GAINESVILLE -- Florida interim head coach D.J. Durkin denied a report he’s accepted the defensive coordinator opening at Texas A&M.
“I have not accepted any sort of job anywhere, here or anywhere else other than the job as interim coach for the bowl game. It's a great opportunity. I'm really excited about it,” the 43-year-old coach said Thursday.
“Obviously, there's some challenges and things that go along with it. But for Jeremy Foley to have the trust in me to do that, I'm appreciative of that and most importantly for our kids. I've been here five years with our guys, so our fifth-year seniors and fourth-year (juniors), the guys in that locker room, I've been here with. I want to make sure they get my very best as a head coach to go win this game and finish things off the right way. That's where my focus is."
Durkin is one of two holdovers from the Urban Meyer reigme, and has been linked to coordinator openings at A&M and North Carolina.
Senior tight end Jake McGee is in the process of petitioning the NCAA for a waiver granting a sixth year of eligibility after sustaining a broken leg in UF’s 2014 opener against Eastern Michigan.
“He’s trying to do that,” Durkin said. “We’re trying to get him another year. I totally believe he deserves it and that should work out for him, but we don’t know the answer on it yet.”
McGee transferred to Florida last summer after graduating from Virginia. The 6-foot-6, 245-pound tight end was pegged as a natural breakout candidate in UF’s new-look spread offense, but his Gators career appeared over before it ever got a chance to get started.
McGee must appeal for a hardship waiver since he redshirted without a documented injury during his freshman season Virginia in 2010.
THIS & THAT
Sophomore defensive end Bryan Cox Jr. will miss the bowl game with a hip injury after undergoing surgery Monday. The rest of the team is healthy, per Durkin. … Final grades won’t be posted until Saturday, but Durkin does not expect any players to be academically ineligible for postseason play. … Sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III was named a Sporting News first-team All-American on Wednesday, earning his fourth All-American honor (second-team Associated Press and Sports Illustrated, ESPN.com first-team) this December.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReSimonton