Recruiting 101: Your Questions Answered

Once again recruiting analyst Jason Higdon takes recruiting questions from our subscribers and answers them as thoroughly as possible. It is a paramount time in Florida recruiting and it is on the big stage at Florida right now. Check out the questions and answers inside and then come to our message board to talk about it.

1. Who do you feel is a must get recruit of the players who are not committed? I think AJ.

I would agree with you 100%. It is a VERY difficult choice for me because Florida has some great great players left on the board. Guys like Lorenzo Carter, Jalen Tabor, Jamal Adams and Eric Lauderdale are very important pieces to the puzzle in my mind. Having said that I do not see a player that can change a game in SO many different ways as Adoree Jackson can. I really do believe he is the one player that can instantly impact your team in a variety of ways so he would get my vote as well.

2. Who do you think will be the OC?

I have said for a while that I believe I would take the field over any of the guys being mentioned. If I was forced to pick a guy from the ones mentioned I would go with Mike N. of the common names being thrown around.

3. Gerald Willis. A couple of weeks ago you had him in the class-now I see no reference to him. LSU?

I will try and make it short and sweet with GW. I am not sure what to believe with him right now but I was told as late as last night he was 60/40 UF at this time which I think at least means you are in the game and at this point that's all you can ask for. These coaches ARE selling playing time in a major way at that spot, that is very clear and it seems they are getting interest in return because of that simple fact.

4. If we keep everyone we have and pick up Lauderdale, Sousa, and a couple more OL, based on talent alone, who on offense do you think could start or play major minutes next year? Assuming they practice hard, work out hard, pick up the play book, and do well with academics?

I think the wide receiver position has immediate playing time next season. This year it was basically dominated by Patton, Burton and Q. Sure, there is talk that Q could bolt, who knows if he will or not. If he does, it will be wide open. Even if he does return who else on that team has caught more than ten passes in their UF career? Fulwood, Robinson, Bailey, Thompson, Hawkins and Latroy Pittman. They have accomplished very very little as a collective group, almost nothing. Lauderdale, Lane and Sousa I believe would have immediate opportunities to play. This season it was a little different with seniors Trey Burton and Solomon Patton. UF does not have that next year in my opinion even with Dunbar deciding to return, if that's what he decides.

5. Do you think WM will have little say so in our new OC's implementing a new philosophy for our offense?

I think it will be the exact opposite. He is the head coach and in my mind he will have lots of input. There are two reasons I feel this way. Now, I am not saying this did happen or didn't first of all let's be clear about that but let's talk about two scenario's for a moment. They are based off the million dollar question since his arrival in Gainesville. Does he have his finger on the throat of the OC? Lets for a moment suggest that he does and has the last three years. If that is the case it tells me it's in his soul, core and character. He is the head coach and he IS going to have say as to what kind of system is being run under his watch. Now, on the other hand let's assume for a moment he has turned over the offense to both Weis and Pease. Let's assume that he is a defensive guy and has stayed away from the offense and let both of the last two OC's the ability to scheme and play call as they see fit.

To me it does not matter which one of the above scenarios you believe to be factual if they are indeed at all. No matter what you believe has been the case over the first three seasons the result to me is very simple heading into next season. He will be very hands on with this offense from top to bottom. If you believe he has done if for three seasons then why wouldn't he do it next year? If you believe he has not done it AND they are in this position he most clearly will not stand down and watch another OC come in and not get the job done for the 4th consecutive season he has been the head coach.

If you believe your job is on the line, and I am talking to all of you, what would you do? Would you stand down and trust your future as the head coach of the Florida Gators to someone else? Someone you might not even know that well? I think he will be very hands on because his job depends on it. Some might suggest for that same reason he will simply turn the keys over to someone else but I do not believe that is the more realistic scenario.

6. How do you feel about playing freshman right off the bat?

I love the idea of playing True FR. at lots of positions. I have a great friend of mine that played in the NFL for 22 years on the OL. Think about that for a second, 22 years on the OL in the NFL. He tells me all the time and I am sure most of you have heard this before, the closer you play to the ball the harder it is to play early. The farther away you play from the ball the easier it is to play early. With that in mind I would think DB's, WR's and RB's are the players you see all across college football that do make impacts as true FR. Sure there is the exception to everything but for the most part this theory holds true at most levels of football.

The other thing is with kids jumping to the league as soon as they can you only have them for three year's now a days if they are above average players. With that in mind it does not help you to RS them and have them play two seasons to only leave so you might as well try and get them on the field from the jump.

7. If we miss on Carter and Featherston do you see us hitting the JUCO ranks for a DE or do we wait until next year. It looks like we are trailing for Carter and have heard we are either running in second or third for Featherston.

I think UF might be behind for LC right now but they feel they are in the game with him. I believe they felt better about him two months ago and now four to five trips to Athens later and things clearly seem to have turned somewhat that direction. I think you have a better chance to grab Featherston as it stands today and I believe I will have a much better feel on that situation really really soon. JuCo is not out of the question but they still have other HS DL they are working. I think lots of things are still TBD at that spot.

8. How does this affect Adoree? I thought one of the main interests AJ had with UF is that they were recruiting him as a WR, to go along with the track program. Is UF selling him on playing both ways? Do you feel this will negatively affect UF's chances to sign him if they want him at CB?

If you had a chance to come to UF and have the same kind of impact that VHIII has had in the secondary how would you feel? I believe that AJ feels he can come in and do what little V did for the UF defense. Who wouldn't be excited about that opportunity?

9. Are you talking about the main guys for the OC search? So you don't think it will be Helton or Norvell?

I am talking about all the obvious choices for OC yes. As I said above IF forced to pick who it would be I would lean to Mike N. if you had a gun to my head. I think the next few days will tell us more than what many think.

10. Is the delay in naming an OL coach affecting or delaying Sharpe's decision?

No it is not, not at all. Not from what I am being told.

11. How is the delay in naming the OC and/or OL affecting recruiting?

I think it's one of those things that have not entirely hurt you but it certainly is not helping you. They could create some buzz, lots of buzz and excitement heading into this off season with simply the right hire. This is a BIG deal make no mistake about it. UF has all kinds of players right now that seemingly are on the fence right now and you have no OC in place. This needs to get done imo and the sooner the better.

12. Do we have issues with our coaches ability to evaluate talent.

I would turn this around on you my friend. I am not saying either way mind you but you think about this team over the last three seasons from where players were when they arrived and where they are currently. You tell me what you think?

13. Jason, do you still feel Sharpe will be a Gator, I am hearing a lot of noise from him and Tenn?

From everything that everyone has said to me he should be a Gator. If he ends up a Vol it will be a big blow.

14. How do you feel about L. Carter? If not him, who at DE?

I mentioned this above but I feel UGA is the team to beat for LC just based off his actions. After him its Lorenzo Featherston. I think that situation will be cleared pretty soon in regards to where UF stands for him.

15. If Sharpe commits, would you expect an OL spot to be held for Sims and/or a JUCO OL? Or are numbers too thin and it's one more OL to finish the position?

I think they can squeeze two more in if they REALLY want to try and do that.

16. Jason, what's the latest on Lane? His twitter chat with Amari Cooper is interesting. If you are solid to UF, why not just go ahead and say you are solid?

Drama man. They all say they don't want the drama but they love the attention. They love to be put up on that pedestal. They love to have some of the biggest names in CFB after them on a daily basis. Do not kid yourself most of these kids (not all) love the attention and drama that comes with it. It would be REAL easy to squash all the dram and have it all ease up, real easy. One story putting an end to all of it would do the trick, yet they never do that.

17. With Jackson, Lammons and Dawson already committed, do we have a legitimate shot at Tabor?

I made a separate post about this last night in the boards, In the recruiting board called Jalen Tabor: My Take: In case you missed it I will include in this as well.

The Skinny:

Jalen Tabor finally made his official visit, it was a short trip. He arrived Saturday morning and left at noon on Sunday. This deal is pretty simple in the fact that it's down to three teams with Alabama, Florida and Maryland.

You can make a strong case for any of the three teams above.

Maryland is the team closest to home and the school he has visited the most. I would imagine he has visited Maryland more than UF/Alabama combined. Not only that but lots of his close friends either go to Maryland or will end up at Maryland. That is a tough place to pull kids from as all UF fans are well aware with the Stefon Diggs recent recruitment still fresh in Florida fans minds.

A couple of things are in play with Tabor and his family. First of all he has always been a big Gator fan who loves T-Rob. He does see immediate playing time available. Even if Roberson comes back giving UF a real strong one two punch there is not much left at the corner spot after those two. Tabor, like most with his skill set is not overly worried about those in his own class.

Anytime you go head to head with Saban for a prospect, let alone a defensive player it becomes a very risky proposition to say the least. Now, factor in where he is from and the Maryland factor and this becomes a Gator fans worst fears. Kind of like if Urban/OSU played FSU for the BCS National title.

Florida also has the weather. When he left today he was in shorts/t-shirt. His family absolutely LOVED the warm weather and has always talked about one day relocating to the state of Florida. What a better time to move if you are the Tabor family? The trip went great for all parties involved but at the end of the day this still might be an uphill battle even with how much he loves T-Rob. Roberson will be an important key in my mind and Tabor told me that if Robo went pro that would "change" things for him. That clearly means one thing, Roberson would need to go pro for his mind to change. So going in his mind was elsewhere. Did he see/hear enough to change it totally to the Gators, that we will all know in January. Some that he spent time with this weekend told me they think at the end of the day they will be a bit surprised if he does not stay home, close to home with the Terps.

Fightin Gators Top Stories