TWO BITS: Dunlap’s back, Johnson’s training

1 » After a successful rookie season in which he notched 24 tackles and 9.5 sacks (second-most for a first-year player behind Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh’s 10), former Florida Gators now Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap has returned to Gainesville, FL to earn his degree from the University of Florida. Just 20 hours away from graduating with a degree in family, youth and community services along with a minor in business administration, Dunlap decided to take 12 credits in the spring 2011 semester and will likely complete the rest the next season his team misses the playoffs. “I felt like the longer you wait, the harder it is for you to come back,” Dunlap told The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu. “I just thought the transition would be a lot easier to do it now, to knock some of it out. The present is as good a time as any to get a degree. As hard as it was now to come back, I can imagine how hard it would be to come back a few years down the road.”

Dunlap also spoke to the Sun about his unfortunate arrest for driving under the influence before the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championship game and how the mistake has adjusted his outlook on his personal and professional life. “That incident changed my whole life,” he said. “It made me respect the game a lot more. It showed me how everything can be taken from you by making one mistake, and not knowing whether you’ll be able to play again. I remember what Cris Carter once said. He said, ‘I will never again allow my life to be put in the hands of somebody else where they can make the decision whether I play football again or not.’ That’s the quote I thought of [when I was suspended]. I’m going to use that quote the rest of my career.”

2 » Though many of his former teammates will be participating in the 2011 Under Armour Senior Bowl and 2011 East-West Shrine Game, former Gators guard Carl Johnson will be headed to the Texas vs. The Nation collegiate all-star game set to be played on Feb. 5 in San Antonio, TX. He will eventually end up participating in the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine in February with hopes of improving his stock for the 2011 NFL Draft in April. Johnson spoke with the Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser and provided these notable quotes (read what else he had to say).

PBP: How does Florida’s future look after a disappointing 2010 season?
CJ: “I think the team’s going to be six times better this year than last year. Some good guys didn’t get to play. At the skill positions, you need experience. [Quarterback John] Brantley has a year now. He knows the tempo. He knows what it’s like to face a team that’s trying to decapitate you. They’re going to be better. Now all these guys have experience, which helps a lot. I mean, when I first played, I was like a duck in a dirty pond — don’t know what’s underneath those feet.”

PBP: Was the 2010 freshman class better than people thought? How much impact could those players make this season?
CJ: “From what I saw of the freshmen — [wide receiver Quinton] Dunbar, to me, he’s dynamic. He should have played this year, but I’m not a coach. They have some certified ballers, Mack Brown, the running back, he’s going to be a beast. Trust me, they’re going to be good.”

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16 Responses to “TWO BITS: Dunlap’s back, Johnson’s training”

  1. Gators11 says:

    I believe Riley Cooper is also back and finishing his degree.

  2. Swampbabe says:

    Nice to see Dunlap return for his degree. Sounds like he made the most out of his mistake and will be a better human being because of it. Hope other Gators, like Hill, will follow his example and come back and finish what they started in the classroom.

  3. gatorJacque says:

    I totally agree that many very talented players on our 2010 team were not on the field very much and should have been. I am glad that bad taste in their mouth did not make them transfer and help make another team a champion. Looking forward to seeing them in the next season. Do not think Weiss will be that dumb not to play them.

  4. g8ter27 says:

    Swampbabe, I dont think Hill started anything in the classroom that he will be finishing. I imagine that some Gators will eventually come back to get their degrees but I have money against Hill ever doing so. gatorJacque, I agree that we had many players this year that for whatever reason never saw action. Funny how CJ mentioed two that fans continuoulsy asked about and yet were MIA. I think that Weiss will play the best players he has that gives him the best chance to win….two years ago i would have never believed it…. but last year, that is not what our offensive coaching staff did for whatever reason. ( and i do not think it was all discipline reasons either)

  5. ncgator says:

    Lest we forget, Meyer won 2 NC games and knew talent as well as anyone. Makes you wonder why these guys didn’t get much playing time. Maybe they weren’t as good as their stars indicated! Maybe they were lazy and didn’t earn a starting spot! Maybe they were just stupid and couldn’t learn the playbook! To say these individuals SHOULD have played or the previous coaching staff was DUMB not to play them is is an erroneous and uninformed statement.

    • Alex says:

      I don’t think folks are saying that it was “dumb” not to play them, I think the idea is that Meyer and Addazio felt like they owed something to some of the legacy players, when we may have had some guys who didn’t get much PT but could have helped the team.

      • GatorCooken says:

        Spot on

        • g8ter27 says:

          That is exactly what I am saying. Meyer is not dumb by any stretch of the imagination (not sure about SA). The point is we basically told Cam Newton he was going to play behind Brantley, played Brantley this year when it was painfully obvious playing someone else would have made a difference (see the MSU game for example) and to me, and I know it is only one opinion, it seemed like there was a lot of guys “in the doghouse” this year. So I am just wondering if somebody played favorites. People like Will Hill probably should not have played at all and should have been kicked off the team, but I am not sure about some of the other guys.

          • ncgator says:

            Why do you think Newton was told he would play behind Brantley?

          • SC Gator says:

            Unless my memory is playing tricks on me Newton was the number 2 on the chart, behind Tebow, not Brantley.

            None of which matters, given his legal problems and him getting ready to lose his scholarship and probably his enrollment because of his cheating.

      • ncgator says:

        Just replying to what was said, “don’t think Weiss will be that dumb not to play them”. My point was, we just don’t know the reason why some of the so called “blue chips” didn’t play, even though they seemed sure things to us. There is one guy I would really like a legitimate answer as to why he didn’t get more P/T and that’s Dubose.
        As far as Lagacy players getting preferential treatment, the only one that fits that criteria is Brantley. And I agree, Meyer stuck with him out of a misplaced loyalty to him for waiting patiently brhind Tebow. He should’ve been benched way before mid-seson. That was long enough to see he didn’t have the ability, legs or passing accuracy to run a spread offense. For that, Meyer has to take the blame. While Addazio was the O/C, make no mistake, Meyer had the final say-so and had the ultimate resposiblity for this clusterf—k of an offense. All this being said, with the exception of Brantley and Hill, Meyer had his reasons for not playing guys we think should have played.

        • g8ter27 says:

          I agree with you. Oh, and that was just the word out there after newton was arrested for the laptop incident. What I didnt understand nor did anyone else I think is why that year, when we are up 41-7 on a team with 7 minutes to go in the game, did we have Tebow still out there running the ball. It would have been good experience and rewarding for Newton…or Brantley to get that playing time. Week in and week out the announcers would say the same thing “why is tebow still in the game?”. Last year it bit us.

  6. Wingtee says:

    That is true about leaving TT in games
    top long. Meyer is a weired dude.

    Should have left last year

  7. meyer did just what he said he would do, and that is lower his intensity, delegate, and depend on student team leaders. tt was in all the coaches meetings his sr year and was the coach on the field during games. he covered up for addazio’s ineptitude his sr year, and having rg pouncy not playing center helped him too. an oc should be a quarterback developing coach first. a line coach should be a line coach. when both of his assistants left, meyer, was happy for them, but did not know how to replace that level of assistant, with out leaning on catholic rooted sentimental favoritism. meyer did play favorites with people he felt he owed something to, and that is the blessing and curse of being raised with catholic guilt.
    it is nice to see some players coming back to finish their degrees. my only gripe with luck out in the pac 10 is that he didnt say ‘ i am coming back for another year because i value my education. ‘ instead just some stuff about how he thought it was the best thing. i wish more high profile student athletes were vocal about being students.
    congrats to de dunlap. hope he is very successful in his spring semester, and that he is equally as successful in the classroom.
    regards

    • SC Gator says:

      Actually, Luck flat out said he was committed to finishing his degree in architectural design and will do so in spring 2012 in his statement about returning.