First: ICYMI: A piece on quarterback Tyler Murphy’s steady demeanor, with a couple notes on Florida’s kickoff time against Georgia Southern and a comment from offensive coordinator Brent Pease on the possibility of redshirting tailback Kelvin Taylor.
Two weeks ago, star defensive tackle Dominique Easley could barely stomach watching the Gators play Kentucky after suffering a season-ending knee injury (ACL) earlier in the week.
But according to UF defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, Easley “has his spirits back,” and remains a vital part of the team moving forward.
“He's been around [the facility.] Dominique is a big part of our team even though he's not playing. His personality, his energy is something that is contagious to all those around him,” Durkin said. “He's got great respect from the coaches, from his teammates, and so he's a guy we want around as much as we can, and he's been around. He's a part of this team no matter what."
Durkin talked of a special relationship with Easley -- a player he recruited to Florida as a staff member under former coach Urban Meyer -- and downplayed the tricky situation of Easley rehabbing for the NFL Draft.
“Dominique and I have spent four years here together. He's a special guy to me. I feel for him, but you know what, he's as tough as they come,” Durkin said. “Sometimes you get dealt tough circumstances and that's where tough guys rise to the top, and he'll rise to the top. He'll play a lot of football.
“He's still a great career ahead of him. I think we all saw that in the snaps we were able to get out of him. He's a difference maker, a great football player and he'll have a great future."
LSU will honor its 2003 national championship team for its 10-year reunion at halftime Saturday, but coach Will Muschamp -- the Tigers’ defensive coordinator that season -- will not participate in the celebration.
“I’m worried about that 2013 LSU team not the 2003 one, that’s for sure,” Muschamp said. “But it will be good to see those guys, I guess, on the field a little bit. It was a special group. One of the players sent me a picture when I was at Texas of the team and wanted me to sign it and send it back to him. Just looking at the pictures, it was guys who understood their role in the organization. Guys that are all successful people. Granted, we had a bunch of guys go play on Sunday, but we had a bunch of successful people whether they are teachers or they are in the business world, they have all done an outstanding job, and it was a lot of fun.”
Muschamp pointed out the Tigers’ lone loss in 2003 was to Florida (19-7).
“Old Ben Troupe and Ciatrick Fason got after us pretty good that day and Chris Leak, who is on our staff as a graduate assistant now,” Muschamp reminisced. “It was a special year. Nothing but great memories. I’ve got great respect for the LSU program. I think any time in the coaching profession you spend a time at a place, you always have fond memories of it. Carol and I still have great friends in Baton Rouge.”
Muschamp said cornerback Marcus Roberson (knee) had his best practice since he’s been back and “will be full-speed Saturday ready to go.” Also, freshman linebacker and special teams ace Jarrad Davis (cheek laceration) will play Saturday, but Alex Anzalone, a freshman reserve linebacker, will miss the game with a sprained ankle he suffered in the win over Arkansas.Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton