A first-year Florida coach signs 18 recruits, gets mixed reviews on his first class and finishes way behind Florida State. Sound familiar? It happened in 2005, when Urban Meyer brought in his inaugural crew, and that was the case this year for Will Muschamp.
Why do I bring this up? Because it's a coincidence and SPORTSWRITERS LOVE COINCIDENCES!
This doesn't mean Muschamp is headed for unprecedented success and years of happy hunting on the recruiting trail, but it's important to cut him some slack based on the tough situation he walked into. He officially took over a month before National Signing Day and didn't get his full staff together until...today, when he hired Derek Lewis to coach tight ends and moved Brian White to running backs.
The Gators finished No. 14 on Rivals.com (Meyer's first class was No. 15. Just sayin) and could move a bit since there are still a few players out there who've yet to sign. I'd name them, but last time I did that it turned out to be a gigantic jinx, and I don't want to piss off my readers.
No. 1 prospect and apparent attention whore Jadeveon Clowney is waiting to announce until all eyes are on him (this feels like a Super Sweet 16 episode or something). He's probably not Florida-bound, to which I say you should be thankful. That punk thought it'd be funny to "announce" on Facebook that he's headed to a crappy team a few months ago and freak everyone out. He picked East Carolina as his joke school, and as a lifelong Pirates fan, I'm confident that the football gods will punish him with a career to match his last name.
Some good and bad news today, and I'll make it quick because I'm burned out.
Bad first, we'll end happy: Lake City DT Timmy Jernigan is going to FSU, and Richmond (Va.) LB Curtis Grant is going to Ohio State. Both are considered the bluest of chips, and Muschamp couldn't get Jernigan despite the fact he grew up a UF fan. That always hurts, and apparently Jernigan was upset with the way Meyer and Dan McCarney left, so I suppose Muschamp can't shoulder the blame.
Good: WR Ja'Juan Story and DB Marcus Roberson are headed to Gainesville, and as of writing, Jeff Driskel is still alive and well. Story committed to UF in June, but he and the Buckeyes had been casting sultry glances at each other, and he said he hadn't even made up his mind when he sat down to announce today. Roberson is a big pickup, a South Florida DB to go along with Jabari Gorman. Y'all have to be pretty happy with Muschamp for snagging those two.
Like I said, I'm beat, but I'm planning a new feature for Friday that you will either think is hilarious or the dumbest thing you've ever seen. What did you guys think of NSD and Meyer's work on ESPN? No matter how bad you think it was, no UF committs were arrested for fondling girls the night before, so you'll always have that to hang your hat on. Kid gets an A for creativity though.