football Edit

3-2-1: Billy Gonzales' recruiting; Evan Stewart; Zach Carter's stellar play

Sponsored AD at Gators Territory
Sponsored AD at Gators Territory

Three Things We Know

1. Jason Marshall is coming into his own.

Marshall was one of the most highly-anticipated recruits of the Gators' 2021 class and for good reason.

The former Rivals100 prospect has the size and speed you look for in a high-level cornerback, but his first couple games saw him get beat a few times while trying to get his feet wet. He has since adjusted to the speed and physicality of the college game and looks to be coming into his own. He has improved each week and had an impressive showing last week against Kentucky in the absence of likely first-round pick, Kaiir Elam.

We are starting to see the potential come to fruition with this talented, young player and it couldn’t have come at a better time for the Gators.

2. Billy Gonzales is quietly putting together an ELITE wide receiver class.

Early in his Florida tenure, Gonzales received some flak from fans for not being an elite recruiter. Now that he has regained his footing in Gainesville, Gonzales has quietly been one of the best recruiters on staff the last few years and looks to be doing it again this year.

A big emphasis of the Gators this cycle is getting speed back in the Swamp, and they have definitely done that with their two current commits: Rivals100 athlete Isaiah Bond and four-star receiver CJ Smith. If all goes well, it looks like they could be adding another big-time prospect here soon in Rivals250 wide receiver Jayden Gibson.

If they are able to land Gibson and still be in the running for Evan Stewart, a five-star prospect, we could be talking about one of the best receiver classes Florida has ever seen. There is still a ways to go before we can say that, but Billy G is certainly making his presence felt on the recruiting trail.

3. Zach Carter is playing at an All-SEC/All-American level.

Coming into the season, we all expected Carter to have a breakout year, but I don’t know if anyone expected what we have seen to this point.

Carter has been virtually unblockable at defensive end and lives in the backfield of opponents. Zach, or as he has now come to be known as “Sack” Carter, is fifth in the country and first in the SEC in sacks on the year with 5.5 and on pace to be able to push for Florida’s single season sack record of 13 before the year ends.

Carter is an absolute animal in the trenches and should absolutely see his name on the all-conference list but could see it on the All-American lists as well.


Two Questions We Have

1. Will Florida cover the spread this weekend?

We all know that Vanderbilt isn’t a great team this year and that’s putting it nicely, so a large spread was expected this weekend, but I don’t know if anyone expected a whopping 39 points.

While the Gators should beat the Commodores handily, will they cover the spread? Florida has only covered the spread twice this year and neither time was when they were playing a supremely inferior opponent (FAU and USF).

In a game that Florida should look to run up the score and get confidence back in their offense, will they? We all know Dan Mullen likes to get conservative and call off the dogs late and that has me thinking they won’t, but who knows?

2. Can the Gators close on Evan Stewart?

For quite a while now, Florida has looked like the team to beat for the talented pass-catcher out of the Lone Star State, but they still haven’t sealed the deal.

Some smoke of Texas getting back into the mix has been floating around lately and Stewart didn’t make it in for his scheduled visit for the Gators' game against Alabama. Is Florida losing ground even though they have his best friend in Nick Evers committed at quarterback?

No one truly knows what Evan is going to do except for Evan, but the big question everyone is asking is will Florida finally be able to close on one of the elite prospects in the country?

One Prediction

1. Florida will score its first non-offensive touchdown of the year against Vanderbilt

As I said above, it’s no secret that Vanderbilt isn’t a good football team, and they have turned the ball over a number of times this year.

Quarterback Ken Seals has thrown as many interceptions as touchdown passes this year. Combine that with the fact that Vanderbilt’s team speed is not up to par in the SEC, this week is as good as any for the Gators to find a way to score in a non-traditional fashion. I think this weekend will be the time where the Gators finally log their first non-offensive touchdown of the season.