FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
- Four-star lineman has decided, ready to announce
- Mullen: Responsibility is to do what's best for Florida
- WCC: Target McCoy is contacted by Mullen
- WCC: Florida commit reacts to Hevesy being fired
- WCC: Update on UF commit Livingston
- Vote: Is Mullen the long term solution?
- Inside the Gators: Mock Signing Class 7.0
- Left scrambling, Florida extends an unprecedented eight October offers
- Coach's Corner: Q&A with former UF assistant Red Anderson
- One-on-One with Steve Spurrier (Audio added)
- Where are they Now: Shane Matthews talks Florida Football
Stewart Reese and Mohamoud Diabate spoke to the media Wednesday evening, and most of the discussion centered on the aftermath of Florida replacing two assistant coaches. Here are the main takeaways.
Here are the main takeaways:
- It was a calm walk up to the podium for Stewart Reese who expressed his sentiment toward former offensive line coach John Hevesy in light of the changes made to the coaching staff. “It’s been different, I wouldn’t say that it’s been a bad thing. Of course, we hate that coach Hevesy had to be let go,” Reese said. “We have to finish out the season for him.” Hevesy coached Reese at Mississippi State prior to their stints in Florida.
- Along with the firing of Hevesy, the naming of graduate assistant Michael Sollenne as Interim Offensive Line Coach has been a welcomed one according to Reese. “Coach Mike has stepped up and taken on the role as offensive line coach and he’s doing a really good job. So, he’s got to keep it pushing forward. The time to deal with whatever feelings you have wait until after the season’s over.” Sollene’s first test will be against a Samford defense that’s totaled 15 sacks for a total loss of 100 yards through 8 games.
- Despite the disappointing 4-5 season at hand, the remaining three games in the Gator season were of utmost importance according to Reese who looked back on the struggles of the past Gator season while highlighting the program’s resiliency and ability to bounce back. “Every season is not going to be perfect. You come in with the intention of having a great season and it doesn’t turn out so well. So, it is what it is, so is life. Just have to keep pushing, that’s all I can say." The Gators face Samford on the weekend in what should be an expected win and trial for the new faces among the coaching staff. Florida looks to bounce back with a much-needed win for the hopes of a bowl game.
- “I’ve seen him do it before.” Those were the words Reese reserved for Dan Mullen upon questions of Mullen’s ability to pull the Gators out of the rough patch that sees the Gators unranked a year after being one of the most electrifying teams in the country. Reese backed Mullen’s competitive attitude as the driving force that extends from the coaching staff to the players on the team. Mullen’s job security has been the hot topic surrounding Gator Football following losses in his last 3 games. Despite the surrounding calls for Mullen’s job, Reese backed his longtime coach as the right man for the job. “Personally, I wouldn’t take anybody else but coach Mullen.”
- Gator’s linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, when asked about Christian Robinson taking over as the defensive coordinator, said, “He’s bringing tremendous energy, juice, and encouragement to the players. The younger guys are coming up to me after practice, ‘Yeah we like Rob, everyone is buying into C-Rob and what’s he’s bringing to the defense this week.”
- Diabate mentioned Mullen’s “obsession with football.” Diabate says that he enjoys coach Mullen’s ability to test him on the field and psychologically off the field, mentioning Mullen’s wisdom. He followed up with "I like playing for coach Mullen because of his obsession with football, when he coaches us in practice he pushes us, and regardless of people questioning us getting back to a championship level, we are a few missed plays from being a great team," said Diabate when asked about why he likes playing for coach Mullen.
- Diabate also said, “Coach Mullen makes the decision based on what he thinks is best for the team. We just like to play football and want to be led,” when asked about if the staff changes are a way to gain the locker room back and if Mullen has lost the locker room.“He said Mullen hasn’t lost it.”
- When asked about his teammates hitting the transfer portal he said, “I don’t feel like there will be anyone hitting the portal after the season. I ain’t seen anybody skip practice. I ain’t seen anybody hit the portal. Everybody is here to work.” Diabate went game-by-game stating the importance of each, not just for the current season but for next season. He mentioned the SEC east matchup in Mizzou and the huge in-state rivalry with FSU. “These next three games are really important. I see them as great opportunities.”
Rafael De Los Santos and Joseph Munroe contributed to this update
WCC: Updates on everything they had to say can be seen HERE.