Fightin' Gators Recruiting 101

The recruiting questions are changing right now for our subscribers. Most are wondering what is going to happen with the 2014 and even 2015 classes given all the doubt of the program these days. Jason Higdon gives his answers to some of the tough questions posed by our subscribers here at FightinGators.com. He does this each and every week and we have it for you.

1. Of Petrino, Rich Rod and Franklin who do you like the best?

Until UF has a head coaching job available it's just speculation at this point. I like your order if something were to become open.

2. Why does Foley think we need a HR hire? How about a good coach that runs a solid program? Does Grier stick regardless??

Why do you think he feels this way? The last two hires he has made (guys with no head coaching exp) would make one feel he is looking for the next soon to be great head coach in my mind. Yes Will Grier will stick regardless at this point.

3. Quick question on quarterbacks. Even before Tyler went down, people were clamoring for the possibility of Staver playing. Of course, we know the story, in that Skyler came in to start the game that Tyler just could not go for. Maybe the change should have happened one game sooner, that is up for debate. Looking back, I'm not sure. But my question goes to the time right after Skyler started, and folks on here were asking you in a thread about why Staver didn't get a chance. He supposedly has a better arm and such, so I've heard. Again, I'd trust what you guys say as far as talent goes. I did look at both of them from HS on YouTube and Staver looked better, at least in my eyes. So when a poster in a thread asked why we wouldn't try to get Staver in against Georgia Southern and hopefully have a better QB against FSU, your response was, "it would be a very very bad idea to do that" My question, is why would it be THAT bad? Or why do you think it would? If Staver is the best then play him. At this point I would be willing to bet that getting a year of separation between Grier and Staver won't happen anyway. Grier plays NEXT year, for whatever coach we have....IMO Object is to win ... Forget EH circle of trust etc.... Just play the best players... Why didn't we in this case?

People used to yell for Tyler Murphy to play over Jeff Driskel and you see how that turned out? It is very clear that the better QB was Jeff Driskel, for me anyway. Sklyer and his performance this season were bad enough that even when Tyler was injured and should not have been playing they stuck with him over a 100% healthy Skyler. Staver is BEHIND Skyler. There is a reason these guys don't play. It's unfortunate the fans must see for themselves before they believe this but it's the truth. Staver is nowhere near ready in terms of reading defenses, blitz schemes or plays. He is not ready and it's as simple as that. It would have been a lot worse had he played Saturday and that's saying something.

4. I've been on the Rich rod bandwagon for over a month now. I just think he would be a good fit for Florida... His offense would be very easy to recruit to and with the athletes that he could get at UF it would be on another level. I think with be coaches, how they fit and style is the most important thing. I never thought Muschamp was the right fit...I just think we need to not stray anymore from our base... Run a spread offense and take advantage of what's in our backyard and get back to UF's national identity.... Scoring lots of points, explosively. I know we don't have an HBC vacancy... But I also think it's "not crazy" to start surmising.

I am not sure what your question is but I can say that I do not believe anyone will disagree with you at this time. I think everything you said makes sense but do not expect UF to be in search for the next Gator head coach anytime soon.

5. Of course just replace Bobby Petrino with everything I just said. He would have made Jeff Driskel and probably Tyler Murphy into AA's. Can you imagine having an awesome QB coach again? RR and Petrino and 2 big time hired that could be had easily imo.

I agree with everything you are saying minus the part about Murphy being a probable AA.

6. a. Who is responsible for QB recruiting? I'm amazed with all the instate talent alone we can't find a kid with a live arm to run our scout team. Even with two young freshman on the roster in Driskel and Brisset is it really that hard to find a kid who can throw it downfield?

Coach Pease recruits the QB position. The simple fact that he was able to get Grier to jump on board when this team has not shown the ability to throw over the last two years is simply remarkable in my mind.

b. What is needed to hold this class together or is it simply impossible at this point?

Some guys are going to go, maybe JC and Dalvin but most of the kids they should retain. At this point there is not much they can do in my mind. The one thing they could do is not an option at this time so no point in talking about it.

c. If Muschamp is retained are we screwing ourselves out of a Gator friendly 15 class?

I think you are going to see some tough times ahead for that 15 class. Clearly the kids who were going to announce for UF early those days are long gone.

d. Do other schools have a recruiting staff? If so why don't we? It would seem to me that during a change in coaches it would be very valuable.

They fired the guy who was in charge of recruiting. It was the right move because the guy should have never been hired in the first place. Yes, other teams have big staffs (some) for recruiting. UF has basically had no one in that position since Tennessee week.

7. In the past several weeks at first the damage control toward recruits was "look we need you" or "you can see if good enough you will play maybe even start." What will the damage control or spin on this most recent loss given our rivals will milk losing to GA Southern to the max and also strongly hint that the assistant coach recruiting you today may not be at UF when you sign...or worse the HBC recruiting you today might not either?

No spin. No damage control. There is nothing anyone can do or say to spin that game in a positive manner to recruits. Seed of doubt is a big deal and I think it will be a huge factor working against UF the next 12 months meaning the 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes.

8. How big of a hit does this class take now and can it be salvaged. How far would it set the program back to have a poor class this year and another poor class next year when we will likely be transitioning to a new coach?

UF is going to see some kids jump ship from this class. Just how many might go or stay is up for grabs at this point. What I can tell is this. If UF has back to back hit miss ratio in 2014 and 2015 as they did in 2011 and 2012 this team will be down for the next 4-5 years. 61% of the players that inked with UF in those two classes have yet to make a significant impact in a positive fashion for the Gators, 61%. 24 of 39 players is what it looks like.

9. What have you heard about booster support for Muschamp and his coaching staff after the Georgia Southern loss? Are we at any risk of losing Grier due to the coaching controversy that seems to be gaining momentum? What insight or comments do you have in regards to the coaching of our kickers this season? It seems that we have the worst kicking we have in years?

Support as you could imagine is mixed right now. As one coach told me after the loss on Sunday, They might fire all of us. No one is safe right now and no one can tell you 100% who is staying or who is leaving. You can assume what will happen and probably based off the last two seasons have a greater than average chance of being right. Grier should be fine in my mind moving forward. I have no explanation for the kicking situation other than a new ST coach maybe? It was such a strength and now it is such a weakness as you pointed out.

10. Who do you think will be the first to jump ship from our commits?

No idea but lots of smoke around JC and Dalvin so I would say keep an eye on those two kids.

11. Who are our Options at head coach if we reboot the program?

That discussion is for when the time is right.

12. Did Foleys 100% and dreaded vote of confidence bound him to WM for next season or will he open up the Rolodex?

You should have a rule of thumb and not just you but any fan. Never and I mean NEVER take what a college or pro coach says during a press conference. Same goes for the owner or the AD, just don't do it. If the right pressure is applied it does not matter what Foley said two weeks ago. Two weeks ago UF was not dominated by Georgia Southern.

13. Are the majority of the commits looking at the situation as UF can use their help or as they want to look around?

The majority is firm at this time.

14. a. How do you see the FSU game playing out (Rout, close to the hilt)? If Winston plays this game will be 52-17 maybe. It will be real ugly real fast.

b. Which recruits will be at the game?

I have a list posted in the boards but this is a few that told me last week they are visiting this coming up Saturday.

Nyles Morgan (14), Lorenzo Carter (14), Jordan Franks (14), Duke Dawson (14), Khairi Clark (14), Will Grier (14), Elkanah Dillon (14), Ryan Sousa (14), CeCe Jefferson (15), Jeffery Holland (15), James Allen (15), Deon Cain (15), Deamonte Jackson (15), T.J. Simmons (15), Shaw Burgess-Becker (15), Tristen Hoge (15), Jordan Woods (16), Feleipe Franks (16)

Not attending: D'Andre Walker, Brandon Sandifer, Dontae Angus, Drew Richmond, Christian Bermudez, Tre Williams, Devonaire Clarington, Christian Alexander, Albert Huggins

c. When,imho, will changes to the FB staff be made?

Within 48 hours after the Florida State game I believe the public will know.

15. Who was at the game (recruits) and who came away disgusted. Christian Alexander was the main prospect at this game (2015) and he was not disgusted, maybe disappointed but understands this team is lacking serious talent.

16. If there is a lesson to be learned from this horrible season, it's that depth is needed at every position. I know Will Grier has been anointed the next great Gator QB, but why wouldn't the staff pursue a guy like John Wolford to compete against/back-up Grier? John has had a super season, 10 touchdowns in last playoff game, and is a "gym-rat" type guy like Conner Shaw and that Georgia QB who was hurt yesterday.

They are very tight on numbers. Jeff has two more years to play at UF. They do not need at 2nd QB in this class in my mind.

17. Jason, I read your post on the other board (what I can tell you) and there is just one piece I cannot figure out. Even if Foley thinks WMC could be successful with a new offensive staff, he has to recognize that no good offensive coordinators are going to come join a lame duck coach, doesn't he? And if he does, how can he possibly keep WMC for another year? Love your thoughts on this.

At times when you make so much sense it becomes confusing LOL. I agree with you. As I have believed for a while things will get worse before they get better at every level of this football program.


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