Hello everyone. Let's get started.
What College Football Players who are making their Florida Debut in 2013 will be great for Florida?
Chris -- I think Vernon Hargreaves and Daniel McMillian are going to be studs. They'll play a lot this year and I expect McMillian to earn a starting job at LB by the middle of the season.
Louisville fan here..... So why did Louisville blow Florida out in last year's sugar bowl? Was it really because Gator Nation just didn't really care that much, or was it because Louisville had a better program than the Big 12 (or anyone else) realized, or because Louisville has a better coach, better QB, better fan support, better brighter future than any other program in college football......or some other reason? Thanks for your time!
Eric -- I think it was a mix of several things. Louisville and Charlie Strong were amped for that game. UF got away from its run-based game plan and tried to throw the ball all over the place and it didn't work. Bridgewater was fantastic and the DBs shut down UF's WRs. I think Louisville has a bright future, so long as they can continue to recruit well and are able to find a replacement for Bridgewater.
Is the quality control position given to Chris Leake more likely a stepping stone to position coach or graduate assistant?
Mike -- Yup. It's a chance for Chris to see what it takes to be a coach on the college level. He'll be breaking down game film, working as a gofer, assisting in recruiting administrative duties, and acting essentially as a catch-all on administrative duties. If he likes it, the next step is to get on the field as a GA. It's going to take a while, though. Maybe two or three years if he stays at UF. Could be a coach quicker if he left and found an opening elsewhere.
How many incoming freshmen (not already enrolled) are expected to begin summer classes in either of the 2 sessions?
Mike -- Trenton Brown and Marcell Harris enrolled this semester (which began this week) and the rest of the class will enroll in Summer B.
Looking at the top opposing defensive players article outside of Clowney there are not a lot of names that really made me think that person can take over an entire game, so would it be foolish to think that Florida's offense will naturally put up better stats due to lack of experienced talent it will face?
Mike -- Not foolish, but overly optimistic. The bottom line, to me, is that the offense will be better if the WRs are better. If not, then the passing game will flounder again and the Gators will have very little margin of error, as they did last season.
who or what position is the biggest key to Florida having as good a statistical year as last year on defense?
Mike -- There's some inexperience at linebacker and not a lot of quality depth there or at DT. However, if UF can produce a better pass rush then the defense has a chance to be as good or better than it was last year. I think the Gators will accomplish that.
Mike concerns with Driskell having teams loading up the def line and having him throw to these rec .I think we got really lucky the ways things played out last year. Have you watched the walk on QB at all film or otherwise?
Bill -- I have not seen much film on Chris Wilkes at all, but he's not an option to start games. Driskel's the guy and the staff is happy with his development. If he gets hurt, I still think Murphy is the No. 2 guy because he's been in the system for two years. Wilkes has a lot of ground to make up.
Hey Mike, what are the Gators main position needs concerning the Florida Gators 2014 football recruiting class. What guys are we really putting the heat on to get?
Gary -- I'm actually writing about that for Friday, so I don't want to give too much away. However, I'll say that big bodies need to be a main focus, as well as continuing to find more weapons in the passing game.
Who do you think will be the other safety come 08/31?
A.J. -- Cody Riggs and Jaylen Watkins will start the season as the starters. I expect them to remain in the starting lineup pretty much the entire season. The rest of the group has struggled a bit.
Are there any tight ends out there who could make a difference that the Gators have a legitimate shot of getting?
Jason -- UF is chasing several, including Bryce Dixon and Jakell Mitchell. But as for them making an impact in 2014, I think that's unlikely. I believe Colin Thompson will develop into a solid pass-catching option there.
I believe that we will have at least two of our incoming freshman receivers step up big this year. Marquis Hawkins and Alvin Bailey will or could step in and be difference makers, I know the big receivers are gonna do good also, but these two are the more physical and fast and I believe will impact the offense and special teams significantly given the chance.
Gary -- I'd argue and say that Demarcus Robinson and Ahmad Fulwood are probably better options to make an impact. Robinson was an early enrollee and has a head start on picking up the offense. Fulwood has great ball skills and can be a down field threat, which is something the Gators haven't had in a while. However, I agree that two players need to step up among the freshmen receivers.
Why were Harris and Brown able to enroll now and the rest of the freshman have to wait until summer B?
Jason -- Brown was going to enroll early but needed to finish one class so he was able to get that done and enrolled in May. Harris wasn't able to graduate in December but is now set to go.
What do you think will be the toughest game for the Gators next year?
Victor -- I believe the Georgia game will be their toughest even though UF plays at LSU. The Bulldogs are the best team in the Eastern Division and UF has lost two in a row. Georgia now has some confidence back in the series plus an offense loaded with weapons. LSU lost a lot of guys on defense and I'm not sold on Mettenberger.
Aside from Frazier, do you think any of the FR basketball players last year will ever contribute more than a bench role?
Victory -- I know the staff likes DeVon Walker and was happy that he decided to return. He's got good size and is versatile enough to help them at guard or small forward. He's got to get stronger, though.
Does playing basketball together at some level benefit freshman players like Kasey Hill, & Chris Walker?
Mike -- Sometimes. I know the '04s, for example, would always be on the same team (along with Lee Humphrey) when they played pickup games against the older guys on the team. That seemed to help, a bit -- of course having 3 eventual lottery picks helps. But the bottom line is that Hill and Walker have to fit into the team more than just playing with each other. That's the key.
What do you think is a realistic projection of the numbers Driskell will put up this year?
Jason -- I think his numbers will be similar to last year: 1,700-2,000 yards and 15-20 TDs passing and 400-500 yards rushing. If the WRs are better, he could approach 2,500 yards passing, but remember, the Gators are run-first and the staff is in LOVE with Matt Jones.
Do you think that playing football and baseball will restrict Nick Washington's development at the college level?
Mike -- I think it can, because it robs guys of valuable time in the spring. It depends on the kid, though. Washington is a pretty good baseball player so it wouldn't surprise me if he contributed more on the diamond than on the football field at first.
Hey Mike. What are your thoughts on Chris Leak being named the quality control coordinator? Personally, I'm thrilled to have him back in the orange and blue.
Marlon -- I like the move, mainly because Chris can act as a de facto mentor to Driskel. Though he can't do any on-field coaching, he can spend a lot of time with Driskel and help him with film as well as just giving him advice and the benefit of his experience.
The defense seems to be very strong this year and the offense is looking like it struggle again, will this coming year be a repeat of last year? Do we win 11 games?
Victor -- I see 2013 being similar to 2012. As for winning 11 games, that's hard to say. I think they have the talent to do that, but things have to go their way. For instance, they were phenomenal in taking the ball way and didn't turn it over much (except the two losses). Can you count on that again in 2013? Probably not. But maybe the WRs will be better, which will make a huge difference.
What's the deal Andre DeBose Mike? Is he looking any better at all? Is it mental or preparation or laziness or a combination of it all? I remember watching his high school highlight reel thinking he was going to be an All-American. Thx
Big P -- You hit it right on the head. He lacks the consistency he needs to have in his mental and physical preparation, and sometimes his attitude isn't great, either. He should be an All-American with his talent. But he just can't be consistent enough on the practice field and therefore doesn't get a lot of chances to play.
Mike, Do you see Florida taking a step forward or backwards this coming season. UF surprised a lot of people last season and I have heard many talking heads say that Florida may disappoint this year because of how well they played last year (as far as winning goes). Do see them being a SEC or National Title contender? Roll Tide
Dickey -- Kind of similar to the answer I gave a few minutes ago. I think they have the talent to win the Eastern Division, but things have to go their way. They did a great job in taking the ball way and didn't turn it over much (except the two losses). Can you count on that again in 2013? And will the WRs be better? That, to me, is the key. If the WRs are better the offense will be better,which makes the Gators dangerous.
Odds of Alabama winning the NC, would you take them or the field (is it crazy to even consider Bama)? SEC or the field?
Victor -- I'd take the SEC vs. the field, for sure. I think the national champ will come from the league again, whether it's Bama (most likely) or LSU, Georgia, SC or Florida. I'm not a believer in Ohio State because I don't think Braxton Miller is a very good passer. Plus, how does that team react when they're actually playing for something this year? Remember, that team last year was essentially the same team that a bad Florida team beat in a bowl game.
Have you met Ryan Lochte? Is he as goofy, annoying, and immature as he comes off? Or is there something deeper beneath the surface? LOL
Jeff -- I have not met him, but he is absolutely as goofy as he comes off. But he's not a moron, either. He's a smart kid who likes to play around. Can't knock him for that. He's still young.
Is Mack Brown finally going to turn the corner and provide valuable snaps as a backup or will Kelvin Taylor take his spot?
Greg -- I think Kelvin is more talented than Mack, but right now Mack knows the offense and does a decent job in pass protection. I think he'll be Matt Jones' primary backup the first half of the season but I expect Taylor to pass him by the end.
What are our chances of landing Ermon Lane?
Rick -- Pretty good. Travaris Robinson and Joker Phillips are hitting South Florida pretty hard and I know they staff really likes Lane. He's a top target at WR.
What do you think of Muschamp as a head coach? He seems to be a good recruiter and good def coach but seems to lack creativity. Do you think he can wind up as a HOF coach, a good coach but not great (like Stoops maybe), or a disappointment?
Victor -- Way too early to tell how he'll wind up, but I do like two things about him. No. 1, he has a plan and he's not deviating from it. If he has to make a decision that hurts in the short term but is a benefit to the program in the long term, he's okay with that. Building the program is key. Also, he is a more down-to-earth guy than Urban was, which I think helps him in recruiting but also helps him understand his limitations on the offensive side of the ball, which is why he went out and hired Brent Pease. I think you're in good shape with Muschamp, but his legacy will depend on how many SEC and national titles he wins.
What are the odds of Nick Washington getting drafted in June and perhaps signing a pro contract? If he were drafted in a decent spot, do you think he'd try to play minor league baseball and college football?
Marlon -- I know several MLB teams are evaluating him, but I doubt that he passes up going to UF because I don't think he'll be drafted high enough to get tempted. He's going to play both sports at UF.
Don't you think the comments made by Tm Davis about Nick Saban were disrespectul and inapporiate to the mam who gave him a major coaching opportunity?
Tony -- Davis was joking around at a booster function and his comments were intended to draw laughs, which they did. I didn't find them disrespectful. Davis is a funny, out-going, gregarious guy and he didn't mean anything insulting by them. I think it's getting blown way out of proportion.
Hi Mike- Will Durkin be able to handle the D coordinator position as well as Quinn? Do you anticipate a drop off?
Paul -- Maybe a little dropoff because Durkin is new to the job, but remember, this is Muschamp's defense and he'll be heavily involved.
Mike -- I agree with you on Kelvin's talent level. Adam Lane should provide some key depth as well. What's the word on ROPO's recovery? Does the staff think he can get back to where he left off last spring? The combo of Fowler and ROPO will be lethal if so...
Greg -- Powell is supposed to be cleared for full-contact work in August and be 100 percent recovered. Muschamp said there are no indications that won't happen. He should make UF's pass rush the best it has been in a while.
With the lack of playing time Debose has gotten, it kind of surprises me that he hasn't transferred to see if a change of location helps at all. Does he not care much about football, does he really love florida, or is it something else?
Jason -- He really likes it at Florida, and he didn't want to have to sit out another year. Remember, he lost his freshman year to a severe hamstring injury.
I'm thinking the Gators end up 9-3 this year, dropping a couple of SEC games & splitting against Miami
Roy -- I can see that. Losses at LSU and at Miami and vs. Georgia. But I also can see them losing only once (maybe LSU) and going 11-1 again. So many variables to consider -- the main one being the WRs.
Do you think we'll we see Adam Lane any this year? Or, will he take a redshirt?
Roy -- At first I thought it was a lock that we would, but I'm hearing more and more that a redshirt is possible. If Mack Brown and Kelvin Taylor can get the job done, it's probably smart to redshirt Lane and create some separation so you've got some class balance.
MD - None of our receivers can get consistent separation, a sign of bad route running. That seems like something Joker can fix, but how much of it is on the kids to improve?
Tyler -- A lot. The biggest problem, after getting away from press coverage, is the receivers learning how to adjust their routes based on the coverages. That's something that seems easy but isn't because it's not something they had to do in high school. If they were supposed to run a 10-yard in, they ran a 10-yard in regardless of the coverage.
MD, Is Ronald Powell finally going to go into beast mode this year or what? He looked huge on the sidelines last year and didn't even have pads on. That knee holding up?
CP -- He should be 100 percent and cleared for full-contact work in August. If he's playing at the same level as before his injury, I expect him to get 8 or more sacks in 2013, especially with the presence of Bullard and Fowler to draw attention away from him.
Thanks for the answers Mike, I'm plumb out of questions!
Victor -- No prob. Any time.
Why did Foley hire Muschamp and want a pro-style type offense? It seems Florida has thrived the past couple of decades with unorthodox offenses such as the "fun 'n gun" and the spread. Florida has won championships with the offenses, and it seems Bama in particular struggles against good spread teams.
Marlon -- I will disagree with you. Florida won the 1996 title with that offense, although the defense was pretty darn good. The 2006 and 2008 titles, however, were won with the defense. They embarrassed Ohio State's offense and shut down an OU offense that had scored 700-plus points. Nick Saban has built Alabama into a national power with defense, and to compete with the Tide you have to play great defense. That's why he hired Muschamp.
Would Tebow be able to help the Jaguars realistically or do you think Dave Caldwell is doing the right thing, despite media pressure?
Paul -- Without getting on my soapbox, I'll say this: The Jags should sign him. The one thing I wonder about is why people give Blaine Gabbert a pass because he's had three head coaches and three offensive coordinators in 3 years, but nobody gives Tim the same benefit. He's had the same issues, plus he wasn't able to get into the facility and work out due to the lockout. Plus, he suffered through an abysmal season in New York because the coaching staff had no plan for him and blew it. I guess I got on the soapbox after all.
Why did Dan Mullen receive so much flak for Florida's offense during his time here? He was easily the best o-coordinator since Spurrier left. I remember in the 08 championship, he split Moody out at receiver, Arenas is forced to cover. Moody goes as far to the right side of the field as possible and doesn't run a route. Tebow identifies the mismatch (David Nelson vs. Justin Woodall in the slot) and scores a touchdown. This example showed he knew what he was doing and was at least as much of the reason for the Gators success as Urban Meyer.
Marlon -- I thought Mullen was a very good coach and understood the spread offense and had the perfect situation with Tebow running it. But remember, UF's defense absolutely shut down Bama in the fourth quarter of that game. Still, I think UF can have a very good offense in time, as soon as the WRs step up (whenever the heck that will be).
Does the Easley-Powell combo have the potential to be the best inside-out defensive combo in the SEC?
Tony -- They'll be pretty good, especially if the Gators can somehow rush Fowler from the same side, too.
Are you shocked Dan Quinn was hired as an NFL defensive coordinator after only two seasons as a collegiate defensive coordinator?
Marlon -- Not really. He did a good job at UF and I always thought he was headed back to the NFL eventually. That's where most of his background was and I know he liked things in Seattle.
I agree the whole Tim Davis quotes got blown out of proportion and that all I've heard about Saban anyway is that he isn't very pleasant anyway. Why in the world does Saban talk with his hands in every interview, dude can't keep those hands down.
CP -- I never noticed that. I'll watch for it now.
Now that Wiggins has commited to Kansas, how do you think Florida will matchup against the 2013-14 Wildcats?
Jeff -- That's still a pretty sick signing class Calipari has coming in. UF and UK clearly the two best teams. UF should be darn good in the front court and I think I'd take UF in that area.
Why are NFL teams threatened by Tebow? Why is there so much hate for the guy. Merrill Hoge, for instance, suggested Tebow wasn't smart enough to play quarterback. That was a low blow to me and I don't think any analyst should ever question someone's intelligence, especially someone who has a learning disability.
Marlon -- I thought that wasn't fair as well. NFL teams get too caught up in measurables and in "prototypes." Tebow doens't fit and those teams are too stubborn to adapt.
OK everyone, that's it for this week. Same time next week. Thanks.