For each team session at SEC Media Days, I will provide a quick and totally incomplete recap. First up: Florida‘s Will Muschamp, QB Jeff Driskel, DL Dominique Easley, and OL Jon Halapio.
— Muschamp channeled his inner Hulk and unleashed the best quote of the day before he even took the podium. When asked about Urban Meyer, Muschamp said this about the former Florida coach, who turned in Gator assistant coach Brian White for a recruiting violation:
“We appreciate our friends from Ohio educating us on NCAA rules. They certainly know thing or two about it.”
Ziiing! And we’re off…
— What the hell happened against Louisville in the Sugar Bowl? Muschamp took the blame and said that the Gators lost their composure in the second half: “I blame myself, we got away from our formula.”
Still a little bit bitter about that one, Will.
— How about Joker Phillips? Muschamp says that the Gators are “really pleased” with the addition of Joker to the staff as the wide receivers coach.
— Good news for Florida fans AND KSR fans: Muschamp said that Matt Jones is primed for a really good season. (Does that mean I get a raise?)
— Muschamp says that Kyle Christy is the best punter in the country. I think Landon Foster might have something to say about that.
— And now for what I call “The Johnny Manziel” question, or how responsible should coaches be for their players’ behavior?
“Well, you’re 100% responsible. When you sign a student-athlete to come to the University of Florida, I look at his parents, guardians, whoever is important to him in his life, tell them it’s my job to be an extension of what’s already happened at home. But you’re a hundred percent responsible for the young man. Everything that happens.”
— Finally, I don’t think Muschamp came up for breath once during his opening statement, which further proves that he has superhero powers.
— Predictably, quarterback Jeff Driskel had the biggest crowd around him during the question and answer session. He talked a lot about his “backup plan” of being drafted by the Red Sox (which he found out about while hog hunting), the embarrassing loss to Louisville, and how Tennessee is the hardest place to play in the SEC. But, I only had ears for questions about Joker Phillips. When asked about Joker, Driskel had this to say:
“He was a head coach, so he’s definitely got a good track record. He brings a known leadership. [The wide receivers] really respect him and have responded well to him. He was a huge hire for our staff.”
I asked if he and the guys on the team laugh at #comeplayWRfortheJoker:
“I do. My brother is actually in high school and follows all of those accounts and I asked him what he thought of it, just to see what the recruits are thinking, and he think it’s cool, so whatever you’ve gotta do to get an edge, go for it. But it is a little weird to see it. There was one where I was in the background of a horse derby or something…it was weird. But whatever they’ve got to do to get the edge, I’m all for it.”
— I didn’t spend a lot of time at OL Jon Halapio’s area, but I did hear he has an awesome quote about Matt Jones that Larry Vaught promises to share with me later. However, I was lucky enough to be next to the door when he came in and hear his reaction to the media madness in the main room. The 6’3″ 321 lbs. Halapio surveyed the scene as he entered the room and uttered “Shiiiiiiiiit” under his breath. Along with Jadeveon Clowney, the media may be the only thing that scares him.
Missouri’s up next, so stay tuned. If you’ve got a question you’d like me to ask Gary Pinkel, James Franklin (Missouri edition), L’Damian Washington or Andrew Wilson, tweet it to me @MrsTylerKSR. I’ll also be posting news from there directly over the next three days.