Urban Meyer on Florida’s 2010 recruiting class

By Adam Silverstein
February 3, 2010

Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer spoke with members of the media after receiving all 28 letters of intent for his team’s unanimous No. 1-ranked 2010 recruiting class. The following is a transcript of the press conference, courtesy of the University of Florida’s University Athletic Association.

Opening Statement: The key to recruiting is a lot like the keys to making a great sale. The first one is having a great product and we obviously have that here at the University of Florida. From our academics to the football program to the success that we’ve had in the last five years here – it’s a product that a lot of guys would like to be a part of. But it goes much deeper than that. A big part of the product, which we make sure not to overlook, is the current players on our team. I’ve seen it destroy a recruiting class and I’ve seen it basically build a recruiting class. It’s more than just great facilities, although we have that, but more importantly our current players love going to school here and they love playing football here. A lot of people ask how a top-ranked recruiting class happens, it happens because of a great coaching staff that is able to sell our product to the guys who will be soon joining us on campus.”

On if he believes it’s his best recruiting class: “I’ve gotten myself in trouble in the past by hyping up players who were not yet deserving of it. But I’m not sure I’ve seen a defensive front as good as this one. When you look at Ronald Powell, Sharrif Floyd, Leon Orr, Dominique Easley and Lynden Trail, those are some serious guys. I just think in certain areas, it’s the best we’ve ever done.”

On Ronald Powell: “He came to camp during the summer, to Friday Night Lights and also to some games and we actually had our hands on him and were able to work with him. He can be an All-American and be a tremendous tight end. Obviously we plan to use him mostly at defensive end, but he will catch some passes here at Florida.”

On Mack Brown and the importance of securing a physical running back: “I love Mack Brown. He has a great mom and his father was kind of the family member that I got closest with. I think he might be the highest-rated back we’ve gotten since we’ve been at Florida. I watched him on tape and it reaffirms why we want him. We need to have him ready to go right now. He has the size to become a 210-pound guy.”

On recruiting Shariff Floyd: “I hate to say that I have a favorite yet, but he’s one of my favorites because of where he comes from. He gets on a bus for an hour and a half to go to school and he comes from a tough situation. He has a 3.0 grade point average and he takes care of himself. He comes from a great high school football program. He has a mentor, Andre, who gives him great guidance and is a good guy who is a former player. His high school coach is awesome and he and Steve Addazio had a relationship for many years. We actually went out there pre-Sugar Bowl and we were behind a certain school. I didn’t think we had a chance but an hour-long meeting turned into a three-hour meeting and we felt that door start to open a little bit. He committed to us that day. You all will enjoy being around him, he’s a great kid.”

On recruiting Matt Elam: “I recruited his brother (Abram Elam) while I was at Notre Dame and his mother and I are very close. He comes from a terrific high school program. Matt is a young man, like a lot of these guys, who like a little bit of publicity, but he’s a great kid. The best part about the whole deal is that he’s on our campus right now. (Director of Strength and Conditioning) Mickey Marotti is getting some of that stuff out of him in the weight room right now. He could be a wildcat player because he’s tremendous with the ball in his hands, but his future is as a safety at the University of Florida.”

On the receiving unit: “We lost five juniors to the draft and obviously lost some talented players on offense and defense. I don’t know if there’s ever a rebuilding year, but if there was, this would be one for us. If you look at the receivers we have had here in the last few years starting with Dallas Baker, Bubba Caldwell, Chad Jackson and then you go to Louis Murphy and Percy Harvin and then this year we lost Riley Cooper, David Nelson and Brandon James. We have to start replacing them with real guys. All those players that I talked about helped us lead the SEC in offense the last few years in a row. They were a very productive group so we put an emphasis on going out there and finding some difference-makers. Quinton Dunbar, Chris Dunkley, Solomon Patton and Adrian Coxson are all options. Then we have Gerald Christian and Michael McFarland as tight ends.”

On the late signees: “We were not on Michael Taylor’s radar and he wasn’t on ours. Westlake High School in Atlanta is one of the top high schools in America. It was our error not to be in the middle of all of that. He came down and was the Under Armour All-American MVP and even before there was transition with their staff, he made the decision he wanted to be a Gator and we are happy to have him. Darrin Kitchens’ high school coach is the father of former Gator Bobby McCray. He’s a close friend of mine and has been telling me about Darrin for a long time. He came up on a visit and stole our heart. He’s a tremendous tight end. Lastly, we feel like Jordan Reed is going to move to tight end and with that, we wanted to look for a dual position player and found that in Tyler Murphy. You watch his highlight film and he’s a freakish athlete with the ball in his hands and he can throw, so that’s how it happened.”

On the importance of UF’s high graduation rate in recruiting: “A lot of times in recruiting you walk in and a player tells you that academics are important and you look at their transcripts and you know its not. When you walk into a home where the family is sincerely interested and you lay out the things we do, it’s big. And it’s just not academics. In the last few years, we have made perhaps the strongest push in our program to focus on life after academics. They see the emphasis we place on not just the four years spent at Florida, but the time after graduation. I’ve never seen an effort like what our staff and the Office of Student Life places on Recruiting Roundtables and job affairs. As a parent, that’s appealing.”

On Tyler Murphy: “We made a decision to make a run at some quarterbacks when we made the decision regarding Jordan Reed. Coach Addazio actually went to school with Tyler’s father and there was a bit of a relationship there. He knew the high school coach very well, but I didn’t know any of that. We were sitting around watching tapes of about 15 quarterbacks one after another and all of a sudden we got a feel for him as a player. I want to say that was two or three weeks ago.”

4 Comments

  1. Aligator says:

    so who is better here? trey burton or tyler murphy? we all know that brantley was lights out in high school and waiting his turn, which one will this be? did jordon reed move because he is not the qu of the future? will jordon play mostly TE and mop up at qb?

  2. Burton is more of a pure QB, Murphy is a dual-threat. See the next thread about Jordan Reed for my answer to those other questions.

  3. Drew 4 Orange and Blue says:

    Just some great insight on just a few of these guys….there is not just talent but character!!! The Murphy deal is just crazy but who knows he might end up a huge surprise!!

  4. dan says:

    My vote is for Burton!

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