Neil Blackmon

Neil Blackmon covers Florida football for SaturdayDownSouth.com. An attorney and two-time graduate of the University of Florida, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow him on Twitter @nwblackmon.

Recent Comments
Florida needs to continue to add blue-chips so that it's talent ratio is where other national champions have been-- in the top 6 or 7 or at a minimum, top 10 (2 national champions from spots 8-10 since 2005). I wrote a piece about how Florida could build like Clemson and continue to pile up depth at places of weakness and was blasted for it. I still think it holds merit, though we must acknowledge that Clemson built in an ACC with a dominant FSU and little else. Florida is building with three Playoff contenders in its league, two of whom they are scheduled to play every year and one of whom is in Atlanta. That's a bit harder and means that Floiria needs to recruit at a little higher level, in my mind. Yes, the blue-chips on roster gap is closing (because math and because of how attrition works). But until Florida recruits near the level of Smart-- they'll never close it entirely. That means they have to have enough pieces to win the Cocktail Party by coaching. I think Saturday they didn't-- especially on the lines of scrimmage. For example, y'all were mad about third down defense but Florida couldn't get to the quarterback. If you can't get to the QB, it's hard to play man. So it isn't scheme really because zone is pretty smart/safe-- it is player depth b/c you only have 3 guys who can get to the QB and one was out (Moon), one playing hurt (Zuniga) and one was double-teamed at times and blocked others(Greenard). That's just one example. Trey Dean playing Star is another. We could go on...
The tone wasn't "Sky is falling," or if it was it was not intended to be. But these really are 5 important recruiting battles. Assume they lose Dumervil-- they should still have a great chance to win the other 4, which puts the class in the top 7 or so.
Dexter very unlikely to flip. But I do think Kirby will keep trying.
Exactly. Also Sinkwich and Trippi served, as USMC Dawg said. The fact they ran it up is bad and hate-filled, but the "Georgia is immoral" line is malarkey, if you ask me.
By the way-- showing you how much I remembered about the 98 game-- the Georgia QB was Quincy Carter, at least for all but 5 snaps.
Thanks all for the kind words. Enjoy the game and the weekend. There's really nothing like the Cocktail Party.
I should have clarified- both polls. Florida was 11 in the coaches last year, 9 in AP. Good fact check 2Bits.
Three different sites have Fromm as a first rounder in most recent Mocks, including CBS and McShay. If he stays, it is a Peyton Manning thing where he just loves college football.
I think it was malpractice as a season opener. It was over 1,000 miles and at over a mile of altitude. Silly.
You wouldn't characterize these numbers as "pedestrian"?? 69th- Total Defense 57th- 3rd down defense 59th- opponent yards per play 55th- rushing defense 54th- yards allowed per rush 44th- sack percentage 59th- defensive havoc rate 55th- scoring defense Seems "pedestrian" to me. Maybe "average" would have worked?
Really hope Cager can go. Been impressed with him this season. Good story. You are right though those are tough injuries for a receiver.
Fair points, y'all. Certainly Cager will help immensely.
Thanks! I think I typed senior thinking about Hammond still :)
CLASS- I think Jake Fromm will have his say. My worry about UGA remains what it was in August-- after the great Swift and Fromm and the youngster Pickens- who on that offense scares you? They have nice pieces-- James Cook does everything well for example-- but scary? It's just not what it was the prior 2 seasons.
Usually a big fan of Kirby's comments but Florida's WRs are deeper than LSU's and therefore, better. Both secondaries are very good-- the difference with LSU you have to cover 4 and with Florida about 6 can beat you.
LSUSMC- Been fun to watch Stingley. Living up to the hype. Florida's true freshman Kaiir Elam has been as advertised too- though behind Wilson and Henderson he's been asked to do less than Stingley. The DBUs keep doing what they do.
Good comments all around. Some terrific DBs on each side, led by Delpit and Henderson. Stingley and Elam two sensational freshmen so it looks like that continues as the series goes on.
Dropping in as the Florida beat writer to tell Les great piece and mention how much I love watching Grant Delpit play football.
Nashville-- great comments. Agree almost top to bottom. LSU has a good front-- just haven't been challenged yet. But Auburn is definitely a better front 7 than Georgia.
Trolly, How many of Florida's next 3 will they lose?
Still only one true freshmen starter has won at Florida since 1990.
Trolly- I was asked to write a story about how Florida "can"-- can being an important word here-- win. Obviously Auburn is the greatest team ever to enter the Swamp and Florida is doomed.
Kellen Mond was a true freshman when he beat a Florida team that was a dumpster fire in 2017. True freshman starters are otherwise 1-9 in Gainesville since 1990.
Read the sentence again. He was under 50 percent combined in those 2 games with a very low per attempt average. Was obviously much better last week, as I noted.
Gus called plays vs. Geoff. Not Manny. And yes- Chaney had Grantham's number-- but some of that was probably players, no? It was hard to stop two all-timers like Michel and Chubb. I get your skepticism to some extent though. I don't think he's the definitive best DC in America. In fact, with Champ, Smart and Saban all having a hand in defenses still, he's probably only the 4th best DC in the SEC at present. One guy I don't like much is Dave Aranda. Lots of hype. Not a lot of opposing punts.
Maybe. Manny Diaz beat Malzahn pretty soundly. So did Geoff Collins. Do you think those 2 guys were better DCs than Grantham? Grantham has improved since his time at Georgia, I think. I don't know if he's "the best DC in America" like Desmond Howard said this week. But I think he's very good.