Take Two returns with a daily offering tackling an issue in the college football landscape. Rivals.com National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney lays out the situation and then receives takes from Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and an expert from the Rivals.com network of team sites or a regional analyst.
The recruitment of Timothy Smith is getting more interesting in the final stretch before the early signing period.
The four-star defensive tackle from Sebastian (Fla.) Sebastian River is one of the most-coveted prospects in this class even though he’s been committed to Alabama since the summer.
Florida is making every effort possible to flip Smith, who’s rated as the fifth-best defensive tackle in the class and No. 70 overall. And the local prospect is showing tons of interest in the Gators as well.
Whether it’s showing up at summer camp, back on campus recently, having an in-home visit with Florida coaches or scheduling an official visit right before the early signing period, Smith is engaged with the Gators and is responsive to their pursuits.
But Alabama is Alabama and it has a tremendous history of developing elite defensive linemen for the NFL. Plus, he picked the Crimson Tide for many reasons in July and has stayed committed this whole way.
Can Florida flip Smith or will he stick with Alabama as both SEC schools make him a top priority in this class?
FIRST TAKE: Corey Bender, GatorsTerritory.com
“Smith will be taking an official visit to Alabama in the coming weeks and when we spoke to him, he was saying the track record speaks for itself when it comes to Alabama putting players in the NFL, but Florida is the school he’s most familiar with.
“He’s visited Florida eight times and he said when it comes to Alabama, he still hasn’t seen everything there. When it comes to Florida, they definitely do have a shot at flipping him. Dan Mullen and two assistants had an in-home visit and we don’t know when he’s having his Alabama in-home yet. Florida is getting him on campus for an official visit and they’ll have the last shot. He’s a major priority for Florida.
“As of right now, I’m leaning toward Florida. When he goes to Alabama soon, things definitely could change because he’ll be back on campus. Any way you slice it, Florida will have the last shot and with him signing early, I’d give the slight edge to Florida flipping him.”
SECOND TAKE: Mike Farrell, Rivals.com
“You can certainly turn down Alabama for Florida. Florida is a good program that produces great defensive linemen. Alabama has had a really good history of producing excellent interior defensive linemen. When you look in the NFL, you’ve got A’Shawn Robinson, Da’Ron Payne, Jonathan Allen, Dalvin Tomlinson, just a lot of big guys who come out of Alabama and have a lot of success.
“It’s going to be tough to flip him. He’s a Florida native, so that gives the advantage to Florida when it comes to location, but Alabama really wants him in this class. He’s probably their top defensive priority so they’re going to do absolutely everything to keep him and it’s going to be tough to flip him.”