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Friday, May 3, 2013
Mailbag: Are Gators lagging in commits?

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.

ga8or22: Is it just me or are the Gators lagging behind last year's commits?  I know they are just 17- or 18-year-olds, but a number of them are comitting to teams that have no room for them without much apparent thought.

A: Florida did have more commits at this time last year, but remember, the Gators had five players who committed at either junior day in February or the spring game in April who did not end up signing with Florida. The Gators could have had a few more commitments at this time, such as Denzel Ware, but they are doing their homework and making sure the prospects they take commitments from have a high probability of sticking with their pledge to the Gators.

b.Wolf84: We could really use a TE in this class, but it does not seem like we are linked to any of the big guys this year. Any word on a big time TE we could land?

A: Florida certainly needs to land a tight end in this class. In my opinion, the top targets remaining on Florida's board are DeAndre Goolsby (Derby, Kan./Derby) Jalyn Holmes (Norfolk, Va./Lake Talor), Jakell Mitchell (Opelika, Ala./Opelika) and Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Boneventure). They are showing interest in other tight ends as well, but those appear to be the top targets. Look for Florida to really turn up the heat on Goolsby.

impulse36: Will UF sign a 5-star recruit this year?

A: Florida is going hard after five-star prospects Leonard Fournette, Da'Shawn Hand, Andrew Brown, Jabrill Peppers, Adoree' Jackson and Speedy Noil. The Gators are being mentioned with every one of those prospects, but at this point it appears unlikely that Florida will land any of the them.

Offensive tackle David Sharpe, who just missed being a five-star prospect, is Florida's best bet, and he has the potential to move up in the rankings with a solid senior season. Don't count Muschamp out, though, he's been known to pull a surprise or two.

kendallland1: Who do you think UF will pull in out of Hand, [Denzel] Ware, [Gerald] Willis III, [Trent] Harris, and [Lorenzo] Carter? (All DE/DL)?

A: At this point I believe Harris and Ware are probably the most likely options. I do know that Carter has real interest in Florida, as does Willis. Hand will be tough to pull, but he does have a good relationship with Florida defensive line coach Brad Lawing. Willis told me last summer that Florida was by far his favorite visit so far, which included Alabama and LSU. Some things have changed since then, but Willis continues to have interest in the Gators. Muschamp has always made the defensive line a priority, and this year will be no different.