FOUR BITS: Drayton, Hilliard, Dwyer, O’Day

1 » Florida Gators running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Stan Drayton, a native of Cleveland, OH, will leave the team to take the wide receivers coach job with the Ohio State Buckeyes as early as next week, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has confirmed. One of three assistants retained by new head coach Will Muschamp when he took over the program in early January, Drayton has almost exclusively coached running backs since 1993 and spent four years with the Gators (2005-07, 2010). He will likely coordinate the Buckeyes’ recruiting for the state of Florida, a job held by the team’s preceding wide receivers coach. Drayton was on Florida’s staff when they defeated Ohio State and captured the National Championship in 2006.

UPDATE: UF has released the following statement on Drayton’s status: “Coach Muschamp is on the road recruiting and our coaching staff remains intact at this time.”

2 » Former Gators wide receiver Ike Hilliard, a 12-year NFL veteran who officially retired last July by signing a one-day contract with the New York Giants, will join the Miami Dolphins as the team’s assistant wide receivers coach. The No. 7 overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, Hilliard racked up 546 receptions for 6,397 yards and 35 touchdowns over his professional career. He has coached receivers for the Florida Tuskers of the UFL since 2009. Hilliard was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection and consensus first-team All-American in 1996, the year the Gators won their first title. He was only at the University Florida for three seasons, declaring for the draft as a junior after collecting 126 receptions for 2,214 yards and 29 touchdowns. His 2,214 career yards are good for seventh-most in team history, while his 29 career scores rank him second overall. Hilliard also holds the UF record for most receiving touchdowns in a single game (four vs. Tennessee in 1995).

3 » Though it is looking more and more like four-star quarterback recruit Jacoby Brissett (West Palm Beach, FL) will eventually head elsewhere, he is still considering traveling to Florida for his last official visit (his other choice would be Miami). Either way, Dwyer High School head football coach Jack Daniels isn’t sure Brissett, or four-star linebacker Curt Maggitt (West Palm Beach, FL) – who the Gators are also recruiting heavily – will announce their commitments on or before National Signing Day. “I think at best it’s 50-50,” Daniels told ESPN’s Jamie Newberg. “We are going to sit down [Wednesday], have lunch and talk about it. I don’t think they will be ready. We need to talk about it and try and get a feel for where they are both at.”

Brissett and Maggitt both have Florida and Wisconsin in common as schools they are considering; the former is also weighing offers from Miami and Washington, while the latter has Tennessee vying for his services as well. The goal is for both players to commit on or before Feb. 2, if possible. “I am not going to make them do it if they are not ready but it’s not looking that good,” Daniels said. “When they get back for this weekend’s visits we need to sit down and work it out if we can.”

4 » Former Gators pitcher Darren O’Day has agreed to a one-year, $1.25 million deal with the Texas Rangers. O’Day, a reliever for Texas during their World Series run, posted a 6-2 record with a 2.03 ERA in 2010 and has been with the club since 2009.

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24 Responses to “FOUR BITS: Drayton, Hilliard, Dwyer, O’Day”

  1. David says:

    What could be better than a recruiting coordinator leaving a week before NSD?? I wonder if he and Weis didn’t see eye to eye.

  2. SaraGator says:

    I hope Stan is a better WR Coach than RB Coach. I haven’t really been that impressed with him. Is he that much of an asset as a recruiting coordinator?

    Good luck, Ike!

  3. npgator says:

    Brissett will be heading to the U and hopefully we get Maggitt to come to UF. I don’t feel too good about our other targets at this point.

  4. John S says:

    Elkino Watson’s recruitment will take a hit with Drayton leaving. This coaching change has been a mess.

  5. g8ter27 says:

    Ouuch! The timing on this could not be worse. Although he is recruiting several players right now, at least we are not in the running for another running back at the moment. Question is…is he the one recruiting Grant?

    • Luke says:

      More coaching turnover can’t be good for our recruiting class, but Drayton already proved that he was willing to take a lateral to go to UT and it wasn’t like that or ‘Cuse worked out too well for him… I’ve obviously never spent time with him to judge his character, but I don’t think overall it’s a huge loss for us since there are better RB coaches to be had. Next year will be a great year for our squad and for recruiting, so more bad news/no news doesn’t kill us at this point, in my opinion.

    • g8ter27 says:

      Not recruiting Grant.

  6. Mr2Bits says:

    On its face, Drayton leaving is an absolute slap in the face as this would be the second time he has turned his back on UF. With that being said, I am wondering if his departure was encouraged by Boom and Weis for closed door reasons. The timing is absolutely atrocious though as his departure could very well lead to Story’s as well seeing as how Story has an OV to OSU.

    As for Brissett, he eliminated Washington from his tops. Believe its down to FSU in and back and really us and Wisconsin. Maggitt is still a UF lean but he has always liked UT for some reason despite never having them in his top 3. In the end, I think we get Maggitt and Brissett heads north to the bitter cold of Wisconsin.

    • armygator says:

      One wouldn’t think Coach Muschamp wanted him out when he just recently kept him on staff. Maybe based on Weis’ influence. Either way, the timing isn’t good.

  7. Joe says:

    Looks like Weis’s 4 super bowl rings aren’t working.

    • Joe – congrats on being our 10,000th commenter! Please send me an e-mail to adam@onlygators.com (from the address you used to comment so I know it is the same person), and I will shoot you out an OGGOA magnet!

      • Mr2Bits says:

        Really, was I only one post off on winning that? Ill need to start running an excel spreadsheet so I can catch 20,000!

  8. GatorCooken says:

    Tired of coaches using florida as a stepping stone for other jobs.. Thought we were a destination job? Am I being naive thinking UF is one of the top programs? Why leave?

    • Don’t think Drayton used it as a “stepping stone.” If he prefers to coach in his home state for his favorite team growing up, what’s the problem?

      • g8ter27 says:

        Exactly I don’t think Weiss and Quinn used the Chiefs and Seahawks as stepping stones to get to UF, and besides, I didn’t think he did all that great of a job to begin with. Good luck Stan.

        • GatorCooken says:

          Agreed. Both make fine points. Just frusttrating whenever coaches leave, which we’ve had so much of the past 3 years. Guess that is what happens when you have such a successful program; everyone is in demand.

  9. SC Gator says:

    Dayton is one of the most singularly unimpressive coaches I have ever seen. I was less then thrilled when he was retained and will lose not a single iota of sleep over the idea of him leaving yet again.

    • armygator says:

      I think he was primarily retained because of recruiting. Appearances are that recruiting aren’t going well (solely based on only one new recruit since Coach m came on board) and maybe Coach M and Coach W did a reevaluation.

    • armygator says:

      Or maybe he’s just a jerk and picked the worst time to do it.

  10. TonyM1449 says:

    It never sat well with me. He left the first time for our conference rival and took a shot at us. Maybe if the backs had better training that year we would have utilized them more. He has never impressed me. Timing could be lethal to recruiting finish this year though.

    • g8ter27 says:

      He was not recruiting anyone on our “big board” amd the only real big name he did recruit this year is already on campus. It won’t help but should not hurt us recruiting this year…it WILL help us next year bc he sucked.

  11. Sarasota 'cane says:

    I’m 10,013!!!!!! How about a magnet Adam?

  12. tony smith says:

    I’m getting tired of the Brissett saga. He seems like a prima donna.

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