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January 9, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Mike DiRocco

Mike DiRocco
  (4:02 PM)

I'm expecting a lively chat today. Let's get started.

Zane (Columbus)

That sugar bowl loss hurt pretty bad, do you think that caused some recruits to go elswhere?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:04 PM)

Zane -- I don't think so. Demarcus Robinson picked UF and the Gators' class is still ranked No. 2.

Zane (Columbus)

What do you think will be the biggest game of 2013 for the Gators?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:05 PM)

Zane -- Probably the Georgia game. I think LSU will be down a bit and the Georgia game will decide the East. Plus, Muschamp is 0-2 vs. Georgia.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Even though you Cover Florida College Football,What is your Favorite NFL Team?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:05 PM)

Chris -- The New England Patriots.

Al (Miami, FL)

Hey Mike, with 26 commits and Jelani headed to the NFL, seems like we have space for 4 more recruits, who do you UF getting? Is DT M. Adams in the mix? Who else?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:08 PM)

Al -- From what I've heard, Adams is in the mix and he's probably the one most likely to pick UF of the other high profile recruits. I'm not sure the Gators will have a full complement of 85 scholarship players, though.

Guy Blevins (Lakelamd Fl)

I think next year the gators should try more spread offense even though most receivers are not skilled set just to open up the offense at least 10 to 15 snaps a game pleaseeeeeee do something 3 receiver set on one side tight end open on the other side the sugar bowl game was a nightmare

Mike DiRocco
  (4:09 PM)

Guy -- I can guarantee you the Gators will not run more spread offense. That's not what Muschamp wants to do. He wants pro-style, pound-it-up the middle. If the WRs struggle again, I think we'll see the same stuff we saw this year: Run, run, run. Little wildcat mixed in. But I think the WRs will be better. Hard to be worse.

Bruce (Sopchoppy)

With Sam Robey graduating, who do you see backing up C Harrison next season?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:10 PM)

Bruce -- Kyle Koehne can play center, although that's not an intriguing option. I wouldn't be surprised if the Gators trained another linemen there in the spring, maybe Garcia or even Halapio.

james diambou (ny)

what other top players u know that the gators are after

Mike DiRocco
  (4:13 PM)

james -- UF is going after DT Montravius Adams, DE Elijah Daniel. Probably the two main guys on defense. I'm sure they wouldn't turn down WR Laquon Treadwell, either.

JACKB (FORT WALTON BEACH)

Do you think Driskel will ever learn to get rid of the ball or not stare down his receivers? At times he seems to have no pocket presence. Like the Ga. game our behavior was embarrasssing vs. Louisville. Individual celebrations if necessary are more appealing when you're winning the game not when you're losing 20 -3.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:15 PM)

Jackb -- Driskel's issues are the same issues all young QBs face. Now that he's not splitting reps 50-50, he'll be able to focus on development in the offseason with Brent Pease. If he's doing those same things next season, then it's a problem. As for the behavior, that was a little ridiculous. There's still some issues in that locker room that Muschamp has to clean up. Nothing major, but certainly the showboating has to stop.

richy (england)

Are we likely to get either ramsey or alexander?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:15 PM)

richy -- from what I've heard, probably not.

richy (england)

Do we have a real chance with adams and daniels (The DE)

Mike DiRocco
  (4:16 PM)

richy -- Yes to both. UF needs more help at DT for sure with Floyd leaving.

Julio (NYC)

Who do have as the starting safeties for next year? We seem young there.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:18 PM)

Julio -- Other than what happens at WR, safety is the position I'll be watching very closely. There are a number of ways the Gators could go, but my guess is by the end of the spring it'll be Poole and Riggs/Watkins/Showers/Gorman rotating at the other spot. Then in the fall we'll see where Marcell Harris fits in. May be a young group but it'll be talented for sure.

Bill (Jax Beach)

Mike looking forward, do you think Driskell is the type QB that takes Fla to a championship,reason I ask is he's not a very goodpasser and makes alot of bad decisions in the pocket. Looks like Will is going after more of a passer than runner in his QB recruits

Mike DiRocco
  (4:20 PM)

Bill -- Muschamp does want more of a pro-style, pocket passer, but in this day and age it helps to have a QB who can give you something else. As for Driskel, I don't think he's going to be an All-SEC QB, but he'll be a QB you can win with. If he has some more weapons at WR, then he can be a very good passer and complement the running game. But with a good defense and a running game, he can be a QB on a championship team.

Jason (New York)

2.I was beyond shocked with what happened at the Sugar Bowl. Frankly embarrassing. I don?t understand how the defense can play as poorly as they did. I thought the gators were very predictable on offense and Strong with having a month to prepare was more than ready. Just very disappointing. As good as Muschamp has been, I thought he got severely outcoached and must do a better job at preparing for bowl games. Urban Meyer was a great bowl coach. Being as big of a favorite as we were, I feel that the bowl loss pretty much ruins what we did during the regular season.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:21 PM)

Jason -- I was with you up until your last point. It was a dismal end, but it doesn't over-ride what that team accomplished: Winning at Texas A&M, winning at FSU, routing SC, beating LSU. It was a heck of a season and Muschamp got more out of this team than anyone expected. The last game always lingers with fans, but I think two months from now you'll appreciate what the Gators did in 2012.

Jim (Miami)

Overall view of 2013 Gators season?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:23 PM)

Jim -- UF has an easier October than in past years and the schedule doesn't seem overly tough. LSU loses a lot and I think the Tigers take a dip. Georgia, SC and FSU are the three toughest games. I think 10 wins in the regular season is reasonable. That might be good enough to win the division provided one of those wins is over Georgia.

Jason (New York)

1.More of comment than question- let me know if you agree: Notre Dame deserved to be in the game but clearly they don?t belong on the same field as some of the elite teams of the country. They ended up benefiting from a cupcake schedule (not their fault)?.But I think we can all agree that the championship game was really the SEC championship. It pains me to say this as a UF fan, but Georgia was probably the second best team this year.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:26 PM)

Jason -- I agree with pretty much all of that. Notre Dame was in the title game because it won all of its games and was rewarded in the system we have. Thankfully, the playoff is a year away. As for Georgia, you're probably right, although you could also argue that Texas A&M and Oregon were worthy of being called the second-best teams in the country, too.

Gary (Panama City Beach, FL)

Do you think the QB position will be an open competition again this spring?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:26 PM)

Gary -- Nope. Muschamp said even before Brissett left that the job was Driskel's.

Jason (New York)

3.My biggest takeaway from the game is that in order for the Gators to be successful next year we?re going to need to get better QB play. Driskel was gd-awful against Louisville. His accuracy and timing are terrible. The first play of the game was due to a poor pass. Yes we need better WR play, but if Driskel does not make defense?s pay for loading up the box, we are not going anywhere next year.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:28 PM)

Jason -- Driskel has to get better, yes. But the problems he had are the same problems that all young QBs have. And the reason teams loaded the box is that there was no threat from the WRs. If the WR position improves, so will Driskel. I think WR was the single biggest problem with the team this year -- and the past two as well.

Dave ((Clermont))

Mike,with Jocby leaving where are we at 2nd QB?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:29 PM)

Dave -- Right now it'd probably be Murphy, but I bet Mornhinweg makes a move in the spring. Either way, there's going to be issues if Driskel gets hurt.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Do you think Driskel will improve as a passer in 2013 to help the Gators get over the hump and play for an SEC/BCS title?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:30 PM)

Tony -- I think he improves because the issues he had were what all young QBs have. Plus, now that hes not splitting reps 50-50 in a QB competition, he can focus solely on getting better and improving. He'll be in the film room all offseason and throwing in the summer. He'll get better. If he gets some weapons, the Gators can win the division.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Will the Gators land Tunsil or Alexander?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:30 PM)

Tony -- Probably not.

Jason (New York)

4.With 26 commits are the Gators done? Or are we still recruiting others. Whats up with Montravious Adams-did the visit go well? I think we need some LBs- ?Very important for us to get pressure on the QB without having to blitz. I noticed that Bridgewater had all day to pass and we only got pressure when we blitzed.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:31 PM)

Jason -- I think the Gators are going to go after guys -- Adams is one for sure -- but I think for the most part the class is done. As for getting pressure, I think UF will be able to do that very well next year. Liked what I saw out of Fowler and Bullard and Ronald Powell comes back. Should be three guys that can combine for 20-30 sacks.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Mike, would Treadwell be the priority for you, given your disdain for the Gator receiving corps?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:32 PM)

Tony -- I'd sign 10 receivers in this class if I were Muschamp. That position is what kept this team from winning an SEC title. It has to improve. If that means trying to (realistically) sign six, then that's what I'd do if I were Muschamp.

Keenan (Atlanta, GA)

Do you think Easley joins Floyd in the NFL or returns to Gainesville?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:33 PM)

Keenan -- He tweeted earlier this week that he was coming back.

craig (south carolina)

Driskel was less then impressive in the Sugar Bowl but i think were hurting alot more at reciever rather than at quarterback what do you think

Mike DiRocco
  (4:33 PM)

craig -- ABSOLUTELY.

Ryan (Live Oak)

Andre Debose has shown flashes of excellence yet he still isnt incorporated into the plan much. How much of this is due to his lack of practice work ethic and do you expect to see him more in the picture next year?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:34 PM)

Ryan -- He has attitude, work ethic and consistency issues. He's had them for four years. Not going to get fixed in one offseason. With UF signing 5 WRs, I think we'll see very little of him next season.

Jason (New York)

With Murray returning for his senior year, you still feel confident Gators win the East? I?m not as confident to be honest?.We have so many questions going into next season and a lot of turnover on defense and offense?.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:35 PM)

Jason -- I do think UF wins the East. Murray has not played well in his games against UF. If UF can find something on offense at WR, they'll beat the Bulldogs and win the division.

Jarret (Va)

Hey mike, do you think gators defense will be good enough to stop good offensive teams in the sec next season.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:36 PM)

Jarret -- I think so. They'll be able to rush the passer and the secondary is very good. The LBs are my big concern.

Bert (Orlando, fl)

Do you think the orange pants had an effect in the Sugar Bowl? The gators seem to lose lately when they wear an odd uniform.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:37 PM)

Bert -- Nope.

Chris (Gainesville, Fl)

After all the excuses we have heard about Driskel's youth, and he will get better, is it time to start pointing the finger at QB coaching? This year had what seemed like a record number of green froshs/sophs who excelled (Oregon, TAMU, Lville, etc), and Driskel is not improving. What are your thoughts.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:47 PM)

Chris -- Not every young QB is ready to play at an elite level right away. And those QBs had something that Driskel didn't -- weapons. Plus, Driskel had to spend the entire spring and offseason and August competing to win the starting job. He had to split reps. Let's see how he does next year before we call for his head.

John (Cairo, Egypt)

Are there any incoming WR recruits that can make an immediate impact, especially as a downfield threat?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:48 PM)

John -- Demarcus Robinson, who enrolled early, and Ahmad Fulwood are the two most likely to make an impact. Fulwood is a long, lanky guy who can go up and get the ball. Robinson is a well-rounded player who could start right away.

Kirby (Bainbridge GA)

First off I'm a Gator back to Spurrier through Zook onto Meyer, but man when is Coach Boom going to get us a Reidel Anthony and J. Green? Do we get that with this new crop of receivers or what?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:49 PM)

Kirby -- Possibly, but not right away. I think Robinson and Fulwood could be studs but it may take a year or two.

Jason (New York)

We better have a chat here if the Gators lose to Georgia again next year...I'm going to copy and paste your answer hahaha

Mike DiRocco
  (4:49 PM)

Jason -- Geez, no fair reminding me of any bad predictions.

Mike (Tampa, FL)

It looks like Florida will sign a deep and talented class at WR this year. How much impact can these guys have in 2013?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:50 PM)

Mike -- I think Robinson and Fulwood can play a lot right away. Let's be honest, those guys need to make an impact. But even if they are pretty good, I don't expect the Gators to throw it around like it was 1996. With the backs they have, the Gators should be able to have a lot of success on the ground.

Hye Jin Lee (Los Angeles, CA)

What is your prediction for the last BCS National Championship Game?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:51 PM)

Hye Jin Lee -- Wow, really early to guess. But I can probably guarantee this: An SEC team will win it.

Mark (palm beach)

which wr do you see stepping up the most in time for next season, be it a recruit or someone already with the gators?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:52 PM)

Mark -- I think we'll see something out of Latroy Pittman in the spring. He'll have had a year in the system and the coaches loved him last spring. He should move into a starting spot alongside Dunbar.

craig (south carolina)

why hasnt Florida been able to recruit stud wide outs. I mean we have a long history of WR's, Harvin, Hilliard, Baker, Cooper, Jackson I'll stop their but whats going on.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:53 PM)

Craig -- It's a question that has no one answer. The Gators did sign some highly regarded recruits, but they didn't pan out. That's coaching and player development. But some of those players were not as talented as their rankings would indicate. That's player evaluation, and that's failed at times, too.

Mark (palm beach)

with bostic and jenkins leaving for the nfl what does our linebacker group look like next year?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:54 PM)

Mark -- I think the starers will be Morrison, Ball and Taylor. Of the three, I have the most reservations about Taylor, who is not very good against the pass. UF may end up playing a lot of nickel and just going with Morrison and Ball and getting an extra DB on the field.

Greg (Ellenton, FL)

I agree with Chris above. I don't think Driskel is suddenly going to "get it" and perform checkdowns and audibles. He'll remain a serviceable QB but not one what puts the team on his back. Why aren't the coaches recruiting another QB for next year (I know about Grier, but a lot can happen between now and 2014 signing)?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:55 PM)

Greg -- They've got a commit from Max Staver, a big kid who's a pure pocket passer. It's hard to sign two QBs in a class because you end up always losing one. I know they really like Staver. And again, let's give Driskel a full offseason as the starter before we pronounce him a bust.

Jessica Liao Lee (Los Angeles, CA)

Who is cuter...Tebow or Driskel?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:56 PM)

Jessica -- I deferred to Mrs. DiRocco for this answer. She quickly picked Timmy. Sorry if you were hoping for Jeff.

Keenan (Atlanta, GA)

How big willl a healthy Ronald Powell be on the outside for the Gators?

Ivo (Jax, FL)

What's your prediction for starting OL next yr? Any prediction for "break out player" also, maybe K. Taylor, or dare I say Robinson? Thanks for taking my question.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:58 PM)

Ivo -- LT Humphries, LG Garcia, C Harrison, RG Halapio, RT Green/Moore. As for breakout player, I'll pick Adam Lane. I think he's going to surprise people.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:59 PM)

Guys, I have to finish the chat now because I've got to head to Gainesville for the basketball game. However, I will answer every question that's still in the que and post it on the GatorNation blog tomorrow. That way everyone gets their question answered. Check it out around noon at www.GatorNationESPN.com.Thanks,Mike