Cowart not discouraged by Florida’s loss to LSU

Byron Cowart will return to Florida for the South Carolina game on an official visit. (Photo by Zach Abolverdi/The GainesvilleSun)

Florida’s team and fan base will be hurting for days following Saturday’s last-second loss to LSU.

But several of the recruits in attendance weren’t as gloomy about the game afterward, including consensus five-star defensive end Byron Cowart.

Rivals’ No. 1 overall prospect did not feel discouraged by UF’s performance against the Tigers.

“Not at all,” Cowart said. “This past week they had a lot of distractions with the whole Treon Harris incident. So I feel like with the week they had, they played a great game. They brought the team together.

“I know wherever I go, the guys that I’m going be around won’t (lose games like that). When we get on the field, I’m going to try to do all I can to get all 11 guys to the ball. When it comes to defense, I’m going to go all out.”

The highlight of his visit was watching defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. Cowart would likely replace him in Florida’s starting lineup next year if he leaves early for the NFL after this season.

“I like that guy,” Cowart said. “I talked to him before the game. He just loves football. He told me to go wherever I think fits me and go with my heart.

“I really admire that guy. I didn’t ever think I would look up to him, but he’s that dude. I like how he plays. He has fun with the crowd.”

The 6-foot-4, 260-pounder, who said he would also like to play some tight end in college, saw an opportunity at both positions. But UF coach Will Muschamp advised him that it’s not easy.

“I was asking coach why is it so hard to play both ways,” Coward said. “He was like, ‘When you get here, you play a series and you’ll understand. It takes a lot out of you.’ They don’t have (enough) rotation.”

Muschamp also talked to Cowart about the chances Florida had to win the game.

“He was just saying control the controllables,” Cowart said of their conversation. “They had a game plan. They went out and executed it. But some situations you can’t control. … They had opportunities.”

Cowart feels confident about the Gators moving forward if they can get over the loss quickly.

“I feel like they have it in the bag,” he said. “I was talking to (defensive line) coach (Brad) Lawing and he told me all their games are winnable. His thing is, don’t let LSU beat you twice. Don’t go out and have a bad week of practice.

“If they move on from this, it will be a lesson. Our first game, we lost to Plant. We could have let that carry over (to the next game).”

Cowart officially visits Alabama next weekend and is scheduled to take his three remaining trips to Florida (Nov. 15), Oregon (Nov. 22) and Florida State (Nov. 29). He said Auburn and Ole Miss are gaining his interest and may receive a visit from him.

He plans to announce his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game before enrolling early at the school of his choice.

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  1. He sounds like he still desperately wants to say yes to the gators. But I don’t see UF winning enough to save Muschamp’s job. Recruiting is about relationships and him enrolling early means he won’t have one with the new staff. Let’s just hope he chooses anyone else but FSU. If Florida can’t even beat a down LSU team at home, I see no hope for the rest of the season. Treon Harris, like Roper, is not a miracle worker. We all knew Florida had to win, they didn’t.

  2. It’s sad to me how many Gator fans just suck. No hope? Go ahead and quit, then. Quit being a fan of the Gators, please. The fan base is what needs to clean house, not the football program. If I had to write a definition of the typical Gator fan it would read, in part, “hypocritical, whiney, spoiled and completely freaking clueless”. How anyone thinks that tearing down the individuals inside the program is, somehow, constructive just points out their complete and utter ignorance. Why ANYONE would want to come play or coach for the Gators with the damn fools in the stands is beyond me.

  3. I hope we get this kid. He seems like he has a good head on his shoulders I can see him having an impact as a freshman, but will he be ok being behind B. Cox Jr and Alex McCallister . Also we have to go with Treon as are full time starter. I feel for Jeff I promise you guys he wants to win more than anyone posting on this website, so I cant imagine how hard it has to be for a guy in his spot. That being said we have to go with Harris as he is the guy that give our team the best chance to win. Goooooo GATORS!!!!!

  4. I think Georgia wins the East, Gators beat Missouri and Vandy plus E. Kentucky, and we finish. 6-6 with a little bowl invite. Sometime in early December Jeremy Foley introduces Dan Mullen or Hugh Freeze as the new Florida coach. That coach finishes off a Top 15 class or maybe a bit better. I’ve pulled hard for Will Muschamp, personally like him and think he inherited a tough transition. It hasn’t gone too well. Mostly I haven’t seen his 2011,’12 and, so far, ’14 teams progress during a season. Part of that is coaching, mostly it goes to leadership. He might have needed a lower profile head coaching job a year or two before coming to UF. I hope he finds great success down the road but I doubt it can be at Florida.

  5. And I really hope, somehow, im wrong about Muschamp. I look for patterns, though , and we’re on the same trajectories as in 2911 and 2912, kind of a combination of those years. Nonetheless, whether Muschamp and this team surprise us all and turn into a big success over the next six games or they limp in 6-6 and a coaching change is made, better days loom ahead.

  6. Too many bad plays. 3rd & 20 freekin’ five!!??? No timeouts and you’re calling a freekin’ SLANT??!! No guts to run Mack Brown or Kelvin Taylor with 1st & goal ON THE 2??!! I wanted to smash something I was so mad last night . No way-let me repeat-NO WAY they should’ve lost that game!! Mr. Cowart, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Holland, & Mr. Prince-Gator Nation needs you all next year to turn this thing around. Now I gotta hear about this for a whole year. Still ridin’ with my Gators! GO GATORS!!!

  7. Baton Rouge is right, I couldn’t believe with 1st & goal we have 2 bruisers on the sideline and Powell running up the middle. Reminded me of Urban trying to run Demps & Rainey. We gave that one away. It’s time for the change at QB if we want different results we must do something different. The East is still wide open though, Go Gators! Can’t wait to see Cowart in Orange and Blue.

  8. “We gave that one away.”

    No, Muschamp gave that one away. Once again a receiver slips behind the ENTIRE defense. On third and twenty five. With a bad QB throwing the ball. I have heard over and over and over we will fix it. The only fix is to jettison the man in charge.

    Three OC’s in four years and the offense is still putrid. What is the constant in those years…..Where was this vaunted defense with the defensive guru and mastermind on Saturday night?

    Cowart may not not be dicscouraged, but I heard about 90,000 who were Saturday night……..

  9. In the SEC East, it’s not inconceivable that the Gators wind up in Atlanta. Maybe Treon Harris is the answer, along with Powell, Worton, Robinson, Fullwood, Jones and Taylor. If so, then recruiting will be rolling and the picture much brighter. Meantime, regardless of who coaches next year, the secondary’s going to improve. These guys are overall really young and green. Very similar to 2007, as Zach has pointed out, and much akin to the year a freshman Fred Weary was paired at corner with Anthone Lott. Oh yeah, we had some awful Defensive Coordinator named Bob Stoops, I think. Talent on the field, coupled with experience, makes coaches look smart.

  10. The problems are not just on QB and WR. The defense is not good either. Dunkin and Muschamp failed again and again to recognize bad lineups. The defense made Kiffin an instant star. What has Kiffin’s offense done to other SEC teams?

  11. It wasn’t coaching that cost the Gators the game against LSU. It was the players. Face it, Florida is not that talented. Jeff Driskel is always referred to as “talented.” Why? Now we hear about ‘bruisers” Lane and Taylor. Since when have they become ‘bruisers?” Lane hasn’t even played and Taylor is an average back at best. Some were touting the great running backs Florida has. LSU showed it has better running backs and Florida doesn’t have a single “great” running back. Talent is relative, and Florida has shown on the field that they are not that talented. Florida is much more talented than eastern Michigan. But they proved they were far below Alabama and on a par with Kentucky, Tennessee, and LSU. What is particularly troubling about being on par with those teams is that they are much younger than Florida in terms of experience. Muschamp said before the season that this was the “most talented” team he’s had since being at Florida, that doesn’t say much from the way they have played. Florida has an opportunity to win the East. The schedule is a lot easier now since LSU, Missouri, and South Carolina are no longer ranked teams. But UF has already failed it’s first test against LSU, so I wouldn’t hold my breath thinking they will beat Missouri or South Carolina.

  12. To those dissing on the Gator D/coaches. Those same defensive coaches were Top 5 in the Nation for 2 years, and even with all of the injuries last year, they were still #8 in the Nation, get a grip. In the secondary, they lost 2 Jr’s early to the NFL, they lost 1 Sr Grad to the NFL, and they lost 1 Sr to xfer so he could switch positions from S to CB. Some occasional breakdowns in the secondary are expected by the ‘reasonable,’ since those things can happen even when you have seasoned Jr’s and Sr’s back there, instead of Fr & Soph’s. ========

    Current SEC Standings:
    1t. 3-0 – Ms & MsSt
    3. 3-1 – UGa
    4t. 2-1 – UA, AU, UK (beat them for the 28th consecutive time)
    7t. 2-2 – UF & aTm
    (IF – UF can beat Mz & UG, then it’s back in the SECe catbird seat)

    9. 1-1 – Mizz
    10. 1-2 – LSU (lost to LSU on an ‘officials jobbed’ last second FG)
    11. 2-3 – SCa

    12. 0-2 – Tenn (beat then for the 10th consecutive time)
    13. 0-3 – Ark
    14. 0-4 – VU
    Moronic yapping — “Taylor is an average back at best.” Yep, he was just the #1 RB coming out of HS. He only broke Emmitt Smith’s Florida HS Career Rushing Yards Record, doing so in his Jr year. He was just the Freshman All SEC 1st Team RB with a 4.6 ypc against SEC defenses and a Top 5 SoS. While last year (and most years) FSUcks played a #69 SoS string of chumps. Florida does have mostly average talent on the OL for the moment, but that is slowly changing for the better. (while the stupidity/ignorance of some posting here never seems to change)

    “Jeff Driskel is always referred to as “talented.” Why?” Because he is still batting .750 as the starter.
    Because he played an -A game vs LSU and did more than enough to win the game, for his part.
    PS – How’s your cheatin’ – BB gun totin’ – crab stealin’ – table screamin’ – date-rapist doing. Is he still dragging drunk/drugged fellow students off for some unsanctioned ‘fun,’ at their severe expense? Good ole Clown-U…..

  13. ntcrze & mr. muddler,

    Go on, keep slurping up the Kool Aid. Yep, its always the players fault. Never the coaches. 3-9 in the last 12 games. Muschamp is absolutely in over his head as a head coach. He cannot coach and make players better. He has been labeled a great recruiter – who flippin cares if he cannot win games with those players..

    Muschamp has not shown the ability to be an X and O guy. Maybe he can recruit good high school talent, but he cannot build them into a winning program. So he goes 11-2 one year. What about the 8-4, 4-8, and this year? Mr. Foley, PLEASE be polishing up your short list of coaches…………

  14. My worry is this: during the off season, will Foley hire a coach who actually knows how to coach, and will he hire someone who knows how to put together a good group of assistant coaches? Also important, will the new coach be able to salvage the recruiting class?

  15. Bruh-i wish I knew. This was one of the most frustrating losses that I can remember. On par with the mind numbing loss to Georgia last year. You just get the feeling that when the game gets close that our team never can make a play. It NEVER used to be like that with the previous Gator teams. Time to regroup & come out swinging on Saturday night. GO GATORS!!!

    P.S. lswho should send Driskel a nice fat thank you card for that early, nicely placed, gift-wrapped Xmas gift of a victory…

  16. Mr. mush-for-brains, I’ve been watching football at Florida Field since SOS was the QB.
    My kool-aide is much better than your own bitter dregs.
    You want to take out the 11-2 season, so I’ll just take out the injury riddled 4-8 season, making it 21-10, 13-8 SEC. And while that’s not SOS or Meyer’s boyz, it’s not bad for a brand new HBC vs Top 5 SoS’s.

    Now, before everyone gets all fired up about tFr Harris as the Gator replacement QB, keep this in mind.
    #2 QB-DT Will Grier – HS Senior Year:
    Passing 4,989 yards with a Nation Leading 77 TD’s, 11 Ints. (7 to 1 ratio)
    Rushing 115 for 1,251 yds, 10.9 ypc, Long 97 yds, 13 TD’s. (1 lost funble)
    Career Total Offense: 38 Gms, 17,520 yards, 226 TD’s, 27 Ints, 7 lost fumbles.
    His HS TD to Turnover Ratio was 6.6 to 1.
    Parade All-American and Parade PoY Awards, and Mr. Football USA honors. (Like SOS, he HATES to lose).
    And Grier has no ‘off the field’ issues for us to worry about him being eligible from game to game….

    Gator Rushing: (removing their longest run which can skew the ypc stats)
    RB M.Jones Jr – 75 for 343 yds, 4.6 ypc, 3 TD’s (Long 40 – 5.2 ypc)
    RB K.Taylor So – 31 for 113 yds, 3.6 ypc, 2 TD’s (Long 31 – 4.9 ypc)
    RB B.Powell tFr – 5 for 18 yds, 3.6 ypc, 1 TD (Long 12 – 5.0 ypc)
    J.Driskel rsJr – 52 for 166 yds, 3.2 ypc, 2 TD’s (Long 18 – 4.4 ypc)
    T.Harris tFr 6 for 15 yds, 2.5 ypc, 0 TD’s, (Long 10 — 3.6 ypc)
    RB M.Brown rsSr – 6 for 11 yds, 1.8 ypc, 0 TD’s (Long 47 — 8.6 ypc)
    RB A.Lane rsFr 5-7 222 — Unused so far, 1st and goal at the 2?
    LB Michael Taylor says that Lane is the most difficult to tackle on the team. ===================
    Mark Swoops-UK – 2-17 SEC (2012 > 10-11-14)
    The Big BJ-Tn – 3-15 SEC (2012 > 10-11-14)
    Muschamp-UF – 16-13 SEC (2011 > 10-11-14)
    With one more year, Will has less losses and over 3x their combined wins.

  17. Good comments and with some better development of defensive linemen perhaps we can get back to eight that can play well and that will get a rotation that will keep them playing better. Sort of like the last NC teams line. That helps the entire D.

  18. Gator Mac, glad to see you finally recognized that JD is not the QB that can lead this team to the SEC championship. We all recognize that he is NOT the only problem on this team, maybe in my mind the biggest but he just doesn’t have it. Again there are many faults to this team, but they start at the top of the ticket. Why we are not using RB’s in goal line situations with four downs to get it done is beyond MANY people. That game would tell me if I’m any one of those RB’s or even a recruit that JD is the BEST RB on this team and I wold rather lose with him than WIN with the stable of six talented running back that we have only given lip service to since spring practice. The other thing is “We got get that fixed”. go to bed with that we’ve been hearing it for three years now G GATORS!!!!

  19. We have had 3 OC’s in three years, Please recognize it’s not change in the program. We RUN, RUN, RUN up the middle with relatively small backs(with the exception of Jones). This game the only difference was they used JD as a running back, because they were afraid of his passing ability. I will admit that JD made 4 very good throws during the game and two of them were dropped. I personally would not throw to Dunbar again, he’s been there long enough to be able to catch a pass thrown right to him. And he has dropped MANY, he’s like Terrel Owens (the former pro player) he can catch but his concentration is horrible and he loses sight on why he’s out there. We were told about all these GREAT receives and running backs, either we are just not using them or we have been LIED to. GO GATORS!!!!

  20. Believe it or not, this beleaguered team may win. 8 games and play in Atlanta. The mushy SEC East is still wide open. We were a dropped TD pass from beating a good though not great SEC West opponent. This team played its heart out, including Driskel. Frankly, it’s apparent Muschamp has not lost this team. They believe in something maybe none of the rest of us can see. Bitching and kicking players while they’re down accomplishes nothing. As Pat Dooley says, “Let it play out.” Personally, I choose to believe the best. When it’s over, we’ll know. But we ‘re about halfway through a season in which most forecasts had us losing to Bama and LSU. Our guys will improve. Will it be enough? Don’t know but I do care.

  21. I love how the Muddler was touting what a talented backfield the Gates had. I called you out on it but you reverted to your normal name calling. You confuse high school stats with college success . Don’t you realize Muddler that everybody has those stats?? You being such an old gator I think too many choke jobs by UF have decreased the gray matter in your skull.
    You just don’t have the talent. Name one Gator that could start for FSU , Bama , Auburn, State, or ole miss?

  22. Muddler,

    You go back to high school stats. Perhaps you do not realize but you are making my point for me. Muschamp can get good recruits but has no idea how to make them better. He has not been a very good head coach. Period.

    You are actually comparing the head coach of UF to those from Kentucky and Tennessee. That is the state of our football program -being comapred to UK and UT. Tell us why UF should not the standard to which others are compared? We have been spoon fed a mediocre football team and people such as you like it I guess…

  23. UF 2014 Backfield Rushing Stats, not HS stats:
    RB M.Jones 5.2 ypc (recruited by FSU)
    RB K.Taylor 4.9 ypc (1st Team Fr All SEC)
    RB B.Powell 5.0 ypc (flipped from Mia/Tn)
    RB M.Brown 8.6 ypc (UA-AA)
    RB A.Lane 5-7 222 – (recruited by bama, no carries yet)
    QB J.Driskel 4.4 ypc (#1 QB-DT – 15-5 as UF starter)
    QB T.Harris 3.6 ypc (2x FL 4A Champ, flipped from FSU on NSD)
    Plus, individual player stats are a lot easier to come by when FSUcks plays a #69 SoS. The All Cupcake Conference again living up/down to their #5 Conf. billing….

    I compared UF’s HBC to two other new SECe coaches.
    Who should I have compare them to, the WF HBC?
    (UF 7-3 FSU btw)
    Jimbo Fisher FSU OC then (easy transition) moved up to HBC in 2010. >>> 2012 @ ACC-C 26 – 37 #2 SECe Muschamp << >> face (any) punishment << from his upcoming student-code-of-conduct hearing, he responded flatly: "None." (yep, and typical for FSU discipline)
    * The list is long on players at UF that were recruited by both UA & FSU, among the many others. I'm not wasting my time listing all of them. However, there are some at FSUcks that would have already been dismissed twice over if at UF. (3x sCam vs 6x Shameous for example)
    PS — And Deion never missed a class, and Dockett never tried to stomp on a hand….. lmao!

  24. The board glitzed my post by dropping out a couple of lines. Here is the full paragraph that was glitzed:

    Jimbo’s the type that will still defend 6x LOSER Shameous Jameous, even as FSU’s Admin is tiring of having to constantly bail him out.
    Now it’s 340 (at least-no money-yeah right) autographs, which would be a serious NCAA Violation.
    When asked how much concern he had that Jameis Winston would face punishment from his upcoming student-code-of-conduct hearing, he responded flatly: “None.” (yep, and typical for FSU discipline)
    Someone asked me who I was pulling for in the FSU / ND game and I gave the SOS comment, “Too bad they can’t both lose.”
    But then I figured out how that could happen. FSU stomps the drunks, then the NCAA forfeits the win because they played $ignature Shameous…. ROTF-LMAO!!!

  25. Yeah, and that’s the ONLY mistake that you’ve ever made here I’m sure… lol

    “The scoreboard is all that matters.” — mush-4-brains
    Whoops, another mushie-mistake, cause that’s valid if you’re at FSU, not UF. At UF, Academics and Character still matter, just ask sCam Newton, or the dozen+ that Will’s already unloaded.

    Muschamp is also: 15-4 vs aTm, Mizz, VU, UK, Tenn, FSU, tOSU.

    2014 – Currently Tied for #7 in SEC with aTm, #4 SECe and still in the mix for SECe-C.
    Put UF in the ACC and FSU in the SEC and the rolls and records would reverse imoho.

    kool-aide vs bitter dregs