Three top recruits still sticking with the Gators

By Adam Silverstein
December 3, 2010

Though four-star defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan (Asheville, PA) recently dropped the Florida Gators due to a combination of their performance this season, his desire to be closer to home and the departure of assistant head coach defense/defensive line coach Dan McCarney, three of Florida’s current 2011 commitments have recently reaffirmed their stance to join the team next year.

Five/four-star quarterback Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, FL), four-star running back Mike Blakely (Bradenton, FL) and four-star cornerback Nick Waisome (Groveland, FL) each gave the Gators a vote of confidence this week on separate occasions.

“I don’t know where [rumors of my displeasure with Florida] came from. There’s all kinds of people out there that will write anything to make a buzz,” Driskel told The Gainesville Sun recently. “Those [rumors] are 100 percent false. I’m 100 percent [committed] to Florida and I’ll be there in about a month and a half. [The coaches] knew all along that I’m not going anywhere. I’m as solid as can be to Florida.”

“A lot of kids waiver in the process, but I’m 100 percent to Florida,” he said separately on the radio this week. “I have been the whole way. That hasn’t changed.”

Blakely views the Gators’ struggles in 2010 as a better way for him to get on the field sooner than he perhaps may have expected.

“I look at things like this is a great opportunity for me. They need help [on offense] and I want to do what I can next season and beyond,” Blakely told ESPN. “I look at it [Florida’s record] and say, ‘Who cares?’ My top two schools were Florida and Auburn. Look at Auburn, they are undefeated. I had a chance to go there and I could change my mind if I wanted to. But I will not because once I committed to the Gators I am a man of my word.

“You know, there are a lot of recruits out there that don’t give Florida a fair look because they are usually too good or because they lost some games and they all think they are going downhill. Every team has a poor year once in a while.”

Waisome is also unfazed by Florida’s recent issues, stating that he has no plans to change his commitment or even look elsewhere.

“I’m pretty much done with where I’m going. I’m firm in my commitment to Florida and I know the chances of me playing early is certainly attainable when I get there,” he told Rivals in an interview. “I like the system better at Florida in what they run and overall have a great comfort level with all the coaches and players.

“It was a tough year for Florida, but that happens even with the best teams. They were also very young at certain positions. Obviously as a corner I do feel I can help out their defense and that’s my goal to play a lot as a freshman next year. Florida played a lot of young guys on the defensive side of the ball and now I have to work to get my chance to play early as well. I’m really excited to be a part of that family and I’m just ready to get to work with the defense. It’s an aggressive defense that is only going to get stronger with the more talent we bring in.”

So while Pagan – a commitment who has been back-and-forth about his decision since the summer – decided to jump ship for a variety of reasons, most (if not the rest) of Florida’s still-growing 2011 signing class appears to be content with their decision to play for the Orange & Blue.

Photo Credit: Thomas Bender/Sarasota Herald-Tribune

20 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    This is very good to hear. The last thing we needed was for recruits to start jumping ship, and from the looks of things it doesn’t appear like that’s gonna happen.
    Thank Jesus

  2. Wingtee says:

    We recruit on a national level which is good and I think you can cherry pick , we always want our base to be in our state. Pagen was not coing here from the get go. Hope he recovers so he can walk in a normal way.

  3. Scooterp says:

    These were the 3 we could not afford to lose. Sucks, that we lost Pagan, we need a beast off the end. It would appear our biggest need would be O linemen, with the most experienced from this years debacle are leaving. For the life of me, I don’t understand why they don’t make this more of a priority. ML would be the next big need, hopefully we can get C. Grant and move Bostic and JJ to the outside where they’ll be more effective. Then a big receiver, but our depth at that position probably means that won’t happen. Then there’s Jernigan. If we manage to hang onto the verbals we currently have and get Jernigan, Grant and 1 or 2 respectable OL guys that currently aren’t on our radar, then it will have been a great recruiting class.

  4. dp says:

    Did I mention how happy I am that we let go of the Heisman winner Cam Newton…awesome job Urban! Way to let politics get in the way of talent. Newton 5 star recruit…Brantley 4. I guess Brantley’s legacy father outweighed Cam’s jerkoff father. Way to go coaching staff! Oh yeah u forgot he “stole” a laptop. Assholes!

  5. WG says:

    Running Cam off was brilliant! How many wins would this team have with him? Maybe 10-12? Would love to know the real story behind this.

  6. david says:

    Amazing how one decision with one great player cost us a national title. I wonder if we will ever forget Cam …

  7. Scooterp says:

    Are you people that uninformed! Newton left to avoid disciplinary action by the university and because Tebow was returning for his senior year. This has been documented and publicly discussed. And are you really certain that if Cam would have stayed we would have won another national title? C’mon, enuff already.

  8. Scooterp says:

    ……And with the way Brantley carried himself the last 3 years and how he played, limited as it was until the season, was there any reason to think he wouldn’t be the guy. NO! Now that the arrogance of the offensive coaching staff has completely ruined him as quarterback, its easy to sit back and think, what might have been. Sorry, it doesnt work that way, but don’t kid yourselves we wouldn’t have been a whole lot better off.

  9. dp says:

    Scooter do you realize that we are running the same offense that we did with Tebow? Newton is a Tebow clone who might even be a better passer than Timmy. Not as good of a leader but one billion times better a leader than John boy. In order to win big games you must have a leader on offense and defense. Ahmad Black is/was our best version of a leader on defense…Brantley has zero leadership capabilities…zero. We don’t lose against LSU or Mississippi State with Newton…much more competitive against Bama and USC with Newton. Brantley is a back-up at best until he grows a pair of nuts and acts like a leader. Time to shit or get off the pot for this coaching staff. Give Reed a shot at the first team, Brantley goes back to back-up, Burton continues his hybrid role, red shirt Driskel and hand him the reins when our young beasts are juniors. I also PRAY the our moronic offensive coaches tell wilder jr that we are shifting to a running philosophy and he comes over to us. This team is broken and needs to be fixed.

  10. Wingtee says:

    If I would have responded like the last 3 or 4
    responders Adam would have climbed my azz

    . Adam
    ????? Hello ??? Anyone ??

  11. DGLgatorfan says:

    Gators fans are greedy at least the ones who post here. urban meyer cost us a 3rd national title because he got rid of cam. There are several schools who never even played for a national title yet alone won two in such a short period of time. Even with newton I doubt this team does much better, they had no pass rush off the edge. Newton couldnt have cured that maybe we go 7-5 and have some great shoot outs. Gators will forget newton next yr when he is in the NFL and auburn is back to being a middle tier sec school. Besides I could of sworn this post was about three great recruits this “horrible” coaching staff have committed.

  12. Wingtee says:

    Just kidding Adam

  13. dp says:

    Pardon me for wanting a competitive team every season. We looked HORRIBLE this season. I appreciate Urban’s past efforts and think he has many great qualities as a coach. But in this world we are all accountable on a day to day basis of what we are currently producing. To make matters worse, a 5 star recruit that we “dismissed” is shining like the f’ing sun in our own conference. All I’m saying is that Urban and Foley need to take a good hard look at the current status of the team and adjust according…and quit with this “our players didn’t execute the game plan” BS! They need to say that the game plan executed the players!

  14. Scooterp says:

    dp – again, Cam was caught cheating in school and was found in possession of stolen property. He was on the verge of possibly being expelled. Even still, he left on his own. Now, knowing that, when someone says “RUNNING CAM OFF WAS BRILLIANT”/ “COST US ANOTHER NATIONAL TITLE” – does’nt it sound kinda stupid?

  15. dp says:

    Just wondering, if Brantley played running back or wide receiver, would Rainey or Hammond still
    be around? Also, never said it cost us a championship. Go Gators…better luck next year.

  16. Drew 4 Orange & Blue says:

    Scooterp is right on….Cam left for good reason and I still think in the end he is going to get nailed at Auburn…father pimping for money and the son didn’t know…..no way and I think in the end it will be proven…Auburn is having a magical season but how can they really enjoy it knowing it might very well be stripped in the end!!!!

  17. Alex says:

    Haha, Scam Newton cheated on the same paper twice. He was going to get booted out for his academic discipline problems so he transferred. It’s not like Meyer ran him out on a rail because he wanted John Brantley to succeed.

  18. STAN says:

    First of all , urban need to hire a good offensive line coach… next he need to get rid of Stan Drayton running back coach, because we did not miss him when he was at U.T. You can see that our backs do not hit the hole with any type of hard running as other backs do. Our offensive line can not past block, they are big and slow. Next the Coach need to get rid of the wide receiver coach , becaus our wide receivers do not ever come back to the ball when the QB is in trouble…..With all the good receivers we have they need to learn to run full routs even if they are not the intened receiver. GO GATORS

  19. Rich says:

    Back to the topic at hand. After a let down of a season, I’m VERY HAPPY to see 3 of our top recruits still wanting to be GAOTRS and some will be in just a few short weeks.

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