rebuild Florida football into a championship program, one of his mottos is “recruit daily or die.” Join us here on SEC Country for a daily recap of the latest UF recruiting news, tales from the trail and perspective on what it all means for the Gators.
Shannon discusses recruiting
Randy Shannon built his reputation on the recruiting and coaching success of his defensive players at Miami.
He served as the Hurricanes’ coordinator from 2001-06 and fielded a top-10 unit in five of those six years.
Surprisingly, that production was not the result of assembling a ton of 5-star talent.
“Here’s the thing people don’t realize — those guys weren’t highly recruited,” Shannon said. “Edward Reed was talented, but I think we had Tulane we had to beat. Then you start looking at William Joseph, I recruited him and we had nobody to beat. He was out of Miami Edison. He went first round.
“You’ve got Jon Vilma, I think it was maybe N.C. State. There weren’t a lot of guys highly recruited, but those guys had the mentality. Now we’ve got some guys who have that mentality and mindset here at Florida, but now we’ve just got to take it to the next step.”
Shannon has signed a total of nine linebackers since he’s been at UF, and all but one of them (Jeremiah Moon) were 3- or 2-star recruits. However, a trio of freshmen showed promise last season in Kylan Johnson, Vosean Joseph and David Reese, who finished the year with 49 tackles and was named a Freshman All-American.
“You don’t try to look at stars,” Shannon said. “I look at a guy who plays with a lot of high motor, that has a lot of fast-twitch muscles in him and plays the game and loves the game. If you can find guys like that all the time, you’ll be successful. … All the years I was at Miami, that’s what we developed. You’ve got to have confidence that if you find a guy that fits what you do and brings something to the table, you coach him, he’s going to be a great player.
“But if you’re always looking for a finished product out of high school, then you’re going to be just a guy as a coach, a guy who can’t develop. And then if he doesn’t develop, now you’re just looking at a guy that’s a 5-star guy who’s probably disgruntled, upset and mad he’s not playing.”
Shannon has led the Gators’ recruiting push in South Florida, landing a total of 23 recruits from the talent-rich region over the last two years. The 10 South Florida signees UF had in the Class of 2017 were the most in school history.
“Even my years in Miami we always had struggles with Florida in recruiting. I know I did personally,” Shannon recalled. “A lot of guys that I’ve known, that I’ve raised… some of the guys I went to school with, their little brothers. You know Marquand Manuel, me and his brother grew up together, but Manuel came to Florida.”
Gators offer 4-star safety
A new offer is out from the Florida coaching staff.
Josh Proctor, a 4-star safety from Owasso, Okla., visited UF on Friday and was offered during his trip. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Proctor is ranked the nation’s No. 7 safety, according to the 247Sports Composite.
— Josh™? (@jproctor_2018) March 17, 2017
The Gators also hosted 4-star offensive guard Curtis Dunlap (IMG Academy) and 4-star running back Asa Marton (Decatur, Ala.) on campus Friday.
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