Florida head coach Jim McElwain and players Martez Ivey, Marcell Harris, and Duke Dawson took the stage yesterday at the SEC’s annual Media Days, and were asked about anything and everything (literally- Mac had to talk about the infamous shark photo and Marcell Harris and Paul Finebaum had a lengthy conversation about his hair). While we were given no information on the status of star wide receiver Antonio Callaway, there were a few things that give me even more confidence about Florida’s 2017 season.
1. The team has a chip on its shoulder.
This was evident by Coach McElwain’s body language and tone as he spoke at the podium. He said the team understands why we haven’t been successful at times, and when the SEC Network crew asked him about offensive production, it seemed he took it personally. Florida fans want more, and he wants to bring Florida back to national prominence.
2. The boys seem confident.
It was quiet, but it was there. They carry that chip too, and I sensed a hunger for success in their voices. Duke Dawson said the defensive leaders are teaching the younger guys and helping them as much as possible, and I got the sense from the way he and the other players spoke that this team is working together and has a chemistry that the previous two teams haven’t. Only time will tell, but I think there’s something special brewing in Gainesville.
3. Leaders are starting to arise.
Not only are the more experienced guys on defense helping the freshmen, but Marcell Harris said he could “already tell” transfer quarterback Malik Zaire is a leader. I may be wrong, but I think leadership like that has been a missing piece for the last few years. If we can get a few guys to step up and be strong leaders, guys who can rally the team before an important drive and keep them motivated during practices and workouts, that could be a key ingredient to a successful season.
- SEC analysts Greg McElroy and Jordan Roberts picked Florida to win the East.
- Paul Finebaum picked Florida to defeat Michigan on opening day.
- “I just really felt going through spring practice- that Florida speed is back.” -Head Coach Jim McElwain to local Hoover media
What did you think of Florida’s time at Media Days?
Also, speaking of Michigan, here’s a fantastic article from In All Kinds of Weather’s Ty Butler on the importance of a win at Michigan.