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Friday Forum: What’s your relationship with Florida’s recruiting, both now and this year?

Tell us how you feel about recruiting in general and the Gators’ 2017 class.

NCAA Football: Outback Bowl-Florida vs Iowa Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

In what is surely not breaking news, Florida’s 2017 recruiting cycle has had some struggles and hit a bit of an unexpected rough patch earlier this week. One of the Gators’ commitments, California CB Elijah Blades, decommitted and another potential Florida prospect, South Florida OL Kai-Leon Herbert, committed to Miami and cancelled his planned official visit to UF this weekend.

Florida’s 247Sports composite team ranking for the 2017 class presently sits at No. 30. I know this is not new information to you, Florida fan reading this on a Florida sports blog, and I won’t further belabor the Gators’ present recruiting predicaments.

Our question to you today is this - what is your relationship with Florida’s recruiting, both now and this year?

Andy explored some of the unseemly and vexatious aspects of the practice in this piece yesterday covering the Gators’ worrisome Wednesday recruiting returns. Avidly interested and invested fans usually have at least some interest in the recruiting practices of their preferred programs, and in following what players their beloved team ultimately brings in.

But unlike the NFL Draft, which finds adults vying to be selected for lucrative employment contracts, there is something inherently more unsettling about getting emotionally invested in a college-bound teenager’s decision making. There is a distinction between casually following recruiting to keep apprised of potential additions to your favorite team’s signing class, and attacking a young man’s character or college choice if it does not align with the particular preference of presumptuous fans.

Criticisms of Jim McElwain and his staff’s present recruiting returns also continue to abound. The Gators should make up some ground on Signing Day next week but this class is likely to close ranked near where McElwain’s first 2015 class was, not ranked in the top 15 but in the 20’s.

How avidly do you follow recruiting, in general and with this year’s class? How do you feel about recruiting in general, and as it relates to this 2017 class? Have your thoughts or opinions about recruiting, in general and with the Gators’ 2017 class, evolved or changed over time? Tell us in the comments!