Friday, March 8, 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.
kendallland1: How firm is Will Grier's commitment, and do you expect it to stick?
Watch List quarterback Will Grier committed to Florida in December 2012.
A: Though Grier was recently offered by Auburn, his commitment to the Gators has always appeared solid. The Florida coaching staff made Grier a priority from the moment they decided to pursue him, and he has never seemed to waver since making his pledge to the Gators in December. It's not impossible, but it's rare to see a quarterback decommit. Most programs will stop recruiting QBs after they get their targeted guy, and that's exactly what happened in Florida's case. Unless Florida completely falls apart on offense this year and there is a major overhaul on the offensive coaching staff, I would expect Grier to stick with his commitment to Florida. But if you don’t believe me, I asked Grier on Thursday how solid he was to UF. His text message response was simple: “Extremely solid.”
Drew Davis88: How likely is it that Florida lands Trent Harris? Should we be worried about the new offer from Alabama?
A: I think the Gators have a great shot on landing Harris. The 6-foot-3, defensive end was offered by Florida after visiting last week, and he has the Gators at the top of his list. Anytime Alabama offers a prospect, there is room for concern, but with the Harris living only a few hours from Gainesville and growing up a Florida fan, I think the Gators still have a big advantage.
ryu.wada7: It seems kind of odd that the Florida coaches offered a developmental [offensive line] prospect like Benjamin Knox (DeLand, Fla./DeLand) with so many talented lineman in state, not to mention lineman that have UF high on their radar like Denzel Ward. Do you think the coaches are more selective from here on out, given that we have a much smaller signing class this year?
A: What many people don't understand is that Florida has been recruiting Knox for about six months now. They did their homework on him, and at this point they feel his upside is too great to overlook. His head coach James Thomson told me on Monday that Florida found a diamond in the rough with Knox. Florida will be selective and has built enough depth along the offensive line that it can afford to take athletic prospects who will have time to develop. They did the same with Jon Halapio when he came out of nowhere, and he has turned into one of Florida's better linemen over the last two years.
urban21178: Tampa has become such a major recruiting center for Florida, how nervous should we be about the coaching staff USF is putting together?
A: By adding Willie Taggart as head coach, USF immediately bolstered its recruiting presence in the Tampa area. Taggart was a standout quarterback at Manatee High School in Bradenton and has done a tremendous job of recruiting the area, even when he was the coach at Western Kentucky. That said, it won't be an easy task to come in and start winning battles against in-state powers FSU, Florida and Miami. Taggart has his work cut out for him, but if he is able to have success on the field, his ability to recruit could become a concern for the in-state schools in the future.
Scot5013: Is Elijah Hood on Florida's recruiting radar at all?
A: Hood is on Florida's radar, but at this point he's not at the top of the wish list. Hood is a solid player, but he does not hold an offer from the Gators.