Gators’ Lemons lights up interview room

Florida running back Adarius Lemons. [Lauren Bacho/Staff photographer]

Florida sophomore running back Adarius Lemons made a rare move Wednesday, one that certainly both surprised and pleased members of the media.

Surrounded by tape recorders, microphones and cameras, Lemons opened player interviews by giving an opening statement. The last player to do anything like that was quarterback Tim Tebow after the loss to Ole Miss in 2008.

Lemons talked about what’s going on at the running back position and how coach Dan Mullen is approaching things in his first season.

“I want to start by letting all you guys know the running back room is one of the biggest competitions in the building),” he said. “Every day Coach Mullen talks about going out with relentless effort, playing hard, playing physical and playing fast.

“Most of the things that we go over in the walk throughs, he wanted it to carry over in practice. He wants us to be perfect with those things. We have guys messing up and we have guys doing the right thing. He just wants us to stay on the ball with things moving forward.”

Lemons said Mullen knows it takes time to turn around a program in the first year, but “he is doing his best.”

Lemons said the running backs are putting in the work.

 “The competition is really hard and we go out there every day and we compete every day,” he said. “We are working to get better and we try as a whole group to better ourselves and help each other.

“Make sure we’ve got our blitz pick-ups. One thing Mullen is really sound on is the blitz pick-ups and seeing to the protection.

“In order to be a running back you’ve got to protect the ball and you’ve got to protect the quarterback. Those are some of things Coach Mullen has done in order to be a running back in the running back room.”

Lemons and the LBs

Lemons confirmed his Tweet earlier this week that he hates linebackers. He said his hate only started recently.

Lemons’ Tweet was his response to some big hits he’s taken from the linebackers, James Houston and Ventrell Miller, in particular.

Fellow running back Jordan Scarlett said Lemons has good naturedly provoked the physical approach by the LBs.

“Yeah, because he likes to talk a little smack, keep it interesting, keep it juiced up,” Scarlett said. “So they always are after him. He runs hard, even in practice. Coaches are like, ‘Stay up,’ and he’s trying to run over a DB. He’s like, ‘I’m working on my stuff.’ So they’re like, ‘All right, we are going to hit you then because you want to play so hard.’

“So they take him down every time he runs the ball. I’m like, ‘You’re going to get tired of that, man.’ But he hasn’t gotten tired yet.”


  1. Glad to hear Lemons talking about the importance of being great at blocking and picking up blitzes. That’s how he can work himself into the rotation because he’s an amazing runner but you’ve got to prove you can be on top of your blocking assignments to get much playing time. I love to watch that kid run with the football, but he’s only had limited opportunities in games to date. So many good backs on the team.

  2. I like this kid. As I’ve said before, he is fearless from what little I’ve seen on him. He hates LBs but he has the mentality like one. I remember him returning kicks and running straight at incoming defender(s) both at full speed. Sometimes he knocks the other guy back, sometimes he gets knocked back. I can feel the bone jarring hits. He’s not a big back either. With that said, I like to see him be a little smarter at the point of impact before he gets injured or gets a concussion.

  3. Nice little article. Love hearing about the competition, the attention to detail, the banter with the lb’s, etc. The new staff seems to be rubbing off on the players. I really believe that we can have a nine win regular season and a chance to make it ten with the bowl game. We’ll find out soon enough. Stay healthy and out of trouble boys! Go Gators!

    • Definitely rooting for him…and he is a STUD and was set to have a monster year for Clearwater his senior year before those issues. Clearwater has had some of their best years ever of late and he would have vaulted them further. He runs hard and has speed.

  4. People forget this kid was ranked the best running back in Florida during his senior year (top 5 overall I think) and then something happened and he dropped to a three star recruit. Had nothing to do with his talent, I think he just got into trouble or had academic issues or something. Anyways, I’ve been waiting for him to break out, I like his size and running style. It’s always nice to when they are a good interview too.

    • DallasGator. Lemons did not play his senior year in high school. He was a highly-rated, four-star RB at Clearwater High School during his junior season. He had problems at Clearwater and was removed from that school and sent to a secondary school, where he corrected whatever his issues were at Clearwater (probably both academic and behavioral issues). He dropped to a three-star as a result of not playing his senior season.

    • I am not sure of policy now. But your right, Jackah, the policy was once ”freshman (only) CANNOT speak to the media.” I’m not sure of their present policy, but it seems that one would still be in place. As some 17-18 yr. old football players may NOT be the best speaking representatives for Gator Football.

  5. Once again you can see the new attitude with these young men and how the new coaching staff is rubbing off. They are saying the right things and seem to have the right attitude. This to me, is evidence of the beginnings of a culture change. Very refreshing!

  6. A little swagger is what we need. Confident not too much. A little trash talk is good if you can back it up. If these guys hit the ground running and do well we are in for an electric season. Looks like the competition is a healthy one and the players are all in. 🐊🐊🐊🐊🐊🐊🐊🐊🐊🐊🐊🐊🐊🐊 < 14 days