Culture Shock: how Dan Mullen fixed a broken Gator football program

by | Apr 14, 2020 | Gator Football, Uncategorized

What was a fractured program less than 30 months ago needed a hero to put it back together. In Dan Mullen, Florida found that hero. This is the story of the toxic culture he walked into, how he went to work taking it apart, and how he’s replaced that toxic culture with one that breeds unity- and the results Gator fans expect.

To the casual observer, the postgame scene in Tiger Stadium was likely to be viewed as business as usual, not a seismic culture shift. That’s fine with Dan Mullen, though. That’s what he wants.

After a disappointing 42-28 loss to LSU, the entire Florida team, led by Mullen, stood in the corner of the purple end zone in Baton Rouge, holding their orange helmets with the distinct “Gators” script logo high in the air as the Pride of the Sunshine band played the school alma mater and fight song.

Because this liturgy has been around forever at Florida, to see it play out after just another game shouldn’t be too foreign of a sight. But prior to Mullen’s return to Florida in 2018, it didn’t always take place. Attendance for the singing of the fight song and alma mater depended on the team’s mood in the pre-Mullen days, which could almost binarily be determined by whether the Gators won or lost. The custom was seen more as a way to celebrate wins as opposed to a regularly scheduled reminder of what the players were representing.

The most notable such occasion came after the 2013 Sugar Bowl, in which Florida had gotten stunned 33-23 by Louisville- when Darrin Kitchins stood all alone to support the band in the singing of the alma mater and fight song after the game. Not one single teammate joined him.

As it turned out, that Sugar Bowl loss set the stage for a miserable half decade for the Florida football program. In a vacuum, the loss, and lack of participation in the postgame singing ritual, could have been written off as an anomaly, the rogue result, and a bad day for a program on the rise after the fallout suffered following Tim Tebow’s departure. But as it turned out, it was a mere prologue of the horrors to come- both on the field and off it.


Pre-2015 Offseason: McElwain fertilizes the culture problem

In 2013, Will Muschamp led Florida to its first losing season since 1979. When it became clear that things weren’t getting much better in 2014, then-Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley pulled the plug and replaced him with Jim McElwain.

No sooner had McElwain taken over than a culture of selfishness, arrogance, and laziness began to form, and by the time anybody detected it, it had garroted the program. Fans and administrators alike had been willing to ignore some of the warning signs because Florida had been winning just enough to keep everyone happy, but midway through the third year of his tenure, it all finally caught up to him.

With hindsight now at our disposal, the eyebrow-raising with McElwain started mere minutes after being introduced by Foley. Shortly after taking the podium at his inaugural press conference, he claimed he could coach himself to victory with his dog playing quarterback, a subtle but unnecessary shot at Muschamp and his various failures with his quarterback position. That was merely a warmup; McElwain appeared to be testing what he could get away with doing without facing backlash.

That spring, he went a little further and publicly called out Muschamp for leaving him with insufficient personnel, a statement that was both objectively true and even less necessary than the first one. And two games into his tenure, McElwain went viral for losing his sanity on running back Kelvin Taylor for making a throat slash gesture and drawing a personal foul penalty against East Carolina. McElwain wasn’t going out of his way to say or do these things for his own amusement; he was surreptitiously buying himself patience with his fans and bosses ahead of time.

Now, to be clear: by themselves, those actions and others like them would have been completely harmless. Simply stating facts or even going bonkers on a player are not reasons to believe a program has a culture problem. After all, most coaches do and say things like that fairly often. And in those examples, for as much of a desire to draw attention as those words indicate that McElwain carried, he did have the logical right-of-way to say what he did.

It was only when those innocuous statements became the gateway to far more damaging actions that the problems started. Because in this particular case, those words turned out to foreshadow a tenure defined by finger pointing, sensationalism, selfishness and just plain lying.


2015-2016: The Grier fiasco, and its fallout

Following two subpar years that resulted in a combined 11-13 record, McElwain’s Gators quickly lifted off the ground under new quarterback Will Grier, who seemed to be the program’s long awaited answer at the QB position. But midway through the 2015 season, McElwain faced his first stumbling block.

Florida had just finished administering a 21-3 rout of Missouri when rumors began spreading that something terrible was about to happen. The next day, fans’ worst fears were realized: Grier had been suspended by the NCAA for one calendar year for his use of Ligandrol, an over the counter substance that didn’t actually appear on the NCAA’s published banned substance list until the following academic year. (To be fair, Grier still could have found out that it was banned by simply checking with Florida’s training staff- which he did not do.)

Soon after the announcement, a meeting was set up between quarterback and coach to discuss what would happen next. McElwain had a decision to make- and he made the costliest one possible.

According to Will Grier in a tell-all narrative in 2016 and separately confirmed to me by his father, Chad, McElwain was two hours late for his own meeting. After finally gracing the pair with his presence, he refused to listen to what Grier had to say, deflecting question after question before finally saying, “Maybe a fresh start is what’s best for both of us.” Translation: “I don’t need you, I can win with my dog, get lost.”

Back in the fall of 2015, when McElwain was seen as a hero for resurrecting the program and Grier was marked the villain for derailing such a promising season with his carelessness, an alternate version of the story made the rounds: that Grier walked into McElwain’s office and demanded a guarantee that he would be returned to the top of the QB depth chart when his suspension ended. It’s not true. But it’s what McElwain would want you to believe. It absolves him of blame in a situation where he pulled the trigger and redirects the blame elsewhere- which quickly became a favorite tactic of his once he learned its effectiveness in Gainesville.

Hiding behind the guise of weeding out a problem and using Grier’s suspension as a shield from any potential criticism, McElwain took his “I can win with my dog” theory out for a test drive while beginning the process of landing one of his hand picked quarterbacks. Grier, after all, wasn’t his guy; he’d inherited him. On the other hand, McElwain had just imported Luke Del Rio from Oregon State (who was sitting out 2015 per the transfer rules), was heavily recruiting Feleipe Franks, and was eyeing grad transfer QB’s on the resale market for 2016. So McElwain had plenty of “his guys” to choose from to confirm his hypothesis. He just had to survive the rest of the 2015 season with Treon Harris first… which he did, albeit with ugly losses to FSU, Alabama and Michigan marring the signs of progress his team had shown up until then.

But five games into the 2016 season, when Grier’s suspension was set to wear off, live beta testing of McElwain’s idea officially began. Predictably, the results were horrendous. Yes, there was the Gators’ thrilling 16-10 win over LSU in Baton Rouge. But the Grier-less offense never reached the end zone in miserable losses to Arkansas and FSU that knocked the Gators out of national title contention and relegated them to the Outback Bowl. Even worse, Florida’s offense finished 2016 as the 13th worst unit in FBS and dead last in the SEC with a paltry 344 yards per game that year.

So the base statement that McElwain could win games without Grier was true in a literal sense. But something just didn’t feel quite right. The offensive explosion he was hired to orchestrate wasn’t happening. 

That set the stage for 2017, when the rubber met the road once and for all.


August-October 2017: things fall apart

Among many other plot developments, 2017 brought the unveiling of Feleipe Franks- the first quarterback that McElwain had recruited himself and signed. This was his chance to really prove that he was right for running Grier out of town, and that he didn’t need any leftovers from the previous regime to win at any point in his tenure. The hypothesis failed; there were signs of promise for Franks at first, but as the season wore on, the redshirt freshman began regressing. It all came to a head against FSU, when Franks almost singlehandedly gave the rivalry game away with three interceptions and a lost fumble in a grotesque 38-22 defeat.

But that was merely the undercard of the program’s dysfunction. In the meantime, some players were taking their cues from McElwain and acting out of selfishness, arrogance and plain stupidity behind the scenes. Just before the 2017 season got underway, a slew of Gators were suspended for credit card theft. The episode could not have possibly defined the McElwain tenure more perfectly if the players had just recorded, “Pretty neat, huh?” in their checkbooks.

The short version of what happened was that in the summer of 2017, a few players bought a bunch of iPads and other electronics with credit cards that weren’t theirs. In order to avoid the natural suspicion that would come from buying several different sets of electronics, these players enlisted in a few of their (mostly young) teammates. “Come on,” one of them told a then-freshman. “We’re a team, and we’ve got to look out for each other. Are you a team player or not?” Operating without the knowledge that the credit cards did not belong to their teammates, the other players went along with it.

Of course, McElwain isn’t to blame for this in a direct or literal sense. He cannot police his players’ every step. Kadeem Telfort was the one who faced a whopping thirty different charges, not McElwain. And Jordan Smith was the one who faced twenty-two different charges. But the crime reeked of all the same trademarks that McElwain displayed throughout his tenure. Players thought of themselves first and foremost, were more than happy to throw others under the bus, and worst of all, allowed their selfishness to hurt the program.

And sure enough, that was what did McElwain in.


Late October 2017: The guillotine drops on McElwain

The week before LSU made its return visit to Gainesville following the Hurricane Matthew debacle of 2016, the Tigers suffered the ultimate ignobility. It wasn’t just that they’d lost to Troy; they’d lost to Troy at home, at night, on homecoming. It was that presumably mentally battered team that Ed Orgeron led into the Swamp- and coached to a victory. That triggered some alarm bells. The tensions only mounted the ensuing week when Florida lost another game in the Swamp to an unranked team, this time to a Texas A&M program that would eventually decide their 2017 season wasn’t good enough and fired head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Smack dab in a tailspin, Florida- and McElwain- desperately needed something to go their way heading into their rivalry game against Georgia. In one final act of false pride, McElwain’s idea of how to make this happen was to play victim at a press conference and tell the media that he’d received death threats. That line- delivered as casually as though he was talking about what he’d eaten for breakfast- catapulted Scott Stricklin’s frustration to the thermosphere, as he did not appreciate his school’s fanbase being portrayed as deranged animals who clamor for blood at the first hint of adversity.

Immediately after McElwain made these claims, Stricklin ushered him into a private room and demanded more information. He didn’t get it. So he and Florida senior associate AD Steve McClain penned a strongly worded statement:

The University Athletic Association takes the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, staff and families very seriously. Our administration met with Coach McElwain this afternoon and he offered no additional details.

McElwain didn’t know it yet, but his career in Gainesville was over the minute that statement was released. The equivalent of his bravado when things were going well was his cowardice when they weren’t, but the theme of going out of his way to insulate himself from responsibility and blame was just as prevalent as when he went after Muschamp back in the offseason of 2015. He would never change. He would always look out for himself first, foremost and last, regardless of how much success or failure his team had. If he had to throw others in front of a speeding truck to get what he wanted, so be it. And worse yet, the credit card fiasco two months earlier proved that this attitude was rubbing off on his players.

The icing on the cake turned out to be a 42-7 drubbing at the hands of Georgia in Jacksonville. Mere hours after that, the plug was pulled, and the McElwain era came to an end.


McElwain Postmortem: Extent of the damage is uncovered

Even after McElwain was fired, there were more nauseating revelations in store for Gator fans. It started with the surfacing of the fact that McElwain’s strength and conditioning program was so inadequate that even the players themselves realized it, and paid out of their own pockets to have private strength and conditioning sessions. That, even more than the death threats, is the ideal epitaph for his sub-ideal tenure.

College football coaches are supposed to be preparing their players for life after school, both on the field and off it, and they’re supposed to lead by example. The players who respected McElwain took the wrong lessons from him and wound up behind the eight ball in some form or another, and those who didn’t respect him felt that he was so incompetent that they looked elsewhere for leadership.

But wait, there’s still more. Upon conducting research for this story, I stumbled upon another ugly incident. According to multiple players on the 2016 team, McElwain first suspended and then threw running back Jordan Cronkrite off the team after that 2016 season for literally no reason other than that he didn’t want him and wanted to free up a scholarship for an incoming recruit instead. Adding insult to injury, McElwain then lied to the press about it. Cronkrite is a personal friend of mine and declined to speak further than that on the record about the incident, and so of course I’ll respect his wishes. He transferred to South Florida and is now preparing for a professional career.

And that wasn’t a one-time deal, or even a two-time deal (see Grier). The ways in which he pushed Cronkrite and Grier away were bad enough, but he saved his lowest form of pettiness for reserve back RJ Raymond. As was first reported by former QB Luke Del Rio– his own handpicked player, mind you- McElwain developed a nasty habit of simply pulling players’ scholarships for no other reason than to use scholarship money on other players he deemed more useful.

The unfortunate reality is that from time to time, college football coaches do nudge players they don’t like or want out the door, for whatever reason. College football is a business, and it’s not always a glamorous one. But rarely do coaches resort to the underhanded tactics that McElwain deployed in order to do so. A former Florida player who transferred in from another school told me that his actions were “abhorrent and unheard of.”

If you were to take any one action of McElwain’s in isolation, it may not seem like part of a larger culture problem. But hindsight, and the sum of his actions, prove that each of them was just another leaf on top of a pile. McElwain ruled Florida football with a crown and scepter, and used that scepter to bat away any and all responsibility of things that didn’t go well. Worst of all, as a leader of men who was tasked with developing his players into leaders in their own way, his attitude permeated the program and strangled it.

And players took notice. “Kids didn’t really buy into what we were doing,” lamented Tyler Jordan, a four year starter on Florida’s offensive line from 2015-18. “The coaching just wasn’t all there.” Another former player just shook his head when I asked him to describe the culture under McElwain. “That’s my comment,” he told me. “Me shaking my head is my comment.”

In other words, from the top down, the culture was broken. So Stricklin hired Dan Mullen to fix it. 


Pre-2018 Offseason: Mullen, Savage lay the groundwork for new culture

On day one of his tenure, Mullen made it abundantly clear that he would refuse to stand for any of the shenanigans that went on under previous administrations, or anything that implies any less than 100% commitment to the program. It started with him talking about “giving relentless effort in everything I (we) do” and “restoring the Gator Standard” in his introductory press conference. And slowly but surely, Mullen made it his primary mission to back those words up with his actions.

Placing reminders of how to uphold the Gator Standard seemed simple enough. And to be fair to McElwain, many of those rules were in place before his arrival- at least in principle. “McElwain definitely did care about discipline,” recalled former Florida cornerback Quincy Wilson, who played for McElwain at Florida in 2015 and 2016. “He’d make sure guys had their shirts tucked in, hair looked appropriate, stuff like that. It wasn’t like he never tried to install values. It just didn’t pan out. He did try, though.” But maybe the problem was that the values just needed to be installed in the players’ heads via a more authoritative mouthpiece.

Enter Nick Savage, Florida’s aptly named Strength and Conditioning Coach, who Mullen brought along from Mississippi State. As far as those involved with the program are concerned, Savage served as a launching pad for the new culture under Mullen. “Coach Savage is probably the best thing that’s happened to the Florida football program in a long time,” linebacker James Houston IV remarked. “He prepares your mind and body to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and he pushes us to be the best we can be every single day.”

“Since he took over, Savage had those guys pushing and struggling in the weight room so they can then truly believe on game day,” added David Reese Sr., whose son David Reese II played his first two years under McElwain and his latter two years under Mullen. “There are layers upon layers of competition. And it’s every moment of every day.” 

Results of Savage’s efforts soon became evident, as players throughout the program began tweeting out pictures of the weight room gains they’d made under Savage in the first couple months of working with him. It certainly was a stark departure from the days where the players paid out of pocket for additional training because they just didn’t believe in the Florida strength staff. And it quickly had the players feeling good about themselves as athletes- as well as the program they were a part of.

However, there was more to the wide sweeping culture shift than just the physical aspect of it. “Night and day difference,” Houston IV told me in the kitchen of his apartment in Gainesville. “With everything. Mullen is laying the foundation for players to succeed both on and off the field. It’s not solely about football anymore. That’s part of it, but not all of it. It’s making sure we don’t miss a class or a tutoring session. It’s practicing our core values of life, not just preaching them. It’s literally everything that comes with being a Florida Gator. You have to get into the habit of being on your P’s and Q’s 24/7, or he’s going after you. We learned that very quickly.”

Easy enough to say for Houston. He’s a highly intelligent kid from a good family that raised him well. Doing what’s best for a cause greater than himself comes naturally to him, whether it’s inviting a special needs boy over to his house after a game to give him the experience of a lifetime or pushing himself to his absolute physical limits in the weight room.

But for some other players, adjusting to the new culture proved to be much, much harder.


May 2018-August 2018: “Buy in or get out”

“When Mullen first got here, he gave us a choice,” Tyler Jordan told me. “Buy in or get out.” Or in some cases, players made the choice by proxy.

Players and coaches will be the first to tell you that a drastically new culture isn’t going to be successfully implemented overnight. It takes time, and patience. There will be setbacks along the way, often of varying degrees and magnitudes, and dealing with the fallout of those setbacks can play a large role in how the program fares moving forward.

The installation of Mullen’s new culture hit its first real setback shortly after the spring game. In May, several of his players were alleged to have been involved in “the Fryer’s Club” incident, an episode in which nobody was charged with a crime but in which all involved displayed zero common sense. The lowlight of the whole ordeal was when two Florida players appeared to brandish weapons against a local gambler known as Tay Bang, a nickname that could not have possibly screamed “stay away” more fervently than if the word “death” was somehow worked in there too.

Though the worst thing the players were guilty of was bad judgment, Mullen saw a chance to continue his off-field development of his players by developing them as people. “This has been an opportunity for us to educate our players about the dangers and negative perceptions that can occur when conflict arises, and how important honesty and good decision making is,” Mullen said in a statement.

The lesson worked, and the players involved all chose to buy into what Mullen was preaching. In the nearly two full years since the incident, all seven players involved have avoided further off-field trouble.

Not so successful in buying into the Gator Standard was wide receiver signee Justin Watkins, a two-time flip on the recruiting trail from FSU and Texas. Watkins was arrested twice in a ten week span in the summer of 2018, first for trespassing on school property and the latter time for kidnapping and strangling his girlfriend. No sooner had Mullen read the police report from the second incident than he suspended Watkins indefinitely while he continued gathering all the information. Upon conclusion of that process, he forced him out the door.

Of course, the two incidents were drastically different, but they did share one common trait: how they were dealt with. Pretty much everybody who’s ever played for Dan Mullen will tell you that his primary interest is the personal development of his players. He’ll give them a second or even a third chance if he believes that that is what it will take for them to learn and grow, and perhaps no example of that stands out more than him allowing Jeffrey Simmons to enroll at Mississippi State after he was involved in an ugly fight while he was in high school. And he would simply not care about any criticism that came his way as a result, because he knew what he was doing was rehabilitating young men as opposed to condoning awful behavior. Yet as we saw with Watkins, Mullen will eliminate players from his program who he realizes cannot be trusted to uphold the Gator Standard.

But after having dealt with off-field problems before he’d ever coached a game, Mullen was about to endure some on-field problems, too.


2018 season: the players face adversity, buy in

To fans’ delight, Florida had no problem handling Charleston Southern to open the Dan Mullen era. The Gators’ 53-6 rout of the Buccaneers was just what the doctor ordered for a program that had had to hear about its 4-7 2017 campaign for nine straight months. So running out of the tunnel and blowing out an inferior opponent to begin a new era felt good- perhaps too good.

In one of the more shocking results in recent Gator football history, Florida promptly turned around and lost to Kentucky for the first time since 1986 in Gainesville. In the aftermath, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, who did the chirping in the hyperlinked article at the end of the prior paragraph, was the team’s harshest critic. “They (Kentucky) came in with a chip on their shoulder; they came in to play,” he said at the time. “We went out there and went through the motions, and you can see what happens.”

Having now seen what would happen if they were the less motivated team, Florida’s players banded together and chose Option A of Dan Mullen’s “buy in or get out” ultimatum. They bought in. And they ripped off five straight wins to announce the Gators’ return to college football’s elite.

First came a 48-10 shredding of Colorado State to get all their frustrations out. Next, Florida went into a hostile environment in Knoxville and obliterated Tennessee by a 47-21 final score that didn’t come close to capturing the extent of the beating. The following week, the Gators handled the ultimate emotional test by returning to Dan Mullen’s former stomping grounds in Starkville and upsetting #23 Mississippi State, 13-6.

Meanwhile, confidence was building, both inside and outside of the locker room. Players’ demeanors had changed. There was reason to believe now, and that reason was built on premises other than false pride. And Florida converted that belief into a tectonic statement. With Tim Tebow in attendance- on the day he was inducted into Florida’s Ring of Honor- the whole world watching, and the Swamp roaring, Florida pulled off a fourth quarter comeback in a 27-19 upset of fifth ranked LSU.

The following week, Florida passed a different kind of test. After trailing Vanderbilt 21-3 in the second quarter, a bench clearing melee kick-started the Gators to life. Florida could easily have packed it in down eighteen points, just the way Florida could easily have let their emotions take over in the wrong way after the brawl. Instead, Florida chose to fight back and channel their emotions in the right way, and stunned the Commodores with a 37-27 victory. That placed the Gators in the top ten for the first time since 2015.

But then came more adversity. After putting up a fight for three quarters, Florida wilted down the stretch and lost 36-17 to archrival Georgia in Jacksonville. Stunned and still reeling the ensuing week, Florida got clubbed 38-17 in the Swamp by a very average Missouri team.

Stuck in reverse and with their New Year’s Six Bowl hopes hanging on by a thread, Florida players once more faced the ultimatum of buy in or quit. And, Houston IV says, it wasn’t much of a decision. “We knew we needed to buy in. End of story,” he recalled. “Because we wanted to play in even bigger games at the end of the year, and we knew that we had to get it together immediately and start playing like it to make that happen.”

Florida did play like it. Seemingly down for the count against South Carolina the following week, the Gators popped off the mat and scored 21 unanswered points to shock the Gamecocks in a 35-31 win. After a feel-good blowout of Idaho, the Gators traveled to Tallahassee, where they snapped not only FSU’s five game winning streak in the rivalry, but the Seminoles’ 36 year bowl streak as well in a 41-14 conquering that ended with Gardner-Johnson decapitating a Chief Osceola doll and dancing around with its severed skull like it was a million dollar bill he’d found on the street.

That impressive three game winning streak was enough to vault the Gators into the New Year’s Six, in the Peach Bowl against Michigan- the ultimate opportunity at redemption. The Florida seniors had been part of a 41-7 beatdown at the hands of the Wolverines three years earlier, as well as a misleadingly close 33-17 loss two years later. But things were different now. After a slow first half, Florida emerged from the locker room with a vengeance in the final 30 minutes and unleashed ten quarters of frustration upon the Wolverines, resulting in an emphatic 41-15 chomping and Florida’s highest finish in both the AP and Coaches’ Polls since 2009.

And thus, the bar had been set under Mullen. Next on the agenda: raising it.


First half of 2019: more adversity, more success

For the most part, 2019 followed the same pattern as 2018- and the program’s growth continued.

To begin with, several players earned headlines for the wrong reasons throughout the offseason. An accusation of violence against John Huggins from October of 2018 surfaced. Jalon Jones was accused of sexually assaulting multiple women. Chris Steele was widely presumed to have used the ugly allegations against Jones as a cover for homesickness, and threw the whole program under the bus on his way out the door by portraying the school as indifferent to sexual assault. Brian Edwards was accused of grabbing his girlfriend by the throat. And then-assistant director of player personnel Otis Yelverton was accused of cyberstalking his girlfriend and threatening to blow up her car.

One by one, Mullen dealt with each situation, ultimately determining that his program was better suited to move on without each of them. Misguided criticism rained down upon Mullen for allowing his players to do terrible things, but he and his Gators simply ignored the outside noise and pushed on. With a firmly entrenched collective belief in what was being built based off of the prior year’s 10-3 season, doing so felt like second nature throughout the turbulent offseason.

But the pushing on got considerably harder in the Camping World Classic in Orlando, where the Gators struggled against a clearly inferior Miami team for most of the way. Up 24-20 with four and a half minutes to go, Feleipe Franks threw a gruesome interception to give Miami the ball deep in Florida territory- a clearly sub-optimal situation for the Gator defense, which had been missing tackles left and right all game. But instead of feeling sorry for themselves or just letting their teammate take the fall with the type of “he threw the pick, not us!” attitude that was prevalent in 2017 and still present at times in 2018, the defense clamped down in the final seconds and finished the game off.

“We don’t win that game in 2017,” the elder David Reese said. “I don’t even know if we win that game in 2018. We were just another level of tough this year (in 2019). We didn’t stop building because we had a nice first year; we knew we had to keep pushing.”

No sooner had Florida cruised past Tennessee-Martin than more adversity came the Gators’ way. But this time, fate intervened. Florida found itself struggling again, trailing Kentucky 21-10 in the fourth quarter, when Franks broke his ankle. In stepped backup quarterback Kyle Trask, who took command of the offense and calmly led Florida to nineteen unanswered points and a 29-21 win.

Reese Sr. shrugged at this point when recalling this. “Man down, man up,” he told me casually. “Mullen and Savage have built a versatile program that can win games in so many different ways. When one piece of the dragon is gone, another piece is waiting and ready. That’s all part of this new culture.”

With Trask now at the controls, Florida was off to the races. The Gators blew out Tennessee 34-3 in Gainesville and easily handled Towson 38-0 in their next two games. Into the Swamp came Auburn, a team with an annoying history of being a thorn in Florida’s side- and the Gators dispatched them 24-13 in front of a raucous sellout crowd to earn a #7 ranking.

But as the euphoria of the Auburn win faded in the rearview mirror, Florida was subsequently faced with more adversity- and the ultimate program progress report.


Second half of 2019: new culture is cemented

Now we come full circle, to where our story began.

October 12, 2019, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Death Valley. A top ten matchup between Florida and LSU. Whether or not he’d ever admit it, this was nothing like anything Trask had ever been a part of before. As pretty much every media outlet has written about in some form now, before the Tennessee contest, Trask hadn’t started a game of football since his freshman year of high school, seven years earlier. Now he was suddenly in command of a top ten team in an extremely hostile environment. 

To his credit, Trask was more than up for the challenge, and hung right there with eventual Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow and eventual national champion LSU for three and a half quarters on their turf. But a late mistake doomed him and Florida, a frustrating setback for a team that knew it was in the hunt for a College Football Playoff berth.

Then came the defining moment of Mullen’s tenure, even more so than any play on the field. Less than 24 months earlier, Florida’s program was in the process of crumbling with a coach and players who looked out for themselves first and foremost. But now, in the immediate aftermath of a crushing loss, here stood the entire Gator team in the purple end zone of Death Valley, helmets high, proudly singing the school’s alma mater and fight song.

“We’re playing for something bigger than ourselves,” James Houston IV asserted. “We sing it after every practice and game to remind ourselves of that.”

And that right there, in two short sentences, is the difference between the stewardship of Mullen’s administration and their predecessors. Because as it turned out, before Mullen’s arrival, not only did the players not sing the fight song every day to remind themselves of the brand they were representing, they didn’t even know the words to it.

“It’s not just a song or a tune,” Houston IV declared. “It represents our culture, and the Gator Standard we should all live up to. We didn’t have that in 2017. Instead, we had issues with groups and cliques, way too many distractions and people who were only out there for themselves. But when Mullen came in, he taught us the fight song as a symbol of playing for something bigger.”

Though the program had successfully bought in to what Mullen was preaching, it turned out that the Gators still weren’t quite ready to return to the top of the college football world in 2019. After a bounce back win at South Carolina, Florida’s dreams of a national championship ended in an ugly 24-17 loss to Georgia. But it was clear that they were drawing closer.

Rather than play dead the game after a tough loss as they had the year before against Missouri, the team once more banded together after the devastating defeat and chose to play for each other and their school. Back to back double-digit win seasons and New Year’s Six Bowl berths were still on the table, and this team had worked too hard to let that slip away. The week after the Georgia loss, Florida clobbered Vanderbilt 56-0 to begin a dominant four game winning streak to end the season. That four game winning streak also included a second straight blowout of in-state rival FSU, this time by a 40-17 margin. To cap it off, Florida took down Virginia in the Orange Bowl to finish 11-2- a one game improvement over the previous year’s 10-3 mark.

Which dovetailed perfectly with the message that Dan Mullen wanted to send to his players. Before the year began, Mullen issued a challenge to the team in the form of a simple statement: it had been easier to go from four wins one year to ten wins the next year than it would be to go from ten to eleven.

But if the Gators have proven anything with Mullen at the helm, it’s that not being easy is no longer a disqualifying factor for them. “That’s the culture,” Reese Sr. told me at the Orange Bowl. “That’s all the result of the new culture. We’re a blue-collar program now.”


Present: culture shift is complete

Through the bumps and setbacks that it suffered through, the culture Mullen installed eventually won out. Things that may seem insignificant in isolation, like being a minute late to a tutoring session or forgetting a line in the fight song, add up. Mullen has made it clear that he understands nobody is perfect. But by living every second in an endless pursuit of perfection, you put yourself in the best position possible to be excellent in everything that you do. That’s the Gator Standard, and that’s what Mullen and Savage have been trying to preach to their players since the day they arrived. The ultimate altimeter- the on field results- has proven that it’s working.

And players’ parents- who send their sons off to play college football with the belief that the school they send them to will help mold them into high quality young men- noticed the culture shift immediately as well. “There’s just more accountability now,” remarked Chad Wilson, who runs the recruiting app GridironStuds. Wilson would know about accountability. He played for the dominant Miami Hurricanes in the early 90’s under Dennis Erickson, and has had one son play under McElwain (Quincy) and another play for Mullen (Marco).

It’s a culture that breeds unity, said David Reese Sr., but also hard work. “Every player believes that if he brings his lunch pail and comes ready to grind, there will be a space for him,” added Reese Sr. “That’s the way these players operate now.”

But it was James Houston’s father, James III, who summed it up best. “There’s so much more camaraderie amongst the players under Mullen,” he told me with a reaffirming nod. “A lot of players just seemed to have a personal agenda under McElwain. Now, with Mullen, they have a common goal to work towards.”

That common goal is not a tangible point in time or concrete event. It’s more of a permanent mentality that breeds consistent success over time. Certainly, this isn’t the end of Mullen’s journey. The work isn’t done. And it never will be, for any player or coach, until they decide to retire. That’s how champions are bred. The chase for greatness is something that can never be described in the past tense. It never ends.

But what can be described in the past tense is Mullen’s construction of a culture that’s conducive to winning at a high level. You can more or less lock in Florida as an annual player for a New Year’s Six Bowl under his watch, and outright dismissing his team as a CFP contender would be foolhardy. The current crop of Gators doesn’t just think that they can win at the level that the program’s storied history is used to. They know they can. That’s what Mullen meant at the Orange Bowl trophy presentation ceremony when he said, “These guys have restored the Gator Standard and are building what we want to build.”

Of course, as the chase for perfection never ceases, nor does the appearance of adversity. The COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the globe has drastically complicated matters for teams across the nation. With spring ball having been canceled and the social distancing guidelines still in place in mid-April, players are currently in the process of finding partners to work out with via FaceTime. It’s different from anything the players have experienced before, but Houston IV says they’re up for the challenge. “It’s obviously hindered our progress,” he told me. “But our goal has become to get ahead of it and be the team that handled this difficult situation the best.”

If the monumental growth the Gators have demonstrated over the past two years is any indication, don’t you dare bet against this team’s ability to accomplish that goal.

And as for any future form of adversity that might obstruct this program’s path? With the blue-collar culture and program-wide sense of unity that Savage and Mullen have implemented, don’t you dare bet against this program’s ability to band together, ward it off, and continue to grow in the years to come.

LB Ventrell Miller will return to Gators in 2022

LB Ventrell Miller will return to Gators in 2022

Florida linebacker Ventrell Miller was supposed to be a key piece on the Gators' 2021 defense. But before he'd even played a conference game, he suffered an injury that prematurely pulled the plug on his season. It appears as though he's set to make up for that lost...

WR Justin Shorter to return to Florida in 2022

WR Justin Shorter to return to Florida in 2022

Florida's offense may be losing some skill position players, but now we know that at least one of them with an ambivalent future is coming back: Justin Shorter. Shorter announced on twitter that he plans to return in 2022, simply stating: "Unfinished business....

Way too early Florida Gators 2022 game by game projections

Way too early Florida Gators 2022 game by game projections

The 2021 Florida Gators football season could not possibly have ended soon enough. Now that it's officially, mercifully over, it's time to look ahead to the 2022 Florida Gators! For Florida, the schedule is a unique one. Reigning Pac-12 champ Utah comes to town to...

Ohio State QB Jack Miller transfers to Florida

Ohio State QB Jack Miller transfers to Florida

Florida lost a prospective member of its QB room when Nick Evers decommitted, but made up for that loss today with the addition of Jack Miller. Miller, who signed with Ohio State out of high school as a member of the Buckeyes' 2020 recruiting class, entered the...

What does Kamari Wilson bring to the table for Florida?

What does Kamari Wilson bring to the table for Florida?

Yesterday, Kamari Wilson made waves throughout the recruiting world when he decommitted from Georgia and flipped to Florida on Signing Day. Yes, there's an element of head-to-head victory for Gator fans, who can now boast to Georgia fans about how they are now a real...

Four star safety Devin Moore commits to Florida

Four star safety Devin Moore commits to Florida

Arguably by design, the Florida Gators’ 2022 recruiting class came apart at the seams in the wake of Dan Mullen’s firing. As the sun rose on Early Signing Day, the first major piece of Billy Napier’s transition class fell into place with Devin Moore. Moore, a four...

Class of 2022 Early Signing Day Tracker

Class of 2022 Early Signing Day Tracker

Welcome to our Class of 2022 Early Signing Day tracker! As we have done in previous years, this page will serve as a hub of activity for the Florida Gators on the first day of the Early Signing Period for the 2022 recruiting cycle. In contrast to previous years,...

Florida Gators hire Billy Napier as head football coach

Florida Gators hire Billy Napier as head football coach

The Florida Gators have a new head football coach, and his name is Billy Napier. Multiple sources say that Florida fired Dan Mullen with direct and specific intentions of hiring Billy Napier. Florida did have backup options in place, but Napier was the clear cut...

It’s over: Dan Mullen is out as Florida’s head coach

It’s over: Dan Mullen is out as Florida’s head coach

Eighteen hours after an overtime loss to Missouri, the Dan Mullen era at Florida is officially over, according to multiple sources and corroborated by numerous additional reports. The firing is effective immediately. Greg Knox will serve as the interim head coach for...

An Open Letter To Dan Mullen: This Is Your Last Shot

An Open Letter To Dan Mullen: This Is Your Last Shot

Dear Dan Mullen, It's crazy how fast time can fly and how quickly things can change. You were the guy who called the offensive plays for two of the three national championships the Gator football team has ever won. You were the guy who developed Tim Tebow into a...

Black Sunday: Todd Grantham, John Hevesy are out at Florida

Black Sunday: Todd Grantham, John Hevesy are out at Florida

What should have been done immediately was done eventually, to borrow and twist a line from Jeremy Foley. News broke on Sunday evening that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy are done at Florida. Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports was...

It’s time for the Florida Gators to fire Dan Mullen

It’s time for the Florida Gators to fire Dan Mullen

UPDATE: Florida has now parted ways with defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy. This goes against over a decade of data that suggested that Dan Mullen would never do so. Does it change things? Kind of, but not really; Mullen still...

Dear Dan Mullen: Show Me

Dear Dan Mullen: Show Me

The Florida Gators are set to do battle with archrival Georgia once again, but the script to this year's Cocktail Party seems eerily familiar. And the onus is on Dan Mullen to deviate from that script. Remember? Four years ago, speculation was swirling about the job...

Four star WR Jayden Gibson commits to Florida

Four star WR Jayden Gibson commits to Florida

Dan Mullen and the Gators have just picked up a commitment from wide receiver Jayden Gibson, a consensus four star wide receiver from West Orange, FL. And thus, the Gators' 2022 recruiting class is really starting to come along. Gibson announced his decision on CBS...

Gameday Tidbits: Florida Gators vs. Vanderbilt

Gameday Tidbits: Florida Gators vs. Vanderbilt

The Florida Gators, who are coming off a heartbreaking 13-20 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats need to bounce back this weekend in the Swamp.  Quite frankly, it should be very difficult for Florida to not bounce back against a very bad Vanderbilt football team. To put...

2022 DT Jamari Lyons commits to Florida

2022 DT Jamari Lyons commits to Florida

Florida's 2022 recruiting class got off to a fairly slow start, but has picked up some steam tonight with the addition of four star defensive tackle Jamari Lyons. Lyons, out of Melbourne and Viera High School, chose the Gators over South Carolina, Indiana, and...

Gameday: Florida Gators at Kentucky Wildcats

Gameday: Florida Gators at Kentucky Wildcats

Tonight, the Florida Gators face the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington. This will be Florida’s first true road test of the season in what should be an incredibly hostile environment.  The Gators look to continue to roll through the SEC East as they take on division foe,...

Emory Jones deserves respect. Period.

Emory Jones deserves respect. Period.

  We are now just a few days from Emory Jones’ first true road test as a starting quarterback. And though the concept is fairly obvious to some, it's not to others, so it's worth diving into in more depth: he deserves respect for how far he’s come from the...

Game day: Florida Gators vs. Tennessee Volunteers

Game day: Florida Gators vs. Tennessee Volunteers

Tonight, the Florida Gators face the Tennessee Volunteers in a primetime showdown in the Swamp. This time, the Gators look to bounce back from a narrow defeat by the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide. Though Tennessee is not the Tennessee of Old, we still expect this to be an...

Game day: Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Game day: Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Finally, the day has come! Today the #11 Florida Gators will battle the #1 Alabama Crimson tide in a matchup of epic proportions. Florida fans circled this game in anticipation since the announcement came that Alabama would once again return to the Swamp. This is a...

Florida LB Ventrell Miller out for the season

Florida LB Ventrell Miller out for the season

Florida's defense took a hit last Saturday when linebacker Ventrell Miller suffered an unknown injury in the Gators' 42-20 win over South Florida. That injury was subsequently deemed to be an elbow injury, but the exact nature- and the exact severity- of the injury...

Five takeaways from the Florida Gators’ 42-20 win over USF

Five takeaways from the Florida Gators’ 42-20 win over USF

The Florida Gators exploded for a 35-3 lead midway through the second quarter, and from there, cruised to a 42-20 win over South Florida. What stood out in the process? 1: Florida's got issues, but it could be so much worse Rarely will I ever waste one of these five...

Game day: Florida Gators at South Florida Bulls Preview

Game day: Florida Gators at South Florida Bulls Preview

Gameday is once again upon us! This time, the Florida Gators will face the South Florida Bulls in a quasi-road game where the stands promise to feature as much orange and blue as green and gold- if not more. Amidst what some people deem to be a quarterback controversy...

Five takeaways from Florida Gators’ 35-14 win over FAU

Five takeaways from Florida Gators’ 35-14 win over FAU

The Florida Gators knocked off FAU 35-14 to begin the 2021 season, but left much to be desired. So: what stuck out along the way? (Aside: I'll be keeping these "five takeaways" pieces short and sweet throughout the season in order to get more stuff written each week.)...

Game day: Florida Gators vs. Florida Atlantic Owls Preview

Game day: Florida Gators vs. Florida Atlantic Owls Preview

Alas, we have reached game day for the Florida Gators. It is finally here! Enough of the talk. Enough of the pre-season predictions. For the first time since last December, we have a game to talk about today. Tonight at 7:30 PM, the Swamp will have 80,000+ for the...

It’s Emory Jones’ turn. His time. And his team.

It’s Emory Jones’ turn. His time. And his team.

Photo credit: USA Today Flash back to almost four years ago, December 20, 2017. It's the day that Emory Jones signed with the Florida Gators, which planted a seed for a career that has, for the most part, remained dormant- until now. Not too long before a letter of...

Florida’s Andrew Chatfield enters transfer portal

Florida’s Andrew Chatfield enters transfer portal

Photo credit: Evan Lepak, UAA Communications Florida linebacker/defensive end Andrew Chatfield has decided to enter the transfer portal. In doing so, he becomes the third Gators defender who has logged reps at linebacker to do so this offseason after James Houston IV...

Snapshot: 2021 Florida-FSU chart

Snapshot: 2021 Florida-FSU chart

Happy Chart Day! Yep, it's that time of year again. The annual In All Kinds Of Weather tradition of "The Florida FSU chart" is back in 2021. For those who are not familiar with "The Chart," every year since 2014, I have been laying out all the dizzying array of ways...

OT David Conner commits to Florida

OT David Conner commits to Florida

Photo via David Conner Florida’s offensive line play has been suspect at best these past few years, and the Gators’ 2022 recruiting class has been somewhat stuck in reverse so far. Both of those things got a nice boost today with the commitment of offensive tackle...

LB EJ Lightsey commits to Florida

LB EJ Lightsey commits to Florida

Photo credit: Keith Niebuhr, 247Sports Linebacker EJ Lightsey (Fitzgerald, GA/Fitzgerald) has just become the newest member of the Gators' 2022 recruiting class. He announced the decision on twitter this morning. Though Florida's fan base does have a propensity to...

Florida CB Jaydon Hill tears ACL, will miss 2021 season

Florida CB Jaydon Hill tears ACL, will miss 2021 season

Photo credit: John Raoux, AP A big part of the small amount of depth the Florida Gators had in its secondary is now gone for the season, as cornerback Jaydon Hill has torn his ACL. Hill suffered the injury in practice on Sunday. Rumblings that Hill would miss the...

Florida Gators 2021 Summer Position Preview: Defensive line

Florida Gators 2021 Summer Position Preview: Defensive line

Photo credit: Brad McClenny, USA Today Having completed the position by position preview of the Florida Gators' offense last month, it's time to turn our attention to the other side of the ball: the defense. It was, for lack of a nicer possible way to put it, awful in...

Four star RB Terrance Gibbs commits to Florida

Four star RB Terrance Gibbs commits to Florida

Photo via Terrance Gibbs The Gators have finally landed a top running back out of high school as opposed to the portal, as Terrance Gibbs (Winter Park, FL/Winter Park HS) has committed to Florida. Though Gibbs is only rated as a four star by both Rivals and 247Sports,...

2023 TE Mac Markway commits to Florida

2023 TE Mac Markway commits to Florida

Photo via Mac Markway Tim Brewster has landed another one for the Florida Gators, raiding the Show Me State for a Mac Markway, tight end that schools across the country wanted. Markway, a consensus four star target from St. Louis, chose Florida over Ohio State and...

Report: Florida, UCF close in on two-for-one football series

Report: Florida, UCF close in on two-for-one football series

Photo credit: Phil Sandlin, AP UPDATE: the social media teams of Florida and Central Florida have officially announced the three game series, confirming details of reports listed below. The original story begins below. UCF Knights fans' dreams of playing the Florida...

Florida Gators 2021 Pre-Summer position analysis: tight ends

Florida Gators 2021 Pre-Summer position analysis: tight ends

Photo credit: Courtney Culbreath, University of Florida After a bit of a hiatus, our position by position breakdown of the Florida Gators football roster resumes today with a look at Tim Brewster's tight end room. (Apologies for the delay. Long story. But we're back...

ATH Jamarrien Burt commits to Florida

ATH Jamarrien Burt commits to Florida

After laying dormant for quite some time, the Gators' 2022 recruiting class is picking up some steam at last. A mere four days after Florida added a pair of commitments from linebacker Shemar James and wide receiver Chandler Smith, athlete Jamarrien Burt has joined...

Athletic four star LB Shemar James commits to Florida

Athletic four star LB Shemar James commits to Florida

Photo credit: Scott Donaldson, preps@al.com Florida's 2022 recruiting class just gained perhaps its most highly touted piece yet, as consensus four star linebacker Shemar James announced his commitment this afternoon. James- out of Mobile, AL/Faith Academy- was...

Four star DB Julian Humphrey commits to Florida

Four star DB Julian Humphrey commits to Florida

Photo via TexAgs Not even three months after poaching QB Nick Evers from the Lone Star State, Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators rode west to Texas once again and pulled out another stud in Julian Humphrey, a consensus four star prospect from the Houston metropolitan...

Underrated three star WR Isaiah Bond commits to Florida

Underrated three star WR Isaiah Bond commits to Florida

Photo via Isaiah Bond After a lull the past couple months, the Gators are making moves with their 2022 recruiting class again, this time adding wide receiver Isaiah Bond. https://twitter.com/isaiahbond_/status/1391513186566819845?s=20 247Sports credits Billy Gonzales...

Florida Gators 2021 NFL Draft primer

Florida Gators 2021 NFL Draft primer

Photo credit: Kim Klement, USA Today Happy NFL Draft Day, Florida Gators fans! Today is the day where 32 former college football stars take the first step towards making their lifelong dreams of playing in the NFL a reality. That, of course, will include former Gators...

(Unofficial) results from Florida’s NFL Pro Day

(Unofficial) results from Florida’s NFL Pro Day

Photo credit: Florida Gators Due to the cancellation of the Gators' spring football game, the Florida Gators Pro Day was the closest thing to live football we're going to get this offseason. Luckily for the fans- and much more importantly, themselves- several...

Who should replace Mike White at Florida? (2021 version)

Who should replace Mike White at Florida? (2021 version)

Photo credit: John E. Moore, Getty Images A year ago, after Mike White's coaching malpractice pushed me over the edge for good, I wrote about all the laundry list of candidates I would love to see Florida replace Mike White with. After his horrifying late game...

TE CJ Hawkins commits to Florida

TE CJ Hawkins commits to Florida

Image via 247Sports The Gators got off to a slow start with their 2022 recruiting class. But with the addition of CJ Hawkins, it's officially picking up steam. Hawkins, a tight end out of Tampa, FL/Berkeley Prep, committed to Florida over South Carolina. The Gators...

Athletic OT Tony Livingston commits to Florida

Athletic OT Tony Livingston commits to Florida

Image via BuckeyePlanet.com Florida picked up a major boost for its 2022 recruiting class with the addition of Tony Livingston. Livingston, a consensus four star offensive tackle from Tampa, FL/Carrolwood Day announced his decision on twitter this evening. He also had...

2022 QB Nick Evers commits to Florida

2022 QB Nick Evers commits to Florida

Image via TexAgs.com Coaches will tell you that in every recruiting class, signing a quarterback is a need. For the Gators' 2022 class, Dan Mullen just filled that need in the name of Nick Evers, who just committed with an announcement on twitter. Evers is a consensus...

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 3/2 practice

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 3/2 practice

Photo credit: Florida Gators/@GatorsFB The Gators held Day 6 of spring practice today, and as has been the case for several of the prior practices, the program decided to open it up (virtually) to the public, and streamed most of the reps live on the team's Instagram...

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 2/26 practice

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 2/26 practice

Day five of full pads. (Image via Florida Gators.) For the third time this week, the Florida Gators football team held a virtual open practice, streaming most of the day's work on Instagram live for all to see. Here are all the videos I managed to capture from Friday...

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 2/24 practice

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 2/24 practice

Jason Marshall vs. Xzavier Henderson: something we'll be seeing a lot of in practice for a very, very long time. (Photo credit: Florida Gators) For the second time this week, the Gator football program virtually opened its practice to the public on its Instagram page,...

Videos: highlights from Gator football’s 2/22 practice

Screenshot from Florida's practice today (via Florida Gators) Dan Mullen and the Florida Gator football team hit the field for practice today as usual. One thing that made today's practice different from a lot of the Gators' other practices, though, was that today's...

Kicker Adam Mihalek commits to Florida

Kicker Adam Mihalek commits to Florida

Image via Adam Mihalek The Florida Gators snuck in one last addition to their 2021 recruiting class at the last second: kicker Adam Mihalek. Mihalek, a local from Tampa, has announced his intentions to stay close to home and attend the University of Florida as a...

Four star 2022 DE Francois Nolton commits to Florida

Four star 2022 DE Francois Nolton commits to Florida

With the Gators' 2021 recruiting class all wrapped up, Dan Mullen and his staff have gone to work setting up their 2022 class. https://twitter.com/99_nolton/status/1357739221822418945?s=20 Francois Nolton, a 6'4, 225 lb. four star defensive end from Miami, has...

COVID forces Gator basketball game vs. LSU to be postponed

COVID forces Gator basketball game vs. LSU to be postponed

After an embarrassing home loss to South Carolina two nights ago, the Gator basketball program will have to wait a little longer to get back on the court. Per an SEC press release, Mike White's team is experiencing another COVID outbreak: The Florida at LSU men's...

Gators land former LSU five star TE Arik Gilbert

Gators land former LSU five star TE Arik Gilbert

Dan Mullen remains undefeated in the NCAA transfer portal with the addition of Arik Gilbert. And now, a year after Florida lost unanimous All-American tight end Kyle Pitts to the NFL, the Gators may not miss a beat at that position. Gilbert, a former five star tight...

Way too early 2021 Gator football game-by-game projections

Way too early 2021 Gator football game-by-game projections

With the Florida Gators' 2021 schedule released yesterday, I thought it would be worth taking my first shot at what's become fans' favorite offseason ritual: projecting Florida's record. And in order to have a final record projection, you have to go game by game in...

Florida Gators’ 2021 football schedule revealed

Florida Gators’ 2021 football schedule revealed

When the SEC first pieced together a twelve year football schedule rotation in 2014 that dictated which teams would play who from the other division, the Florida Gators knew that they'd be hosting Alabama as their cross-division opponent in 2021. But now, following...

Gators complete coaching staff with Jules Montinar

Gators complete coaching staff with Jules Montinar

UPDATE: Florida has officially announced Jules Montinar as the newest member of the Gator football staff. https://twitter.com/GatorsFB/status/1353802427313618945?s=20 (Initial story begins below.) With linebackers coach Christian Robinson presumably staying at...

Auburn DL Daquan Newkirk transfers to Florida

Auburn DL Daquan Newkirk transfers to Florida

DaQuan Newkirk is coming home. Daquan Newkirk has decided to return home (or close to it) for his final year of eligibility. And thus, Florida's shaky offseason took a step in the right direction. https://twitter.com/holdthat_2/status/1349757297782829056?s=20 Once a...

Florida LB James Houston to enter transfer portal

Florida LB James Houston to enter transfer portal

Best of luck to James Houston as he searches for a new home. James Houston IV, a junior linebacker from Fort Lauderdale, has told me that he will be entering the transfer portal. Houston was known for making a few of the bigger defensive plays of the last couple of...

Keyontae Johnson placed into medically induced coma

Keyontae Johnson placed into medically induced coma

Keyontae Johnson has been placed into a medically induced coma, according to the USA Today, who spoke with Johnson's grandfather. His grandfather, Larry DeJarnett said in a phone interview that his grandson was transported to Gainesville earlier today after receiving...

Florida vs Tennessee: Film Review – Defense

Florida’s 2020 season has overall been a successful one by most measures. The Gators are 8-1, ranked in the top ten in every major poll and are four wins away from securing the program’s fourth national title. But in order to obtain that national title, there’s a lot...

Several Gators listed as national award semifinalists

Florida's efforts on the field have been rewarded in the sense that the Gators now control their own destiny to SEC and national championships. But for several players, their efforts are being rewarded in more individual manners, too. Four Gators have been listed as...

Rocky Slop: Florida takes down Tennessee to clinch SEC East

The day Dan Mullen was introduced as the Gators’ new head coach, he talked at length about giving relentless effort in all he did to restore the program to a championship level. Last night on Rocky Top, his Gators took a major step toward doing so. Heisman front...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 31-19 win over Tennessee

Florida didn't play especially well, but did more than enough to beat Tennessee and wrap up the SEC East for the first time since 2016. What were the major takeaways from the game? Florida simply does not have a running game Tennessee came into the game with a five...

Photo Gallery from Florida’s 34-10 win over Kentucky

As we anticipate tomorrow's road matchup with Tennessee,  let’s take one more look back at last week’s game against Kentucky. Our podcast host, Dustin Smith, happens to also be a fantastic photographer. He was at the game last Saturday, and got some great photos of...

Florida RB Iverson Clement will transfer

Florida's deep stable of running backs has just gotten a little thinner. Iverson Clement, a junior tailback from Mount Holly, NJ, has decided to transfer. He departs from Florida having carried the ball twelve times for 94 yards. He nearly scored a touchdown against...

Gators make belated Thanksgiving feast out of Wildcats

Florida was missing key pieces on both sides of the ball a week ago in a sluggish 38-17 win over Vanderbilt. The Gators got them both back today, and the result was fairly similar: Florida struggled for a half against a historically inferior divisional opponent,...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 34-10 win over Kentucky

It took awhile for Florida to get itself going, but they eventually did do exactly that and rolled away from Kentucky. What stood out in the victory? A tale of two halves Florida's offense was stuck in reverse for most of the first half, mustering a grand total of...

No. 6 Gators overcome sluggish start to run past Vandy

Florida arrived at Vanderbilt’s small stadium a mere hour and two minutes before kickoff, determined to avoid the cramped quarters in the visitors’ locker room at all costs and intent on spending as little time on the premises as they had to. Then the Gators took the...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 38-17 win over Vanderbilt

It wasn’t pretty, but Florida fought off a tough challenge from Vanderbilt and got out of Nashville with a 38-17 win. What stuck out in the victory? The defense is still a problem. Yes, Florida played better on defense after a miserable first quarter, and sure,...

Photo Gallery from Florida’s 63-35 win over Arkansas

Before we look ahead to Vanderbilt tomorrow, let's take one more look back at last week's game against Arkansas. Our podcast host, Dustin Smith, happens to also be a fantastic photographer. He was at the game last Saturday night, and got some great photos of various...

Trask, Gators run Hogwild in blowout of Arkansas

Trask, Gators run Hogwild in blowout of Arkansas

Feleipe Franks’ dramatic return to the Swamp was the story of the day when his Arkansas Razorbacks faced off against #6 Florida in the Swamp. But it was his long-time understudy, Kyle Trask, who dominated the night. Trask continued his push for a Heisman Trophy by...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 63-35 win over Arkansas

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 63-35 win over Arkansas

Florida earned its most lopsided win of the season over Arkansas, and former quarterback Feleipe Franks, 63-35. What stood out most along the way? Kyle Trask is now the Heisman frontrunner After several years of hyping up various quarterbacks as Heisman Trophy...

A Tribute to Feleipe Franks: I Will Remember You

A Tribute to Feleipe Franks: I Will Remember You

Hello again, Feleipe Franks. It's been about fourteen months since your Gator career ended in a particularly gruesome fashion. Tomorrow, we meet again. Only this time, your job will be to ruin Florida's season, not enhance it, and our job will be to make you...

Florida 44, Georgia 28: Helmet Stickers and Plays of the Game

Florida 44, Georgia 28: Helmet Stickers and Plays of the Game

Florida's euphoric win over Georgia is still sinking in, but it's time to go through the film and look at this game from an academic standpoint. You can rewatch the game here. First order of business: a blanket helmet sticker is awarded to every member of the team for...

Gators kick Georgia out of Cocktail Party

Gators kick Georgia out of Cocktail Party

Throughout Dan Mullen’s short tenure at Florida, Kirby Smart has had Mullen’s number.  And three minutes into their third meeting in Jacksonville, it looked like that would continue. But then Florida flipped the script and turned the game— and the rivalry— on its...

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 44-28 win over Georgia

Five Takeaways from Florida’s 44-28 win over Georgia

WE DID IT!!! Yes, at long last, Florida has gotten the Georgia monkey off its back and toppled the Bulldogs to take control of the SEC East. What did we learn along the way? Kyle Trask is officially a Heisman Trophy frontrunner He may not win the award, but he has to...

2021 OL Yousef Mugharbil commits to Florida

2021 OL Yousef Mugharbil commits to Florida

A day before the Gators take on Georgia in the Cocktail Party, Yousef Mugharbil kicked off their weekend the right way. Mugharbil, a consensus four star offensive lineman from Murphy, NC/Murphy HS, has committed to Florida. He also had offers from Penn State, Virginia...

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-17 win over Missouri

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-17 win over Missouri

Florida bounced back from a rough loss to Texas A&M three weeks ago with a statement win against Missouri. What stood out in the process? The defense isn't great, but it's getting better. Even without three starters in the secondary (and without Zachary Carter in...

Gators down three starters in the secondary against Missouri

Gators down three starters in the secondary against Missouri

Florida's defensive backfield- already shaky at full strength- is now going to be decimated tonight against Missouri. Starting cornerback Marco Wilson, as well as safeties Shawn Davis and Donovan Stiner, are all out tonight, according to various reports. The reasons...

For Gators, a new season begins against Missouri

For Gators, a new season begins against Missouri

Three weeks ago, Florida completed its preseason portion of the 2020 schedule with a good deal of promise, but well aware of what it had to work on. One ugly COVID outbreak and three weeks later, and the Gators begin the meat of their schedule- a seven game stretch...

2022 Safety Sam McCall commits to Florida

2022 Safety Sam McCall commits to Florida

Just as things are getting back into full swing for the Gator football team, things are heating up on the recruiting trail, too. Florida has nabbed a commitment from 2022 athlete Sam McCall, a consensus five star recruit from Lakeland, FL/Lake Gibson HS. He chose...

2021 Edge rusher Jeremiah Williams commits to Florida

2021 Edge rusher Jeremiah Williams commits to Florida

Defensive end Jeremiah Williams, a consensus four star prospect out of Birmingham, AL/Ramsay HS, has committed to Florida, giving the Gators yet another dynamic piece for their 2021 recruiting class. Signs were pointing towards Gainesville for the highly touted edge...

Florida-Missouri game postponed to October 31

Florida-Missouri game postponed to October 31

According to multiple sources close to the team, the Florida-Missouri game scheduled to take place on October 24th will now be pushed back one week, to Halloween on October 31st. In All Kinds of Weather first reported yesterday that the game was extremely likely to be...

Florida-LSU game postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Florida-LSU game postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Multiple sources have confirmed that the Florida-LSU game scheduled for this Saturday is going to be postponed. An announcement could come as early as Wednesday afternoon. The news comes less than 24 hours after an outbreak of COVID-19 within the Gators' football...

COVID-19 outbreak places Florida-LSU game in jeopardy

After just three games, the novel coronavirus that has wreaked havoc on pretty much everything in 2020 appears to have found its way into the Gator football program. And predictably, the COVID-19 outbreak has thrown up a blockade in front of the season. A few days...

Texas A&M forces Florida to address defensive issues

Texas A&M forces Florida to address defensive issues

Throughout the game on Saturday in College Station, Florida seemed to be one step ahead of Texas A&M. Until they weren't. And then it was too late to do anything about it as the Florida program trudged off the field following a familiar fate- a loss to Jimbo...

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-38 loss to Texas A&M

Five takeaways from Florida’s 41-38 loss to Texas A&M

Florida suffered its first loss of the season against Texas A&M today, an ugly 41-38 setback that’s far more irritating than damaging— but one that exposed a great deal of Gator shortcomings. What stood out in particular? (Spoiler alert: a lot of them are...

Imperfect Gators outlast South Carolina to start 2-0

Imperfect Gators outlast South Carolina to start 2-0

The various struggles the Florida Gators have endured on defense didn’t matter too much in their first two games against Mississippi and South Carolina. They might in their next game. And they almost certainly will later in the season. Kyle Trask tossed four touchdown...

Clemson RB Demarkcus Bowman to transfer to Florida

Clemson RB Demarkcus Bowman to transfer to Florida

The Lakeland-to-Gainesville pipeline has continued, albeit via a detour. Demarkcus Bowman has chosen to transfer to Florida. Mere days after announcing his decision to enter the transfer portal, Bowman told Gators Territory of his decision. Bowman, a former five star...

Trask’s career day propels Florida past Mississippi

Trask’s career day propels Florida past Mississippi

Dan Mullen returned to the place he once called “The School Up North” in his new set of colors for the first time. And he provided that school up north with a first class education in just how lethal his new offense is. Kyle Trask went wild, completing 30 of his 42...

Five takeaways from Florida’s 51-35 win at Ole Miss

Five takeaways from Florida’s 51-35 win at Ole Miss

The Gators opened their 2020 season with a somewhat convincing 51-35 victory over Ole Miss in Oxford. In doing so, Florida knotted the all time series score against the Rebels at twelve wins apiece. Here are my five initial takeaways from the game: Kyle Trask is...

2020 Gator football position preview: secondary

2020 Gator football position preview: secondary

Our position previews of the 2020 Gator football team conclude today with a look at the defensive backfield. Can the unit colloquially known as "DBU" move forward without CJ Henderson? Previously previewing: quarterbacks | running backs | wide receivers | tight ends |...

2020 Gator football position previews: linebackers

2020 Gator football position previews: linebackers

The penultimate piece of our position preview segment takes us to the Florida linebackers- a unit that was very good in 2019, but will look a bit different in 2020. Let's get right into it. Previously previewing: quarterbacks | running backs | wide receivers | tight...

2020 Gator football position preview: defensive line

2020 Gator football position preview: defensive line

Having completed our offensive position previews, today we move to the defensive side of the ball. And as is the case everywhere in the SEC, it starts up front. Previously previewing: quarterbacks | running backs | wide receivers | tight ends | offensive line The...

2020 Gator football position preview: offensive line

2020 Gator football position preview: offensive line

Fresh off our preview of Florida's tight ends, our 2020 Gator football position preview rolls on with a look at perhaps the key to the entire team: the offensive line. Last year, was so-so a year ago in pass protection, but really let the team down in the ground game....

2020 Gator football position preview: tight ends

2020 Gator football position preview: tight ends

With kickoff just around the corner, our position by position previews of the 2020 Gator football team are about to start hitting the presses rapid-fire. Having already published our previews on Florida's quarterback, running back and wide receiver rooms, the first of...

2020 Gator football position preview: wide receivers

2020 Gator football position preview: wide receivers

Having previously broken down Florida's quarterbacks and running backs, our position preview segment moves along today with a look at Florida's receivers. It's a unit that lost four of its top playmakers from 2019 (Van Jefferson, Freddie Swain, Josh Hammond and Tyrie...

2020 Gator football position preview: running backs

2020 Gator football position preview: running backs

After a bit longer of a gap between position breakdowns than I intended, the series rolls on today with a look at Florida's running backs. What do the Gators have in stock in their RB room this year? The leader: Dameon Pierce The leading returning rusher from 2019 has...

Snapshot: the 2020 Florida-FSU chart

Snapshot: the 2020 Florida-FSU chart

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my distinct honor and privilege to present to you, the 2020 Florida-FSU chart. Many of you already know what I'm referring too. For those who don't, "The Chart" is an annual In All Kinds Of Weather tradition that compares the Florida Gators...

2020 Gator football position preview: quarterbacks

2020 Gator football position preview: quarterbacks

With kickoff at long last in sight, it's time to break down the 2020 Gator football roster, position by position. Who's back, who's going to start, how good are they, and so on. Man, it's great to finally be talking about that again. So with that said, let's start...

Gators learn four of ten kickoff times for 2020 season

Gators learn four of ten kickoff times for 2020 season

Three of Florida's first four games of the 2020 season carry the potential to be broilers. The Gators' season opener against Mississippi in Oxford on September 26th will kick off at noon, and air on ESPN. The following week, Florida will return home and again play in...

#GreatestGatorEver Sweet 16 bracket breakdown

#GreatestGatorEver Sweet 16 bracket breakdown

Having announced the tentative plans for the schedule of the remainder of the #GreatestGatorEver fan voting tournament (update; the tournament resumes tomorrow on twitter and Instagram stories), it's time to refresh our memories regarding the final sixteen contestants...

#GreatestGatorEver tournament schedule update

#GreatestGatorEver tournament schedule update

For those who have been keeping track of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament, the excitement level has reached yet another all time high, as it does with the completion of each round. For those who haven't, it's not too late to be introduced to the event. Here's (a very...

Gators’ 2020 football schedule unveiled

Gators’ 2020 football schedule unveiled

At long last, the Florida Gators 2020 football schedule has been released. Here it is, in full. Florida Gators 2020 football schedule Week Date Opponent 1 9/26 @ Mississippi 2 10/3 S CAROLINA 3 10/10 @ Texas A&M 4 10/17 LSU 5 10/24 MISSOURI 6 --- BYE 7 11/7...

Four key Gators sit out first fall practice

Four key Gators sit out first fall practice

For the time being, it looks as though the SEC is going to give its college football season a go in 2020. But at least for today's inaugural practice, the Florida Gators football team launched its fall season down four critical pieces. As first reported by Sports...

Florida Gators 2021 Recruiting Big Board update: mid-August

Florida Gators 2021 Recruiting Big Board update: mid-August

The Gators' recruiting recent endeavors can be summed up with a synopsis not unlike a bunch of little kids swinging away at a dangling piñata. After much time and effort hacking at it to no avail, one well-placed swing and the fruits of their labor suddenly began...

DT Desmond Watson commits to Florida

DT Desmond Watson commits to Florida

Florida had been suffering through a bit of a lull on the recruiting trail earlier this month, a period that was low lighted by Clinton Burton flipping his commitment from Florida to Boston College. But if the past couple of weeks didn't vault Florida out of that rut,...

Gators flip OL recruit Jake Slaughter from FSU

After a bit of a lull on the recruiting trail, Florida has suddenly picked it up over the course of the last week. Last Saturday, safety Donovan McMillon committed; less than 48 hours later, receiver Marcus Burke followed suit to rev the engine a little bit on a 2021...

Top Jacksonville WR Marcus Burke commits to Florida

Top Jacksonville WR Marcus Burke commits to Florida

The Gators' 2021 recruiting class got a boost Saturday with the addition of Donovan McMillon. Today, Dan Mullen & Co. built on that momentum with the addition of receiver Marcus Burke. https://twitter.com/CERTIFIED_MB4/status/1285296008747003904?s=20 Burke, a...

Safety Donovan McMillon commits to Florida

Safety Donovan McMillon commits to Florida

Clinton Burton out, Donovan McMillon in. McMillon, a borderline three/four star safety from McMurray, PA/Peters Township High School, has committed to the Gators. The move provides Florida fans with a bit of relief following the decommitment of fellow defensive back...

#GreatestGatorEver tournament set to heat up

#GreatestGatorEver tournament set to heat up

Welcome to the part of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament where things really start to get interesting. For those who are just catching wind of the tournament, a quick explanation of how it works. Created with the goal of deciding the greatest Florida Gator athlete of...

Gators announce six new positive COVID tests within football program

UF confirms 11 positive COVID-19 cases since April

The University of Florida has acknowledged that eleven different positive tests for COVID-19 have taken place since April. The news comes a week and a half after the announcement that no returning Gator football player had tested positive. From Florida senior...

2021 CB Jordan Young commits to Florida

2021 CB Jordan Young commits to Florida

It may be one of the slowest times for sports in recent memory, but the inverse has been the case in the world of Gator football recruiting. 2021 cornerback Jordan Young (Tampa, FL/Gaither) has committed to Florida. A consensus three star prospect with offers from...

Kamar Wilcoxson re-commits to Florida for a third time

Kamar Wilcoxson re-commits to Florida for a third time

Kamar Wilcoxson is back on the Gators' commitment list- and he says this time, it's for good. https://twitter.com/KamarWilcoxson4/status/1274100941369806850?s=20 I think at this point, most Gator fans are familiar with who he is, and if you're not, I'll explain why I...

Safety Dakota Mitchell commits to Florida

Safety Dakota Mitchell commits to Florida

It probably got lost in the news of yesterday’s news that the Florida band will stop cueing up the “Gator bait” chant due to the term’s racist history, but while Florida football lost a ritual, it gained a commit. Safety Dakota Mitchell (Winter Park, FL/Winter Park)...

Gator football gets the green light to proceed with practice

Gator football gets the green light to proceed with practice

One thing that COVID-19 has proven is that it possesses an uncanny ability to screw up all different types of plans, and there's no concrete evidence that it's finished doing so. That's something that has to be kept in mind for the duration of this article, as well as...

Gator baseball pitcher Tommy Mace to return in 2021

Gator baseball pitcher Tommy Mace to return in 2021

Tommy Mace has just pulled perhaps the biggest offseason surprise in the world of Florida Gator athletics. Mace, the ace of the Gator baseball pitching staff, has decided to return to Gainesville for another season after going undrafted in the MLB Draft. Per...

Former Florida WR Reche Caldwell murdered outside his house

Former Florida WR Reche Caldwell murdered outside his house

Photo credit: Sports Illustrated Ex-Florida wide receiver Reche Caldwell has died from injuries sustained in a shooting right outside his home in Tampa, according to multiple different reports. The story was first broken by TMZ, and confirmed by ESPN's Adam Schefter....

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 15 Regional

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 15 Regional

The sixteenth and final Regional of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament gets underway later tonight. Thus, our Regional previews conclude with a look at the 15 Regional: The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1)...

Lorenzo Lingard granted immediate eligibility for Florida

Lorenzo Lingard granted immediate eligibility for Florida

Happy birthday, Lorenzo Lingard. Florida's newest running back addition has announced on twitter that his waiver to be able to play in 2020 has been granted: https://twitter.com/d1champ99/status/1266464118950723584?s=20 Florida's running back room wasn't bad to begin...

#GreatestGatorEver tournament set to heat up

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 2

The penultimate Regional of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament is just about set to get underway. As is customary by now, let's acquaint ourselves with the sixteen player field a little more first. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 10 Regional

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 10 Regional

Round one of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament is drawing to a close. Today, we take a look at the third-to-last of the sixteen Regional brackets to be played: the 10 Regional. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.)...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 7 Regional

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: 7 Regional

We are officially three quarters of the way through of the first round of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament. Tomorrow morning, we begin the first round of the fourth quarter of the bracket- the 7 Regional. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order...

Class of 2021 RB/WR Charles Montgomery commits to Florida

Class of 2021 RB/WR Charles Montgomery commits to Florida

Charles Montgomery will be suiting up in orange and blue on Saturdays. On an instagram live feed, Montgomery announced that he was choosing Florida over Maryland. A consensus four star prospect out of Seffner, FL/Armwood, Montgomery also had offers from Alabama,...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 14

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 14

Time to complete the upper right hand corner of the #GreatestGatorEver bracket with the 14 Regional. Y'all know the drill by now; let's get to it. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Kelly Barnhill (softball,...

Florida unveils plan to bring athletes back to campus

Florida unveils plan to bring athletes back to campus

Photo credit: University of Florida COVID-19 has pretty much shut down college athletics since it made its way over to the United States a couple of months ago. Now, the first steps are being taken to see their resumption. Earlier today, SEC school presidents have...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 3

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 3

Up next in our #GreatestGatorEver tournament is the 3 Regional. Before voting gets underway, let's take a closer look at the field. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Al Horford (basketball, C/F-...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 11

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 11

Eight Regionals down, one underway, and seven more to go in Round One of our #GreatestGatorEver tournament. Next up is the 11 Regional. The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Jack Youngblood (football, DE/DT/K-...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 6

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 6

We're halfway through the opening round of our summer long #GreatestGatorEver tournament. Now, we shift to the right side of the bracket, and start at the top with the 6 Regional, which gets underway tomorrow morning. The bracket Regional participants (Players are...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 12

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 12

The eighth and final Regional on the left half of the 256 player #GreatestGatorEver tournament is set to get started tonight. Another way of putting that: after tonight's 12 Regional voting, we will officially be halfway done with the opening round of this summer long...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 5

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 5

Our #GreatestGatorEver tournament rolls on today with Round one of the 5 Regional. As was the case for the previous Regionals and will be for all ensuing Regionals, let's take this opportunity to refresh our memories regarding what, exactly, the sixteen players in...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 13

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 13

With the 4 Regional of the #GreatestGatorEver tournament currently winding down, it's time to preview the Regional it's paired with in the Sweet 16: Regional #13. The 13 Regional bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.)...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 4

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 4

Our #GreatestGatorEver bracket is set to continue tomorrow with the opening round of the 4 Regional. Let's get to know that 4 Regional: The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they appear on the bracket.) (1) Emmitt Smith (football, RB-...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 9

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 9

Our #GreatestGatorEver bracket is set to continue later today with the opening round of the 9 Regional. With voting in the 8 Regional closing soon, let's familiarize ourselves with said 9 Regional: The bracket Regional participants (Players are listed in order they...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 8

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 8

Our #GreatestGatorEver tournament is off and running. Voting for the opening round of the 1 Regional has been completed; the 16 Regional is underway and will wrap up this afternoon. Shortly after its conclusion, the 8 Regional will get underway. So, let's get to know...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 16

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 16

Yesterday, voting began in our #GreatestGatorEver bracket in the 1 Regional. Today, voting will continue with the 16 Regional, but before the polls open, let's preview the field and refresh our memories on the players' accomplishments. The bracket Regional...

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 1

#GreatestGatorEver bracket breakdown: Regional 1

Voting for the #GreatestGatorEver bracket begins this afternoon. In the name of eliminating potential recentism in the voting, I thought I'd set the stage by previewing each Regional before the voting gets underway. Today, we'll take a look at Regional 1, which of...

2021 guard Kowacie Reeves commits to Florida

2021 guard Kowacie Reeves commits to Florida

Mike White's 2021 recruiting class is off to a great start. Kowacie Reeves (Macon, GA) has committed to Florida. Reeves, a highly sought after four star, also earned offers from North Carolina, Texas, Auburn, Georgia and Seton Hall, among others. This commitment might...

Introducing the Greatest Gator Ever bracket

Introducing the Greatest Gator Ever bracket

Part of what has helped fans make it through a long, frustrating quarantine is the abundance of fan polls on social media. In particular, 64-team, March Madness themed brackets that allow fans to vote on the winner of each matchup in each round have captured a lot of...

Michigan F Colin Castleton transferring to Florida

Michigan F Colin Castleton transferring to Florida

Colin Castleton is coming home, and Florida is adding some more frontcourt depth for the future- potentially even next season. Castleton, who spent the last two seasons at Michigan, will be transferring closer to home and joining Mike White's Gator basketball squad....

Recapping the Gators’ weekend in the 2020 NFL Draft

Recapping the Gators’ weekend in the 2020 NFL Draft

The 2020 NFL Draft has just concluded, and once again, the Florida Gators were very well represented. Below is a list of all the selections from Florida. Click on the player names for further analysis on what they bring to their new teams. Florida Gators in the 2020...

Tebow, Spikes, James inducted into UF Hall of Fame

Tebow, Spikes, James inducted into UF Hall of Fame

Three members of the Florida Gators' 2008 football team- universally regarded as one of the best in college football history- are finally getting the ultimate recognition they deserve- spots in the UF Hall of Fame. Explosive kick/return man Brandon James posted a...

Scottie Lewis to return for sophomore year

Scottie Lewis to return for sophomore year

Florida’s basketball team got a sort-of-but-not-really-surprising boost today, as shooting guard Scottie Lewis announced that he will be coming back for his sophomore season. Lewis, a ridiculously athletic kid from southern New Jersey, arrived in Gainesville last fall...

The “Kyle Trask Emory Jones” debate: why not both?

The “Kyle Trask Emory Jones” debate: why not both?

The "Kyle Trask Emory Jones" debate is in full swing. Yes, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that has, among other things, lengthened college sports fans' offseason, the fanbase-wide argument regarding who should be the starter at the most important position of...

Coronavirus abruptly ends 2019-20 NCAA athletic season

Coronavirus abruptly ends 2019-20 NCAA athletic season

Photo credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images UPDATE 5:10pm: although it feels wholly logical to assume that college baseball and softball are over for 2020, the language in the two released statements- from the SEC and NCAA, and which you can read below- left one pair of...

TE Nick Elksnis commits to Florida

TE Nick Elksnis commits to Florida

Tight end Nick Elksnis (Jacksonville, FL/Episcopal) has announced his decision to be a Gator, thus netting Florida its first commitment of its Junior Day weekend. In doing so, Elksnis effectively flips from Penn State, from which he decommitted last week....

2020 Florida Gators’ Junior Day visitors list

2020 Florida Gators’ Junior Day visitors list

The Gators' second Junior Day event in Gainesville is upon us, and it's important to keep an eye on because more often than not, Florida uses it to add members to its list of commits. This time around, the chances of the Gators doing so are increased appreciably-...

For Gator basketball, time is running out to figure things out

For Gator basketball, time is running out to figure things out

For much of Saturday's game against Tennessee, Florida couldn’t score. When they finally remembered how to score, they couldn’t come up with the critical stops. In other words, it was a typical basketball game for Mike White’s Gators on the heels of an impressive win....

Four star TE Gage Wilcox commits to Florida

Four star TE Gage Wilcox commits to Florida

Congratulations to Gage Wilcox. You, sir, have just become the first commit for Tim Brewster. Wilcox, a four star tight end from Tampa's Jefferson High School in the Class of 2021, committed on an Instagram Live video, as captured by twitter user @CurtisK421....

Florida takes step forward by throttling LSU

Florida takes step forward by throttling LSU

Photo credit: Florida Gators Maybe this is another mirage, the latest peak in a dizzying array of sine waves for Mike White’s Gator basketball team. Or maybe, after we all erroneously thought this team had turned the corner several times before, this is the game that...