Muschamp talks recruiting impact of losing streak


Florida fans are understandably worried about how recruiting will be affected by UF’s six-game losing streak, which is sure to become seven Saturday when the Gators host No. 2 Florida State.

More than two dozen notable prospects are expected to be on hand, and a blowout win by FSU would make it even harder for Florida on the recruiting trail.

Miami Central running back Dalvin Cook and Immokalee athlete J.C. Jackson are publicly wavering with their pledges to UF, and the Gators will have some difficulty closing on their top targets.

Given the disaster this year has been, what is Will Muschamp’s message to recruits and their families?

“It’s still the University of Florida,” he said Monday. “I think there’s some obvious reasons why we are where we are. We’re a team that won 11 games last year, and I don’t think that happened by accident. We have a really good football staff. We have some good players on our football team. We’re going to have a good football team moving forward. So at the end of the day, this is a great education and it’s a great place to come compete.”

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp heads for the locker room following the 19-14 loss to South Carolina. (Doug Finger/Staff photographer)

When asked what it will take to turn things around, Muschamp said it starts with recruiting.

“Continue to recruit well,” he said. “The production on the field of our last two classes has been very good. We have to continue to put another class together like that.

“I think we’ve obviously taken a step back in my opinion for some obvious reasons. But at the end of the day, it’s not an excuse. We need to perform better on the field and that’s my responsibility. But those are things I see.”

UF athletic director Jeremy Foley remains committed to Muschamp, but changes will undoubtedly be made to his offensive staff after the season.

With reports already out there about potential firings and recruits wondering who the position coaches will be at Florida, Muschamp has to address those concerns in the days and weeks ahead.

“You be honest with people and you tell them exactly where we are,” he said. “And that’s what I’ll do.”


  1. If he’s not telling people that the program is and will continue to be a smoking ruin and that he and he alone is at fault then not only is he not being honest with other people, he’s not be honest with himself.

    Its time to pull the plug on the Zook 2.0 experiment and look for a real Head Coach.

    What must be done eventually, should be done immediately….hmmmm wonder who said that?

  2. He has a head set on, if he wants to blame Pease why has the o not opened up? answer, we have the most hard headed head coach ever. Foley can fire Zook with a better record and run SOS off. Maybe its time for Foley to go, he cant admit he made a mistake. How hard is it to be a good ad at U.F when you have the money and state with the best athletes in the country. one more year just prolongs what everyone but foley knows what needs to be done.

  3. I was in Will’s corner with all the injuries before the GA Southern game. There is no excuse out there to lose to GA Southern…. I am in disbelief about whats going on with my team. I have been a Gator fan all of my life, even the 0-10-1 team didnt hurt this bad. I now must agree with evryone else, its like stupid,,,, you cant fix it.

  4. Everyone needs to back off the ledge with foley. He is one of the best AD’s in the country across the board. It’s not just all about football for one season, it’s about the entire athletic program. What coach are you expecting to get right now to replace muschamp with other high profile jobs open? USC, Texas, and potentially Michigan will all pay considerably more than we are paying muschamp. In order to get a top coach we will have to pay above market and give away everything to lure that coach away from USC and texas(think Charlie weis at Norte dame a few years back). With that said, it is going to be hard to lure the recruits and a top notch offensive coordinator for a potential lame duck coach. I say back off foley, and if you are going to make a change at coach then target your guy…pay him whatever it takes….lock him up for long term and hope you chose wisely. Option 2 would be to get the best offensive coordinator available and give him the head job if muschamp gets fired as a reason to not come for one year.

  5. G’ville Sun quotes Will M – ” Me worry – no way ” or something like that in today’s ( Nov. 25th edition ). Perhaps it is a face saving comment but I really believe that Will M is way over his head as a head coach of a major university. I hope that the powers to be in Gainesville will get their act together and work out an escape route for Will M. Probably a pretty good defensive coach but far from being a head coach at this time in his career.

  6. I will say it again, Mike Mularkey….for at least the OC. He has no job right now and knows how to utilize players by designing plays so they can show case their ability. When is the last time you heard of Antwan Randle el, he went downhill when Mularkey left. Look at the difference in ATL where he was OC two years ago.

  7. Same with Demarcus Robinson who has openly expressed his problems with this shambles of an offense. Fact is, Muschamp surrounds himself with “yes men” a lot like Ron Zook did. Pease is a yes man, and one reason Weis left is because he wasn’t.

    These recruits are not stupid, they see the trainwreck this program is and are having a lot of difficulty believing that a three-year coach like Muschamp is going to put together a quality team when his program tanked in his third year.

    This experiment with Muschamp is done, over, finis’.

  8. DOUG, Weis left because Muschamp micro-managed his offense. The Kansas job being open was just a coincidence. Pease is a “yes man” and has not run an offense anything close to the Peterson/Boise St. offense we’re all used to.

    Remember the coaches saying in the week before Ga. Southern that “we were going to open up the playbook”?

    Did that happen? No, because a leopard cannot change it’s spots, and Muschamp won’t ever change.

    Get a new OC and he’ll micro-manage him too. He won’t hire an indiependent thinker because he wants an OC who do what he wants to do… run 80% of the playes between the tackles.

  9. Interesting… Muschamp wasn’t “honest” with Demarcus Robinson.

    Why people think all these players who have outright quit on this coaching staff are suddenly going to be playing like gangbusters for them next year are delusional, as is Foley if he wants to continue backing a HBC who has demonstrated he is not ready for this level of coaching yet.

    Muschamp has been a disaster. These players, no matter how many injured ones return next year, will never shake the doubt and uncertainty of playing for this HBC, and we’ll be watching a 2014 season which was supposed to be our big SEC and NC title run season, turn into something more like an 8 – 4 campaign, which will probably be the average under Muschamp.

    We will never win an SEC Title with Will Muschamp as HBC.

  10. Muschamp, expertise is defensive … not offense ! He should let the offensive coordinator run the offensive and stay out of his way rather than putting his 2 cents in … however if he wants to be involved in the defensive that’s a different story, that’s his expertise. if the OC doesn’t produce pointsand wins, fire him But He has now dug himself into a hole by trying to be involved in the scheme the offense will run …He is a run first guy, and throw short passes for his passing game. where the receivers block first and run shorts passes afterwards…taking D B’s 20 or 30 yds downfield is as good of a block as trying to block a DB at the line of scrimmage… He needs to hire Bobby Petrino or Kerwin Bell as his OC and let him run the offense … He also needs to sign a KICKER…we win both the Georgia and SC games if Strugis was still here.

  11. Well if the powers be do make a change. A name that comes to mind is Jon Gruden. He is a teacher of the game and with UF’s financial status being well funded-I think that could be a possibility. Three years ago he was a guy who I thought might have been on UF’s short list. He can coach if he wants to and that I know would be the 4-5 milllion dollar a year question to be answered. Jon Gruden carries a big time name to attract recruits to the University of Florida by having ties to the NFL. Charlie Strong would be my second choice but again we need someone to change this program like Urban did after Zook was fired.
    Just saying……

  12. β€œIt’s still the University of Florida,” he said Monday

    Hey WM, you had nothing to do with making UF a power house. At this pace we will be the laughing stock of the nation, WM is busy putting the program in shambles.

    WM = carpetbagging Dawg.

  13. Without a viable replacement and a $3 million dollar contract to be paid. Mushchamp will coach next year. This gives Foley a full year to talk to and recruit the best coach. Only at the end of the year, will the best coaches be talking and thinking about coming to Gville….in 2015

  14. If AD Foley were a senior officer in one of our branches of the military, he would be relieved of his command. He would be seen as not having the “Right Stuff” for the job and someone else would be given the responsibility and the opportunity to succeed.

    UF has had coaches and assistants that have gone on to have winning records. The AD lost them somehow and hired Zook and Muschamp. The record speaks for itself.

    The University of Florida needs to look at a bigger picture. Don’t fret the recruiting class. We will get some good players and some second rate like most programs. Its the better, more gifted coaches that play the hand they are given and win. Look at UCF for an example.

    And its the AD who has lost the better ones, hired Zook and Muschamp, and now has chosen to keep the Muschamp.

    It has been on Foley’s watch that bad things have and are still happening. He is the wrong guy for the AD job.

    Since we are stuck with Muschamp another season, we have time to demand a change of command at the top.

  15. Mularkey is not a leader…he lost the Jags before they played there first game.

    Gruden succeeded thanks to Dungy’s players so no kudos there….

    If we want the passing game we all remember, then bring on Bell-Air and Wuerffel as OC. End of story!!!!!

  16. Gator Todd sounds like you mad.Muschamp he’ll get it right,like you said Pease was just a yes man.When you have 3 highly touted wide outs & a gifted running back.You don’t even design play packages for them to touch the ball it’s all on the OC.You use a wide out who only 5’10″(Solo) fast as your deep threat,3 receivers 6’2″(Robinson,Dunbar,Pittman),& 1 that’s 6’5″Fulwood.All only run crossing routes & block all game.Really!Example Fulwood = Kelvin Benjamin(FSU)jump ball all day.

  17. One good thing about no bowl game and no bowl practices. The season is over the coming Saturday and we can go ahead and make the staff changes that will be made. That way recruits who are wavering because of position coach concerns can make their decision. I hope Champ can at least make those changes happen fast enough to matter.

  18. Any coaching change, head coach or assistants can affect the recruiting class. Last time the OC left. we lost potential play makers
    Stephon Diggs and Nelson Agholor to other schools.

    Stephon Diggs has gone on to become a star at Maryland.

    Nelson Agholor leads USC in receptions at 44 this season tied with Marqise Lee. In one game this month he returned 2 punts for touchdowns.

  19. Since Muschamp will return in 2014, it would be best to retain most of the current staff that long, including Pease, or elevate Joker Phillips to OC and hire a first/rate young QB coach. If the team doesn’t dramatically improve in 2014, Muschamp will be bought out. But neither Pease nor Phillips is a problem for this team. Both were respected when they joined the staff. Hopefully Muschamp will alter his offensive philosophy and turn the offense loose. My confidence in him has vanished.

  20. Will the Chump must go, its as simple as that. He should never have been hired as the HC to begin with. He has no imagination. Run up the middle again and again without success is not an offense its is offensive. Why recruit a QB or wide outs if you never use them? By the way, the offense line cant open any holes or block either so you might want to recruit a few linemen while you are at it who can block. Florida football was about explosive offenses that put points on the board and a defense that terrorized other teams. Where is that? We will never have that under Will the thrill.

  21. All of the bickering about Muschamp and the Florida program that is going on right now is excessive and absolutely crazy!! Muschamp deserves more respect and he definitely deserves another season with all the unfortunate injuries and adversity the team went through this yr. Losing to FCS Ga Southern is unacceptable by all means and there is no excuse, however, you cant help but look at that loss and and this probable 4-8 season as a result of the injuries. I have never seen so many injuries in a season for a team. I mean we were down to our 3rd string with his backup being a walk-on!! Losing guys every week it seems like and at almost every position is hard to overcome especially if they are your veteran starters. UF should have better depth but Muschamp had a tall task when he got here. Taking over a post tebow and co/meyer team and changing the mindset and philosophy is not easy to do. Muschamp did that in 2 seasons. Muschamp is a great coach in my opinion and his recruits/players/coaches know that. The offense is the Achilles heal right now and if you haven’t noticed the offense doesn’t have tremedous talent or experience. This is where recruiting comes in and Muschamp and his staff have been in on some great players (S.Watkins/Diggs/Agholor/ Tunsil/Theus/Marshall/M. Davis) but coaching changes and other schools have gotten in the way which is unavoidable. Muschamp does deserve blame but he also deserves more respect and patience because we saw what these coaches could do last yr with great players but they have to stay healthy. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that UGA fans were calling for Mark Richts and Mike Bobos heads but UGA has been pretty good the last 3 yrs and we all wished we could have a productive offense like theirs. Building a team takes relentless effort and luck in recruiting and developing those guys in a consistent system. Things will get turned around sonner than later.

  22. GaGator02, GA Southern had more injured starters who are out for the year than we do. That excuse can only take us so far. The problem is they are getting PRODUCTION form there a player which is what is supposed to occur. I hope you are correct in reference to a turnaround, but some philosophies are going to have to occur for that to happen.

  23. A defensive coordinator usually attempts to shut down one aspect of their opponent’s defense, usually their most effective attack — in Georgia Southern’s case, a running option attack. You can not let them beat you without completing a pass. Put 8 guys in the box, then 9, then 10, whatever it takes to MAKE them complete a pass. It’s obvious by the 3rd quarter that they are going to run it until we stop them. Make them throw the ball!! At least every sports broadcaster in the country will not be talking about your hapless team and that particular, unbelievable statistic. Let’s get a new coach. Pay them $400,000 (twice what the professor working to cure cancer makes) and save the other 3 or 4 million for new academic hires. I urge all true Gators to donate to the UNIVERSITY of FLORIDA FUND and not the Athletic Association. Football money does not forward the mission of UF.

  24. I grew up in Gainesville and was in high school when Spurrier won the Heisman. I have seen the ups and downs. I agree with what one writer said, Florida fans would rather see a 45 to 43 loss than a 10 to 7 win. Fans want excitement and a go for it attitude. Mushchamp needs to do what Spurrier did but on the other side f the ball. He should coach defense and hire an offensive coordinator and let him run the offense. Otherwise I am in favor of a new hire, someone with attitude (and a personality).

  25. UF is not the place for a 1st time head coach. Look at the lat 4 coaches. Spurrier had college and pro head coaching experience. Zook had no head coaching experience. Meyer had plenty of college head coaching experience. Muschamp had none. What is the common thread????

  26. We’ve been competitive to almost win against Miami, LSU, Georgia, Vandy, Zsouth Carolina and Georgia Southern. I agree with Muschamp that his team isn’t far away, as there is great talent at some positions and good to very good talent at others. The gap on offense, however, is still significant and the fans’ frustration is mostly focused on the offensive style. It was boring in 2012 when the unit was healthy; it’s boring and unimaginative now. So there’s a strong suspension the problems aren’t a shortage of talent or necessarily with the OC. It’s easy to think Muschamp’s hard commitment to a particular offensive approach handcuffs his teams. Might not be the case, but a growing legion if fans think so. Will does need to re-examine where his offense needs to be next year. It’s hard to see the coach at UF beyond 2014 if he can’t “fix” things and he’s right: he has to listen to some honest, tough critics who care about him and who he trusts. Hopefully he doesn’t isolate himself and dig in at a time that could be an opportunity to significantly step up his coaching quality.

  27. The bottom line is, you have to have a good to great QB to have a good year. Driskel may have made that leap, to becoming that great QB – who knows. One thing is for sure, Murphy or Morning-Wood have that potential. When things started going down hill, due to injuries, especially the lose of Easley, this team lost that edge. I don’t care what anyone says, football teams are affected by emotion and lack of confidence. Those things can’t be blamed on Muschamp. I know, for a fact, that the DE’s were coached better than they played Saturday; yet, they lost focus many times and without good LB’s to clean up what they missed, we got burned on some big plays. Had we not had the unprecedented injuries and the team performed as they have, I would be leading the charge to fire Muschamp. As things are, I just don’t know if it’s the right thing to do. If I had access to see, for myself, what goes on behind the curtain, I could make a determination, based on facts, not emotion. Since Muschamp is going to be here, next year, it’s in our best interest to support him. What’s the alternative – hoping we have a bad year, again? Not me! I want to see him turn it around and succeed. Plus, I don’t want to be part of any actions that could result in us losing recruits. It’s a tough position, but, if he’s going to return, he’ll have my support. If things go bad, again, then I am sure a new coach will be brought in and I will support him.

  28. Wrong again Muschamp. What will turn things around now is to develop the talent you already have. If you think this recruiting class is going to save your job, think again. You stubbornly refuse to play freshmen until forced to so I don’t see how Grier, Cook, Lane etc will salvage your job.

  29. The majority of you are embarrasing to the Gator Nation! I deal with Noles all day and every day and would like to think we set a higher standard. Our o-line is still a product of Myer. We lost over half of our defense from last year and yet still ranked among the best in the country. The recruiting has not caught up with the pro-style offense. We play in the best conference in the country. I like stats:

    Opponents W/L records (removing the FCS II teams from the schedule):

    UF: 76-45
    FSU: 58-63
    Bama: 60-62

    Lets take a deep breathe and stick with the team that we have. Muschamp will turn this around.

  30. Joe at 10:03am – You’re absolutely correct. Muschamp even criticized Urban recently for having played freshmen early. This was in relation to K. Taylor having to wait, or something like that. I guess Percy Harvin, Tebow, etc. would not have played in 2006 for Muschamp. I wonder if we’d have won the NC with them sitting on the bench, waiting their turn.

  31. I once heard Nick Saban say, “SEC games are won by the guys with their hands in the dirt.” Meaning the linemen and, particularly, the OL. He’s proven that. Our coaching staff has missed that bus. No QB can be great without a line in front.
    I’d be looking long and hard at Mike Shanahan. He loved UF when he was here. He may be getting tired of the Redskins (or they of him), and the pros, for that matter. He’s got the inroads to the NFL. And, he’s an offensive genius. With some luck, he’d bring in his son as well. Charlie Strong is another to look at. But, current staff needs to move on. Thanks for the memories.

  32. Florida reportedly had 18 injured full scholarshp players out of 85. Southern was missing 19 of only 65 full scholarship players. Including a first team All American fullback in D. Swope. Banks started the season at #4 on the depth chart. QB Ellison was #3 on
    the depth chart. Bottom line the Eagles wanted it more, played harder and won. Florida will get better, losing streraks happen to all teams, and they do end. But in the end it was a great accomplishment for Ga. Southern – equal to Appalachian State’s win over Michigan a few years ago.

  33. Wow, we “almost won” against LSU and Vandy? Neat.

    Zach, are we going to keep Cook and/or Lane? What do you think Sharpe delaying his decision means in terms of our biggest position of need? Is there any chance we wind up with a top 10 class?

  34. gotta laugh at the Muschamp supportors who tout the injuries as adequate explaination for the lousy season. hey, we were losing to Tennessee before the Driskel injury. Actually injuries have SAVED Muschamp. He is such a poor judge of skill that he had the wrong guy as QB for 2+ seasons and with all that time for “development” an injury to Driskel is all that saved us from still another loss. Pretty much same thing had to happed to get the right person at RB. Not only is he a dull stubborn coach with no recruiting skill and no ability to recruit, he cannot judge the talent he has.

  35. I’m sorry Gator Nation but Jeremy Foley is wrong. As a Gator Fan that was a sophomore during that 0-10-1 ’79 season, I remember what needed to be done. After the 1978 4-7 season (sound familiar) We fired the coach (Dickey), GOT NEW UNIFORMS and brought in Charle Pell. Yes we were 8-4 in 1980, but we still had not found our messiah. WE NEED an offensive minded head coach! Let’s look at the history of coaches since then.

    Defensive Coaches: Pell, Darnell, Zook, Muschamp. Overall winning percentage: 51.1% SEC Championships: 0, National Championships: 0.

    Offensive Coaches: Hall, Spurrier, Meyer. Overall winning percentage: 84.6% SEC Championships: 9, National Championships: 3.

    Now what does that tell you Mr Foley?

  36. Understandable that WC will be back for next yr. Forget Gruden….overrated and other than his superbowl win with Dungy players, what has he done? Called an “offensive genius” yet his Bucs teams won with great defenses. Good looking guy, though!

  37. Pease was only OC at Boise for one season, and he inherited a senior QB in Kellen Moore. That’s like becoming OC of the Denver Broncos with Peyton Manning at QB…you do nothing and you look great.

    The question here is what is the ceiling on this team if it is TOTALLY healthy? I’d say 9 to 10 wins at best and 7 to 8 wins at the worst. With that in mind Foley should take his time and look for a proven CEO-coach rather than gamble on an up-and-comer coordinator next time and give Muschamp another year. Spurrier and Meyer were CEO’s of backwater programs when they were hired. The important thing is the admin part — recruiting and coordinator hires. Some guys just have a knack for that and others are just great grinders that max out as coordinators. I believe Muschamp is in the latter group.

  38. To Doug who is defending Foley. Maybe you don’t remember but he hired Dan Devoe. He has also hired and then fired three baseball coaches. The woman’s basketball team has never been a gbig winner and should be. He did hire Donovan and Kruger, two good hres. But that still is not a good record. When he Meyer left Foley came out public and made it known that he probably would not hire someone with head coach experience. Why would he say that? I say he has a big ego and wants to prove that he can find the diamonds in the rough like Donovan. He simply has too much power.
    For those defending his coaching. I judge a coach by how his players improve year after year. Yes his team has had injuries. But Halapio, Harrison, and Humphries all looked worse this year. Kyle Christie fell from all-American to benched. Antonio Morrison was better as a freshman than this year. The penalties show a lack of discipline that hasn’t gotten any better. Zook’s problem was that he insisted on playing a bend but not beak defense instead of an acttack defense. Made Charlie Strong look bad. Meyer comes in and lets Charlie run the defense and we have a great defense. Muschamp is doing the same but with the offense. Face it, there is a different skill set to a head coach then a coordinator. head coaches must be managers of coaches. Muschamp may eventually have that ability but not now.

  39. “Obvious reasons”. How can this team go to South Carolina and almost knock off a top ten team then come home and be embarrassed by Georgia Southern the following week? The “obvious reason” is coaching, or lack thereof.

  40. Aren’t coordinators hired away from other programs because of the style of offense/defense they recruit for and execute? It makes no sense to me how or why a HC would want to pay big bucks for a coordinator then impose his own scheme on them, especially if it is counter to what the coordinator ran before he got there.

    If Pease could manufacture 35 points a game with drop kicks and the ‘Emory and Henry’ formation, I doubt WM would impose another offensive scheme on him. This talk of micro-managing the offensive schemes is non-sense. This is Pease’s offense, he owns it and must be accountable. And the next guy will own the next offense and should be held accountable as well.

  41. Let me just say this 1 thing to Pat Dooley who keeps defending this guy. And then contradicting himself in the very next sentence. It does not matter if Driskel and Easley and Tebow and everybody else was on this team. If your intentions are to “not worry about big plays” and “take a knee” for the entire game. It won’t matter who is playing. The system has to change and it won’t fully change until pease and Muschamp are gone. This style literally GIVES EVERYONE a CHANCE to win. And we just saw it. And before you talk about injuries Ga. Southern had 19 players out and still beat us at home.

  42. I kinda feel bad for Muschamp (a.k.a Coach UGA). The poor guy never wanted to lose 7 straight for the Gators. His plan was to win enough games to keep his job and go at least 0-7 against the Bulldogs. My guess is that he will only achieve an 0-4 record for his beloved DOGS before he leaves here laughing. Maybe we can hire Dion Sanders or Tee Martin as our next coach.

  43. 1) Mularkey is a pro; not sexy (for recruits), but a pro
    2) Gruden will never touch this job
    3) Kerwin Bell has all the intangibles, but not on his level, yet
    4) Shanahan is probably not at the age where he wants to play silly recruiting games with children
    5) Muschamp is a GREAT D-Coordinator; as good as SOS is an O-Coordinator
    6) Joker Phillips is a good guy to have in the program, not enough clout as he HC
    7) Steve isn’t coming back
    8) Pease & Weis look as good as their QB’s. No improvement in decision making over the season is cause for alarm.
    9) The reason I’m not in love with the current staff is injuries, specifically connecting-tissue injuries. A result of physically training for strength and not enough for flexibility. This is an abnormal percentage of ACL damage, and the re-injuries are inexcusable. As a parent of a top-level recruit this alone would discourage me.
    10) Despite my involvement in professional sports, there will be much disagreement with my post (guaranteed)!

  44. ok lets just calm down before the fire muschamp chants start and take a look at the whole picture. yeah its our 1st losing season since a long time, yeah we lost to vandy sure we lost to an fcs school…you know what maybe he should go, he may be a fine coach, but uf is not where you should have yoir first head coaching job.

  45. Amazing what a good coach can do. Auburn takes down Alabama. Muschamp takes down Florida. Malzahn takes a down program and brings it up. Muschamp totally destroys a program and it’s okay with Foley.
    Foley’s $8 million screw up.
    Go hire a coach for the women’s sqash team or better yet, do something with the women’s basketball team. You obviously don’t know squat about hiring football coaches.