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Florida Football

Former Florida Football Player 2019 Pre-Season Survey I

August 16, 2019

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With Florida's 2019 season opener against Miami just a week away, Inside the Gators has turned to former Gators football players to get their take on the upcoming season. We asked numerous former players for their take on the following 10 questions.

We will publish the results as they are returned.

Here in part one we have responses from receiver Jaquez Green (95-97), safety Jarvis Herring (01-05), offensive lineman Leon Hires (89-00), defensive back Skipper Peek (76-79) and fullback Steven Wilks (07-10).

1) Who is Florida's biggest Rival? 

  • Green: Georgia right now because they are the best of the three (out of Florida State, Georgia and LSU), and we play for championships.
  • Herring: Florida State.
  • Hires: Georgia, because of recruiting and the fact we are in the same division of the SEC. The road to Atlanta goes through Jacksonville. 
  • Peek: Florida State. They are in-state and we have to live with obnoxious Seminoles fans when we lose.
  • Wilks: I’m going to deflect a little and name Florida’s biggest hurdle, which is Georgia. Because we know in this league you have to come to play week to week etc. Georgia has stood out and been a thorn, but those days are always short lived. I grew up watching Steve Spurrier and Bobby Bowden  in the mid-to-late 90’s, so that is one of the greatest rivalries in football hands down.

2) When you were playing, what was the toughest road venue? 

  • Green: Florida State’s Doak Campbell. They had the best players.
  • Herring: Tennessee. The folks were just nasty there. Crazy experiences, people spitting and more.
  • Hires: LSU. Death Valley is loud and their fans were the most annoying, most intoxicated in football.
  • Peek: LSU, because of the intensity of their fans and the setting.
  • Wilks: LSU. The game there during the 2008 season was so loud we blew a timeout or two on the first drive. That was the closest thing to the Swamp I ever experienced. 

3) Do you believe the Swamp has lost some of its luster as far as game day atmosphere as compared to when you played? 

  • Green: Yes, It seems as if people don’t attend games anymore. We also haven’t been a real contender in awhile,  where home games really had a significant impact on the National title race. 
  • Herring: Yes its lost a lot. But Dan the man is the answer. After we spank Miami it will be live again. Fans were just tired of disappointments.
  • Hires: It has because other programs like Missouri and Kentucky have been able to walk out with a win. When I played, The Swamp was feared/respected by all opposing teams.
  • Peek: Yes. There have been fewer high stakes games recently. The advent of the flat screen TV has affected attendance at second tier games.
  • Wilks: Dan Mullen is reviving that. How? By putting a product on the field fans will be proud of going out and supporting. A quick example is the LSU game last year. It had the same rumblings of the South Carolina at home in 2006. 

4) Taking everything into consideration, record, program building, recruiting, etc... what grade would you give Dan Mullen heading into the season? 

  • Green:  B. He has the school on the right path.
  • Herring: I’m biased and will always give coach an A+, because I know what he stands for. Before he came I told everyone he would win 10 the first year and playoffs the second. Mental toughness. 
  • Hires: A-   The minus is because of all the transfers.
  • Peek:  A. Recruiting could be better, but that is part of the rebuilding process.
  • Wilks: A+... it is about putting these young men in a position to be successful, on and off the field but also not blur the lines. Which means there is one goal when you come here which is to be and become the best young man you can all while you compete for the national championship! Take care of your business on and off the field the rest will take care of itself.

5) Do you like the idea of beginning the season with a national game like Miami or would you rather play a cream-puff?

  • Green: I like to play good teams period. You also know where your program is and have time to get back in title contention with a loss.
  • Herring: I like the idea of playing a program such as Miami because it can set the tone for the season and give the freshmen real experiences. But our conference doesn’t always allow that since the schedule is grueling. 
  • Hires: I would rather play a game like Miami because it gets all the nation's eyes on the program and even if you lose, you have all year to climb the rankings.
  • Peek: I like a game with national implications and I hate the cream puff games. I won’t go to them.

6) In your opinion, what is Florida's best position group? 

  • Green: The cornerback tandem when both are healthy, I think receiver is the deepest. They just need one of those guys to become dominate.
  • Herring: There are a few candidates - quarterback, defensive back, running back and wide receiver, but I have to go with the cornerbacks as the best. They are blankets.
  • Hires: Cornerbacks. They are the best duo in the country.
  • Peek:  The defensive backs. 

7) What position group are you worried most about? 

  • Green: It’s the offensive line, because that’s how you win in big time college football.
  • Herring: I worry the most about the offensive line, but with coach [John] Hevesy that’s a small problem. He’s one of the best coaches out there. He’s special. 
  • Hires: The offensive line because they looked real thin and inexperienced in the spring when I saw them.
  • Peek: Offensive line.

8) On a 1-to-10 scale, what is your confidence level in Feleipe Franks?

  • Green: 7.
  • Herring: 10. He has all the tools and his coach has all the knowledge.
  • Hires: 7, and last year would have been a 4, so hes come a long way.
  • Peek: 8
  • Wilks: 10. You are only as good as your last game. He has continued to improve and all he will do is grow from there.

9) At the end of the season, which player will the fan base be most talking about? 

  • Green:  Van Jefferson seems pretty polished and just plays the game. He doesn’t seem like most of the kids these days who love attention.
  • Herring: Trey Dean and Kadarius Toney. I always thought Dean was a natural safety. He will be able to drop in the box and shut down tight ends and slot receivers and has corner skills. Toney is today’s Percy Harvin and will get a lot of quick pass opportunities. And we all know he’s special with the rock in his hand.
  • Hires: Felipe Franks because he's the quarterback and we’ll be good or bad based on his performance.
  • Peek: Franks because he will get outsized credit if we win and outsized criticism if we don’t win at least nine games.
  • Wilks: Franks and the other quarterbacks. It’s always the quarterback. We go as they go. People are quick to forget who guided Chris Leak over the hump all while introducing one of Florida’s greatest young duel threat quarterbacks [Tim Tebow] on to the scene. That was Dan.

10) What is your record prediction for the 12 game regular season?

  • Green: 10-2.
  • Herring: i honestly thinks we can win them all. But I will go with 11-1.
  • Hires: 10-2. I hope I’m wrong but we will lose two of these three: Georgia, LSU and Auburn.
  • Peek: 11-1.
  • Wilks: 11-1.

Former Florida Football Player 2019 Pre-Season Survey I

6,272 Views | 3 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by RegGator
How long do you want to ignore this user?
They are all conceding the game to UGA.
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I appreciate there views on our head coach. I feel like the view from older players on our program sheds the most light. Great article. GO GATORS
How long do you want to ignore this user?
The worst part is they all think that the Swamp isn't as bad ass as it was in the past.

That isn't on Mullen. That's up to us fans to fix.
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