It just doesn’t get any more dynamic than what we saw Saturday in The Swamp with a crazy finish and good for the home team. The roar of the crowd was deafening at the beginning of the contest, but hit a new level at the end when the Gators came back to beat the favored Tennessee Volunteers.
With three home games already come and gone and all three resulting in wins, the south end zone was filled with big time high school prospects a lot in the month of September. Those prospects got an eye and earful when in attendance.
“No doubt, there probably is a pretty good impact,” McElwain said of the atmosphere’s effect on recruiting. “I don’t know if the impact is this year or classes coming forward. Getting a little buzz obviously helps you; there is no doubt about it. For us, the Florida Gator brand was strong well before we got here. The energy in that stadium, if you are able to get (prospects) here, obviously they may want to look into a little deeper. That has been a good thing.
In fact several high profile prospects not currently committed to the gators for the class of 2016 have made multiple visits and left impressed with the overall experience.
With the staff being in its first year, one issue that Florida has had to overcome is getting a late start on getting to know the prospects in the current class. They have done a nice job of reaching out, but McElwain says the momentum of recruiting is helped more by a different factor. He believes positive talk from within the program helps generate communication between the staff and future prospects.
“Where that comes from, is maybe what your own kids in the program and organization are feeling. I think they are your best salesmen,” McElwain said. “Time will tell on that obviously. I’ve got to say that I have really enjoyed being around these players. They’ve done a heck of a job of handling a little change and yet really working on their craft.”
So far the buzz is not overly calculable. One big time player in defensive end Antonneous Clayton has come out since the contest Saturday and stated that the Gators are the clear leader for his services. Other than that, the talk has certainly been big and the Gators seemed to have done everything they could have to improve their standing elsewhere.
With the way recruiting has changed over time. Most of the classes are built early and then a lot of the big names commit late for bigger programs like Florida. A crazy game like Saturday won’t necessarily bring on commitments instantaneously like they have done in the past, but it could and will cement a few prospects for doing so in the future.