Player Notebook: Fowler and Watkins talk Tennessee and Kentucky

Florida defensive back Jaylen Watkins and BUCK Dante Fowler talked to the media in advance of beginning game planning for their upcoming matchup with the Kentucky Wildcats. It is Florida’s first road SEC game of the season and will be the first night game for the Gators this year.


On former Kentucky head coach, and current Florida receivers coach Joker Phillips


  • Watkins said Florida’s receivers trust that he’s teaching them the right things and that it’s important for players to trust coaches
  • Fowler said he hasn’t been able to pick Phillips’ brain yet but knew he was once the head coach at Kentucky


On how the defense perceives itself

  • Watkins said the unit attempts to play a perfect game and they were not pleased with mental errors towards the end of the game. They were aiming for three turnovers and got six, so Watkins thought they played well but had little things to clean up. He aims for shutouts, and Florida’s defense gave up a late touchdown.
  • Fowler says he knows the defense could do better. He said they were being doubted before the season and it made them want to play even harder than they did last season. They want to be the best defense in the country


On the QB situation

  • Watkins said Murphy and him were roommates when both lived on campus and he’s seen Murphy work consistently. Murphy always prepared like he was going to go into the game and nobody was surprised to see him have success. Watkins also said Murphy’s insertion into the game didn’t scare anyone.
  • Fowler said he feels like it’s the defenses’ job to make life easier for the quarterback. It’s their job not to let the opposing team put any points on the board.


On Dante Fowler being named player of the week

  • Watkins said Dante was disappointed with his performance and he could tell he was angry from the moment he caused the fumble that opened the game. Watkins was impressed with how Fowler responded.
  •  Fowler said it feels good, called it a blessing. He said there are a bunch of talented players in the SEC and being able to be recognized, as player of the week is an honor.
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