Your Daily Gator is excited about recruiting.

You may not be aware of this, but Florida’s recruiting is on something of a roll over the past week.  The Gators now stand at a lofty sixth overall in the 247Sports Composite.

The eminently sensible David Wunderlich points out why it’s wise to temper some of that Orange and Blue excitement over that ranking.

In the SEC alone, there are five teams with better average rankings than Florida’s 89.82:  Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M and Auburn.  (And South Carolina and Tennessee aren’t that far behind Florida, either.)

In short, it’s a decent effort but not elite by national or even SEC standards, which is the point made by Florida’s 247 guy in this message board post:

1) Dan Mullen has done a good job shoring up the talent at the bottom and in the middle of the roster. I think in the SEC those spots on the roster are more important than other leagues in terms of maintaining success.

2) There’s still no doubt that UF needs to be a little more competitive with the programs currently on top of the CFB food chain in winning battles for elite prospects (i.e. five-stars and Top 100 types).

3) The difference between a Top 5 ranking and somewhere in, say, the 7-10 range or so, is typically just one or two truly elite recruits. UF hasn’t had those.

4) The improvement in building out the depth and talent on the bottom and middle of the roster (Point 1 in this thread) probably helps even more if you buy the theory Mullen and his staff are better evaluators than most.

5) I’m not convinced yet one way or another that Mullen and his staff ARE better evaluators than others. Few thoughts on this. Next tweet.

6) A) Not like they’re not going after most of the same top recruits the big dogs are; just not winning enough of those battles. Yet. B) The 2019 class is a tough data set in that regard, it actually looks better on paper by far than it already is (Steele, Jones, Black all gone).

7) Basically, I still don’t think it’s unfair at all to still have some lingering concerns about Mullen’s recruiting — see our jumping off point for this thread — while also realizing he’s improved the roster in spots that also matter considerably.

8) Recruiting will always have swings. Usually not as good or as bad as it seems. Florida’s on a good run right now. That’s encouraging. Not worth making any sweeping declarations one way or another still.

I’d quibble with his number three, because I’ve seen the results from years of Richt recruiting at that level and the distance between Georgia and the truly elite teams, talentwise, was greater than he suggests.  But the rest of what’s there is rather sound and not particularly blindly optimistic.

Needless to say, a lot of his message board readers aren’t seeing eye to eye with him.  Again, the general effect of this stuff is pure déjà vu if you’re a Georgia fan.  Only the jersey colors have changed.  Any season now, Florida will be back.  Count on it.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

13 responses to “Your Daily Gator is excited about recruiting.

  1. Ts and Ps to the Gator poster who was talking sense. As someone who dabbles in UGA message board comments, trying to talk sense to fanboys who only want to hear how great everything with a program is can be challenging.


  2. practicaldawg

    Mullen’s 2020 class is weighted heavily toward 3 stars that have committed already. If the current rankings stand, there will be a massive gap in the actual composite score between the top 3 and everyone else in the top 10, much like last year. In other words, the ranking makes it look linear, even though composite scores curve sharply up when you get to the top 3.


  3. addr

    Florida’s recruiting, in relation to 90% of all other teams, will be fine. But any sane Florida fan should be concerned about the fact that they have simply not been competitive for the truly elite talent. At all. And when there are 4 other teams in your league (2 of which you play every year) who have consistently recruited at an elite level, you’ve already got an uphill battle just to get to the conference title game, much less the playoff. In all likelihood, Mullen’s staring at a positively Richtian situation of winning 10 games a year with nothing to show for it.


  4. GruvenDawg

    I personally think they finish in the 9-15 range and 5th in the SEC. They have 2 players in the top 100, 1 that has grade concerns and 1 I really hope the dogs put the full court press on (DT). I will say that their o-line recruiting is different than Richts. Big interior guys that they put in S&C program and develop to play by year 3 that has proven to work for Mullen. I think if UF goes 8-4 this year (Aub, LSU, UGA, Miss) and Mullen’s recruiting finishes poorly. The change in programs outlook and the gator fans inability to see it are reminiscent of us in the late 90’s and mid 200’s.


  5. Mike Cooley

    Yep. Richtian is a good description. I used to be like the Florida fans who are insisting that there isn’t much difference between being in the top three in recruiting and say number six or seven. We would have a top ten recruiting class and I would think we were doing something. Top ten is fine but when the top three has teams in your conference that gap between you and them is a lot bigger than it looks. And when those teams recruit that way consistently you can forget it. It means they will have double the number of elite players that you have and that difference on the field is obvious.


    • St. Johns Dawg

      Right on, sir. Saw this play out in the rain against Bama in 2015. There were more way more elite athletes on that Bama team looking at offense and defense 1-11 … and then their second and third-teamers would come in and they were just as good. Depth, along with elite starter talent, is why we will own the series with UF for a while.


  6. dawgxian

    I remember hearing #3 13 or 14 years ago regarding Richts classes. That was pre Saban and Meyer. Things have changed greatly


  7. Hunkering Hank

    One or two players from greatness? Hell, doesn’t that describe most “good” college football teams? What’s OU without Baker Mayfield? What’s UGA without Fromm and, say, Sony Michel over the last few years? You either ARE getting the top dawgs, or you’re not. And a Florida is NOT. Thank you God.


  8. SouthernYank

    If you eliminate UT’s long snapper, their average is higher than UF’s.


  9. Cojones

    Two or three teams can pass FU on the 247 average with one more recruit and 5 plus can do it with two. All of those teams have less players than FU. I’ll wager that FU’s class will fall below of the top 10 this year.


    • Cojones

      Forgot; kudos to FU for pulling in 2 four-stars and 2 three-stars inside 5 days. Of course, one three-star is at the lower end of that evaluation range and is barely above a two-star.


  10. Macallanlover

    I understand the need for rankings to feed the fans’ pride and one ups’ desires but there is so much read into the numbers that doesn’t reflect the coaches’ outlook. Actual number of recruits per team versus the average rating distorts the rankings, addressing actual needs is a huge factor, whether for immediate needs or depth (great to have a handful of highly rated receivers but what if you strike out on LBs, CBs, or OL?), class separation has to factor in, disciplinary and academic concerns can drive teams away from players on one team, and into another’s class. Kickers and punters are 3 stars and below in the rating systems, do they not play a bigger role than that in every close game? Yet, they hurt your team when you have to use a scholly to attract one.

    Coaches also have their own evaluation based on camps, or relationship with their HS coaches providing input. And do we really think the services can rate an 18 year old to the 4th decimal point and then project them out over the next 4-5 years? As much as you want it to be a science, it is still subjective, and flawed.

    I love the way we are recruiting as much as everyone, and overall the system works pretty well, as long as you don’t drill down to the nits on it. Coaching staffs still play a big role in how these young men develop, and are motivated. Not all humans move at the same pace. All that said, FU is losing ground to the schools they want to be like; and it doesn’t look like Dancing Danny is getting it done on the sofas. You can understand why a recruit might not fall in love with him and Grantham, they are both odd ducks.


    • Texas Dawg

      ” him and Grantham, they are both odd ducks.” You are being very kind. Odd probably is just scratching the surface.