Meyer following UF softball’s run closely


Published: Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 12:30 a.m.

DAYTONA BEACH — There is a lot Urban Meyer likes about being Florida’s football coach. One of those is being a Gator fan.

Meyer said he has been following the UF softball team’s trip to the Women’s College World Series very closely.

“Oh man, I love that softball team,” Meyer said before speaking to a Gator Club at the Daytona Beach Hilton Oceanfront on Saturday afternoon. “I talk to the coach (Tim Walton) all the time. I text him all the time. I know (All-American pitcher) Stacey Nelson, and (outfielder Francesca Enea)... I talked to her in the weight room the other day.

“I love them.”

He added there’s a certain Heisman Trophy winner who also has become a big softball fan.

“Tebow loves ’em,” Meyer said. “I just talked to Tim last night, and he can’t wait to watch them. He loves them because he’s an energy player, and he loves teams that play with that high energy.

“I watched our baseball team (Friday) night, and I see the same thing in our baseball program. There are a lot of great teams right now at Florida.”

EXTRA POINTS: Meyer said one player is expected to transfer this summer to a school where he can get more of an opportunity to play. Meyer declined to name the player or whether he plays offense or defense. He added two recruits also are still working to try to get academically qualified. Meyer said that possibility “looks very promising.” The Gators graduated all 13 seniors off last season’s BCS championship team and Meyer said 43-percent of the team carries better than a 3.0 grade point average. ... Meyer said his family is planning a vacation for later this summer. He didn’t want to elaborate, but did say it wouldn’t be anything as exotic as men’s basketball coach Billy Donovan’s plans to swim with sharks in South Africa. ... Meyer added one thing he has learned in recent years is to watch what he says. In the past, he said he would answer a question from the media with frank honesty. Now, Meyer said he understands the media has a job to do and that is to gather information, some of which will draw more attention than others. But he added certain situations like a few months back when he responded to a radio station’s questions about former Gator quarterback Shane Matthews’ sometimes critical statements about the team that it would have been best for the program had he held back. “I should know better,” Meyer said. Later, when asked about Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin’s often-replayed comments about Meyer and the Gators, Meyer smiled, looked out the window and said “it sure is sunny today, isn’t it?”

Contact John Patton at 352-374-5074 or pattonj@gvillesun.com.

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