UF FOOTBALL

Muschamp discusses his excitement for tailback Adam Lane


University of Florida head football coach Will Muschamp speaks at a Polk County Gator Club Gathering at the Lake Mirror Center in Lakeland on Wednesday. (Ernst Peters/The Ledger)

Published: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 11:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 11:04 p.m.

LAKELAND — Will Muschamp is excited about Adam Lane.

Speaking at the Gator Gathering on Wednesday at the Lake Mirror Center, the Florida football coach spoke about the former Winter Haven standout and current UF tailback, as well as on other subjects.

"Adam's a guy that I thought really progressed well during spring, fits very well in what we're doing, but a guy that works extremely hard," Muschamp said of the tailback. "I thought he had a good offseason, but really worked his way in shape to where he's got the endurance to be able to handle and carry the ball … physically he's an imposing player. I'm excited about him, I really am."

After redshirting as a freshman last season, Lane will be jockeying for carries next season with a number of other tailbacks.

That's a problem Muschamp likes, saying the greatest motivation they have is competition.

"He's got top-end speed, he can really help us and that's what I told all the running backs at the end of spring," he said. " 'There's only one ball, so y'all need to figure it out.' "

With the Lake Mirror Center floor looking like a sea of blue and orange, the fourth-year head coach took questions from Gators fans and gave an update on the team as it is coming out of spring practice.

Muschamp responded with optimism and a bit of humor to the inevitable question about last season's 4-8 record.

"I don't think we're as far off as maybe 4-8 may look," he said. "It certainly was a miserable year. I know it was for you — it was for me. I get your emails, I understand your frustrations."

Muschamp talked about the team's offense, which averaged an SEC-worst 18.8 points per game last season, and talked about having quarterback Jeff Driskel back and healthy.

Most people wanted to know how new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper's uptempo offense would be run.

Muschamp talked about how he came to hire Roper away from Duke in December. He called his old friend, former Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning, and asked what Archie Manning's son, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, thought about Roper from his time at Ole Miss.

Brady Fredericksen can be reached at brady.fredericksen@theledger.com or 863-802-7569. Follow him on Twitter @Brady_Fred.

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