– To be frank, there haven't been many recruiting developments over the last few weeks. The only big one of note was the slightly positive surprise of Derby (Kan.) tight end Deandre Goolsby. For anyone who has followed this blog at all, you're well-versed in how much I've been harping on the need for good tight ends in this class. Florida now has two good ones in Goolsby and Alabama native C'yontai Lewis. The Gators should also be keeping close tabs on Crawfordville Wakulla prospect Jordan Franks and Ocala Vanguard star Elkannah Dillon down the stretch as well, based on the campaigns they put together during the 2013 season.
In terms of Goolsby, the Gators are getting, in my estimation, a player who can step in and have an impact immediately. Now, I'm not predicting a 1,000-yard receiving season or anything of that sort. But this is a guy who should be able to come in, and battle for an opportunity to get on the field as a freshman. At a position where the players on the roster have really shown no ability to make an impact in the passing game as receivers, Goolsby will certainly be a welcome breath of fresh air next fall.
– But while things have been relatively quiet for the Gators on the recruiting trail in recent weeks, Thursday could be the day that changes course for UF. Highly-regarded OT prospect David Sharpe, who at one time appeared to be heading towards a decision at the Army All-American Bowl, has now decided to move up his timetable on announcing a college choice:
Thursday is the day
— David Sharpe (@SHARPECITYY) November 17, 2013
While Sharpe's only official visit has been to Tennessee so far, the signs are pointing quite favorably towards UF landing good news on Thursday. This would obviously be good news if the "buzz" proves to be true. Again, for anyone who has followed this blog, Sharpe has been a player discussed on numerous occasions and is obviously an incredible talent with major upside as an offensive tackle. If the Gators do, in fact, land him later this week, it's a big move in the right direction for a Florida unit that has struggled all throughout the course of the season.
– All that aside, a lot of Florida's recruiting success down the stretch will hinge on whether or not the Gators can hold together a strong nucleus that they've put together on the recruiting trail to date, with 15 commitments from a talented group. Prospects like Will Grier, Quincy Wilson and Ermon Lane seem to continue to give out positive vibes. However, players like Duke Dawson, J.C. Jackson and Dalvin Cook have certainly left the door open to end up somewhere other than Gainesville. With Florida poised to end a streak of 22 consecutive years in which the season was ended with a bowl game, Will Muschamp and his staff (or I guess I should say, what remains of his staff after the year), can get to work on holding together a class which still could possibly finish among the top 5-10 groups in the country come Feb. 1, 2014.
Now that it's very much clear that Will Muschamp return at the helm for at least his fourth season in Gainesville next fall, the spotlight falls directly on the offseason, and what changes Boom decides to make on his staff (along with the crop of players he brings in for next fall, obviously). Muschamp's future in Gainesville will essentially come down to the 3-4 hires (possibly more) he makes to fill out his staff this offseason. We will be keeping a close eye on the names as they emerge on the board as the Gators look to get things turned around following what will almost certainly prove to be the most disappointing UF football season in over 30 years.