Recruiting Timetable is Important for Gators

With the sudden departure of Florida head coach Urban Meyer, the football program is left in a quandary in regards to recruiting. A huge visit weekend was coming up and while it won't be canceled entirely, most of the prospects scheduled to appear will likely not be in town. Despite the late vacancy, Athletic director Jeremy Foley understands the importance of recruiting continuity.

The Gators have oral and non-binding public commitments from at least 10 prospects that are scheduled to enroll early in January. The timetable for them is of utmost importance. Coaches are allowed to visit prospects and they can come to campus up until December 17, when all face to face recruiting is shut down for the college bowl period.

The next time these particular prospects can see a coach is when they are ready to enroll in January. With 10 of them on the timeline fence like this, getting something done with a new coach would seem a high priority.

It is, and as much as recruiting is important, finding the right coach is more important. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley understands the importance of recruiting, but he can't let it be a distraction as he looks for a coach.

"Certainly recruiting is affected here, but we're not going to move too fast because we want the right person and with the job Urban left here, we are going to have a large number of candidates," Foley told the media gathered for Meyer's resignation interview session on Wednesday.

Foley went on to give a timetable for a replacement. By actually coming out and saying he should have the job done in the next 18 days or so, he certainly seemed like a guy on a mission and one that has a feeling of where he is headed with the search. One issue he will likely face is seeing a coach that is preparing for a post season play.

"Well you have people who are coaching and I think we always have to be respectful of that and if someone is currently coaching, we have to take that into consideration," Foley said of the possible list. "I think two or two and a half weeks and I don't see any reason why it should take longer than that. I'm confident that we can get this done in two, or two and a half weeks."

If Foley does find a coach and hire him before his post season is over, he won't be in a rush to get him on board and not allow him to coach in the bowl game or postseason.

"Well that's what we went through with Urban," Foley said. "He had a special season (at Utah) and his team was 12-0 and he deserved to coach that game and he coached the Fiesta Bowl that year, so that would not be an issue for us at all. We want to find the right person, but we would want them to leave in good straights and in the right way, so we would have to be respectful of that."

Meyer is trying to do his part in regards to recruiting as well. His departure is just a blip and he expects most prospects to see it that way. In the meantime, he is going to do his part in continuing to sell the program to those that are already looking hard at Florida.

"I talked to a handful of them already," Meyer said of the prospects "I'm going to make a bunch of calls here tonight and tomorrow. Florida is Florida. Florida always will be Florida. Last year with all the issues we put together a great class and great coaches here. I'm sure the coaching candidates will be fantastic; we've just got to get rolling. Obviously with all this early signing, timing is of the essence here. Absolutely I will help."

Getting all the commitments to stick is going to be an almost impossible task at this point. Making a big name hire will go a long way, and getting an explosive hire could open some doors with other recruits.

Whoever it might be, it appears that Jeremy Foley wants to try and make it happen as quickly as possible and still make the right hire.

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