Let me start out by saying it has yet to be determined if the Gators will take one or two running backs. They could very easily take two with the way the numbers are shaping up, but will they is the bigger question. At this time it is unclear which direction they will go. It will be very clear by the end of the summer for more than one reason in my opinion.
Everyone knows that Mack Brown is the guy that Urban Meyer and the rest of the Gator staff have been recruiting for a very long time. Very rarely, if ever, does Meyer not get his guy that he covets and Brown is certainly one of those guys. Brown has been to Florida on several occasions and plans to come back to Florida like Bob mentions in his interview with Brown from Sunday night. Brown has gone from being open to having the Gators on top to having all teams equal yet again after his visit for the Orange and Blue game.
Brown currently has the Gators as his top team, the question now becomes do you believe him when he says that the Gators are his top team? I see no reason why you wouldn't believe that he is being truthful. He nor his father strike me as the kind of people that wouldn't stand behind something that they say and have said for a while now.
The Gators are also squarely in the mix for Corey Grant, Ken Malcome and Jordon James. Grant has been to Florida once with his coaches, Malcome on two occasions that I know of for sure with teammate T.J. Stripling and his grandparents.
The last, James will visit the Gators at the end of July or beginning of August plus he'll be back for his official to watch the Gators host Tennessee. It remains to be seen if the Gators would take a public commitment from any running back other than Mack Brown. I believe if any of these backs wanted to go public to Florida they would but that is subject for debate. I hate to put it all on one player (Brown) but that is clearly the case.
Roy Finch and Marcus Shaw are two other backs that speak very highly of the Gators but find themselves on the outside looking in. Only the staff and the Brown family can tell you what that chemistry is like but we do know a couple of things that may help in determining where Brown will end up. He has gone on record as saying that he has great relationships with Meyer and Kenny Carter as does his father. He has been to Gainesville numerous times and is expected back in July for Friday Night Lights and possibly before then. He has tried on two separate occasions to get back to Florida since the spring game both times being met with untimely obligations.
I have not changed my mind one bit about where he will play his college ball and believe that he is trustworthy and sincere about the Gators being his top team. That is not to say that two weeks from now he couldn't say that all teams are equal again but as long as he says what he says then I see no reason for concern, today. As of today I can only see two more possibilities at the running back position if things did not work out with any of those four players. And like I mentioned earlier, we will know a lot more about this situation and others by the end of July.
After camp and before Friday Night Lights is normally the slowest time of the year with coaches and family members on vacation and I expect this season to be no different. Once Friday Night Lights hits I expect things to change drastically.
The Shape of the Running Back Board
Fightin Gators Top Stories
Appleby: We Shot Ourselves in the FootATLANTA- Florida quarterback Austin Appleby discusses the 54-16 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game.
Fightin Gators9:44 PM
Freshman QB to play in Bowl?Make no mistake about it. The bowl game that the Gators will attend in January is an important game for this program. They need a win. That said, the development of a quarterback…
Fightin Gators8:03 PM
McElwain proud of his out-manned GatorsThe score was 54-16 and the disparity in talent between the two teams that played Saturday was close to that score. Still, the Florida Gators came out swinging and ready to make a…
Fightin Gators7:11 PM
Gators can't keep up in 54-16 loss to BamaYou couldn’t have scripted a better start for the Florida Gators to Saturday’s Southeastern Conference Championship Game at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. A 10-play, 64-yard…
Fightin Gators5:44 PM