Urban Meyer: ‘Florida is Florida,’ recruiting will be fine

NOTE: This is the story I filed for print. It includes some quotes from previous blog. . . .

Urban Meyer said he will be calling Florida recruits all week. (Photo by Richard Graulich/Palm Beach Post)

Urban Meyer said he will be calling Florida recruits all week. (Photo by Richard Graulich/Palm Beach Post)

“Florida is Florida. Florida will always be Florida.”

Those were the words of outgoing Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer in regard to the effect his resignation would have on recruiting. Meyer, 46, stepped down Wednesday after leading the Gators to two national championships and a pair of SEC title in six seasons.

“I talked to a handful of [recruits] already and I’ll talk to a bunch of them tonight and tomorrow,” he told reporters attending his press conference Wednesday evening. “. . . Even last year with the other issue we put together a great class. There are great coaches here and I’m sure the new coaching staff will be fantastic. We’ve just got to get moving. Timing’s of the essence.”

Meyer abruptly resigned for one day following the SEC Championship Game last December. The Gators went on to ink a 2010 recruiting class that was ranked No. 1 in the nation by Scout.com and ESPN.com.

Florida’s current recruiting class gets a consensus Top 10 ranking from ESPN (4), Scout (8) and Rivals.com (9). But Meyer’s resignation adversely affected the Gators with at least a couple of major prospects from Georgia.

AJC Super 11 defensive end Ray Drew of Thomas County Central said he was “shocked” and “disappointed” by Wednesday’s developments. Drew had the Gators among his final six, which includes Georgia, Auburn, Clemson, LSU and Tennessee.

“I don’t know what to think or what to do,” said Drew, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound high school All-American who has fielded as many as 50 scholarship offers. “I’m somewhat disappointed that it happened this late in the process. I’m not going to say it X’s them out but that’s a problem. That’s a big problem.”

Fellow AJC Super 11 players Damian Swann (CB, Grady) and Jay Rome (TE, Valdosta) were also considering the Gators.

“I had kind of dropped them from my top schools anyway, so it really doesn’t affect me,” said Rome, who is also making an official visit to Georgia this weekend. “I wasn’t planning on taking an official there or anything. But I was surprised to hear about it.”

Valdosta athlete Malcolm Mitchell told Scout the Gators were high on his list before the Meyers news “came out of nowhere.”

As for the Gators’ 17 commitments for the 2011 class, for the first time in a while none came from the state of Georgia. However, a few of Florida’s pledges at one time were considering local teams. Linebacker Clay Burton of Venice, Fla., was seriously considering Georgia Tech. Defensive back Nick Waisome (Groveland, Fla.), WR JaJuan Story (Brooksville, Fla.) and RB Mike Blakely (Bradenton, Fla.) all were heavily recruited by Georgia and considering the Bulldogs. According to a report by 247Sports.com, UGA coaches were in to see Story on Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, the Gators, always a major player on the national recruiting scene, were actively recruiting several of the best prospects in the country. In addition to Drew, other five-star rated recruits on Florida’s radar include LB Stephone Anthony, QB Teddy Bridgewater, TE Nick O’Leary and LB Tony Steward.

College Recruiting By Chip Towers

89 comments Add your comment

just a fan

December 8th, 2010
7:25 pm

chilidawg

December 8th, 2010
7:37 pm

Whoa! This souldn’t be a surprise, but it sort of is.

just a thought

December 8th, 2010
7:41 pm

anybody at AJC think to interview Urban’s daughter Nicki who plays volleyball at Ga Tech? Might get some good information there

uga_fan39

December 8th, 2010
7:43 pm

PLease CMR follow Meyers lead !!!!

Sanford Drive

December 8th, 2010
7:46 pm

uga_fan39 = Georgia Tech TROLL

(((((42-34)))))
(((((73-72)))))
We. Own. You.

Sanford Drive

December 8th, 2010
7:49 pm

Florida State will bennefit the most from this, and get any in state recruits on the fence. Especially since Miami has no coach and recruits already bailing on them.

UGA will bennefit and get most of the Georgia in state recruits who were on the fence. Bama may get 1 or 2, but UGA will get Drew, Dickson, Swann and others.

Georgia Tech will……. they will still get nothing. But sure will enjoy making fun of UGA for getting good recruiting classes.

Matthews Dawg

December 8th, 2010
7:49 pm

Thank you Sanford Drive…GT wants CMR gone, so they think they have a chance against us! Not happening in our lifetime.

SlapAJACKET

December 8th, 2010
7:51 pm

Like sands in an hour glass, so are the days of our lives. The gators won’t miss a beat, but i hope i’m WRONG.

Paul Johnson Football Theory

December 8th, 2010
7:51 pm

Losing by 1 point….. Embarrasing.

Losing by 8 points….. Outcoaching the opponent.

T-DAWG

December 8th, 2010
7:51 pm

Gerogai just needs to take care of it;s own business. If i am correct, we only beat the Gators once when Ron Zook was coachiing the Gators. You have to take care of your own house and then everything else will fall in place.

Sanford Drive

December 8th, 2010
7:54 pm

I am a UGA alumni, and you could easily consider me one of the “obsessed” fans who eat sleep and breathe UGA football. I have a LOT of family and friends and fellow alumni groups who I associate with on a very regular basis. I do not know a SOUL who wants CMR gone. There are plenty of US who want desperately to see improvements, but I know nobody who is demanding CMR’s head.

Basically, 99.9% of any comments you will ever see on these “blogs” demanding CMR’s dismissal, are JEALOUS Georgia Tech TROLLS who know CMR is 9-1 against them.

GO CMR!!!! and GO DAWGS!!!!

Sanford Drive

December 8th, 2010
7:57 pm

As much as the Gators have owned us recently, the Dawgs are still 2-5 in the last 7 games.

Georgia Tech is 9-1 in the last 10 games against UGA.

What does that say about all the Techies who’s only comeback to a UGA fan has to do with Florida “owning” Georgia???

RRTDawgs

December 8th, 2010
8:02 pm

This guy better not be another Bret Farve were he says going to retire and then comes back the next day if Meyer is calling it quits than not going to help the gators at least not this recruiting class .

layinlow

December 8th, 2010
8:02 pm

Well I guess I am part of the .001%. I’m okay giving Richt one more season but the mediocrity has got to cease. And I suppose some fans are okay wallowing in mediocrity and getting freakin owned by Florida but I am not among them.

Small Town Friday Night

December 8th, 2010
8:03 pm

I agree with the Tech fans being the ones posing as UGA fans calling for Richt.

I would almost guarantee you there are groups of Nerds who get together to come on these blogs with several different screen names to launch an attack to attempt to make the UGA fanbase look uncertain. They think they will have serious impact on recruiting and maybe achieve their “Holy Grail” of the dismissal of the Coach who has made the Bugs the state’s little-brother-JV-team for the past decade.

I stand with Georgia. Therefore I stand with Coach Mark Richt.

Sanford Drive

December 8th, 2010
8:07 pm

layinlow…

I am in no way saying that there are not Dawg supporters who have had it with Richt. The point I really want to make is that the overall sentiment in Dawg Nation is NOT to get rid of him. The vast majority of TRUE Dawg supporters understand that winning and losing happens in cycles, and things are not out of control by any means.

It is so, so easy for anybody to be a Sunday Morning College Quarterback and say what you would have done in hindsight. This does not make Richt incompetent.

RRTDawgs

December 8th, 2010
8:17 pm

Well said Sanford Drive Richt deserves one shot at it for all his done for the Bulldog program with the 2 Sugar Bowl wins and SEC championships .

11Dawg

December 8th, 2010
8:32 pm

“Florida will always be Florida.”

What about pre-1990 Florida?

LADawg

December 8th, 2010
8:35 pm

I’m dreaming of the Dream Team at UGA next year. If Florida is always Florida, how did Urban get the job. The SEC runs in cycles. The Dawgs time is near!

oakwooddawg

December 8th, 2010
8:39 pm

Have to admit I have never liked CUM(and for that matter have never liked any UF coach) but this sudden resignation surprises me. I am glad he resigned when he did because it has to help us in recruiting but his bowing out at this time surprises me. Out of loyalty to UF I would have thought he would have waited until after signing day to announce his resignation thereby locking in all those great recruits. That would have been a dastardly thing to do but that is what could be considered to be his method of operation. The simple truth is you can’t figure the man out and to try to do so is simply a waste of time. At any rate, I am glad to see him gone(is he really gone?). Uf was great before him and unfortunately will be great without him. Until our dawgs can get mentally prepared to play UF it will be the same old same old i.e. a couple of wins every 8 or 10 years. Good by Urban, don”t want to see you later alligator.

twest

December 8th, 2010
8:42 pm

Chip what is your take on the lack of a prime receiver in this class? If i am a high a school sr. especially a RB WR DL i would be thinking i can go to UGA and start tonight!!! but with murrary and playing time available what can be the hold up?

Pope UGA XXIII

December 8th, 2010
8:51 pm

With the implosion at Miami, there’s going to be a double
truckload of recruits available. Florida State has just about
taken their quota already as has Alabama and South Carolina,
so that leaves more than a few for UGA and Auburn to snag.
UCF, USF, Fla Intl, Fla Atlantic, and maybe even Georgia
Southern will pick off a few.
Meanwhile, the Tech spin machine will be downplaying all of
the available talent as unsuitable since none of these players
are future National Merit Scholars. Bill Curry will also pass on
these kids since they are not “total persons” needed by Georgia
State for their Div II program.

GT Sambo

December 8th, 2010
8:56 pm

Wow Sanford Drive,
You sure are sensitive to GT. You set up a straw man (those nasty GT commenters, who haven’t actually made an appearance) so you can keep knocking it down and feel important. Look, I’ll freely admit that UGA has better talent than GT. But maybe, just maybe you are sensitive to the fact that CPJ has outcoached CMR for three years running.

Drew Dawg

December 8th, 2010
9:20 pm

Scoop ‘em up Dawgs!

SideWalk_Fan

December 8th, 2010
9:25 pm

Haha mack brown take that!!!!!!! Haha Gator Fans who said richt would be gone at the end this year.

kaptu

December 8th, 2010
9:34 pm

SideWalk_Fan, you’re happy that you guys ended up with the record you did? He should be fired!

Sanford Drive

December 8th, 2010
9:38 pm

You’re right GT Sambo….

Paul Johnson sure has “outcoached” Richt. You just show me somewhere where “outcoaching” is smiled upon brighter than “outscoring”. This is not figure skating pal. Judges do not decide the outcome based on prettiness.

Paul Johnson vs. Mark Richt………. CMR- 2 CPJ- 1…… thats a 66% FAIL rate for your boy.

(((((42-34))))) So glad it hurts you more than you will EVER admit.

oakwooddawg

December 8th, 2010
9:41 pm

GT Sambo—The old saying “Stats are for losers”. Who is going to look at stats. It is the W that counts and that is what everyone remembers.

Sanford Drive

December 8th, 2010
9:47 pm

As much as I have always been opposed to the “negative recruiting” approach, the door was just left WIDE open ir order to do so. Make these recruits understand the instability going on at Florida right now. And you know without adoubt the first think the new Boss-Man who comes in will do is get rid of Addazio.

There is NO telling what will be at Florida when these recruits arrive. Especially since Urban has said he will coach in the New Year’s Day bowl….that means they will more than likely not announce a new HC until after that game, leaving a single month until signing day.

Go get em’ Dawg coaches. You have 1 month to drill it in these kids heads that Florida is in shambles…. because they are.

aladawg

December 8th, 2010
9:56 pm

GT Sambo, if CPJ has out coached CMR in the last three games how come you wimps have won only one of those. Man what a dumb ass.

Sandman053

December 8th, 2010
9:59 pm

It sure makes CMR’s recruiting job a lot better as well as make what Londes25 was saying about Crowell and Rome and the others….damn good dawgs!

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

December 8th, 2010
10:02 pm

this should have a domino effect for sure…hopefully UGA can land the big GA recruits then raid the state of FL.

Vol Fan

December 8th, 2010
10:08 pm

I hope CMR stays at Georgia. I have no doubt that DD will own CMR in the near future (Just like Philip Fulmer owned the Dawgs). I for one believe that Richt is a poor Coach. Thats why I hope he stays at UGA.

I don’t care if CMR wins 90 percent of his games. He has a track record of not winning championships and the big games. Just like Philip Fulmer, except that Fulmer won more SEC championships then CMR. Also, Fulmer won a National Championship. CMR has not come close to a NC.

At one time Fulmer had a winning percentage of over 80 percent, but he still could not beat Florida. That is why I was glad when UT got rid of Fulmer.

Wake up Dawg fans. You will never win big with CMR as your coach.

Gdawg

December 8th, 2010
10:16 pm

Vol Fan

Thanks for your opinion….not really what we were talking about but glad you are enthused with the state of your program. So are we!

Sanford Drive

December 8th, 2010
10:17 pm

Don’t be a Blind Homer Vol Fan.

Tennessee is in MUCh worse shape than Florida right now. And will be.

Sandman053

December 8th, 2010
10:28 pm

Sandford I was impressed with CDD’s passion and fire this year. I think UT is a young team but they might make some noise in a couple of years.

Sanford Drive

December 8th, 2010
10:29 pm

Thank you Urban, now maybe with all these super recruits we can be National Champs!!! Got tired of you whipping our butt every year—you owned UGA and Richt—where do I get my National Championship tickets? Bet we’re No. 1 for the next 5 years with Urban gone.

SKB

December 8th, 2010
10:35 pm

As a Georgia Fan, I hope CMR never leaves UGA and never retires. He is a very good coach. He won 2 sec champions, thats more than any Georgia fan can dream. This year he beat Kentucky, Tennesee, and Vanderbuilt, which is very good. CMR is better than Meyers or Saban, just b/c he doesn’t win national championship doesn’t make him a bad coach.

Gravy Train

December 8th, 2010
10:46 pm

Tech fans come with the weak sauce arguments every time! How is a coach out-coached when he won the game? Because Mark Bradley says so? If Turkey Neck is such a great coach, why can’t he recruit better? Why does his defense suck? Why can’t he win a game that requires forward passes? Finally, why hasn’t there been any major programs trying to hire him?

Turkey Neck sucks, Tech sucks, and if you think Turkey Neck is great then you suck. Great coaches win by making adjustments. Picking a different gap to run through ain’t gonna cut it.

The only part of this discussion for a Techmite in this story is they got denied by a Florida recruit. Go back to your asbestos pit next to crack town, and leave the recruiting talk for people that actually recruit.

Gravy Train

December 8th, 2010
10:51 pm

Oh no here come the drunken imbreds from UT with their meth induced dreams. CMR owned Fulmer just like he’s owning bobble head Dooley Jr.

CAN'T BEAT US!!!! HAHAHAH

December 8th, 2010
10:55 pm

UF will be find they will get a great coach… Vol Fan you are right on I’m just so happy CRM is staying at UGA I LOVE IT they won’t win anything the time they won the SEC was the only time the last eight years a SEC school didn’t play in the title game was the year UGA won go figure….. GO GATORS!!!

oakwooddawg

December 8th, 2010
11:01 pm

Vol fan don’t you know IF cmr can’t hack it at UGA DD will be our next coach. Don’t think for a minute DD would not jump to Uga in a heartbeat and then DD would own UT. You may be right in that CMR will never win big at UGA but as long as we beat your A$$ what can you say but wait until next year.

RRTDawgs

December 8th, 2010
11:02 pm

UGA can probably get a WR from the Canes or Gators we are so focused on our instate targets right now but its possible that we may get one of those guys if they decommit .

Draggin' Fly

December 8th, 2010
11:40 pm

Interestiung comments from a current UF player on floridascout.com:
“…he told us he spoke with those close to him and all of his doctors and (Meyer said) ‘if I keep going my health will continue to get worse so I can’t risk it to my family — so I am stepping down…..
“Near the end of the speech the freshman class was going crazy, saying they were all leaving and they kind of lost it for the most part. It really hit those guys hard…
“Everyone was on the phone calling people they know and the freshman and sophomore kids were all saying the coaches don’t care about us — and those kids just kept saying they are going to leave. I mean a lot of players said they were leaving, but the true Gators are not going anywhere”

Sounds like a little panic in the Swamp. Better be a quick hire…and a good one.

JRW7

December 8th, 2010
11:53 pm

I love UGA and have been a DAWG fan for over 50 years, but if you are happy wth a 6-6 record, you will never expect CMR to win a NC! And you are happy with CMR?

Andy in Macon

December 9th, 2010
12:34 am

Paul Johnson is an idiot! 2 yrs running he is running wild on offense until the last drive. Then he has his qb do the one thing he can’t do–pass. GA wins! And if I’m not mistaken he is 1-3 against CMR with one while at Southern. At anyrate I wish we had gone for two putting us up by 9 after the gimme touch–then how would cpj look?

Andy in Macon

December 9th, 2010
12:36 am

nobody is happy with 6-6 but finding a better coach willing to come is a crapshoot at best–more likely we end up with our version of kiffen–that’d be prachy!

7576 DAWG

December 9th, 2010
1:22 am

Coaches run their team differently!
1- CMR, Myers, Bowden, and I think Brown all let the coordinators run the play calling .
2 Saban , and Spurrier runs everything, especially the offense whether there is an offensive coordinator or not they call or are involved in a lot of the offensive play calling.They are also very involved with the defense.
3.Kiffin, and Miles only run one side of it. Kiffin runs the offense along with his offensive coordinator and his father runs the defense. Miles run the defense and probably let his offensive coordinator run the offense.I don’t know for sure about what category each are in except CMR and a few years ago he decided to let his coordinators run the show and he would be the head coach or boss and concentrate on recruiting.
The main point is there are three main ways to coach a team, and I wish that CMR would go back to running all the play calling, something that has proven way over Bobo’s head at this level . I love CMR and the way he has made UGA a much better team and I want him to stay and eventually retire from UGA, but if he is not going to do the play calling for the offense then I sure wish that CMR would admit the inconsistent results on offense and hire someone that could get us over the hump from a top 20 team to a top 5 team. I’m not worried about our defense , give Grantham until next year and especially 2012 and we will have one of the most dominate defenses in the SEC.

Gravy Train

December 9th, 2010
3:34 am

For 7576:

Saban and Spurrier don’t run everything. Saban is a defensive coach, so most of his focus goes towards the D. His only concern with the offense is ball control and clock management.
Spurrier is an offense coach, and he stays out of the way of the DC. (He had Bob Stoops at Florida, and Charlie Strong at SC.)

The UGA offense averages over 30 points a game with Bobo this season. That should be more than enough points to win a ball game. The defense is what cost the team games. For me, the jury is still out on Grantham. For now, he can rightfully say that he needs more depth on the line and in the secondary. It takes two years minimum to develop the right depth.
CMR still has the veto power on the offensive game plans.

How in the world do you think Saban is an offensive coach?

Gravy Train

December 9th, 2010
3:41 am

As far as Meyer goes, it’s safe to say that Mullen was the true cog in the Gator offense. Meyer owes his success to Mullen and Strong. Without them, he’s no better than average.