Gillislee ready to step up

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HOOVER, Ala. — Other than the precious few carries he’s had over the past three seasons, Mike Gillislee has pretty much been a non-factor on the football field for the Gators. That’s about to change in a big way.

Not only does Gillislee figure to be the featured back in Brent Pease’s offense, the soft-spoken senior from DeLand also plans to be a team leader in 2012.

“It’s not any more difficult (being the No. 1 tailback),” he said at SEC Media Days on Wednesday. “I am a senior, so I also have to be a leader more than anything by keeping my team up and keeping them going.

“There is no feeling like that. I do extra things just because I know that I am going to get the ball, like working on getting out there with both teams and taking care of my body. I think the offense suits me a lot better with not just running the ball, but catching the ball out of the backfield and just being a complete back.”

Many UF fans were left wondering last season why Gillislee, a strong runner between the tackles, was not given more opportunities to run the ball in the struggling UF offense.

UF coach Will Muschamp said Wednesday he made a mistake by not putting the ball in Gillislee’s hands more.

“He has a great work ethic. He does everything right,” Muschamp said. “I should have played him more last year. I admit when I’m wrong. I say it. I’m excited about his senior year. He’s a guy we’re expecting to have a great year.”

Gillislee has been patient waiting for his time to come at Florida. He said he had a similar experience in high school. After waiting his turn, he had a big senior season. He said Muschamp should have no regrets for not playing him more a year ago.

“He told me he regretted it, but I don’t really see it as a regret because that’s in the past,” he said. “Now is my opportunity and I will keep it that way by going out there every day and keeping up with the other running backs. They are just as good as me.”

Very few seemed to know who Gillislee was as he walked through the Wynfrey Hotel on Wednesday. But he will be recognized soon enough if he has the kind of senior season Muschamp is predicting.

11 COMMENTS

  1. I think Will Muschamp finally see what we’ve been screaming about these past 2 years…Gillislee will be fine. I’m thinking the difference in our weight program will be noticed on the field…we’ve had some of the most fragile players in the SEC under our old weight lifting program.

  2. Gators, how can we not beat half azz u this year? We are Florida. We are the Harvard of the South. We’ve put fourteen presidents in the White House. The entire Senate is comprised of UF grads. And 400 of the US Congressmen graduated from UF. Again, we are the Florida Gators. I’ve met 1800 Gator students this week who were accepted to Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia but decided to come to UF because it’s the better school.

    How can we lose to half azz u again when we are the Gators of Florida? FSU cannot recruit and has never even won a National Championship. We have 37 BCS National Championships. Why? Because we are Florida. We cannot possibly lose to FSU because we’re Florida.

  3. My only problem with Muschamp’s mea culpa is he didn’t fix the problem on the fly. If he recognized during the season that Gillislee deserved more carries, he should’ve given them to him. If he didn’t recognize it until after the season,
    then we have a serious coaching problem…

    Btw, Jack, come back when you “lern 2 spel.”

  4. I agree with KG… Jack, you obviously didn’t attend HARVARD, and there isn’t an ‘e’ in South… But there is in E – DEFEATED, which is what Florida will do to F.S.U. in Tally this Nov. If nothing else, FLORIDA beats F.S.who! And, I appreciate that Coach Champ says, ”I can admit when I am wrong…” He was for not giving M.G. the ball more, but M.G. will be hungrier for it! I also think Hunter Joyer, Mack Brown, Matt Jones, Chris Johnson, can ALL CONTRIBUTE THIS YEAR! So, if I am the Wizard from the West (Pease) I’d consider running them all out there at some point this season, and see ”what or who sticks”. GO GATORS! BEAT the Noles like a drum in November – kinda’ like The Sooners did last year!