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Friday, March 29, 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.

20ericmasters1: How much ground does Florida have to make up on Raekwon Mcmillan to get back in his top group?

A: DawgNation reporter Kipp Adams had a chance to speak with McMillan at the Charlotte NFTC, so I'll refer to him for this answer.

Adams: Florida has never really been in the top group for McMillan, who for months had Ohio State and Clemson battling it out in his top two. But what the Gators have going for them is that D.J. Durkin was McMillan's recruiter of record and as the linebackers coach. He has a connection with the ESPN Watch List target. While Alabama might be making a push to make McMillan extend his top two to a top three, one thing the Gators have on their side is time. McMillan does not intend to make a decision until the Under Armour All-America Game next January, so the Florida coaching staff should have ample opportunities to continue their push for the coveted linebacker. They impressed him during his recent visit, so time will tell if they can catapult out of the second tier of schools they seem to be bunched in with.

dukeoden: Heard Benjamin Knox had a bad performance at another camp, do you think he ends up like Josh Outlaw from last year?

A: Not at all. It's extremely difficult for offensive tackles to shine in camp settings. In the one-on-one drills, defensive ends usually line up wider than they would in most college schemes, and pin their ears back, with no thought of run support. It's an unfair advantage, and a lot of tackles struggle. Even Laremy Tunsil last year and 2014 prospect K.C. McDermott at the Miami combine struggled in the one-on-one drills. Knox just finished playing basketball and is still rusty from not being back in football shape, and he's also coming off an injury which forced him to miss the Orlando NFTC. Bottom line, I wouldn't worry about his performance. Florida has been evaluating Knox for more than six months. The coaches have done their homework and know exactly what they are getting themselves in to.

urban21178: With Will Muschamp looking for taller more physical wideouts, would we only take one under-6-foot wide receiver? Who do you feel is higher on Muschamp's board Artavis Scott or Johnnie Dixon?

A: I don't think Muschamp has a quota on how many smaller wide receivers he will take. He has proven over the last few years that he is targeting taller, more physical, wide receivers. However, he's not going to pass up a talented, skilled receiver because he's 5-11 instead of 6-0. Scott and Dixon camped at UF last year and impressed enough to earn scholarship offers. At this point, I believe Dixon is higher on Florida's board because he has the speed to play outside and the elusiveness to play in the slot, while Scott is more of a natural slot receiver. That is no knock on Scott at all, Florida just likes the versatility of Dixon.

Drew Davis88: How many offensive lineman are they looking to sign next year?

A: The Gators have commitments from two guards, Joseph Paul and Travaris Dorsey, and a tackle project in Knox.  At this point, and this could easily change, I expect Florida to take five to six offensive linemen with the focus being on adding tackles. Florida will lose Jonotthan Harrison, Jon Halapio and Kyle Koehne after this season and will need to add depth for the future with this 2014 class.

kendallland1: How is Florida in shape with David Sharpe?

A: Florida is still at or near the top with the big offensive tackle prospect from Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence Christian. Sharpe Visited Florida State on Tuesday and by all accounts the visit went well. In my opinion though, Florida is the team to beat for Sharpe.

ryu.wada7: With the likely departure of many corners after this season, who are we looking at to replace them? Which corners are highest on our list?

A: There are a few top corners this year that Florida has a shot at. Chris Lammons, D.J. Smith, Wesley Green, Jalen Tabor and Parrker Westphal, who attends the same high school that Florida linebacker Antonio Morrison did in Illinois. The Gators appeared to be in good shape for Kalvaraz Bessent before his sudden commitment to Alabama. There is still a ways to go before signing day, but the Gators will make cornerback a priority for this class. Florida also likes the size of Quincy Wilson, and he and Lammons visited Florida on Thursday and Friday.