Florida’s top 5 comments about opponents at SECMD21

Graham Hall
Special to The Sun
Florida defensive lineman Zach Carter answers questions during SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency in Hoover, Ala., Monday, July 19, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

Florida’s trip to Hoover, Ala., on Monday for SEC Media Days wasn’t just about self-promotion — the Gators also dished on several upcoming opponents throughout the course of the day. Some comments grabbed headlines, while others simply expanded on the personnel of other teams. Here are five interesting comments from Florida’s representatives regarding opponents. 

South Carolina running back Kevin Harris

5. Florida defensive lineman Zachary Carter discusses South Carolina running back Kevin Harris

Q: You guys played South Carolina last year. They had a running back, Kevin Harris, who ended up leading the conference in rushing. What do you remember about him, about going up against him, trying to tackle him? How elusive was he, and how hard was he to bring down?

CARTER: “Harris, he was definitely a good back. He was pretty tough. He was pretty tough to bring down, a solid runner. I recall it was No. 28, but, yeah, I definitely remember him. He was a pretty good back, and he really helped South Carolina. He kind of helped lead that offense last year. Yeah, he's a pretty good back.”

4. Carter on infamous “shoe toss” last year in Florida's home loss to LSU. 

Q: This shoe toss thing last year, was that one of the strangest things you've been a part of? Did you even realize what happened down on the field?

CARTER: “I'd say I've never seen — I've never been in a game where that happened, but it was just somebody got caught up in their emotions. People get very passionate for the game, and you can make a mistake sometimes. No, I've never been a part of that, though.”

3. In the private session with local media before the main room, coach Dan Mullen’s quip about the perceived favoritism toward Georgia from national analysts. 

Q: Some preseason magazines are thinking Florida will take a step back and Georgia is going to be the SEC East winner. Does that concern you?

Florida Gators Head Coach Dan Mullen address the media during SEC Media Days at the Hyatt Regency in Hoover, Ala., Monday, July 19, 2021. [Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

MULLEN: “Didn’t they say that last year? I don’t, we didn’t have any of them at our practice and I haven’t talked to any of them so I don’t know how they do that. I think it’s great, I don’t get into that stuff all that much and pay attention to it. Cause all of that, I mean it’s fun — I love it 'cause it’s speculation, it gets everybody excited about football, gets everybody fired up. Even being here today, it’s exciting, creates this energy. Can’t wait to get people back. You’re looking at Game 1, I mean, The Swamp on a Saturday night, to get back to that energy. You watch these other sporting events, you’re starting to feel that energy, it’s something that’s dearly been missed. So I think that does a great job to create that energy and excitement.” 

2. Carter proved to be quite the quote machine, as he set the record straight for anyone debating the state’s top dog. 

Q: What are your thoughts on the recently announced UF-UCF series?

CARTER: “It will be good to show them who really runs the state of Florida. The Gators do, definitely.”

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1. Mullen wants (more) Bama.

Q: Given the quirks of the SEC schedule, Alabama will be visiting Gainesville  for the first time in 10 years. Just talk about the opportunity to play that game in sort of a non-neutral setting and have the home crowd for that game.

MULLEN: Yeah, I think it's really exciting. I don't want to get the commissioner in trouble here, but I'd love us to maybe do away with the permanent crossover team so you get these type of games more often. I think for the players, for the fan bases, I really think it's exciting to see some more of maybe mixing up the teams from the west and playing two different teams each year instead of a permanent crossover. I think that would be really exciting so you get this matchup.

I think that's going to be an exciting day. It's going to be a great atmosphere. It's going to be a fun game to be a part of, and as you said, for ten years we haven't seen it. We'd love to see that more. There's ten teams that will visit — there's non-conference teams that will visit The Swamp a lot more than conference teams. I think you'd love to see maybe a better rotation of those teams.