Five things I learned from Florida


Trouble in Tallahassee

Mario Edwards, Jr. is still committed to Florida State, but his decision to look around a little more continues the dead stop of momentum that Jimbo Fisher and staff had been building since he was named head coach in January of 2010.

While most of FSU’s class is still solid it’s obvious that with a few slots remaining they have major holes to fill, especially on the offensive line where none of the experienced depth was good enough to play in front of 17-year-old freshman Bobby Hart on Saturday. FSU is trying to get in the mix for Weston Cypress Bay lineman Daniel Isidora and have reached out to Georgia commit John Theus (Jacksonville, Fla./Bolles).

FSU still has ESPNU 150 prospects Chris Casher (Mobile, Ala./Davidson) and Dante Fowler (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood). Casher should be considered a solid commitment, Fowler not so much. The 6-3, 245-pounder says all the right things, but he and his family seem to enjoy spending time in Gainesville.

FSU’s next target at the position would be another Under Armour All-American, Daytona Beach Mainland’s Leonard Williams. It looks like a Florida-FSU battle could emerge for the talented 6-4, 260-pounder.

No better in Gainesville

While FSU’s troubles have been well documented there are a lot of questions in Gainesville as well.

The injuries have certainly piled up for first-year Florida coach Will Muschamp and he was down to his third quarterback, freshman Jacoby Brissett, this weekend. But that’s no excuse for back-to-back blowout losses.

The defense, which is Muschamp’s calling card, has been mostly responsible for 72 of the 79 points the team has given up in losses to Alabama and LSU. The defensive line looks worn down and the number of missed tackles is growing by the second. Things get no easier for Florida with a road trip to Auburn and a neutral-site matchup against fast-improving Georgia to close out the month.

As for Brissett, the 6-4, 235-pound product from Dwyer High School was 8-for-14 for 94 yards. He threw a long touchdown pass to Andre Debose and a couple of interceptions.

For my money I think Brissett is a better option for the Gators right now over Jeff Driskel. While the latter has that great athleticism and should be good in the future, Brissett comes into the Florida program with big-game experience. He led Dwyer to a state championship in 2009 and took the team deep into the playoffs all four years he started there.

Staring in the face of a monumental task on Saturday, Brissett showed poise and didn’t appear to be overwhelmed by the situation. There’s a confidence in his eyes that I don’t see in the other Florida quarterbacks. And remember one more thing: Brissett is the guy that Florida offensive coordinator Charlie Weis recruited.

Mountaineer Men?

West Virginia had some major prospects in town over the weekend for official visits.

ESPNU 150 teammates Tracy Howard and Malcolm Lewis (Miramar, Fla./Miramar) were the two names that stick out immediately. They were joined by teammate Davonte Mathis.

Two three-star prospects, Miami Northwestern defensive end Eric Kinsey and Palm Beach Gardens running back Roshard Burney, were also present for the Mountaineers’ 43-16 victory over UConn.

Miramar has a great connection with West Virginia. The Patriots’ coach Damon Cogdell is a former Mountaineer and has seen many players from his program follow the same path.

So when Howard, Lewis and Mathis saw former teammates Geno Smith (450 passing yards, four yards), Stedman Bailey (7 catches, 178 yards, two touchdowns) and Ivan McCartney (six catches, 131 yards) lighting it up Saturday afternoon I wonder if they were thinking about how they would look in blue and gold?

Off the charts

Tallahassee Lincoln senior quarterback Ronald Butler was 11-for-11 for 182 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-0 victory over Gainesville Buchholz on Friday.

Using the NCAA calculations Butler’s QB rating was approximately a 388.98.

When it rains, it pours

It’s appropriate that a good portion of the Sunshine State is covered in rain today because there are some dark clouds above football offices in Gainesville, Tallahassee and Coral Gables.

For the first time since December 6, 1982 there isn’t a Florida college football team in the Associated Press rankings.

A quick Google search on that date shows:

  • Paul Newman was on the cover of Time Magazine

  • Aerosmith played a concert at the Memorial Auditorium (a.k.a. the Aud) in Buffalo.