Payton catching on at receiver

Tristan Payton at the 2014 Nike Football Training Camp in Orlando, Fla. (Photo by Student Sports)

When wide receiver Tristan Payton made his commitment to Florida in late February, he was an unrated prospect on most websites and didn’t even have a profile on ESPN.

An ‘under-the-radar’ recruit, in other words.

“Florida saw something in me that other people haven’t yet,” Payton said at the time of his decision.

The secret is out.

Since his pledge to the Gators, Payton has earned offers from Maryland, Miami and Ohio State. He’s ranked the 132nd overall prospect and No. 15 receiver nationally by ESPN.

“I’m feeling good about things,” he said. “I’ve just been putting in work to make a name for myself.”

In recent months, Payton participated in the Orlando Nike Football Training Camp, the Rivals Camp Series and 7-on-7 tournaments. He has left his mark at each stop.

“Nobody really knew about me at any of those events,” he said, “but I talked to people every time and they respected me a lot for the way I performed.

“I went out there with the mindset that I’m the best. I went against a lot of good guys, and it was great competition. But I came with everything I had.”

The 6-foot, 182-pounder is currently going through spring practices at Jacksonville First Coast. Last spring was his first time playing receiver, and he feels much more comfortable at the position now.

“My fundamentals have improved so much,” Payton said. “I’m more physical and a better route runner, and my speed has picked up a lot.”

Payton plans to continue sharpening his game this summer at college camps.

“I’m going to be back at Florida,” he said. “That’s for sure.”

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  1. Remember when this kid committed in Feb. and a lot of people were bad mouthing Muschamp for recruiting kids with no ‘stars’ next to their name?

    “Since his pledge to the Gators, Payton has earned offers from Maryland, Miami and Ohio State. He’s ranked the 132nd overall prospect and No. 15 receiver nationally by ESPN.”

    I know a lot of ya’ll out there don’t have much respect for Muschamp, but he does know a little of something about the game and what it takes to play it…

    GOOO G8RS!!

  2. I agree uncle Jhett. Champ’s problem has been his offensive philosophy and stubbornness. It appears he has fixed his offensive mindset by hiring Roper and with Champ’s defensive excellence and recruiting skills I see the future very bright in Titletown South.

  3. No respect – that’s what 4-8 will bring. He has had no clue about the offensive side of the ball. It is if he has been playing spin the offensive coordinator wheel. Remember , he brought in the first two stiffs. Hopefully Roper is an improvement. As it was was the Zooker, recruiting is one thing. Coaching them up is a totally different animal, and the jury is still out with the current staff…

  4. The operative term in Mushmouth’s diatribe is “has been.” Yep, Will Muschamp “has been ” convinced a strong running game with a dash of passing, along with a killer defense, is what will win championships. He learned that from Saban, who has used it effectively, and why change a winning formula. But, the formula didn’t work for the Gators. So, Muschamp “has been” learning from his failures. More than we can say for you Mushmouth….

  5. What will be interesting is to see if he sticks with his commitment or goes a different direction now that Urban is drafting off of Florida.
    You would think that the fact that Florida was way out in front of this would mean something

  6. BSJ, I am glad you are on the 4-8 bandwagon. I will say the head coach is paid millions to have a winning program, and he failed miserably last year. Injuries played a huge factor, but they were overall horrid. Where have you seen Muschamp learning from his failures? By simply hiring a coach from Duke? They have not played one game with him as OC and you say he is learning from his failures. Perhaps Foley should learn from his failures.

    Keep drinking the cool-aid BSJ, and see if you can have a discourse with someone without getting personal. I guess like the head coach, you want to come go and fight someone who points out his failures…

  7. So a man gets no respect for admitting to his mistakes, admitting his failures, taking full responsibility, and fixing them?? Remember this is the same man who turned 7-6 into 11-2. I didn’t hear you sounding of then. Last year’s offensive ineptitude was more because Pease and Davis couldn’t get along and injuries more than Muschamp. We’ve already seen what Muschamp is capable of doing. And with a PROVEN coordinator and a proven O line coach, I have no doubt things will be back on tack. Hey I got a newsflash for you: Muschamp WILL be our coach next season. Right now, NOTHING is going to change that. So what does your negative woe is me, bashing of supposedly your own team doing? What good does it do? None. Now is the time to either support your WHOLE team (including coaches) or stop pretending you’re a fan

  8. Some of you people better watch out talking poorly about people in Floridas football program. I have seen individuals go on psychotic rants for weeks because of a simple opinion on the draft (which actually turned out to be right), so watch yourselves. Crazy people are among us.

  9. Leisure-time activities consume far too many folks to a far greater degree than they should, even beyond those with direct involvement with the team and the players as well. If your quality of life is determined by the quality of your team, choose your life’s ride: elevator, roller coaster, trampolene tester, thermometer reader, dunk tank victim. Sports is win or lose, every single event, and sometimes even when there are ties. Lose? Then straight from The Crucible, Accuse. Deny. Blame. Wear your colors. Cheer for your team. Relax and watch the games. Then focus on family and work. I only hope the harshest critics get the same scrutiny in their lives as they give as cowardly commenters here and other forums.

  10. It’s not the coaches, it’s the players. Both Weis and Pease were more heralded than Roper and they were unable to have a good offense. The recent draft should give a clue that UF is not as talented as people wish to believe on offense. The coaches didn’t suddenly become stupid when they came to Gainesville. It all starts at the most important position, quarterback. Like Brantley before him, Driskel is well on his way to becoming another 5 star bust. It’s pretty simple really, if you have a good quarterback, you have a chance, if not, the odds are not good that you will have a good offense.

  11. I believe the problem has been a mixture of players and coaches on offense. I think the biggest problem has been trying to make QBs in to different players than they really are instead of molding the offense around the players. For example, Brantley was a drop back pocket QB who was put in to the spread his first year as a starter. Even though the offense that Weis utilized in Brantleys second year as a starter was more suitable than Brantley, he still could not stand in the pocket due to absolutely no pass protection. Driskel has been just the opposite. Driskel is a spread QB who has been forced in to a pro style offense. I think now that Driskel will be back in the spread, he will thrive and make Roper look like a genius when the only real change will be actually running an offense that fits the skill set of the QB.

  12. Snowprint, I’d like to know where you get this information from> I mean back up what you say with a little facts or stats or something> Weis and Pease were most certainly NOT more heralded than Roper. Weis was a failure in college, had a little success in the pros (very different than college) then came back to college failed at UF, and is currently failing at Kansas. Sounds like that’s a Weis thing, bot a Gator thing. Then Pease as an OC didn’t do well at Kentucky, failed at Baylor, then had 1 good season at Boise after his predecessor built them up, and everyone thought he was proven. 1 year of success after many years of failure does not make you proven. Then he came to Florida and failed again. Florida has plenty of players. Several very highly rated recruiting classes all turning out to be busts is illogical. There’s no way all of those players turn out to be busts. We have plenty of players. Debose, Taylor, Driskel, Jones, Brown, Powell, Dunbar, Robinson, Fulwood, Thompson, McGhee, Bailey, T Brown, Garcia, Moore, Humphries, Thurman, Sharpe, Dillard, Johnson, Green, etc. If we don’t do well it’s definitely on the coaches. No more excuses. If the players do’t play well, then it’s a lack of development. No way you get that many high profile players and all of the bust and it’s not on the coaches. This year is do or die for the coaches. This year if we don’t getit done, the coaches are gone because that’ll be proof that it’s on them.

  13. That_UAT_guyThe whole point is that UF doesn’t have plenty of players. UF had one player drafted on offense the last draft, and that was in the sixth round. Great recruits don’t necessarily pan out. The list of players you name is a great example. You would think that someone going into his sixth year, Debose, has pretty much shown that he sucks at wide receiver and yet you list him? Your list is full of guys that haven’t done anything notable on the college level.I guess McGhee and Garcia proved themselves in the ACC. It’s pretty laughable that you list Thurman, a guy who couldn’t even beat out an awful player like Kyle Koehne? Then you list David Sharpe, a guy who hasn’t even set foot on campus? It’s not the number of stars that matter, the can’t miss guy, Humphries, was so bad last year he was benched and I’m skeptical about the “injury” he supposedly had that was the reason he never saw the field again.Your recruiting ranking doesn’t mean you’re talented on the next level. Saying the Gators have loads of talent is not true if you put performance before hype. I have eyes and can see that both Brantley and Driskel are bad quarterbacks, I don’t care what they were rated coming out of high school, neither one can play well.

  14. Reall?y Really?? Your WHOLE argument is that EVERY single one of our highly rated recruits over the years has been a bust. That no matter what goes on coaching, the players should be superstars? That’s your argument. Ask anyone who’s been around football or knows anything about it and they’ll tell you the likelihood of that is less than slim to none. Players don’t just come from high school ready for the SEC (except a very small percentage of special players like VH3). They have to be trained and developed by coaches who know what they’re doing. If the coaches don’t develop the players, they won’t produce on the field, no matter how talented they are. Any coach or anyone who has been around the game will tell you that. Production is different than talent. There are a variety of reasons a person might not produce: coaching, injuries,attitude, or maybe they’re just a bust. But talent is different. If you doubt any of those guys’ obvious natural talent, then you’re just blind. There’s a reason they’re playing D1 football and not you. We’re not lacking in talent at all. It’s up to the coaches to bring turn the talent into production. Is it any mystery why our production at receiver suddenly went up when Joker was hired? Is it any mystery what caused the offensive line to play so much better than they ever have after just one spring with Summers? Is it any mystery why our offense looked much sharper and more productive after just one spring with Roper? Is it any mystery why our defensive production has been so much higher than our offensive production. Coaching man. The proof is all there. Deny it all you want, but just keep in mind that only fools deny what’s right in front of them.

  15. Also for anyone, including you snowprint, who claim Driskel is so bad. I would love to hear an explanation why. Some analysis proving that he’s bad Let’s have a good discussion as to whether he’s bad or not. But before I implore you to watch this video,
    It’s a video showing Driskel’s complete 2013 season. every time he dropped back to pass and every time he ran with it. No bias just the plays. I think if you watch this video you’ll be hard pressed to come up with actual evidence to bash him with. As I watch the video I see a fair efficient QB who looks pretty good. When I watch this video I see the claim that he lacks poise go right out the window. Because I see plenty of times where he stands in the pocket and takes a hit while delivering a pass. When I watch this video, there’s only a few things I can find wrong with Driskel’s game. One is he needs a better grip on the ball. When he gets hit from behind he loses the ball. Then again hopefully with better blocking he won’t be geting hit from behind as much. And the biggest thing I can say he needs to improve on is he’s a streaky player. When he’s on HE’S ON. He’s hard to stop. But when 1 things goes wrong the mistakes start to pile on. That’s where Roper can help him. Roper’s big focus with QBs is forget the last play, don’t focus on mistakes, trust yourself. If Driskel can develop that kind of short memory then he’ll be less likely to compound mistakes and have a higher percentage of efficiency.

  16. It’s silly to say the Gators are better with Roper and Summers. They haven’t been here when the Gators have played a real game. Spring doesn’t mean anything. How many guys have been Spring wonders and fall falt in the Fall? Last year we were told how great Robinson was in Spring, he was mediocre when a real game was played. Now people make excuses for him and say his head is to blame. It wasn’t his head that was the reason e developed alligator arms which led to a Murphy interception. Driskel is awful, but it’s silly to tell someone why who thinks that Spring practice is a reason to say the Gators are better. I agree with the hypothesis that the talent level is low and base that on the lack of any interest by the NFL in drafting offensive players from UF. To say Joker Phillips has made a difference is silly, the Gators still have a mediocre receiving corps. Maybe that’ll change this year, but there’s a reason Patton and Burton weren’t drafted and Dunbar didn’t turn pro, it’s because they aren’t as talented as some people wish to believe.

  17. It’s completely ludicrous to say our receivers haven’t changed since Joker has been here! Patton and Dunbar were both great last year! Dunbar is a really consistent receiver who catches pretty much everything thrown his way, even if he’s being flipped upside down in the process (check the Miami game). Patton was a huge playmaker for us last year. The ind of big play guy we had been lacking for years. Now only if the rest of the offense had been up to par. Both receivers managed 500 yards in an offense that barely knew how to pass the ball. Both managed that with half of the catches other big time receivers averaged. Simple math puts them on pace for 1000 yard seasons. And yes spring isn’t a guarantee on how the season will go, but you can get a lot out of spring. Anyone who has been around the game will tell you that. You just have to actually be smart enough to know how spring is set up and actually analyze through that. I know not popular in this day and age of ESPN. The line in the past has not been able to block anything in front of them. In the spring game they faced a very good front 7 (admittedly without Fowler, but they may not face a Dante Fowler all season) and faced blitzes from that front 7 and still gave the QBs all day. No not the complex schemes they’ll see in the SEC season, but certainly a huge step forward from where they were at any point last year and a reason to be excited that they’ll only get better. We’re obviously deeper and more talented than we’ve ever been at receiver. Dunbar is a very consistent go to guy. Even if Debose doesn’t have the season people thought he’d have last year before he got injured, he’s still a very talented big play guy that can give our offense a big boost in just one play, whether it’s on offense or special teams. McGhee is a proven play making tight end who can bail his QB out of bad situations. Pittman, Andrades, Showers, Fulwood, Robinson, Bailey, and Thompson are all guys who have shown obvious talent and now it’s just time to turn that talent into production. With that many talented guys, and what Joker did to Patton and Dunbar, it’s just basic odds that a few of them will step up. Not to mention this little thing we have that is nationally recognized as one of the best backfields in the nation. Yeah no talent whatsoever. smh

  18. And I LOVE how you say Driskel is awful and you’re whole argument is “it’s silly to tell someone why who thinks that Spring practice is a reason to say the Gators are better.” Come on man! I just asked for a simple discussion. A simple unbiased look at a quick video and a simple discussion as to whether he is truly bad or not. You can’t even do that! Scared of what you might find out? Scared that you may have nothing to back up your opinion. Come on man. I was man enough to point out some of his flaws, while expressing my opinion that I think he’s good. Be man enough to look at the kid without biased bashing, and give me a decent discussion. Be man enough to argue facts and analysis rather than fallacies. COME ON

  19. Mushmouth—- “By simply hiring a coach from Duke? They have not played one game with him as OC and you say he is learning from his failures.” The last time we hired an OC from Duke it worked out pretty well.

  20. “That Guy”…..admitting his failures and fixing them? What exactly has been fixed? Just because they actually had a forward pass or two in a Spring game they are all of the sudden juggernauts? This staff has a long way to go before one says they have fixed anything.

    And GatorZip…….give me a break. The point made was obviously not a shot at Duke, it was to point out that nothing has been fixed by simply hiring a coach. When the W’s come, then maybe something has been fixed…

  21. We’ve seen Driskel in the spread. It was in the Sugar Bowl and he failed miserably. What is different now? The Gators want to run the spread with a faster pace. Driskel has not shown he understands defenses when you huddle up and now he’s going to be better at decision making when the decisions have to be made quicker? He still was the same guy in the Spring. He’s not accurate with his downfield passes and still stares down his receiver. He was praised because he once went to a receiver that wasn’t his first option. Why was he praised? Because it’s a shock when he actually goes through a progression. Chris Spielman said it best when watching Driskel in the Sugar Bowl. He has his mind made up before the snap where the ball is going to go, he doesn’t ever read a defense, and he’s throwing it, regardless if the receiver is open. Imagining Driskel is a good quarterback is a fantasy that some people are set on believing, never mind the fact that everyone knows that Driskel is a horrible quarterback.

  22. Keep an eye out for James Crider from Apopka FL. He was Chandler Cox’s favorite target last year. Cox, Ivey and Crider are a solid crew. Crider put on 20 lbs of lean muscle in the #NoOffSeason and is bigger stronger and faster at 6’2″ @ 195lbs with legit 10 1/4″ handspan. He catches with his hands and is a clutch player.

  23. MushMouth, well trying to fix them. You can’t deny he admitted his faults though. Never once tried to put the blame off on someone else. Always said I’m the head coach and it’s all on me. Even poked fun at himself for not going to the spread sooner. Roper and Summer are terrific hires and you can’t deny it’s a huge step forward for our offense to get those guys

  24. Snowprint, I have to wonder if you actually watch the games, or just watch other people talk about Driskel and then spew out what they said. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard you talk about a game that wasn’t Lousiville or Georgia. Did you just watch some blogger tear apart Driskel after those games? Is that the source of your information. Because if you’d watch the 2013 season (and more of the 2012 season) you’d see what you’re saying just isn’t true. Driskel did struggle in some games reading defenses, but he also had some pretty good game. In Tennessee, he had a really good game passing given his opportunities. In FSU, he didn’t have the eye popping stats, but when he was relied on to throw the ball, FSU couldn’t stop him. In 2013 he made huge strides with his eyes. Andre Ware (not exactly a Gator homer) couldn’t stop talking about how great he was doing looking off defenders and moving defenders with his eyes. In Miami, he had a a very efficient day passing going 22/33 for 291 yards and a TD. As I said earlier his biggest problems were losing the ball after getting blind sided (and if you can find a QB who can hang onto the ball after getting hit from behind WHILE already in a throwing motion I’ll be impressed) and compounding mistakes. There’s a little section of about 4 or 5 plays where Jeff doesn’t look sharp. He has a missed TD, an interception, and a couple misses on the next drive. Take that sequence of plays out and put the rest together and you’d be saying Wow that’s great QB play! And that’s a great thing about Roper. One of his big things is building confidence to give short memory. Trusting the QB and letting them trust themselves so mistakes don’t compound. If he can get that into Driskel (which Driskel is a smart guy able to learn so I’m confident) then Driskel will be golden. And a little side note. Until you have the credentials of a Kurt Roper, I wouldn’t just give opinions. Stats, video evidence, and proof will be needed for anyone to take your opinion over Roper’s who is very high on Driskel. Just saying.

  25. That_UAT_Guy I just told you what Spielman said about Driskel. Roper has yet to see him play in a game, so he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s Driskel’s fault that he gets hit sometimes because he doesn’t see the defensive back blitz or, if he does, he fails to get rid of the ball. To bring up the Miami game shows that you are simply being silly. anyone who watched the game knows that Driskel is the main reason UF lost. He was awful in the Tennessee game, a good quarterback doesn’t put the ball up for grabs because he’s being pressured. It’s no excuse to be injured on the play, it was a bonehead decision and Driskel makes bonehead decisions with regularity. Yes, I don’t think Roper has a clue because he hasn’t seen Driskel under pressure in a real game. There’s a big difference between Spring and Summer practice. The proof is there in the games, you just choose to be blind to what Driskel is and make excuses for him. Roper is in for a big surprise when they go to Tuscaloosa. The most telling comment was by Brisett on why he transferred, he just couldn’t understand why they kept playing Driskel when it’s obvious that he sucks as a quarterback. Maybe he’ll become a runner this year, but as far as a passing game, Driskel is not smart enough to be a good passer. There’s a verb for it, He ‘Driskeled’, it should be used when a quarterback makes a bonehead play, since that’s Driskel’s main attribute.

  26. Wow. Go back and watch some tape so you actually know what you’re talking about. Still no proof or statistics or evidence or anything. Heck you don’t even bring up specific plays except ONE! I seriously don’t think you’ve ever watched a Driskel game in your life. I really think you just listen to this Spielman talk about him. Don’t you have any original thoughts? Any proof, data, evidence? I mean I can’t take you seriously until you give me a reason. You say Roper hasn’t seen him in a real game? You seriously don’t think Roper has watched game tape. You seriously don’t think Roper has sat down and watched real game footage of the players he’ll be working with?? Smh. I guarantee he’s seen much more of Driskel than you have. I guarantee I’ve watched more of Driskel than you have. Heck, I bet a casual Pac 12 fan has seen more of Driskel than you have. Can’t judge by just listening to one guy go off on him. Do some research yourself. Then come back and talk to me when you can actually have some evidence to back you up. Statistics, video proof, heck just bring up a few plays. I can tell you haven’t actually seen what you’re talking about because you describe the UT interception as putting the ball up for grabs because he’s being pressured. First of all Driskel didn’t even know he was being pressured. Blind side tackle didn’t hold the block and the guy came through on Driskel’s blind side. No QB has eyes in the back of his head. 2nd if you’d actually watch some film, you’d see quite plainly the receiver had a step on the defender. And accurate pass and that’s a complete pass. Driskel saw an aopen receiver went to throw the ball, and as he was throwing it he got hit from behind. This caused the ball to come out late and a little behind. Result was an easy pick six for the defender. Not nearly all on Driskel. I’ve seen elite QBs throw picks because they got hit while trying to throw. That’s why pass protection is so important. Do us all a favor and don’t comment back until you’ve watched at the very least. It’ll only take you about 10 minutes and at least then you’ll be able to say you’ve actually seen Jeff Driskel footage.

  27. “You can’t deny he admitted his faults though. Never once tried to put the blame off on someone else. Always said I’m the head coach and it’s all on me.”

    That Guy, just wondering, if it was all on him, why is he still the head coach and others are now gone? I have poked fun at him too by the way…

    As far as the hires, it is way too soon to tell if the hires are good or not. Not even one game has been played. There has been much discussion regarding recruiting and if certain players are good or not. The jury is still out on whether this current staff can develop players and coach them up to fit their system, offensively or defensively.

    Personally I think the best hire may be Lawing….

  28. How is the jury still out?? Summers had had more experience than a lot of head coaches and has proven he develops great O line talent! Roper has also had years of success and trained multiple elite QBs including Eli Manning. Their resumes are far more expensive than Pease’s or Weis’, etc. If they fail Florida will be the outlier in a long list of successes. I wouldn’t expect an outlier though as they are proven and wouldn’t come if they didn’t feel confident they’d be able to do their job. I’m sure they don’t want to hurt their stellar reputations.

  29. Both Weis and Pease were more highly regarded than Roper. That’s just a fact. UF didn’t beat out anyone for Roper’s services like they did for Pease over Alabama. What Pease didn’t study was the quarterbacks at each school, choosing to go with Driskel was a bad move. of course, he laughed all the way to the bank because, like Roper he got a guaranteed contract that pays him even if he doesn’t stay for the length of it. As for Roper praising Driskel, what else do you expect him to say? He’s saying the same things we’ve heard before. You are not going to hear a Gator coach say that the quarterbacks at UF are bad, even if it’s true. We were told they had confidence in Brantley until he graduated.If you actually believe anything the coaches say, you are very naive. When you talk about Driskel getting hit, it’s on him for not reading the defense and getting rid of the ball quickly. Let’s compare hoew Driskel reacts to the best quarterback, Winston. In the Louisville game, they blitzed a guy, Driskel didn’t read it and he coughed up a fumble because he didn’t get rid of the ball quickly. On the other hand, Winston has the same situation against UF last year, he gets blasted by the rusher but the ball is gone, there was no turnover, in fact, he completed the pass. Maybe it’s unfair to compare Driskel to the best player, but it does show that the excuses made for Driskel’s coughing up the ball is due to his poor decision making. Quit making excuses for the guy, he is what he is and it’s not due to anything but him being a poor quarterback.i

  30. Snowprint you can’t just say things and make it true. Where are your facts?? There’s no way Pease or Weis are anywhere near as proven as Roper. Weis has been a failure every college he’s been at and Pease has only had success once. That was for one year running what his predecessor already set up. Then when he failed at Florida he went running back to daddy. Roper has been successful pretty much everywhere he’s gone, as has Summers. You can’t just say stuff and act like it’s true when it’s not. Saying something is a fact doesn’t make it so. Back up your arguments with facts, logic, stats, PROOF! Coaches will always say good things about their team? You can’t believe them? So that’s why Muschamp called the 2011 team soft? That’s why Muschamp has said all throughout spring that we’re not there yet and that the gap between the first and second teams on the line is too big? IS that sugar coating and making things seem better than they are? Just because someone says something against your opinion doesn’t make them a liar. That’s a very petty argument. No I don’t expect Roper to say Driskel sucks or is bad, but Roper’s job and reputation is on the line for success this season. He has no reason to lie to say the things he’s saying. If my job and reputation were on the line, I’d say the QB battle is far from over and we’ll see how the QBs look in the fall, and we’ll see where the QB battle is when Treon joins the battle in the fall. I would NOT say Driskel was far and away the starter and I would NOT say he’s a great and talented as Roper is saying. That just doesn’t make sense for self preservation. Admit it he has no reason to say those things. He says them because he believes them and is confident enough to stake his reputation on that. And you have still not given me ONE BIT of proof or actual facts to back up your argument. Until you can back up your accusations with facts and proof, then there’s no reason anyone should believe you over Roper. And you should really watch that video I posted above. Maybe if you actually watch a few minutes of Driskel and the Gators actually playing, maybe you’ll be better informed.

  31. Enough by whatever guy. You’re obviously not logical when you keep asking for facts and proof and ignoring the same. Roper is saying nonsense and he doesn’t have a choice because who else is there besides Driskel? Morningwheg? Grier can’t even beat out Morningwheg and he was the guy that people were hoping to be the guy who would provide some competition. He may pan out or he may be like the other high school player of the year, Brantley, and suck. He played inferior competition in high school and may be overrated based on the numbers he put up playing for his Daddy. I just will await the trip to Alabama when the Gators first play a real team and we’ll see if Driskel is any good. I’ll admit I’m wrong if he plays well. This is one time that I hope I’m wrong because it means the Gators will have a chance to be a good team, the alternative will mean the Gators will suck again and be starting all over with a whole new staff. No, I don’t believe a word Roper says because he has no choice but to say he thinks Driskel is a great quarterback, he’d say the same thing about Brantley as well and if you want a fact, Brantley was horrible and the coaches told us how happy they were with him up until his eligibility ran out. What’s sad is that Driskel may have had a future as a professional baseball player but he put all his chips into football, another example of his poor decision making ability.

  32. That Guy,
    I guess this thread can keep going on and on. All I ask is that you get out from under Muschamp’s desk for a second and use some common sense. Just because coaches have had some success at other stops does not mean they will have that here. That is like saying all 5 stars recruits will pan out just beacause they had good high school careers. This is big boy football. The SEC. Not many easy passes week to week, and of course media scrutiny if one fails to win. Of course the jury is still out with this staff.

  33. Mushmouth, good coaches don’t just not do well at a random school for no reason. If they don’t do well here, there’ll be a reason for it. Personally I don’t see any reason they won’t continue their success. They are proven good coaches and saying otherwise is just foolish

    PS. Don’t resort to the “get out from under the coach’s desk” or similar bs just because you can’t prove yourpoint. It’s cheap and lame.

  34. Snowprint, come on man you can’t call me illogical and then make a post that has no logic whatsoever! Roper DOESN’T have to say what he did about Driskel. In fact it’s plain out right stupid for him to say those things if he doesn’t fully believe it. When Muschamp says we’ll be good and compete for championships, THAT’S something that a coach pretty much has to say. If and offensive coordinator says the offense will be improved, THAT’S one of those things you kinda say yeah he has to say that. When a coach says we have talented players, THAT’S one of those things a coach kinda has to say. But when a coach SPECIFICALLY says this player is great at x, y, and z and will be great, that’s putting his neck out on the line. That’s putting his reputation on the line. Coach’s don’t do that unless they believe what they’re saying. If Roper gives specifics at what Dirskel is good at and how he’s good, and how he has it mentally, then Driskel comes out and sucks at everything Roper said he was good at, that reflects badly on him. Then players and other coaches lose respect for him and it makes it harder for him to get a job. Why would any coach knowingly put themselves in that kind of bad position? No coach would. It’s ILLOGICAL! Driskel not playing baseball in favor of football shows poor decision making?? Driskel hasn’t touched a bat in years!! Not much of a future there if you don’t even play anymore. And if he hasn’t touched one then he’s probably uninterested in the sport anymore. Excuse a kid for not wanting to do something that he finds uninteresting. Gosh I would call that argument a reach, but it goes way beyond even that. Come on man! Show some logic before you start calling other people out on being illogical.

    PS: To the point of asking for truth and facts. I have brought up statistics. I have put up a video of Driskel playing. In the past I’ve given time slots in a video to look at plays(multiple plays for each point) to prove what I was saying. I have brought up and described specific plays I remembered to prove my point. You on the other hand have stated opinions and something that ONE GUY said. That’s not anywhere near proof. When you can debate your point and bring up proof to back it up, then I’ll take you seriously. Until then I’m still open if anyone else wants to have a reasonable discussion about Driskel. All you gotta do is take about 10 minutes to check out one little video with an unbiased mind and fairly discuss whether Driskel is bad or not using logic and proof from what Driskel has actually done and not done. Is that too much to ask?

  35. That Guy you bring up facts some are not willing to accept. Driskel has had a hard time in his early years reading defenses because he wouldn’t/didn’t put the time in watching videos. Snowprint is still upset JB didn’t get the starting QB spot and transferred. He will never get over that so give up on that discussion. The coach I am looking forward to seeing improve the most is our new OL coach. This part of our game has SUCKED for years.

  36. You’re right bum, and I would give up, but I actually send to enjoy debates/arguments (Don’t like nasty arguments or the such, but good debates are fun), so I stick with it. I agree with you our line has been a big downfall for years and Summers looks like he actually knows what he’s doing! I’m excited to see what our offense can do given a competent line! I’m excited for this team! I think a lot of people with be surprised.

  37. Here are Driskel’s statistics as a starter (Yds, TD-INT, Sacks):

    Bowling Green: 114 0-0 1
    Texas A&M: 162 0-0 8
    Tennessee: 219 2-0 0
    Kentucky: 203 1-1 3
    LSU: 61 0-0 5
    Vandy: 77 0-0 1
    S. Carolina: 93 4-0 3
    Georgia: 191 0-2 5
    Missouri: 106 1-0 0
    Louisiana (Inj.): 98 1-0 3
    Florida State: 147 1-0 4
    Louisville: 175 1-2 3

    Toledo: 153 1-0 2
    Miami: 291 1-2 2
    Tennessee (Inj.): 33 0-1 0

    Note that Driskel has only thrown for 200 yards three times, while he has had three games where he has thrown for less than 100 yards (plus two games where he had less than 120 yards). I would say the standard for a good passing game at a school like UF is 250 yards passing. The coaching staff only trusts him to throw downfield when the defense gives up early scores and they get desperate (see: Miami game). He has eight games where he has been sacked three times or more (out of 13 games that he finished the game on his feet), which either indicates a lack of pocket presence or a slow release (or both). The terrible OL and WR’s share some of the blame, but Driskel is responsible for his share, and Muschamp and the OC are responsible for coaching the QB and putting in the backup when necessary.