Thursday, January 10, 2013
Wednesday's GatorNation chat continued ...
By Michael DiRocco
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- I was unable to get to all the questions on Wednesday’s weekly chat, but since there were so many -- and the angst from Florida’s Allstate Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville was still fresh -- we decided to answer them today.
Dave (New Jersey): Mike you say we are done with our class at 26? Don't we have 8 EEs that can date back to next year giving us another 6-7 spots open in this class? We lost a lot of bodies so the staff must get at least 31 in this class IMO. Thoughts?
The Gators will try and sign several more players, but Muschamp has gone on record before saying he’s not going to sign players just to fill out a class. I anticipate only two to three more commitments, if that. UF is still after DT Jarran Reed, Jay-nard Bostwick, Montravius Adams, Elijah Daniel, Jason Hatcher, Chris Jones, James Clark, Alex Collins, Jalen Ramsey, Kennard Swanson and Quinton Powell. If Muschamp can get some of those guys, fine, but if not, he won’t just sign guys so he can fill out the class.
RemmyR (Maple Shade, N.J.): Just want to say thanks to you for dropping UF science on us every week!!!
You’re welcome. I enjoy interacting with fans. You guys are the lifeblood of what I do so these chats are the least I can do.
RemmyR (Maple Shade, N.J.): What did you make of Musberger’s comments Monday night? No biggie, right? Thanks in advance for your opinion Big Mike D.
If you’re talking about the comments regarding A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend, I didn’t think Brent crossed the line. I do find it creepy, however, that thousands of people started following her on Twitter just because they caught a glimpse of her on TV.
Keenan (Atlanta, Ga.): Who is your choice for the best quarterback in the SEC next season, Murray, Manziel, or McCarron?
I like Manziel because he truly is a dual threat. He led the SEC in rushing and still averaged more than 250 yards passing per game. That’s a tough combination. I think Murray and McCarron are very good and will be better pro quarterbacks than Manziel.
Lawrence Park (Pasadena, Calif.): Do you think Andre Debose can miraculously live up to the hype of being the next Percy Harvin next season?
No way. He’s been in the doghouse for the past four seasons (he’ll be a redshirt senior in 2013) for attitude, work ethic and consistency issues. I just can’t see him turning it around after behaving that way for four years.
Patrick (Indiana): What freshman do you think will have the biggest impact and do you see any of them starting for the Gators next year?
I’ll give you three: CB Vernon Hargreaves, LB Daniel McMillian, and either RB (Kelvin Taylor or Adam Lane). Hargreaves is too talented to not get on the field. McMillian may get a shot to start because of the uncertainty at linebacker. Taylor and Lane will get plenty of work in the run-first offense. I know everyone would like a receiver to make the biggest impact, but that’s not an easy thing to do. If I had to pick one of those guys it would be Demarcus Robinson. He seems to be the most ready to contribute of the freshmen receivers, with Ahmad Fulwood a close second.
Jason (New York): But he [QB Jeff Driskel] missed open WRs??? You don't think that his accuracy is below average? I mean the fallout from Sugar Bowl performance should not be "blame Driskel" but I think I speak for a lot of UF fans that 2013 success will be determined by how Driskel handles QB pressure. I mean he is going to get blitzed a lot for sure. And he never goes through progressions. It seems he locks his eyes on one target and that’s it.
Yes, Driskel has to get better. But so does the OL and the WRs. Driskel is a young quarterback and he’s going to stare down receivers, hold onto the ball too long, and not make reads quick enough. Let’s wait until he has a full offseason as the No. 1 QB, gets in the film room, and plays without having to look over his shoulder. If he’s still making those mistakes next year, then it’s a big problem. The WRs are the biggest issue on this team and have been for the past three seasons.
Craig (South Carolina): Can Matt Jones carry the load next year and produce an all-SEC type season.
He can certainly carry the load, but I don’t think he’ll have to. Jones, Taylor and Lane will split the carries. I think Jones will get the bulk of the work, but Taylor and Lane will get enough work that Jones likely won’t reach 1,000 yards. But together I expect the trio to come close to 1,700 yards.
Ram (IN): I wanted to know why our WRs are not able to get separation. Is it because of lack of experienced WR coach or lack of talented WRs, and whom do you think will be good in 2013?
It’s because of both. The WRs that were signed turned out to be not very good. They were not developed, either. Zach Azzani wasn’t ready and Aubrey Hill didn’t develop any receivers either at Miami or UF. As for who will be good in 2013? I don’t know. That’s the problem. I think Robinson and Fulwood have a chance to be contributors, but I don’t magically see anyone developing into an All-SEC receiver.
Brandon (Ga.): VHIII looks like he could be one the best cornerback prospect I've seen ever. Think he can start?
It’ll be tough. UF’s secondary is very, very good (despite what happened in the Sugar Bowl). But Hargreaves is extremely talented. I can see him maybe as a nickel back and starting if the Gators go with five DBs. It depends on what happens at safety and receiver, too. Cody Riggs could end up moving to safety, which would leave a spot open at corner. And Loucheiz Purifoy could spend considerable time at receiver if the freshmen can’t contribute there. That would open up another spot for Hargreaves.
Mick (Tampa): The WR and TE positions really have me nervous. Can our new WR coach make that much of a difference?
I think having Joker Phillips will certainly help. NFL players Steve Johnson (Buffalo) and Randall Cobb (Green Bay) are among the receivers Phillips worked with during his tenure at Kentucky. He also coached Craig Yeast, Keenan Burton, Dicky Lyons, Jr., and Derek Abney, all of whom rank in the top five in school history in career receptions or career receiving yardage. If he can do that at Kentucky, he should be able to do that at Florida.