Gators Wrap Up Final Practice – Quotes

Today was the last day of practice on the season for the Florida Gators. Here’s quotes from Coach Meyer, Ray McDonald and Jemalle Cornelius.

Has the focus stayed in shape this week like you would have envisioned:

“Yeah, today was terrific. I thought yesterday was a little tough and media day set us back a little bit. We got right back on schedule and focused with what is like a normal Thursday practice. I was very proud of the way they practiced today.”

How much more can be done or said at this point in preparation for this game:

“We take great pride in preparation. We all say preparation stops when the foot hits the ball at 6:30 on Monday night. There are a lot of things to be done between now and then. The physical work is over, and now it is all mental preparation. We are in the 48-hour phase now.”

On the seniors:

“We have 21 seniors, and it was a special day. I’ve never had a group of seniors like this. It was pretty special. All of those guys had a unique contribution to this team. You can’t ask for more.”

Was the last true practice for the senior more emotional than last year:

“A little. Last year was emotional, they are all emotional. This was real emotional practice. A special group of guys.”

On the health of TE Tate Casey:

“Tate Casey will play in the game. It will be a limited role, but he’ll play.”

Did you have anything to say to the Florida fans that have started to fly into the area:

“Yeah, stay away from our players and let them rest. No, I can’t wait to see them fill that stadium. We played here two years ago, and it was an advantage for us. I hope we have a good chunk of Gator fans there, we need it.”

WR Jemalle Cornelius (RS-Sr., Fort Meade, Fla.):

On preparing for the game:

“We’ve been preparing for this for over a month. Now it is time to play the game. It is a lot more mental at this point in the week. We’ve done what we can in practice and now it is time for the game.”

Was his last practice emotional:

“Yeah, it was really emotional. The careers that we all had here and what we went through to get here. Just reflecting on all the good times we had together as a team.”

On his first impressions of Coach Meyer:

“My first impression was a disciplinarian. He is a guy that is all business. He had our instant respect because of all the things he had done. He was a proven winner and we had a lot of respect for him.”

On the build up to the big game:

“We got a chance to see the stadium and field yesterday. You start to get excited. We are looking forward to finally getting out there and playing the game. We’ve been practicing against each other, kind of like two-a-days, and now it’s time to play the game. There’s going to be a lot of excitement and you just try to get through those first few plays and settle down. The game work is done, now it is just all mental preparation.”

How does OSU’s defense stack up against teams you played in the SEC:

“They remind me of LSU. They have a good front four and a good secondary, and probably the best linebacker in college football. They are very similar to LSU also with team speed. They are going to bring it, and we just need to be sure that we do what we do well.”

On fan appreciation:

“We definitely appreciate our fans and we are starting to see them roll into town. We appreciate everything they do for us and hopefully they can be loud for us Monday night. Help us set the tone for the game.”

DE Ray McDonald (RS-Sr., Belle Glade, Fla.):

On the last practice for the seniors:

“The coaches and seniors get up and say a few things. It is pretty emotional. I had to shed a few tears. It has been a long road for a lot of us. I cried a little. I saw a few of my teammates try to hold back some tears, but I let them out. It is emotional just thinking of my teammates and coaches. You think about all that.”

On how much Urban Meyer was by you during your rehab from knee surgery:

“Coach Meyer was there with me the whole way. He was just there for me every day, anytime I needed something. That was a big thing.”

On preparing for the game:

“All the preparation is pretty much over. We have a little walk-through tomorrow to make sure we are all on the same page. It will be real emotional walking through that tunnel, I’ve thought about it a lot.”

Is there a concern you’ll be too hyped up:

“No, I mean when you come into a game, you want to be hyped up. You can’t be too hyped up, you have to harness it until the first snap.”

How great is it to face a Heisman Trophy winner:

“There is a lot of motivation. You always want to go up against the top players in the country. It just so happens we are going against the top player in the country (Troy Smith) in our last game.”

On fan appreciation:

“Our fans came a long way to see us play. We appreciate that. Without the fans football wouldn’t be football. We have a lot of fans that support our program and having them out here means a lot. Hopefully they’ll be loud Monday.”