Dan Mullen Signing Day Press Conference

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Ethan Hughes
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Dan Mullen will address the media around 6. You can follow along here for updates or watch the press conference on WatchESPN.
Ethan Hughes
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Mullen says they're excited to welcome a bunch of new Gators to the family. It was a memory that those guys will have forever. He likes the balance throughout the class and the numbers. He thinks they'll add a couple more guys in February.
Ethan Hughes
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He says Diwan Black is a great kid. They knew there would be an uphill battle for him when he signed two years ago, and they thought it would take a miracle for him to qualify. He gives him a ton of credit. JUCO isn't an easy route, and he took care of everything he needed to academically. He's a great leader and locker room personality.
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He says it shows the character that these guys have that they didn't have anyone flip on Signing Day. He says Tyreak Sapp has wanted to be a Gator for a long time.
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He says he doesn't care if Signing Day is eventful or not. They prefer guys to let them know at least a couple of days in advance either way, but there are always some surprises on Signing Day. This Signing Day was different because they had practice and meetings all day, so it was probably helpful that is was uneventful.
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Mullen says both QBs are excellent competitors, and you never know how playing time will shake out and how many you'll need. With only two scholarship quarterbacks coming back, they felt it was important to sign two.
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He says the entire staff does such a great job of building relationships, the players they recruit have good character and the university is a premier academic institution. That combination has led to very little Signing Day drama in recent years. He's proud of everybody involved in recruiting, and he's fortunate to be at a university that has a lot to offer.
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He says Chief Borders is an exceptional athlete and great student. They're excited to have him on the team. Academics were important to him, but he also wanted to play big-time football, and UF's status as a top-10 public university and top-10 football program helped them hold off Stanford.
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He says Tampa has always been a huge area for them in recruiting, and they hope that it will continue to be in the future.
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Mullen says they have less information on prospects than they normally would due to the lack of in-person interaction with this class. He would be in favor of reducing the amount of time coaches travel to visit recruits and increasing the number of campus visits allowed moving forward out of the pandemic. He's really comfortable with all of the players they signed, though.
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He says there's so much uncertainty when it comes to transfer rules moving forward. They're saving a couple of spots for transfers. A lot of coaches are concerned about the direction things are headed. There will be a lot of unintended consequences to these new rules, and they'll have to create new rules five years from now. The transfer rules and the current recruiting rules don't mesh.
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He says they would love to get a couple of players in for bowl practices, but it's going to be a little challenging this year because of the short transition between the conference championship game and bowl practices. They'll be doing more on-campus bowl practices than normal, so that could help them get some signees in for practices, as they're not allowed to travel with the team to the bowl game.
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He says they signed a complete defense. They have a starting 11. He was really excited about that. The defensive linemen might have the most opportunity to contribute early due to attrition. He thinks offensive line is the one position they need to finish off moving forward.
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Mullen says Desmond Watson is a 385-pound athlete. He jokes that if he had to pick over/under on 400 pounds when he shows up on campus, he's taking the over.
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He says Nick Saban is the most veteran guy in the league. The program and stability he has established is something that people want to model themselves after. They don't want to copycat him because they have a different personality, but they're tough on the field and in recruiting.
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He says both receivers committed to them early. Daejon Reynolds wasn't able to play due to an injury this year. They had he and Marcus Burke at the top of their board after their junior seasons. They're both big receivers with good speed.

He says he pictures Jeremiah Williams as a linebacker, but he doesn't want to paint himself into a corner. They'll be open to moving him to BUCK if needed. They imagine him as a big, physical middle linebacker. All three linebackers have length and speed. You can make the argument that Borders could be an outside linebacker, and Black could play a number of positions. He's excited about that versatility.
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He says they used a scholarship on Rocco Underwood because he's got size and athleticism. He was a really good tight end in high school and could do some other things for them. They anticipate him locking down that spot for several years. He fills a spot of need for them.
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Mullen says they want mismatches at the tight end position. Nick Elksnis has great size and can really run. They can flex him out as a receiver. He's impressive physically. Gage Wilcox has impressive change of direction, and they feel confident in what he's going to become. He grew into his body as a senior. They'll create mismatches and allow them to play some two tight end sets.
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He says he has the final say on who they accept in the class, but he takes everyone's opinions into account. He thinks they'll have "a bunch" of early enrollees but doesn't know the exact number yet.

That's all for tonight.
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