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January 16, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Mike DiRocco

Mike DiRocco
  (4:00 PM)

Hey guys. Hope everyone is doing well. Let's get started.

CP (CLW)

MD, I'll stick with the hardwood as I'm sure a ton of these guys will be hitting you with recruiting crap when they should be emailing Tyson. Our boys are way to banged up from any Jan standpoint I can ever remember. Is this due to bad luck or is Billy D killing these kids in practice like hes been known to do? An with our boys hopefully healthy where do you see this team come March?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:03 PM)

CP: Billy isn't doing anything different in practice than he has throughout his career. I think it's a bit of bad luck, especially for Casey Prather. He gets hit on the head during practice going up for a rebound and gets a concussion. Murphy, Rosario were hurt in games. Yeguete has a chronic issue with his knee. The Gators should be a Sweet 16 team at least because of their defense. Need to find a go-to guy on offense, though. Right now, there isn't one.

Justin (Atl)

I'm hearing word that the Eagles are after Dan Quinn. Do you see him leaving and if so, when and to whom does UF look to replace him?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:06 PM)

Justin -- NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Quinn and Georgia's Todd Grantham are two guys that Chip Kelly could target. I know that Quinn really enjoys working with Will and working on the collegiate level. He enjoys teaching and seeing the improvement. He's raved about that all year. So I imagine it'd be a tough decision for him if he were offered the job.

Drew (Tampa, Fl)

If NSD was today how could you rate the current recruiting class(on a scale of 1 to 10) based on overall talent level and filling important vacancies/adding depth. Also, how would you compare it to Muschamp's previous 1-2 recruiting classes.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:08 PM)

Drew -- On paper it's as good as any class UF has ever signed. The only area it's weak at is OL. Would have liked to see them add a couple more OLmen. But that's nit-picking. It's a very good class, much better than his first two classes.

Drew (Tampa, Fl)

I hear a lot of people talking very high about Daniel McMillian, is there anything specific about him that you think sets him out of the crowd in terms of potential or is it just the fact that he's enrolling early at a position lacking depth?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:10 PM)

Drew -- He's an athletic player who can play all three linebacker spots. That versatility makes him very valuable. He's a smart player and very physical, too. The staff likes him a lot.

Bret (FL)

Anzalone's commitment was a suprise! Do you think he will stick at LB or possibly a TE?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:10 PM)

Bret -- I think he stays at LB.

Lothar (FL)

Freshmen LB Rolin and DE Sherit will redshirt due to injuries, correct?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:11 PM)

Lothar -- That's the plan, yes.

CP (CLW)

MD, Please tell me that coach Boom is getting rid of this thug Dunker immediately!! Grand theft? What a joke!! Has coach commented on this to you yet?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:12 PM)

CP -- He's out recruiting and will address the media on Friday. I don't know what he's going to do. My guess is he'll dismiss him from the team but give him a chance to earn his way back.

Blake (Lakeland )

How good will the offense be next year

Mike DiRocco
  (4:13 PM)

Blake -- I can't give you an answer to that until I see what the freshmen WRs look like. If there's one or two that can play right away the offense has a chance to be much better.

Matt (Tampa)

Mike, are the rumors or Nkemdiche coming for an official visit confirmed yet? What do you think our odds of landing him and/or Montravius Adams?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:15 PM)

Matt -- The staff still isn't sure if he's coming or not. If he does come, then the odds of landing him get better, but I don't think they're very good. You have a better shot at Adams, I think.

Tommy Danielson (Tampa fl)

How will the loss of Jessman Dunker affect the Gators o line. I'm assuming he will be off the team after his grand theft auto arrest. Thanks and Go Gators

Mike DiRocco
  (4:16 PM)

Tommy -- I don't know if he's going to get booted or not. He was going to compete with Max Garcia for the LG spot. If he's gone, Garcia slides in there and I don't think the Gators will have any trouble. It would hurt in terms of depth.

Phillip (a stadium near you)

Mike,can you compare the attitude of the team last year after the Gator Bowl victory to the attitude of the team after the loss in the Sugar Bowl?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:17 PM)

Phillip -- In the locker room after the game, the players didn't appear devastated. They were upset at losing, but it didn't seem to be earth shattering. Some guys were very upset, but on the whole it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The coaches took it much harder, I think.

rob (new york)

do you think Tebow gets a shot at QB in Jax?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:18 PM)

rob -- Nope. The new GM said he wasn't going to sign Tebow.

Thomas (Jacksonville)

Where do you think gators start out ranked next season? What will be the weakest position?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:18 PM)

Thomas -- Probably in the bottom half of the top 10.

steve (south florida)

What's the real deal with Driskell's progress specifically pocket awareness? Any noise about us going up tempo next year?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:20 PM)

steve -- He certainly has to work on that this offseason. That comes with having more confidence, which he should get now that there's nobody threatening to take his job. He should get better. As for going up-tempo, that will happen in spurts but I don't see it being anything regular. Muschamp wants to grind games out.

dw (green)

do see florida taking a another WR in class if so who

Mike DiRocco
  (4:20 PM)

dw -- They're going after Treadwell. If they can get him, they'll be happy to sign 6.

Mark (Florida)

What do you make of the reports that Nkemdiche might come visit UF this weekend? Any real possibilities there?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:21 PM)

Mark -- If he comes, that increases the likelihood of getting him, but I still think that's a remote chance anyway. But he enjoyed spending time with UF recruits at the UA game, so that may be a bigger factor than we realize.

Julio (NYC)

What are you thoughts on LB Michael Taylor going into 2013? I thought he would be the heir apparent to Bostic at MLB but some are voicing concerns over his complete game.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:22 PM)

Julio -- He doesn't run very well and struggles in pass coverage. That means he isn't an every-down LB. I think Morrison, if he can beef up a bit, could be the starter at MLB next year.

Bruce (Sopchoppy)

Will Staver redshirt? Is Mornhinweg a viable #2 at QB?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:23 PM)

Bruce -- That's the plan. As for Mornhinweg, if he's the best option then he'll be No. 2, but if Staver out-plays him then he'll get the job. It's going to be an interesting battle.

Harold (Denver, CO)

Obviously, this past season was highlighted with a strong schedule and a resurgence to national prominence. Besides, the letdown at the Sugar Bowl, I feel that UF is a national title contender next year with 'Bama and A&M. Our scheduel is more favorable next year, do you think the Sugar Bowl letdown will be a hindrance for next year?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:24 PM)

Harold -- Everything hinges on the offense's development. If the WR position improves significantly, then you guys have a chance. If not, then you don't. To me it's all on the WRs.

Chad (Middleburg)

Regarding UF's class and the amount of O-linemen they are signing, remember that they have two transfers on the O-line.....Max Garcia and Tyler Moore....

Mike DiRocco
  (4:26 PM)

Chad -- Correct, but I would have liked to have seen them sign more young OL. The goal is to sign OL, get them in the weight program and redshirt them for a year, then let them compete. That way you get a pipeline going. Garcia and Moore are talented and will play right away, but they're a two-year fix. UF has to start developing more linemen.

JD (Ga)

With Kelvin Taylor's early enrolling, do you see him and Matt Jones battling it out or do you think Jones has it locked up?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:27 PM)

JD -- Jones has the starting job going into spring but Taylor will get significant work. I think the season starts with Jones as the starter and Taylor and Lane getting work. Then it's up to Taylor to make the staff give him more work by proving it on the field.

Gator ((The Swamp))

Do you think this recruiting class has addressed the complete void of playmaking talent at WR?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:28 PM)

Gator -- It's a start for sure. Signing five WRs (and possibly six) is not something that happens all the time. It's a clear message to the WRs on the roster. But they need two of those guys to be pretty good. If they all turn out to need two or three years to get going, then it's not going to help next season.

Brian (Burlington)

Who would we likely go after on the OG spot to replace Dunker for recruits left out there?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:29 PM)

Brian -- I don't think the Gators are going to rush to sign another OL just because Dunker got arrested. We don't even know whether he's going to get booted or not.

Angel (NYC)

I know its unlikely but if you had to choose, who are 3 guys that would have big years on the offensive side of the ball and why?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:30 PM)

Angel -- Jones, Taylor and Lane. The offense will be built around those three RBs. And if the passing game continues to struggle they're going to have to have big seasons. I'm looking for the three of them to combine for about 1,800 yards.

Brian (Burlington)

Do you think Max Staver was really telling gthe truth about Jalen Ramsey on exciting news to come soon?Like he knows he may flip his commitment?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:32 PM)

Brian -- Who knows with these kids? Maybe he does know something, but until they sign the LOI I believe nothing that these kids say.

Tommy (Tampa)

Is Dunker a bad guy, or did he just get caught up in something. You would know better than me. And sorry about sendin the same question, this is my first chat and I wasn't sure if it was going through or not

Mike DiRocco
  (4:33 PM)

Tommy -- I haven't heard anything about Dunker being a thug or a bad guy, and that's something we usually hear about pretty quickly. The details of the arrest will shake out pretty soon and we'll have a better idea of what happened.

Brian (Burlington)

When will Joker Phllips get his hands on our WR's for training them?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:34 PM)

Brian -- Spring practice is the first time he can get hands-on with the players.

Justin (Ga)

Whats up with UF and Woulard? Why doesnt there seem to be more interest on UF's side?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:37 PM)

Justin -- There is some interest. When Brissett transferred that interest grew.

Josh (Fla)

Is UF not still chasing James Clark?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:37 PM)

Josh -- Yes, but they like Treadwell, too.

Brian (Burlington)

Do you think Chip Kelly comes to the SEC after he fails in the NFL?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:38 PM)

Brian -- I think he'll have his pick of college jobs if he doesn't succeed in the NFL. The SEC would be a good place for him, provided he made a commitment to the defensive side of the ball.

Angel (NYC)

You dont think Debose will have much of an impact next year. But the fact that he got on the field in the Sugar Bowl and made the best play for UF, you think he has made some changes with his attitude, work ethic, etc.? For what he has been through, he finished the season strong and that should be a positive for him heading into next season, can he possibly be a vertical threat in the passing game for us?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:39 PM)

Angel -- No. I could be wrong, but I don't see him changing after four years of the same issues.

David (Little Rock)

With all the tough road games next year, do you agree that 2014 is more likely the year Florida contends?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:39 PM)

David -- UF can contend next year if the offense improves. But it's more likely in 2014, yes.

Brian (Burlington)

Who is the best WR in 2014 is it Bronson who is already commited? Or someone else? That has UF interested in themBronson looked good at UA Jr. camp

Mike DiRocco
  (4:40 PM)

Brian -- ESPN hasn't done its rankings yet, so it's hard to say, but Bronson is among the best in the country.

joey (tampa fl)

With Robert nkemdiche visiting this weekend, what do you think his reasoning for this late visit with us? also do you think he could end up commiting on signing day as a big surprise?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:41 PM)

joey -- I know he hung out with some UF recruits and UA game and had a good time. Maybe they convinced him to give UF a look. I have no idea what he's going to do, and neither does anyone else, I think.

joey (tampa fl)

What are the chances of Mackensie Alexander or Tunsil coming to the gators, Also do you think our own recruits are doing better recruiting players than actually the coaches this year?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:42 PM)

joey -- Probably pretty slim on both. The players have done a very good job working on other players, but that happens every year. Remember, Tebow tried to get Spiller to sign with UF. Didn't work, though, so I guess he's not a good recruiter. The coaches have done a fantastic job.

Johnny C (Georgia)

Does Dunker's arrest pose even more questions about the lack of discipline shown in the bowl game?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:44 PM)

Johnny C -- I don't think it has anything to do with that.

Patrick (IN)

Where do you see Will Grier being in the QB rankings next year?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:44 PM)

Patrick -- He'll be among the top three QBs, I'm sure.

Scott (Charlotte)

Who else joins this class on NSD? Any big surprises in your opinion?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:45 PM)

Scott - It's hard to say. I think everyone is hoping for Nkemdiche to announce he's going to UF, but I don't know how realistic that is. There are always surprises on signing day, though.

Patrick (IN)

What is going on with Quinton Powell and is Florida one of his leaders?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:46 PM)

Patrick -- He wanted to take some other visits. UF was fine with that, but they told him if he was going to look elsewhere they were going to have to keep recruiting to potentially fill his spot if he decided not to go to UF.

jay (Orlando)

why do I get the feeling the swamp isnt what it used to be. what happened to the loyalty of selling out every game no matter the opponent? lack of excitement ? people not appreciating whats being put out on the field? maybe it was just a tebow thing

Mike DiRocco
  (4:48 PM)

jay -- I think it's an economic thing. Tickets cost more than ever and it's expensive to drive cross state, pay to park, pay to eat, and possibly pay for a hotel and other meals. And you get to watch them play Jax State? That's not a wise investment, and I think people are seeing that. The big games will always be packed, but I expect to continue to see a lot of open seats for those other games.

Brian (Burlington)

If Kennard Swanson has his grades right, do the Gators land him?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:48 PM)

Brian -- I don't think so.

grebugete (ellenton fl)

Which commits are we most likely to lose, or biggest risk to lose?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:49 PM)

grebugete -- That's a hard question to answer. There's always some drama that unfolds in the last few days before signing day so it wouldn't surprise me if there's one or two.

David (Tampa)

I haven't heard anything about Ronald Powell in a while. What's going on with his injuries? Couldn't he be the most impactful "newcomer" since Florida did tend to struggle to get to the quarterback?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:50 PM)

David -- I talked to him a little bit ago. Says his knee is doing great. He'll be non-contact in the spring but full contact in August. He's a key factor in the pass rush and if he's as explosive as he was before the injury then he's a threat for double-digit sacks.

grebugete (ellenton fl)

Not a Tebow thing. I was there in 80s-90s and always packed. Defense wins championships but offense puts peeps in seats. Thoughts?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:51 PM)

grebugete -- I've never come across a fan base more concerned with style points in wins and looking good in wins than Florida. That plays a part in it, I'm sure.

joey (tampa fl)

Which Gator receiver coming in this class has the most impact next year? will Treadwell be the best of them all if he decided to join?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:55 PM)

joey -- Demarcus Robinson, who enrolled early, has the best chance to make a big impact. He's a more complete receiver than the rest right now.

grebugete (ellenton fl)

Yeah 12 yrs of fun-n-gun spoiled us. So, why not take a highly rated qb this year. Seems like banking on grier is risky.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:57 PM)

grebugete -- The staff likes Staver, and Driskel isn't going to leave for the NFL after next season.

MD (CLW)

So what year should we expect Tebow to come back to FL as a recruiter, lol? I feel bad for Tims situation in the NFL but in all honesty I don't see anyone picking him up next year unfortunately, thanks Rex.

Mike DiRocco
  (4:58 PM)

MD -- I think Tim may have to re-think his commitment to only playing QB if he wants his NFL career to continue.

Jay (Orlando)

Haven't been to the swamp yet, besides the FSU game your opinion on the best home game to go watch that's affordable to some extent?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:59 PM)

Jay -- Probably Tennessee. That's nearly a guaranteed win over an SEC opponent. The tix cost the same for every game, except for Georgia.

David (Little Rock)

Do you think the overall weakness of the SEC in Basketball this year will hurt the gators come tourney time?

Mike DiRocco
  (4:59 PM)

David -- No, because they're RPI is high and they played a pretty good non-conference schedule.

Brian (Daytona, FL)

This is a little off topic, but what is your opinion or reaction to the article claiming that Manit Teo's girlfriend was a hoax? It is extremely bizarre.

Mike DiRocco
  (5:00 PM)

Brian -- Haven't read it. I'll grab it after the chat.

Mike DiRocco
  (5:00 PM)

OK everyone, that's it for this week. We'll talk again next Wednesday.Mike