Hello everyone. I'm ready for your questions.
I read that Florida is only going to sign about 14 players next year or something like that. So who would they like to target and which positions?
Joe -- The Gators are going after quicker DEs (like Da'Shawn Hand) and still need to stock up on the offensive line. They're also going after WRs and RBs, which doesn't seem right considering how many of those they signed this year. But you can never have too many -- as UF proved in 2010 and 2011.
What are the chances that Randal picks Florida they could use another big man
Joe -- The Gators are getting two forwards eligible next year (Finney-Smith and Harris) so there is front court help coming. That may factor into his decision. It doesn't seem likely he's picking UF.
Mike, quick numbers, how do you see next years recruting class ? Also, do you think the basketball team can be consistent enough to make it to the Final Four?
Bill -- It will be a smaller class of 14-18. By my count the Gators will lose 14 players, but there will always be some transfers. As for the hoops team, if Yeguete, Frazier and Prather are 100 pct healthy the Gators have as good a shot as anyone to make the Final Four. They're built on defense and that travels much better than being built on offense. It all depends on matchups in the tournament, but playing good defense gives them a good shot.
What do you think of Will Grier and what he might be able to bring to the table? I've heard people draw comparisons that he has a stronger arm than Driskel did at this time in his high school career.
Gary -- Grier is also a much more polished passer than Driskel was at this point in high school. That's really the key. Driskel has done a solid job and he's been efficient (64 pct completions), but he's more of an athlete playing QB. Grier seems to me to be a QB who is also an athlete.
What will florida's plans be for Andre Debose this fall just a returner?
Brandon -- Unless he shows at spring practice and fall camp that he's going to work hard every day, give consistent effort, and not have any attitude issues, then he'll probably just work as a returner. If he fixes those issues, he could be a starting WR. But after four years of issues, it isn't likely that he's going to change.
Is will grier the real deal or did he just have some good games? Obviously he's good enough for UF to offer him a scholarship with hopes of being the QB of the future but will he be that highly rated, not that ratings matter anyhow.
John -- I've never seen him play in person, but I know this: Muschamp has told his coaches not to fall in love with tape of a guy. See him in person. Talk to him, his family, his coaches. They like what they've seen from Grier a lot. And his tape does look impressive. Still, you never know until you get a kid on campus. Remember Brock Berlin?
Mike I think the UF hoops teams is fortunately for them, falling a little below the radar right now. They are getting back healthy and still have 2 regular season games, and the SEC torunament to round into form. Do you agree this little lack of respect mid to late season can help fuel them to a run to Atlanta?
Andrew -- I think getting healthy will do more to fuel a run than anything else. UF always seems to have a February stumble, mainly because the schedule in late February is harder than earlier in the SEC season.
With the number of incoming freshmen in the fall how good of an idea will Spring Ball give for position depth on both sides of the ball?
Mike -- It can provide some answers at some positions, especially linebacker. Anzalone and McMillian will get every chance to earn a starting job. It can also help at DT, too. Where it won't help will be WR. Only Demarcus Robinson enrolled early and the Gators need to get something from the other four freshmen in the fall. Or at least 2 of them.
Hey Mike. Is there a chance of Adam Lane will be the backup at fullback this year? Do you think he could be the heir apparent at fullback in the future?
Marlon -- I don't think so. The staff loves him as a runner. They like that he's essentially another Maurice Jones-Drew, a tough, shorter runner with a huge lower body who is tough to bring down. UF will address fullback next season in recruiting, plus they can always use a walk-on or convert a linebacker this season in an emergency situation.
Both Jabari Gorman and Cody Riggs are smaller safeties. Do you think either one or both remind you of former small Gator safeties such as Shea Showers or Ahmad Black? Could Gorman or Riggs have any impact like the these guys?
Marlon -- They may be built like Black but they're nowhere near the impact player that Black was. Not to say they can't ever develop into that, but even when he wasn't playing on defense Black was a key special teams player. Haven't seen anything out of those guys yet to convince me they're going to be big-time playmakers. Maybe we'll see something this spring.
It's not really covering our roster, but why does it seem like Florida always lacks recruiting an elite WR or RB. I understand we got Kelvin Taylor, but I feel like that's just a family tradition.
Josh -- Always is a bad word there. UF had guys like Dallas Baker, Riley Cooper, Louis Murphy, Andre Caldwell, Jabar Gaffney from Florida high schools. As for backs, Ciatrick Fason was from Florida, as was Earnest Graham. Rainey was a big recruit, too. But I understand your point. The Gators haven't hit on any really elite players from the state in the last several years. I think part of that was they missed on recruits and another part is they failed to do a good job developing others. Let's see what happens in the next few years. I think you'll be happy with the results.
How big of a role will Latroy Pittman have come 2013 season?
Josh -- Hopefully it's bigger than the one he had last year (2 catches). He was great in the spring but had trouble absorbing the entire offense in the fall. Then the Gators really didn't want to throw as much because of the OL and Driskel's development. He'll have a chance to win a starting job this spring, but he'll have to work hard because the Gators have more options there now (theoretically, anyway).
Do you see UF picking up anymore commitments soon, seems things have really slowed since the junior day
Brandon -- Commitments seem to come in spurts, so don't read anything into the fact that it has been slow for a while. UF doesn't have many slots open in next year's class anyway so they're going to be more selective. Plus, some of the guys they want are not announcing for a long time.
What kind of impact do you think Easley and Jacobs can have at defensive tackle? Personally, I like Easley better at end, and Jacobs seems a little small for a defensive tackle.
Marlon -- The plan is for Easley to play mainly end but move inside on passing downs. The DT position is one where there's a lot of uncertainty. Jacobs had a solid year last year in the rotation and he should be able to step into a starting role and play as well as Omar Hunter did. Those two are the only DTs that I don't have a lot of questions about.
Who will be the Running Backs for Florida in 2013?
Chris -- I expect Matt Jones to start and Kelvin Taylor and Adam Lane to get significant carries.
What kind of impact can Rafael Andrades and Latroy Pittman have in 2013? I was kind of disappointed neither guy had much of an impact at a position that really needed help last year.
Marlon -- I answered a question about Pittman earlier, so I'll focus on Andrades in this answer. He was a guy who was very fluid in how he ran routes during July workouts but got overwhelmed by the offense in August. Plus, WRs have to adjust to the more physical DBs and press coverage they'll see. It's tough, especially going against UF's CBs in practice. That being said, he'll have a chance to win a starting job in the spring. But he and Pittman are more slot, possession receivers. The Gators need a game-breaker. If I had to guess, UF's top three WRs after spring practice probably would be Dunbar, Pittman and Robinson, which Andrades at No. 4.
Hey Mike, I have a basketball question for you. Looking at Florida's late collapses against Butler, Louisville, Arizona, and Missouri the past three years, do you think the collapses are because of Billy Donovan, the players, or both. It seems someone would've figured out something in the past couple of years.
Marlon -- I think part of it is the players, specifically Erving Walker really not putting the Gators in good positions and wanting to take the winning shot himself. Part if it is Billy, who too often, I think, just wants the floor spread and have someone make a shot. I also think the Gators have become too 3-happy in final-shot situations. Sometimes you have to have one, but there's nothing wrong with going inside -- like they should have gone to Tyus against Butler. I also think the struggles this season is partly due to the fact that they don't have a go-to player in the clutch.
Do you see the Gators to continue going after JUCO interior linemen or go for younger players like Caleb Brantley in 2014?
Mike -- I don't think UF will be signing as many JUCO linemen in the future. Muschamp went after so many because the depth on both sides of the ball wasn't good and signing freshmen really wouldn't have helped much because they're not really ready to play. JUCO guys are, theoretically, anyway. Once he gets the depth to a spot where he's comfortable, Muschamp will go into re-stock mode with freshmen.
If Staver really impresses the coaches in the fall and has a chance to be the backup, do you think that there is a chance that Grier may redshirt. Or is Staver that good?
Phillip -- Staver, to me, seems more like a guy who needs to redshirt and take a few years to develop. I'd be very surprised if he were good enough right away to be the backup. That being said, I expect Grier to redshirt his first season because I don't see a scenario where Driskel leaves early.
Who will win the SEC East? Don't say the Bulldogs!!
Josh -- OK, I won't say Bulldogs. My pre-season pick would be Georgia, mainly because of what they've got coming back on offense. They do lose a lot on defense but having Murray back helps a ton. The Florida-Georgia game will decide the division. And I may change my pick after the summer, but right now I'd pick Georgia.
Who is your preseason number 1? Gotta be Texas A&M, right?
Ethan -- Nope, it's Bama. I know they lost a lot (especially on the OL) but the core on offense returns (McCarron, Yeldon, Cooper). And Bama is in the spot where they're stockpiled with elite talent on defense that just can't get on the field because there's already elite talent on the field. But Texas A&M would be No. 2 -- and pretty close to Bama. I'm really interested to see how Manziel handles the pressure this season. We know Bama can, but can Manziel and Kevin Sumlin?
Last question.. Do you see the Gators using Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor ina shotgun dual threat in the backfield? (not sure if that's how you would word it)
Josh -- I can see that happening. Brent Pease will be experimenting with all kinds of stuff, especially if the WRs continue to struggle. I like the idea of using them as receivers out of the backfield at the same time, too. The key for Taylor, and Adam Lane for that matter, getting on the field will be proving they can pick up blitzers and help in pass protection.
Is Joker a one and done coach? Is he a potential replacement for Pease when he leaves?
Scott -- I don't see him as one-and-done. The latter scenario is more likely, but I don't think Pease is getting a head coaching job soon. He's got to get UF's offense rolling first and that's going to take more than two seasons.
do you think our commit at qb Will Grier too smallto make an impact in the S E C?
Gatorfan30253 -- Not at all. He's listed at 6-3, 185. Here's a comparison for you: Johnny Manziel is listed at 6-1, 200. I've seen him in person, though. He's not 6-1. Russell Wilson played in the ACC and Big Ten and he's 5-11. If you can play, you can play, and mobile QBs are the rage right now.
Is there anyone who you see leaving early?
Scott -- I think if Ronald Powell has a good year he's gone. Two other guys who could possibly leave early are CBs Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson. Purifoy needs to get better in man coverage. Roberson can cover but he doesn't like to tackle.
What recruits are at the top of UF's board?
Chris -- DE Da'Shawn Hand, RB Leonard Fournette, and TE Bryce Dixon are among the players at the top. Each at a position of need.
I know I'm in the minority, but what I saw in Griers tape was a lot of floating deep balls that receivers had to go and get. His receivers seemed to get separation where ours don't. Is this a concern?
Scott -- Yeah, because it probably means Grier's HS receivers are better than Florida's. Just kidding. Grier has a strong enough arm to play QB in the SEC. Deep balls are such a small percentage of throws a QB makes. And, don't take this as a comparison at all, but Tom Brady doesn't throw a great deep ball and he's a solid QB.
how did OL Tunsill get away from us,he was a shoe in for the gators? now he's going to Ole Miss
Gatorfan30253 -- He and UF just didn't mesh is pretty much the reason.
OK everyone, that's it for this week. Join me next week and we'll talk about the first day of spring practice and UF's pro day.