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Florida Gators' latest assistant coaching hires interesting; Pieces falling into place for future

Interesting developments continue to emerge inside Florida football. On Tuesday, the Gators made two surprising assistant coaching hires. Former Stanford defensive ends coach D.J. Durkin is now the Gators' linebackers coach and special teams assistant. Stan Drayton is back as the Gators' running backs coach. (Former UF assistant Kenny Carter was hired by Charlie Strong at Louisville on Tuesday).

A quick analyzation of these hires tells me three things: 1. Florida coach Urban Meyer appears to be making good on his promise to begin delegating some his responsibilities within the team. 2. The Florida Gators might be preparing to run some variant of the pro-style offense in 2010. 3. Meyer doesn't hold a grudge.

Let me explain...

Durkin Durkin, a Bowling Green alum, has ties to Meyer and is a rising star in the coaching profession. He didn't play for Meyer at Bowling Green but was a graduate assistant with the Falcons from 2001-2002. From there, Durkin coached at Notre Dame and then Stanford. Durkin will coach linebackers for the Gators, which means Meyer holds Durkin in high regard. Former UF defensive coordinator Charlie Strong coached linebackers at Florida for a long time and replacing Strong will be one of UF's biggest challenges in 2010. Durkin will also help Meyer coach special teams, allowing Meyer to reduce his workload and focus on other aspects of the football team (most likely offense).

Going to make a bold prediction here. The Florida Gators will run some variant of the pro-style offense in 2010. Why? Well, one of Meyer's most important coaching philosophies is building his offense around his talent. The Gators will have a strong-armed quarterback in 2010 (John Brantley) and plenty of talented running back (Jeff Demps, Chris Rainey, Mike Gillislee and Emmanuel Moody). Brantley is more mobile than people give him credit for but he's not going to lead the Gators in carries like Tim Tebow.

UF quarterback coach Scot Loeffler is a pro-style specialist. He's an excellent coach and his expertise will prove valuable this offseason. Hiring Drayton as the Gators running backs coach offers more evidence that Meyer is strongly considering shelving some of the aspects of his spread-option offense next season in Drayton favor of a more traditional approach. Drayton, who coached running backs at UF from 2005-2007, left Gainesville in 2008 for Tennessee. On his way out, Drayton said he wanted to coach at a school that utilized running backs in a traditional fashion. (Apparently Meyer isn't holding that comment against Drayton. Good for Meyer. Forgiveness is good for the heart.) Drayton landed at Syracuse after former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer was forced out. He has a strong reputation as a recruiter and is familiar with South Florida.

Florida still hasn't named a defensive coordinator. This leads me to believe that UF is either going to name Chuck Heater the DC very soon or Meyer was waiting for a few bowl games to end so he could interview some more candidates. Texas Christian, Boise State, Texas and Alabama each had quality defenses in 2009.



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Not to mention the recruits are pouring in and Elam is reconsidering. The Gators are expecting 2 BIG announcements this weekend. Our recruiting class this year is just flat out ridiculous.

Feels like 2006's class all over again.. but better! I get excited every year for recruiting but rarely like this. Gotta admit, I am surprised at how well it looks like its turning out. GET 'EM!!

“I talked to Urban last night,” Elam told Rivals. “We were talking about our relationship basically and he told me to have trust, to have trust in him and he asked me a word that really touched me. He said, ‘Do you know what faith means?’ and he told me the definition. It really touched me a lot. It really touched me so my decision might change.”

It’s the relationship with Meyer that had kept Elam committed to Florida for so long, despite being upset at the high number of defensive backs the Gators were recruiting and bringing into this class. It’s also the reason why Florida has got a great chance of landing Elam — again.

“I’ve known him for a while,” Elam said. “It’s been tough to leave him so I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that.”

Whatever he decides he should definitely win an Emmy.

So I was mowing down a burger at Miller's Ale House on Saturday night when in walks guess who? Matt Elam. He strolls by wearing his Dwyer High School jacket. No college colors. Okay! My intiial thought was to yell, "your GATOR BAIT" and lob a cheese fry at his head. I didn't. He continued across the restaurant and joined a big group. That group consisted of Gerald Christian and a whole bunch of people dressed in orange and blue. It looked bizarre to see the the guy that just spurned UF join a group of Gators who were all very receptive to his arrival with handshakes and high fives. Sure left me wondering. I finished my meal, eyeballed the Captains Treasure desert without actually ordering it, settled up and left just wondering.......

You know what I was wondering...........

1) money
2) coaching staff inconsistency
3) intense recruiting competition
4) scholarship limits
5) internet
7) academics
8) facilities
9) conference affiliation
10) Randy Shannon
11) again.....money

It's an entirely different landscape now.

Posted by: The Curse of Art Kehoe | January 06, 2010 at 09:32 AM

Well at least your being A good boy kehoe. If you keep this up I might let you come out of the corner.

P.S. I knew you could do it.

You mean no more clapping behind the center's behind?

Pro style offense? Better get some recievers first.

JaHOMO why are your comments all ways gay related? Just admit it...you have a man crush on tebow.

Carl Moore will be back next year from his back injury (big target) and Andre DuBose will be ready to go. Thompson will be the go-to guy this Spring as well and showed good improvement at the end of the season. There are your receivers.

Gay, Gazed, Get it!

Carl Moore will be back next year from his back injury (big target) and Andre DuBose will be ready to go. Thompson will be the go-to guy this Spring as well and showed good improvement at the end of the season. There are your receivers.

Posted by: Big Slap Shot Bob | January 06, 2010 at 11:59 AM


I think you will see the receivers look very good next year. Some of the improvement will be talent and extra time to learn the system another large part of the improvement will be John Brantley....I believe he will make the receivers look good. Also, with the shift in scheme you will see more receivers commit to UF.


That's a great story. Thanks for relaying it. Nothing surpries me with Elam anymore. He and Urban are made for each other. HA!


1) money
2) coaching staff inconsistency
3) intense recruiting competition
4) scholarship limits
5) internet
7) academics
8) facilities
9) conference affiliation
10) Randy Shannon
11) again.....money

It's an entirely different landscape now.

Posted by: The Curse of Art Kehoe | January 06, 2010 at 09:32 AM

Looks like he's listing why Miami is a dog now. Those guys are toast.

Remember, the past few years, Florida has LOST a few big recruits to other schools at the last minute on signing day. Florida never seems to be the one "stealing" recruits away at the last minute.

I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen again. Recruits realize that with so many good players heading to one school, it makes it tough to compete for playing time. So one can't blame them..... just hope they don't go to Tennessee...

How about Mike Leach for DC?!?!!?


Speaking of toast I hardly slept last nite knowing kehoe would have to eat his "pop tarts" cold after the pawning incident. How about you gator fans taking up A collection to help A brother out.

What about Mike Leach for OC? In reality, I don't think it would work. Leach doesn't have the personality to be an assistant.


"...... I hardly slept last nite......"


and it looks like U toss aroUnd all night thinking aboUt them too.

Posted by: TWO decades, ONE 'ship, that's U! | January 06, 2010 at 02:34 PM

Thats funny coming from you kehoe after the 2 years you have spent on canes boards with your rants.

P.S. which one do you like?

And we all know who gets "tossed around all nite" dont we kehoe. Dont worry your secrets safe with me.

Dont go away mad kehoe. JUST GO AWAY!

Ha, Ha, Leach as OC! That would be sweet! Could you imagine? If his exit from TT wasn't so litigious, he could have pocketed the buy-out money and been a graduate-assistant-OC for a year. Meyer should approach him on the concept for S's & G's anyway. A guest OC! The guy's a mad scientist with offenses, I'm sure he'd find a way to manufacture 50-60 pts a game with Brantley!

Leonard Hankerson is coming back!!!!!


You mean he doesnt want to skip his senior year so he can go work at Taco Bell?

Lamar Miller is probably one of the best players at keeping the bench warm. That experience in Orlando warming the bench is going to do wonders for the Canes next year. Great choice Lamar!!! Hope you enjoy losing and sitting on the bench!

D'ohhhhh !

Deonte Thompson 24 343 14.3 77 (TD) 4

Your top returning receiver.

Leonard Hankerson 45 801 17.8 52 6
Travis Benjamin 29 501 17.3 69 (TD) 4
LaRon Byrd 33 460 13.9 40 (TD) 1
Aldarius Johnson 16 276 17.3 35 (TD) 1
Thearon Collier 18 250 13.9 29 1

Our returning receivers.

Once again kehoe you type just to see yourself type. You dont have A receiver on your team right now as good as Hank much less one returning. Dont yell Riley Cooper either. He will be wearing A baseball uniform in A ball next year.

Its also says alot when Lamar Miller is sitting on the bench because he is redshirting and has more talent than all the midget running backs on your roster combined.

Dont get your hopes up on one of those toasters kehoe. I tallyed up the contributions from gator nation and we got A grand total of (wait for it) .35 cents. Damn I think these guys hate you more than cane fans.

c'mon halftime, type gay/trailer/liar/turd so I can do a Patron shot...need to get my buzz going early.

Lol GEB! You're going to have to call a cab.

Talking to tour self again I see kehoe. Why not comment on the drivel you posted about our receivers. Thats right because I blew that shyt out of the water.

You dont need me to post anything to get your buzz on early. That actually explains alot about you. Step away from the bottle kehoe life cant be all that bad. Can it?

Leonard Hankerson 45 801 17.8 52 6
Travis Benjamin 29 501 17.3 69 (TD) 4
LaRon Byrd 33 460 13.9 40 (TD) 1
Aldarius Johnson 16 276 17.3 35 (TD) 1
Thearon Collier 18 250 13.9 29 1

All those "stud" receivers can only combine for 13? Bunch of scrubs.
UF's top three guys carded 18. No comparison.

The whole topic started because in your typical delusional style you have been questioning why Deonte would have chosen UF over scUM.

Deonte has a beautiful shiny ring on his finger. All those scrub UM guys got NADA. You're an idiot.

I'm ready for a shot of Patron. Fire away idiots.

Cab, You dont need no stinking cab. Call Carlos"Asleep at the wheel" Dunlap he will get you home safe and sound.

Too bad all those returning scrubs can only run under lob fades from weiner arm BEAT UP and limping JaPicky. You'll win the NC with him in 2010 for sure. He gots SWAGGER.

Tebow threw 16 interceptions in his entire college CAREER.

Japicky threw SEVENTEEN in 2009. You are so screwed with him it's a joke. Sorry, no weight room for beanpole this summer. Better keep doubling up on the waffles. No wait, triple up because doubling up didn't do squat for the runt in 2009. Check the number of starts your 2010 Oline has and tell me you aren't scared shltless about JaPicky's health next year. Does SWAGGER heal injuries? You're an idiot.

Percy Harvin is the NFL rookie of the year. How are those cane scrubs looking for this years draft?


What a joke you're program is....totally eroded and getting worse with that sorry excuse for a coach. Checked your depth chart lately?

I never said anything about Deonte going to uf over UM ever. Most of these kids are prima donnas looking for attention. I do not get caught up in all that crap. I think its kind of sad that grown men get their panties in A wad over where A 18 year old kid is going to school.

Posted by: The Curse of Art Kehoe | January 07, 2010 at 11:50 AM

Congrats to percy harvin but do you even want to go there. Have you taken A look at the pro bowl roster. I know you have.

The last time I checked Jacory never missed A start. Everybody saw tebow get carted off during the kentucky game. Hell it made the espn highlights for A week

Burns your ancient ass that Easley dumped chump bowl loser for UF.

UM offered Elam, he never even visited your sorry assses.

Watch Powell join UF. Just another beast in an already stellar class.

Dont be surprised if Shariff Floyd joins him. His name alone has SWAGGER.

UF OWNS the ESPN top 150. ScUM? Not so much. Given that U are located in the heart of the most fertile recruiting ground in the nation I'd say your incoming class is nothing short of a huge letdown. U are getting schooled by UF and FSwho. Sad. You beaten down fools act like recruiting rankings don't mean anything but you sure celebrate when U land one. Great job with Storm Johnson. Just what scUM needs is another frigging RUNNING BACK..lmao. Randy is clueless.

Your new oline is a smoldering chemical fire waiting to EXPLODE. U regress in 2010 guaranteed.

the 2010 recruiting cycle isnt going to help your season next year. Gawd your oline depth is scary bad looking. No leadership remaining whatsoever. No starts. Nothing. You'll be longing for Peeeeepohhh in 2010. LMAO. Coldcut will axe Ramsey after next years disaster. That's a very safe bet. Then what clueless cane homer?

Your problem kehoe is you dont look at the facts. When someone makes A statement that you cant defend with facts you start with the working at taco bell, noodle arm, etc, etc. The thing is Jacory is A true sophmore and played half the season with torn tendons in his throwing hand. I promise you Jacory will play QB in the NFL before tebow ever does. Not H-back or fullback but quarterback.

I don't care if he's an eighth year senior you clown. he's BRITTLE.

Great job defeating yourself by mentioning his injuries. He's a liability.

NO team will give that skinny kid a glance other than bringing him in as a practice squad free agent only to rag his arm out then dump him. His skinny frail body will never be an NFL prospect...NEVER.

The Patriots would have taken Tebow if he came out last year. He'll get drafted in the first round you idiot.

The fact is that Harris is a ticking injury timebomb that will kill UM's depthless season in 2010. He has FOUR seperate injuries right now. YOu're an idiot.

Am I missing somthing? Did signing day already happen? You are A typical sad fan checking recruiting web site rankings with baited breath puffing out your chest when not A single kid has signed on the dotted line.

" New England Patriots — Belichick loves Tebow. A close family friend to Tebow once told me Belichick, a good friend of Urban Meyer, was ready to grab Tebow had he declared for last year’s draft. If Tebow’s available, ‘the hood’ will be ready to pounce."

Sorry Bill, Tim will be long gone when you're turn comes.

Too bad none of those remaining studs are even CONSIDERING scUM !

If you think your future is bright when the only thing coming in is ANOTHER skinny kid named Morris you're dumber than I thought U are.

Randy cooked his own QB goose with the gross mishandling of the QB depth chart. The effects of that will dog UM for years to come.

The last time I checked Jacory never missed A start. Everybody saw tebow get carted off during the kentucky game. Hell it made the espn highlights for A week

Posted by: HalfTimeBeatDown | January 07, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Once again FACT!

Hey tebow was A great college quarteback no question. But if you think he is A first round draft pick your drunk.

Yes, signing day did already happen as 12 of the ESPN 150 have committed to UF..

Surely you saw the endless number of gator chomps at the Under Armour game. The entire game was owned by UF commits.

You keep believing that Randy is a "great recruiter" imbecile. That fifth place ACC finish and cheese undressing paints another picture. HeII, even FSwho is smoking your sorry behind in recruiting. And those clowns are on PROBATION.

The ENTIRE nation would laugh uncontrollably at ANY suggestion that JaPicky is even in Tebows league.

Is there a more delusional bunch of has-beens than canefan? Even half of your own fanbase says he stinks. Wake up clown.

And what on earth does Tebow getting a knee to the back of the neck has to do with ANY players durability. It was a freak accident and you're an enormous idiot for even mentioning it. If that would have happened to Twigs? Pleeeease!

It's as though you're trying to argue that JaPicky is more durable. Absurd.

When you watched those laser beams Tebow was throwing in the Sugar surely you wished your frail QB had that kind of mustard on his throws.

THE BALL WAS WET......lmao...lamest excuse in the HISTORY of sorry QB's

Jafumbly did not have an injuries in that VT undressing.


He won't be getting any stronger this off season either.

Hey kehoe, Could you look into your crystal ball and pick some lottery numbers for me. Sounds to me like nobody should even show up to play floriduh with all those future all americans about to sign with the gators. Damn and to think Boise State went undefeated. Can the gators say that?

Isn't it time for you to say gaytor/trailer/liar....etc?

Boise state? That's all you got clown?


have a great day loser

No UNDEFEATED is all I got. Somthing floriduh hasent had in 100 years. Now hurry along before mommy comes back from the welfare office and catches you in her panties while foaming over gator recruits on rivals.

farm animals npgator? I think midgets and trannys will come out before farm animals.

Halftime Beatdown...after 2010 UF will have more players drafted in the NFL then UM. FACT.


Maybe maybe not. I never said anything about how many players UM had drafted compared to UF. I said look at the pro bowl roster and see how many Ex Canes players are on it.


UM - 7

UF - 0

And how can it be A fact when the draft hasent happend yet.

You point? So if a kid gets recruited by a college and plays well enough to get drafted, it's that colleges responsibility for him to make the Pro Bowl? If that's what your saying then the Canes have fallen substantially short.

Because your program has fallen so far, you my bull headed friend are grasping for straws.

I can do this all day. The are more Canes on the NFL Network Pre game show then any other school but the Gators had more contestants on the Bachelor and so on and so on. It's childish.

Nice try "D" bag

I'll give you haden, hernandez, dunlap, and tebow. Still fall one short

Go 'canes!

How am I grasping at straws? So why bring up Percy Harvin making rookie of the year if thats your argument. I only brought up the pro bowl after the harvin post. Once again pot calling the kettle black.

Harvin made the pro-bowl too cane tards

Minnesota (8) * Jared Allen, defensive end
Heath Farwell, special teamer
Brett Favre, quarterback
* Steve Hutchinson, guard
* Bryant McKinnie, tackle
* Adrian Peterson, running back
Sidney Rice, wide receiver
* Kevin Williams, interior lineman

Really? I dont see his name on the list GAYTOR TARD!


Just like an ancient cane has-been to rely on ancient news.

"Really? I dont see his name on the list GAYTOR TARD!"


I feel bad for the real Cane fans who have to deal with the band wagon, history book toting, Swaggerlish, dumbasses.

Aug. 16, 1987-Aug. 25, 1996: Joe Robbie Stadium

Aug. 26-Sept. 9, 1996: Pro Player Park

Sept. 10, 1996-Jan. 9, 2005: Pro Player Stadium

Jan. 10, 2005-April 7, 2006: Dolphins Stadium

April 8, 2006-May 7, 2009: Dolphin Stadium

May 8, 2009-Jan. 5, 2010: Land Shark Stadium

Jan. 6, 2010-?: Dolphin Stadium


Exactly where is that U play Cane Fan ?

Harvin was added to Pro Bowl roster this week

Something not being mentioned is that last years recruiting class and this years are going to be very important when UF and UM play each other in 2012. From what I'm seeing, I know who has an early advantage. By then, little Kirby Cold Cut may not even be at duh U.

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