Will Muschamp, coaches discuss Florida Gators 2014 signees, recruiting process

By Adam Silverstein
February 5, 2014

National Signing Day LIVE COVERAGE page
2014 Florida signee bios | Gators flip four-star QB Treon Harris from Seminoles, add WR C.J. Worton | Three-star OT Andrew Mike flips to Florida

Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp held a press conference after his coaching staff finished inking its 24-member 2014 recruiting class on National Signing Day. Below are the most notable quotes from that session as well as player evaluations made by other members of the coaching staff.


”It’s a great day here at the University of Florida, a lot of hard work put in by our staff. I don’t think people realize the contribution it takes from everybody. It’s a total team effort on campus, professors, our administration, our academic people do a fantastic job. When a young man comes on campus for an official visit, all of the people that have to contribute to make that a special experience, and our people do it the best. Our travel people do an amazing job. All of our pilots, [the media seems] to track pretty well, but they do a phenomenal job. It takes all these moving parts to make things work the right way. So we got a great staff. Our staff did an outstanding job.

“We had a miserable fall, and to have the staff come together – three new coaches in Kurt Roper, Mike Summers and Coleman Hutzler come together and change a little bit, not philosophically, but schematically offensively, adjust some things that we need to do in midstream as far as some of the guys we were recruiting and to put together this class – I’m really proud of that. I don’t know where we ended up as far as any rankings and all. You all know me, I don’t get overly concerned with that.”

Quotes below from position coaches and coordinators are attributed to Scott Carter’s National Signing Day blog published Wednesday on Florida’s school website.


» Muschamp on quarterback Will Grier: “Doing an outstanding job. You see he’s got all the intangibles to be successful as far as the leadership things and positively affecting guys around him.”

» Muschamp on adding a second signal caller in QB Treon Harris: “Well, competition is the best motivator, and there’s no question those guys will both work. They’re both winners. Treon won two state championships there at Booker T. [Washington High School], one of the best high school programs in the country. And I’ve known his father, Ice, for a long time. He does an outstanding job. … Having both of those quality players is exciting.”

» Muschamp on running back Brandon Powell: “Has been slowed a little bit with a foot issue from high school, but when he’s been full speed, he’s been outstanding. He’s a dynamic guy, stick his foot in the ground, change direction. Really pleased with his movement skills.”

» Muschamp on tight end DeAndre Goolsby: “6-foot-4, 240 pound tight end. He’s a really good athlete. You watch him go through the offseason program, really looks good in movement, his movement skills. … DeAndre Goolsby is a guy we targeted early on. Derek Lewis went out and evaluated him in the last spring evaluation, really liked his movement skills, his growth potential, his toughness, his point of attack and those things, and excited to have him on campus and a guy that can do some different things for you.”

» Muschamp on TE C’yontai Lewis: “C’yontai is a guy that we targeted. Brian White was actually watching another player practice last spring and just kept noticing this guy’s athleticism. We challenged him to come to camp. He came to camp and had an outstanding camp, and a guy that showed all the athleticism and ball skills to be really, really good. And then the growth potential on that, now, when he committed to us, I want to say he was probably 205 pounds and now he’s about 225-228 pounds, and he’s going to continue to grow because he’s a young 17. So I think that that’s exciting.”

» Muschamp on TE Moral Stephens: “A guy that we didn’t think we were going to have room for. He came to camp. He did an outstanding job in camp. We really liked him and then when we had some attrition, it opened up a spot for him, and we’re really happy to have him. He’s a guy that vertically down the field can really make plays on the ball.”

» Wide receivers coach Joker Phillips on WR C.J. Worton: “He is a very explosive guy from what you see on film. He has two older brothers that have played the position. He’s a guy that understands the position. He has been taught well by his older brothers and his coaches there at South Dade. Again, he is another guy who understands the position. So often you have great athletes who don’t really understand the position, but these two guys really understand the position of wide receiver.”

» Phillips on WR Ryan Sousa: “He’s a very polished receiver. He understands how to run routes. He has handled the ball a lot. He’s caught over 100 balls this past season. That’s one of the things you are looking for – guys who have handled the football. So many times you see a receiver that has only caught about 20 or 25 passes, and they had explosive plays on them, but this guy has had a lot of passes thrown to him. He understands the passing game.”

» Muschamp on offensive lineman Kavaris Harkless: “He’s got a lot of length. He needs to continue to build on his body but is going to be a guy that’s going to be a really good player for us.”

» Muschamp on OL Nolan Kelleher: “Another guy we’re real excited about … that really shows some good movement skills out there.”

» Muschamp on JUCO OL Drew Sarvary: “Has done a nice job coming in here.”

» Muschamp on recruiting OL Andrew Mike, who flipped his commitment from Vanderbilt to Florida at the last minute: “Coleman Hutzler had – we recruited the state of Arizona. He had no chance to get him at New Mexico. He had a bunch of PAC 12 offers. But Joey McGuire is a really good friend of mine, coaches at Cedar Hill High School in Texas, and he coached the Semper Fi game and he coached Andrew Mike, talked to Andrew and his parents, Stephen and Edda, kind of where the recruiting process was with Andrew. [He] was probably go to go to Washington. [Steve] Sarkisian left, went to USC, [and Mike] got lost in the shuffle there, didn’t really know what he wanted to do. Joey called me and said, ‘You need to take a look at this guy.’ We put the tape on him. Coleman had a background with him, Mike Summers knew about him when he was at USC, and we really liked what we saw – the length and the athleticism and the girth and the size potential as much as anything. So just a guy that we kind of lucked into, to be honest with you, we’re really pleased with.”

Summers on Mike: “Andrew is a guy that I learned about late in the recruiting process, but at 6-6 and with great length, he will be a tackle for us. He’s got really good feet, explosive, a really intelligent football player – a guy we’re excited to bring in and develop on the offensive line, especially at that tackle position. When I got here and saw we had the opportunity to recruit him, it got me excited.”

» Muschamp on offensive lineman David Sharpe: “He’s a really good athlete. Like a lot of big guys, sometimes think they’re a basketball player coming through, until he bought into it. Tony Boselli is actually the offensive line coach there at Providence under Bobby Raulerson, and he was a guy that bought into the football side of it, and he bought into the physicality of the game. You combine that athleticism at 6’5-and-a-half, right now he’s probably 318, 325, something like that, and he’s got great feet. You can’t coach that. So he’s a guy that I think, again, he will continue to improve, and his best football is ahead of him because he’s still very young at the game. He hasn’t played a lot of the game, but we felt pretty good about David the whole time.”

Summers on Sharpe: “He is a long, big offensive left tackle that has great athletic ability, really great feet. He has the length to be able to separate himself from the defensive line. I feel like he’s got a huge upside in terms of his development potential.”

» Muschamp on OL Travaris Dorsey: “Travaris is a powerful guy. Two years ago we were looking at him, he has a really good lower body, punch and power. You turn the tape on, he gets movement all the time up front. But a guy that’s – he’s a 320-pounder, guy that’s got some good length on his arms. I think he has 34 inch arms. So he’s got some reach up front to be able to push the pile inside, a square guy that gets a lot of movement.”

Summers on Dorsey: “He is a very large, strong football player, an inside guy who will probably end up playing offensive guard for us. Excited about his power and explosiveness. Feel like that he can anchor inside and be able to do a great job in the run game. He doesn’t get pushed in the pass game. He takes up a lot of space.”


» Muschamp on cornerback Jalen Tabor: “The 6-foot-1, 190 pound corner. That’s what they’re supposed to look like. He’s got really good movement skills, and a guy that watching him move around has been exciting.”

» Defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson on CB Quincy Wilson: “He’s a big body. Since the day he committed to Florida, he hasn’t wavered. He is a great player. He is long. He is over 6-foot. That’s how we like to play, guys with big bodies that can finish down the field. He can come up and tackle and he can do some different things for us, whether it’s go inside and play some nickel, or he can play some dime when they put four receivers on the field. I’m excited about him. His football IQ is through the roof. His dad is also the defensive coordinator at his school, so he’s a coach’s kid. That means a lot.”

» Muschamp on DB Duke Dawson: “5-foot-11, 190 pounds, bigger DB that can go line up inside, can line up at corner, can line up at nickel, can do a lot of different things for us and as far as covering down.”

» Muschamp on DB J.C. Jackson and a recruitment that made it appear like he was wavering in his decision: “It’s amazing. I don’t really follow the Internet much but there’s so much hearsay and as much information there is out there, in my opinion, there’s a lot of misinformation. I get tons of phone calls about, ‘Well, I heard this, I heard this.’ I mean, I can’t keep up with all the what I heard stuff. I have to go off fact, and I go off talking to Lisa, his mother, and Chris, his father, and J.C. himself. I deal with the family, and I talk to them. And certainly I don’t think our season helped, but I think that he saw his best opportunity to come in and play corner at Florida [with so many guys departing]. … I know he looked at some other places, no different than a lot of kids do, and I encourage kids to do, to go make sure they’re making the right decision, to go take a look at another place.”

» Muschamp on athlete Deiondre Porter and where he will play: “I love being able to sign guys that are quarterbacks to play different positions … because when you play the quarterback position, you have to be able to communicate with the other guys. You have to obviously have some sort of leadership abilities to affect other people, and he’s a guy that has that. He’s really a fun young man to be around, watching his tape at quarterback. And then he ran 10.7 last year in the 100-meter. So he’s over six foot, about 170-175 [pounds] and a guy that we think will project very well to the defensive back position.”

» Muschamp on defensive end Taven Bryan: “6-foot-5, 260 pounds is exactly what we wanted as far as a big athlete. You watch him go through the offseason program, he’s explosive, he’s got really good flexibility in his lower body. He’s got a great motor, a great work ethic. We are extremely pleased with him so far in what we’ve been able to see.”

» Muschamp on DE Justus Reed: “In order for you to get offered, you need to come to camp, and he came to camp. He verticaled 36 inches; he broad jumped over 10 feet. He’s a very explosive guy. He weighs, I think right now, probably 215, 218. You gotta look at two years from now. Probably would be best for him to redshirt. And he’s going to be a 235 pounder and be able to carry that, and then he’s got the explosive power to go with that. So that’s kind of what you’re looking for, especially at that position, a guy that’s kind of a hybrid outside linebacker, defensive end. But he shows natural ability to flip his hips in the rush. He does some things you can’t coach or it’s very difficult to coach and get a guy, but he’s very fluid in his hips and being able to flip his hips in a rush to rush passer, and we worked him out hard and we’re excited about him being a Gator.”

Defensive line coach Brad Lawing on Reed: “He’s got tremendous upside with growth potential. He can run and change direction. He runs tremendously well. I see him being a heck of a pass rusher for us. He was playing basketball and was one of their best players. He said his future is in football. His dad played at North Carolina, so he comes from an athletic family.”

» Muschamp on DE Gerald Willis III: “A guy that can play in[side], but he can play multiple positions because he’s got enough girth to play inside.”

» Lawing on defensive tackle Khairi Clark: “He’s got tremendous power. He is what a typical nose tackle should look like. When we are in our three-down [linemen] stuff – that fits him to a T. He moves like a linebacker. I’m very impressed with his attitude and his athleticism, which for his body type is very unusual.”

» Muschamp on DT Thomas Holley: “A 300-plus-pounder that plays on Abraham Lincoln’s basketball team in Brooklyn, which says a lot to be on that starting five where I think three guys are signing Division I off of that team tells you what kind of athlete he is. There’s no question you can never have enough defensive linemen. … The more times he sees blocking schemes, he reacts to those. He’s going to continue to improve, continue to get better as opposed to maybe some players that have been playing their whole life, they’ve been in a weight program since the seventh grade and now you’re going to get him to college. How much better is that guy going to get? He’s kind of plateaued; he’s not going to get a whole lot better, and some players you gotta be careful about where they are in their genetic ceiling is kind of maxed right now and his is nowhere near.”

Lawing on Holley: “I’ve been to Brooklyn more than I would have ever imagined. Thomas is a tremendous athlete for his size. You just don’t play basketball at Abe Lincoln High School unless you are really good. He can move. He is a guy that has power and athleticism. He thought he was going to be a basketball player. He’s only played two years of football. And then his body just exploded and he realized his best avenue was football. He has hardly no body fat at all, and that’s unusual for a 300-pounder coming out of high school.”


» Muschamp on offensive line recruiting: “We’re getting our numbers back on the offensive line. We’re right at 15. You’d like to have 15-17 offensive linemen on scholarship. It’s a developmental game but that’s a huge developmental position, and that’s where you’ve gotta have guys in your program. So, it’s good to see that.”

» Muschamp on being able to pull off another top-10 class coming out of a 4-8 season: “I think our staff has done an outstanding job. At the end of the day, it’s still the University of Florida. It’s a top 10 public institution. It’s a big time degree. You’re going to get a great education. It’s one of the few places in the country and I tell parents this and I tell recruits this where you can realistically win a national championship on and off the field. You’re going to get a great education and you can win big on the field as well, and that’s what we plan on doing. So, we had a rough fall, but I think [we’ve been] here and building those relationships now for sometimes with some of these young men for two years, two-and-a-half years. They also saw us win 11 games the year before, and they understand that. And they are close to our program. And I think they kind of understand where we’re headed with the program and they’re excited about our future.”

» Muschamp on selling the Gators after a 4-8 finish: “We’re talking about a [single] season; we’re not talking about seasons. And you know, we won 11 games the year before, a lot of those guys we were recruiting then, and they saw that and they saw us go through that time period. But then they come up and they see our weight program, they see our training program, they see our academic programs on campus, and that’s very attractive to a young man. It’s very attractive to a young man’s parents to have their son in that environment, and a lot of it’s not just the young man. A lot of it is the parents. … I think there’s a lot of things that were very, very positive regardless of the outcome of the records we had in the fall, which was very disappointing.”

» Muschamp on how hiring offensive coordinator Kurt Roper changed the way Florida evaluated offensive players: “It did. You know, No. 1, at the quarterback position. We needed to be able to be more mobile at that position, to be able to be a dual threat guy that can throw it and run. And we wanted to be able to add a running back with more movement skills as far as a guy that can play in the slot and at the back position to be able to match up one on one in more situations. And then recruit more of a slot receiver, a true slot that can win in some matchups inside. So being able to have Kurt, I think, certainly helped solidify things with Ryan and get C. J.”

» Muschamp on whether National Signing Day was more tense this year compared to others: “It’s the same every year to me…until you get all the faxes in and all. Most times, it’s funny to watch these – they film these staff rooms and the staffs all cheer when they get the [faxes] – most of the time you know. You know if you’re getting them, and you know if you’re not. If you haven’t talked to them in 48 hours, you’re not getting them. So that’s kind of that’s an indicator. If you’re on the phone that morning with mom and dad and brother and uncle, you’re probably going to sign them. But still, you never know. It’s always a little stressful, a little anxious.”

» Muschamp on evaluating talent by watching players participate in other sports: “I think the basketball a lot of times is your best evaluation, to see a guy run up and down the court, change direction, sync his hips, explode off you see him come quick off the floor, have a lot of hand eye coordination to be able to use their hands in the pass rush and things. I think a lot of that translates to football. That’s one of my best evaluations. I love to go see a kid either wrestle or play basketball.”

» Muschamp on juggling keeping scholarships open for National Signing Day with filling a class with quality players: “You need to know where you are, and you’ve gotta have some hard conversations, and you don’t get into much of the fanfare of signing day and all that. You need to know, to be fair for the University of Florida, I need to know where we are with a young man. And that’s to be fair to our program and what we need to do moving forward, and sometimes people work with you a little bit and sometimes they don’t, and that’s part of it.”


  1. SaraGator says:

    My opinion: We have substance in this class. But then my glass is usually half full. 🙂

  2. John says:

    Adam, in the payment’s $4 under a month is one payment of 4 dollars and $20 for 6 months is one payment of $20 dollars, correct or no?????

    • Correct! Not a subscription or anything. It’s just varying dollar amounts. The pop-up will disappear for that period of time – and if other premium features are also offered, which I plan to in the near future – those would just expire unless you manually signed up again.

  3. gatorboi352 says:

    This guy’s “coach speak” is borderline unbearable. Let’s see what happens in the Fall on those 13 Saturdays because thats all that matters. Zook could recruit like hell too (and was 2-1 vs. Georgia).

  4. Daniel M. says:

    Oh happy days are here again.

    I contributed one dollar and thirty seven cents which is about all this crappy site is worth. HA! Actually I threw ya half a
    C-note because you are an outstanding Gator blogger, an enormous asset to Gator fans everywhere. Thank you.

  5. Michael Jones says:

    Another top 10 class. Great. Always nice to have talent, and the Holley kid, at least on paper, reminds me of a couple of other stud DL from the northeast that we’ve had in here over the last few years, Floyd and Easley.

    Now it’s time for a top ten coaching job. Les Miles is top 5 top 10 every year in recruiting. Where’s the trophies, the championships for all that recruiting? Guys like Malzahn, Pinkel , Franklin, Cutcliffe . . those guys get the most out of recruiting classes that NEVER rank as high as UF.

    So, the sunshine, the home state, the pretty girls, the tradition, the quality of the education, the Swamp, the fun. . .all of those things give UF coaches an edge in recruiting. Great. Now it’s time to coach-em up, though. Let’s get a 5 star job out of the coaching staff this year. No excuses, no whining.

    You’re up, Coach Muschamp!

  6. Gatoralum88 says:

    Once again, It’s another good class but Muschamp, once again, was unable to reel in a really big fish (Jackson or Prince) on signing day. Treon Harris? Sure, I know Russell Wilson is 5’11 but I’m not too high on 5’11 180 pound quarterbacks. My guess is he’ll either transfer or switch to DB if he doesn’t beat out Grier down the road. That’s what he played in the US Army AA game. Then, 6-foot 170-pound WR CJ Worton? ESPN lists his 40 speed at 4.76 & he’s not rated with anyone. Frankly, I’d rather have back the two who flipped to FSU (Cook & Lane) than the two who flipped to UF.

    Despite all the accolades, I’m not sold on Grier yet. He didn’t impress me much in the US Army AA game but whoever was coaching that game was switching QB’s so frequently it probably made it hard for him to get a rhythym. My hope is that he’s not the 2nd coming of John Brantley (a star at a small private Christian school, coached by his dad, only to flame out in college). If only the team hadn’t completely tanked last year. I read a tweet that A. Jackson thinks the Gators are a “sinking ship” which is why he chose USC. Who knows if that’s true. Also, I don’t think players jumping ship as soon as they graduate (Riggs, Silberman, Murphy) is a good thing. Just sayin’. I’m praying Roper can turn around the O.

    Regardless, ESPN ranks their class 6th and let’s not forget they also ranked their last two classes 2nd and 4th so there can really be NO MORE EXCUSES for Muschump. He needs to win AT LEAST 9 games or be shown the door! After all, it’s the University of Florida!..the flagship school of the state!…with a great history over the last 23 years! 8 wins or less is embarrassing! Go Gators!

  7. Aligator says:

    Another good class, that seemed to spread around the love for our needs. I am still super perplexed by the need to get another QB right now, especially when you just signed the National Player of the Year. We all know the kid will transfer out within two years. Adam, could you shed some light on this, other than the fact we are thin at the position?

    • Harris and Grier are completely different QBs. Harris’s legs could be used perhaps even immediately as part of an occasional two-QB system or something similar. I think it’s fair to trust in an OC when he goes out and picks a guy like this. Florida really wanted Harris.

      • Aligator says:

        Thanks Adam for the response. As Always you keep the info coming on the best site for the Gators out there! Keep up the great work!

  8. sjkoepp says:

    All things considered, we did great. Addressed the needs we needed to address and got most of the guys we wanted and needed. Since a large portion of this class are O and D linemen, we really won’t know how good or bad this class is for a while, since they’re all development positions. We’re in the top 10, and that’s all you really need. Agree with what others have said here- we have the talent, just need the coaching to come through. I believe it will!

  9. lee says:


    why no placekicker. Seems to be an area of need

    • They signed a preferred walk-on and believe the guys they have can break out of the funk. These are talented kids, especially Hardin. Not sure what’s wrong.

      • Michael Jones says:

        Kicking is so mental. The rare ones, like Sturgis, have a unique make-up. Ice water running through their veins. Hopefully the strong legs we have on this roster will get mentally strong enough to be able to come through for us this year.

  10. SWFL Joe says:

    Anybody know what the scholarship count is? My poor math skills tells me we are 2 short of 85. We needed 25 in this class, signed 24 and then Riggs left.

  11. 305Gator says:

    Wow! Lots of negative nancys around here. Reminds me of the loser cane morons I have to put up with down in my neck of the woods.
    A top 10 class after having the worst season in 30 some years, now that is something to be happy about.
    Coachspeak? Muschump? You guys got to be kidding me. We got what we needed and more. Sure it would have been great to keep Cook and Lane. It would have been peachy to land Prince or Adoree. But you can’t get everyone. Hollis, Clark and Willis, three monsters on the D line and a few other studs on the O line, i’ll take it.
    Treon Harris and Will Grier, I’ll take it. Grier will redshirt. Harris and Driskel will split time, something Roper knows how to do well. And how about all those brand new corners, did you see that “boi”. Tabor, Dawson, Jackson and Wilson to complement VH3 and Poole. You can never have too many corners, “boi” knows this very well. 3 TEs and a few WRs and Rowell at RB. We have reloaded my friends, we are deep and talented.
    The only thing I agree with you negative guys here is that the coaching needs to step up and produce. But there is no coachspeak and no chump around here.
    It’s always great to be a Florida Gator!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Gatoralum88 says:

      You’re absolutely right 305. I’ll try to turn the page & be more positive since I would like them to succeed despite how I feel about WM. Of course, (hopefully) winning will cure what ails me with regard to him. I do appreciate your positive outlook though.

    • Michael Jones says:

      It IS always great to be a Florida Gator. Hey, I agree with a lot of what you’ve said. I love our recruiting class. You’re right, no school gets them all. But I’ve loved ALL of our recruiting classes. I get sick to my stomach when I hear anyone say that we don’t have “playmakers” at WR or any other position. We’ve ALWAYS had playmakers at UF, including in those years when we’ve allegedly not had any playmakers. That’s BS and not fair to the kids. The OC has to get them the d–n ball and put them in positions and situations to be successful.

      We’ve always had top 10 talent but recruiting is only part of the game. We undercoached last year. Badly. Time for the coaching staff to step it up. I’m just challenging our coaching staff to coach as well as they recruit and I’m sure they’ll rise to the challenge. If that makes me a “negative Nancy” then so be it. I’ve been called worse, lol.

      But I’m all in. I bleed orange and blue and I’ll be at the games and I’ll be cheering and I NEVER EVER boo amateur athletes and I NEVER EVER boo our kids, no matter what.

      GO GATORS!!!!!!!

  12. Gatorgrad79 says:

    We can do our part – stop posting negatives that these kids can read (not that I think they have the time or inclination), go the damn games and yell like crazy without booing the kids who are mostly doing everything they are taught/told!
    GO GATORS!!!

  13. Bonelldonnell says:

    Thank goodness we’re a football school, and not a basketball school. After we were NCAA basketball runner-ups in 2000, we found ourselves upset victims five straight times in the 1st or 2nd round of the tournament.

    Had we been UNC or UCLA, Billy would have been fired a year or two prior to the back-to-back national championships.

    Anyone who watched Gator basketball religiously knows that Billy was not a great game coach when he started at Florida (he has admitted this himself). With hard work, sharing knowledge with other coaches, and some high-quality assistants (particularly Shyatt), Billy has become one of the top game-day coaches in college basketball.

    I know Muschamp did not have the two years as a head coach that Billy did (at Marshall), but they were both hired when they were pretty young and pretty green. What they do have in common is that they are both tireless recruiters who bring in top 10 classes every year. For Muschamp to do what he did after a 4-8 season is pretty remarkable.

    Recruiting is about 85% of consistent success in hoops, and about 70% of consistent success in football. Very few coaches do it that well, and it can’t be learned. Everything else can, and football coaching can be delegated (see Bobby Bowden).

    Let’s temper the extremes and give the guy the same chance we gave Billy D. I know that won’t happen if we falter next year, but we should think long and hard of what a disaster it would have been to replace Billy D. when any “basketball school” would have.

  14. Kaleb Wolfe says:

    Couldn’t agree more Bonelldonnell if Muschamp gets enough time he will be the next great Head Football Coach in all of College Football he will one day be up there with the Sabans & Meyers also trust Muschamp is no Zook , Zook couldn’t ever win 11 games and beat the talented teams that we did in 2012 plus he never had half his team injured but I’d sure like to have Zook as a our Soecial Teams Coach as well as out there on the recruiting trail but I heard he’s now apart of the Packers Staff

Join The

Your email address will not be published.

WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux