Ack's Insights - May 19, 2004

In this edition of <b>Ack's Insights</b>, I talk about the final week of spring recruiting, the Channing Crowder and Jarvis Herring situation, Gator baseball and more!

This is the final week of recruiting and Ron Zook and his staff will wind up with a lot of "out of state" visits. One state that is loaded with talent is Texas. Florida has ventured into the Longhorn state for talent in the past, but not with the passion of this staff. The Gator name is out and in the minds of top Texas recruits and even the players UF has missed on were tough battles. The Gators will target another crop of youngsters this year with talent in the Houston and Dallas areas of the state. Texas is probably the closest state to Florida for pure speed and athleticism. The key to any season with recruiting is to win your state. If you can do that and hold your own with the top talent in the nearby states of Georgia and Alabama your class will be loaded. UF has done terrific in those states while cherry picking some talent from Texas, Maryland, Ohio and New Jersey.

I think every year the Gators should sign a minimum of 15 prospects of the possible 25 from inside the state of Florida. Some years it could be as high as 18 but never should be lower than the bench mark of 15. With 15 guys per year from Florida that guarantees you that at least 70% of your roster is from Florida and that most guys are less likely to be unhappy when things are not going well for them. Things like playing time, classes and girlfriend are easier to deal with when you can go home for a weekend or see your family.

Snippets and Tidbits...
You are not likely to see Channing Crowder out in Gainesville anytime soon. After getting arrested for disorderly conduct this past weekend at The Palace it is likely that Crowder and his teammates will boycott the popular night spot. But Crowder may be getting some advice on his social life from home and his mother. I hear he is only allowed out in two places -- Atlanta, Georgia to visit home and to wrestle the pigs in Macclenny, Florida. I do think Crowder's charges will be dropped in the future. Depending on what story you believe the Police might have done Crowder a favor by taking him in for disorderly conduct. If he would have gone after and caught his detractor there could have been assault charges and maybe more. Jarvis Herring, who has not been in trouble before, was taken to jail for trying to help Crowder with the police. Crowder is the leader of this team and his teammates would go to bat for him in any situation. If they really want him to be their leader they would make sure he stays away from The Palace. Crowder has a lot at stake for him and his teammates and he has to keep himself out of that situation. I do not think there should be a suspension.

There is almost full participation in summer A workouts and Rob Glass has integrated his summer program. This is the most important phase with the most strength gain obtained during this part of the year. The quarterbacks and receivers will be throwing two to three times per week. One guy who may not appear until July is backup QB Gavin Dickey. Gavin got his first start against Ole Miss in game three on Sunday and had two hits. The word is that he may participate in a summer baseball league. I think this is a prime opportunity for Justin Midgett to continue to develop and learn from Chris Leak. If the Gators can blow out the first two opponents it could be an audition for the backup job between Midgett and Dickey.

Gator Baseball...
The Gators are stuck on 37 wins which was the number a year ago for Pat McMahon. After getting swept by Ole Miss, UF went from first in the SEC outright to sixth. The final series at Tennessee will decide the seeding in the SEC tournament. I have been a big proponent of the mid week FSU series because I think it brings added revenue with big crowds to both schools and will allow UF to attract another big preseason three game set in the future. This season UF may have won the series for the first time since 1998 but their two wins have delivered shocking results. Following the Gators 7-6 extra innings win in game one vs the Noles they were swept by Georgia the next weekend. This past week UF once again won a one run game against their bitter in-state rival and go on to get swept by Mississippi.

Florida leads the SEC with 36 home games this season. UF did not commit an error over the weekend and added three double plays to their season total (61). It is the eighth most ever in school history and six more than all of last year. Conner Falkenbach was a bright spot last week, appearing in three games and improving his total innings to 89.1, the second most in a single season in Gator history. For the Gators to win the SEC East they would need to sweep the Vols and have South Carolina take two out of three at Georgia. For the Gators to claim the SEC Title, the East scenario must happen and Ole Miss must lose two of three to LSU at home and Arkansas must lose at least once to Auburn.

Guys who really need to maximize Summer A workouts and throwing sessions:
Terrence Holmes - Take the confidence from the spring and return a starter.
*Steve Rissler - Build on the strong spring to catapult yourself into the top six in the rotation.
*Chad Jackson - Watch film on his own time and sharpen the offensive knowledge.
*Justin Midgett - Get the physical repetitions of throwing with receivers and study tape.
*David Kenner - Finished strong in spring; build with solid weight room sessions.
*Mo Mitchell - Continue to work on conditioning and commit to the program.
*Reynaldo Hill - He could add some strength in the weight room to fill his growing confidence.
*Travis Harris - Veteran who could help players by leading and also improving quickness.
*Carlton Medder - If he wants to be an option at tackle he must continue to work hard.
*Jarvis Moss - If he is going to add weight, it would have to be now
*Steven Harris - Naturally strong; needs to continue to work upper body.

Stat of the Week: 1. The number of interceptions Chris Leak threw last season against this season's top four opponents: Tennessee, LSU, Georgia and FSU. Leak's one interception was against Tennessee and he finished 62-101 with 5 touchdowns against this group.

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