Inside the Gators Recruiting Burn Barometer

Dec 1, 2021 | 0 comments


Top commitments and targets have been falling like flies, but not all news is created equally. Some moves are devastating, while other perceived bad news, isn't all that bad. Today we take a closer look at the events surrounding eight prospects and what it means for the Gators' board going forward.

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This is akin to being two minutes too long out in the sun. It doesn't even amount to a sunburn in the world of recruiting. Yes Florida showed some interest, but I doubt anyone is losing sleep over this one

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A superficial wound that Florida barely feels at all – being from the Sunshine State, this is a mild sunburn at worst. The staff will shrug it off and move on

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The Florida staff can feel this one, it's more than just a mere inconvenience. While it's painful, the Gators can recover

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This is more than just a setback, this is when it really starts to hurt the Florida staff. As long as it is limited, it isn't in itself fatal, but these take time to recover from and can shake-up, and cause you to reassess your board

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These are almost always fatal in real life and in recruiting. A couple of these can kill recruiting at a position and can potentially wreck a class

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Commitment Burn Barometer Archives

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Inside the Gators
Isaiah Bond‍‍WR5-foot-11, 175-pounds""

One thing that stands out about these five prospects we are doing in-depth breakdowns of is that none of them came out of left field. Four of the five were never locked in with Florida. As for Bond, he stood outside the stadium when he was leaving from his official visit to Florida back in June and stated that he still planned to go to Alabama and Miami. 

When I spoke with him when he was in town for the Alabama game, he said that though he considered himself a Florida commit, he had a top three of Alabama, Florida, and Miami. 

So, it wasn't surprising when he decommitted after Dan Mullen was fired. Truthfully, it wouldn’t have been surprising had he decommitted even if Mullen had been retained.

I don’t believe this is 100-percent over and done with – and it may come down to whether or not Corey Bell is retained on staff as an on-the-field assistant coach (cornerbacks) or as a recruiting specialist.

Up next is seeing if Bell made enough headway to get Bond to retake his Florida official visit.

The sense of loss is stemmed somewhat by holding on to Jayden Gibson‍ and CJ Smith‍ – but it’s still felt nonetheless.

Possible Replacement: Bond

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Terrance Gibbs Instagram

Terrance Gibbs

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Despite the fact that he missed both his junior and senior seasons after suffering a knee injury, he is still highly ranked by the recruiting services, mostly due to how electric he looked prior to the injury.

If you are basing how badly this burns on need and a ranking, it would be pretty damn bad. However, the question has to be how big a loss is he really given that his future is still very much up in the air.

Back in September, when I spoke with him face-to-face at the Alabama game, though he still had a noticeable limp, he said he expected to be cleared by spring ball.

That would be two and a half years after the injury took place. 

That's not normal.

Last week, in our breakdown of the then-current commits, we questioned whether a new staff would feel beholden to hang on to him considering his situation. He might not have gotten a favorable answer to that question.

Possible Replacement: Trevor Etienne‍ 

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Julian Humphrey Twitter
Julian Humphrey‍ ‍ CB6-foot-1, 185-pounds""

This is the least surprising decommitment that you will ever see take place. Even though he was publically committed to Florida – we didn't include him in our August, September, October, or November monthly projected Mock Signing Classes.

The only real surprise here is that in the last month before he decommitted he started trending to Georgia, when early on it looked like it would be Texas A&M who flipped him.

Losing his speed will hurt, but UF could actually upgrade here if Thomas does in fact project to cornerback (he looks athletic enough) rather than safety (he is that big).

Possible Replacement: Azareyeh Thomas‍ ‍ 

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Inside the Gators

 

Walter Nolen‍ DT6-foot-5, 210-pounds""

Nolen came close to being just the fourth player to earn a four-alarm burn status, but like the Gators recruiting efforts, he will come up just a bit short.

It’s hard to imagine going from where Florida was to where it ended. Thinking back to that June Sunday when he was leaving the Swamp after his official visit to Florida when he told Inside the Gators in an exclusive interview that he was on the verge of committing.

With some direction from his father, he pulled back from that, but then visited again on his own dime a week later.  

The Gators held steady, being named in his top five, and then top three.

Then the bottom fell out.

Two things happened in August that caught their attention. 

During fall camp while Florida faded a bit in their contact with him, Georgia surged – and thus the next top three edit included the Bulldogs at the Gators expense. Also a factor is that when NIL first became law over the summer, the Texas A&M site paid $10,000 each to two Aggie players for interviews. It caught the families’ eye, as well it should, that that type of money was available in College State for a 10-minutes of a player's time.

Looking at the board, though Florida could still end up with some solid four-star type of talent at the position, there are no big names remaining that would make up for losing out on one of the consensus top-five prospects in the nation. 

Possible Replacement: None

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Jason Howell
Evan Stewart‍ WR6-foot, 175-pounds""

Of course it is painful to see not only a highly ranked prospect, but one who brings a skillset that Florida is currently lacking, head in another direction. However, if we are being completely honest with ourselves, the Gators only link here, the only reason UF stood any sort of shot at all, was based on his relationship with quarterback commit Nick Evers‍.

That’s it. 

If he wasn’t friends with Evers or if Evers had never committed to Florida, you would have never have seen Stewart’s name mentioned with the Orange & Blue.

That makes it a whole lot easier to take.

It wasn't the coaching staff dropping the ball here, it was Stewart's preference to stay back home close to his father. 

You can't blame him, or the staff, for that. 

Possible Replacement: Mario Williams(Keep an eye on whether he bails out on the Sooners)

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OTHER COMMITS & TARGETS WHO HAVE COME OFF THE BOARD

  • Jamarrien Burt‍ – The very first shoe to fall when Dan Mullen was let go, likely will end up being the least consequential. What will be interesting here is to see where he lands. I didn't see any better offers on his list than the one he received from Florida and then on top of that, he had a better senior season on offense than he did at cornerback, the position he was recruited to play.
  • Christian Harrison‍ – Since Florida entered the race so late, his commitment to Tennessee basically comes off as no harm, no foul. The Gators offered, but never got him on campus and though he named them in his top three, it never felt like they were the leaders.
  • Shone Washington‍ – I was actually surprised when Florida offered to bring him in on an official visit, so you can imagine my surprise when Georgia accepted his outright commitment. Though he looks the part, at around 6-foot-4, 300-pounds, he was a disappointment at Florida’s Elite Camp at the end of June. Consistently having trouble fighting through blocks that other defensive linemen were getting past with relative ease.
     
Tags: Recruit

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