Zach’s Mail Stack for Florida Gators football recruiting 12/23
The Mail Stack is back!
For any first-time readers, welcome aboard. After a brief hiatus, my editors and I have decided to continue this great feature I’ve been doing since 2011.
I was humbled and overwhelmed by the amount of emails and tweets I received over the past two weeks about the Mail Stack. I didn’t realize how much everyone enjoyed having their recruiting questions answered, and I’m happy that I get to keep doing so.
I want to thank those who have read my work for years and followed me over to SEC Country. I look forward to providing all readers, new and old, with the content you crave.
On to the questions!
Zach, is D’Anfernee McGriff or J.C. Jackson in the loop at all for next year?
(From @timmywhitney, @HowellGator, @StinkMeaner229, @AndrewWheaton6, @scottvaughn81)
McGriff, who attends Jireh Preparatory Academy, tweeted Tuesday that he received the ACT score he needed. That left many Gators fans wondering if the 2015 Florida signee is now UF bound.
That is unclear at this time.
McGriff also needs the required credits in order to enroll. He nor one of his coaches has yet to indicate where things stand on that front.
Also, with Florida tight on numbers, there may not be room for McGriff in this class. He could also be looking at other schools.
There’s just too many unknowns still to be determined. At this time, I don’t anticipate him joining the Gators in 2016.
That goes for Jackson as well. Despite being not found guilty in his robbery case, I’m told the former UF cornerback won’t be rejoining the team.
How do the Gators look for WR recruits?
(From @adambeaugh, @guru1039, @BillTsamis, @njnovo, @aman_hyrams)
Florida currently has three prospects committed at the position — Josh Hammond, Freddie Swain and Rick Wells — as well as junior college athlete Dre Massey, who will be a receiver, scatback and returner.
Three of those four commits have signed with UF and will enroll in January, while Wells is weighing his options. The Gators want to add at least one more wideout, and two if they can.
Nate Craig-Myers of Tampa (Fla.) Catholic is the top target and appeared to be Florida’s to lose during the season. But with him pushing back his Jan. 8 decision date to signing day, he’s now going to use two of his four remaining official visits to go see Auburn and Ole Miss.
Despite those trips and his half-brother, 4-star cornerback Jayvaughn Myers, de-committing from the Gators, there’s still a strong chance he ends up in Gainesville. After Craig-Myers, uncommitted in-state receivers Tre Nixon (Viera) and Binjimen Victor (Coconut Creek) are the most likely options for Florida.
Victor was going to commit to the Gators in June before postponing his decision. Ohio State is now considered his favorite, but he wants to officially visit UF next month. Nixon’s recruitment is expected to come down to Florida and Georgia, at which point he’ll visit both schools and then decide.
UF is also in the mix for Miami commit Sam Bruce of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas and Niceville’s Eli Stove, an Auburn commit. Both have tentative plans to visit Florida in January, but I think they’ll stick with their current commitments.
If you had one guy who was a “must sign” who would that be?
(From @Matt_Peters86, @vhcombs)
This is a great question. Obviously UF has needs at a few positions, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
With a proven commodity in freshman sensation Antonio Callaway and the aforementioned enrollees coming in for spring, receiver is not as big an issue as it’s been in previous years.
Though Florida’s offensive line is still a work in progress, the unit returns 13 players next season and 10 of them will be underclassmen. That’s plenty of depth. Now it’s just about development.
So when I look at who the must-sign guy is for 2016, I have to go with quarterback Feleipe Franks. With Will Grier transferring the Gators had to get an elite passer, regardless of who it was.
Since Tim Tebow, the play has just been dreadful for UF at quarterback, the most important position in all of sports. That void as much as — if not more than — anything is the reason Florida’s offenses have struggled over the last six years.
Like most quarterbacks, Franks will need to time to develop. He should have an opportunity to start as a true freshman because he’s an early enrollee and the position is in shambles right now, but it may be in his best interest to redshirt.
Grier was easily the most important recruit of the 2014 class, and he needed a year to get acclimated before taking the reins. Transfer Luke Del Rio might get the nod next season, but he’s a temporary solution to what’s been a permanent problem for Florida.
The Gators needed to sign their quarterback of the future in this class, and they’re banking on Franks.
Do the Gators have a chance to land Maryland QB commit Dwayne Haskins with Will Grier moving on from the program?
(From @FirebaughCorey, @kyleacross, @GatorCoder, @TriangleGator)
Back in the summer, McElwain and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier were planning to take two quarterbacks in this class. With Grier now gone, they could consider adding a third signal caller for 2016.
Like they did with 5-star Jacob Eason, McElwain and Nussmeier would certainly entertain the prospect of Haskins coming if he indeed wanted to. However, their recruitment of Haskins has been much more involved and drawn out than it was with Eason, and yet they seemingly gained more traction with Eason in weeks than they have with Haskins in months.
McElwain and Nussmeier have each been to see Haskins in Maryland and hosted him on an official visit last month, but he hasn’t given any indication — at least publicly — that his commitment to the Terrapins is in jeopardy. He even tweeted a turtle emoji on the way home from his UF trip.
Maybe the departure of Grier changes things with Haskins, but right now I don’t see him coming. That being said, he’s also not a necessity for Florida with Del Rio, Franks and Kyle Trask in the fold for 2016.
And unless the Gators can get someone like ex-Aggie Kyle Allen or a talented graduate student, I doubt they’ll bring in a transfer QB.