UF Media Day Q&A Transcript: Gervon Dexter

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      Mark Wheeler
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        Courtesy ASAP Transcripts:

        Q. You guys have a new coach, new mindset, new expectations. How has Billy Napier’s personality just kind of rubbed off on this team do you think?

        GERVON DEXTER: I think Coach Billy Napier has rubbed off on the team in mainly just his leadership role and teaching each individual how to be a leader in their own way. It don’t matter the guy who it is. Everybody can be a leader. I think that’s become — that helped a lot of discipline on our team. All guys are leaning the right way and doing the right thing the same way. It’s really helped, and that’s been Coach nay peer’s biggest thing. Just staying together, everybody staying together, doing some of the things he’s been teaching. Like I said, discipline has been one of his biggest things and everybody going the right way doing the same thing, everybody doing their job and not focusing on outside stuff. That’s been his biggest thing.

        Q. How big a change has that been?

        GERVON DEXTER: That’s been a huge change for us in my opinion. That was an issue that we had, just discipline. I think that was one of the biggest things that needed to be changed with him coming in. Changing that has made a huge difference on us already.

        Q. Gervon, obviously there was a lot of mock drafts and stuff that made waves this summer. How did you feel to see your name pop up in some of those? Does that motivate you? Do you try to ignore that stuff?

        GERVON DEXTER: Yeah, I try to ignore it. A lot of that stuff, I’ve seen guys who was on some of that stuff and it never came true. I kind of really like to stick to what’s now and my goal now as far as like a team goal. I’m not really having too much listening to the individual stuff just yet. I’ll do that after the season.

        Yeah, not really too much. Like you said, my name is on it. It’s a big blessing for somebody to be looking at me, but I haven’t too much really been looking into it.

        Q. With that in mind, when you see stuff like that, how does that affect your work ethic this off-season? What are some of the things that you tried to work on with your game?

        GERVON DEXTER: Like I said, I didn’t really too much look into it. I was already on goal this off-season, so that didn’t affect me going harder or anything. I was already going hard.

        Q. Gervon, what do you think are the one or two biggest differences that the average fan is going to see with this team compared to last year?

        GERVON DEXTER: Like I said, discipline, a huge, huge discipline difference. Just you’ll see a family out there. It won’t be an individual this or that. It’ll be, like I said, all the guys going the same way. That will be the biggest thing you’ll see out there.

        Q. I know you had moved around the defensive line quite a bit to start your career; is there a role that you’re kind of settling into within this new scheme?

        GERVON DEXTER: Yeah, I’ll be playing like the end in this defense. Like I said, I’m a big team player guy, so if it’s a time where Coach PT needs me at tackle or at nose, I’ll be there, as well.

        I think a guy like me, I feel like I can play the whole front almost, so there’s no role really, just wherever they need me, that’s where I’ll be at.

        Q. I know Coach Napier has highlighted that there’s inexperience across the front. What are you seeing from some of the young guys?

        GERVON DEXTER: I think they’re growing up pretty fast. Like you said, unfortunately they’re inexperienced, but they’re growing up. You’re only inexperienced until you get out there, so I think once they get out there and we get out there and get ready to go, they’ll be ready for sure.

        Q. Gervon, how have you seen yourself grow as a leader heading into this fall camp? You already talked about some of the young players. What have you done in order to sort of bring them along?

        GERVON DEXTER: I’ve been taught as a child, anybody can talk and say they’re a leader and yell real loud and make everybody think they’re doing it right, but I think I’m a big guy who I like to lead by example. If I’m doing it the right way, they have no choice but to see me doing it the right way. That’s kind of how I’ve been going about it.

        Of course you have to be a little vocal, and I like to get a little vocal and kind of talk a little bit, but my main thing is just leading by example for sure.

        Q. You talked about the discipline that the new coaching staff is bringing; how have you seen the players respond, not just yourself but everybody?

        GERVON DEXTER: Of course at first it was new stuff, but it’s been a whole switch. As far as everything we do, Coach Napier said we’re all outside in white socks, you won’t see a blue sock out there. That’s been the main thing, just big on discipline, doing what he says, and that’s been a huge change in the switch so far.

        Q. Gervon, in what kind of ways has this staff emphasized discipline? What have they done to make sure that you guys are improving?

        GERVON DEXTER: Like I said with the socks, Coach Napier is a big guy on everybody looking the same, everybody doing the same. Just all the little things as far as jumping offsides or extra activity after the plays and just big on stuff like that. He came in letting us know that’s not going to happen, or consequences. Like I said, that’s been his big thing. It’s just the small stuff that come people may know that can cause you to lose a game, he’s been really impacting on that.

        Q. As a leader on the defensive line, how important is it going to be this season to kind of develop a big-time kind of consistent pass rush? And your own pass rushing ability, what have you done in the off-season in terms of that?

        GERVON DEXTER: So I’ve been working with Coach Spencer. Some of the things that he’s taught me has been almost like crazy because it’s like some stuff that some of the passers already in college football already probably know. I feel like with Coach Spencer coming in, it’s kind of been a blessing almost because the stuff that he teaches, I can’t even explain it. It’s crazy. He’s just a great coach. He’s helped me change my game. I wouldn’t think this could happen, but in probably a month he’s changed my game, so imagine what four or five months could do. That’s all I’m going to say.

        Q. How good is O’Cyrus as a newcomer? What’s the scouting report going against him daily?

        GERVON DEXTER: Yeah, that was huge for me because O’Cyrus is a big, big guy, and he can move well. Just the way — his approach. You wouldn’t know you’re going against a pro until you go against O’Cyrus. Physically he does all the right stuff. Like you really have to sit down and — when you’re pass rushing against O’Cyrus, you’ve really got to sit down and figure out what he’s doing because if you just go out there and try to rush him freely, it ain’t going to work. He’s been a huge, huge — that was a big gift for O’Cyrus to come to Florida. He’s a great player.

        Q. You mentioned that your game has improved and evolved. Specifically what steps have you done? What has he taught you to do?

        GERVON DEXTER: The biggest thing has been technique-wise. I’ve gotten away so far with me just being physically gifted and stuff like that. Coach Spencer coming in and just — kind of like a tune-up on a car. He’s tuned me up and stuff like that.

        Just all the small things that I didn’t know, hands, feet, get-off, some of the stuff like that has really helped my game so far, and then just knowing the game a little more, knowing where the quarterback is or where the running back is and what type of player I’m going to get or how is the guard going to play off of me or how is he going to block me. That’s been the biggest thing, just the small things in the game that I didn’t know.

        Q. Back to the discipline thing, how did players react to that at first? Do you think they craved it, or was it a jolt to the system?

        GERVON DEXTER: It was just kind of new for everybody. Like I said, with the white socks, some guys are like, man, we didn’t do that already. So coming in it was a little — you know what I’m saying? That’s what it is when you get something new and you’re not used to it. But he’s pretty — he stuck his foot down and wasn’t changing, and we just had to get on the same boat as him.

        Q. As a Florida native, kind of speak and reflect going into your third year what it’s meant to you to be a Florida Gator and the experiences not just on but off the field, as well, and just what that means to you as you come on the down side of your career.

        GERVON DEXTER: It means a lot to me. That was one of my biggest reasons on why I’m here, just to represent the state of Florida, just me being here, being from Polk County, it just meant a lot to me to be able to come here. It means a lot to me to wear that logo every Saturday.

        I feel like as a recruit or as a player, why not stay in the state of Florida and get to represent where you’re from and what it means to you to play in Florida. I feel like that’s been a huge big reason on why I’m here today.

        Q. Give us the name of someone who we may not know but you look forward to big things going into it season.

        GERVON DEXTER: There’s so many. As far as one or two that I could choose, I would say Jalen Lee, Princely. I ain’t going to try to say his last name up here. But there’s guys like that for sure.

        Q. Being a new dad now, different kind of motivation, different kind of thing waking up in the morning. What’s your life like as dad and player and what kind of motivation does that bring going forward?

        GERVON DEXTER: It’s been a huge motivation for me because as far as before I was a dad, it was kind of like everything I was doing, it was kind of for me almost, like my goals. But I’m sure some of you guys know if you have kids, it’s not about you anymore, it’s about him now. Everything I do now is trying to set his life up for the better.

        It’s just been a blessing, and it’s crazy. Today we start camp we got to go up to the hotel, that’s probably one of my saddest days is leaving him. But like I said, it’s for the better, and it’s been — I can’t even explain how good it’s been for me being a father.

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