New year, new faces at SEC Media Days

The announcement that Florida will bring along redshirt junior quarterback Jeff Driskel, junior defensive lineman Dante Fowler Jr. and sophomore Vernon Hargreaves is more than just an announcement of who will accompany Will Muschamp to SEC Media Days.

The announcement shows a change in guard at Florida — this is the first time under Muschamp that the Gators will not take a senior to the annual circus that is SEC Media Days.

It’s also a PR dream team for Florida.

Jeff Driskel made the trip last year and handled himself brilliantly. Muschamp can trust Driskel to say the right things, stay on message and represent Florida in the way the school wants to present itself in front of thousands of reporters from across the country.

Vernon Hargreaves — just the second sophomore to attend Media Days (OT Mike Pearson 2000) — is also a great choice. Hargreaves is Florida’s best player. It doesn’t matter that he is only entering his second season. Florida fans knew him coming in as a high school standout but Hargreaves introduced himself to the world with his play last season and the media will be clamoring to get to know him next week in Birmingham.

Hargreaves may be young but he will handle the crazy media setting with ease. He’s the son of a coach and interviewing Hargreaves is like speaking to a coach. He’s not going to say anything controversial or outlandish. Florida is, however, bringing a player who may do just that.

Fowler is vicious on the football field. He’s fast, athletic and powerful; a player that strikes fear in the hearts of the opponent. Off the field, he’s a kid trapped inside the body of an All-SEC defensive lineman.

Fowler is a veteran with the Florida media. He’s soft spoken, comical and good-natured. Last year, the national media fell in love with Dominique Easley, who spoke about watching cartoons and responded to a question about Bear Bryant by asking “is that a cartoon character?”

That playful ignorance is found in Fowler as well and he will shine on the first day of what will be a long week filled with all things SEC football.

The decision to bring these three players is also a changing of the guard. These are all — other than Driskel who was always going to go — Muschamp guys. Fowler and Hargreaves are members of Muschamp’s first two recruiting classes and the two best players on the team.

Florida could have gone with a safe choice, bringing Driskel, Max Garcia and another senior like Mike Taylor but they didn’t.

The lights shine bright — brighter than they will all offseason, and the safe route would have been to bring experienced, veteran players. Muschamp scoffed at that notion and brought the best three players on his team.

Credit to Florida for bringing a star-studded group and not sticking to old habits by bringing safe seniors.

The faces of the franchise will be on display this Monday in Birmingham and Florida will benefit from displaying these three student-athletes and great ambassadors to the university on the grandest stage of the offseason.





Landon Collins, Safety

Amari Cooper, Wide Receiver

Christion Jones, Wide Receiver



Brey Cook, Offensive Guard

Trey Flowers, Defensive End

Alan Turner, Safety



Nick Marshall, Quarterback

Reese Dismukes, Center

Gabe Wright, Defensive Linemen



Jeff Driskel , Quarterback

Dante Fowler, Defensive End

Vernon Hargreaves III, Cornerback



Chris Conley, Flanker

Todd Gurley, Tailback

Ramik Wilson, Linebacker



Bud Dupree, Defensive End

Jordan Swindle, Offensive Tackle

Za’Darius Smith, Defensive End



La’el Collins, Offensive Tackle

Terrence Magee, Running Back

D.J. Welter, Linebacker


Ole Miss

CJ Johnson, Defensive End

Cody Prewitt, Safety

Bo Wallace, Quarterback


Mississippi State

Jay Hughes, Safety

Benardrick McKinney, Linebacker

Dak Prescott, Quarterback



Evan Boehm, Center

Markus Golden, Defensive End

Maty Mauk, Quarterback


South Carolina

A.J. Cann, Offensive Guard

J.T. Surratt, Defensive Tackle

Dylan Thompson, Quarterback



Mack Crowder, Offensive Line

AJ Johnson, Linebacker

Curt Maggitt, Defensive End


Texas A&M

Deshazor Everett, Defensive Back

Drew Kaser, Punter

Cedric Ogbuehi, Offensive Tackle



Adam Butler, Defensive Line

Steven Scheu, Tight End

Andrew Williamson, Safety

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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


  1. I’m surprised that Auburn is taking Marshall. I know he’s the best player on the team but I have heard him speak and he is not the greatest example of an eloquent young man when it comes to his verbal skills. Driskel is much better in that regard, but I’d trade Driskel to get Marshall in a heartbeat.