I had a chance to interview former Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap earlier in the week and wrote a story about him returning to Florida to take classes this semester toward his degree. There were some other interesting things Dunlap talked about that did not appear in the story that ran on Gatorsports.com and in The Gainesville Sun.
Here they are:
* Dunlap said he hasn’t had a chance to talk much to Urban Meyer since he returned to campus earlier this month. “We share texts every now and then. It was a long season and he’s been through a rough time. I don’t want to bug him,” he said. Dunlap said he has talked to new coach Will Muschamp more than he has Meyer. “I met him and we’ve talked a couple of times since I’ve been back. He’s pretty cool. There are a couple of players on my team (Cincinnati Bengals) who played for him in college. They said he’s a cool guy and a real players’ coach. They like him a lot. He seems like a guy who’s going to be able to get the program turned back around. I’m looking forward to seeing the Gators play the next few years,” Dunlap said.
* Dunlap said he followed the Gators throughout the season (even though he rarely had a chance to see their games on TV), and he was not that surprised that it was such a struggle for Florida. “There is a lot of young talent that left early (for the NFL), and then you look at all the good seniors who are also playing now in the NFL and doing well. You look at all the talent (from the 2009 team) that is now in the NFL, and you can see why they lost some games this season. I didn’t catch many games, but as soon as I landed, I’d have texts telling me how the Gators did. Like they say, once a Gator, always a Gator.”
* Before his DUI arrest the Tuesday morning before the 2009 SEC Championship Game, Dunlap had never been in any kind of trouble in his life, he said. He was not known as a party guy at UF. “I was not a heavy partier, but I did enjoy my time at Florida. We practiced all the time. The only time to celebrate was after a game,” he said.
* Dunlap, who is taking 12 hours this semester, said he will return to UF to finish up his degree next spring. He will need only eight hours, he said. Since he’s been back, Dunlap said he hasn’t really had a chance to hang out (or work out) with the current UF players. “All the players I came in with are working out getting ready for the NFL, so I haven’t seen much of them. I can tell you there are a lot of new faces around here,” he said.