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June 26, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Mike DiRocco

Michael DiRocco
  (3:58 PM)

Hello everyone. It was nice to take a vacation, but it also is nice to get back to work. Probably not much to talk about, though, huh?

Bobby Boucher (ATL)

Which red-shirt canidate is poised for a breakout year on offense and defense???

Michael DiRocco
  (4:01 PM)

Bobby -- I'm assuming you mean a guy who redshirted last season. On offense, the only guy who redshirted last season who has a chance to do much is TE Colin Thompson. UF needs lots of help at that position. On defense, I say keep an eye on DE Bryan Cox. He had a solid spring and looks like he got a lot stronger.

Bobby Boucher (ATL)

How has the Morrison situation affected the LB's position?? Any short-term or long-term switches???

Michael DiRocco
  (4:03 PM)

Bobby -- Other than MLB, which Morrison will man, I think the other spots are really in flux. Fowler and Powell can play SLB, but so can Darrin Kitchens. Kitchens and Michael Taylor also can play WLB. Freshman Daniel McMillian will likely be the starter there by the middle of the season, though. Muschamp likes guys who can play multiple LB spots so guys can move around and help out.

Gary Poe (Ruston, LA)

Mike why do you think that UF offered cyntonai Lewis (excuse my spelling)? Do you think it had to do with his actual talent or the fact that he is cousins with Bo Scarborough and their relation can help get Scarborough to UF?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:04 PM)

Gary -- My understanding is that Muschamp saw the tape, really liked the kid's potential, researched him more, and offered. UF needs a lot of help at TE because Clay Burton and Tevin Westbrook aren't the answer and Kent Taylor isn't physical enough to play the position. They're probably gambling a bit on this kid, but I don't think his being related to Scarborough had anything to do with it.

Bill (Jax beach)

Welcome Back Mike, How many Off-Def linemen is Fla going to take this year? Seems with the ones already on board and more leaning our way looks to be alot of big bodies.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:06 PM)

Bill -- I think UF would like to sign at least 4 OL, 3 speed DEs, and a couple tackles. Muschamp still isn't happy with the depth he has on the OL. UF will have a lot of young DTs so that position needs to be stocked.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Is the Aaron Hernandez situation another sad case of a pampered athlete thinking he's above the law, and the rules don't apply to him? Can you shed any light the 2007 incidents, as well as his time in Gainesville? Was he perceived as a trouble maker? And were there any other incidents that happened, but did not result in arrest?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:11 PM)

Tony -- I've been researching Hernandez and for the most part he stayed out of serious trouble in Gainesville. He was in a bar fight when he first got to UF but he was a juvenile and that case was sealed. He was one of several UF players questioned about a shooting in 2007, but police stressed they were only questioned as witnesses. The Pounceys and Reggie Nelson (who was a rookie with the Jags) also were questioned. Other than that, he had 4-5 traffic citations, but no other brushes with the law. There weren't any rumors about him during his time, either. There were rumors of him having gang ties back home in Connecticut but he wasn't involved in anything in Gainesville (that anyone knows about, at least). I don't think this had anything to do with being a pampered athlete. I think he's a guy who made stupid choices and is now going to pay for them.

Joe (Orlando)

A lot of the top Lb are considering florida whos our best shot of landing

Michael DiRocco
  (4:14 PM)

Joe -- Probably Trent Harris, who is a DE from Winter Park but would play the buck, which is a hybrid end/linebacker spot, at UF.

Gary poe (new iberia la)

Michael, why does it seem that UF cant keep hold of their assistants as well as Alabama? Also, do you think this will be a breakout year for soloman patton? I've heard he's doing well, what do you think?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:16 PM)

Gary -- I think Bama holds onto assistants because they're paid well, work in a great situation, and can afford to be picky about leaving for other jobs. UF hasn't really lost an assistant to a situation where you go, "huh, that makes no sense." Young and Hill resigned for personal reasons but Quinn left for a better job, as did Weis. As for Patton, I'm not sure if he's going to have a role in the offense other than the jet sweep guy. But he did that well last year before the injury and I expect him to do the same this season.

Brandon (Rushville IN)

So when do we get on the board with a WR in this class???

Michael DiRocco
  (4:20 PM)

Brandon -- UF had one until Bronson's decommit. I know UF is targeting several guys pretty heavily. They recently got a commitment from JC Jackson, who can play CB or WR.

Reginald Fairfield (London)

Your thoughts on the Aaron Hernandez situation? Did you get to know him at all when he was at Florida?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:22 PM)

Reginald -- He was a guy who didn't like to speak to the media, so that, coupled with UF's restricted availability, made it hard to get to know him. I'll reserve judgement until all the facts are known, but I'll say this: He's obviously made some stupid choices and he's going to have to pay for them.

Nick Dunn (Knoxville, TN)

Have you seen Jeff first hand in practice? If so, how has he improved?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:23 PM)

Nick -- Not since the spring, but I liked what I saw then. He seemed much more comfortable in the pocket. But again, he needs some help from the WRs. If he gets some, he could put up some decent numbers.

Tanner (Bettendorf, IA)

Dante Fowler Jr. and Ronald Powell have been getting much of the attention since spring and for good reason, but what are your expectations for Jonathan Bullard this season? Specifically what have been his biggest improvements this offseason, and what contributions will he bring to the Gator D in the fall?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:24 PM)

Tanner -- Bullard actually had a better season than Fowler last year, but you wouldn't know it because he seems to get lost in the shuffle. I think he's poised for a big year. His biggest improvement was getting into shape and getting stronger.

CP (CLW)

MD, Are you better sweat with the Hernandez situation as far as the football aspect is concerned with you being a big Pats fan. Losing a great TE/athlete in Hernandez but may hopefully see an increased roll for Tim now with more touches.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:27 PM)

CP -- Yes, I'm a Patriots fan and I'm not happy with how this affects the on-field product. But I also know that what really matters is justice for the victim and punishing those involved. I'm not sure that it means more work for Tim. People like to say, "Well, he can play H-back or TE." But it's not that simple. He's never blocked before and he'll have to learn how to do that. He'll have to learn the offense from another position, too. And I know he'd rather play QB. I'm interested to see what the Pats do with him in training camp.

Drew (ATL)

I see UF has a lot of players they are recruting and a good chance to get alot of them. How is UF going to sign all of these players with such a small amount of scholarships available?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:28 PM)

Drew -- It's a matter of prioritizing. They'll just have to be picky in whom they accept. Also, there will be some spots that open up because of transfers, guys getting kicked off the team, etc.

Mike (Atlanta)

Will Chris Walker and Rod Johnson eventually be cleared by NCAA for enrollment?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:32 PM)

Mike -- It's not looking good for Walker. Johnson has a lot of ground to make up so it looks like prep school for him.

Mike (Atlanta)

If Rod Johnson is not able to enroll does that create another spot for this current class?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:33 PM)

Mike -- I think Muschamp will just roll it over to next year because it's a smaller class.

Kyle (Gville)

How do you think the two safety positions will play out by the first game? And what kind of depth do we have there?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:34 PM)

Kyle -- I'm not convinced that Maye, Gorman and Showers have gotten things figured out yet. I know that Watkins will start at one safety and I expect Riggs to start at the other. I may be wrong, but that first game is against a Toledo team that has a pretty darn good offense and I think the more experienced Riggs would be a better choice.

Mike (Atlanta)

How many reps during Fall camp will the other potential MLB's get with the potential suspension of Morrison for season opener?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:35 PM)

Mike -- They'll get a few, but don't automatically assume a suspension for Morrison. Muschamp could give him some internal discipline instead. We have to wait for the resolution of the case to find out for sure.

Mike (Atlanta)

Have the newest Gators the ones that just arrived for Summer B begun work out programs with Dillman yet?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:36 PM)

Mike -- Once they get settled in and enrolled, they'll be in the weight room pretty regularly.

Jeff (Tampa, FL)

Do you think the Aaron Hernandez situation will alter/change UFs recruiting of players with red flags coming out of high school in anyway?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:38 PM)

Jeff -- I think there's always going to be guys who are risks, so do completely move away from guys with red flags would be unrealistic. However, I know Muschamp has dumped some recruits because of character concerns and he's going to be very careful of kids with red flags.

WILL SMITH (CALI BABY)

How many players total is UF going to take this year?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:38 PM)

Will -- I think UF's class will be around 18 players.

CP (CLW)

I'll learn how to slow down one of these days and make sense. Meant biter* sweet* previously. Are there any rumblings at all about Will Grier's weight being an issue to come play in the SEC, seems pretty slim but I'm sure will put weight on when he gets to UF. Worry about guys that slim scrabbling outside the pocket.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:40 PM)

CP -- Gotcha on the typo. No biggie. I make 'em all the time. As for Grier, the staff would certainly want him to beef up, but some guys just can't. I think the thing to focus on instead of his build is whether he stays healthy. If he's a skinny guy but never gets hurt, that's encouraging. I know he'll take a battering in the SEC, but he will get somewhat bigger from just being on a weight program at UF so that should help.

Tanner (Bettendorf, IA)

Do you see any of the late freshman DB enrollees other than Hargreaves III making an impact? (Harris, Neal, Washington) Also what role do you see Brian Poole playing this year? It seems as though the team is simply loaded at the corner position this season.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:41 PM)

Tanner -- I think all the guys you mentioned will play and could make an impact on special teams. Hargreaves has the best chance to play on defense, though. As for Poole, he'll play nickel and corner as well as be one of UF's top special teams players. And it's good to have a lot of guys at CB because I expect Roberson and Purifoy to leave early.

Marlon (Birmingham, AL)

Hey Mike. Welcome back. I hope you had a good vacation. How is Cody Riggs doing health wise after missing most of the '12 season? I haven't heard much about his progress after his injury last year.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:42 PM)

Marlon -- He's 100 percent, no limitations. He had a solid spring and I think he'll be a key guy this season. He may have to play safety but if he doesn't he's the Gators' top nickel back.

KRob (228)

How many wrs do you think they'll sign as of now? I think 2; unless the current group struggles AGAIN, then they'd sign 3/4

Michael DiRocco
  (4:43 PM)

KRob -- I'd agree with that assessment.

Marlon (Birmingham, AL)

Are there any concerns about Jabari Gorman and Cody Riggs starting together at safety? Riggs has played cornerback during his time at UF (and coming back from an injury ending season) and Gorman has been a special teams player. Plus, both are very small for safety.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:45 PM)

Marlon -- Neither has great size, but you know who else didn't have great size? Ahmad Black. Not saying those guys are in his league, but just don't discount them because of their size. Watkins will start at one safety and there will be a battle among Gorman, Showers and Maye for the other spot. Riggs would start there if those guys continue to struggle.

Marlon (Birmingham, AL)

Why are so many in the NFL afraid of Tebow? Most young quarterbacks are given 3 years to showcase their abilities. Tebow was given one, and he had an up and down season with some positives. I'm glad the Pats gave him a chance because (1) I think he's a good player who can help a team and (2) he will be mentored by Tom Brady.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:46 PM)

Marlon -- He's also had 3 different head coaches and 3 different offensive coordinators in his three seasons. That's hard to overcome. What he needs is some stability and time to learn, which he could get in New England if they keep him on the roster.

Marlon (Birmingham, AL)

I picked up my copies of the Sporting News and Athlon preseason magazines. I picked Florida to face Ohio State (Big 10 runner-up) in the Sugar Bowl. What are your thoughts on this potential matchup? I don't think the Sugar Bowl would have to worry about attendance for this game.

Michael DiRocco
  (4:48 PM)

Marlon -- That game would sell out pretty darn quickly. I'd love that matchup because there would be so many storylines to attack from a writer's perspective. I know Ohio State is a pick by many to play for the national title, but I'm not a Braxton Miller guy so I think this is a feasible matchup. UF should be in a BCS bowl this year, too.

Nick Dunn (Knoxville, TN)

What recruit are we closest to landing at the moment? Who do we have the largest chance of landing?

Michael DiRocco
  (4:52 PM)

Nick -- That's really hard to say. I know several have UF among their leaders, specifically Raekwon McMillan and Lorenzo Carter. But expect some commitments out of Friday Night Lights on July 26. There usually are at least a couple.

Tanner (Bettendorf, IA)

Am I crazy to think that the Gators can realistically challenge not only for a final four/national title, but also for the SEC regular season crown this year? I completely acknowledge the talent Kentucky has both returning and in their stacked recruiting class, but I also think there is something to be said for playing against a team in Florida that may have slightly less talent but is also made up almost entirely of grown upperclassmen. (Scottie, Eli Carter, Doe-Doe, Prather, Yeguete, Harris, and Young all have 3-4 years of college experience.)

Michael DiRocco
  (4:57 PM)

Tanner -- Not at all, although the Wilbekin indefinite suspension changes things. If he doesn't return, UF loses a great defender and its only experienced point guard. And Dorian Finney-Smith has apparently been a BEAST in practice and nobody can handle him. He could be a big-time player next season, which would make UF really strong in the front court.

Marlon (Birmingham, AL)

I heard Florida could be playing Bama next year in Tuscaloosa while Georgia gets to face Texas A&M. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but if this does happen, how does Georgia avoid Bama again, and they haven't faced each other in the regular season since 2008? Plus, Manziel is eligible for the draft after this season. I read that the UGA-Bama regular season game would be pushed back to 2015 because the SEC wants Georgia to face Texas A

Michael DiRocco
  (4:59 PM)

Marlon -- That's the rumor, but so far nothing confirmed. However, I can see why UF fans would be annoyed. Georgia has gotten a favorable run in the Western Division over the past several season. The process is supposed to be random. Sometimes things work out in a team's favor, though. I don't think this was done intentionally by the SEC office.

Nick Dunn (Knoxville, TN)

Fair enough. Who would you- out of what you've seen and because you are the expert- expect us to land?

Michael DiRocco
  (5:01 PM)

Nick -- My guess is UF will land Ermon Lane and Jamal Adams. Not necessarily at FNL, but I think UF has a great shot at both.

Michael DiRocco
  (5:01 PM)

OK everyone. That's it for this week. We'll talk again next week, same time, same channel.