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Florida Football

Former Florida Football Player Roundtable I

February 16, 2021
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FLORIDA FOOTBALL & RECRUITING COVERAGE
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Here are 25 ITG Must See features FREE for all to read. From some of our Anonymous Player Q&A sessions to our Behind-the-Scenes look at Florida football. All FREE!

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We know how the media and the Gator Nation feel about the just concluded 2020 Florida football season. Over the next couple of weeks Inside the Gators will take it a step further by having former Florida football players share their thoughts on the season, grading Dan Mullen, the players who surprised and disappointed, who they believe will have a breakout 2021 season, and much more.

Up first in Part I are offensive linemen David Kearly and Shannon Snell along with tight end Ben Troupe.

Taking everything into consideration, record, program building, recruiting, etc... on a scale of 1-to-10 how would you rate Dan Mullen as Florida's head football coach after his first three seasons?

Kearly: I’d rate Coach Mullen a nine. He’s done a great job and brought a lot of excitement back to Gator football. 

Snell: A seven. The last three years have been a very successful stretch, but no College Football Playoff appearances and recruiting misses keep this ranking from being better. I’m very encouraged by everyone we’ve gotten in the transfer portal, however. 

Troupe: I would give him an eight because a 10 would mean we've wɔn the SEC Championship and wɔn the Natty. But he has more than boosted the reputation and brand of Florida again and got us back into the National conversation, and got us back in the hunt. Now we have to keep it up.

What is the one thing that most impresses you about Mullen/Florida football?

Kearly: The offense (shocker). Coach Mullen does an outstanding job game-planning, creating mismatches, and scheming to get the ball to his playmakers. 

Snell: Player Development. Mullen and the UF coaches’ ability to get the best out of players that aren’t highly ranked coming out of high school and the transfer portal. 

Troupe: What impresses me the most is how we don't panic anymore and we don't have to be winning the entire game, but can still come back and win. He changed the expectation amongst the players they expect to win instead of hoping to win and they prepare like crazy. I love that.

What is the one thing that you feel is least impressive about Mullen/Florida football?

Kearly: I wouldn’t say there’s anything to call least impressive except maybe the time management mistakes, but they weren’t habitual, so I left it out. I guess, when thinking about it and considering the thought process behind those mistakes, it falls back on the defense.

Snell: Recruiting. We can’t keep losing recruiting battles to the Georgia’s and Alabama’s if we want to make it anywhere near the CFP.

Troupe: The one thing is that we cant run the ball at all. We’re one-dimensional on offense because we haven't been able to establish the run.. Dan Mullen needs to take accountability and responsibility after losses and the team needs to play with more urgency.

What are your feelings on the three-game slide to end the season?

Kearly: That’s a tough question. I didn’t like it, obviously. But each loss was different. We had the LSU game won. We played an incredible game against the eventual National Champions and just came up short. It did bother me a little bit that we didn’t even show up for the Oklahoma game though. 

Snell: Disappointed. The loss to LSU should not have happened and we were depleted for the Oklahoma game. We definitely would have won that game if not for the opt-outs. I’m very proud of how Gators played against Bama, and they came close to winning. But close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. 

Troupe: The three-game slide was disappointing because you can't look past a team like LSU just because of the season they've been having. I think you have to feel good about how they played against Alabama, even though they came up short. Don’t be disrespectful to Oklahoma because you got blown out. Show up and do your job in those games and be respectful in defeat. Don't cheat the game.

What player surprised you most this past season?

Kearly: Kyle Trask, no question. I doubt he even thought he would have that kind of year. To put up those numbers, and break school records, in a shortened season while playing against all SEC defenses, is remarkable.

Snell: Kadarius Toney. I knew he was good, but he was SPECIAL all season. In my honest opinion, he was the most important part of what our offense was this past season.

Troupe: Kadaruis Toney really impressed me with his route running while still being as explosive as he's ever been because he made a lot of plays and made the full transition to the wide receiver position. I was really impressed by him not just during the season, but also at the Senior Bowl. I’m happy for him.

What player most disappointed you this past season?

Kearly: The defense was the least impressive. It isn’t the vaunted defense of past teams, so hopefully, improvements are being made to make us more competitive on that side of the ball. We can have a powerful offense, but allow a porous defense to negate that potency.

Snell: Marco Wilson. He looked unmotivated and made a lot of mistakes, both physically and mentally. 

Troupe: It’s not a player that most disappointed me, but the position group that most disappointed me was the secondary because they were in a position most of the time, they just weren't making the plays. I know those guys have the ability it just wasn't clicking. I'm excited about the future though.

Taking into consideration who is returning at their position, what departing player do you feel Florida will miss most heading into next season?

Kearly: Trask is probably the obvious choice but I’m going to say Kadarius Toney. That young man is amazing with the ball in his hands and capable of changing a game very quickly. 

Snell: It’s a tie between Kyle Trask and Stone Forsythe. The Heisman finalist and the 6-foot-7 left tackle who did a hell of a job protecting his blind side all season. Enough said. This could have gone to Kyle Pitts, but with the arrival of Arik Gilbert, the tight end position will be just fine. 

Troupe: The player that's going to be hard to replace is going to be Kyle Pitts because he was a mismatch nightmare and because his presence on the field demanded so much attention that it opened up and created opportunities for everyone else. On top of the fact that, in my opinion, he was the best player in college football last year who didn't have a drop. We are going to miss the beast.

What Florida player do you expect to have a breakout season in 2021?

Kearly: Quarterback Emory Jones. He’s an unbelievable talent. I’m so excited to watch this kid light it up.

Snell: Defensive end Zach Carter. 10+ sacks should be his baseline for 2021. And I think he’ll get it. Along with first-round pick consideration.

Troupe: I think Emory Jones is primed and ready to have a breakout season. He sat behind Felipe Franks and Kyle Trask, and leaned from them both. He has been in this offense for three years now and he is the guy who got recruited by Mullen. Mullen said in his offense you need to be a willing runner, well Emory is a gifted runner with a big arm and I think he’s going to shine this year. I can’t wait to see it.

Specifically, what do you think of how Florida looks heading into next year at the position you played?

Kearly: I think the offensive line will be a solid unit. I would have liked to see all of our seniors come back, but wish them all the best in pursuing bigger and better opportunities. I think the coaches do a good job of preparing the young guys, and they’ll be ready to go.

Snell: I’m excited to see the progression of Stewart Reese, Ethan White, and Josh Braun. Also, who steps up and becomes the leaders of a relatively inexperienced line now that Brett Heggie and Stone Forsythe are gone.

Troupe: I think we look outstanding with Kemore Gamble, Keon Zipperer, and the addition of Arik Gilbert Florida should pose a huge threat with a three-headed monster at the tight end position. The tight end position is back. I'm looking forward to seeing how Mullen schemes up plays for those guys. Gamble plays with an attitude and I'm loving that.

Former Florida Football Player Roundtable I

2,693 Views | 7 Replies | Last: 7 days ago by ChicagoGator
OrangeandBlue
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All three of them know UF football, know what they are talking about and all three of them are right on all accounts.

We are going to be good on offense as long as we have Mullen but he has to get recruiting and the defense fixed if we are going to play for the national title.

gatrkd50
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They said everything that fans stated all year good and bad . Recruiting,Defense were the main issues that need serious addressing if we want to really compete for something.
Fun & Gun
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gatrkd50 said:

They said everything that fans stated all year good and bad . Recruiting,Defense were the main issues that need serious addressing if we want to really compete for something.

The difference is is that they see there are some issues but they're still overall positive. You just like to complain.

Is there a mute or a block button on here?
gatrkd50
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Who cafres what you think
JayM
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gatrkd50 said:

Who cafres what you think
Back atcha.
gatrkd50
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keyboard warriors
ChicagoGator
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Interesting. I sat next to David Kearly at the Chicago Florida bar during a game a few years ago. Had never heard of him before but enjoyed talking to him.
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