FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
- Looking at the combined 2021/2022 classes on offense
- Looking at the combined 2021/2022 classes on defense
- 2022 Signing Class Superlatives
- Florida Football Parental Roundtable III – Wilson
- Florida is the perfect fit for Miller to fulfill his promise
- Napier described as patient, genuine, with a detailed approach
- 15 players who are the Foundation of Florida Football
- Napier has a plan in place
- Coaching search consultant Landry goes in-depth on Mullen and Napier
That’s the word commonly used to describe the play of Jacksonville’s very own, @Jack Py">Jack Pyburn.
The dominant wrestler and defensive end joined the inaugural class of the Billy Napier era on National Signing Day and will look to make lots of noise alongside his 2022 counterparts.
Inside the Gators got to know the man behind the brute force in this edition of Getting to Know.
It came down to three schools UM, Auburn, and Florida. Why those three?
“I narrowed it down, basically, just deciding what schools fit me best and where I saw myself playing and being happy. It ultimately came down to, you know, what was going to be the best fit for me, what was the best opportunity, and what I wanted.”
And why was Florida the best place?
“I grew up a Gator fan my whole life. So, you know, it was a really cool experience being able to get an offer from your dream school, but at the same time being an 18-year-old, young adult, you have to look at it from a different perspective, just not through the eyes of ‘Wow, I'm a little kid again,’ but also from a business perspective and the best opportunity for my future. “
“With the new staff coming in and players being reevaluated, there's a lot of opportunities to come in and play early. It was basically a fresh start and I think the vision that Coach [Billy] Napier has is amazing. I think Coach [Patrick] Toney's and Coach [Sean] Spencer, are going to put together an incredible defense. So, just the tools I had at my disposal made it seem like the best, the best logical reason and decision.”
You’re a part of the inaugural class for this new staff. Walk me through some of those relationships, what were they telling you?
”So I was getting in to talk to Coach Napier a lot and Coach [Mike] Peterson a lot, and they're just kind of, telling me about their vision and what they saw, what was going to become of the program and how they saw me fitting into it. Also, getting to know them more personally and digging into a little bit of their past and their coaching careers and how they coach, how they go about the game. It was very drawing in for me because they have very similar mindsets to the way I think.
If you could describe your play in one word, what would it be?
You’re a pretty good wrestler too, how do those skills translate to your play on the field?
“Wrestling helped me with just having a good, solid base and being able to feel people's body positions. I can really feel when people are off-balance on the football field. When I'm rushing a tackle or rushing on a guard, I can feel where his weight is leveraging and be able to, really feel that just from wrestling and grappling, you get to know how the body moves.”
I saw your post about that last game of high school football, tell me a little bit about that.
“I look back at it all the time. I'm excited for college. I'm so ready for it, and I'm so excited, but at the same time, you never get those memories back, playing with your best friends. You look back at pictures like that and you're like, wow, it really did mean that much.”
“For me football makes you realize that it is more than a game. It's really a love and it's a way of life for me. I don't really know life without football and that's something that is pretty deep with me. The love I have for the game and the pure excitement I have when I take the field and the passion I have, I feel it's unmatched.”
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
“I like to get in a little bit of like a zone. I like to just put on my music and kind of tune out the world. Just focus on my breathing and focus on my core and visualize the game.”
Any particular type of music, any particular songs?
“I liked ‘3 Headed Goat,’ Just kind of gets me in the hype mood.”
“Immortal by 21 Savage.”
“Errybody by a Lil Baby.”
“I also listen to just straight on meditation. So, before I do my breathing center, I'll literally listen to like chakra, like opening your aura, kind of boosting your aura. Just like, get my breath under control, calm my body, calm my nerves. And then I get amped back up right before I take the field.”
What got you into football?
”I played all kinds of sports growing up. I think it was really like soccer. I was out there, and people would get mad because I would just run into kids and truck them and they're like, ‘I think your kid's in the wrong sport.’
“So, I went out to the football field and my mom always tell the story. She goes, ‘You put your pads on, you hit someone for the first time, and you got up, you walked over to the sideline and said, ‘I'm allowed to just hit someone and not get in trouble?’ So that was like my first week of football and then ever since then, I was like, ‘Take my anger out on someone? Hit someone? Impose my will on someone?’ Yeah, that's me. I love it.”
- Getting to Know: Class of 2022 Signees Newsfeed
- Getting to Know: Class of 2021 Signees Newsfeed
- Getting to Know: Class of 2020 Signees Newsfeed
- Getting to Know: Class of 2019 Signees Newsfeed
You were a big Florida fan growing up, what’s it mean that the dream came true?
“My freshman year, I got to do this group tour for the spring game. We got to go on the field, and I sent my dad a text and said, ‘dad, I'm going to do whatever it takes to play here.’ It’s a tribute to my hard work. A few weeks ago, from this time, I didn't have any offers, no one really knew who I was and now I'm sitting here as a four-star athlete committed to my dream college.”
What do you attribute that success to?
“I think the biggest thing is hard work will get you anywhere, and I firmly believe that. You have to have the talent, you have to have certain things, but if you have a few of those things and you just work hard, the sky's the limit.”
Who has been the biggest role model for you in your life?
“He's just a super, super tough individual and he has a ton of grit. He came from nothing and provided me with a great life and set me up for everything I've done. He's really hard on me, but I'm so glad he's been hard on me because it's made me who I am. He's an outstanding dad and man, and I'm just so grateful to have him in my life.”
What are three things on your bucket list?
“Undefeated state championship wrestling season. That's a month away.”
If you could have dinner with three people from any point in history, who would they be?
“Julius Caesar. That'd be cool. He was a great leader, so I liked to learn a little bit from him about his leadership skills. And, just kind of being a war general.”
“Sun Tzu. Wrote ‘The Art of War.’ I’d like to sit down with him and be able to talk about his teachings and what he found.”
“Black Beard because he was cool and a cool pirate.”
What meal are you having at this dinner?
“I’m definitely having hibachi. All the guys are going to love some rice and steak. It’s classic, traditional.”
What TV show are you binging right now?
“Just Book of Boba Fett. I’m going to wake up before I go to the gym at 4 in the morning and watch it when it comes out at 3 [a.m.].”
What would be your first purchase if you got drafted to the NFL?
“My first purchase technically is I'm going to put most of all my money into savings and put it into investments. So that's technically spending my money. Second, I'm going to buy some shoes, some clothes. I really like Jordan’s. That's another reason I'm really excited to go to Florida.”
If you a chance to go on a dream date, who would it be with?
Where is this date going down? What’s happening?
“I am going to fly her in a private jet to Alaska and we are going to look at the Aurora Borealis.”
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
“I see myself in the NFL. I see myself hopefully with a girlfriend, or a wife or something, or Sommer Ray, that'd be cool also. Still working towards my goals and my dreams and acquiring new goals, new dreams.