The Mullen effect


It was bound to happen sooner or later, but the timing is just strange. Losing Dan Mullen was something Urban Meyer had to expect after the success his quarterbacks and his offenses have had since he and Mullen arrived, but right after the SEC Championship makes things difficult. However, in the world of recruiting, it might not have that much of an effect on who Florida gets this year or next.

UF already has a quarterback committed in this year’s class in New London, Conn., gunslinger Jordan Reed. Reed was recruited by Mullen and said when he committed in August that they had developed a strong relationship. There has been no word from the Reed camp (mainly because he’s almost impossible to reach), so from all indications, Reed doesn’t seem to be wavering on his commitment.

As for UF’s 2010 quarterback commitment, Venice prospect Trey Burton said he’s still very solid in his commitment to the Gators.

“This will probably stand forever, but I’m going to be a Florida Gator,” Burton said. “I trust Coach Meyer and who he brings in 100 percent. There’s no one in the world that can question him after such a great year and what he’s about to do.”

Burton said Mullen was a “huge” part of his recruitment, but his departure shouldn’t affect his future with the Gators. When watching Burton over the summer, he and Mullen were inseparable. During UF’s quarterback camp and Friday Night Lights, the two were either talking about fundamentals or laughing about something on the sidelines, so you can imagine Burton is feeling a little bummed by Mullen leaving.

He said he understands that assistants leave when teams are having the success that UF has had recently, but the timing of the move and the school of choice are a little confusing to him.

“I was really shocked that it was Mississippi State,” he said. “I would understand if it was Auburn or some big school. I guess you have to start out somewhere.”

The loss of Mullen has had an impact on a couple of uncommitted recruits. Tupelo, Miss., receiver Chad Bumphis has all but eliminated UF from his list with Mullen’s hire at MSU. He basically had Alabama and UF at the top of his list of schools for the longest time, but he and Mullen had a strong relationship. Bumphis even told that Mullen said he would be playing for MSU and not UF after the hire. Wow.

The other prospect recruited heavily by Mullen is Plano, Texas, Plano East fullback Toben Opurum. He’s a fullback, yes, but he’s got an offer from UF and was even supposed to take an official visit to Gainesville in January. He’s not too sure if he will visit anymore because Mullen was his primary recruiter.

Mullen leaving certainly doesn’t hurt much in recruiting, but it seems the Gators should be fine at this point. The only issue is that no one really knows what Reed is thinking right now. But hey, no news is good news, right?