Jacquez Green from Fort Valley, Georgia is a former All-American wide receiver at the University of Florida. He played under the Head Ball Coach Steve Spurrier from 1995 – 1997. In 1998 He was drafted in the 2nd Round of the NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Quezy, as many Gator fans know him, was a part of the SEC Championship teams in 1995 and 1996 as well as the 1996 National Championship team. He was a consensus All-American in 1997 and has too many memorable moments in Gator history to list.
Can you give us a rundown of what you are currently doing post football?
I have been coaching high school football at Lincoln High in Tallahassee, FL. I have been at Lincoln for approximately 6 or 7 years, spending 2 years at Gibbs High in St. Petersburg, Florida and one season at Valdosta High in Georgia. We have had a pretty successful program at Lincoln, winning the State Championship in 2010 and being the State Runner-Ups in 2012. We have numerous kids playing on Saturdays each weekend.
As a high school coach of a successful program, how has social media and access to high school players changed how you coach and mentor young athletes?
You just have to make sure they present themselves the correct way on social media; because they don’t know what college coaches are reading their page. Have to make sure they use their real name on their social media and not any nicknames or vulgar names.
What do you find to be the most enjoyable part of coaching high school athletes?
I enjoy being a positive influence on the kids. They realize that I have been the same thing as a lot of them, and tend to be open in what’s going on in their lives and not just football. I also enjoy being able to tell the kids the pros and cons of choosing a college, but I leave the decision up to them.
FLORIDA FOOTBALL PAST
I believe those mid-90’s Florida teams played a major part in the birth of how we see offense today, how special were those Florida teams?
We had some special players and really didn’t have to rely on one athlete, we had tremendous depth and various playmakers up and down the roster. Each week we believed we had won the game before we even took the field. Based on our preparation and competitiveness within the team.
You have had great moments as a Gator, SEC & National Titles, 97 vs. Tennessee, 97 at Auburn, the ‘Catch’ vs. FSU. What would you consider to be your best moment as a Gator?
I had some great moments at UF, the catch vs. FSU, the back-to-back punt returns, and the time I caught, ran and threw a TD vs. Auburn. One of the moments I was the most proud of was catching 7 or 8 passes in the National Championship game. Coach Spurrier had me backside a lot that night and gave me confidence in knowing that I could beat man coverage and convert big 3rd downs.
As a former Gator and All-American, how hard was it to watch the Florida offense during the Muschamp era?
It was bad, but Coach Muschamp was a defensive head coach and most of them believe in just running the ball, playing good defense and winning the kicking game. Wasn’t very imaginative on the offensive side of the ball. I just hate when things not going well, everybody wanted to blame the kids, most notably the QB and WR’s.
CURRENT AND FUTURE OF FLORIDA FOOTBALL
Thoughts on current head coach Jim McElwain?
I have been following Coach Mac for a while, I run a lot of the same schemes at Lincoln, so I was very familiar with his style of play. The kids seem to have bought in, that’s always important for a head coach. He seems like a guy who doesn’t think he invented football and have all the answers, that’s always a great sign also.
How would you grade this year’s receiving corps? Does anyone one of them remind you of yourself?
I think they have a very solid group, with various skill sets. I think what made me a special player at UF, was that Coach Spurrier knew how to use me. Powell probably comes the closest because of his height, and like myself, didn’t start playing receiver full time until college.
Every Gator fan wants rings. Do you believe McElwain can get Florida back to the place where it was under Spurrier and during your years at UF, winning SEC Championships and National titles?
It will never be like the 90’s, because it was new to our fans. We were trying to get over the hump around that time. I do think Coach Mac can have us competitive on a yearly basis, and that’s what you want. It takes a lot of good fortunes and luck to win a National Title.
ISSUES & STORIES IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL
In your opinion, is Charlie Strong getting or going to get a fair chance at Texas?
He is not getting a fair shake; Texas has been trash the past 3 or 4 years. A new coach and they just start winning is not going to happen. He won’t be able to turn that around in his second season. Give him time to get better players in and learn his staff way of doing things.
Should players receive payment for participating in college athletics, or is cost of attendance enough?
Players should get paid, everybody else gets paid and they are the main product. The cost of attendance is probably made off of one home game.
How bad is the recruiting process, what things need to be changed, if any?
The worst thing is the websites telling these kids how great they are based on 7 on 7 and drill work at these camps. Of course a receiver will make a spectacular catch knowing he won’t take a shot like in a real game. These QB’s are throwing darts with no pass rush. Kids should be evaluated off game film, in person should be to check his actual height and weight, and how cerebral as a football player the kid is. These kids have so much pressure on them to live up to some subjective ranking, when these kids don’t even go up against the same type of talent in high school.
Is it right or wrong for high school coaches to heavily push recruits to a particular college?
Why? I think it’s wrong; kids should make their own decisions. But these schools are making it easier by offering these coaches jobs in exchange for a player. It’s gotten to a point where these 7 on 7 coaches are using these kids, and the kids feel they should have their best interest. Sad.
Which play was better, Callway against Tennessee or yours against Florida State?
Is this a real question! He beat an unranked Tennessee team who hasn’t won this decade. Mine beat the No. 1 team in the country, with a million NFL prospects on it.
Post-Tebow Florida has struggled at the quarterback position despite recruiting highly touted QBs, what happened? Did the coaches handle them correctly? Or was it just bad luck or evaluation?
Being evaluated at some camp in shorts doesn’t mean you have the mindset and toughness to be the QB at UF. With that being said, I always thought Brantley and Driskel were never used correctly here.
How dominant would you have been with today’s spread offenses?
I probably could have put up tremendous numbers in these offenses, but these spread receivers only running quick screens and bubble routes. Most are not really learning the entire route tree. This makes it hard to evaluate them. I was blessed to play in a pro style scheme and was able to run various routes.
Who were better you, Ike or Reidel?
Three different skill sets really, that’s what made us special. Ike was more of the intermediate guy and Reidel was a home run hitter. I was a pure burner, who made it easy for them underneath. We just complemented each other so well; you couldn’t double any of us. What made us so special was how we competed in practice, we always tried to run the best route, and it made us better. But, I made All-American with 3 QB’s, a couple games with them rotating, with no established second receiver… I’m just saying. All 3 of us have a group text going as I’m completing this.
Florida has had seven wide receiver coaches in seven years, did you ever want to apply? We could have used the help.
I have never applied, but coaching is a buddy-buddy type system. You tend to hire people you know about or familiar with. Which makes sense to me. I feel I could coach on that level and dang sure recruit. But, I have anxiety and panic attacks. It comes with phobias and scared and I’m scared as heck to fly. You would understand unless you have it. I think too many shots to head when playing …lol. I also enjoy watching Saturday games and seeing guys that I have coach on TV.
Do you have any aspirations of returning to the football program in any capacity?
I wouldn’t mind returning to the program, Gainesville always a cool place to visit. I would enjoy anything dealing with UF, even recruiting which is something that I have followed since the early 90’s. I once had an internship when Coach Meyer was here; I was working in the recruiting office with Bob Lacivita who is at FSU now. That’s how I got into high school coaching. Was evaluating high school prospects.