The end of the Will Muschamp era happened on Saturday evening but Muschamp is leaving the Florida Gators with some talent in certain positions (mainly on defense). That was evident on Saturday when the Gators were the better team in Tallahassee in every way except on the scoreboard.
There a lot of what if’s during the Will Muschamp era and a lot of different moments that you can point to as the demise of Muschamp but at the end of the day it was simply a dark cloud hanging over the program that the Florida Gators had to remove rid themselves of.
That dark cloud was hurting recruiting, was hurting the players on the team — who sometimes played uptight — and it was more than likely affecting the coaching staff as well.
The downfall of the era can point to one position in particular and that was the quarterback position in which the Gators had Jeff Driskel at the position and didn’t recruit well until 2014 and that hurt when Driskel didn’t develop as expected but the good news is Muschamp leaves behind a talented but raw Treon Harris who will be a sophomore and redshirt freshman Will Grier who has all the tools to be a very talented quarterback in this league.
Harris and Grier will also have some solid players around them in Demarcus Robinson, Kelvin Taylor, Brandon Powell and receiver Ahmad Fulwood who should emerge as the second receiver behind Robinson next year.
Now many will say Robinson and Taylor played this season and that’s true but without a quarterback to manage the game it’s tough for those guys to makes plays.
There are also a few guys who haven’t played but are talented and with a new coaching staff they will have their fair shot at earning playing time.
Among those guys I would single out these guys, freshmen receiver C.J. Worton, receiver Chris Thompson and speedster Alvin Bailey are players who can help the Florida Gators out in the near future.
Those are the playmakers but maybe the biggest question mark on the staff besides the quarterback position is the tight end position that is simply atrocious right now. I mean, you played two converted defensive ends at the position and neither of those guys were good.
So you ask why did they play? Well the answer is simple the Florida Gators failed in recruiting and not all of that was their fault as they couldn’t have predicted Colin Thompson never playing a game or Kent Taylor deciding to transfer away but at the end of the day those are excuses and the Gators failed in 2013 with tight ends.
Moving forward into 2015 the Gators will have to recruit the tight end position well these next few months, as well as develop freshman DeAndre Goolsby because in college football the tight end position is critical to winning football games as we all saw this year.
That leads me to the offensive line where things improved a ton in 2014 but the depth at Florida is really bad right now and that goes back to offensive line coach Tim Davis who was just a bad recruiter and evaluator of talent but there is still some talent there.
Rod Johnson is going to be a really good player next year and the future is very bright for offensive tackle David Sharpe but the Gators need to get another tackle in the Class of 2015 and preferable a JUCO guard to play next year.
Now that I’ve gone through the offensive side of the ball I want to touch briefly on the defensive side of the ball where the Florida Gators are a really solid group with a ton of talent.
Let’s just take a look at the secondary real quick and these guys who are all freshmen this season. J.C. Jackson, Duke Dawson, Quincy Wilson and Jalen Tabor all four of these guys are going to be studs in college football and the best of the bunch may be Jackson who hasn’t even played a down yet.
Let’s also not forget about Marcell Harris who is recovering really well from his knee injury and should be ready to start next season beside Keanu Neal who is a very good player.
Moving to the linebacker position redshirt freshman Matt Rolin is doing better and will be ready to go and Gator fans are eager to see he, Alex Anzalone and Daniel McMillian live up to expectations at the position but reports are very positive on these guys as players.
The defensive line is another shining spot for the team with youngsters Caleb Brantley, Joey Ivie, Alex McCalister and Khairi Clark at the position.
I took you guys through the whole roster to give you an idea that while things may seem bad, in reality the Florida Gators aren’t a bad football team they are just lacking in a few spots and are lacking an identity and that again goes back to the dark cloud hanging over the program.
Mark my words the new head coach at Florida will have these boys in Atlanta in two years and if I were betting man I would bet that Will Grier is the man leading the charge.