GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we talk about the affects of the Cornavirus on the Florida Gators athletics program.
Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre talk about how this affects the Gators football team and which guys it hurts the most.
Andrew and Nick also look around the SEC to breakdown which teams are hurt the most by spring practice being pushed back.
Andrew: What’s up, Gator Country? Your man, Andrew Spivey, here with Nicholas de la Torre. We’re quarantined. We’re keeping our six foot apart. We’re doing our part there, Nicholas.
Nick: Yeah. This is unprecedented times.
Andrew: Let’s just call it what it is. It’s boring as hell.
Nick: Shoot. I mean, there was times during like football season when we’re in the middle of it, and we’re doing all kinds of … I was literally about to get into like my busiest time, because I was covering basketball, baseball, and spring football was about to start. I was like I’m doing three sports. There’s five games a week, seven games a week was about to be. Then football practice. I was like, man, I’d love for a little bit of a break. So then, when all this stuff happens, my buddy was like, I bet you’re happy. I’m like, what do you mean? There’s nothing going on. I’m not happy. I wanted a little bit of a break, not nothing.
Andrew: Yeah. I mean, we’re taping on Thursday. It should have been Opening Day, Nick. It should have been Opening Day. I should have been getting ready.
Nick: I think our favorite day of the year.
Andrew: I should have been getting ready to tweet Braves win. Braves win. I should have been able to tweet that today.
Nick: They probably lost today out in L.A., Anaheim.
Andrew: They’re out in Arizona.
Nick: Out in where?
Andrew: Arizona. They were going to face MadBum.
Nick: Arizona. Diamondbacks. MadBum. His first start with them?
Andrew: Yeah. It was going to be good. I mean, listen, there is a lot of uncertainty around the world, and we get that, but it’s not a fun time at all for us. Like you said, I know a lot of people say, it’s a vacation for you guys. I think I speak for both of us in saying we’d much rather, much rather be working, stressed about having too much to do than having nothing to do.
Nick: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, Ryan on Twitter said, I think it was like Tuesday or Wednesday, and he was like, I bet you’d love to have a midweek extra innings right now. I said, sure would.
Andrew: Yeah. I would take multiple softball games going extra innings. I would take multiple Junior Days. I would do whatever. Just give me my Braves. I mean, listen, just give me Braves baseball. You could have everything else. Give me Braves baseball.
Nick: It’s weird. Opening Day for me should be a national holiday. Take the whole day off, watch baseball. Baseball’s all day long. We should be in the middle of spring practice right now. Florida, the start to the season they had, a 16-1 start on the diamond. That would have been an incredible season to watch.
We’re sitting here bellyaching about ourselves, but I can’t imagine what it would be like to Austin Langworthy, Kirby McMullen, Tommy Mace, Jack Leftwich, any of the seniors. I think it’s a little bit less for softball. You don’t have really the same kind of professional league for softball that you do for baseball. But for any senior across the country to have their season kind of ripped away from them, or even the Draft eligible juniors and Draft eligible sophomores that now have decisions to make. It’s not as simple as, I got an extra year of eligibility, I’m going to come back. You’re talking about in some cases million-dollar decisions when you have the kind of ability to go play professional sports.
Andrew: Like you said, there’s a chance some of the ladies like Kendyl Lindaman and Sophia Reynoso and some of those girls on the team get an extra year of eligibility, and it’s the same way in baseball. The difference is in baseball Mace and Leftwich, those guys are not turning down millions of dollars they could potentially get. Now, we’re going to talk about that here in a few minutes, about how the MLB Draft could affect some things there.
Here’s the thing that bothers me and hurts me a little bit more than anything, Nick. Listen, as much of the struggles as the basketball team have, and I know there’s some people who say, thank God the post-season was cancelled. It bothers me because of guys like Blackshear, Scottie Lewis, the whole team in general. They were going to March Madness. They were going to the big dance. Were they going to be one and done? Who knows? They might have played into the second weekend. Who knows? Just not to have that moment of playing post-season ball stripped away from you sucks. It does. That’s what you play for. I know the Millennials now, we all talk about the participation trophies. I think I speak for you, Nick, and that is you play to win the game. You play to win titles.
Nick: Yeah. It was weird when it was maybe. After they cancelled, I think the first thing they cancelled was the College World Series for softball/baseball and the NCAA Tournament, but they didn’t cancel the seasons. They didn’t say you’re not going to. It’s like they would come back and probably continue to play, but what are you playing for then? People were like, you can have an SEC Tournament.
Andrew: Once again, who cares?
Nick: That might be the first time Kevin O’Sullivan’s ever cared about an SEC Tournament.
Andrew: Yeah. Again, you play to win rings. If you’re Kevin O’Sullivan, you ask him at the beginning of each year, what will make you the happiest? What will he say? Winning in Omaha. If you asked Tim Walton, what’s going to make you the happiest? Winning in Oklahoma City. Period. You ask Mike White, what’s going to make you the happiest? Winning a ring in Atlanta for the Final Four. Period.
Nick: Yeah. There’s really no answers. I did my best. We did a mailbag on the site. I don’t know how it’s going to affect. I know kids in high school are still doing virtual class and stuff like that, but how does it affect them and getting eligible? I’m sure that the college admissions process, there’s just so many questions. Even when you talk about just getting into college. I know that’s happy for some people, but there’s still athletes that are waiting to take the ACT or the SAT one more time. When is that going to be able to happen? Even the most expert of doctor on this subject can’t tell you when. Here you go, by April 15th everything’s going to return to normal. Nobody knows.
Nick: I think the uncertainty is also what is just compounding how frustrating the situation is for everyone involved in sports.
Andrew: Let’s talk about the baseball, then we’ll move onto football, because I think that’s what everyone kind of came to hear. Baseball, MLB pushed back till probably mid-May, or to at least mid-May, probably early June, if you want to get down to it. Like you and I talked about yesterday, Nick, you got to have spring training. You’ve got to have a two to three week spring training. You can’t expect these guys, all these guys I’m sure are still out there staying in shape, whether that’s at home or at a gym or wherever they’re at. They’re staying in shape, but, again, you can’t expect a hitter to go from hitting BP fast balls to Mack Scherzer’s 95-mile-an-hour fastball. You can’t expect a pitcher to go from throwing a bullpen to facing Ronald Acuna or Bryce Harper, whoever it may be. You’re going to have that.
I think the effects that a lot of people haven’t thought about is the Draft. You and I talked about this a lot. Some news came out on Thursday that it looks like the MLB and Players’ Association are close to agreeing to make the Draft just 10 rounds this year. That’s down from, what, 24, Nick? Is that right? 21, 24?
Nick: I don’t know. I think there was 20. There was so many.
Andrew: It’s in the 20s or something like that. Because of the fact that teams aren’t making money. Listen, save me the preaching that teams have all this money, whatever. They’re still paying salaries, so whatever. They’re not putting the funds into the Draft. Nick, I think that’s where it comes down to. Do I think Mace and Leftwich are top 10 picks? Absolutely. But does the money decrease a lot and push them to say maybe come back? Some of those Draft eligible juniors that may be a fifth or sixth round and could bargain for more money, where are they at? Maybe a fringe high school guy who gets a lot of money to go in the ninth or tenth round maybe doesn’t get that now. You always see some juniors who get drafted in the 15th round say, I got a bargaining chip. I can get a little bit more money. Now there won’t be a 15th round, and if you’re undrafted, looks like could only get $10,000 or $15,000 signing bonus. It may push them to come back.
Nick, that leads me into this. The NCAA has got to fix the scholarships. This isn’t Kevin O’Sullivan or Corbin at Vanderbilt or anybody else’s problem. I think you have to look at the situation next year and say, we may have to give you some extra scholarships.
Nick: I don’t know how you do it. If you give scholarships to everyone or give an extra year of eligibility to everyone. Shoot, what does that do for not just, baseball’s different because like Jacob Young and Cory Acton are Draft eligible sophomores. They have a bargaining chip of even if they’re not given an extra year of eligibility, they’re Draft eligible juniors next year. They still have that bargaining chip when it comes to I got Drafted. You look at a guy like Jake Mangum, SEC Player of the Year. He gets drafted by the Mets, and the Mets say, here’s $15,000. He has no room to bargain.
Andrew: Take it or leave it.
Nick: I want to play in the Major Leagues. I don’t want to go pick up my life and go to Japan. Nothing against their league, but that’s not what he dreamed of, and that would be his only other option.
Nick: Go play in Japan or go play in Korea. If you want to play Major League baseball, and you’re a senior coming out of college, you take what you get. That’s why a lot of guys don’t come back for that senior season. It was so incredible when JJ Schwarz came back for his senior season. Guys like Tommy Mace, Jack Leftwich, even if, like you said, the Draft’s only 10 rounds, they’re getting picked in the first 10 rounds. They’re both gone.
Andrew: Let me go to a guy like maybe Austin Langworthy.
Nick: Yeah. A guy like Austin Langworthy, I don’t think he has a professional career. He’s even mentioned to me, he’s also mentioned to the players and to coaches, he wants to get into coaching. I think for him, if he gets an opportunity to I get to play another year, I think he would take advantage of it.
Andrew: A guy like Kirby McMullen, who was transitioning to play at third, another year. I like McMullen. I think he’s a decent player. I don’t think he gets drafted in top 10 rounds. Maybe I’m wrong.
Nick: No. I don’t think so either. For both of those guys. If you look where like Nelson Maldonado went really, really late last year, I think Kirby goes even later than that. Nelson won a championship in the Minors in his first year. I think both of guys, the two seniors, if they’re given the opportunity, I think they both should, would come back.
Andrew: Right. Exactly. I think it’s, I’m trying to think of the word that I’m trying to use here. It’s going to be a struggle for Sully from a standpoint that if they don’t give extra years of eligibility what do you do? Do you really want to tell a guy like Kirby McMullen, thanks, but see you? Do you really want to do that? I don’t think he does. I don’t think Sully’s that kind of guy. At the end of the day, it might be a business decision, and that might be getting rid of him for a high school guy you’re going to have for two or three years. That’s why I think it’s important for the NCAA to step in here and say, you guys got your season basically taken away from you, outside of 17 games. If you were on scholarship last year, cool, you’re good. I don’t know. I don’t know how you work it.
Nick: Then it really affects the high school guys. How big can your class, everyone has to over sign, all the elite schools. LSU, Florida. I mean, Vanderbilt gets away with it, because they’re a private school, so you can offer more than the 11.7 scholarships, because you’re using all kinds of different scholarships. All the big-time schools have to over recruit, because you know you’re going to have attrition through the Draft. Now, if you’re not getting that attrition, what happens to the guy that you signed and you figured would be in your class, but now we don’t have the room?
I don’t know what the answer is. If it’s just a one-year grace, we’re not going to count the scholarships this year. I just don’t know the domino effect. It’s the right thing to do by the players, but I think as a baseball coach 11.7 scholarships isn’t enough. When you’re looking at the bottom line of things, baseball’s losing money. I know LSU does. I’m not sure if any other schools do. Florida does not make money from baseball. They lose money. Most schools are losing money from all of their spring sports, as a matter of fact.
Andrew: I don’t know if you can say no scholarship limit this year. I don’t know how you do that, because you can’t allow them just to have whatever, but what is the answer there? Some guys that you thought were going to go probably won’t get drafted, like you say. I don’t know. It’s a complex answer. I’m not going to say the NCAA’s smarter than me, because I don’t know if they are or not. Sometimes they make me feel like they’re not, and sometimes they make me feel like they are. I’m glad I’m not making that decision.
Nick: People get paid more than us to make that decision.
Andrew: Yeah. They get paid more than us. Not necessarily they’re smarter. Any final thoughts on baseball? Softball, I would expect if Kendyl Lindaman and those girls get that extra year that they’ll be back. They have that professional softball league, and I’m not taking anything away from it. I think it’s building, but if you get an extra year of college, I think they will come back. That’s speaking with very little knowledge of their personal situation to say this is what they’re planning to do. From the little bit I’ve heard and talked to, I do think they would. Just be interesting to see. Like you say, there was some teams that was really good. Gymnastics was doing really good. Everybody was doing good this year.
Nick: The spring sports were getting the job done, for as much as everything else was going on with basketball and the winter sports. That’s another thing we could even get into. I don’t know. The winter sports, some of them were done. Some had played for SEC Championships or conference championships.
Andrew: Gymnastics. They were one week away from SEC. Some people said they were the best team to ever get on the gym floor. Do you give all those girls an extra year of eligibility?
Nick: Shoot. The damn gymnastics team might have won a national championship this year.
Andrew: They were undefeated. Posted five of the top six scores in the country or something like that. You kind of say, I don’t know. People get paid more than I do.
Nick: It’s such a frustrating time. We’re sitting here, listen, we’re here talking about sports. Obviously, life is bigger than sports. What’s happening is going on bigger than sports, but you’re tuning in here to listen to us talk about sports.
Andrew: Let me get onto that subject for a second, Nick. I’m going to get on a soapbox for a second. Stop me when I start to rattle, because I am. I think a lot of people see sports just as entertainment and just as a break from reality or break from life. I think a lot of people forget how many livelihoods are affected by day to day sports. We talk about March Madness. The amount of money that was lost not having March Madness, and I’m not talking about TV. I’m not talking about schools. I’m talking about hotels. I’m talking about the hotel workers. I’m talking about restaurants and the concession stand workers at these arenas and stuff. The day to day people who are affected by no sports.
I’ve had some people say, you guys are on vacation, congrats. I’m sitting here thinking, I am, luckily we get paid, but there’s a lot of people who are in sports who aren’t getting paid. Maybe not directly involved with a sports team, but are affected by sports, who aren’t getting paid. I think that we all need to sit back a little bit and look and say, sports is an entertainment, is a getaway from life, but at the same time it affects thousands of people’s daily lives.
Nick: Yeah. Not to be on my soapbox, it was awesome to see like Giannis came out, and I’m going to miss some other people, some other players.
Nick: Zion came out and said, we’re putting money to pay for the hourly workers. I know Scott Strickland and the University of Florida is trying to figure out ways to do that, to make those people hold, because you don’t have a baseball game, you don’t have a football game, without hundreds or thousands of people who aren’t salaried, who aren’t getting health benefits, that are doing the jobs that make a game day run.
Andrew: Probably minimum wage.
Nick: When I saw Zion do it, and I saw Giannis do it, I’m thinking that’s awesome, but that’s not their responsibility. That’s the owner’s responsibility. Mark Cuban came out right away and said, these guys are still going to get paid. We’re going to figure out a way to do it. Good for him. The people in power, the owners of the teams, are the ones that need to be doing that. Great for the players to do it, but the owners are the ones that need to be doing that stuff.
Andrew: Right. There’s several. Freddie Freeman was a guy, $50,000 I think is what he donated, or something like that. You see it. Like you said, it’s somebody else. I didn’t want to get on a soapbox, but I don’t want to say I took defense to it, but when people say sports doesn’t matter, sports does matter to a lot of people, and sports does matter to a lot of the economy. You and I are lucky that we still get paid, but there’s a lot of people who are doing what you and I do that have been told there’s no sports to talk about, no check.
Nick: This is when you get all those, normally it’s like July before we start doing the top 10 Gators of all time. Ranking the opponents from least to hardest, best game to worst game. I’m just like, I don’t want to start doing this. I don’t want to start doing this stuff in March.
Andrew: Yeah. Let’s get into football. Obviously, spring practice hasn’t been officially cancelled. I say officially, because it’s all been cancelled, in my opinion. They are looking at ways that they will have a “spring practice” whether that’s a mini camp in June, whether that’s earlier start to fall camp, whatever it may be. Nick, I will say this, and I’m not saying this in a bad way, but Florida’s one of the few teams that I think look at spring practice and can say, we’re not killed by it. There’s a lot of teams that I would say are really hurt by not having spring practice.
Nick: That gets really interesting. Obviously, Florida lost a lot. We’ve talked a bunch about the guys that are leaving. You look at how many guys they have going to the Draft. They lost a lot, but when you look around the league at Alabama’s bringing in a new quarterback, Georgia’s bringing in a new quarterback. Tennessee’s a dumpster fire.
Andrew: LSU’s new quarterback. New coordinators.
Nick: LSU’s got a new everything.
Andrew: So does Georgia. New coordinator with Georgia.
Nick: Ed Orgeron walked around two weeks after winning a National Championship and went, where’d everybody go?
Andrew: Where’d everybody go?
Nick: When it comes to that, when it comes to familiarity, I think 100%. Would you rather be in Georgia’s position right now, new coordinator, new quarterback, and we don’t know when or what kind of camp we’re going to have? You were really hoping to have a good spring camp to kind of start working on things, learn that playbook. Almost like that first year when Dan Mullen came in, and we’re sitting there like, Dan at some point during spring was like, I’m still learning guy’s names. He said it in a funny way, but it’s probably true. You’re going to have some of that at these schools all around the country.
That’s not Florida’s case. You’ve got a returning starter in quarterback in Kyle Trask. You’ve got a backup who’s played in Emory Jones. You’ve got a bunch of guys on defense. The defensive line should be really good again. Then you’ve got just a bunch of guys with a ton of experience. Not just experience, but experience in that system, coming back. I think if you’re looking around, you think Florida’s probably better suited, given the roster and the lack of coaching turnover, the coaching consistency.
Nick: Probably in a better spot to handle this than other schools.
Andrew: I look at Georgia more closely and say if you’re them, the expectations they have, their expectations are sky-high right now. You’re Kirby Smart, and you’re looking and going, oh man. When am I going to get these guys ready? When am I going to have a chance to allow the offensive coordinator to get in there and go over stuff? It’s not only just a new quarterback, but you lose a lot of your line. You have a new offensive line coach in Matt Luke. How does all that work?
If you’re Bama, everyone thought Bryce Young was going to be a guy that was going to come in and compete right out of high school to compete with Mack Jones. If you’re a high school quarterback, and you don’t have spring practice, your chances of playing Year 1 are very slim. I don’t want to say not happening, but I think it’s slim.
Nick: I agree with that. When do you think, listen, there’s going to be some kind of camp. It’s not like they’re going to say, we figured it all out, and we’re going to be play games, so get out there.
Andrew: From a health standpoint, they have to.
Nick: Yes. That’s what I’m saying. From a health standpoint, you absolutely have to. Even when they were doing spring ball, from a health standpoint first two days are only in helmets.
Nick: Second two days are only in shells. Then fifth practice you can go and actually get into some actual real football.
Andrew: Right. I don’t know. It comes a question to me, Nick, and that if you’re a coach, when do you want it? You want a break. You want a break from that portion before fall camp. You don’t want it to be like the NFL where it’s July to January of full-on football. You want to say probably June. I would say it would kind of be like a mini camp, because I don’t think you can do it in May. It depends, because does high school come back and have spring to where coaches can go out and recruit some? If that’s the case, you got to use May for that. If they don’t, then maybe you do use May.
Then here’s another question for you, Nick. If you’re a college coach, do you almost want to wait till June, and then you have all those new freshmen, the Jaquavion Frasiers of the world, Gervon Dexters, to go through that little June mini camp before you go. You see what I’m saying? I think if you’re a college coach you got a lot of what ifs and question marks even for yourself right now.
Nick: When do you think is realistic?
Nick: Not realistic. The latest that something could happen, or even if when can you start fall camp, can you extend that 10 extra days?
Andrew: Again, I think it’s one of those things of if you’re a college coach do you even want it to be extended 10 extra days? You already talk about the length and guys being tired by January or December or late November. Do you really want it to be in that situation? I say that they have something in June, but, again, I don’t know. I just don’t think you see anything in May. That’s for several reasons. A, you got most of the guys gone home already. Do you bring them back? I think schools are going to err on the side of caution a little bit of bringing students back too soon.
Nick: Yeah. Obviously, everything has to be figured out on a national standpoint before we even get into football. I guess just my biggest question, and I don’t think that we have an answer, but what would be the latest that it could start? Right now, the NCAA, or the SEC has only cancelled, and it still stands, has only cancelled practice. Obviously, the championships are cancelled, and spring games are cancelled, but in reality, a spring game is just the 15th practice of spring.
Nick: They’re only cancelled through April 15th. Let’s say a magic pill drops from the sky, and all this is gone. April 15th, everyone can start spring ball, if they wanted to. I’m just trying to think of is it late April, is it May, is it June?
Andrew: If you’re a college coach, you would love to be able to do it in April, but realistically I think it’s more June, late May, June. I think that’s when you see it happen. That’s just me. I feel like that’s what’s going to happen. When we talk about baseball and MLB and that kind of stuff, they’re saying mid to late June, mid-May to early June, before that happens. That’s a Major League team that pays their guys. That isn’t students who the schools are at risk for. That’s why I say that. Again, there’s a lot of question marks. What do you do with the recruiting calendar, for instance? I think you have to throw that July or late June, early July dead period out the window. You don’t need that no more.
There’s a lot of guys. We were talking to IMG’s defensive lineman, Tunmise Adeleye, I believe is how you say his last name, and he said, I was planning on using the spring to find where I was going to take officials, and then take officials in summer, and I was going to announce in August. Well, that’s out the window. Guys use the summer to visit, use the spring to visit. You’ve got to work that in. Then in a way you kind of got to make it so the coaches can go see some of these guys as well. In person evaluations are huge a lot of times.
Nick: Is there any benefit to Florida having that Junior Day? I mean, not like right before, but pretty close to when all this, visits were about to get ramped up, really.
Nick: With pretty much every school going into a spring camp of some sort, visits were going to be going nuts. Any chance that Florida getting that big Junior Day right before this helps them?
Andrew: You haven’t seen it. You haven’t seen the affect of it yet. A lot of other schools, Ohio State, Georgia, they’ve all kind of picked up some commits, and Florida hasn’t. I think the one thing out there is Florida was kind of that last big visit for a lot of these guys, so I think it does. Someone made this point to me too, and that is Florida had a lot of momentum going into this dead period that was unforeseen, and it kind of all came to a halt because of it. Florida was hoping to have another big Junior Day next weekend for spring practice and all that other stuff. They were hoping to take that momentum that they created from Junior Day into spring ball, and it kind of all but halted.
Nick: A little bit of momentum going in, after a big Junior Day, but then now it’s kind of like nobody has momentum.
Andrew: Right. It was kind of one those things where some positives. I don’t know that it was a negative. I don’t know if you can get a negative out of it. I mean, hell, you ain’t going to have momentum if you didn’t have a Junior Day. I just say that in a way it was negative, because Florida was kind of starting to pick that momentum up. They had picked up two commits. They had a huge Junior Day with some of the biggest names, visitors list wise, we’ve seen in a long time. You’d have loved to have seen what that momentum would have done the rest of March into next month. You’ve had loved to have seen what that had done, because a lot of us was thinking this class is going to be 75, 80% done by summertime.
Nick: Now we don’t even know if we’ll be playing football in summertime.
Andrew: Shut up.
Nick: I just want baseball back.
Andrew: Shut up. I just want Braves baseball. That’s all I care about. Give me some baseball, man. Give me some baseball.
Nick: I don’t want to seem like we don’t have the answers, but we don’t have answers.
Andrew: I don’t know is a perfectly fine answer right now. That’s exactly what it is. There’s so many I don’t knows. Like I just said, is June a good time for it? I really don’t know. You’re going to be focused on your team, but you’re also going to be trying to focus on recruiting. You can’t put recruiting on the back burner in the summertime, because guess what? When the fall comes, recruiting is on the back burner.
Andrew: I don’t know. I will say this. I think that it helps to have a good support staff like Florida has in recruiting in this time. The staff is recruiting during this dead period, quiet period, whatever you want to call it. They are able to still talk to kids, offer kids, all that good stuff. It’s just, like you said, there’s just so many unknowns. The good thing is it’s not Florida. It’s not just a hurricane where it’s just Florida, Florida State, and Miami affected. It’s every school in America is affected by it. All 100+ schools are affected by it. There’s just a lot of questions, and unfortunately, we’re all leaving this up to the NCAA to decide, and we know they’re not the best decisionmakers.
Nick: You don’t say?
Andrew: Yeah. Jashaun Corbin, Florida transferred Jashaun Corbin. Did you see this, Nick? Texas A&M transfer. Already got clearance to play this year for Florida State, because he got hurt and lost his starting job, so he decided to transfer.
Nick: So, the coin they flipped just turned in his favor.
Andrew: Yeah. Meanwhile, Lorenzo Lingard, with a real-life medical condition with his dad, still up in the air. Jordan Pouncey still hasn’t got his answer back. He didn’t get hurt, but he lost his starting job, so shouldn’t he get the coin flip too?
Nick: Hopefully. Hopefully, it’s a double-headed coin, and he calls heads.
Andrew: Who knows? Like you said, I don’t know. The NCAA don’t make any sense to me. There’s so many question marks. Like you said, there’s little to no answers to a lot of this, because there just isn’t. Like I said, I think Florida’s in better shape than a lot of schools. I think if you ask Dan Mullen, he’d tell us we’re both liars, that he wants spring practice, and I’m sure he would. I just say I think Florida’s in better shape than some other schools. Kyle Trask is a smart guy. Kyle Trask didn’t need an extra spring practice to know the playbook. Did he need the extra spring practice to better his game? Absolutely. Everybody needs that. Tom Brady still needs that. But he knows the playbook. Jamie Newman at Georgia doesn’t know anything.
Andrew: The new quarterback at LSU, whoever that may be, knows the playbook probably, but has no chemistry with his teammates. Mack Jones is a guy that Alabama doesn’t really think that they can win with.
Nick: Yeah. A bunch of people were asking me, so we’re repeating in case they didn’t read the mailbag, all the players have the playbook, and they have an outline of their nutrition and workouts from Nick Savage. It wasn’t like they just got sent away.
Nick: But they’re not being allowed, like everyone now is doing Zoom meetings or Skype meetings to carry on with their workday, coaches are not allowed to do that with the players right now en masse. So, like Torrian Gray can’t get all of the cornerbacks on a Zoom meeting and then like run through tape and do stuff like that.
Andrew: Right. I’m sure Nick Savage is keeping in touch with a lot of the guys to keep that nutrition part going. I’m sure that is allowed. It’s a situation. I’m talking about a couple of these offensive linemen that were early enrollees, Isaiah Walker, Josh Braun, those two guys in particular, they were going to see a lot of gain from Nick Savage. It’s kind of gone. They had two months or so with it, but still they were there. Anthony Richardson’s another guy. A lot of these guys were going to have that extra two, three months of workouts with Savage that’s kind of gone. I know he’s going to give them that plan, and they’re going to go home and do it. I’m not saying these guys aren’t going to do it to their full effect, but doing it with Savage and doing it on your own is different.
Nick: Yeah. That’s for sure. Just to have that same environment of the team there and the music and that kind of facility, and now some guys, not some guys, a lot of the guys, if not all the guys, don’t have the same kind of workout facility at home that they do at the University of Florida.
Andrew: Absolutely. I mean, some of these guys that are in high school don’t even have a high school weight room. If they do, some of them have very little weights. They don’t have the different machines, the different racks and stations, and stuff like that to do that. So, it hurts them. Again, Florida’s not the only one going through it. The rest of the country’s going through it. There’s just those are the things that if you’re Dan Mullen, Nick Savage, those guys, you worry about. Who’s staying in shape? Who’s doing what they’re supposed to do? That’ll be a big thing. I think next year when we look at the National Championship and the College Football Playoffs, you’re going to say this team had leadership. This team did what they were supposed to do. Whereas maybe this team was sitting in quarantine playing PlayStation all day.
Nick: Yeah. I think my biggest point, and maybe my last point on it, is college football is so big, and makes so much money, that, listen, they are thinking of everything and anything as a way to make college football happen. If they have to kickoff college football in October, they’ll do it. If we get to a point, and the coronavirus is still going around, and they can’t start in August and in September, playing games in September, start camp in August, they’ll start camp in October.
Andrew: Yeah. I don’t think they’ll get to that point, but, again, I don’t have my Ph.D.
Nick: My point is that they will, the NCAA and the ADs and the school presidents, because they know the University of Florida, the university athletic association donates so much money to the university every single year from the money they make off of football and basketball. Not only are they donating that to the school, but they’re propping up all the other sports. The money that football makes pays for all the other sports on campus to be able to do that. Like I said earlier, softball runs at a loss. Baseball runs at a loss.
Nick: Lacrosse. Gymnastics. Soccer. Everything runs at a loss. Football runs at such a profit that it pays for all those sports. Then they’ve got money left over.
Nick: That’s for many schools across the country. They will do everything in their power to have a football season, NCAA and NFL, this year.
Andrew: Yeah. Exactly. Nick, tell everybody where they can find us, and we’ll get out of here. We’ll see everyone here sometime next week. Maybe do a Q&A or something on here to stay active.
Nick: Still pumping out news and coverage, as much as we can during these times. Hope you all are staying safe. Practice your social distancing. Flatten the curve, and let’s get football going.
Andrew: Let’s get baseball going.
Nick: Get baseball going. Man. It certainly would. www.GatorCountry.com for all your Florida Gator news. The podcast is there in audio and transcript form. You can find the podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Just search Gator Country and hit subscribe. Never miss an episode. Do your social media thing. @GatorCountry on Facebook and Twitter. @TheGatorCountry on Instagram. You can find @NickdelaTorreGC and him @AndrewSpiveyGC.
Andrew: There you go. Guys, we appreciate it. Stay safe, like Nick said. We’ll catch up with you guys next week. As always, go Braves and chomp, chomp.
Nick: You stay classy, Gator Country.