Florida head coach Will Muschamp met with the media at Touchdown Terrace at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sunday for the Gator’s annual Media Day before the official start of fall camp. Although last year’s dismal season is still hard to erase, Muschamp seemed confident about the 2014 college football season and more than ready to put the results of last year behind him – the embracing losses, the devastating injuries – everything.
“It’s something we’ve still got to deal with,” Muschamp said. “It’s there. I addressed our team about our preparation, about our attitude, about our embracing adversity, about our having a competitive edge every day. To stick your head in the sand and pretend it’s all injuries, that’s not right. You’ll fool yourself if you believe that. We addressed a lot of those things in the offseason and moving forward. We’re getting ready to get started with the 2014 Florida football team.”
One of the main topics Muschamp covered was the changes in this year’s fall training camp. The first two days of fall will be a split squad with the veteran player’s practicing in the morning and the younger player’s going in the evening.
“We’re going to go a little more in the morning than we have in the past,” Muschamp said. We usually incorporate a midday practice off of two-a-days even though we only have three or four. But the midday practice was hard from the standpoint of heat. And also weather, sometimes you get lightning. ”
“So we’re going to practice early in the morning and when we do have opportunities, per the rules, have a two-a-day practice,” Muschamp added. “It’ll be a little later at night and a little lighter than we’ve been doing before, so it won’t be so taxing for the players. My biggest concern is being able to have guys hydrated here in this heat, and so I think going in the morning then eliminating the midday practice will help.”
Another highlight was the new fast paced, shot-gun spread offense that’s been implemented under new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. Starting quarterback Jeff Driskel seems to be really comfortable and confident with the new scheme, which is a great sign for the Gators. Driskel is the without a doubt the starter this season, but the backup position is still up for grabs. Muschamp said the backup quarterback will have a role early on and play in the very first game against Idaho. However, the Gators staff still needs to determine who that will be and will evaluate who is the best fit for the position during fall training camp. Sophomore Skylar Mornhinweg, true- freshmen Will Grier, and Treon Harris will be competing for the position.
In regards to injuries, Freshman defensive back J.C. Jackson will start fall camp but will be non-contact. Redshirt freshman linebacker Matt Rolin and sixth-year redshirt wide receiver Andre Debose have been completely cleared and are good to go.
One thing was made crystal clear on Sunday, the University of Florida football team is striving to shock the world with a big turnaround year heading into the 2014 season. Senior full back Hunter Joyer said he’s looking forward to proving everyone wrong.
“We’re just hungry,” Joyer said. “We know we have a great skill set on board; offense and defense, great special teams and great coaching. We’ve been working extremely hard all summer and in the spring. We’re confident in ourselves that we can get the job done. Last year was extremely difficult, but we know we can be so much better.”
Florida’s first open practice is set for August 7th at 7:30 p.m. at Dizney Lacrosse Stadium prior to the season opener which is on August 30th against Idaho.
Here’s what Will Muschamp and the Gators had to say about the first practice of fall camp: