FightinGators.com Recruiting Q&A 8/16

FightinGators.com answers your recruiting questions.

FightinGators.com brings you the answers you posed on the board about Florida football recruiting! 

Q: Offensive line board:

At this moment the Gators have one lineman committed in the 2017 class in three-star tackle Kadeem Telfort. With him in mind here are the others still in the mix: 

http://www.scout.com/player/199984-alex-leatherwood?s=168

Nothing new with Alex Leatherwood, however, UF still is fighting to flip him from Alabama. But in the last few months his actions are not pointing favorably with Florida. He has not visited since the spring game. 

http://www.scout.com/player/200822-navaughn-donaldson

In Navaughn Donaldson's case, things are trending very well with Florida. He visited the Gators for the first time for Friday Night Lights and things certainly picked up. I would say he is now the official number one target for UF in the line. 

http://www.scout.com/player/195395-kai-leon-herbert?s=168

I am placing Kai-Leon Herbert back on the board. Although the four-star offensive tackle committed to Michigan over the Gators, the feeling is he could still consider UF down the line. It also helps that two of his teammates, James Houston IV and Marco Wilson, just pledged to Florida as well.  

Others that hold offers: 

http://www.scout.com/player/193093-tony-gray?s=168

http://www.scout.com/player/198469-cesar-ruiz

No offer but still to watch:

http://www.scout.com/player/205153-cordavien-suggs/analysis?year=2016

Q: It doesn't appear we've offered the big OL from Jax Fletcher. Does that mean we still feel good about the big boys on the OL board, even though they are mostly committed elsewhere?

The Gators did not offer Cordavien Suggs, even after he attended the Gators' satellite camp at Trinity High in Jacksonville, Fla. Suggs did not have the best of time in that satellite camp, and I think is more of a project than the staff wanted in this class. He has the size though, but in the camp I saw he needs to add strength and struggled at pad level. From what I hear, the staff feels confident with their current board. They are still looking at four OLs in this class and have one in place. 

He is committed to Ole Miss presently, however, if an offer from UF were to come, this will change things significantly. 

Q: What is your intel on the DBs, specifically Henderson, Nasirildeen, Stewart and Hunter? Any concerns about Blades visiting elsewhere?

The defensive back board change a bit in the last 24-48 hours. At the moment obviously, Shawn Davis looks to be the next pledge. As far as his friend Miami pledge, Christopher Henderson, I think things still look good there. The four-star athlete told me he wants to take an official to Florida, which bolds well considering he has visited The Swamp plenty of times already. But his recruitment won't be ending anytime in the next two-three weeks. 

Things with Brad Stewart has cooled off since Friday Night Lights. He decided to post pone his commitment. The Gators are still in the mix, however, the longer this stretches the more other schools can make things difficult. Things also don't look good right now with Devon Hunter. Although, Hunter had a great visit at The Swamp and his mom did like the school from what I'm told, sources up north aren't that confident. Virginia Tech has more momentum here and so does Clemson and Alabama. The good thing is this recruitment also won't finish tomorrow. 

Q: Who do you see the Gators adding to the LB Class?

http://www.scout.com/player/197695-rahyme-johnson

I think Rahyme Johnson is one to watch as far as linebackers. He picked up an offer from the Gators after his visit in July and Florida is certainly a leader. 

Q: Why did Stewart postpone? Did he cool on us or did we cool on him?

Brad Stewart just needs more time to ponder his decision. The Gators still want the four-star cornerback and did not and will not cool off. 

Q: Have we cooled on Hansard or is it the other way around?

I think things are certainly cooler with Fred Hansard. I think the Gators were in the driver's seat, but now are also focused on Tyrone Truesdell, who recently visited. Truesdell loved his visit over the weekend and has moved up the Florida board. As far as Hansard goes, Rutgers seems to have the most momentum in the last few days. 

Q: Are we going to strike out with oline or are we going to get some highly ranked guys?

The offensive line is definitely a big worry since the Gators want to add three more to this class, and I think the Gators do have a shot with some of their targets. I think Leatherwood will be hard to flip, however, Donaldson and Herbert are willing to listen. I think those are the guys to watch until signing day. 

Q: What's the likelihood we snag Devon Hunter?

From what info I have been able to gather on Tuesday night, the chances are getting smaller with Hunter. The Gators will remain in the mix until the very end, however, other schools are higher. 

Q: What about the 4 star OL from Navarre Fl?

http://www.scout.com/player/206096-nick-brahms/analysis?year=2016

Nick Brahms, in my opinion, is one of the best lineman in this class, however, some argue he will project as a guard in college. The staff are looking to add tackles. 

Q: Do we have a legit shot with Peoples-Jones? What's going on with Robinson?

I think it's going to be a fight for Donovan Peoples-Jones. Although the wide receiver has had glowing reviews of the Gators, I think Michigan is the clear leader at this point. 

http://www.scout.com/player/181386-donovan-peoples-jones

As far as James Robinson, although he still mentions the Gators, I think there are factors that have made him slip on the board for UF. 

Q: My question is in terms of the recruiting philosophy of our coaches re the o-line. We see the really big name players committing elsewhere. So, are we not recruiting the big name highly ranked kids? Do the coaches want the kids they can develop over time? What is your take on this?

I think the coaches are recruiting the big name highly ranked kids like the Alex Leatherwoods of the world. In my opinion the Gators are not looking for a big project. The coaches understand they need to fill holes in the trenches and need to find the guys that fit their mindset. However, I think the philosophy of this staff has always been not to push kids into committing. In my opinion that is a reason why Herbert did not commit at the spring game. But now Herbert could be in play again for UF. 

The coaches are keeping an eye on a few that would could be considered more projects than others. I could see some more offers coming in the fall especially if the momentum moves away from some of the OLs mentioned above. 

Q: Who is Nord recruiting?

Nord has a hand on all the tight end recruits: Zechariah Byrd and Kemore Gamble were both recruited by Nord, however, Gamble was also recruited by area recruiter Randy Shannon. Tre McKitty and Jimmy Jaggers were also both recruited by the UF assistant. Other names Nord has a hand in are: 

Q: Who is handling OL recruiting?

This is a hard question to answer since it depends on the recruit. Mike Summers has a hand in offensive line recruiting, obviously, however, each coach also helps out with their respective regions with Jim McElwain coming on to help reel in the bigger fish. 

Q: Saw a Tweet that AJ Terrell is committing this week? Any truth? Is it Clemson or can we pull this one out?

Yes, A.J. Terrell is looking at a decision this week, and Clemson is the leader. I think it will be hard to see him choosing Florida at this time. His announcement will happen on Friday. 

Q: Are there any names that purposefully haven't been mentioned publicly that we have a high likelihood of signing?

I have heard a few names tossed around, a few recruits that are committed elsewhere, however, nothing with too much weight at the moment. These things pick up later in the cycle when the staff is looking to close out a few things and a mystery recruit will pop up more and more. 

Q: When can we expect an '18 commit? Was hoping FNL would net us a great in-state player or two.

There are a couple of 2018 recruits that I have a commit watch for a while, so those can happen at any point. Some names to watch are: 4-star OT William Barnes, 3-star TE Judge Culpepper and IMG OT Reuben Unije. I think during the season we can see a few 2018 pledges, it is not to say that there can't be any before, however, there isn't anything indicating that at the moment. 

That's it for this edition! Our mock class will be posted later on Tuesday night/overnight. 


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