After getting a late start, finally putting together a staff and having to wait on his coordinators to lose in the NFL Playoffs, Will Muschamp didn't need anything else to overcome on the recruiting trail. He got it anyway.
Muschamp's staff is incomplete once again, as running backs coach Stan Drayton leaves Florida for the second time, this time to be Ohio State's receivers coach. Drayton was also the Gators' recruiting coordinator, had been formerly honored by Rivals.com for his recruiting skills, and he was the guy with the most experience at UF.
So far, no reaction to this, but in the oh-so-fickle world of recruiting, you never really know. I know y'all have an isatiable thirst for recruiting news, and I'll be the first to admit that the whole business is a huge turn-off for me, being that it's the pinnacle of the rumor-driven, shady reporting that I've come to detest.
BUT, just because I love my blog readers so much, I made a phone call today. Monsignor Pace safety Jabari Gorman, a four-star safety who Drayton recruited, told me he'd known "for a while" that Drayton was leaving (to be closer to family) and that it wouldn't affect his commitment. This is important not only because Gorman is good, but he's also the only commit since Muschamp took over. Pulling a talented kid out of Miami was a good get for Muschamp, and if he loses Gorman without another solid pickup, he doesn't have much to hang his hat on with this recruiting class.
As for the potential fall-out from Drayton leaving, Ja'Juan Story seems to be the next problem. The 6-3, 190-pound receiver committed in June but is now playing the percentage game ("Don't worry, I'm still 64 percent committed. I'm 22 percent de-committed, 10 percent undecided and 4 percent sure that people who put legitimate stock in these numbers should be committed to an asylum").
Story is looking at the Buckeyes, where Drayton would now be his position coach. Drayton wasn't the main guy handling Story, but taking a familiar face away from School A and adding him to School B is not good news for School A.
Really, all we can do is sit back and see what happens in the coming days. Signing Day is next Wednesday, and while bringing in the current 15-man class with no changes would be a disappointment for a program used to No. 1 rankings, there's something to be said for Muschamp and his crew hanging on to the guys Urban Meyer brought in.
Check the paper and site Friday for my UF recruiting feature, and I'll have another post up soon with the big fish still out there that the Gators are chasing.
In the meantime, who do you want to see Florida close with? Worried about Story? Does Drayton leaving bother you?