No rest for national champions



Urban Meyer is out of the country this week and national signing day has come and gone, but, of course, football season never ends at Florida.

Less than two months after winning the national championship in Arizona ” and a little more than two weeks after assembling the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class ” the Gators are already back at work getting ready for spring football and the 2007 season.

The players are in their third week of the offseason conditioning program, which includes lots of running, lifting and those exhausting mat drills. Since winning the national championship, Meyer has been stressing to his players that they have to work harder than ever now and that appears to be the attitude they’ve carried into the weight room and onto the practice field. In the next week or two, we plan to put together an in-depth story on the offseason conditioning program.

While Meyer is out of town, his assistants are in Gainesville scripting a plan for spring practice, which begins March 21 and ends with the annual Orange and Blue Game on April 14 in The Swamp. With Chris Leak and all those seniors gone, it figures to be an interesting spring as Tim Tebow and some of the Gators’ talented young players take over. It certainly will be interesting to see how the nine early enrollees do in the spring, especially quarterbacks Bryan Waggener and Cameron Newton and exciting wide receiver prospect Joe Haden, who has been excelling in the offseason conditioning program.

Recruiting, of course, also never ends with Meyer and his staff. The Gators are already working on the 2008 prospects and figure to start gaining commitments in the spring.
As for the No. 1 recruiting class of 2007, we are taking a final look back on it in Monday’s paper.