Florida Football Recruiting

Today's Take: Burke commitment could be a watershed moment

July 21, 2020
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Though he is rated as a four-star and is listed at a very respectable No. 223 in the nation according to the 247 Sports Composite, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian wide receiver Marcus Burke‍ is hardly the most highly ranked Florida commitment of the Dan Mullen era.

However, down the road, he may prove to have been one of, if not the most important additions to the Class of 2021.

That is because Florida beating Georgia heads-up for the services of the 6-foot-3, 170-pound receiver may very well end up being a watershed moment in Gators' recruiting.

That isn't to say that Florida hasn't won other recruiting battles against Georgia. However, many of those match-ups included built-in extenuating circumstances that favored the Gators.

Some may attempt to make the point that being from Jacksonville, the Gators already had an ‘in’ when it comes to Burke. The truth is despite the proximity of Trinity Christian, Florida hasn’t done as well at the school over the years as you would expect.

Not even when top recruiting head coaches such as Urban Meyer and Will Muschamp were running the show.

However, during Mullen's first full class the Gators out-dueled the Bulldogs for the services of Kaiir Elam. But let's be honest with ourselves, not all things were equal heading into his process with Florida being favored early on because Kaiir's uncle Matt Elam played for the Gators. Family ties also helped the Gators land Xzavier Henderson during this past cycle. Also in the Class of 2020 UGA had Joshua Braun in the bag before their line coach left for Arkansas. Then they came in second for Gervon Dexter, but it should be more shocking to lose a Polk County target than it is to sign one.

That isn't to completely take away from Florida's recruiting wins. They are four potentially great players. However, when it comes to the Gators' securing their services, there's an asterisk attached to those victories.

There have been other Florida signees with Georgia offers, but frankly, quite a few of those kids didn't have legitimate committable offers from the Bulldogs.

On the other hand, look at the recruiting wins Georgia has wracked up over Florida during the last couple of recruiting cycles.

Since we attempt to keep our Today's Take columns to a manageable word count, I won't list them all, but the list includes top tier prospects such as Micah Morris, Lovasea Carroll, Darnell Washington, Marcus Rosemy, Arian Smith, Sedrick Van Pran, Carson Beck, Nolan Smith, Travon Walker, Tyrique Stevenson and Lewis Cline just to name a few.

In short, if it isn't already painfully obvious, on their way to back-to-back recruiting titles, Georgia has cleaned Florida's clock along the recruiting trail.

In order to fix a problem, while you don't have to endlessly dwell on it, you do first have to admit that one exists.

Mullen is not currently, nor has he ever been known as a top-notch recruiter. Not while he was an assistant at Florida, not while he was a head coach at Mississippi and certainly not now. While he is never going to be an Urban Meyer or Dabo Swinney as a closer, there's no reason he can't eventually become a Nick Saban.

Saban isn't thought of as one of college football's best recruiters based on an outgoing personality or his ability to connect with kids on a personal level. He closes on prospects because of the success he has had winning championships and sending players to the NFL, not because any 17-18 year old would actually enjoy his company for an extended period of time.

That could eventually be Dan Mullen's pathway to signing top classes on a yearly basis.

All it takes is a breakthrough.

The new football facility will certainly help and a College Football Playoff appearance or two on the field wouldn’t hurt, but in order to get his team to the top level on a consistent basis, he has to start winning some of these recruiting wars against Georgia.

The longest journey begins with a single step.

With the addition of Burke, Florida may have taken that first step on Monday.

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Today's Take: Burke commitment could be a watershed moment

3,163 Views | 13 Replies | Last: 15 days ago by Swamp_Thing
Dan the Man
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You aren't going to give our coaches the credit for getting Del Rio, Reynolds, Richardson, Mitchell or players like that.

I'm not trying to say Georgia doesn't recruit great but you have to give our coaches credit for taking some of the recruits that they wanted.
EricN
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That's not the way I took this piece...I took it as that the sky is not falling as everytime we miss out on what we think is a great recruit. And that CDM will rely more on his development and winning as a selling point to young recruits.
We have very volatile and passionate fan base that gets very down every time someone doesn't pick UF.

It's almost like we are dating a bunch of hot women and when the hottest doesn't want to date us we go into a depression...okay let's just move on and date the next hottest
Mark Wheeler
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Staff
I guess multiple people can interpret it in multiple ways, but my own thoughts, my meaning, is that to this point Florida has been owned by Georgia in head to head recruiting matchups.

This is one of the first times I can remember where there was no extenuating circumstances and UF simply took a kid that Georgia wanted.

To me, Dan Mullen is an outstanding head coach, but has shown to be about an average recruiter, making this a big win for the Gators.

Now, the staff needs to put together a string of several more because in the end, nine times out of 10, the more talented team prevails.
Swamp_Thing
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Dan the Man said:

You aren't going to give our coaches the credit for getting Del Rio, Reynolds, Richardson, Mitchell or players like that.

I'm not trying to say Georgia doesn't recruit great but you have to give our coaches credit for taking some of the recruits that they wanted.


What are you talking about. Georgia never prioritized Del Rio, Richardson, Reynolds, or Mitchell. Beck and Vandergriff were. UGA wanted Williams at S, Miami beat UGA for him.

At least use a guy like Elam who we actually beat UGA for or Braun (although that would have never happened without Pittman leaving). But also don't forget about....

Carroll, Morris, Dumas-Johnson, Rosemy, Smith, Van Pran,
Carter, Brinson, Kimber, Burns, etc. and that's just two classes.

Plus Smart has owned Dan on Saturdays.
"Most teams that are up there fighting for championships, they better be in the top five in the nation in recruiting" - Steve Spurrier, 2018
"We have to change the recruiting process somehow and make sure that us Gators are up there in the top five in recruiting, and that’s really how you go about that, having really super teams every year." - Steve Spurrier, 2019
EricN
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Of course I left out your first paragraph Mark....it doesn't need to be stated! Lol
Pigator314
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Good thoughts Mark. I don't think this one will change things. Staff changes have to be made. Knox, English, Gonzalez, and Hevesy are all lacking as recruiters. Some of them are excellent coaches, but I think Urban said it best. If you are not a good recruiter you are not a good college coach. Period. Mullen needs to acknowledge this, and then I think he can take the next step.
outofsight
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What happens when we beat Georgia this year with our terrible recruiters and their great number one classes?

Will that change how all of you think about Mullen and his staff?

He gets more out of his talent than Smart ever will.
Swamp_Thing
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outofsight said:

What happens when we beat Georgia this year with our terrible recruiters and their great number one classes?

Will that change how all of you think about Mullen and his staff?

He gets more out of his talent than Smart ever will.


The coaches couldn't even make sure the players had the right wristbands on last year. I'm sure he'll beat Smart eventually. He'll Richt went 5-10 vs UF.
"Most teams that are up there fighting for championships, they better be in the top five in the nation in recruiting" - Steve Spurrier, 2018
"We have to change the recruiting process somehow and make sure that us Gators are up there in the top five in recruiting, and that’s really how you go about that, having really super teams every year." - Steve Spurrier, 2019
Pigator314
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Not going to lie this commitment is growing on me. Apparently one analyst said Burke is the premier deep threat WR in the 2021 class.
SwampMagic
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Swamp_Thing said:

outofsight said:

What happens when we beat Georgia this year with our terrible recruiters and their great number one classes?

Will that change how all of you think about Mullen and his staff?

He gets more out of his talent than Smart ever will.


The coaches couldn't even make sure the players had the right wristbands on last year. I'm sure he'll beat Smart eventually. He'll Richt went 5-10 vs UF.

Why are you so down on Mullen? He might not be a great recruiter but he has been a great head coach for us. After Muschamp and McElwain he is exactly what we needed. Two NY6 Bowl wins in his first two years. No one has done better.
Swamp_Thing
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SwampMagic said:

Swamp_Thing said:

outofsight said:

What happens when we beat Georgia this year with our terrible recruiters and their great number one classes?

Will that change how all of you think about Mullen and his staff?

He gets more out of his talent than Smart ever will.


The coaches couldn't even make sure the players had the right wristbands on last year. I'm sure he'll beat Smart eventually. He'll Richt went 5-10 vs UF.

Why are you so down on Mullen? He might not be a great recruiter but he has been a great head coach for us. After Muschamp and McElwain he is exactly what we needed. Two NY6 Bowl wins in his first two years. No one has done better.


Please explain why you think I'm "down on Mullen."

Do I think he's a great Xs & Os coach? Absolutely. Do I think he is a mediocre recruiter and has mismanaged that part of the job? Absolutely. Look at his original support staff that he brought in. How many of them are still here? How many have had some kind of controversy that in some cases even led to their dismissal? How many times have we heard about kids not knowing whether they had an offer or not or just being ignored at camps?

He took plenty of jobs at Georgia in the off-season last year and then to have something happen like that is just an excusable. The first year against Georgia you could see a clear talent difference, but last year the entire staff just got out coached.

I couldn't care less who the coach is, I'm going to be just as critical no matter what. I was critical of McDeathgate and people consistently called me out about it right up until it was obvious that he wasn't the man for the job. I was critical of must champ and the way he couldn't find an offense and wouldn't stop meddling in the offense. I was even critical of Meijer when he was here, but obviously less so than the other two I just mentioned. The man is paid millions of dollars every year and it's not just to end up as the third or fourth best team in the SEC and go to a NY6 bowl.
"Most teams that are up there fighting for championships, they better be in the top five in the nation in recruiting" - Steve Spurrier, 2018
"We have to change the recruiting process somehow and make sure that us Gators are up there in the top five in recruiting, and that’s really how you go about that, having really super teams every year." - Steve Spurrier, 2019
UFgator52-20
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I don't get the point of this story.

Are you saying we are doing good or aren't doing good in recruiting?
Swamp_Thing
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UFgator52-20 said:

I don't get the point of this story.

Are you saying we are doing good or aren't doing good in recruiting?
"Most teams that are up there fighting for championships, they better be in the top five in the nation in recruiting" - Steve Spurrier, 2018
"We have to change the recruiting process somehow and make sure that us Gators are up there in the top five in recruiting, and that’s really how you go about that, having really super teams every year." - Steve Spurrier, 2019
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