Donovan gets 2016 commitment

In a state that is loaded with talent in the next two seasons, Billy Donovan picked up his first commitment for 2016 Saturday when power forward John Mooney (6-8, 220, Altamonte Springs, FL Lake Brantley) made his pledge to the Florida Gators after an unofficial visit. Mooney played varsity basketball as a freshman last year at Lake Brantley, averaging 12 points and 10 rebounds per game.

Considered a prospect with a huge upside, Mooney was seen by a number of schools including Florida last week during an evaluation period at Lake Brantley. He was being recruited to Florida by assistant coach Matt McCall but made the commitment to Donovan after making the trip to Gainesville.

Mooney has grown two full inches and put on an additional 20 pounds since his freshman season.  He is expected to grown another 1-2 inches.

The Gators won’t have to do much recruiting outside the state in 2016. In addition to Mooney, who is an Erik Murphy-type who can step outside and shoot as well as play inside, the Gators are actively recruiting Juwan Durham (6-9, 190, Tampa, FL Tampa Prep);  Dewan Huell (6-9, 205, Miami, FL Norland); Troy Baxter (6-7 190, Tallahassee, FL Leon); Andrew Wilbekin (5-11, 160, Gainesville, FL The Rock School); and Jean-Michael Tine (6-8, 220, Sarasota, FL Impact Basketball Academy).

Gator Country will have more on the commitment later today.

Franz Beard
Back in January of 1969, the late, great Jack Hairston, then the sports editor of the Jacksonville Journal, called me on the phone one night and asked me if I wanted to work for him. I said yes. The entire interview took 30 seconds. It's my experience that whenever the interview lasts 30 seconds or less, I get the job. In the 48 years that I've been writing and getting paid for it, I've covered Super Bowls, World Series, NCAA basketball championships, BCS championship games, heavyweight title fights and what seems like thousands of college football, baseball and basketball games. I'm a columnist and special assignments editor for Gator Country once again, writing about the only team that ever mattered to me, the Florida Gators.