Recruiting 101: Your questions answered

It is Monday, so that means another round of questions from our subscribers here at Fightin' Gators on all things recruiting and answers from recruiting analyst Jason Higdon. Come on in to check out the latest version of "Recruiting 101".

1. Why do you feel Dalvin Cook will sign with the Gators?

He has been committed to Florida for the better part of six months and over that time he has built a great relationship with his primary recruiter Travaris Robinson. His teammate, wide receiver Devante Phillips is also committed to the Gators. He has some close friends that are committed to Florida. Possession is 9/10 of the law and I think some of that to a degree applies with Dalvin Cook. The Gator coaching staff is not worried in the least about Dalvin Cook, not at all. They are well aware of everything going on with Cook and the Noles and Canes and are not flinching in the least. They have things going on that people are not aware of, they have no clue and might never know this entire story.

Yes, I understand that if you read the things he says there is really no way around it you can't feel good about what's going on with Dalvin Cook at this time. This one simply needs to run its course and we will see what happens in the next few weeks. Really no way around it, either the UF staff has done the most tremendous recruiting job possible or they are the most naïve staff around. Especially not announcing the offensive coordinator position seemingly while Cook & others are in limbo right now.

2. Why would a coaching staff encourage a recruit to play games or lead other schools on? It seems like the Fowler situation was very well orchestrated by WM and some are indicating that the same thing may be going on now with Dalvin Cook. I just wonder what the end game is with this practice. The easy answer is to cause the competition to miss out on other players but there has to be more to it than that.

Make no mistake about it no coach encourages a committed kid to play games with another school. No head coach encourages committed kids to take trips to arch rival schools. No one does that. This is more drama for the fans and let's face it, it sounds good. Everyone loves to believe their head coach is purposely playing games with the in state team they all love to hate. It just does not happen on the scale fans like to think it does. Now, having said that, lot of kids play games with other schools. The only real issue with this scenario is this. The school that gets played is the school that the kid is already committed to, as was the case with Dante Fowler. Once you have them committed you would NEVER do anything to have them think about any other school than your own.

Will Muschamp did not orchestrate anything with Dante Fowler. Dante, got caught up in the emotion with Florida State with the situation going on at Florida. Jimbo let Florida back in the door because they did not give him the attention they should have been giving him. Yes, Fowler was silently committed to Florida for a LONG time while he was a public commit for the Seminoles. He chose not to flip until NSD so he did not have to hear anything from the Nole coaching staff. That is the only reason he waited until NSD. Which people will make the EXACT same case for Cook waiting until the UA game because right after the game he will enroll. To answer your question no coach does this kind of stuff on purpose.

3. Who do you think will be the 5th OL we take? I'm assuming we would take a 5th with the departure of 3 OL after player evaluations.

I really like what they have done on the offensive line. They needed five to six offensive line players (that was the goal prior to this recruiting season) and they are right on target to get hit the mark. Currently they have David Sharpe, Nolan Kelleher, Dontae Angus and Travaris Dorsey. Right now all the talk seems to center around Derrick Kelly for a potential 5th OL. If a few more things were to work out you could potentially see Bryan start on the offensive side of the ball as well meaning that any additional OL added at this time would be No. 6. I do not believe that to be the case however. Also, keep an eye out for the kid that has yet to be discussed. This is typically the time of year a new name or two pops up on the board.

4. With Lane and Sousa as WR commits, how do you see WR finishing up for us? Do you think we go to 4 WRs?

Let's try and take a look at the numbers right now to see where we are with the current class. Today, Florida has 18 verbal commitments. If four kids are going to be EE which they should, UF could go as high as 29 possibly? In this scenario, yes they could easily sign four wide receivers and still have no problem with the rest of the position players they are trying to get. Things were heating up pretty good with UF and Charles Nelson but as quickly as it happened we saw the change at the offensive coordinator position. The main three players are Lane, Sousa and Lauderdale.

They have room for a fourth wide out and some felt it would be Adoree Jackson but they are selling him on playing cornerback. They are also still trying very hard to get in with Travis Rudolph. Things have not gone well with him for a long time and now you have no OC and things are better? I think they would absolutely need to have a grand slam type of a hire to get back in the mix with Rudolph.

5. I believe you said Jamal Adams was a UF/Texas battle w LSU running third. Obviously there's no guarantees in recruiting, but you feel more comfortable saying Adams to UF since he eliminated Texas after Brown's resignation? Or would you say LSU is right there with UF? When is Adams supposed to announce?

It has always been a UF/Texas battle. Do not let anyone try and convince you otherwise. What happened was over time LSU started to put the full court press on Adoree & Dwight Williams. Some other players that LSU already has committed started working him very hard and the dream team DB class talk started. LSU made up big time ground all in the last month. When kids become close and start talking about going to the same school stranger things have happened. In this case, I have said for a LONG time Jamal Adams is the kid they must hit on. Perception in recruiting IS reality and the reality of the situation is this kid has been a Gator for a long time. Not only that but the other kids in the class expect it and if it does not happen that will be a very big deal in my opinion. I do not know if he can hold out until NSD or not. I would not be surprised if he announced at the all star game.

6. What's your thoughts/chances with Holley and Malik McDowell?

Much better chances with Thomas than Malik. Malik will at the end of the day probably stay in-state. Thomas could as well but the consensus has been Gators trending up in a big way and anytime a kid announces during the dead period it makes it easier to deal with the home town team you spurned.

7. We seem to be on a TE run with the addition of Goolsby and Stephens(assuming he comes in at TE), to Lewis. Do you see Lewis staying in this class? If so, would we have room for Franks?

With Lewis it all depends on his grades. Was it a power play to try and land Bo? I do not think it would be wise for me to go around talking like that. He was the life of the party during his official visit. All the other kids loved him, very outgoing and very funny. Everyone mentioned he was the funniest person to be around. They clearly are ready and willing to take three tight end prospects because they have three currently. What does that tell us? It tells us that if something happens with Lewis (Grades or other) they clearly could take E. Dillon or a guy like Jordan Franks. Some feel that Franks is more of a wide out than a tight end.

8. Is there a chance that Artavis Scott will change from Clemson or is he solid for them?

Artavis Scott told me on Sunday he is done taking trips. I would think only an act of God could see him end up with the Gators at this time.

9. You originally thought UF needed to hire an OC pretty quickly. Since it has not happened do you think what's going on behind the scenes is good or a mess?

It's not good no matter how you slice it. No one can tell you any different. It is never good when you do not have a full staff out recruiting. Not only do they not have the OC but they do not have the OL coach as well. Now, some will combat this by saying, UF has landed an OL and WR in the absence of these two coaches. While they are correct you still have big time players waiting and anticipating who these two coaches will be.

Each day that passes you are losing ground with not only some of the 2014 players but more importantly the players in 2015. There might be a viable reason they can't announce who the OC/OL coaches are but there is nothing positive coming from not having these guys in place and out recruiting. The quicker they can get this done the better off they will be in my opinion.

Anytime you are not at full strength things are going to be missed and that is exactly what's happening right now with Florida.

10. Could you list Gator commits and prospects that plans on playing at the under armor and Army game?

It's a shame that Will Grier is going to the AA game this year. The UA game absolutely blows the AA game away with about as three times as many commits/prospects. It's unfortunate Grier will be in Texas. All I did for the record was Google each roster.

UA Game: In order of how ESPN has them ranked:

Adoree Jackson

Speedy Noil

Lorenzo Carter

Jalen Tabor

Dalvin Cook (UF)

Bo Scarborough

Jamal Adams

Lorenzo Featherston

Ermon Lane (UF)

Gerald Willis

Travis Rudolph

J.C. Jackson (UF)

Tre Williams

Thomas Holley

Quincy Wilson (UF)

In San Antonio the field is very small this year:

Khairi Clark (UF)

Clifton Garrett

Will Grier (UF)

Chris Lammons (UF)

Malik McDowell

David Sharpe (UF)

Jordan Sims

11. All talk so far has been on the OC but what about the OL coach and who will choose him, WM or the new OC?

If you believe that Florida has an offensive coordinator in place and simply can't announce it for whatever reason it could be up for debate. I was told today (Sunday 12:45pm) that the offensive line coach is Searels from Texas. That sounds like a Will Muschamp hire in my mind. If the OC has been hired I guess he could have made this hire for Searels if he is indeed the guy. The best scenario is to have the OC hire the OL coach. In this case that is still up for debate because we do not entirely know who made the hire. The last thing you want is the OL coach to be someone the OC has not picked or signed off on.

12. WHAT are our choices at LB, are we still looking at Dwight Williams? Who left is on the board?

Dwight Williams is not an option for the Gators. They have not looked in that direction in some time. For a while they were and his name was being mentioned but some not so nice reports on him coming from the West coast, some red flag type stuff. I think Florida would be fine without landing a LB in this class. The kid that I think could have the best chance of finding his way in would be Willie Harvey. If the Gators decide to go in that direction. I also know of a linebacker that they will offer a preferred walk on spot to it appears, however that is not set in stone just yet.

13. How you feeling about Jamal Adams?

I feel the same really. He should end up a Gator. Please see No. 5 above.

14. Would it be possible to have the chat posted on line since we cannot get into it?

These intro pieces are the main topics in chat. Based off my answers people ask follow up questions. If you have follow up questions and cannot access the chat please leave them in this thread and I will answer them as soon as I see them.

15. What is the ace in the mention for Cook and Lane?

It is something that I care not to talk about at this time, when things are over I will tell you. It might get out (ONE OF THE REASONS) prior to him enrolling at school but it will not come from me and the other reason I know will not get out no matter what. I simply can't break the trust of the kids, coaches, parents or whoever I am getting these things from. For the record, I never said ace in the hole pertaining to Ermon Lane.

16. Care to give us your rank in order for UFs chances at DE w Willis, Carter, and Featherston?

I would rank them in order from most to least likely like this, Featherston, Willis and Carter. I put Carter last because I believe he goes to Georgia. Featherston could easily end up at Clemson or some other school. Willis could easily end up at LSU but UF is in the game with all three at this time but may need some help.

17. Any chance of adding a late, second QB with the departure of Murphy? Or we going to ride out Driskel and Grier and hope we don't ever reach Mornhiweg?

I was told they are fine at the quarterback position. Let's revisit this around mid January and go from there.

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