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2 posts from January 19, 2014

January 19, 2014

Muschamp Musings: On early enrollees, flipping prospects & more

GAINESVILLE -- Florida coach Will Muschamp discussed a number of recruiting topics last week, including a brief breakdown of Florida’s nine early enrollees.

UF’s coach -- on a sizzling streak flipping prospects as UF looks to complete its highly-ranked 2014 class -- offered his thoughts on eight of UF’s newest freshmen. 

DL Taven Bryan (6-5, 250) ***

“From Casper, Wyoming, he is broad-shouldered, looks great. Excited to get him on campus. Did a fantastic job at our summer camps this past year. … He is a guy that was very athletic in the workouts here. He showed great athleticism, for a guy that’s 6-5, 6-5 ½, 265 pounds to run like he runs. There’s a tremendous upside and there’s multiple positions he probably could play. He’s still young for his age who knows where his body’s gonna grow. But you always think size and speed when you have the athleticism. Great work ethic, great toughness, and a guy that I’m really pleased to have as a part of the program. I think he’s got tremendous upside as a player.”

DB Duke Dawson (5-11, 195) ****

“From Dixie County, over in Cross City, a guy that we feel like had a great senior season and a guy who continued to impress and improve.”

TE Deandre Goolsby (6-4, 225) ***

“We need some help at the tight end position. He’s a guy that’s going to come in here and be here and certainly get his opportunities.”

QB Will Grier (6-2, 177) ****

“[He has] the ability to learn, athleticism. Obviously you look at accuracy as a thrower, being able to throw the ball into tight spots. He’s shown the ability to do that. We had him in camp multiple times. He showed tremendous leadership ability here while he was on campus positively affecting guys around him. The athleticism and accuracy, we feel like is, there.”

OL Kavaris Harkless (6-5, 270) ***

“Had a little change of heart there at the end where he was going to go to school. We’re fortunate to been recruiting him throughout the fall of his senior year. Had a great senior year. Had a great state championship from Trinity Christian.”

RB Brandon Powell (5-9, 167) ****

“[He] was a running back we’ve been on and had an opportunity there to get him there [after he flipped from Miami].” 

OL Drew Sarvary (6-7, 310) ***

“He is a junior college offensive lineman from Tyler, originally from Tallahassee. He finished his senior year at North Florida Christian. [He’s] a guy that had been on our radar at the time. We we’re not going to take a junior college lineman, and then we had some attrition there at the end of the season and felt like we needed a more mature guy to step up up front and go through the spring with us.” 

DB Jalen Tabor (6-1, 186) *****

“He was a corner we added late there [afrer flipping from Arizona]. A 6-1 corner that’s got a lot of length and athleticism on the top, and he can finish some plays.”

Muschamp also mentioned four-star OL Nolan Kelleher (6-6, 285) but did not offer any added thoughts on the South Carolina native.

(All rankings according to Rivals.com)

ADDITIONAL MUSINGS 

On current 2014 class…

“I feel like considering we didn’t have a great season, I feel very comfortable where we are recruiting wise.”

On Florida’s sales pitch to offensive recruits…

“Help us improve. I think a great opportunity to walk into a great situation to improve, play in an exciting offense. This is still the University of Florida. It’s a great education. We’ll compete and play for championships. That hasn’t changed. Not in one year, that hasn’t.”

On flipping so many recent prospects… 

“You stay on guys and try to make valid points you’ve made throughout the entire recruiting process all the way through. Some guys, again, recruiting is happening so early sometimes maybe they don’t have all the information and they make a decision before they’re ready. For whatever reason, that’s kind of the way it’s fallen out.”

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton

Summers' Time: UF's new OL coach tasked with turning around beleaguered unit

GAINESVILLE -- Florida offensive line coach Mike Summers -- a 34-year coaching veteran -- has a bio that reads a lot like a presidential candidate's tour schedule. 

The 57-year-old career assistant has coached at Southern California, Louisville, Arkansas, Ohio, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, Northern Illinois, Texas A&M, The University of the South and the Atlanta Falcons, but his long journey has finally brought him to the Sunshine State and a job he's eyed his whole career. 

“There are jobs out there when you start out in coaching and look at and think this is where I’d love to be someday," Summers said. "Florida has always been that for me. I grew up in Kentucky, grew up in SEC country and have always looked at Florida from the outside wishing I could be on the correct sideline. I’ve been in this stadium several times on the wrong sideline and I’m very thankful to be coming out of this locker room and be a part of this program. The reputation of this program is strong. I've been doing it long enough to know that at every program has ebbs and flows to it, but this foundation and the reputation of this program will always been strong. The things that I've seen in a short time that I've been here makes me encouraged that we're going to get right back to that point."

(Courtesy gatorcountry.com)

Summers came to Florida despite the tumultuous landscape surrounding the program -- especially the offense's consistent failures -- and is tasked with turning around a porous offensive line that allowed a conference-high 66 sacks the past two seasons.   

Florida also struggled to run the ball last season, averaging just 3.63 yards per carry. 

But Summers -- a well-regarded teacher and tactician -- insists he's unconcerned about the offensive line's past failures and only wants his players to eye the future. 

"I've been fortunate to have been doing this long enough that I might be able to call it a career here in another couple of years, so hopefully the things that I bring to the table will make a difference," he said. "How quickly that happens? We'll just have to wait and see, but we're going to stay hard at it. The one thing that I know is that the players I've met on this football team are hungry to be successful. And they believe in Coach Muschamp. They believe in this program. And all of those feelings have come through to me just in the short time that I've been here. I'm encouraged that when we start into the offseason program that they've got that hunger that's burning to get themselves back to where they want to be."

Florida's newest offensive line coach -- hired Jan. 6 from USC -- refused to discuss specific personnel while still evaluating tape and meeting the players, but Summers was adamant the line would be "the foundation for our football team."

"They ought to be the example of how we want to play, the example of how we want to finish, the example of how to do things the right way. So that's the standard of excellence that's going to be set for them to rise up to. I think the older I get the less tolerant I am. I don't lower my standards to get to them. They have to come up to the standards that I set, and those standards are going to be real high." 

Summers spoke extensively about building relationships with his players -- something he highlighted as critical to a team’s success. 

He's excited about the latest -- and possibly final -- challenge of his career.

"Coach [Kurt] Roper has come in, and he has an energy and a passion with what he does. We’ve been able to cross paths in the last seven or eight years in different places. We even go back further than that. His energy, Coach [Joker] Phillips’ experience, all of us coming together, I feel so good about this offensive staff right now and all of us being able to get in there and lock arms and present a united front to the offensive players on this team," Summers said. "They’re going to know that they’ve been coached and they’re going to be coached by a group of guys that really cares about them, cares about the University of Florida.”

Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton


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