- Derek Tyson, RecruitingNation
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- It’s time to dip into the GatorNation recruiting mailbag and answer your questions. Because of the amount of questions we’ve received, we won’t be able to get to all of them today -- but we encourage you to post your questions on our Insider fan forum, The Chompions Club.
Coolflyguy1: With us leading for so many top prospects in 2015, could we end up with one of the best classes of all time, or is it at least worth a few championships?
A: Obviously, at this stage, it is hard to predict just how good any of these 2015 prospects will be. Remember, they are only entering their junior year of high school. Some might not qualify, some might not progress physically or mentally -- and there are just too may variables to determine just how successful these players could be on the next level. That being said the Gators are in really good shape for players such as Jeffrey Holland (Jacksonville, Fla./Trinity Christian), Byron Cowart (Seffner, Fla./Armwood), CeCe Jefferson (Glen St. Mary, Fla./Baker Co.) and already have a commitment from Da'Vante Phillips (Miami/Central), the No. 1-ranked WR for the 2015 class. All of these players are ranked in the top 100 of the ESPN Junior 300 and Florida does have an opportunity to land a special class next year, but it's too early to determine just how successful that class will be on the next level.
Scot5013: Are we still leading for Lorenzo Carter? When will he commit to a school?
A: Yes, Florida is still out in front for the five-star defensive end. Georgia and Alabama are also near the top of his list. Carter told me on Wednesday that he will release his list of top seven schools on Aug. 7 and make a final decision on national signing day. It's still early, but Florida has a good chance to land Carter, and the Gators have made Carter a top priority for the 2014 class.
CBedgood: Should we like our chances with [Chris] Lammons and Adoree' Jackson ?
A: At this point, yes, I believe Florida fans should like their chances with both players. Jackson, a five-star cornerback, just rated his weekend visit to Florida a 10 and Florida's successful track program should only help strengthen the Gators' chances of landing him. Lammons is expected to make his decision in the near future and the Gators have a solid chance of being his selection. Lammons is good friends with Quincy Wilson and Ermon Lane and they are planning to make their decision on Aug. 10. Florida could be in good shape for all three prospects.
anoblejax: When space is so limited in this class, why have the Gators accepted commitments from so many OL commits with 3-star ratings (4 of 12 commits are 3-star OL)? Is it that they don't put any weight on the outside ratings? How good has this coaching staff been at finding low-rated players who end up being very good?
A: Florida has a little depth at OL right now, so it can afford to develop offensive linemen. They are looking for certain criteria in an offensive lineman and not always what's on the game film. The Gators are looking for long and athletic linemen with a good frame and ability to put on good weight in college. Landing a guy such as Dontae Angus -- who is 6-foot-5, 315 pounds and plays both ways in high school -- is pretty much exactly what the Gators are looking for. Ben Knox, at 6-6, is also a basketball standout. It remains to be seen if this model will work, but Florida seems pretty confident in its ability to recruit along the line of scrimmage. Don't forget that David Sharpe, a top 20 player, is still its top target on the OL, and Florida has a good shot at landing him.
Drew Davis88: What's the deal with Da'Shawn Hand? He named us in his top 3 but all I hear is Bama and Michigan. If we get him in campus do we have a realistic shot at landing him?
A: I think it's pretty obvious at this point that Michigan is likely the team to beat. However, I'm a big believer that if you can get a guy on campus for a visit, anything is possible. For the Gators to even be mentioned in his top three is very impressive considering he's never visited. I still think it's a long shot to land Hand, but an official visit to Florida could certainly help turn things around.
3dAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf
9dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough