Category Archives: Gators, Gators…

Kirby shoots and scores!

Nice shot at last night’s Macon Touchdown Club meeting taken at the Club’s executive director Lloyd Perkins for mispronouncing the name of one of Georgia’s signees.

Well played, Kirby.  Now — how about beating Florida for a change?

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football

It’s signing day!, part eleven

Those of you who thought Florida had suddenly grown a pair of… um, scruples about refusing to sign the kid who was cited for pot possession while on a recruiting trip to Ohio State need to rethink.

I bet he’s already got Huntley Johnson on retainer.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

I could have played for Urban Meyer, but then I got high.

There is so much about this story to enjoy.

Reports surfaced Saturday that Lakeland receiver James Robinson, a top Gators’ target with National Signing Day approaching Wednesday, was cited for possession of marijuana last weekend during his official visit to Ohio State.

In the state of Ohio, where marijuana possession has been somewhat decriminalized, possessing amounts up to 100 grams is considered a minor misdemeanor and violators will receive a citation and up to a $150 fine. There is no jail time and the incident does not become part of the defendant’s criminal record.

As dumbass moves go, taking weed on a recruiting trip ranks right up there with the best.

Corch dropped the kid like a hot potato, but Florida, as we all know, right now can’t be as choosy about whom it chases, and here’s a kid who didn’t get into enough trouble to require Huntley Johnson’s services to play for the Gators.  (At least, not yet.)  What to do, what to do?

Head coach James McElwain has had two current players cited for marijuana possession during his two seasons at UF. Running backs Mark Thompson and Jordan Scarlet both served one-game suspensions, so McElwain has show a bit of tolerance for this type of rules violation, since both players remained on the team and have been large contributors at times.

The man’s not even gonna break a sweat with this call.

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The return of Evil Richt

In 1972, Hunter S. Thompson set about covering the presidential campaign, paying special attention to the Democratic Party’s George McGoven as he failed to get into office.

Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 was serially published by Rolling Stone throughout the year. In one of the articles Thompson makes a poignant comparison to a campaign that happened in Texas in which Lyndon Johnson attempted to create a rumour to denounce his competitor.

It reads: “This is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in politics. Every hack in the business has used it in times of trouble, and it has even been elevated to the level of political mythology in a story about one of Lyndon Johnson’s early campaigns in Texas.

“The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumour campaign about his opponent’s life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his barnyard sows.

“Christ, we can’t get away with calling him a pig-f****r,” the campaign manager protested. “Nobody’s going to believe a thing like that.”

“I know,” Johnson replied. “But let’s make the sonofab****h deny it.”

I am reminded this morning of Tommy Perkins’ timeless analogy regarding recruiting in the state of Florida:

Miami: From a Bulldog perspective, if you looked at the state of Florida as though it were Afghanistan (and I do), the Gators, obviously, are the Taliban, while Miami is whatever warlord is running things in the Northeast. The Hurricanes don’t occupy anything remotely resembling moral high ground, but they are useful.

Why this morning, you ask?  Welp,

Rumors surfaced Thursday about the Florida football program committing an NCAA recruiting violation.

A source close to the program vehemently dismissed the allegations to SEC Country on Friday. A message board post — which later made the rounds social media — alleged that two UF assistant coaches offered cash to a prospect at Homestead High School. The poster also alleged there’s a video and it was provided to the NCAA.

The program source who spoke with SEC Country said Florida has not offered or recruited anyone from Homestead High School in three years. Florida State’s Ermon Lane, a 5-star prospect in 2014, is the last Homestead player UF recruited, according the source.

SEC Country also learned Friday that verbal commitments for the Gators were contacted by Miami staff members, who asked the recruits if they would reconsider the Hurricanes because of the alleged NCAA violation at Homestead. Members of Florida’s 2017 football recruiting class told SEC Country they received a text message from UF calling the rumors false.[Emphasis added.]

So it turns out Mark Richt is trying to do a solid for both himself and his former employer there, which, of course, is awesome.  I’ve got a feeling it’s gonna get pretty damned ugly in the Sunshine State over the next few days.  Popcorn, anyone?

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

Getting chomped

What in the wide, wide world of sports is going on with Florida recruiting?  The Gators are the two-time defending SEC East champs, operate in the most talent rich state in the country, and yet, at least by their usual standards, are trailing badly in the recruiting races.

Smart and Georgia have the No. 3 recruiting class for 2017, while Florida lags behind at No. 31. A big reason for the disparity in the teams’ recruiting rankings is how the schools have fared with the top talent in their respective states.

Florida and Georgia each produced three 5-star players in the 2017 recruiting cycle. Only Texas and California produced more 5-star recruits…

Of the top 20 recruits in Florida, the Gators have one commitment, while Alabama, Ohio State, Florida State, Miami and Auburn all have more. The Gators’ highest-rated commit, Carter, is the No. 14 recruit in the state…

To recap, Georgia has commitments from 12 of the top 20 prospects in its state. Florida has one.

It’s a little ironic to me that McElwain is the first Gator head coach in a while who’s not a dick, but still appears to be having trouble closing the deal with a lot of top-flight recruits.

Even more strangely, there’s a lot of weird chatter out there about the program right now.  Andy Staples takes this question…

How safe is Florida head coach Jim McElwain’s job? If the Gators close with a mediocre recruiting class (they currently rank No. 31 in the country), fail to make significant progress on offense and go 7–6, could McElwain get fired in 2017? Yes, McElwain has won the SEC East in each of his first two years, but how much does that count for given the state of the division?

… and argues that it has a certain credence.  I’d like to believe that it’s nuts for a fan base to put more insistence on recruiting rankings than in division titles, but, after all, this is the SEC we’re talking about, PAWWWLLL.

Meanwhile, there’s a juicy rumor that’s been circulating on more message boards than I can count that a Florida high school has banned a Gator coach from campus and that a recruit has film of that coach offering him money.  The word bullshit comes quickly to mind here, but that wouldn’t stop this kind of stuff from making the rounds on the recruiting trail.  And if it is, then you know McElwain and his staff are having to waste time denying it.  If you’re recruiting against Florida, that’s half the battle won right there.

Now it ain’t close to being over.  As the story linked first notes, there are still plenty of uncommitted top in state recruits out there for Florida to make up significant ground between now and signing day.  But there appears to be a lot of heavy lifting ahead for a program that traditionally isn’t used to that.  Like I said, strange.

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UPDATE:  Bud Elliott has more on the current status of Florida’s recruiting here.

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I love the smell of recruiting despair in the morning.

Thanks for sharing, Mr. Hall.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Recruiting

Is Jim McElwain writing checks with his mouth that his team can’t cash?

Nice bravado, sir.

… during halftime of UF’s basketball game on Saturday against Vanderbilt. That’s when McElwain was trying to fire up the crowd and perhaps get the attention of many marquee football recruits who were attending the game.

When McElwain and some of his current UF football players were introduced at halftime, McElwain — with microphone in hand — ran out to center court and whipped the O’Dome into a frenzy.

“I’ll tell you something, what an awesome arena and a great crowd,” McElwain said. “It’s because of the energy every day that we were able to go undefeated in the Swamp, we were able to go to Atlanta back to back years. … And because of you guys, when we get back to Atlanta next season, we’re going to kick the door down!”

Only problem with that, Jim?  Florida has played Alabama.  It hasn’t worked out too well for you either time.

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