Recruiting 101: Your questions answered

A little over two weeks left and the Florida Gators are trying to fill out their recruiting class with quality athletes all over the roster. Florida just finished their first big recruiting weekend of January and there was some news coming out of it. Our subscribers ask the tough questions and Jason Higdon brings the answers.

1. Could you please give us a breakdown of the WR/slot board?

The wide receiver position and offensive line spots in my opinion have been down at the University of Florida like no other year. These two positions, for me, at the most important positions in this class in terms of getting back to where they used to be. In no particular order you are looking at a few main players such as:

Eric Lauderdale

Isaiah McKenzie

Deiondre Porter

Ermon Lane

Chris Worton

What I really think this is coming down to is Porter and McKenzie as two slot guys or one of those guys and add in Worton.

2. J.C. Jackson firming up is huge. You've always been skeptical on JC... Do you feel good about him now? Lastly, what's the WR finish in your opinion? Lauderdale out and McKenzie in?

I have always been the type of person that believes what people say to me. I have been that way for as long as I can remember. If I loan you money I expect you to approach me about returning the payment. If you invite me over to your house for lunch I expect you to have some food, lol. Those are just a few things I expect to happen and believe will happen. I also understand that in this industry you most proceed with caution at times. If JC is true to his word as he stated he will not step foot back on a another campus. I will believe JC will not visit Miami & Florida State until he actually shows up on either one those two campuses. Florida is not out of it by any means and they might have a trick up their sleeve just yet but these two are important pieces to the puzzle at wide receiver no question. Arizona State and Notre Dame are now VERY real possibilities for each of these two players. The Notre Dame OV for McKenzie the last OV weekend is going to be hard to overcome if he makes that trip. It has gone back and forth as far as him actually visiting and only time will tell.

3. Jason .....are things heating back up with Josh Malone.

There is no way on this earth in my mind you can get that kid away from Tennessee in particular since he signed his LOI already. I expected more from you Heisman J

4. If Lauderdale were to choose Florida, when would he enroll in school? Wouldn't he miss all of spring practice and most of the other workouts before early summer?

I think that sounds about right. I know he is having a great time on his Arizona State visit and they are looking for a wide out to come in and start opposite the guy they have returning from last year. It could all come down to his meeting with OC Mike Norvell which by the time this gets posted will have already happened. You can look it at two ways, regarding his recent announcement he will announce this coming Saturday. Arizona State met with his family in Georgia the first day schools could get back on the road while Florida did not. He was on his Arizona State visit when he announced he would not take his Oregon trip and would announce on Saturday. That could be Florida putting pressure on him saying we need to know now. It could also be what seems more plausible which is he loves it out in Arizona and while he was there decided to announcer sooner than expected. However, Joker is coming to see him on the 21st he thinks it is so this cannot be a case of Florida moving on because they have bigger fish to catch IF they keep that in-home visit. One could also argue the case that if it is Arizona State why would he need to wait all the way until Saturday. He could simply announce for the Sun Devils on his trip and cancel his Florida in home visit.

5. What are you feeling on DE at this point in time. Is Lo Carter slipping away more and more each day or are we still in this race?

I have felt for a while now that Georgia would be the team to beat at the end of the day. I think Florida is in the race going into the last turn but I simply cannot believe they have enough left in the tank to surpass the dawgs at this time. The guy that I am keeping a close watch on as of today is Davon Godchaux

6. Is Ice Harris visiting with his son Treon and if so have you heard how that visit is going for both?

I am not sure who Treon brought with him on this trip but have heard things are trending UF's way in a big way. This is one of those things where you would love to believe all the positive news but it's simply unimaginable to even say. How could Florida land a kid from that area, a kid who also has been a commit of the team that did not lose a game this season and won the BCS National Title? It just doesn't even sound right of seem possible but it is. From everyone that I spoke with or had contact with over the last 48 hours the theme was the same regarding Treon Harris. Watch out for the Gators. This would be a HUGE blow to Florida State in my opinion. Yes, he is shorter than Teddy Bridgewater but then again so was Charlie Ward. Treon Harris, in three year's might be a player that two of the three teams in the state of Florida are REAL sorry they missed out on. Sound familiar?

7. Jason do you see UF forcing any kids out of our class. sure seems roper has put some mojo into UF's recruiting.

Florida is having no troubles on the defensive side of the ball that is a give. Unfortunately, that was not the weak part of the team last year. They have done good on the OL and appears they are not finished. One more OL player in this class with average quality in my mind is a home run OL class. Remember, with OL players MORE than any other position you simply never know. With that in mind if they can land six this season it would be a home run in my opinion. They have done with quarterback Will Grier. I will me in the minority on this possibly but for me, just in my mind, Treon Harris is a much better fit at the QB position than Will Grier in regards to what Coach Roper would like to do on offense. If you added Harris you can chalk up the QB position as a home run as also maybe even a grand slam in my book. I like the three TE class they currently have right now. If Lewis makes the grades he will be a Gator. This really only leaves two spots with both being huge concerns for me personally in the RB/WR positions. I like Powell but he will not be an every down type of runner that UF needs. I like Sousa but see above on Powell. They must land two wide receiver prospects down the stretch that are very good players not average but very good. I am confident they can add another runner to compliment Powell so it all comes down to what WR's can they get in my book. I think it is too late to force players out. If a kid does not make it because of grades that's one thing but to force someone out with two weeks left before NSD is another thing all together.

8. What's your opinion on over signing?

Florida can't over sign players like some other schools do.

9. DO WE TAKE PORTER TOMORROW?

Absolutely they would take Porter.

10. Jeff Jones, thoughts on him? Still a chance or should I take him off my wish list?

It all depends on if he takes his OV to UF over the next two weeks. UF needs to land an above average running back in this class in my mind and he is one of three that UF has been recruiting over the last several weeks. I have heard from numerous people that he will have a hard time making the grades so that might be the issue.

11. after a 4-8m season and the 2 big decommitts I was expecting the worst for this recruiting season-then suddenly boom went boom and we are in the top 5- what is it about our staff's ability to recruit that gets such a stellar class even after such a dismal season

I think they have done fine on the defensive side of the ball. Offense is where they have struggled in my mind a bit. They need RB/WR to round out the offensive side of the ball AND they must land Treon Harris imo. With the style that Roper wants to run I believe he is the most important piece left to this puzzle. They need difference makers on offense to get this thing turned around in the right direction.

12. How many times has Adoree Jackson been on UF's campus that you know of and what's currently the situation with D. Angus and UF?

I believe the only time he was at UF was for FNL when he simply watched and soaked it all in. I can't think of another time he was on the UF campus. I heard that Angus will not qualify. I hate to even mention that kind of stuff because it's hard to truly know but numerous sources have made that clear.

13. If one of the RB's on OV had tried to commit this weekend would the coaches have accepted it?

To my knowledge the only running back on campus this past weekend was Derrell Scott. As far as accepting his commitment that remains to be seen. UF wanted two RB's heading into this class and they have one in theory with Powell on board and enrolled early.

14. With a strong RB class in 2015 do you think UF will settle with one RB in this class and use the scholly for another position, since numbers are so tight? It would probably be easier to sign two top RBs next year if we only brought in one this year. Plus, we could get by with one RB this class already having Taylor, Lane, Powell, MB JR, and if necessary Herndon and Showers as emergency backups. That also doesnt include Matt Jones, unsure of his health/position status as of now. Do you see a chance of bringing in 2 more OL, as long as Prince is one of those two?

I can tell you while your theory is sound the coaches never recruit this way. That is the fastest way to get yourself in trouble. You simply cannot assume for one second that you will land those players in the 2015 class. That is not how any staff works. They have numbers they have set at the beginning of the year and they try and stick with that plan. The plan was two backs and they are still trying to land two backs in this class. Yes, UF could bring in two more OL this year.

15. What is your current projection of who ends up in this class? What do you now feel will be the number of commits?

We need to get through the official visits and see how actually shows up on campus. Clearly, if some big time running back were to make a surprise visit to UF over the next two weeks that would absolutely change my thought process on who is in and who is out. I think we should all keep an eye on Treon Harris and Deiondre Porter moving forward. The numbers tell us that they will take five more players. However, if there is something going on with a few current players that we are not aware of you could see that number grow by that amount. Each season UF falls short of the projected numbers they want or how it appears. Today, it would appear you could see them reach 27 players so for me a safe estimate would be five more players. That is keeping the thought process conservative mind you.


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