Nathan Pickering/courtesy
Top-50 overall DE Nathan Pickering (left) visited Florida last month and met with Gators coach Dan Mullen.

Florida recruiting grill-out about establishing relationships, not landing commits

Zach Abolverdi

We are tackling the best recruiting question supplied by Florida fans each day. If you’d like to submit a question, tweet to Zach Abolverdi here. Check out our question of the day every Monday through Friday. Go here to see our previous answers.

Joshua emails and asks, “Will there be any recruits on commitment watch this weekend at the grill out?”

Every time Florida has a big recruiting weekend for a game or Friday Night Lights, SEC Country highlights any visitors who could be on commitment watch while on campus.

First-year coach Dan Mullen and his staff may land a pledge or two at the inaugural “Great Gator Grill-Out” on Saturday, but that’s not the purpose of the event.

When former coach Urban Meyer was trying to revitalize the Gators football program and gain some traction in recruiting, he came up with Friday Night Lights in his first summer at Florida and the camp was a smashing success.

Coming off a 4-7 season, Mullen is looking to make a similar splash on the recruiting scene with the barbecue. However, he and his assistants will not be pressuring visitors into making a decision. Quite the opposite.

For a new staff that’s still getting to know recruits on the board, this weekend will be a golden opportunity to establish relationships and build a rapport with their inner circle. Baby back ribs and sweet tea should help.

Many of the expected visitors have been to Florida recently for a practice or the spring game, but those trips can be hectic and provide limited time with the coaches because they’re busy with the team.

That will not be the case Saturday. Recruits and their family members will have the full attention of Mullen and his staff for several hours, and those interactions could be impactful.

None of the top targets on Florida’s visitors list are ready to commit right now, so don’t expect anyone to pull the trigger. But when the Gators eventually land some of those recruits, the experience this weekend will have undoubtedly helped.

For answers to our previous Questions of the Day, check out our archives.