THOUGHTS OF THE DAY; JANUARY 29, 2019
THE SECOND TIME IS A CHARM
As first recruiting classes go, Dan Mullen’s 2018 class at the University of Florida had an outstanding year. Mullen signed 20 players and added grad transfer wide receiver Van Jefferson from Ole Miss and wide receiver Trevon Grimes from Ohio State, who got an immediate waiver to play. The only blips on the first class radar were safety Randy Russell, who had to take a medical hardship, and wide receiver Justin Watkins, whose legal problems kept him out of UF. All the others either started, contributed or redshirted.
Typically, first recruiting classes are hit or miss so the jury is still out on Mullen’s first class but it’s off to a good start. It’s the second class that coaches have to nail. Mullen’s second class, which will be completed on National Signing Day next week, currently sits at #11 but should move into the top ten if Mullen lands 4-star corner Kaiir Elam (6-1, 182, North Palm Beach, FL The Benjamin School). If the Gators also score with 4-star athlete Mark Antony-Richards (6-1, 195, West Palm Beach, FL Wellington) and 4-star defensive end Charles Moore (6-4, 268, Louisville, MS) UF might make it as high as #8. Any higher than that might require the Gators flipping a couple of already committed 4- or 5-star players.
Here is a look at the second recruiting class for Ron Zook, Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp and Jim McElwain.
RON ZOOK’S SECOND CLASS (2003)
Zook’s first recruiting class actually turned out better than expected, but the second class was the #1 class in the country, headlined by . 5-stars Chris Leak, Andre Caldwell, Chad Jackson, Jarvis Moss, Joe Cohen and Dee Webb. Leak, Caldwell, Moss, Cohen, Eric Wilbur, Carlton Medder, Steve Rissler, Earl Everett and Clint McMillan were key contributors to the 2006 national championship, won by Urban Meyer. Zook signed Reggie Nelson in the 2003 class but he didn’t qualify, went to juco and then became part of Urban Meyer’s first recruiting class in 2005. Seven of this class went on to earn All-SEC honors.
All-SEC (7): Eric Wilbur, P; Earl Everett, LB; Chris Leak, QB; Chad Jackson, WR; Steve Rissler, OG; Dee Webb, CB; Carlton Medder, OT
Starters (10): Andre Caldwell, WR; Jarvis Moss, DE; Joe Cohen, DE; Marcus Thomas, DT; Earl Everett, LB; Dee Webb, CB; Reynaldo Hill, CB; Anthony Guerrero, OG; Tavarus Washington, OT; Steve Rissler, OG
Part-time starters/Contributors (3): Clint McMillan, DT; Billy Griffin, OG; David Kenner, TE
Did not qualify (2): Reggie Nelson, S; Johnny Dingle, LB
Transferred out/Dismissed from team (6): Justin Midgett, QB; Skyler Thornton; Howard Lingard, LB; Tranell Morant, DE; Julian Riley, DE; Michael Hill, DT
URBAN MEYER’S SECOND CLASS (2006)
Only six of Meyer’s first recruiting class contributed so he needed a superb second class and he delivered with a class ranked #2 nationally. There were four multi-year All-Americans in Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, Brandon Spikes and Brandon James as well as All-SEC selections (Jermaine Cunningham and Riley Cooper). Eight other players earned at least 10 starts in their UF careers.
All-Americans (4): Tim Tebow, QB; Percy Harvin, RB/WR; Brandon Spikes, LB; Brandon James, KR/RB
All-SEC (2): Jermaine Cunningham, DE; Riley Cooper, WR
Starters (8): Marcus Gilbert, OT; Maurice Hurt, OG; Carl Johnson, OG; Dustin Doe, LB; A.J. Jones, LB; Lawrence Marsh, DT; Terron Sanders, DT; Wondy Pierre-Louis, CB
Part-time starters/Contributors (3): Brandon Antwine, DT; Markihe Anderson, CB; Justin Williams, WR;
Transferred out/Dismissed from team (7): Mon Williams, RB; Chevon Walker, RB; Bryan Thomas, S; Jacques Rickerson, CB; Trent Pupello, TE; Jamar Hornsby, S; Jarred Fayson, WR;
Medical hardship (2): Corey Hobbs, DT; Jim Barrie, OT
Major League Baseball (1): Derrick Robinson, CB
WILL MUSCHAMP’S SECOND CLASS (2012)
After an initial class of 19 that was marred by transfers (10 of 19 departed either voluntarily or dismissed), Muschamp needed a strong second class. Ranked third nationally, Muschamp’s second class produced three All-Americans (Dante Fowler Jr., Jonathan Bullard and Marcus Maye) and two All-SEC (Antonio Morrison and Max Garcia). The class produced six other starters. Ten of the 2012 recruiting class either played or are still playing in the NFL.
All-Americans (3): Dante Fowler Jr., DE; Jonathan Bullard, DT; Marcus Maye, S
All-SEC (2): Antonio Morrison, LB; Max Garcia, OG
Starters (6): D.J. Humphries, OT; Brian Poole, CB; Matt Jones, RB; Latroy Pittman, WR; Bryan Cox Jr., DE; Alex McCallister, DE
Part-time starters/Contributors (3): Jeremi Powell, LB; Damien Jacobs, DT; Raphael Andrades, WR
Transferred out/Dismissed from team (8): Jessamen Dunker, OG; Colin Thompson, TE; Kent Taylor, TE; Rhaheim Ledbetter, S; Quinteze Williams, DT; Jafar Mann, DT; Austin Hardin, K; Willie Bailey, S
Transferred In (1): Max Garcia, OG
JIM MCELWAIN’S SECOND CLASS (2016)
McElwain’s first class ranked #21 and produced players that are still contributing at UF. The second class was #12 nationally and produced 10 players who are returning starters for 2019. Of that second class, placekicker Eddy PIneiro made All-America and defensive end Jachai Polite made All-SEC. Polite and Jawaan Taylor are expected to go in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson should be a second round pick with Vosean Joseph also a second round possibility.
All-American (1): Eddy Pineiro, PK
All-SEC (1): Jachai Polite, DE
Starters (13): Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S; Tyrie Cleveland, WR; Feleipe Franks, QB; Josh Hammond, WR; Freddie Swain, WR; Mark Thompson, RB; Vosean Joseph, LB; Jeremiah Moon, LB; Lamical Perine, RB; Brett Heggie, OG; Jaewon Taylor, S; Jawaan Taylor, OT; David Reese, LB
Part-time starters/Contributors (7): Quincy Lenton, S; Dre Massey, WR; Rick Wells, WR; Kyle Trask, QB; C.J. McWilliams, CB; Stone Forsythe, OT; Joseph Putu, CB; Antonneous Clayton, DE
Transferred out/Dismissed from team: Jordan Smith, DE; McArthur Burnett, CB
T.J. MCCOY WILL TRANSFER TO LOUISVILLE
T.J. McCoy, who started 13 games in his University of Florida football career, will transfer to Louisville. McCoy, who had nine starts in 2017, spent the 2018 season as the backup to Nick Buchanan. He’s a graduate of UF so he will be immediately eligible at Louisville.
SEC BASKETBALL STUFF
Tennessee (18-1, 6-0 SEC) remained at the top of both the Associated Press and Coaches polls for the second straight week. The Vols picked up 48 of 64 first place votes in the AP poll, 31 of 32 in the Coaches. Kentucky (16-3, 5-1 SEC) moved up three places to #6 in the Coaches Poll, one spot to #7 in the AP. LSU was one of the biggest movers in both polls, up six to #19 in the AP and up seven to #19 in the Coaches. Mississippi State (15-4, 3-3 SEC) remained at #22 in the AP poll and moved up one spot to #21 in the Coaches. Dropping out of the top 25 in both polls were Ole Miss (14-5, 4-2 SEC) and Auburn (13-6, 2-4 SEC).
Grant Williams of Tennessee was the SEC Player of the Week after he averaged 31 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.5 blocks and 2.0 steals in wins over Vanderbilt and West Virginia. The SEC Freshman of the Week was Kentucky’s Keldon Johnson, who averaged 12 points and 7.5 rebounds in wins over #22 Mississippi State and #9 Kansas.
#1 Tennessee (18-1, 6-0 SEC) at South Carolina (10-9, 5-1 SEC)
#7 Kentucky (16-3, 5-1 SEC) at Vanderbilt (9-10, 0-6 SEC)
#22 Mississippi State (15-4, 3-3 SEC) at Alabama (12-7, 3-3 SEC)
Georgia (10-9, 1-5 SEC) at Arkansas (11-8, 2-4 SEC)
SEC IN SOME MOCK DRAFTS
The people who do the mock drafts have a pretty good idea, for the most part, of the players who will get selected in the first round when the NFL drafts in May. What they don’t agree on is who is going where. Here are five fairly recent mock drafts by people who are supposed to be experts in these matters.
Florida’s Jawaan Taylor and Jachai Polite both show up on four of the mock drafts. Taylor isn’t a first rounder in The Sporting New mock, while Polite isn’t in the first round for Josh Jeremiah of NFL.com. Mel Kiper, who consistently nails the first round, has Taylor going #11 to Cincinnati with Polite going #15 to Washington.
Mel Kiper, ESPN (January 17, 2019): 2. San Francisco: Josh Allen, DE/LB, Kentucky; 3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama; 4. Oakland: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU; 5. Tampa Bay: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama; 8. Detroit: Devin White, LB, LSU; 10. Denver: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia; 11. Cincinnati: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida; 15. Washington: Jachai Polite, DE/LB, Florida; 17. Cleveland: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State; 18. Minnesota: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss; 22. Baltimore: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss; 25. Philadelphia: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State; 27. Oakland (from Dallas): Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama; 31. Kansas City: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
CBSSports.com (January 28, 2019): 1. Arizona: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama; 3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, DE/LB, Kentucky; 7. New York Giants: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri; 8. Detroit: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State; 9. Buffalo: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama; 11. Cincinnati: Devin White, LB, LSU; 14. Atlanta: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State; 15. Washington: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss; 16. Carolina: Jachai Polite, DE/LB, Florida; 17. Cleveland: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU; 25. Philadelphia: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama; 26. Indianapolis: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia; 27. Oakland (from Dallas): Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina; 28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida; 29. Kansas City: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama.
Sporting News (January 16, 2019): 2. San Francisco: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama; 3. New York Jets: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama; 4. Oakland: Josh Allen, DE/LB, Kentucky; 5. Tampa Bay: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU; 10. Denver: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri; 11. Devin White, LB, LSU; 12. Green Bay: Jachai Polite, DE/LB, Florida; 14. Atlanta: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia; 15. Washington: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss; 16. Carolina: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama; 17. Cleveland: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss; 18. Minnesota: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss; 22. Baltimore: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State; 25. Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State; 27. Los Angeles Chargers: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama.
Bucky Brooks, NFL.com (January 25, 2019): 2. San Francisco: Josh Allen, DE/LB, Kentucky; 3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama; 5. Tampa Bay: Devin Williams, LB, LSU; 7. Jacksonville: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri; 9. Buffalo: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida; 10. Denver: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU; 12. Green Bay: Jachai Polite, DE/LB, Florida; 16. Carolina: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State; 17. Cleveland: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama; 21. Seattle: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama; 22. Baltimore: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss; 27. Oakland (from Dallas): Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State; 29. Kansas City: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Josh Jeremiah, NFL.com (January 21, 2019): 3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, DE/LB, Kentucky; 4. Oakland: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama; 5. Tampa Bay: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama; 7. Jacksonville: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State; 9. Buffalo: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida; 10. Denver: Devin White, LB, LSU; 16. Carolina: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU; 18. Minnesota: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama; 19. Tennessee: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss; 21. Seattle: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State; 23. Houston: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia; 26. Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State; 28. Los Angeles Chargers: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
OTHER SEC FOOTBALL STUFF: Wide receiver Justice Shelton-Mosley, who caught 148 passes for 1,921 yards and seven TDs during his career at Harvard, will play at Vandy in 2019 as a graduate transfer. Shelton-Mosley was injured in 2018, played in only four games and caught four passes for 24 yards so he qualified as a redshirt … Arkansas punter Blake Johnson, the nation’s #2 ranked punter coming out of high school in 2016, has entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal. He is the fourth Razorback to transfer out … Georgia has offered a scholarship to Eli Wolf, the Tennessee tight end who put his name in the NCAA transfer portal … Michael Johnson, who coached wide receivers at Oregon last year, is joining the Mississippi State staff, replacing Luke Getsy, who took a job with the Green Bay Packers … Texas A&M students will have their say in whether the rivalry game with Texas is reinstated. A campus-wide opinion poll will be held February 21.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: Maybe no other coach has sent more offensive coordinators on to bigger and better things than Mike Gundy at Oklahoma State. Gundy’s latest OC is Sean Gleeson, whose Princeton offense averaged 47 points and 536.8 yards per game. Princeton ran for 295.5 yards and threw for 241.3 yards per game … The NCAA ruled Miami junior Dewan Hernandez ineligible the rest of this season and part of 2019-20 for entering into an agreement to receive and accepting benefits from an agent. Hernandez has elected to withdraw from Miami to prepare for the NBA Draft … Los Angeles Rams corner Nickell Robey-Coleman, the guy who got away with targeting and pass interference in the NFC championship game, says “age has definitely taken a toll” on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Robey-Coleman, a 6-year NFL vet and a native of Frostproof, FL, might want to zip his lip. Challenging a QB with five Super Bowl rings and who most consider the greatest QB of all time, makes you think Robey-Coleman might have been dropped on his head too many times as an infant.