More Meyer from Jax

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Here are some pretty good leftovers from UF
football coach Urban Meyer’s appearance at the Gator Gathering in
Jacksonville on Wednesday night:

* Meyer drew a huge ovation
from the crowd of about 350 with his closing remarks about the state of
the program and his love (and commitment) to the University of Florida.

“Someone
did a fine story and made a comment about our coaching staff,” Meyer
said. “I can tell you for the first time in our coaching careers, it
feels like home. I love Florida. This is a hell of a place and this is
a hell of a team. We’re going to enjoy the moment and learn form the
moment. Is this a good program? No, it’s a great program. We have our
foot squarely on peoples’ necks, and we’re not going to take it off.
Right now, everyone is trying to catch the Gators. We will not let that
happen.

“We stick together through all kinds of weather.
Support your football team and the players under those helmets. They’re
as good young men as we’ve ever had at the University of Florida.”

*
Meyer said that despite all the depth at safety, and the emergence of
Will Hill and the return of Dorian Munroe, Ahmad Black will remain the
starter at strong safety.

“He’s a starter,” Meyer said. “No question.”

*
Meyer said the UF program is now similar to Southern Cal’s in the fact
there are so many highly rated athletes competing at every position. It
is the result of consistently good recruiting.

“I’ve studied
USC a little bit,” Meyer said. “They had the cornerstone on developing
depth and developing competition in practice, where if you have a bad
day you’re out and someone else goes in. It’s life in the big city, and
at good programs. Right now, we’re a good program.”

* Meyer
said he expects true freshman wide receiver Andre Debose and true
freshmen linebackers Jon Bostic and Jelani Jenkins to be major
contributors this season. Bostic was an early enrollee who impressed
the coaches backing up middle linebacker Brandon Spikes.

“(Debose)
is a phenomenal player,” Meyer said. “I have a strong, strong feeling
that Jelani Jenkins will be in the rotation at linebacker. I like
Bostic. I thought he’d be really good, but I didn’t think he’d be
challenging for a starting job. He’s earned it. He had a hell of a
spring.”

Many are comparing the expectations for Debose to
those of true freshman defensive tackle Omar Hunter a year ago. Much of
those expectations are a result of glowing comments from Meyer. A year
ago, he called Hunter the Tim Tebow of the 2008 recruiting class.

“It’s
one of my faults,” Meyer said. “I like to hang it out there over their
heads a little. I get excited. I get jacked. I think Omar Hunter is
going to be a phenomenal player. But we all want yesterday instead of
tomorrow.”

* Although the Gators are in the running for a
handful of top prospects in California this year, Meyer said the
coaching staff is not targeting the state.

“No,” he said.
“(Tight ends coach) Brian White has a background out there. We’re not
recruiting California. We might try to cherry pick a couple.”