Notebook: Spurrier endorses Muschamp


Florida coach Will Muschamp and former Florida coach and player Steve Spurrier share a laugh at the F Club at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on the UF campus in May. Spurrier was in Gainesville to receive the "Great Floridian" award from Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 3:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 3:43 p.m.

Steve Spurrier, the legendary former Florida coach, had some good things to say about the current Florida coach Wednesday when he was asked about his relationship with Will Muschamp.

“We've got a good relationship,” Spurrier said. “I've admired the way he coaches his team and the way he runs the show down there. I made mention that I think last year he was SEC coach of the year. After they beat FSU, they were third in the country in that BCS (standings) and if Notre Dame had lost to Southern Cal, Florida would have been in the national championship game.

“Obviously, this year they've had a rash of injuries all over the team that's really hurt them. They've still got plenty of ball players and they're a very hard-nosed, physical-type of team.”

Spurrier said UF's injury situation is pretty much unprecedented.

“I don't think I've ever seen anyone have as many as they've had,” he said.

Davis stepping up

Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said true freshman linebacker Jarrad Davis, who will make his first start Saturday in Columbia, is a rising star on the Florida defense.

“Watching the games, you all probably see it too, Jarrad shows up a bunch, whether it's on special teams or even the limited snaps he's had on defense,” Durkin said. “He's about all the right things. He practices and works really hard, prepares himself well. He's going to get more opportunities and we're going to keep playing him more and more as we go.”

Davis was rated a three-star recruit coming out of high school and had committed to Auburn before switching and signing with the Gators on signing day.

“We thought he was a really good player bringing him in. The more you're around, the more you see him, we're pleasantly surprised,” Durkin said. “He is a guy who is very mature. We've talked about Vernon (Hargreaves) a bunch as a freshman who handles things well and doesn't act like a freshman.

“I think Jarrad goes into that same category. He just handles himself in a way that if you didn't know, you wouldn't think he's a freshman.

“That's in the meeting rooms, off the field, on the field. He prepares really hard, practices well. He's a very talented player, too. We're very pleased with where he's at obviously. He's going to continue to play more and more. I think that's a guy that is someone we build around here.”

Game-day decision

Even though the coaching staff was hoping injured quarterback Tyler Murphy could throw some in practice Wednesday, he's still day-to-day and is expected to be a game-time decision Saturday in Columbia, S.C.

Murphy, who sprained his throwing shoulder in the Oct. 12 LSU game, was in a similar situation heading into the Missouri game the following week. Although he did not practice until Thursday that week, he ended up starting the game.

Muschamp was asked Wednesday if Murphy has torn something in his shoulder.

“No. He's got some soreness in there in his shoulder and he's had some swelling on it, so there is some discomfort as far as his movement is concerned,” Muschamp said on the SEC coaches' teleconference. “He's been able to work that out, but as far as it gets back into a pain limit.

“That was kind of the situation in Missouri. We didn't think he would play. We got out there and I guess he got his adrenaline flowing there in the morning and felt pretty good and felt like he could go out there and give it a shot, and he did. We'll see. Skyler (Mornhinweg) has been taking all the snaps this week, and we feel comfortable with him.”

Murphy said his shoulder was sore after Saturday's loss to Vanderbilt, a game in which he threw a season-high 46 passes and took numerous shots from a strong pass rush.

Murphy said Monday he hoped to return to practice Wednesday.

The plan, Muschamp said, was to see if Murphy could throw some in practice Wednesday.

“We'll see if he can throw today a little bit,” he said.

Offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) is definitely out of Saturday's game against South Carolina and that starting cornerback Marcus Roberson (ankle) is day-to-day, Muschamp said.

“(Roberson) did not do anything Monday or Tuesday,” Muschamp said.

Muschamp also said starting middle linebacker Antonio Morrison and backup outside linebacker Jeremi Powell were both undergoing knee surgery Wednesday.

Muschamp said Morrison's surgery went well Wednesday morning and there's a chance he'll be back for the start of spring practice.

“He ought to be about two-and-a-half to three months,” Muschamp said of Morrison's recovery. “We ought to get him back for spring. That's good to hear.”

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