ASK ACK: Questions and Answers on UF football

Here is this week's installment of Ask Ack, where former Gator football player Brady Ackerman, now a radio personality and Sun Sports TV analyst, answers your questions about the Florida Gators. Ask Ack is a weekly feature of GatorCountry.com throughout the football season.

Brady: Do you think that when Urban Meyer's offensive line will work with new players next season?

I am not of the belief that losing four seniors means doom and gloom for UF's offensive line. Sometimes when you have older guys who have been through the wars they are like the old dog that's hard to teach new tricks. With a new front basically all in Meyer's system for a year they have only developed "Meyer-nuances" which should help them get better quicker. I know some of the guys were recruited by Zook but this group is young and has spent a year learning the system and should be okay coming out of spring. The biggest key will be center and the line calls made up front.

Ack: Did Florida have a realistic chance of hiring Spurrier? I ask because rumors are that his intentions were to coach North Carolina and that Holtz swayed him to South Carolina before Florida could react. Another is that Foley did not want the Florida program's success to be entirely dependant on Spurrier, and then there is the thought that Foley and Spurrier did not get along. Is any of this true? Thanks in advance. Miami Gator

No comment. Just kidding, I think Urban Meyer was the first choice of Florida all along and they really did not want to cross the bridge with an ex-coach. It has worked out best for both sides.

Ack: Everyone is scared of this question. Why on earth was Gavin Dickey not kept at quarterback? This offense is ideal for him. You usually give an in depth analysis of interesting questions. Give this a whirl. G8tr2G8tr

I think they missed on Gavin Dickey at receiver. He should be at safety in the spring. Meyer does not want a "part-time" quarterback and even though Dickey could have probably run the ball pretty well he was not that accurate of a passer. Gavin's a good kid and I think they should put him at safety.

Brady: There was a lot of talk in spring ball and during fall training camp about freshmen stepping up and getting playing time. In my opinion, the results were different. How about an article reviewing this year's freshmen --- how much did they get accomplished, what do they have to work on, what are their prospects for next year, and especially, do we have any who you'd pick to be "difference makers" next year?

I think the freshman receivers Louis Murphy, David Nelson and Nyan Boateng will all play significant roles next year. Kestahn Moore came along well at running back and look for Ronnie Wilson, Eddie Haupt and Simon Codrington to be in the mix up front on the offensive line. On defense, Daryl Gresham could be in the mix at end, Ryan Stamper and John Demps at linebacker and Avery Atkins will be the starter at one corner next year. I think it will be a good dose of this year's class on next year's team.

Ack: The principal reason the SEC appears to have such good defenses is that they play most of their games against SEC teams who appear to have no offenses. This year is especially not a good one for SEC offenses - thus, defenses look good. When an SEC team generates a good offense, they win (see: 1. Spurrier at Florida, 2. Spurrier at South Carolina). Am I wrong?

You are not completely wrong. There are some average offenses with average quarterbacks. Look at the two All-SEC quarterbacks. Jay Cutler played on a losing team and Chris Leak was under a lot of scrutiny in Gainesville. His numbers were way off last year although they were as good as anyone in the SEC. The game has changed in the SEC and it will take a west coast offensive mind to have success against the defenses. Al Borges is from the west coast and Auburn has had two great seasons back to back with different backfields. Until the other teams develop a balanced attack that gets the ball out of the quarterback's hands quickly you will continue to see these numbers. The SEC has better defenses than the Big 10 overall. Ohio State is obviously as good as any in the country. USC will not score 50 on Texas defense.

Brady: What did you think of the players you saw at the FHSAA Football Finals last week?

I thought Hollywood Chaminade was the best overall team. They were well coached and I would offer all their junior offensive lineman. Emeka Nwanko is going to be a big time player at the next level. The running back Willie Floyd was undersized but should play at division one. He was a natural. South Sumter has Carlos Everett who may be headed to North Carolina State. He struggled a bit and with so many receivers at UF he may not end up in Gainesville. Pahokee had the most speed of any team I saw and showed it against Kerwin Bell and Trinity Catholic. Tanaras Jones a tall receiver is a definite division one prospect who showed speed and toughness on a big day. The quarterback, Robert Love, is an excellent athlete with a huge arm and corner Ricky Gary is as polished a cover guy that you will see. Trinity is very young with most of their prospects coming next season. John Brantley III is a tough kid with a terrific arm. He reminds me of Jesse Palmer. Tight end Lex Peek is going to be a good prospect as well. Port St. Joe had a terrific player in Ash Parker who is a 6-1 wide receiver/defensive back who probably is a 4.55 guy. He could play D-1 and I believe he is fully qualified. Ft. Meade has its next Jemalle Cornelius with sophomore Oneterio McCalebb, so keep an eye on him for years to come. Graceville has a senior tight end in Foy Wilson and Evangel Christian had a receiver in Art Evans who is just a junior that will be highly recruited.

Brady: Who do you expect to see this week in Miami?

Tim Tebow, Jacques Rickerson, Brandon James,Sam Young, Sam Shields and much more. This week will be a lot of fun, I can't wait.

Ack: What do you know about these guys?

I know James was first offered by Dan Disch at Illinois in the spring. He is related to Rickerson (half brother) and should be a good kick returner and utility back at Florida. Jacques' cousin Kenton used to work for me in St. Augustine when I worked there part-time during my graduate assistant year at Florida in 1993. He went on to UCF on scholarship. Tebow is coached by one of my good friends in the coaching business, Craig Howard. Howard is a terrific offensive mind who should get some credit for developing Tebow.

Ack: Any other recruiting nuggets?

I think it is interesting that UF's best two recruiters the last three years are going head to head on a recruit. MacIntosh Nicholas from Immokalee is at juco now and Larry Fedora at Oklahoma State and Mike Locksley at Illinois are both courting him. Locksley looks to land Chicago's #1 QB prospect this week. He is as close to being done in their minds. Every college coach I talked to say Larry Grant is a can't miss prospect at linebacker.

Ack: If you could make a list of guys that won't be on the team next season for any reason?

First of all attrition with a first year coach runs about a year and a half. By the time you go through your second spring some guys decide if they are "all-in" or if they should go elsewhere. I think for a variety of reasons any of these guys could not be back next season. Here is a list of the candidates: Dee Webb (NFL), Chad Jackson (NFL), DeShawn Wynn, Skyler Thornton, Mike McIntosh, Jason Watkins, Kyle Jackson, Cornelius Ingram, Gavin Dickey (pro baseball), Dawayne Grace, Eric Rutledge, Earl Everett and Julian Riley. Now let me preface this by saying this would be the list of guys that could leave early, transfer or for whatever reason don't see themselves in the plans. Some may be back but I do not think this entire list will be on the roster next year.


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