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Five quitters in two weeks? My rant on transferring, Rivals.com and college-football hypocrisy!

GAINESVILLE -- Players are quitting Florida's football program at a remarkable rate. The count is up to three and folks inside the locker room think that number might increase. The guys already gone: Trent Pupello (DE), Jarred Fayson (WR) and Chevon Walker (RB). Two more players -- Bryan Waggener (QB) and Bo Williams (RB) –- will probably be gone soon as well. Williams (Oakland Park Northeast) told me yesterday that he's done at UF and Waggener also wants to transfer.

So many players jumping ship ... What's the problem, exactly? The head coach didn't get fired, did he? You usually only see this many players leave a program when the head coach gets canned or the NCAA infractions people come calling. The last time I checked, Florida should have one of the best teams in the country next season. Don't players want to win a national championship? Florida, of course, will tell you that it's no big deal that players are leaving and that the program is in good health. Kids these days...

Of course, Gator Clause is going to have to disagree with that, especially in the cases of Fayson and Williams. It is a big deal. They're both good athletes but that's not their best characteristics. Their best characteristics: Both are great kids. With so many players getting into trouble in Gainesville these days, UF should probably want to make an effort to keep around some of the moral leaders.

As for the kids-these-days perspective (that's the go-to cliché for programs in denial that there's an in-house problem), there might actually be some truth to that idea.

You could blame Florida for not retaining some of its up-and-comers (the buck stops with Coach Meyer, right?) but I'd much rather point the finger somewhere else. From Gator Clause's perspective, no one is really to "blame," but we will indict recruiting websites such as Rivals.com and Scout.com for filling high school football players' heads with an inflated perception of self and fostering a culture of play now or transfer.

High school players are nobodies when they show up to college. That's the reality. Internet recruiting websites, however, are telling these high school kids that they're "five-star talents" and "program changers" and "the greatest thing since bacon!"

Mr. Better Than Bacon then shows up to campus after signing his national letter of "intent to take over the world" and finds out quickly that he's one of the worst players on the team. A five-star rating on Rivals.com only means you're the shiniest lure in the tackle box. Never mind that they can't swim with the big fish, freshmen aren't even capable of swimming. They just float around and get eaten. No offense to freshmen, but you guys pretty much stink like 10 paper mills. (Give credit to Florida for winning nine games this season. They're team was made up mostly of freshmen and slightly-less-worse sophomores. Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin and Brandon Spikes are the exceptions, of course.)

It's like this: You're an ugly girl (freshman football player). Hideous, really. I mean zits, bad breath, fat ankles, mustache, all that. But you're whole life your dad (Rivals.com) has been telling you that you're the most beautiful thing in the world. And why shouldn't he, he's a good dad and in his eyes you're the next Angelina Jolie. Then, finally, on your 18th birthday, your big coming-out party arrives and you get to show everyone just how gorgeous you are. But SURPRISE!!! you get stoned to death for scaring children because your face looks like a half melted Mrs. Potato Head.

And it's no surprise that this comes as a major shock to most freshmen. This is what they were used to before the stoning: Being called on the cell phone 452,873 times a day by Internet recruiting websites for live-on-the-eights updates of their lives, being told at least 35 times a day at school that they're a five-star recruit and that means "you're going to play in The League one day" and, finally, being constantly doted on by college coaches.

Then those same college coaches -- the ones who make millions of dollars on the backs of (cough-cough) students -- immediately send you to the bench and tell you how pathetic you are, and what a waste and you'll be lucky to contribute on special teams. Because that's reality. Because that's what good coaches, motivators, bosses, drill sergeants do: tear you down to make you better.

The Catch-22 at Florida this season: With so many underclassmen, a freshman player's perspective of Florida's football program was slightly bent. There just weren't enough juniors and seniors to field a proper team. Many freshmen played and the ones that didn't thought they had been forgotten. Never mind that every freshman who graced the field this season pretty much played football like a one-handed deaf man plays piano. Sure, Maurkice Pouncey, Joe Haden and Major Wright got a few notes right now and then but mostly they just banged around clumsily.

Meanwhile, Florida accepted a transfer from USC (running back Emmanuel Moody) that absolutely screamed of hypocrisy. How in the world can you preach loyalty and patience to the program on one hand and then welcome a program deserter/gun for hire on the other. It makes no sense. And by that logic there is no possible way Florida can get upset when its players realize this whole college football fairytale is actually just like any other business (only the employees don't get paid) and they decide to leave for a better job to advance their careers.

And it should be noted that this whole transferring nonsense is partly fostered by a broken high school system. The Florida High School Athletic Association allows players to transfer schools throughout high school with no penalty. Elite high school players in Florida (South Florida in particular) grow up without the slightest notion of loyalty to a program. It should come as no surprise that those same players only care for themselves when they get to college. It’s not their fault. It’s what they’ve been taught.

-jo-

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will hill!!! will hill!!! I need you.

Hill signs letter of intent..

Coach tells him go to the bench willy boy..

Who's at fault??

Tell the kid upfront that he has a slim possibility of making the starting team.

I think there tired of a two man team, "Its all about Tebow and Harvin", and no one else... Even recruit's are taken notice! Jenkins said it best, "he wants to go to a team not a place where two guys get all the credit for a win and everone else gets credit for the lose..." Myers never uses a RB, its Tebow all day all night... so why should a RB stud go to UF? If he throws, whos it probably going to? Harvin of course, so why should a stud WR come in?

I'm a one-handed deaf man and I resemble that comment.

A stud rb in this system would get plenty of time. The reason Meyer does hand off to one now is because we don't have one. All the rbs have been such a disappointment that Meyer HAD to move Harvin to the backfield and increase tebow's carries. If you forget no rb has ran well except for moore who can't hold onto the ball (cost us LSU). IF we had a rb that can run well and not fumble he would get plenty of carries. If you remember Harvin didn't start taking regular carries until after that LSU when meyer realized moore had butter fingers.

players are tired of being told that they are the next percy harvin and tim tebow. then they get to UF and sit the bench while the real tebow and harvin get all the credit and publicity that the recruit was promised. Dont be surprised if Deonte Thompson leaves as well.

There are exceptional young players on the team that realize they could be a starter if they were to transfer. It makes sense for their potential NFL career for them to get the playing time at another school. It's not the first time this has happened (Brock Berlin to Miami). How could Cam Newtom and John Brantley have been told that they were the next Tim Tebow? You don't have to do a whole lot of convincing to get any HS senior to play for Urban Meyer in Gainesville, and it's not because they're lied to. Every starting position is earned, and everyone gets an opportunity, especially at running back and wide receiver. There was no stability at the running back position, so the best athlete was given the ball to give us the best chance of winning football games. It's going to be someone else sharing the load next year again, maybe Moody or Rainey. So many freshman played well this year, and many more we'll play next year. It has only been better since Urban has taken over, and next year will be no different.

everyone gets an opportunity at widereceiver? you have got to be kidding me. Fayson is transferring because he never plays. Deonte Thompson was promissed a ton of PT and is riding the bench. The only widereceiver on the team that the majority of the nation knows of is Percy Harvin. you are out of your mind.

I don't see any problem at all. Meyer is a tough coach to play for. Demanding and discerning of who deserves playing time. He has always "weeded out" those without strong character, even among starters (Marcus Thomas). This only frees up more scholarship spots. Unhappy players who hang around are a cancer to the team. Let 'em outta here!...they did us a favor.

to urban lier:

Andre Caldwell, Riley Cooper, Cornelius Ingram, Louis Murphy, Aaron Hernandez, David Nelson, Jarred Fayson, and Percy Harvin scored receiving touchdowns for the Gators this year. I'm not trying to change your opinion about Deonte's playing time and if he leaves to play elsewhere, then we wish him well. If he decides to stay then we will all be happy considering there will be opportunities and openings in his position next year. He has tremendous talent and I want to see him play, too.

Are you going to become a Hurricane fan if he transfers, or are you just a hater?

I hate that Urban lies to recruits and then people villify the player for wanting to leave. If you signed a business deal with somebody and you were promised x but after you were committed to the deal for 4 years you did not receive what you were promised, you would be suing the pants off everyone to get what you were promised. But because an 18-20 yearold is not getting what he was promised by an adult and wants to leave, the kid is crucified while the adult is glorified. Think about it from Fayson's father's point of view. He thought his son was going to a great school with a great team and getting a chance to play football. soon after he finds out that him and his son were lied to and his son is nothing more than a clean jersey on saturdays when he could be at many other schools playing like he was promised. how would you feel if that happened to your son.

urban lier, how do you know what is promised to these kids by urban? are you sitting there at the meeting between the two? How do you know he doesn't promise playing time to those that deserve it, and these high school kids who had their ego super inflated by recruiting analysis think its given that they will be the ones that deserve it. Its not urban's fault that they get to gainesville and get outworked. Urban will give anyone playing time that deserves it. He promises the OPPORTUNITY to play as a freshman, its up to the player to prove that they are the ones deserving. Through competition breeds excellence.

if you are a frequenter of the recruiting websites like I am you see interviews with recruits and many of the florida skill player recruits mention being told that meyer said that he will be used like Tim Tebow or Percy Harvin.

To "gator7": It's not a 2 man team, it never was. The ball gets into the hands of playmakers. There are no better playmakers on the offensive side of the ball right now than Tebow and Harvin. When they were the focal point of the offense, it was because Caldwell was injured. End of story.

To urban lier: These kids are promised nothing other than the opportunity to play. UF was deep at WR this year, and the best players are going to play. If you think you know what Urban Meyer tells recruits based on tidbits you read on internet recruiting sites you are deceiving yourself. Meyer is a high character guy, and he probably uses Harvin as an example for potential recruits to show that the best players will be on the field. They will have the chance to showcase their talents, but they are guaranteed nothing. Most of these kids think they ARE the next Percy Harvin...and most of them are dead wrong. While Fayson was physically talented, he really never excelled with the ball in his hands. It's not that he wasn't given opportunities, it's that he didn't take advantage of them.

The last 2 classes were overcrowded, and attrition is expected (due to injury, transfer, etc...) This will help balance the classes and allow UF to reload.

Urban Meyer is a classy guy? Do you have him over for dinner? Or are you just blinded because he is the coach of your beloved Gators. I also know some of the recruits and have herd from their mouthes what Meyer promised them. Look at Frankie Hammond Jr a senior from Hallandale. He was relatively unknown to the recruiting world until UM offered him a month or two ago. He was about to commit to UM when Meyer came calling and I KNOW FOR A FACT TOLD HIM that he was the next percy Harvin and that he would be starting his freshman year if he came to UF. (Sounds like a great deal to me. Starting for the mighty gators as a freshman). Well Frankie believed it hook line and sinker and committed to UF the next day. Well upon hearing this Urban Meyer said that Frankie could not commit. That he should look at other schools and make sure of his choice. Frankie said that was fine and the next day his offer from Florida was gone. Since Frankie spurned UM, UM went and offered Frankie's scholarship to another Northwestern wr and Frankie is left with out an offer from either school. What a great deed for a "high character" guy.

I know for fact that FHJr was told by Meyer he was not to play as a freshman but had a chance.

where did u hear that from south broward? i believe you are mistaken

Hammond Jr is committed to UF. How is he left without an offer? Your other "facts" are suspect at best, but there's no point in arguing with you about things you think you heard third person about conversations you were never a part of.

Wow you are naive. Hammond committed to Florida but guess what Meyer did not accept the commitment. Go ask anyone with knowledge.
Send Bob Emanuel an email and he will tell u the same story I did. OR ask Christina Cabrera from the Sentinel. Both will tell you the same story I did and they are both respected journalists. SO BEFORE YOU CALL MY INFORMATION SHODDY DO SOME RESEARCH OF YOUR OWN.

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