Notebook: Former Auburn High star fits Florida profile, Mullen says

Florida linebacker Mohamoud Diabate (11) celebrates with teammates Saturday against Towson at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Matt Pendleton/Correspondent]

True freshman linebacker Mohamoud Diabate may be from Auburn, but he fits what UF coach Dan Mullen calls the Florida profile.

That’s why the former Auburn High star is here now instead of with his hometown university.

“What we look for here is guys that want to be the absolute best, the best,” Mullen said. “When you look at Mohamoud, tremendous athlete, has great position flexibility, can play inside linebacker or outside linebacker with great athleticism.

“Also a high-end student and high-end young man, which really fits the Florida profile. We’re the only school that’s a top 10 academic school and top 10 in the current rankings in football. He really fits that profile of student-athlete that we look for here at Florida.”

Diabate has played in all five games this season, with his playing time increasing each week. He’s expected to see significant reps Saturday against the school he grew up near.

“He works his tail off,” Mullen said. “He has a great attitude, great work ethic, comes from a great family. He’s had opportunities and he’s taken advantage of those opportunities to find a role. He’s played some significant time for us.”

QB whisperer II

When a Florida quarterback shows improvement or does something positive, Mullen usually gets most of the credit. Because he has the reputation of being a quarterback whisperer.

So, where does that leave quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, who coaches the QBs?

“He probably doesn’t get enough credit,” Mullen said. “People give me a lot of credit. He does an awful lot in developing of the quarterbacks. He probably doesn’t get enough credit for his work. I guess he’s a quarterback whisperer, too, because he is the quarterbacks coach and our guys have played at an extremely high level.

“Obviously, he’s a great offensive coach, a great play caller, a great game planner and a great technician in coaching the quarterbacks.”

Confident QB

Speaking of quarterbacks, the Gators apparently have a confident one in Kyle Trask.

“I always felt like he had confidence,” senior wide receiver Freddie Swain said. “He always carried himself like a starter, even though he wasn’t starting. He was just waiting on his opportunity and the opportunity came and as you can see he handled the job pretty good and he’s getting the wins for us.

“He’s doing absolutely a great job. I feel these last two games he really felt comfortable on the field, and I can’t wait to see what else he’s got for the season.”

Promotion for Gouraige

Redshirt freshman Richard Gouraige is listed as the backup to Stone Forsythe at left tackle on the pregame depth chart, but there’s a chance he could start Saturday’s game at left guard, where he’s seen playing time in the last three games. It would be his first career start.

If Gouraige does start, Brent Heggie would make the move from starting left guard to right guard, where Chris Bleich has been the starter. Bleich has struggled in recent games.

“Richard has done a really good job for us,” Mullen said. “I want to be able to roll guys through. We’d like to be able to maybe get some other guys in a little bit earlier too and maybe get a couple different combinations in there.

“Richard has really shown improvement, continues to grow and we’ve got to continue to build that depth on the offensive line.”

Strong finishers

If the Gators are anywhere near the lead at halftime Saturday against Auburn, they should be OK. Because UF has clearly been a second-half team this season, outscoring opponents 105-17. And the Gators have been dominant in the fourth quarter, beating the opposition 57-7.

The only points UF has given up in the fourth quarter came on a 50-yard TD run by Miami’s DeeJay Dallas in the season opener. Since then, it’s been a goose egg for opposing offenses.


  1. ” We’re the only school that’s a top 10 academic school and top 10 in the current rankings in football.”
    Wow, I didnt know that. So none of the other top ten teams are in the top 10, academically. Says alot about UF but also says even more about the other top 10 teams currently. They are all big universities and NONE of them are that high academically? you could have knocked me over with a feather! Thats really sad, especially for their recruits!
    I think we have been so strong in the 2nd half because our DC is really good at making adjustments at halftime to better use his available talent. Too bad he isnt better able to see what he needs to, from game tape. I guess he’s more like a cook; he tries out different things he thinks will work and by half time he has it figured out!

    • Michigan is #3 academically, but no longer in the top 10 in football. Interesting that 5 of the top 10 and 6 of the top 11 academic schools are in California, yet that state can’t seem to get its act together.

      • You must be referring only to football. California’s state GDP is almost three times that of Florida. Were the Golden State a sovereign nation, it would have the 5th largest economy in the world, sandwiched between Germany and the UK; Florida would come in at 19th, sandwiched between Mexico and Indonesia.

        Us fruits and nuts must be doing something right…

        • Impressive, considering California is only about 2 times as populous as Florida. I wonder if Florida’s high percentage of retirees skews the numbers. Anyway, I was referring primarily to its penchant for liberal thinking and governance, but that’s really another discussion that would run the risk of violating decorum for this site. No personal insult was intended, Al, but I see how it could be seen that way. My apologies, Gator.

          • Thank you 6.

            For what it’s worth, I may live in California, but I definitely do not partake of hummus as game day tail gating chow, like the USC dude in the Coke commercial. 😉