Mullen promises to restore “Gator Standard” on football field

You would need a construction team to try and remove the smile from Dan Mullen’s face since November 27. Saturday was more of the same as Mullen took in the Gators’ win over Baylor on Saturday in a way only he could. He was Gator chomping with Dick Vitale, paling around with the Rowdy Reptiles

Mullen has been working relentlessly on the recruiting trail since he’s been in Gainesville, which means he’s turned his program over to Nick Savage, the Gators strength and conditioning coordinator. Savage is making sure that Mullen isn’t the only Gator working hard this spring.

“We are going to give you a football team, I promise you, that you can be proud of both on the field on Saturdays and in the community,” Mullen told the crowd at the O’Connell Center on Saturday. “Our guys are working their tail off right now to live up to what we know the ‘Gator Standard’ is.”

What is that standard? Is being happy winning the SEC East and making it to a bowl game? Not anymore.

“That standard is having a national championship baseball team. About any team that tries to come in here as No. 1 in the country, like Oklahoma (gymnastics) did last night, they’re going to go home with a loss. And on the football field, that standard is not just SEC, but national championships, and that’s what we promise you we’re going to bring back to Gainesville.”

That was more than enough to get the people going inside the arena. Mullen also asked fans to fill the Swamp on April 14 for the Gators spring game. A new NCAA rule will allow rising juniors to visit campuses for spring games this year and an empty stadium isn’t the first impression that any coach wants to make with a rising junior.

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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC