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Friday, April 12, 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.

Sean CareyLove: I know Sony Michel is committing soon and he states he has known where he wants to go. What are UF's chances?

A: In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, I think that Florida is the No. 2 school right now, just behind Georgia. Michel had a great visit to Florida for its spring game and Florida certainly has made an impact, but Michel has liked the Bulldogs for quite some time now and I just have a feeling they are in the driver's seat for the Watch List back.

Scot5013: Where do we stand with Ermon Lane?

A: I think Florida is in a good position for Lane. The Watch List wide receiver really enjoyed his recent visit to Florida, and the Gators have a need at wide receiver. Along with the Gators, Lane also likes Miami, Alabama and Florida State. Florida continues to show interest in his close friend Tyre Bradey (Homestead, Fla./South Dade) and that could certainly help the Gators' chances. At this point, I believe his recruitment will play out for quite some time, possibly even to signing day.

ryu.wada7: Considering that the Gators are not ready to accept Denzel Ware's commitment, and supposedly aren't recruiting Justin Thornton as hard anymore, who are Muschamp and company targeting at the DE position? DE is a real position of need this class and it seems strange that he would be turning away commitments unless he is looking for some big-time targets.

A: I wouldn't necessarily say Florida is turning away Ward and Thornton right now. I just believe they are doing their homework as far as academics and any off-the-field issues. There are several solid defensive end prospects on Florida's board, and Muschamp just wants to make sure the Gatorss are making the right decisions when it comes to such an important position. Along with Ware and Thornton, the Gators are a major player for Trent Smith, Da'Shawn Hand, Jacob Pugh, Andrew Williams and Lorenzo Carter. Carter, one of the top DEs in the southeast, called a Florida coach recently just to chat for about 15 minutes. The Gators are very much in the picture for him. With limited scholarships available this year, the Gators will be sure to be selective on who they take at end. They can't afford to take commitments from two guys who later change their minds or are academically ineligeble.

ben2rowc: How is Bryant Young's resignation going to affect this class?

A: I honestly don't think it will change much at all. Young was good at recruiting because he played at at a high level during his playing career, and he could sell that to recruits. So in that sense, Florida will miss him. However, Brad Lawing has had time to settle in and he has been the primary recruiter for guys like Anthony Moten, already a Florida commit, and Lamont Gaillard, who recently said Florida was his No. 1 school. Lawing is a guy who actually enjoys recruiting and should benefit the Gators on the recruiting front. Young was the primary recruiter for Andrew Williams and Thomas Holley, but Holley is a raw prospect and insists Young's departure won't change much for him with Florida. Williams said on Twitter that he really liked Young, but that the Gators are still in the mix. If Lawing wasn't already on staff, I would say this was a big loss, but with an established defensive line coach already part of the staff, I don't think it will make that much of a difference as far as recruiting.

BrandonW2895: We have three offensive linemenn already committed, who else are we heavily targeting at this point? Anybody else close to committing?

A: The big name out their right now is David Sharpe from Jacksonville (Fla.) Providence Christian. Sharpe has visited Florida a few times now, and his interest in the Gators continues to grow. Sharpe, Denzel Ward, Alex Bars and Jamarco Jones appear to be the top prospects on Florida's offensive line board at the moment. The Gators also like Garrett Brumfield and Plant City (Fla.) HS offensive guard Montel McBride, but UF is focusing more on offensive tackles than interior linemen. With three commitments up front, Florida will likely only take two more along the line.