New coaches have work to do

The mailbag takes one week off and all kinds of things change. There are new coaches at Florida and Miami (and questions about both) and new recruiting tidbits that need to be answered. So off we go.

Hello Corey,
What's the deal with Al Golden? Like a lot of Miami fans I was hoping we'd sign a bigger name but can this guy get the job done?
Several Readers
Miami, Fla. (and surrounding areas)

In his first week on the job Golden has definitely been working the phones and Florida's roadways on the recruiting trails. He has made a good impression on everyone he's met so far and seems to be working hard to reclaim the commits that the program has lost. I can't predict what he will do on the field but so far he's showing the aggression necessary to recruit for the Hurricanes.

Hey Corey,
I know Will Muschamp has a strong coaching background but can he pick up where Urban Meyer left off on the recruiting end?
Several Readers
Gainesville, Fla. (and surrounding areas)

There's no reason why he shouldn't. Although he lost Ryan Shazier (Plantation, Fla./Plantation), he has done a good job of reaching out to the other recruits in the class like Jeff Driskel (Oviedo, Fla./Hagerty) and Javares McRoy (Lakeland, Fla./Lakeland). Defensive back Nick Waisome (Groveland, Fla./South Lake) is on his official visit this weekend and Muschamp will try to shore up his commitment as well.

I saw Teddy Bridgewater's (Miami, Fla./Northwestern) almost committed to Louisville. Do we have a shot? Can Coach Strong pull him away?
Dontae Williams
Louisville, Ky.

Hard to say, I think Bridgewater is certainly interested in the Cardinals but I think he's going to give Al Golden a legitimate shot and an official visit before anything happens. If Strong can pull Bridgewater away it would be considered a major accomplishment.

First Kelvin Benjamin (Belle Glade, Fla./Glades Central) says he's going to commit on Thursday and then he backs off. Why did he back off and what's his status?
Jeremy Moore
Orlando, Fla.

Well the common word is that he got a call from Muschamp and he convinced him to move the date back. It makes sense as Benjamin doesn't want to get caught up in taking visits after his verbal. He's going to visit Florida, FSU and Miami in January and probably make his announcement in late January or on signing day.

Did Georgia make up ground for Malcolm Mitchell (Valdosta, Ga./Valdosta) after his visit? It's got to help that his teammate Jay Rome seems to be ready to commit.
Ryan Lattimore
Augusta, Ga.

Mitchell is a crucial part of Georgia's plan to land the in-state dream team that includes Rome, Ray Drew (Thomasville, Ga./Thomas County Central), Damian Swann (Atlanta, Ga./Grady) and others. Mitchell would appear to be the toughest sell with him being so high on Alabama, but if this dream team begins to commit to Georgia in the new year the pressure to join them could be too great.

What does the signing of George Farmer (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) do for USC's class?
Takem Willis
Santa Monica, Calif.

Well it gives the Trojans another game-breaking talent to add with DeAnthony Thomas (Crenshaw, Calif./Crenshaw) and Victor Blackwell (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei). And it proves that the top talent in California will continue to flock to Lane Kiffin's program above all others.

What are the chances that defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan (Asheville, N.C./Asheville) will land in Tennessee?
Craig Sabrum
Wilmington, N.C.

Well it doesn't appear that the Volunteers are on his first list of official visits. Pagan has went to Georgia and will go to Clemson, LSU and Alabama. If Tennessee can convince Pagan to go there for his fifth visit, they've got a shot. If not, I think you can cross the Vols off his list.

Do you think Cyrus Kouandjio (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) is really considering New Mexico? It seems like a strange fit.
Tanner Rickson
Little Rock, Ark.

He sounded convincing enough when I asked him last week. Now I don't believe New Mexico is the favorite for Kouandjio and is probably the biggest underdog, but he took the visit seriously and understands what kind of challenge awaits him at New Mexico if he were to commit there.

Where do you think Savon Huggins (Jersey City, N.J./St. Peter's) ends up?
John Baker
Pittsburgh, Pa.

I believe he's been leaning towards Notre Dame but Rutgers is also heavily in the mix. I'm curious at how his visit to Auburn goes this weekend.

Corey Long has been covering high school football and recruiting in the Sunshine State since 1995. He can be reached at coreyespn@gmail.com.