Florida Football: Twitter Reaction and Analysis from SEC Media Days
Will Muschamp officially kicked off his second season as the Florida Gators head coach this morning in Hoover, Alabama, at SEC Media Days.
Much like in Muschamp's first season, the Gators' offseason was full of turnover. The Gators will have a new offensive coordinator for the third straight season and bring in a new strength and conditioning coach in Jeff Dillman.
The Gators have also seen attrition on their football roster. Muschamp announced today that A.C. Leonard, a player who was suspended over the spring after an arrest, would be transferring. Leonard is the 13th player to transfer since Muschamp has taken over as head coach.
Can coach Muschamp turn the Gators around and improve upon a disappointing 2011 season? He discussed just that today and brought along three players to run the Media Days gauntlet with him.
Jon Bostic, MLB
Photo Credit: Gatorzone.com
Jonathan Bostic is one of the senior leaders on the defense and made his first trip to SEC Media Days.
Bostic was not shy when telling the media how good he thinks the Florida defense will be this season. (Via Barrett Sallee)
Bostic: "We can be as good as we want to be. We want to be one of the top defenses in the country. We want to lead in every category."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 18, 2012
Like McCray, Bostic was dissapointed about the 2011 season but is confident the Gators will turn it around. (Via Barrett Sallee)
Bostic: "We didnt' play the way we should have last year, but we've been getting after it this year and hope to turn things around."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 18, 2012
Bostic and McCray both think the Gators will have a bounce back year in 2012 and they will both be key components in a Gator turnaround.
Bostic chimed in on the transfer of tight end A.C. Leonard today. (Via Bryan Holt)
#Gators LB Jon Bostic on A.C. Leonard transfer: "I wish he wouldn't have left. ... Somebody is getting a good player."— Bryan Holt (@Bryan_Holt) July 18, 2012
While A.C. Leonard is a loss for the Gators they did sign two very good recruits in Kent Taylor and Colin Thompson in 2012. That along with Clay Burton making the switch from defense to tight end should soften the blow of the transfer.
Mike Gillislee, RB
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Mike Gillislee made the biggest splash at Media day today. Gillislee got a nod from his head coach when Muschamp admitted that the running back should have player a bigger role last season.
Gillislee is confident going into his senior year and he made sure to let everyone know just how good he believes he can be this year. (Via Barrett Sallee)
Gillislee: "My goal is to take my team, put them on my back, get 1500 yards and 24 touchdowns…and win."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 18, 2012
Gillislee expressed confidence in both sophomore quarterbacks, but didn't slip up and say if he though either was leading the race. (Via Barrett Sallee)
Gillislee on QBs: "Both of them did a great job as leaders this spring."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 18, 2012
If Gillislee can come anywhere close to the expectations he has set for himself the Gators will be much better in 2012.
With thunderstorms and even a tornado warning hitting Hoover, Alabama, Mike Gillislee made it clear how he felt about getting on a plane back to Gainesville. (Via Mike Gillislee)
No way I'm getting on this plane while it's storming— mike gillislee (@mikesco23) July 18, 2012
Gillislee also seemed relieved that the Media circus was over. (Via Mike Gillislee)
Dam!!!!neva talked or got questioned so much in my life what a relief— mike gillislee (@mikesco23) July 18, 2012
Let's hope the Gators plane gets through the storm and everyone arrives safely back in Gainesville.
Will Muschamp Talks at the Podium
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Other than announcing the transfer of A.C. Leonard, Muschamp didn't break any real news on Media Days.
He did, however, have some notable quotes about Brent Pease, Mike Gillislee and the ever-popular quarterback battle.
Let's take a look at some of the more memorable quotes and tweets from the day.
Muschamp addressed the status of injured BUCK linebacker Ronald Powell.
Powell tore his ACL during Florida's spring game, but the coaching staff is confident that Powell will return at some point this season (via Rachel George).
Will Muschamp says Ronald Powell is cleared to lift weights, run straight ahead. Ahead of schedule after ACL surgery. #Gators— Rachel George (@OS_RachelGeorge) July 18, 2012
When asked about senior running back Mike Gillislee, Muschamp had some thoughts on the amount of playing time he received last season (via Rachel George).
Gillislee had somewhat of a cult following last season, and the Twitter hashtag "#FreeGilly" was often trending during games last season.
Gators fans were initially excited a season ago when Charlie Weis was named the offensive coordinator. Gators fans quickly turned on the coach when his offense was revealed to be vanilla and ineffective.
Muschamp brought in a coordinator this season, former Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease (via Rachel George).
Finally, Muschamp addressed the quarterback battle that every Gators fan has been watching closely since the beginning of spring practice (via Rachel George).
QBs will get equal reps before fall camp but Will Muschamp would like to name starter before season, prepared to play both. #Gators— Rachel George (@OS_RachelGeorge) July 18, 2012
As he has shown to do, Muschamp tries to keep things about the program as in-house as he can. There wasn't any breaking news, other than Leonard's transfer.
Speaking on ESPNU regarding SEC Media Days, Will Muschamp said he is not concerned that most national pundits are writing the Gators off this season saying "Since 1996 the media has only gotten it right twice on who is going to win the SEC."
Lerentee McCray, DE/LB
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
With Ronald Powell going down due to injury, senior linebacker Lerentee McCray will be asked to fill in for him at the BUCK linebacker position.
McCray spent most of 2011 at SAM linebacker before missing the end of the season after a shoulder injury.
McCray said he doesn't prefer either position (via Barrett Sallee).
McCray: "I never had a preference between the BUCK or SAM position."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 18, 2012
McCray expressed his disappointment in last season but said that the Gators will use 2011 and get better from it (via Barrett Sallee).
McCray: "We are definitely building on it [last season]. 7-6 is our motivation."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 18, 2012
He also has an opinion on who the most underrated player on the defense is (via Barrett Sallee).
McCray: "Josh Evans is the most underrated player on the defense."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 18, 2012
Evans is a senior safety who is slated to start alongside Matt Elam this year.