Thanks to a few players who were late for classes earlier this week, the Florida Gators had to run multiple gassers after Tuesday’s practice. Running right beside them was their head coach, Dan Mullen.
“I’m part of the team, so I should run the gassers too,” Mullen said Wednesday. “And make sure I’m not just standing there telling them to do it. If we make mistakes, we’re all going to pay the price. Whether it’s discipline issues, academic issues, football issues, training issues, we all pay the price, and so I’m going to pay the price just like them.
“We’ve been doing that since I’ve gotten here. At the end of workouts, we call them up, finish up, break it down, we’re all done, and this is what we’ve got to do because these guys made some mistakes. But I try to do that so they know I’m in with them, and this is going cost all of us.”
Having all suffer for the mistakes of a few is all about the players understanding accountability, Mullen said.
If one player messes up, everyone is going to pay the price.
“But also those leadership things of who is going to step up and who is going to make sure that they’re accountable for their actions in the course of a game,” Mullen said. “And, hey, if some guy is struggling, somebody else better push him and you better work together as a team. I think that was the biggest thing to me.”
No word on transfer WRs
UF hasn’t heard anything back yet from the NCAA concerning the eligibility of transfer wide receivers Van Jefferson (Ole Miss) and Trevon Grimes (Ohio State). The two are hoping to be ruled eligible for the 2018 season.
“File everything with the NCAA and let them go through their steps and their process and just cooperate with them in whatever they need to make that decision,” Mullen said.
Mullen said UF has been given no timeline on a decision.
“In any of those things that I’ve dealt with in the past with the NCAA I never try to guess,” Mullen said. “I never try to put a timeline on it. Some days you’ll get an answer back within a day or two and some days it’s extended a long time. I’ve seen every different scenario so I just don’t even try to guess.”
Open door to past players
Several former players have turned up at practice or around the football facility, including Percy Harvin, Ahmad Black and Shane Matthews. Mullen is encouraging others to do the same.
“I like having those guys around and coming back and talking to the team and share what they’re feeling,” Mullen said. “They have a right to come back and talk about what the standard is to the players in the future. We’ve just gotten the word to a lot of former players. It’s good to have them around. The more we get them around, I think the better for the program as a whole.”
Mullen said former linebacker Brandon Siler, a standout on the 2006 national championship team, recently talked to the team.
He’s encouraging more to come back
“I know a lot of them,” Mullen said. “I’ll get texts. I talked to Carlos Dunlap. I talked to Major Wright. I talked to Louis Murphy. A lot of the different guys who were here when I was here. Hey, whenever you’re in town, make sure you stop by to come see us. Come to the office. It’s open door. You guys are welcome here. You’ve earned that right. Whatever we can do to help you, let us know.”
It’s still Florida
Mullen did not hesitate to answer when he was asked about the level of talent he’s inherited.
“It’s good,” he said. “We’re still Florida. We still played in two of the last three SEC Championship Games. We have talent here. It’s not like we have no talent on the roster. These guys all came here to play.
“We’ve got to see how it pans out. There are guys here I feel with a lot of potential. They have the potential to become really good players. We’ve got to develop them and they’ve got to buy in and they’ve got to continue to grow. But we have that.”