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.