SEC Media Days: UF player quotes

Florida football players Mike Gillislee, Jonathan Bostic and Lerentee McCray represented the Gators on Wednesday at Southeastern Conference Media Days in Hoover, Ala.

All of them spoke about the difference in coach Will Muschamp in his second year. Gillislee talked about being UF’s lead back, among other things, while Bostic and McCray weighed in on the defense, the quarterback battle and their senior seasons.

Here are transcripts from the players’ quotes on Wednesday:

Senior RB Mike Gillislee

(On how head coach Will Muschamp is different in his second year)

“I feel like he is in the mindset of [knowing] what he has to do and what we have to accomplish now to win football games. That is being physically and mentally tough.”

(On coming into this season as lead back knowing he will have more carries)

“It’s not any more difficult. I am a senior so I also have to be a leader more than anything by keeping my team up and keeping them going. There is no feeling like that. I do extra things just because I know that I am going to get the ball like [working] on getting out there with both teams and taking care of my body.”

(On if this system suits him better)

“I think [the system] suits me a lot better with not just running the ball but catching the ball out in the back field and just being a complete back.”

(On head coach Will Muschamp regretting not playing him more last season)

“[Coach Muschamp] told me he regretted it, but I don’t really see it as a regret because that’s in the past. Now is my opportunity and I will keep it that way by going out there every day and keeping up with the other running backs because they are just as good as me.”

(On overcoming the difficult fourth quarters the team faced last season against other SEC opponents)

“We are going to start fast and we are going to finish. We are going to be more physically and mentally tough. That’s what we have been doing. We work out to reach through adversity and the leaders are keeping everyone going. We are just focused on finishing.”

Senior LB Jon Bostic

(On the defense being any different this season)

“I wouldn’t say it’s too much different. [Coach Muschamp] is the type of guy that looks for those little things. From playing on the defensive side of the ball, I see it all the time. He is a defensive lineman coach so he is going to see those little things that are going to make the defense great. He’s been on some great defenses. We have really taken that over this summer as a defense and said if this is something we want to do, then we have to come together and make sure we are doing the little things right.”

(On if head coach Will Muschamp has approached this season any different than last)

“I think that [Coach Muschamp] is the same. He has stressed the same type of things. We see it on film and it is exactly what he stressed. It’s making the right block and everybody knowing their assignment. It’s doing the little things right. We saw at times the little things killed us in ball games. If we had done this thing and that thing different, it would have been a different outcome.”

(On who will be the starting quarterback this season)

“It’s hard to tell which one [of the quarterbacks] is the best. It’s going to be a tough decision. They all bring something different to the table that you can really go along with. Jacoby [Brissett] has got the strong arm so you can throw it down field. You even have Tyler Murphy who is ready to be an immediate manager. He just brings that mentality and the smarts with a lot of plays. He can recognize defenses right off the back. You’ve got Jeff [Driskel] as well that can kill you with his feet. He is one those quarterbacks that can keep plays alive all day and really gets the coverages he wants because he can run.”

(On facing the offenses in the SEC, in particular the running backs)

“It will be tough. Offenses are different. The way they block up front is different so certain running backs are better running this scheme or that scheme. You really can’t say one is better than the other. You can say this running back would be better in this offense, but all of them run hard and they all have their different running styles.”

DE/LB Lerentee McCray

(On head coach Will Muschamp’s trademark as a coach)

“He is a family oriented guy. He is going to bring a lot of ‘ra ra’, a lot of energy and a lot of passion to the game. You can see it from the sidelines. I think he does a better job of controlling it now, so this year you won’t see as much of that. But that’s him. That’s his energy so it’s going to happen.”

(On taking positives away from a disappointing transitional year last season)

“We can take some positives. We know what not to do. To get where we want to go, we have to do something different. We talked about those this offseason. We capitalized on the chemistry as far establishing the line of scrimmage, being more physical and strong. We are doing all the things that it takes to be great in this league.”

(On this senior class using this season to leave a good legacy)

“There is always that thought, but we are not really worrying about that too much. Our biggest thing is to come in and win. Do what we can control. We can’t control our image and how everything is [seen]. All we can do is what we know how to do and that is win.”

(On how far away the team felt last season compared to division leaders South Carolina and Georgia and if the team is viewed as an underdog going into this season)

“I feel like we were neck and neck with [South Carolina and Georgia]. I feel like if it weren’t for a couple mistakes, we could have easily won more than half of those games that we lost. We are definitely an underdog [this season]. We are ranked lower than all those guys. We are definitely going to come in with a chip on our shoulders and come out ready to play and be physical.”

(On the lack of depth last season being a handicap)

“The depth played a major concern [for us], but as a football player, you have to find it in your heart to just come out and give it everything you’ve got. That’s not really much of an excuse for what happened last year.

Courtesy SEC Sports