There are a variety of factors that go into scouting a prospect that Florida football might be interested in. One has to consider their size, their film, the level of competition their film is against, their performance in camps, and whether or not they are any good at Madden.
One of those we might have made up, but one of those should also trump the others when deciding how good a player is or is not.
Florida Football: Film don’t lie
If you are not familiar with us here at Hail Florida Hail, we are a team of part-time writers who all have full-time jobs/endeavors we focus on beyond this site.
As such, we can only go off of what we see when evaluating prospects that the Florida Gators are recruiting. For us, that leads to a heavy reliance on film from each recruit, and if you have followed our site over the last year, then you know we point out the positives and negatives that we see on film.
But the world of evaluating prospects and ranking them goes beyond what happens from September to November. For better or for worse, recruits are now judged and critiqued year-round.
The reason for this is the explosion of camps around the country. The benefit of camps is that recruits can go head-to-head with other prospects, and we can draw direct comparisons based on how they do from these camps.
There are a couple of problems with this, however.
One is that these camps cost money. Florida Gator camps cost around $50 for one day.
Let’s be honest; not everyone has the money to drop hundreds of dollars to go to a bunch of different camps. This is the same phenomenon that has plagued club soccer and travel baseball/softball.
The Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in the American League. Look at their roster; how many of their guys played travel ball?
The other problem is that the football being played at these camps is so far removed from the football these guys play from September to November that trying to draw definitive conclusions isn’t realistic.
7 v 7 is fine for keeping athletes active and competitive, but in no way does it replicate football once the pads are put on. It is almost a guarantee that wherever you live, there is a local high school team that did great this summer during the 7 v 7 circuits that are going to get their doors blown off once the pads are put on.
Yet all the major recruiting services, not just the one that Florida football fans are mad at right now, utilize these camps and 7 v 7 tournaments to update their recruiting rankings during the summer.
As a result, some guys make huge jumps or have huge falls in the rankings as a result of what happens without pads on.
And yes, when it comes to the Gators, much of what we are arguing over comes down to semantics. If you trust with your own eyes what you see on film, then wherever the four major recruiting services have that player ranked is irrelevant.
We just hope that recruiting in football doesn’t go the path of soccer and baseball in America and morph into a pay-for-play system that only allows the wealthy to get noticed.