TWO BITS: Florida grades, Gators recruiting

By Adam Silverstein
September 22, 2014

1 » The folks over at Pro Football Focus chose to evaluate the Florida Gators vs. No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide contest on Saturday as their College Game of the Week. As such, PFF described the Gators’ performance as “simply a putrid defensive effort that saw Florida miss 30 tackles.” Three different UF players – redshirt senior linebacker Michael Taylor, senior safety Jabari Gorman and redshirt sophomore defensive back Brian Poole missed four tackles each, while junior DB Marcus Maye was “the only Florida starter not charged with an official missed tackle.”

Gorman and junior LB Antonio Morrison – due to their pass coverage and run defense, respectively – graded out as the worst of the Gators’ defenders on Saturday, rated lower than any offensive player. Redshirt senior tackle Chaz Green and redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel were given the lowest grades on the offensive side of the ball for their pass blocking and passing, respectively. All-in-all, it was a terrible day for Florida football, and PFF‘s detailed statistics break it down quite nicely.


2 » According to Jeremy Crabtree of ESPN Insider ($), an unnamed “recruiter” in the Southeastern Conference told him the “sharks [are] already starting to circle” around UF’s 2015 football commitments. The Gators currently have only 11 players committed and are listed at No. 40 in Rivals.com‘s team rankings, well back of their normal top-15 ranking. It has been known for quite some time that a number of top-rated recruits were waiting to see Florida’s success – or lack thereof – this season before making a final decision, but this is the first rumbling of UF’s current class being at risk. Of course, plenty will change if the Gators start winning football games, and Florida has plenty of time to swing the momentum around. It is interesting, however, that one of the Gators’ highest-rated commitments, four-star linebacker Adonis Thomas (Lawrenceville, GA) appears to already be looking around. “Decisions to be made,” he tweeted early Sunday.

27 Comments

  1. Ryan says:

    if he’s already wants to decommit because of one loss that tells a lot about his character.. he can go somewhere else for all I care. I want kids who want to play for THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA.

    • Steven says:

      These are my favorite responses.
      Let’s bash recruits because he doesn’t choose my school!!!

      Seriously it’s our job to get kids to want to come here not the other way around.
      If you were a top recruit would you want to come here?
      Coaching situation in flux. Offense is awful and offensive style isn’t “fun”. Defense is bad.
      4-8 last year. Non competitive against ranked squads.

      This is why Muschamp should have been gone last year. We could already be one year closer to winning again.

  2. G2 says:

    What has happened to Morrison? Guy was great as a freshman, last year was terrible, not off to a good start this year. Maybe he shouldn’t be in the middle, better on the edge?

    If we end up losing to UT, recruiting will take the proverbial nosedive, then forced to fire WM to try and turn things around. Not sure Foley will pull the trigger any other way. Huge dark cloud hanging around, not much going well these days.

    • Steven says:

      Morrison had 1 big hit against EJ. I don’t remember him ever doing much else

    • Ken (CA) says:

      If we lose to UT after a bye week, I would be shocked if WM last more than 24-48 more hours after that, no matter what % confidence Foley has in him, there would be no way he could survive

  3. tenn todd says:

    Adam. Radio station in Tennessee is reporting that demarcus Robinson was asking for a new qb on twitter . Have you heard anything on this.

    • It’s a bit of an exaggeration.

      An account tweeted a picture of Harris/Grier that Robinson retweeted. He then realized the contents, deleted the tweet and sent a new tweet saying he loves all his quarterbacks.

      • gatorboi352 says:

        I haven’t heard or seen anywhere that he deleted the tweet BECAUSE OF and only AFTER realizing the contents of the tweet.

  4. SJ210 says:

    Unfortunate that the state of Florida has so many top HS players this year and we’ll likely miss on all of them if we make a coaching change. Recruiting has been average at best under Muschamp – we’ve whiffed on most top in-state talent – and player development has been abysmal. Year 4 and I see very few players who will play on Sundays.

    • Gatorgrad79 says:

      SJ210,

      You think we’ll miss on recruits if we DO make a coaching change?! (I hope that is a typo and you meant if we don’t make a change). Look at the impact players we missed on the last 4 years at all our SEC competition, not to mention Miami and half ass u. My fsu acquaintances are PRAYING we keep champ for 5 more years, just like we prayed Bobby would never retire! Changing coaches can only help recruiting, if not this year, at least by 2016. This is a disaster and if we are having this conversation again next year, it will mean our program has regressed to 1975 status (I was a student then – it wasn’t pretty!)

      • SJ210 says:

        79 – this year is a catch 22. Yes I think a coaching change hurts us in recruiting this year since new staff wouldn’t have time to build relationships, but so does our craptastic on-field performance. Looks like Foley missed the boat by not canning WM after last season and hiring say a Strong or Franklin. Then we’d be in much better shape as a program and with recruiting for this year. As it stands, it’s looking like we’ll wind up gutting the staff which means turn your hopes to 2016 recruiting.

    • Michael J. says:

      Who cares what players will be playing on Sundays? Last year’s bad team has eight, I think, guys on NFL rosters this year. I think that’s the same number, of close to the team that won it all last year. Just because you are good enough to play in the NFL doesn’t mean that you are a good college player or form a great college team. Tim Tebow isn’t good enough for the NFL, but he’s a great college quarterback. In fact, the Gators last won the East when he was here. I say again, I don’t give a damn about whether a guy can play on Sunday, just that he can play on Saturday and not be a selfish player that doesn’t do his job. Right now it appears that UF doesn’t have players that can do their job.

  5. Gatorgrad79 says:

    Ryan,

    One loss?!? Really, you think that is all that is influencing this recruit…pay attention – the dumpster fire is growing and smells like s__t…

  6. ga8or22 says:

    There may be more truth than realized. 3 years of work and not show any better against good competition. Maybe, just maybe it is time to reconsider and try a different QB.

  7. W2 says:

    If they would maybe let one of the freshmen play QB then maybe we can say it’s just they Freshmen mistakes but Jeff is horrible and it’s not the OC fault

    • Steven says:

      I agree about Roper. I think the playcalling has been fine.
      We seem to be stretching the field much more.
      Roper is putting the players in positions to succedd which is all you can ask of a coach.

      Durkin on the other hand did the complete opposite. Having Morrison on the outside covering a fast RB.
      Leaving 1 safety back who is too slow to provide deep help or cover a receiver like Cooper.
      These players were setup to fail. Terrible coaching

  8. Steven says:

    Gorman is a guy who should be starting at Eastern Michigan. Not Florida.
    I like the guy, but he just doesn’t have the talent.

    Just a reminder. This is year 4.
    No talent deficiencies can be blamed on the previous coach.
    Urban left Will more talented players than he has recruited himself in 4 years.

  9. Steven says:

    Not to keep piling on, but Gorman and Morrison were worse than Amari Cooper was good.
    Now is when I do my best Antonio impression…….WOOF!

  10. Ken (CA) says:

    Oops, didn’t mean to scoop you on this yesterday Adam.

  11. gatormiami says:

    Where are all these great or even GOOD WRs? When was the last really nice catch? Lots of almost nice catches….drops. And when was the last drop of a perfect pass? Too many to count! Other teams are making the easy ones & many of the hard ones… (Anybody remember Driskel’s 14yd TD run to start the 2nd half?) Missed tackles and pathetic pass coverage cost the Gators the game vs Bama. We didn’t get a good performance from the qb, but defensive stars were no-shows… not a single sack & Bama RBs ran the sidelines unimpeded. POOR GATOR PERFORMANCE

  12. joaqui says:

    Just kind of thought about this but I would be really excited if Kingsbury was our next head coach if champ is booted. I agree that if booted we would need an offensive minded head coach. I think he would bring great inspiration to our offense and overall school. Any thoughts?

  13. SW FL Joe says:

    Everybody has to remember our WR coach is former QB Chris Leak. I’m sure he works very hard with the WR’s but he never played the position. Plus he is probably the one throwing to them in practice and if you remember his passes, they are nothing like what Driskel throws.

  14. gatorboi352 says:

    Remember before the season started and Will said this was the best team he’s ever had here at Florida? Ugh.

    Remember after the Eastern Michigan game when Will called into his own show the day Foley was guest appearing and pretended to be a caller wanting him fired? Ugh.

  15. Mike The Red says:

    Last year, I thought that Muschamp just struggled to identify a good OC and hoped that he would learn with experience. However after reoccurring problems with the offense under 3 OC, that cannot be the problem.

    After the UK game, I just thought that Muschamp was a little too loyal to Driskel and giving the poor kid every last chance he possibly could. Admirable but not in the best interest of the team. However when Muschamp did not give Harris a chance after the game was obviously lost and Driskel had shown no improvement, his loyalty became stubbornness.

    …but when our defense … OUR DEFENSE… a mainstay of Florida Football for the last two decades… begin falling apart when the team is healthy… what can you say? Things are pretty bad.

    It really isn’t fair to throw Muschamp under the bus after losing to the #3 team in the nation… but we need to look much better against UT.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      People keep saying this: oh but we lost to the #3 team in the nation.

      Before Saturday all I heard was that Bama has all these question marks, shaky secondary, unsettled starter at QB, this ain’t your 2012 Bama, blah blah blah.

      So many expectation lows have now been reached under Will its ridiculous.

  16. Sharon M says:

    I was hoping I was wrong abpout WM. He is NOT the right coach for Florida. He is not setting up a winning feeling with the players. It’s not just losing one game. It is just a bad attitude. He needs to go asap or the Gators will continue to set records the wrong way.

  17. Jared says:

    Foley should have known Muschamp wasn’t the guy and could of gotten Franklin in the off-season. Now you have a lame duck coach, which is destroying recruiting this year.

    Tough to see this team turning it around, with a below average defensive coordinator and QB who has shown no improvement in 4 years.

    Best to get rid of Muschamp sooner than later, name Roper interim head coach for rest of the year and begin your search for a home run (experience as a college head coach) hire. Recruits interested in Florida may wait and see at that point to see who is named Head Coach.

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