Anonymous Player Q&A: Breakout players, off-season workouts, Mullen's program

Feb 17, 2020 | 1 comment


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This marks the ninth off-season in which Inside the Gators has interviewed an anonymous departing player in order for him to share his thoughts on an array of topics regarding Florida Gators football.

In the past we have conducted these far reaching interviews in late summer. We may still do one or two longer ones this year, but I also wanted to make a change in that I wanted to get some information on returning players and this segment of the off-season regime here before spring practice.

Therefore, over the next couple of weeks we'll be conducting shorter interviews with a couple of anonymous player in order to give our readers a better understanding of what is currently going on and some players they should be on the lookout for this spring.


As an aside, allowing a player to comment anonymously obviously has its benefits and downside. The goal of this feature is to give our readers an honest and freely expressive look at the Florida football team, but we also acknowledge the nature of anonymous comments and the stigma that can come with them.

Who hasn't been on the field yet at all but you believe the Florida faithful should keep an eye on both offensively and defensively?

Its always tough to see who really wants it from outside. Coach [Dan] Mullen came in and implemented a true "program' structure where guys are suppose to spend time developing before stepping into the spotlight. One of the guys that seems to get overlooked is Trent Whittmore. As a young receiver, he has had time to learn from a group of experienced veterans. With the departure of Josh Hammond, I believe Trent will step up and fill the spot as "Mr. Reliable" because he might not be the overall most talented receiver, but he is the most ready to play because of his solid route running, elite hands and his attention to detail. 

On the defensive side of the ball, young David Reese is someone I think a lot of people have forgot about. He possess the size strength and speed to be very versatile for the ever so versatile Todd Grantham defense. Coming back from his injury, he just needs to work on being physical at the point of contact and if he does that he will be a real threat for the defense.

Who are a few players who have seen some time, but haven't been in the limelight yet who you believe will have break out years for Florida?

On the Offensive side of the ball I see Iverson Clement having himself a breakout year. He is a guy that puts his hard hat on and comes to work everyday. We have always had a solid running back room so it has been tough for him to get his chance but I see him pairing well with Pierce next year.

I think Ventrell Miller steps up to fill David Reese's spot on defense as the shot caller as well. Hes a physically player with great instinct. It will be fun to watch him grow as a leader this off season.

Who are a couple of the returning starters that you think will take it to the next level?

The receiving corps last year was one of the best in the country and I believe it will be that way again next year. Tre Grimes is in good position of leadership on the team and has all the tools to go best one of the best in the country. With one year under his belt, Kyle Trask is going to come out next year right where he left off. It is hard to find someone that works as hard as he does all year long.

On defense Zach Carter has really matured and come a long ways. When he first got to Florida you could see the talent, but he wasn't consistent with his work ethic. Last year when he started playing more and saw that he was being counted on he turned it up another notch. Brad Stewart is the most talented safety we have had the last couple of years but it never comes out in games. If you saw him practice you would think that he is a Pro Bowl player. I think he will put it all together next season.

How would you describe Dan Mullen as a coach and person off the field?

Coach [Dan] Mullen is truly a players coach. He cares about his players both on and off the field. He also cares about being successful in all aspects of your life. This can be tough to get across to some guys but Coach Mullen does a great job making everything you do hold the same weight. Cleaning up the locker room is just as important as studying film and performing in the class room. If you ever have an issue, no matter what position you play or your experience, he will be there to do what he can to help you and I truly believe that.

What are the workouts like in the Spring compared to the Summer?

Spring workouts are all more about bulking up and really getting stronger. This time of the year, you are going to make your biggest gains. You live in the weight room from January to when spring ball starts in March. In the summer, you are still lifting hard but this is when the running really gets turned up. In order to be in shape when camp comes, Coach [Nick] Savage uses the summer to combine strength training with conditioning to prepare you for a grueling camp and long season.

Describe what the mat drills are like. What did that consist of and how difficult where they compared to just regular workouts?

Matt drills are tough. They are one of the more "mental" workouts we do. They are workouts inside of Florida Gym where everyone straps on a pair of gloves and gets to work. Each station is fast paced with little to no break between reps so that you must really lock in and focus when you are tired. This is probably one of the couple workouts we do that really resembles what it is like in the fourth quarter of a big time game and that is exactly what Coach [Dan] Mullen and Coach [Nick] Savage are trying to do. I just talked to a friend on the team who wasn't there in the spring last year and just went through his first Valentine's Day workout. He said it was the toughest workout of his life. They mostly concentrated on legs and he could barely walk out of the weight room and was limited the next day he was so sore.

How much side work do players generally put in on their own this time of the year and in the summer?

Under the previous staff, getting work in on your own in the off season was not really a thing. You did the mandatory things and then you were done. That is not how it is at all anymore. The entire culture has changed to where guys want to go get more work in on their own. Guys want to get together and go get those extra hours in together. The player run workouts/drills are a time when the players really come together and compete against each other without any coaches there to watch. Its strictly work time during these drills.

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