FOOTBALL

Florida offensive guard Stewart Reese answers five questions

Zach Abolverdi
Gator Sports

Florida starting right guard Stewart Reese, a sixth-year senior, is dedicating the rest of this season to former position coach John Hevesy

Reese was recruited by Hevesy in high school and played for him at Mississippi State and Florida. Hevesy was let go as UF's offensive line coach last weekend.  

What's your motivation for the rest of this season?

A: Just finish out for Coach Hevesy, finish out for the program. I hate that they had to let him go, but finish out the rest of the season for him and my team and try and get to a bowl game and send everybody home with a win. We got three more games. We got Samford, Missouri and Florida State left. We’re going to do our best to put together a game plan and come out and execute.

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What would be your advice to players  contemplating a transfer?

A: My advice would be don’t make a rash decision. Don’t let one bad situation cause you to potentially mess up your whole future. I know going through seasons like this sucks, but it don’t last always. I’ve been through seasons like this before and turned it around (at Mississippi State). We went from a six-win team one year all the way up to like a nine-win team (in 2017). So, I mean, it’s not unusual for teams to have seasons like this. Look at the success we had last year. It can be done. But hey, everybody’s not gonna have a perfect season and that’s really what it comes down to. We just have to keep plugging away. You can’t let all the bad times take a hold and make you feel like there’s no way out. You stick in, deal with it, keep plugging away and it’s always going to be something on the other side that’s going to pull you through.

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What gives you confidence that Dan Mullen is the right guy for the job and will turn this program around?

A: I’ve seen him do it before. This isn’t the first time I’ve been part of a season like this. I think the biggest thing about Coach Mullen that I feel makes him the person for the job is that he’s a competitor. Regardless of what’s going on, regardless of how bad it gets, he’s just going to keep plugging and plugging and plugging away until it gets better. That trickles throughout the team, on down to the coaching staff and on down to the players. Personally, I wouldn’t take nobody else but Coach Mullen.

How does Mullen show his competitiveness to the players?

A: You just have to watch him. You have to watch him throughout the facility, throughout the day. Something as simple as walking to practice. Coach is competitive in everything. It’s in every fiber of his being. He’s a true competitor, and like I said, it trickles down from him to the coaching staff and to the players. So, you just have to experience it.

Do you guys feel like you’re fighting for Mullen right now?

A: Yeah. One of the biggest things coach always tells us is don’t listen to the outside noise. Because one thing that I’ve learned in six years of playing college football is they’re gonna praise you when you’re up and they’re gonna kick you in the ass when you’re down. Sorry for my French, but it is what it is. All the outside stuff, it doesn’t matter because if people were so gung-ho about having something to say, they would come in front of the team and say it. But, you know, that’s not what everybody’s gonna do. So at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what everybody else has to say. We gotta do what we need to do for our coach to make sure that we finish out the season the right way.