“Zach’s Mail Stack” is a weekly mailbag with SEC Country reporter Zach Abolverdi, who has covered Florida recruiting since 2010. This week Abolverdi addresses where the Gators stand with Matt Corral and former receiver commits Jacob Copeland and Ja’Marr Chase.
Where do we stand with matt carrol
— Cameron Copeland (@Ccopel79) December 13, 2017
Abolverdi: The Gators are in good shape with Corral, but they still have some work to do before the early signing period.
He officially visited Ole Miss last weekend and I’m told the Rebels made a strong impression on him and his family. Their staff has been consistent and honest with their recruitment of Corral, and his skill set is better suited for Mississippi’s offense.
Corral is still committed to Florida and that’s where he wants to end up. However, he needs to form a relationship with Gators coach Dan Mullen and quarterback coach Brian Johnson and get a better understanding for how he will be used in their scheme.
Corral’s in-home visit with them was a positive step in that direction, but his trip to UF this weekend could make or break his commitment. He has a bond with the Ole Miss coaches and fits what they do offensively. That must be established with Florida as well.
Hey Zach, assuming Corrall signs what are the chances we get both Chase and Copeland back in the mix? Also can you do a prediction list of guys who you think will sign on the 20th?
— Peter Quinn (@Peter_Quinn1) December 13, 2017
Abolverdi: Should Corral stick with the Gators, that will definitely help them attract more offensive talent.
We’ve already seen the impact he can have as a recruiter. In addition to 4-star wide receivers Jacob Copeland and Ja’Marr Chase, Corral’s commitment in July also helped Florida land 4-star running back Dameon Pierce, 4-star wide receiver Tyquan Thornton and 4-star offensive tackle Richard Gouraige.
With Corral’s pledge up in the air, the Gators haven’t been able to benefit from having him in the class as of late. If he officially signs and get on campus, recruits will have clarity on Florida’s quarterback situation. I think the ship has sailed on Chase, especially if his primary recruiter Tim Skipper doesn’t stay on staff.
But the Gators are still in play for Copeland — with or without Corral. He’s high on Mullen and new wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales, who has already visited him multiple times. The Under Armour All-American will officially visit Tennessee this weekend and the Vols could give Alabama and Florida some competition for Copeland.
To me we have to beef up the line of scrimmage, talk about and OL and DL that may change me on board
— Stephen Wendig (@gatorsteve) December 13, 2017
Abolverdi: There’s no doubt about it. The Gators need to get bigger and stronger up front and they now have new position coaches for both groups.
Florida’s offensive line board is in much better shape. The Gators have commitments from Bleich and Gouraige and they’re considered a top contender for 5-star offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere, 4-star offensive lineman William Barnes and 3-star offensive tackle Jerome Carvin. Junior college transfer Noah Banks will also visit UF this weekend.
Defensive line has been a question mark for Florida throughout the 2018 cycle and it’s an even bigger concern now with Chris Rumph leaving for Tennessee. The Gators got some good news Tuesday when JUCO defensive tackle Noah Jefferson named UF his No. 1 school. He plans to officially visit and fits perfectly into Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme.
Florida is battling Miami for 4-star defensive end Andrew Chatfield and Mullen conducted an in-home visit last weekend with 5-star DE Eyabi Anoma, who is now considering a potential trip to Gainesville.