Former Florida wide receiver Jacquez Green was part of some explosive Gator offenses in the 1990s.
So Green, who was one of nine athletes and coaches inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame on Friday, didn’t sugarcoat his thoughts on UF’s offensive performance two weeks ago against Michigan.
“Just bad football all the way around,” Green said. “Can’t run the ball, don’t hit any explosive plays in the passing game, can’t settle on a quarterback. It was just bad all the way. Hopefully we can create big plays in the passing game and get a consistent run game.”
Green, 41, was unable to attend Friday night’s Hall of Fame ceremony at the F Club because he was coaching a game that night at Tallahassee Godby High School. He’s in his first year as an offensive coordinator at Godby after previously coaching at Lincoln High in Tallahassee.
“At Lincoln we went to two state finals, we won once, winning record every year, made the playoffs every year,” Green said. “Now I’m watching guys in the NFL who I coached in high school, so, hopefully I made a positive impact on those guys like Buck Allen with the Ravens, I saw Reggie Davis made the roster with the Cleveland Browns this year.”
As an offensive player and coach, Green admitted watching UF’s loss against Michigan was tough to stomach.
“We had so many months to prepare for those guys and Michigan was replacing so many guys defensively,” Green said. “All of us really thought this would be the year it would be pretty decent on offense. We’re in 100s ranked and if we could get up the 60s and 70s, we could be pretty decent on offense.
“It was kind of disappointing on offense, the way we played the first game but the great thing about football is we got 10 or 11 more games to play so we’ll see how they play this Saturday.”
Asked what Florida needs to fix offensively, Green responded: “We need to get the ball out of the hands of the quarterback a little quicker. It all starts up front. There’s really no play call if you get beat up front. Hopefully the guys up front take more pride in what they do and give the quarterbacks and the run game a chance to succeed.”
Green said he respects the value of throwing the deep ball, which he learned playing under Steve Spurrier at Florida from 1995-97. But Green said he’s also taken elements from the power run game and some West Coast offense concepts from when he played in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden.
“I run a West Coast offense, with lots of the same verbage that the guys use in the west coast,” Green said. “It’s been good for us. We’ve had a lot of guys who had a lot of success in the system, a lot of quarterbacks who have gone on to play college football.”
Green, who played at Florida from 1995-97, was a first-team All-American receiver at UF in 1997 and was part of the first Gator football national championship team in 1996. The Fort Valley, Ga., native still ranks eighth in school history in receiving yardage (2,181) and seventh in career TDs (27). Green also was an accomplished return man and remains tied with Brandon James for the most punt return TDs in UF history (4).
But Green said his favorite memory was the bond he formed with his incoming freshman class at UF, which he says remains strong to his day.
“We were close from the time we came to when we left the university,” Green said. “We would sit around and talk about what we would do on Saturday and how we were going to push each other and how we were going to win a national championship …
“That class that we had wasn’t highly-ranked coming in but we had the right mindset, and I think out of 18 or 19 guys, 12 of 13 played in the NFL.”
Other Hall of Fame inductees on Friday include former Florida basketball standouts Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Corey Brewer, former baseball standout Matt LaPorta, former golf All-American Matt Every, former tennis All-American Alexis Gordon, former volleyball All-American Benavia Jenkins and former golf coach Buddy Alexander, who led UF to a pair of national titles. Horford, Noah and Brewer were training with NBA teams and unable to attend the ceremony. LaPorta, Jenkins and Gordon attended the induction.
Green said he was flattered to earn the UF Hall of Fame honor.
“It’s big time considering it’s the University of Florida where there are a lot of great players, not just in football,” Green said. “We have great players in all different sports at the University of Florida so to finally get in, it means a lot considering the type of prestige at our university.”