Will Muschamp on John Brantley, Chris Dunkley, and CEO Coaches

Florida head coach Will Muschamp is making the rounds from Lakeland, FL to Bristol, CT and has plenty to say about the Gators and his role as leader of the orange and blue.  In Lakeland, Muschamp spoke with a local Gator club.  And in Bristol, it was ESPN (were you expecting me to say someone else?).  Here’s a recap of some of what he talked about (you can visit Alligator Army and Only Gators for more) and of course my thoughts:

• Muschamp supports John Brantley and reminds us that the quarterback position will always receive criticism.  If things go well, you’re the one that made them so.  If things go bad, it’s your fault and no one else’s.  This is true for the most part, but what else do we honestly expect Muschamp to say?  He’s not going to attack a kid who looked like he had confidence problems during his first season as a starter.  Muschamp has to play the role of not just coach, but motivator and supporter for Brantley.  #12 was in a tough position before last season and his performance throughout 2010 didn’t make anything easier for him.  To be honest, no one has any idea what the Gators have at the quarterback position until we all see it with our own eyes during the first game.  This is going to be the main topic of discussion for Florida fans and followers up until and even through the 2011 season.  The “issue” (that’s a nice way of saying problem) isn’t going away and as many guesses as we throw at it, none of us can predict what will happen.  We all just have to keep our fingers crossed for improvement of any kind.
• After the announcement was made that wide receiver Chris Dunkley would transfer, speculation regarding his destination immediately started.  Muschamp has said Florida will not restrict where he can transfer to in any way.  I’m a supporter of this.  Sure, I don’t want to see Dunkley (or Javares McRoy) leave, but it happens.  Losing such a small number during a coaching change might actually be a positive.  Florida isn’t for everyone.  Sometimes things just don’t work out.  You can’t expect every kid to come in and love everything about the school they choose.  For Dunkley, this is what happened.  For whatever reason, it didn’t end up being the place for him.  Things might have been different if he had been eligible for the spring, but he wasn’t and so he’s moving on.  Good for Muschamp for allowing him to try to find the place that’s best for him with no restrictions.
• The big quote from Muschamp from today (which Andy Hutchins expands on here) was “I don’t want to be a CEO head coach.”  Instead of taking it as a statement of what Muschamp is or isn’t, it was immediately seen as a shot at either his former boss at Texas, Mack Brown, or former Gator head man Urban Meyer.  Every coach has a different style.  No two are alike, but it sounds like Muschamp doesn’t want the business-like, running a corporation approach.  You could read what he said as him wanting to just be a football coach.  Not wanting to worry about interviews, etc., but wanting to coach his team.  Muschamp loves being on the field, it doesn’t sound like he relishes some of the other stuff off of it.  He just wants to be himself and he seems to be doing that just fine so far.  It’s hard to question too much of what he’s done since being named a head coach for the first time and if you’re intent on hunting for jabs he might be throwing at others, keep searching.  Methinks he meant exactly what he said and was merely pointing out what he is and what he isn’t.  If it’s a shot at anyone in particular, so be it, but let’s not begin this sort of talk before he coaches his first game.  This was far from a Lane Kiffin-like shot fired.  As for what he said regarding Aubrey Hill and Miami, well…

Chris Dunkley to Transfer from Florida

Not long after hearing the news about Javares McRoy, we’re now hearing that wide receiver Chris Dunkley will also transfer from Florida. Dunkley had been suspended from spring activities due to not fulfilling certain academic requirements.

Much was expected of Dunkley when he committed to the Gators. The receiver was rated as one of the nation’s best and even made the Rivals 100 list as the #77 overall player in 2010. From Pahokee (Pahokee, FL), Dunkley had a lethal combination of speed and agility and his hands were second-to-none.

But he struggled in the academic arena and was quickly losing time to other receivers on the roster. The suspension for the spring was probably the last straw for a player who had yet to make an impact at Florida. His loss, along with McRoy’s, drops the number of scholarship wide receivers to a precarious level. The Gators still have talent at the position, but most of it is unproven. A few injuries could spell doom for the Florida passing game in 2011. If Quinton Dunbar is the real deal, he needs to prove it even more so now in the fall.

There is no word yet on where Dunkley could end up.

Javares McRoy to Leave Florida for Texas Tech

Rivals.com is reporting that freshman wide receiver Javares McRoy will transfer from Florida and has been granted his release.  McRoy is reported to be headed to Texas Tech where he will join his brother on the Red Raiders’ roster.

McRoy came in as part of the 2011 recruiting class.  Out of Lakeland (Lakeland, FL), he was rated as the nation’s #28 wide receiver and the #39 player from the state of Florida according to Rivals.  McRoy is a smaller receiver at 5’9”, 170 lbs., but was expected to be able to contribute at the position once given a time to develop and become accustomed to the college game.
Florida has had every possible kind of luck with players from Lakeland over the past few years – good, bad, and indifferent.  Ahmad Black and Maurkice Pouncey were stars.  Mike Pouncey was well on his way to becoming one until a position change prompted questions.  Chris Rainey has played well when healthy and eligible.  Unfortunately, Steve Wilks and Paul Wilson weren’t able to finish their careers.  And John Brown, well, didn’t pan out.  There’s also T.J. Lawrence – although he went to Kathleen and not Lakeland – who transferred from the program.
McRoy joins Adrian Coxson and Jordan Haden (both from the 2010 recruiting class) as players who voluntarily left the program before making it to their first fall semester.

The Long Snapper (6/14/10)

College football.  Quick and to the point.
The next time I receive a text message from a friend that says “check out the mug shots on Gainesville.com I’m ignoring it.  In fact, I’m deleting it and pretending I never saw it.  Yesterday morning I followed through with the request and to my surprise found Frankie Hammond.  The Florida wide receiver was arrested on Sunday morning on charges of DUI and liquor possession.  Hammond was pulled over after driving recklessly.  In his car, police found two open bottles of Crown Royal (keep it classy Frankie).  Hammond’s blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit.  This is a solid four out of five on the UGH! meter.
Switching to the positive side of the Gator wide receivers coin, Florida added another member to their 2011 recruiting class in the form of Lakeland (Lakeland, FL) wide receiver Javares McRoy.  McRoy was originally committed to Texas Tech – where he had hoped to play with his brother – but pulled the trigger on a switch to the Gators citing a desire to stay close to home.  McRoy is a legitimate star and is rated at the 148th-best prospect in the nation according to Rivals.com.  Although getting the opportunity to carry the ball a great deal in Lakeland’s offense, McRoy will use his speed at receiver at Florida.
With USC in a heap of trouble (Lane Kiffin…hehe), speculation will continue to build over where some of their better players may end up.  While upperclassmen can be contacted by other schools, underclassman cannot.  They are free to transfer if they wish, but would have to sit out a year before being eligible to play.  One of the bigger names in USC’s 2010 signing class is claiming he has been contacted by five schools all attempting to recruit him.  Dillon Baxter – who the Gators did indeed recruit previously – is claiming Florida is one of the schools after him again.  Baxter informed the Trojan’s director of compliance that he had received phone calls from the schools which of course would be against the rules (something USC might know a little something about).  Florida denies they made any such contact.
If the Big 12 does crumble (which after today’s rumors might not be as sure of a happening as it was late last week), where do the remaining teams go?  One thought is the Big East.  Depending on where all of this ends, Kansas and Missouri may be looking for new homes.  The Big East may be able to provide them a pretty good one.  The conference really has no idea what it is doing at this exact moment and may have to wait until the dust settles to finally make a move.  Making a play for the Jayhawks and Tigers might not be a bad idea.  Both add to the Big East’s television reach and both provide solid programs that should fit in fairly well.  And USF would get to consistently play the team it has one of its program’s defining wins over.