Kan Li / Scout

This was supposed to be the slow week in Gator land

So I planned a little getaway for my family and I after basketball season was over and after the spring football scrimmage was over as well. The midweek happened to coincide with the kid’s spring break and most chance of big news should have been put on hold at least until I got back… or maybe not.

Not that it matters I guess, but I know better than to think that way. We all have to take a little time, some time with the family, etc. and unwind. But in this business you try and schedule around things and sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

Anyway, I am back, so let’s discuss the many big ticket news items that popped up while I was away and my thoughts.

 

McCoy and the scooter accident…

Talk about a huge scare, more for him than anything we should really worry about. Sophomore center T.J. McCoy was struck by a drunk driver in the early morning hours of Friday while riding a scooter with his girlfriend. The great news is that nobody looks to be terribly injured to where a quick recovery isn’t expected.

https://twitter.com/Iamtjmccoy/status/853267169181921280

The driver of the car was arrested and booked on DUI and fleeing the scene. The driver also seems to be okay.

As for scooters, we have been around our fair share of Gator athletes being injured on scooters. They are somewhat of a necessary evil in Gainesville, especially for athletes with such time consuming schedules that need to be able to get to places on campus in a timely manner. Not much we can do about that.

As far as how it could have affected the season? That is last on the importance list give what happened, but while there are other options at center, McCoy has been through some big battles and played well. On unit that is still seeking depth and production, he would be tough to miss for any amount of time.

I know we are all thankful for his health, but also thankful that this didn’t set the Gator offensive line back a bit.

Justus Reed plans to head elsewhere…

Well, I just posted last week that defensive end is the deepest position on the Florida roster. With Justus Reed deciding he is going to take his talents elsewhere. That puts a little dent in the numbers, but the position still remains the deepest on the team.

It is disappointing in the sense that Reed has made some plays in his time at Florida and barring injury may have had a real chance to produce. On a line that is full of younger, but talented players, Reed was an older one that has played in some big spots over time.

However, what they were going to get out of Reed in 2017 was a big question mark, so we really don’t know what will be missed.

All we can do is wish the young man good luck and know that there are guys that will benefit from the extra time on the field that he now afforded them.

Iverson Clement commits…

Jim McElwain and the crew were 4-for-4 in their first two years of recruiting running backs at Florida. All four of Jordan Scarlett, Jordan Cronkrite, Mark Thompson, and Lamical Perine can play at the SEC level and have produced some big moments for the Gators in the last two years.

Cronkrite has since moved on to USF and the Gators will add two more freshmen in June that they are excited about, but they are equally as excited to add 4-star RB Iverson Clement who committed to the staff on Thursday.

http://www.scout.com/player/201504-iverson-clement?s=168

Scout’s Brian Dohn tells us all about Clement HERE, but it appears that the staff is trying to be more versatile in the type of back they are getting and we will have to see how well running back coach Ja’Juan Seider does with his selection at the position.

With Thompson graduating after the season and a possibility of Scarlett moving on to the professional ranks, the Gators would like to sign a second back in the class. Their attention now seems to be squarely on Alabama 4-star runner Asa Martin.

Hard being an athlete sometimes…

Caleb Brantley got mixed up in something that he certainly had no want or desire to be a part of. An altercation with a female who hit Brantley in the face because he supposedly wouldn’t sleep with her turned into a little ruckus with 25 people involved and the woman bloodied from someone else.

I wasn’t there and don’t know any specifics, but we make a big deal about how some athletes and celebrities are catered to all the time, and sometimes the opposite is true, they need a little bit of their own privacy and the ability to just be a normal person.

Kudos to Brantley for evidently not getting involved physically at all in the incident.

 

NCAA votes to add a 10th assistant…

The NCAA has followed through and will now allow football programs to hire a 10th assistant coach. Hats off to the NCAA for not doing this in the summer and instead doing it when most of the other assistant positions are being filled in early to mid-January. The first allowable date for the 10th assistant is January 9.

My biggest concern for when this happens is just the craziness involved for every school to hire an assistant. 120+ job openings at the same time is a ton and doing that at this time or over the next couple of months would cause a great upheaval as teams are really preparing for the season.

Now the madness will be even crazier with all of the other job moves, but at least it will get done before teams are set to get ready for the season.

The next thing they need to do is move signing day back 2-3 weeks so most of the coaching changes occur before signing day.

Early signing period…

Maybe the change in philosophy on the part of the Florida staff to be more aggressive was partly or mostly due to the early signing day that the NCAA just announced. Prospects are now allowed to sign in December, the same day as junior college prospects. Given the old way of seemingly waiting until January to really push, Florida may have been left without even a chance to recruit a lot of their top prospects. Their recent transition into a more aggressive approach has netted a few commitments over the last couple of weeks and it looks like that will continue.

I can see this being a great move for both the schools and the prospects.  If a prospect is worried that a school may dump them, they can push for the early signing period and if the school doesn’t want to do it… that would be a sure sign.

The schools can also treat it the same way. If they have a question on the loyalty of a prospect and the prospect isn’t willing to sign in December, then they can choose to move on.

 

Satellite camps addressed…

No more satellite camps that are not on college campuses. A school cannot host a satellite camp away from their home school unless it is at a place that the program already utilizes.  However, if Jim Harbaugh and his staff wish to travel to coach at FAU with Lane Kiffin and his staff, that is allowable.

Also they got rid of a silly rule about not being able to talk recruiting at camps. It’s just an unenforceable and outdated rule. Now kids and coaches at the schools can talk and I imagine offer kids while they are camping at a school.

Gator Basketball was busy too…

Devin Robinson declared for the NBA Draft on Thursday. We have seen what kind of tools Robinson has when he is on. If he can be more consistent he can be a long time player in the league. Good luck to Robinson and a move that wasn’t a real surprise.

One surprise to me was the fact that Eric Hester decided to transfer. One of the knocks on Hester when he arrived was his shooting, but he showed in a couple of games that he can light it up when on including one 5-for-5 effort in a game.  He’s long and quick, just the type of guard that Mike White is looking for with his team. But alas, he has decided to transfer.

Hester on his way out and Mike White made the move and landed guard MIchael Okauru . Scout’s Brian Snow breaks down Okauru HERE. Okauru signed on Wednesday and joins DeAundrae Ballard, Chase Johnson, ad Isaiah Stokes in the 2017 class.

 


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