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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
GatorNation recruiting mailbag

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.

Robert Nkemdiche
Florida has done a lot to make up ground in the recruitment of Robert Nkemdiche, but is it enough?
GaTors6519: Am I just hoping for a late Christmas present or am I correct in feeling good about our chances of geting [Robert] Nkemdiche? Now, I am not saying we are going to get him, I am simply saying that I like our chances.

A: There is no question Florida is in much better shape than it was a month ago. Nkemdiche really hit it off with other Florida commits at the Under Armour All-America game practices, and that carried over to his visit to Florida. The five-star defensive end will still be hard to pull away from Ole Miss because of his family tie there, but Will Muschamp and his staff have made up considerable ground and at least gave Florida a shot to land the No. 1-ranked player in the country.

Scot5013: How many spots do we take this cycle and do you see any legitimate targets that will flip to UF on NSD?

A: With the recent announcement that Kedric Johnson, Stephen Alli and Tommy Jordan will no longer be on the team, the Gators can now take as many as 33 players with eight, who are already enrolled, counting back towards last year. It remains to be seen if Florida will sign the full 33 players, but it's certainly possible. As for who will flip to UF, this is the world of recruiting and anything is possible, but I think the most likely candidate to flip is probably USC defensive back commit Jalen Ramsey. He is good friends with other Florida commits Nick Washington and Demarcus Robinson, and the Gators want to land another big cornerback.

jdturtle19/Cadogan68: Should we be worried about James Hearns' visit to Auburn? If he leaves, what are the chances Quinton Powell comes back?

A: Hearns told me on Sunday night that he really enjoyed his trip to Auburn and it gave him some things to think about. However, when I asked him specifically if he was solidly committed to Florida still, he said: "Yes, that hasn't changed." Hearns and Powell are two very different type of players and they play different positions. I think the Gators still have a shot to land Powell, despite his decommitment and subsequent visits to other schools. Hearns does have some academic concerns that Florida has to consider, but at this point, they aren't bad enough where Florida needs to move on. I do think Florida could potentially take both players.

Scot5013: Not to put a recruit on blast but was [Elijah] Daniel's issue with grade(s) that prevented him from visiting and possibly committing?

A: Yes, academic concerns were the biggest issue for Daniel. I can say with pretty high confidence, that if Florida felt like he would make it academically, then he would already be a part of Florida's class. Florida has met pretty much all of its needs except for defensive end. Look for the Gators to turn their attention to Tashawn Bower and obviously Nkemdiche going forward.