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Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Recruiting mailbag: Phillips, Brown, LBs

By Derek Tyson

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.

xtremecheezhead: How will the addition of Joker Phillips impact WR recruiting?

A: There is no question in my mind this will have a very big impact in recruiting for Florida. It might not be this year because the Gators already have four wide receiver commits and might only take one more receiver. Phillips has helped develop several top receivers including Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers, and he should able to sell that to recruits. As I said in my update on Monday, the Gators are still in the picture for several receivers, and the Phillips addition will only help Florida's cause.

cadogan68: Are there any recruits considering us that are close to announcing?

A: Offensive line prospect Trenton Brown will be making his decision Dec. 19 between Florida, Oklahoma and Florida State. ESPN 150 defensive end Ebenezer Ogundeko told me Tuesday that he will likely make his decision Dec. 21 or at the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 4 between Clemson and Florida.

impulse36: Is there any particular reason we seem to be recruiting another LB with three on board? Does Muschamp think one is going to leave?

A: At this time, I still believe all three Florida linebacker commits -- James Hearns, Quinton Powell and Daniel McMillian -- will stick with Florida come signing day. That said, all three are planning to take other visits. Florida head coach Will Muschamp has a policy, "If you look, we look," and he will stick to it. Florida doesn't want to be left at the altar on signing day with no backup plan.

RaleighGator76: As we get into the home stretch of 2012 and have the banquet in just days, what players are the biggest risks to decommit at this point?

A: At this point, I'd say Powell. He told me recently that he would like to visit USC and Miami. His Facebook status update on Monday gives a hint that he is also interested in Oregon.

"Ive passed that stage in my life where I can just have fun playing football, Now I gotta play to provide for my family and be better then better #StrivingForGreatness #CollegeLife #Florida? #SouthernCalifornia? #Miami? #Oregon?"

The good news for Florida fans, is that Powell will officially visit Florida this weekend and could shore up his pledge to the Gators if all goes well.

angel51293: How important is this month on the recruiting trail?

A: It's extremely important. Not just for 2013 but for 2014 also. The Gators only have a few spots remaining in their 2013 class and have a good idea of who will likely fill those spots. Florida also has a chance to make up ground for guys like running back Alex Collins and defensive end Jason Hatcher. As for 2014 prospects, Watch List players including quarterback Will Grier and defensive back Duke Dawson will be unofficially visiting Florida this weekend and could make their decisions within the next month or two.

super_j85: Any update on Colin [Thompson] ... is he at least walking walking without assistance? Why don't we just land [James] Clark and wrap it up?

A: I happened to run into Thompson at the movies a few weeks ago. He told me his foot was much better and he was walking fine without a boot. I'm not sure of his status for spring football, but he should be good to go for next year. As for Clark, he is a solid prospect, but Florida doesn't want to miss out on some bigger fish, such as Laquon Treadwell or Marquez North by taking Clark too early. With new receivers coach Phillips now in the fold, Florida can be more selective on that final wide receiver spot.