Tag:Will Muschamp
Posted on: March 25, 2011 4:35 pm

Florida adds big defensive tackle Jafar Mann

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Florida head coach Will Muschamp picked up a bit of momentum on the recruiting trail heading into the weekend. Stephenson (Ga.) defensive tackle Jafar Mann became the seventh commitment for the Gators Friday afternoon, verbally committing on his father's birthday.

“He was really happy about that,” Mann told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about honoring his father.

The 6-foot-3, 270 pound defensive tackle joins running back and high school teammate Mike Davis as a Gator commitment. Muschamp is also pursuing Stephenson defensive end Jarontay Jones and linebacker Raphael Kirby so Mann might not be the last from his school to verbally commit to Florida.

“I’d say it’s a strong possibility,” Mann said of the group playing together in college.

The timing of the announcement came as a big of a surprise to some that follow recruiting but for Mann, Florida was a program that was out front for sometime.

“It feels really nice,” he told the paper. “I think I had my mind made up for a while. I just needed to sit back a while and think about it and make sure it was the right decision. I definitely think it’s the best place for me.”

Mann is on the MaxPreps Top 100 for 2012 Watch List and held almost 20 scholarship offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Miami and Tennessee. He is the second defensive line commitment for Florida, joining tackle Dante Phillips.

Photo courtesy of Jason Getz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Posted on: February 19, 2011 9:27 pm
Edited on: February 19, 2011 9:33 pm

Florida adds two more for '12

Posted by Bryan Fischer

One is nice, two is twice as nice. That's precisely what head coach Will Muschamp is thinking after grabbing commitments from a pair of players during Florida's Junior Day Saturday.

Stone Mountain (Ga.) running back Mike Davis and Largo-Pinellas Park (Fla.) linebacker Jeremi Powell both committed to Florida, Davis doing so on his 18th birthday. The pair give the Gators five commitments for the class of 2012.

“I just felt at home here,” Davis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I talked to all the coaches and they told me everything I needed to know about the school and their system. So I wanted to go ahead and make my mind up and get on with it.”

Davis is the second running back to head to Florida, almost a week after the commitment of Seffner-Armwood (Fla.) back Matt Jones. The 5-foot-11, 185 pound Davis complements the much bigger Jones in the backfield as more of a speed back. He is also the younger brother of Washington Redskins running back James Davis.

The 6-foot-2, 200 pound Powell recorded 15 sacks his junior year and had interest from Iowa State, Purdue, South Carolina and USF among others.

“It's the best vibe from a visit I've ever had,” Powell told Swamp247.com. “The coaches were off the charts. It was better than I could have thought.”

The commitment of Davis likely means Florida is done recruiting at the running back position. Florida is expected to add at least two more linebackers this class.

Posted on: February 14, 2011 11:32 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2011 11:35 pm

Alabama receives two Valentines, Florida nabs one

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Despite not getting the Valentine he really wanted today, Alabama head coach Nick Saban did pick up two from the class of 2012.

Powder Springs (Ga.) running back Kenyan Drake and Thomasville (Ala.) linebacker Tyler Hayes both pulled the trigger and verbally pledged to the Crimson Tide. In one of the quickest recruiting starts in recent memory for Saban, the two become the seventh and eighth commits respectively for the upcoming Alabama class.

The 6-foot-1, 190 pound Drake can also play slot receiver for the Tide and has run a reported 4.4 second 40-yard dash. A MaxPreps Georgia All-Region player, he picked up an offer at the recent Alabama Junior Day and had no problem pulling the trigger a few days later.

“The whole reason to get this out of the way for me was to put recruiting behind me and focus on school and my teammates and Hillgrove,” Drake told BamaOnLine.com. “The coaching staff was fantastic. The offense is geared towards getting the ball to the playmakers. It just had everything.”

Alabama also locked up a future star on defense in Hayes. The 6-foot-3, 220 pound in-state linebacker will likely end up as an outside linebacker but could grow into an inside linebacker or defensive end.

“I have loved Alabama all of my life. My family is all Alabama. It just made sense to get it over with," Hayes told BamaOnLine.com. “I had offers from Alabama and Auburn, and while Auburn was really nice, Alabama’s academics probably put it over the top. I loved the coaching staff too.”

Not to be left out, SEC rival Florida picked up a big - literally - commitment from 6-foot-3, 220 pound running back Matt Jones. One of the top running backs in the South, the Seffner (Fla.) product is a versitle runner who will be a very good fit in Charlie Weis’ offense.

“I love the staff and coach (Will) Muschamp is great,” Jones told FightinGators.com. “When I told coach Muschamp he was real jacked up and I made his day. He told me they needed a guy like me and great players want to play with other great players. I just want to go up there and compete. I plan on rocking the entire Gator nation.”

Jones becomes Florida’s third commit for the class of 2012. A few of his highlights are in the video below.

Posted on: February 14, 2011 6:21 pm

Florida making inroads after first Junior Day

Posted by Bryan Fischer

New Florida head coach Will Muschamp tweeted on Saturday that it was the first full week his entire staff had been together in the office. Without a doubt, one of the things they were doing was preparing for the Gators’ first Junior Day this past weekend.

It appears the staff bonding paid off in the eyes of the recruits as Junior Day was well received by many of the players in attendance.

“It was great,” offensive tackle Jessamen Dunker told the Gainesville Sun. “I really enjoyed myself. Excellent experience.”

Dunker would be a big pickup for the Gators given their offensive line depth chart and they rightfully showed him plenty of attention over the weekend. Muschamp and recruiting coordinator Aubrey Hill gave Dunker a full tour of campus before he attended the basketball game against Tennessee with freshman quarterback Trey Burton.

Florida commit Omari Phillips was also impressed with his unofficial visit on Junior Day. The defensive tackle and MaxPreps 2012 Top 100 watch list member enjoyed the one-on-one time with the new coaching staff.

"I got a chance to talk to (defensive line coach Bryant) Young personally in his office,” Phillips told Gatorbait.net. “He sat us down and showed us some highlights and how I would be used and what my duties will be on defense. He seems like a great dude who knows what he's talking about. I'm glad to have a coach who played the position that I'll be playing. He seems like a real humble dude who I can be a mentor.”

The visit helped Phillips reaffirm his commitment to the school after making his original commitment to former head coach Urban Meyer.

Local cornerback Chris Bivins was also shown a lot of attention by the staff. Although he doesn’t have an offer from the Gators, he is getting looks from fellow SEC programs Tennessee and Arkansas among others and could be in line to get a coveted scholarship offer over the summer.

With a full week and a Junior Day under their belt, expect Muschamp’s new staff to start grabbing a few more commitments in the coming weeks. After seeing Miami gain a few players for the class of 2012 this week, the staff will likely be pressing for a few to get some in-state momentum on the recruiting trail.

Perhaps we'll even see a few "Boom's" out of Muschamp following the Florida's next Junior Day.

Posted on: February 12, 2011 3:07 pm

Impressive list in Gainesville for UF Junior Day

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Florida’s basketball game against Tennessee tonight isn’t the only hot ticket in Gainesville. New head coach Will Muschamp will be hosting the first Junior Day for the class of 2012 and several talented juniors were invited to check out the Gators’ facilities and meet the new staff.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, 2012 Florida commitments LaTroy Pittman and Omari Phillips are expected to be in attendance. Both Pittman and Phillips are on the MaxPreps 2012 player to watch list.

Attendance from South Florida to the Junior Day festivities will be limited somewhat due to the Under Armour combine going on in Miami but there are still plenty of talented players taking a closer look at the Gators. Some notable players in attendance who should be popping up on everyone’s radar include offensive lineman Blake Fromang, quarterback Vegas Harley, running back Qua Barnes, wide receiver Alton Howard and defensive end Jelani Hamilton.

No word on how many times coach Muschamp will say “Boom!” today but you can bet he’ll say it pretty loud if anybody commits this weekend.

Posted on: February 4, 2011 9:44 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 9:53 pm

Brissett heads to Florida against mother's wishes

Posted by Bryan Fischer

They say mother knows best but for West Palm Beach (Fla.) quarterback Jacoby Brissett, the appeal of playing in the Swamp for offensive coordinator Charlie Weis was enough to go against his own mother's wishes.

MaxPreps’ 10th-ranked dual-threat quarterback, Brissett selected Florida over Miami, Wisconsin and Washington at a ceremony before his basketball game Friday night. After announcing his choice, the Sun Sentinel reported that he did not sign his letter of intent and that his family continue to talk to him about his decision to join the Gators.

"It's not my choice. I didn't like the way Florida handled the process," Brissett’s mother, Ellicia Brown told the Sun Sentinel. "I was never able to meet the head coach. All the other coaches took the time to come and meet me. Will (Muschamp) never did. I never met him face to face. And I find that very disrespectful. I'm just hurt by the whole process."

Brown said her and Brissett’s cousin, current Miami wide receiver Travis Benjamin, would continue to lobby the quarterback to sign with the Hurricanes.

Also a standout basketball player at Dwyer High, Brissett was told he would be allowed to try out for the basketball team at all four schools under consideration.

Related story: Texas A&M commit Floyd Raven’s mother forged his signature on his Letter of Intent sent to Ole Miss.

Posted on: February 2, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: February 6, 2011 1:44 pm

SEC Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Taking stock of the day in the SEC:


No surprise that Nick Saban's crew put together yet another huge Signing Day, with the No. 1 spot in the Maxpreps team rankings wrapped up after adding No. 1 offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio to what had already been a massive haul. The Tide pulled in a perfect 3-4 defensive end in Jeoffrey Pagan (pictured) and flipped supremely athletic outside linebacker Brent Calloway back from Auburn (after he'd committed to the Tigers at the U.S. Army All-American game), two major missions accomplished. Top those off with the rest of the Tide's commitments -- including five-star teammates RB Dee Hart and S Hasean Clinton-Dix -- staying securely in the fold, and missing out on Isaiah Crowell (and likely No. 1 overall recruit Jadeveon Clowney ) barely even stings.

Video: Jeoffrey Pagan highlights

Georgia: Linebacker Kent Turene was an awfully nice pickup. But landing Crowell was a seismic development, the one member of the much-ballyhooed "Dream Team" the tailback-starved Bulldogs absolutely had to have. He alone was enough to push Mark Richt into the winner's column, but add in Turene and the successful fending off of challenges for commits like defensive back Corey Moore, and even missing out on Pagan won't be enough to wipe the smile off of the faces of Bulldog fans.

Video: Todd Grantham talks Signing Day  

Auburn: Losing Calloway to the hated Tide stung, and the euphoria of watching Kouandjio announce for the Tigers dissipated quickly as he elected not to sign his LOI on Signing Day, eventually joining Calloway and his older brother in Tuscaloosa. But Chizik got a ton of help for his occasionally-porous defense anyway, inking one of the nation's best safeties in Erique Florence and a rock-solid defensive tackle prospect in Crowell teammate Gabe Wright. The Tigers also wasted no time replacing cornerback decommitment Marcus Roberson with coveted Mississippi athlete Jermaine Whitehead, a Mississippi State commitment. Even without Kouandjio, the Tigers landed a top-10 class that proved their program-changing 2010 haul was no fluke. Still, Tiger fans have to wonder: if they weren't coming to Auburn, couldn't Calloway and Koundjio have gone somewhere other than Alabama?

Video: Gene Chizik talks Signing Day at CBS College Sports , Kiehl Frazier commits , Coaches react to Erique Florence decision

Ole Miss: Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen enjoys pointing out the raw numbers of his team's players and recruits come from the state they share with the Rebels, but it was Houston Nutt who ran away with nearly all of the state's top-ranked talent. Having already secured the signatures of former Bulldog commitment five-star linebacker C.J. Johnson and highly-regarded receiver Tobias Singleton, the Rebels added to their in-state haul by keeping top-100 wideout Nickolas Brassell out of the clutches of the Tide. The battle between Nutt and Mullen on the recruiting trail was more-or-less a draw in 2010, but there's little question who had the upper hand this season.

LSU: The day was unusually quiet by the usually madcap Bayou Bengals' Signing Day standards, but that happens when you have your state on virtual lockdown and that state provides enough talent for one of the nation's best classes all on its own. Simply making sure their commitments (most notably offensive tackle La'El Collins and defensive counterpart Anthony Johnson) made it across the dotted line would have guaranteed Les Miles a successful Signing Day. But keeping Shreveport's Jermauria Rasco (pictured) -- one of the nation's most highly sought-after defensive ends -- at home (and away from Texas) more than made up for missing out on Florida defensive tackle Tim Jernigan.

The Commodores won't finish anywhere near the top of the league's recruiting rankings, of course. But given the limited time James Franklin had to work with, the results were quite impressive. Franklin flipped Virginia Tech quarterback commitment Lafonte Thourogood first thing Signing Day morning and brought in several other candidates for immediate playing time, like Ohio tight end Dorien Bryant.


The Gators, as always, can still boast one of the nation's best classes, and no one anywhere signed a better QB-RB combo than Jeff Driskel and the underrated Mike Blakely. Roberson's arrival was a nice Signing Day surprise, and Will Muschamp and Co. turned away a serious Ohio State challenge for receiver JaJuan Story. But particularly looking at the way their rivals at Georgia and Florida State finished, Gator fans won't be happy about being unable to make up any ground with prospects like Jernigan, Curtis Grant, or Stephone Anthony. Roberson wound up the only new addition on Signing Day, and even he somewhat fell into the Gators' laps after his wild commitments and decommitments to Texas Tech and Auburn. Muschamp will be cut plenty of slack this season after his late arrival in Gainesville, but another class that so completely cedes the limelight to the Dawgs and 'Noles won't be as easily forgiven.

Mississippi State:
How thin was the Bulldogs' final class after seeing the likes of Johnson, Singleton and -- most painfully -- Whitehead decommit? Not one of their 23 commitments ranked among the top 25 at their position, according to Tom Lemming. The Bulldogs struggled going head-to-head with Ole Miss within Mississippi, and came up empty when going abroad for players like Washington D.C.-based Kevin McReynolds, who signed with UCLA. Players like receiver Joe Morrow and defensive tackle P.J. Jones are unquestionably SEC-grade talents, but after such a productive, promising year on the field, the lack of recruiting punch is puzzling.

Arkansas: There's nothing particularly disappointing about the Razorbacks' 2011 class (though watching tight end commitment Chris Barnett sign with Michigan wasn't fun), and keeping home-grown talent like quarterback Brandon Allen and tackle Brey Cook in Arkansas was a bright spot. But when you share a division with Alabama, LSU, and Auburn, "nothing particularly disappointing" may not be good enough to stay in the mix for a division title.

Posted on: February 2, 2011 5:24 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 5:26 pm

MaxPreps: First-year coaches' grades

By MaxPreps's Stephen Spiewak

A head coach's first recruiting class is often his worst.

Taking a head coaching job in the middle of the offseason, a critical time in the recruiting period, is a burdensome task. New hires rush to retain recruits from the previous regime by quickly building and reaffirming relationships with current commits while also branching out to land their own targets to fit their offensive and defensive philosophies.

However, new hires do benefit from the media deluge that typically follows the announcement that they're taking the job.

Here's a look at some notable coaches in their first recruiting season at their current school and how they fared on the recruiting trail.

Brady Hoke-Michigan 
Notable recruits lost: Demetrius Hart
Notable recruits gained: Christian Bryant 
Analysis: Hoke became the man at Michigan after a long, drawn out process that not only involved former coach Rich Rodriguez but also the likes of Jim Harbaugh and Les Miles. The Wolverines landed on Hoke, who didn't hit many home runs, but brought in solid recruits like Bryant, Antonio Poole, and Thomas Rawls.  Grade: B+

Will Muschamp-Florida 
Notable recruits lost: Nick Waisome, Ryan Shazier
Notable recruits gained: Marcus Roberson 
Analysis: Coming off an epic 2010 recruiting class, it would've been nearly impossible for any coach to match what Urban Meyer did last year - even Urban Meyer himself. Muschamp had to focus his efforts on re-recruiting existing Florida commits. He couldn't close on the type of recruit that the Gators had become used to landing, like Tim Jernigan and Curt Maggitt. He should improve vastly in 2012. Grade: C+

Al Golden-Miami 
Notable recruits lost: Teddy Bridgewater, Eli Rogers
Notable recruits gained: Jalen Grimble 
Analysis: Golden certainly has some work to do, as most of South Florida's top recruits went elsewhere. Bringing in Grimble was a big surprise, and Golden has the Hurricanes poised to land quarterback Jacoby Brissett. He convinced Anthony Chickillo to stick with his commitment while mending fences at Miami Central and bringing in Thomas Finnie. Grade: A

David Shaw-Stanford 
Notable recruits lost: Anthony Sarao, Amir Carlisle 
Notable recruits gained: Wayne Lyons
Analysis: Stanford often loses recruits late in the recruiting cycle due to its strict academic standards, but the departure of Jim Harbaugh exacerbated the Cardinal's losses. However, it was not all bad news for Shaw and Stanford, which still landed Wayne Lyons, the nation's No. 45 recruit. With all of Stanford's success on the field this season, this is a slightly disappointing class, even taking into account the coaching turmoil. Grade: B

Randy Edsall-Maryland 
Notable recruits lost: none 
Notable recruits gained: Jeremiah Hendy 
Analysis: Maryland has seen some change in its recruiting class in the post-Ralph Friedgen era. The Terrapins lost recruits like Ryan Malleck and Jimmy Stewart, but Edsall was able to regain a pledge from A.J. Hendy. Otherwise, this class is similar to what it was before Edsall arrived: underwhelming. However, Edsall did a great job identifying and cultivating talent at UConn. Maryland fans have to hang their hats on next year's recruiting class, because the 2011 group is underwhelming. Grade: C

More Signing Day coverage on CBSSports.com
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com