Former Florida Gators defensive end Jack Youngblood can generally be found in a jovial mood, enthusiastic to talk about his collegiate and professional careers, always willing to lend his opinion about a variety of football-related topics.
And while he once again had no problem sharing his thoughts on a variety of topics Thursday while on 740 The Game out of Orlando, FL, his tone became disapproving and bothered when discussing former Florida (now Ohio State Buckeyes) head coach Urban Meyer on the air with host Mike Bianchi.
Youngblood, a seven-time Pro Bowler and Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee who is also a member of the Gators’ Ring of Honor and UF Athletic Hall of Fame, explained that he once considered himself close with Meyer but no longer sees the coach in the same light.
“Very much so,” said Youngblood when asked if he was disappointed with how Meyer left Florida. “When somebody tells me something to my face confidentially, I expect it to be the truth. When it turns out to not be the truth, that doesn’t sit you very high on my Christmas card list, put it that way.
“[He told me] several things – that character was the No. 1 thing he was recruiting on, that was the main thing he was going to recruit on, character. That didn’t happen. And then all of the stuff at the end of the deal, it got convoluted and ‘I’m sick’ and ‘I needed some time off’ and then ‘I didn’t take time off’ and ‘I’m doing television,’ which if it’s not more intense than being a head coach, I don’t know what is.
“There was just no consistency to me, from my perspective.”
Youngblood said he believed that Meyer in some ways was riding quarterback Tim Tebow’s morality and using it as an shield for the rest of the program’s behavior.
“Oh yeah, he used that, that’s for sure,” he said. “No question. And he knew that he had to try to portray that aspect because he had Tim and he knew how good Tim was, how good of a football player Tim was.”
He also took a second to provide his opinion on Tebow not currently having a job in the NFL, noting that he actually called the Jacksonville Jaguars to campaign on behalf of the Heisman Trophy-winner.
“Drives me insane,” Youngblood said. “I called Jacksonville. I had some friends in the front office. I said, ‘Are you guys out of your mind?’ I said, ‘You can get him cheap. He fills the stadium. You’ve got 80 sections tarped off.’ I could make that decision, and I’m not that bright of a guy! It drives me insane, it really does.”
Youngblood also talked about rehabilitation and recovery, Richard Sherman’s post-game interview with Erin Andrews (“not very classy, not sportsmanlike”) and more in the 11-minute interview, which you can listen to by clicking here.