The question is being asked and is legitimate: How good is the Florida job? While the recruiting base remains elite, there are other factors that a perspective coaching candidate must consider.
Let’s focus on the roster.
What kind of team is the coach inheriting? The new coach will not be getting the loaded cupboard left behind when Urban Meyer arrived after recruiting wizard Ron Zook was fired in 2004.
Let’s project the 2018 Gators roster. The best way for any candidate to judge what he’ll have is to assume the worst. Then, expectations can only be better as time plays out. To do that, let’s remove some players who have eligibility to return next season.
These players could elect to enter the NFL Draft: receiver Antonio Callaway, running back Jordan Scarlett, defensive tackle Taven Bryan, left tackle Martez Ivey, kicker Eddy Pineiro and defensive end Cece Jefferson. Let’s assume strong safety Marcell Harris, a senior who tore his Achilles in July, does not seek a medical sixth year and enters the draft.
Let’s also assume defensive end Keivonnis Davis takes a medical hardship after a terrible scooter accident this summer, as does receiver James Robinson (unknown heart condition). And let’s assume suspended offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort is expelled, as he is facing 30 felony charges for alleged credit card fraud.
That’s 10 players who could play for the Gators in 2018 that we are eliminating.
Are you depressed yet? Sorry.
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By removing these 10 players from consideration, we get a clearer idea at what UF might look like next season. Again, if any of these players come back, it’s a bonus for the new coach.
Here are the seniors we know won’t be back: cornerback Duke Dawson, defensive end Jordan Sherit, punter Johnny Townsend, tight end DeAndre Goolsby, safety Nick Washington, running back Mark Thompson, wide receiver Brandon Powell, quarterback Malik Zaire and linebacker Cristian Garcia.
We also will not consider the 2018 recruiting class. None of the commitments have signed. We don’t know how the new staff will view them and vice versa.
So, what’s left? Here we go.
QUARTERBACK (2018 year listed)
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