Muschamp praises Polk players

Florida football coach Will Muschamp speaks to fans in Lakeland on Tuesday. (Calvin Knight/The Lakeland Ledger)

Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 12:16 a.m.

LAKELAND — Florida football coach Will Muschamp put Lakeland Dreadnaughts head coach Bill Castle on notice during his speech to more than 450 Gator fans on Tuesday night at the Lake Mirror Center.

He wants more.

“I need more Pounceys and Raineys running around,” Muschamp said.

He was referring to former Florida and Lakeland star players Mike and Maurkice Pouncey and Chris Rainey.

The former Gators helped lead their team to the 2008 BCS national championship.

One of the reasons Muschamp wants more players like the Pounceys and Rainey is because their talent was enough to get to the NFL.

That's something 14 players off of last year's Gators squad did last month, either in the NFL Draft or through free agency after the draft.

While Muschamp might not have any current Dreadnaughts on the team, he does have two Polk County players in the fold.

Wide receiver Ryan Parrish from Lakeland Christian is a redshirt junior. Incoming freshman Adam Lane from Winter Haven had at least one person asking about him at the nearly half-hour question-and-answer period.

“It's up to him,” Muschamp said. “He'll have every opportunity in the world. Everyone asks the same question: ‘When will I play.' I tell them if they're the best at the position, they'll start. If you're one of the best, you'll play.”

One of the big questions of the night was concerning the potential nine-game SEC schedule that is being considered.

“To be honest, I'm sick and tired of talking about it,” Muschamp said. “There's 14 teams and there's 14 different opinions on what's good for them and their football program.

“I'm not totally for nine games. I understand both arguments on either end of that. At the end of the day, I'm in a great place at the University of Florida and we'll welcome any opportunity, whether it's nine games or whatever they want.”

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