Simmons: Staver has really improved a lot over the past year and it starts with the body. He has gained around 30 pounds and he has gotten a lot stronger. That has helped his velocity, his leg drive when throwing the football, and his ability to stand tall in the pocket. I was able to see him at the Elite 11 tryout in Buford, Ga. and at the NIKE Football Training Camp the next day – He was impressive both days. For me, after meeting Staver in 2011 and seeing him first then, he displayed so much more confidence in 2012. That really helps any prospect elevate his game and that is what Staver has done. He has a lot of upside at quarterback as he continues to develop.
2. Defensive lineman Joey Ivie has a ton of offers after camping everywhere and proving himself, where do you see him fitting in on the field position wise and again, tell us what you know about him. is there anyone you could compare him to?
Simmons: Ivie is a kid I have liked since first seeing him early in 2012. He just has that confidence you like to see, he has that attitude that you like, and he has size and a motor that stands out too. The first thing I see in Ivie is his persistence on the field. He just doesn't stop until the whistle blows. He has the size, strength, and ability to be a strongside defensive end at the seven-technique in a 4-3 defense, but I like him most a little closer to the ball at the five-technique or at the three-technique. He is a kid that can move around depending on the situation and can be effective against the run and get up the field to rush the quarterback. It will be interesting to see how he develops physically.
3. The Gators got off to a good start in 2014 with the commitment of WR Ryeshene Bronson, what makes him such a commodity to take this early in the process for signing day that is 20 months away? Who could you compare him to?
Simmons: Bronson has a lot of raw talent. He is very long and has deceptive speed. He is more of a long strider and he is still developing physically. He is very thin, so he needs to add weight and strength in the coming years, but he can go get the ball, he can make plays in the open field, and he has a very high ceiling. He just needs to work on the little things to really take his game to the next level because he was blessed with the tools to be a very good wide receiver.
Simmons: Florida is definitely in the running for the top wide receiver in Georgia. I am about 90 percent certain at this time that he is leaving the state to play college football and I would say Clemson, Florida, and Notre Dame have the best shot at him right now. He has really worked on his speed and it shows. He is quicker off the ball and he is better down the field. His hands, toughness, and route running have always strong points and they continue to be, but he is just becoming more dominant all the way around. He recently moved up in the rankings and could continue to do so this fall. Florida seems to be high on him and he seems to be high on them, so this is a prospect UF fans want to keep their eye on.
5. Given it is early, can you give five really highly rated prospects in Florida for 2014 and a note about each?
Khairi Clark: "Elite interior defensive lineman that plays with good leverage and power."
Sony Michel: "Premier running back with everything you look for in a featured back on the next level."
Artavis Scott: "A wide receiver that snatches the ball out of the air with good speed."
Chad Thomas: "Still developing physically, but great frame (reminds me of Carlos Dunlap frame at this stage), a lot of raw ability, and high ceiling at defensive end."
Denzel Ware: Very athletic linebacker with length and speed. Plays end now, but outside linebacker in college.