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Good afternoon, Gators fans!
As Gators Breakdown host David Waters says, there’s never a dull moment in Gator Nation, and that was certainly the case on Sunday when Florida got two commits for the 2022 class.
🏈 Shemar James commits to Florida
The Gators pulled one of the nation’s top linebackers from the state of Alabama.
Four-star linebacker Shemar James from Mobile’s Faith Academy committed to Florida on Sunday, tweeting: “100% COMMITTED.”
James had 19 offers and also took visits to Alabama and Auburn in addition to Florida, 247Sports says.
In this episode of Gators Breakdown, David has a rundown of what James’ commitment means for Florida.
🐊 C.J. Smith commits to Gators
The Gators then picked up their second commitment of the day when wide receiver C.J. (Chandler) Smith from Orlando’s Bishop Moore Catholic committed.
“100% Committed to being a GATOR,” Smith said in a tweet, which also included a longer statement you can read here.
247Sports has Smith as a three-star recruit, while Rivals considers him as a four-star. But there’s no doubt he’s a speedster, which is what the Gators want in their offense. Swamp247 reported Smith had a 10.28 100-meter dash this past season as a junior.
Smith held 27 offers and took visits to Arkansas, South Carolina and Florida, according to 247Sports.
In another episode of Gators Breakdown, David takes a look at what the Gators are getting with Smith.
The Gators’ 2022 class now includes eight commitments.
🎧 Hear what Athlon’s Braden Gall has to say about Florida
We talked about some of the preseason college football magazines last week, but David continued the conversation with Athlon Sports’ Braden Gall on the latest episode of Gators Breakdown.
The two discuss the outlook for Florida and more storylines around the Southeastern Conference.
⬆️ Ranking QBs on Florida’s schedule
Swamp247′s Bob Redman ranked the quarterbacks on Florida’s 2021 schedule.
Here are the top three:
- LSU’s Myles Brennan
- Georgia’s JT Daniels
- Alabama’s Bryce Young
Personally, I wouldn’t have Brennan No. 1 since the quarterback competition at LSU is considered open and the Gators could face Max Johnson again when they play in Baton Rouge. None of us need a reminder of what happened last time we played the Bayou Bengals, so let’s hope the Florida defense has improved.
As far as Daniels, Redman pointed out he had good numbers in the four games he played last season, but the teams that the Bulldogs played in those matchups weren’t the best opponents on their schedule.
And we know Young is talented and will have talent around him at Alabama, but he had limited playing time as Mac Jones’ backup last season.
You can see Redman’s full rankings here.
👀 Tebow doesn’t get invite to TE University
Quarterback-turned-tight end Tim Tebow won’t be attending Tight End University this week in Nashville. It’s an event led by San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle and retired tight end Greg Olsen and includes some of the top tight ends in the NFL.
The former Gators star was not invited, and Kittle and Olsen explained why on the Pardon My Take podcast, according to 49erswebzone.com.
“So, nothing against Tim Tebow, but I found it hard to invite -- I wish nothing but the best for Tim Tebow, and I hope he has a fantastic season playing tight end -- but it’s hard for me not to invite a backup tight end on, let’s say the New York Giants, as opposed to inviting a guy who just started playing the tight end position because we do have limited spots,” Kittle said. “I wish I could make it so every NFL tight end can come, (so) it’s accessible to everybody. But what we tried to do this year, we wanted to pay for everything for all the tight ends that come to kind of make it a special event for all tight ends.”
Olsen said: “If he’s on a roster this year, and he plays tight end, we would love to have him, we would love to work with him. Once he’s officially a tight end, we would love to work with him.”
See the rest of Kittle’s comments here.
❓ What does it take to be an elite recruiter?
Jeff Lopez: “I am sure it is multifactorial, but what is the biggest reason why Dan Mullen can’t recruit at an elite level like Kirby, Saban, Coach O, Jimbo, Dabo, etc???? 5 Stars=Championships!”
So full disclosure: David is on vacation this week, so he was unable to answer this question. But he pointed me in the direction of a recent episode of Gators Breakdown in which he and Will Miles, with Read and Reaction, answered a similar question. David and Will laid out several reasons, one of which was personalities. David said Mullen and much of the staff have no-nonsense personalities, while many kids these days like to be wined and dined. But that’s just not this staff’s strong suit. David said they were warned about that from the Mississippi State media.
Another reason: David pointed out that every big program out there is not clean when it comes to recruiting, and the Florida administration has been scared to death of probation, dating back to the 1980s.
David also looked and found Florida’s spending on recruiting was not as high as some of the elites in the recruiting world. It came in just below the top 10, while No. 1 was Georgia and Alabama came in second.
And Will added that while Mullen is not necessarily going to go head to head with Nick Saban or Kirby Smart on a recruiting basis, he can go head to head with them -- and perhaps even surpass them, at least with Smart -- when it comes to coaching on the field.
I definitely recommend listening to this episode to hear everything David and Will had to say about this.
✉️ Send us your Gators thoughts & questions
David and I want to hear from you. Do you have any thoughts or questions about the Gators football program? Agree or disagree with something we’ve said? Let us know here, and we’ll share our responses to your questions.
🎙️ Listen to more Gators Breakdown
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