Tag:Urban Meyer
Posted on: April 26, 2011 1:50 pm

Janoris Jenkins out at Florida

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It was one strike too many for Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

Less than four days after Jenkins was arrested on marijuana possession charges for the second time in as many months, Will Muschamp announced on Twitter that the senior all-conference performer is no longer a part of the Gator program. Tweet the first:

And tweet the second:

While the dismissal of any talented athlete is a shame, Jenkins's brings about an extra shake of the head; he initially declared for this year's draft and could have gone as high as the top 15 had he convinced teams his first arrest (after a nightclub altercation in 2009) was behind him. Jenkins chose to return to Florida instead ... and now is neither in the draft nor with the Gators.

Of course, there's no one to blame for that situation other than Jenkins. Muschamp arrived on campus promising to crack down on the petty arrests that marred Urban Meyer's tenure, and given the back-to-back nature of Jenkins' marijuana offenses, he had little choice with Jenkins if he wanted to live up that promise. Losing a player of Jenkins' caliber always hurts, but between Jeremy Brown and Moses Jenkins (no relation we're aware of), the Gators will be OK.

As for Jenkins, it would seem he has little choice other than to find a hospitable FCS school and try to repair his image before the 2012 draft. Like Muschamp, we'll wish him luck; he'll probably need it.

Posted on: April 25, 2011 10:55 am

Two more Gators cited for marijuana possession

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Will Muschamp may have an image problem on his hands.

His Florida team has already been embarrassed by cornerback Janoris Jenkins' pair of marijuana-related arrests this offseason, the most recent coming just this past weekend. And now the Palm Bech Post has reported that it's not just Jenkins that's been caught by law enforcement with pot this spring; redshirt freshman defensive end Chris Martin and sophomore reserve linebacker Kedric Johnson were both arrested on possession charges this past January. The details:
The Gainesville Police Department arrested Martin, who is expected to compete for a starting job at defensive end or linebacker this summer, on Jan. 29 after officers detected the scent of the drug coming from a vehicle. Martin was in the car and revealed approximately two grams of cannabis when the police confronted him, the report said.

Johnson ... was arrested on Jan. 9 after an officer pulled him over for speeding and smelled marijuana. He produced two grams of it from his glove compartment, the police report said.

Both players agreed to deferred prosecution, and the cases did not go to trial.
Combined with Jenkins' missteps, that makes four marijuana-related arrests for the Gators in 2011 alone.

At a program with a better track record, these incidents might be easily brushed off. But Florida under Urban Meyer became (in)famous for its string of petty (and not-so-petty) arrests, a record Muschamp has promised to change with an emphasis on the "Florida Way."

Though Muschamp will ultimately be judged on wins and losses and virtually nothing else -- for all the griping about the Gators' arrest record under Meyer, his two national championships meant he could have continued in Gainesville almost indefinitely had he not retired -- the "Florida Way" talk will quickly become a punchline if his Gators can't stay out of headlines with "marijuana" in them.

It's early and Muschamp deserves the benefit of the doubt for now -- Martin's and Johnson's arrests occurred within days of his hire -- but it's also a problem the new Gator head honcho will need to nip in the bud* for the sake of his program's already-dicey image.

*Yes, pun intended.

Posted on: April 23, 2011 8:08 pm

Janoris Jenkins busted with pot again

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins has once again been busted by Gainesville police for marijuana possession. Barely more than a month after Jenkins appeared in a courtroom to deal with an arrest for marijuana possession, Jenkins was caught with a joint in his car early Saturday morning. According to the St. Petersburg Times, Jenkins had been smoking a cigar in a car parked in a parking lot. When Jenkins saw the police, he put the cigar down, got out of the car and walked away.

The police then found the cigar in the center console of the car and found that it was not filled with tobacco. According to the Gainesville police department, Jenkins was given a notice to appear in court for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

What remains to be seen is how this will be handled by Florida. Jenkins did not serve any kind of suspension due to his first marijuana arrest, as he was already missing spring practice following shoulder surgery. Still, new head coach Will Muschamp has said that he plans on instilling a new culture in Gainesville, and one that doesn't turn a blind eye as often as Urban Meyer seemed to.

Another factor to keep in mind, while Jenkins has been nailed with weed twice in the last three months, this is his third arrest since coming to Florida. He was also arrested for resisting arrest and getting into a fight outside a Gainesville night club in May 2009. I'm not sure Muschamp will take that offense into consideration seeing as how it took place before he came to Florida, but you have to think that being arrested twice in three months is not the best way to introduce yourself to your new head coach.

There's a good chance that if Muschamp decides to make an example of somebody, then it could be Jenkins.

Posted on: March 15, 2011 12:28 pm

Florida clears up its QB logjam

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The quarterback position was a bit confusing in Gainesville last season. John Brantley was the starting quarterback for the Gators last season, but to be honest, he didn't really fit the position in the team's spread offense. While Brantley has an arm, he's not exactly the dual-threat you look for in a quarterback in such an offense. Which is why Trey Burton and Jordan Reed also spent some time at the position, in what was a three-headed monster that seemed to spend more time biting the Gators than the opposition.

Well, now that Urban Meyer has moved into a studio, and Steve Addazio is gone, Will Muschamp has brought in Charlie Weis and a brand new offense. Now, with spring practice nearing, the Gators are making some room at the quarterback position. While John Brantley is still atop the team's depth chart, neither Burton or Reed will find their names listed under QB, as they've both been moved. Reed is listed as a tight end and Burton is at fullback, though he'll play other positions.

Which makes you think that the road has been cleared for Brantley to win the job, but he still has plenty of competition. Along with rising sophomore Tyler Murphy, there are the two members of Florida's latest recruiting class to contend with in Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett. Driskel is currently third on the depth chart, and could challenge Brantley in camp.

Will Muschamp said on Monday that while Brantley would seem to have an advantage over the rest due to his experience, the depth chart right now is just a starting point. Nobody is locked in to any position.

Still, I'd imagine that Brantley will wind up winning the job. He's better suited for the pro-style offense that Charlie Weis will be running in Gainesville than the one he ran under Meyer and Addazio.
Posted on: February 12, 2011 12:28 pm
Edited on: February 12, 2011 12:28 pm

Meyer tired of the 'garbage' in college football

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that Urban Meyer has retired -- for now -- from coaching and begun work as a studio analyst, the question that every one seems to be asking is when he's going to be found on a sideline again. When he stepped down as head coach at Florida, he said it was to spend more time with his family. Still, you have to think that a coach who has had so much success, and is still incredibly young, is going to return.

Though in an interview with 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis, Urban said he wasn't sure. He said that there's too much "garbage" that a head coach has to deal with in the game today.

“I don’t know.  I don’t know that but everybody keeps asking me that," said Meyer. "I was watching that Super Bowl and sitting there, if you could just do the part of coaching that is allowed and not have to worry about all of that nonsense that has really developed in the college game, that is what I am familiar with.  It is out of control with that stuff right now and we have got to get that back on track.  25 years ago, and I am sure you know, if you had to deal with some of the stuff you are dealing with the off-the-field, the agent issues, the violation issues and all the garbage that is out there right now I certainly would not have gotten into coaching.  Hopefully with the powers that be and all the right people, I know one thing the NFL Commissioner has got a great outlook the way he is attacking the NFL right now and trying to bring respect and order, and I just love the way he is approaching it.  If college football gets that we will have a chance to get back to that great game we all love.”

Considering all the arrests that Meyer had to deal with during his tenure in Gainesville, you can be sure that Meyer has dealt with his fair share of the "garbage." Unfortunately for Meyer, or the game, I don't see much of anything changing in the future. College football's popularity only seems to grow every season, and with an NFL lockout looming, the game could see a huge spike in popularity in 2011.

With the growth in popularity comes more money, and as Biggie Smalls once told us, the more money you come across, the more problems you see. Though at least we won't have to deal with Puffy dancing in college football. It'd be an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty if he did.

Also, though I'm only 30 years old and can't really speak for what the game was like 25 years ago, from what I've been told, things weren't all that different in 1985. Heck, they may have been worse than they are now, it's just that there are a lot more discerning eyes keeping tabs on the sport these days. 
Posted on: February 10, 2011 12:40 pm

Addazio goes back to Gator well for Temple OC

Photo by Jerry Hinnen

If a coaching staff was good enough for Florida, you'd expect it to be good enough -- more than good enough -- for a MAC program like Temple. And now thanks to new Owl boss Steve Addazio, it appears we're going to be able to put that expectation through a rigorous real-life testing process.

You already know that Addazio himself was the Gators' offensive line coach and, in 2009 and 2010, offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer. Not long ago Addazio was able to hire former Gator secondary coach, recruiting coordinator, and eventual co-defensive coordinator Chuck Heater as the Owls' new DC. And per the Twitter feed of Temple Rivals affiliate OwlScoop , now a third member of the Meyer staff will be making his way to Philadelphia: Gators quarterback coach Scot Loeffler.

Loeffler will be taking over as the Owls' offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and like Heater, the Gators' 2010 struggles shouldn't obscure the fact that Loeffler is stunningly overqualified to be working at a tradition-starved MAC team like Temple. Loeffler spent several high-profile years as the quarterbacks coach at Michigan, helping turn players like John Navarre and Chad Henne into All-Big Ten stars, before spending one season as the Detroit Lions QB coach. He then went to Gainesville with the endorsement of Tim Tebow , where he spent the past two seasons.

Loeffler hasn't yet been a full-time play-caller, but all the same, for Addazio to bring a coach with high-profile experience in the NFL and at two of the nation's premier programs to Temple is -- on paper -- quite the coup. If the Owls' Gator guys can enjoy half as much success at Temple as they had in Gainesville, the hiring of Addazio -- questioned far and wide after his disastrous stint as the Gators' OC -- is going to look far smarter than nearly anyone imagined.

Posted on: February 4, 2011 2:37 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 2:38 pm

UF's Burton, Reed likely due for position switch

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

When John Brantley struggled operating Urban Meyer's run-first spread offense last season, Florida's coaching braintrust turned more and more towards "athletes" Jordan Reed and Trey Burton to handle the quarterback position, and not without some success; Burton's 171 yards-from-scrimmage played a major role in the Gators' 34-31 overtime victory over Georgia, for instance.

But with new head coach Will Muschamp taking his cues from mentor Nick Saban's more traditional, pro-style offensive philosophy -- and Charlie Weis hired to deliver exactly that -- it's no surprise that the aerially-limited Reed and Burton won't be taking snaps any longer. Or at least, not on anything resembling a regular basis, since Muschamp confirmed this week that he's considering permanent position switches for both :
Muschamp said he has contemplated moving Trey Burton to safety or cornerback and might move Jordan Reed to tight end.

“Trey was a guy that’s been talked about as a defensive back, but I’m not so sure he’s not better suited to be on the offensive side of the ball as a fullback move and still have some sort of package for him at the quarterback position,” Muschamp said. “And Jordan’s a guy that we’re still working through the process with him right now of where he’ll end up. He’s an outstanding athlete. He’ll be an integral part of what we do offensively. I can tell you that.”
Muschamp would be well-advised to make good on the "integral part" promise for both players, as both Burton (pictured) and Reed flashed playmaking ablity in 2010 that few other Gators -- if any, aside from running back Jeff Demps -- would be able to duplicate.

At the same time, two factors make Reed's and Burton's moonlighting at quarterback a luxury the Gators can afford to do without. One is that Weis's under-center, pocket-passing attack should be a much, much better fit for the strong-armed Brantley's talents than Meyer's spread. The second is true freshman quarterback Jeff Driskel; his letter of intent may still be hot off the fax, but his eye-popping performance at the Under Armour All-American Game and enrollment in time for spring camp suggest he could take over the reins as soon as this fall, if need be.

Of course, with Driskel still a true freshman (no matter how talented) and Brantley coming off of one of college football's most disappointing seasons, the Gators may still need some kind of fallback plan, and at the very least they're going to need every offensive hand they've got fully on deck to help their quarterbacks. Quarterbacks or not, you haven't heard the last of Burton and Reed by a long shot.

Posted on: January 31, 2011 5:21 pm

Urban Meyer joins ESPN full time

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When you leave your job to spend more time with your family there comes a time when you realize "I need to get away from my family." The time it takes for a person to realize this varies. Some take weeks, some take years. Urban Meyer appears to be one of the former, as a report in the Palm Beach Post says that Meyer has joined ESPN as an analyst.
It is unknown what role Meyer will hold at ESPN or how often he will appear, but those details likely will be available once the hire is officially announced. It will be publicized later today.
Meyer has appeared on ESPN twice recently, as an in-studio guest in December and as part of the network’s national championship game coverage this month.
Meyer "auditioned" with the network during bowl season and I thought he did a pretty good job. Of course, when all we have to compare Meyer to at ESPN is Lou Holtz and Mark May, a talking parrot would seem refreshing. In fact, it'd be downright awesome. Alas, we're probably years away from parrots hosting studio shows, so Meyer will have to do for now.

Meyer will also be retaining his position in the Florida athletic department, which means that the man who left his former job to spend more time with his family now has two jobs. The real question is how long will Meyer hold on to those two jobs. Considering his age, and his obvious dedication to the game of football, you have to wonder how long he'll be sitting behind a desk before taking another coaching job. You know he'll be sought after, but I suppose it's possible being an analyst will suit him just fine, and he may never leave. 
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