‘Georgia boys’ not making an impact at Florida — yet

It’s Georgia-Florida week so it seemed like a good to revisit the Peach State kids that signed with the Gators in their heralded Class of 2010.

To do that, I called Edward Aschoff, who covers football recruiting and covers the Gators for the Gainesville Sun. You can read his daily recruiting blog called “The Scout Leader” at GatorSports.com.

Of course, everybody knows that the Gators hauled in the No. 1-rated recruiting class in the country this past February. It featured an astounding number of five-star signees — six — with Chris Dunkley, Dominique Easley, Matt Elam, Sharrif Floyd, Chris Martin and Ronald Powell.

As the Gators enter the Georgia game at 4-3 overall and 2-3 in the SEC, suffice it to say that class hasn’t quite lived up to its billing.

“I’d definitely say the class is under-performing,” said Aschoff, who recently re-evaluated Florida’s entire 2010 class in one of his blogs. “Sharrif Floyd plays the most and, of course, Trey Burton has been a surprise to everybody. But they haven’t gotten what they expected out of a lot these guys.”

They haven’t gotten a whole lot out of the new “Georgia boys” so far. Three players from our state were among the recruits in Florida’s 2010 class. Here’s a little update on each:

Mack Brown

Mack Brown

RB Mack Brown (5-10, 193), Martin Luther King High School, Lithonia: Brown, a 2009 AJC Super 11 selection, has been a bit of a disappointment for the Gators. While they have struggled to establish any kind of consistent running threat behind the oft-injured Jeffrey Demps, Brown, hasn’t been able to step in to fill the void. He has played in three games (none since South Florida in Week 2) and enters the Georgia game with three carries for 23 yards.

Said Aschoff: “Mack Brown was a great talent coming out of high school and the coaches like his athleticism and ability to make plays. He played some special teams and a little bit at running back and I actually thought he looked really good. But he apparently is having trouble with the playbook and just remembering the plays. He’s been kind of slow to catch on. So at this point it looks like they might try to redshirt him.”

Neiron Ball

Neiron Ball

DE/OLB Neiron Ball (6-2, 222), Jackson High School, Jackson: Ball has been a pleasant surprise at Florida. A defensive end in high school, he has been a significant contributor on special teams and is getting more and more work on defense at outside linebacker. He has five tackles on the season.

Said Aschoff: “Ball is one of Meyer’s favorite special teams guys. He’s always talking about him whenever anybody asks him about special teams. He really knows football and you don’t have to teach him much. He played defensive end in high school but he’s looked really good at linebacker.”

Michael Taylor

Michael Taylor

LB Michael Taylor (5-11, 218), Westlake High School, Atlanta: Taylor, who really came on late last season and impressed a lot of people with his performance in the Under Armour All-American Game last January, has not played this season and is heading for a redshirt year.

Said Aschoff: “The coaches and a lot of the older guys really like him. He hustles, he’s a big hitter and he’s not afraid to get in there and mix it up. He’s just a little small and needs a year to bulk up and get a little stronger.”

But while the Bulldogs aren’t likely to see much out of these guys on Saturday, they will encounter a lot of the young players Florida brought in last season. The Gators have played 16 freshmen this season. In addition to the aforementioned Burton and Floyd, Powell — the No. 1 recruit in America last season — has moved from defensive end to strongside outside linebacker and has seen his playing time increase significantly. And Matt Elam, a late flip from Florida State last February, is a backup strong safety who starts in the Gators’ nickel package.

“There’s a lot of good talent,” Aschoff said. “They just haven’t reached their potential yet.”

93 comments Add your comment

navy92

October 27th, 2010
5:12 pm

Geeez, all 3 are true freshmen. I’m sure they’ll contribute in time.

Davey Boy Smith

October 27th, 2010
5:17 pm

It should probably be more important to talk about Omar Hunter, Pridemore, Lawrence Marsh, Chas Henry, Mo Hurt(what a great name) and Justin Williams than the true freshmen, no?

Chip Towers

October 27th, 2010
5:19 pm

Davey Boy Smith: Not in a “recruiting” blog. But those guys are all major contributors for sure.

kpokeefe

October 27th, 2010
5:22 pm

“He has played in three games (none since South Florida in Week 2) and enters the Georgia game with three carries for 23 yards.”

You couldn’t have evaluated Barry Sanders on 3 carries!

OnTap

October 27th, 2010
5:27 pm

Agree wholeheartedly with Davey Boy. The kids he mentioned have just as much to do with “recruiting” as the guys you mentioned. The recruiting is over for the kids in this story as well. More interesting to see how kids that have been there long enough to actually contribute have done, which still isn’t much. I guess Mo is starting, but their offense isn’t killing it with him out there.

RESIGN OR RE-SIGN?

October 27th, 2010
5:27 pm

How could he have played in three games if he hasn’t played since the second game?

1eyedJack

October 27th, 2010
5:32 pm

“He has played in three games (none since South Florida in Week 2)”

Is it just me? How do you play three games in two weeks?

1eyedJack

October 27th, 2010
5:34 pm

@RESIGN…didn’t mean to step on your toes.

Overrated

October 27th, 2010
5:36 pm

Hey Chip,

Can you share your thoughts about Georgia recruits Marlon Brown, Israel Troupe, and Tavarres King. When AJ Green was out they barely contributed. Would you call them overrated?

Obama's Teleprompter

October 27th, 2010
5:36 pm

How has Mack Brown played in 3 games but none since Week 2? Did they play a doubleheader in week 1? LOL

jsmith

October 27th, 2010
5:41 pm

having trouble with the playbook and just remembering plays?? go write a italian opera…. go build the worlds largest bridge ” go gators”

GeoffDawg

October 27th, 2010
5:42 pm

How can Mack Brown have played in three games but could also be heading towards a redshirt? Am I missing something?

OnTap

October 27th, 2010
5:43 pm

@Overrated. Only one of those kids are from out of state. Surely you don’t want a list of non-contributors from in state on UF. I know this…Hunter hasn’t been the “Tebow of the defense” like CUM made him out to be.

OnTap

October 27th, 2010
5:44 pm

Go be a congresswoman Go Corch, Go Harvey, Go GATUH!

DALTONDAWG706

October 27th, 2010
5:45 pm

I don’t care what any of those guys do or anybody else who signs a letter of intent to play at florida from Georgia.

ryan

October 27th, 2010
5:45 pm

Overrated get a life dude AJ Green has not contributed you have got be kidding me Mel Kiper has Green at the top of his draft board .

John

October 27th, 2010
5:45 pm

@Overrated, I think Tavarres King is actually having a solid season and is showing the kind of potential he has.

Overrated

October 27th, 2010
5:46 pm

@OnTap, I don’t care where they are from. These guys were highly recruited as recruits but they haven’t produced on the field.

1eyedJack

October 27th, 2010
5:50 pm

I think Marlon Brown has a little Mack Brown itis. Can’t remember the plays? Physically he’s ready so what is holding him back must be ‘tween the ears.

jsmith

October 27th, 2010
5:51 pm

is omar hunter still there ?

Davey Boy Smith

October 27th, 2010
5:51 pm

Jacquez Green was tough to tackle.

Overrated

October 27th, 2010
5:52 pm

Overrated get a life dude AJ Green has not contributed you have got be kidding me Mel Kiper has Green at the top of his draft board .

Dude can you read? I never said AJ Green was overrated

1eyedJack

October 27th, 2010
5:53 pm

And whatever happened to Orson Charles?

Overrated

October 27th, 2010
5:54 pm

1eyedJack

October 27th, 2010
5:50 pm
I think Marlon Brown has a little Mack Brown itis. Can’t remember the plays? Physically he’s ready so what is holding him back must be ‘tween the ears.

I think so too. With AJ leaving after the season, Marlon Brown should be showing us that he is ready to be the next star but we haven’t got anything from him

Overrated

October 27th, 2010
5:56 pm

And whatever happened to Orson Charles?

I am wondeing the same thing. He did ok his first year, but if you look at georgia recievers and tight ends they are loaded.

1eyedJack

October 27th, 2010
6:01 pm

@Overrated

He looked all-world as a true freshman but I bet he don’t have ten catches this year. I didn’t notice when AJ was out if Orson was drawing double coverage but since AJ’s return I would expect to hear Charles’ number called more often.

Gator Bob

October 27th, 2010
6:08 pm

Should be a good game Saturday – below is my scenerio of how this will play out:

Gators score early
UGA settles down – makes a game of it
Gators run away with it in the 4th Quarter

A few things:
-We were way overated this year (duh!) – but we are playing a lot of youth – a transition year to say the least – but will gel in time – and will always be a better program than UGA – which is traditionally good – but hardly ever great.

Against anyone decent – UGA has been outplayed this year. the last three games were against bad opponents – these wins give UGA false hope.

With a week off to prepare and freshen up – Gators will be ready!

At any rate – I wish all UGA fans safe travels this weekend!

Ryan

October 27th, 2010
6:11 pm

Wonder what a comparison of 2009 recruiting classes would look like. I would think Georgia would have the upper hand with Murray and Charles, but not sure how many of the Gators players are Georgia 2009 recruits.

Overrated

October 27th, 2010
6:14 pm

1eyedJack

October 27th, 2010
6:01 pm
@Overrated

He looked all-world as a true freshman but I bet he don’t have ten catches this year. I didn’t notice when AJ was out if Orson was drawing double coverage but since AJ’s return I would expect to hear Charles’ number called more often.

Here are the stats:

Tavarres King 18 catches 339 yards 18.8 Average 2 TD’S
Orson Charles 10 catches 139 yards 13.9 Average 0 TD’S
Marlon Brown 7 catches 92 yards 13.1 Average 1 TD’S
Israel Troupe 1 catches 16 yards 16.0 Average 0 TD’S

These guys were highly rated recruits and this is the results we get, AJ has more catches, yards, and touchdowns than these guys combined

82Dawg

October 27th, 2010
6:16 pm

@Gator Bob….keep drinking that orange and blue kool aide…

steve

October 27th, 2010
6:18 pm

Charles is still a stud… they just don’t throw to him. I remember a 3 game stretch they threw to him only 2 times! Get him the ball, he’s a playmaker.

We run this state

October 27th, 2010
6:18 pm

Gator Bob must be drink, Georgia will kick Florida’s butt saturday

76-DAWG

October 27th, 2010
6:18 pm

Chip sorry to tell you something that you don’t already know but nobody in the state of Georgia care what the players are doing that went out of state except their families. Let the state of Florida newspapers rave about them .
What they will find out is the state of Florida doesn’t care what they do either ,only that they help the Florida Gators win a game. I hope they plan on living in the state of Florida when they graduate because if they don’t make pro ball nobody in the state of Georgia is going to show any appreciation for them playing in another state. Where if they had stayed in Georgia many alumni that are executives or own their own business will be glad to help them any way they can find a job.
It is a shame that the recruits don’t think about what they will do in four years if they don’t make pro ball and how it will benifit them in the long run to stay in state.

TampaGator

October 27th, 2010
6:18 pm

I have no doubt that most of the freshman mentioned in this article are going to become outstanding players at Florida…especially Matt Elam, Shariff Floyd, Neiron Ball, Chris Martin, Ronald Powell, and Chris Dunkley….and several others not even mentioned. The Gators are a very young, and very talented team…..and Jeff Driskell is going to come in a be able to run the spread with no problem. Although this has been a trying year for Gator fans….things look very bright for fans of the Florida Gators. Lots to look forward to…my Dawgy friends…and…by the way…the Gators are putting together another top 5 recruiting class this year.

See ya in Jacksonville Saturday…..and no, I am not packing anything red.

We run this state

October 27th, 2010
6:20 pm

Georgia should have a high powered offense with all those studs at reciever.

ryan

October 27th, 2010
6:26 pm

Chris Durham has been excellent as well he had 3 guys covering him and he still caught the ball and he is good on yard after the catch and T. King has been decent the past 3 weeks .

Dr. Dave

October 27th, 2010
6:28 pm

So why are we assessing freshman? Let’s wait a year or two before we see how anyone does.

TampaGator

October 27th, 2010
6:28 pm

76 Dawg….

is that why so many University of Florida graduates live in Atlanta…because no one will hire someone that went to college in Florida? Companies don’t hire or not hire people based on where they played football. They hire them because they think they are best qualified to help a company make lots of money.

TampaGator

October 27th, 2010
6:30 pm

76Dawg…

You are also wrong about people not caring about how former Georgia HS players are doing…I think Georgia folks wish a player named Cam Newton would have stayed in state.

Overrated

October 27th, 2010
6:34 pm

ryan

October 27th, 2010
6:26 pm
Chris Durham has been excellent as well he had 3 guys covering him and he still caught the ball and he is good on yard after the catch and T. King has been decent the past 3 weeks .

Chris Durham is leading the team in most stats, he is not a problem at all. The other recievers need to step up.

BostonDawg

October 27th, 2010
6:34 pm

I don’t think it’s as simple as Murray just not throwing to Charles. He was his favorite targetin high school–and whenever Green is around I’m sure he’s still his favorite. Maybe Bobo isn’t choosing plays that feature the TE (for some odd reason).

1eyedJack

October 27th, 2010
6:45 pm

Hopefully we’ve been saving Orson for UF. If the team gets there early maybe they can tour the athletic facilities and Orson can show everybody the crystal football.

RxDawg

October 27th, 2010
6:55 pm

“three carries for 23 yards.”

Um, that’s over 7ypc. I don’t see how that could be considered bad… But I haven’t followed Brown’s career at Florida.

Alabama Jack

October 27th, 2010
7:22 pm

Meyer has been exposed as the sorry coach he is! Any clown could win with Tebow and now we all see what a loser this guy is!!

Jamaica Dawg

October 27th, 2010
7:29 pm

Recruiting is an inexact science that too many people get caught up in. Look at Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram – a 3 Star by Scout.

ryan

October 27th, 2010
7:35 pm

Hey Chip i just saw a report were Fanning is no longer playing HS football do you have any info on this story .

Dawg

October 27th, 2010
8:08 pm

Never have put much stock in kids with all the star power, granted they ruled the field of play in high school and when elevated to the next level some have excelled and some have faded out. I remember when Notre Dane had the top class in the country and could not produce.

NRBQ

October 27th, 2010
8:28 pm

Overrated:

It’s unfair to compare those guys with A.J. If he hadn’t missed time each year with injuries/suspension, no receiver in the country could carry his under-garment men’s athletic supporter.

Hell, he was a 4 star as a high-school sophomore.

And, hate to be the one to say it TAMPAGATOR, but you’re singing a much different tune here than in August when you laid out (ad nauseum) how fabulous UF would be this year.

FRED

October 27th, 2010
8:38 pm

IT PISSES ME OFF WHEN GEORGIA BOYS GO TO FLORIDA TO PLAY. HOWEVER, I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS A CLEAR CUT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PROGRAMS AND ATTITUDE IN WINNING.

naganole

October 27th, 2010
8:45 pm

UF wishes they still had Cam Newton, too… Should have threatened a gf instead of buying a stolen laptop and he could have been playing in orange and blue this Sat. So sad….