Wuerffel: Fans need to keep perspective

Former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Like most Gator fans, former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel is frustrated with how the offense has performed in year three under Jim McElwain.

But Wuerffel, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1996 under former coach Steve Spurrier’s high-powered offense, said that fan angst should have its limits. McElwain said Monday that he and his players have received death threats, though UF’s athletic department released a statement later that day saying that the Gators coach has yet to substantiate those claims.

Florida is 3-3 and has lost two straight heading into its showdown with No. 3 Georgia on Saturday in Jacksonville.

“You’ve got to appreciate that your average fan that wants to see you do well and win is frustrated,” Wuerffel said. “But we’ve all got to remember that this is football and in the scheme of things that are most important in life, let’s keep it in perspective …

“That to me is getting way out of hand. That’s not what we’re about and I think the majority of Gators are definitely disappointed, but have a good grounded perspective. In any situation in life, the people that are on the fringes or say the most ridiculous things get all the press. I’d rather focus on all the good Gators out there that love their Gators, but are just a little disappointed.”

Asked if he received any threats during his playing career, Wuerffel responded: “There were different letters I remember getting where people had unpleasant things to say. But you know, it was snail mail and nothing happening in real time. It was very, very different.”

Wuerffel is hosting his seventh annual Desire Cup Event at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra on Thursday and Friday. The event will raise funds for Desire Street Ministries, a faith-based organization working side-by-side with neighbors to help provide services and solutions to poverty-stricken communities.

Last April, Wuerffel was prophetic in saying the Gators shouldn’t count out redshirt junior quarterback Luke Del Rio in UF’s starting quarterback competition. Del Rio ended up winning the starting job by leading Florida to a comeback win over Kentucky, but suffered a season-ending injury the following week when he broke his collarbone against Vanderbilt.

“I was really sad to see Luke get hurt, he’s been through so much,” Wuerffel said. “I think he did bring a spark briefly there when he was in there.”

Redshirt freshman quarterback Feleipe Franks will make his sixth career start for the Gators against Georgia. Franks is 2-3 as a starter and has struggled at times spotting open receivers.

“Feleipe is obviously incredibly physically talented as a young quarterback,” Wuerffel said. “It’s hard to kind of overestimate how difficult it is as a young person at that level, particular with the speed of the game around you, I think with each and every snap and with each game, the phrase a lot of people use, the game slows down a bit, you begin to be able to process information quicker because you are seeing things just moving more in slow motion than too fast for you.”

Wuerffel said the ability to see the field and process information as a quarterback can be developed over time.

“I remember my first high school play, I don’t even remember what happened,” Wuerffel said. “I said hut and the play was over, and then each time you move to a new level, going to college and the NFL you kind of have that experience, but over time you begin to see what’s happening, and you can anticipate what’s going to happen and then you’re going to anticipate what you can anticipate.”

Wuerffel said this year’s Desire Cup golf tournament will be played on the Stadium Course at Sawgrass. Spurrier will be on hand for all the festivities, as will former Gator and current PGA golfer Billy Horschel.

More information about the Desire Cup and Desire Street Ministries can be found at www.desirestreet.org.

Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or kevin.brockway@gvillesun.com. Also check out Brockway’s blog at Gatorsports.com.



  1. Coach: DEATH THREATS against coaches, coach’s families, players or their families is a serious criminal act and the evidence needs to be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency. The University of Florida is crawling with law enforcement. You haven’t done this. UAA has asked for details which you would not provide. Why not? In today’s electronic world, the perpetrators will be quickly identified.

  2. Because worst case he’s lying and best case he exaggerated. Either way it was stupid to bring up if your not willing to show proof. When will this idiot just quit so we can start the process of finding a real coach. How did Foley interview this guy for 2 days and say “yeah this is my guy?”

  3. One thing that Danny did on the playing field better than anyone else I’ve seen is the quarterback sneak if you needed a yard for a touchdown or a first down. He got the ball, jumped forward on the pile and reached out with his arms and got the ball over the line. He did it all the time. I suggest that the coaches go look at some of his films. With Franks length, he should be able to do this too.

  4. Something is fishy about this whole deal. Why would the Athletic Department release a statement that “the Gators coach has yet to substantiate those claims”? This is awkward to say the least, and is a not so subtle repudiation of the claims at best. Why release a statement at all? No reports to law enforcement? No substantiation to the Athletic Department (which then goes out of its way to let everyone know that there has been no substantiation)? Strange. Wonder what is really going on?

  5. Stories in several publications on the web detailing friction between Mac and the Administration. Speculation is that they both want to part company. Sure seems like we would have heard something from Pat first if there was friction between the University and Mac.

  6. Problem is it will cost a jillion bucks to get rid of him now, unless he just quits. And it almost feels like that’s what he wants to do. I too am beginning to smell something in the whole death threat thing.

  7. Listen, I’m going to say this as delicately and succinctly as I can, if Coach Mac is fired or leave on his after this season, it does not mean this highly-touted recruiting class we have is suddenly going to fall apart. Mac still salvaged Muschamp’s last class with 5*’s Ivey and Jefferson in it, as well as Callaway. Muschamp salvaged the better part of Meyer’s last class, and Meyer salvaged Zook’s last class, and so on.

    A new coach also does not mean the new coach won’t continue improving facilities. Myself? I’m sick and tired of all the drama surrounding this man and the way he runs his program. He’s soft, he has little or no control over his players, he hires mostly his pals and buddies as assistants instead iof qualified assistants, and every year he’s been here there’s been a scandal or drama to go with it.

    His third year here has been his worse so far, and we’re looking at a possible beat-down from UGA this weekend, because really, does anyone in Gator Nation honestly believe this coaching staff will have this team ready and prepared for an extremely good UGA team Saturday?

    I want us to win, I’m HOPING on everything for a win, but the odds are seriously not in our favor… and if we lose, we’ll be sitting at 3 – 4 on the season, unranked, with even more grmbling within the program.

    This is YEAR THREE under Mac, it’s absolutely unacceptable to have this result after three years.

    There’s a hot-handed new up-and-comer down in Orlando at UCF named Scott Frost. Perhaps AD Scot Stricklin should give him a serious look-see if he’s interested in coming to UF in 2018. I’d wager Frost would salvage almost all of Mac’s 2018 class, including Corral.