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The Road Back: Florida Gators

The Road Back Florida Gators

The Road Back Florida Gators

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I’m beginning a series looking at power programs that have recently fallen on hard times and what they need to do to fix it. Here’s Florida.

The Gators are one of many teams who have fallen off of late and are trying get back to the top. Here's a blueprint for the Gators to get back to the top of the SEC.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

1. Re-establish In-State recruiting as a priority

Dan Mullen did not veil his dislike for recruiting, and it showed both on the field and in press conferences. We've seen the overall talent level on this squad dip considerably and new coach Billy Napier and staff need to do a lot of leg work to catch back up, especially as Miami is starting to take off again and trying to lock up the "State of Miami." A couple of recent in state commits are a solid momentum builder.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

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2. Get Back to Running the Ball

I'm not talking about moving to the wishbone and running it 50 times a game. I'm talking about maximizing the talent that they do have on their roster. They've got a quarterback in Anthony Richardson who I believe can be an elite runner at the position as well as talent in the running back room, bolstered by transfer Montrell Johnson. With a revamped offensive line (more on that later), they should be able to start to bully other teams. The fact that Dameon Pierce got 100 carries last year for the Florida Gators is a joke.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

3. Fresh start on the offensive line

While the Gators had some individual standouts during Mullen's tenure, the line as a unit was never a strength of the team. This unit will be need to rebuilt from the ground up, but they brought along two great building blocks in O'Cyrus Torrence and Kamryn Waits from Louisiana who should both be immediate starters and upgrades.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

4. New defensive identity

Let's face it, the third and Grantham jokes were getting old. Florida needed a complete overhaul on defense. They've brought in not one but two defensive coordinators in Patrick Toney and Sean Spencer. The co-coordinator roles haven't traditionally worked in the past, so it's a wait-and-see approach at the moment. But it can't get much worse - can it?[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]

5. Back to basics

The Florida Gators were one of the most penalized teams in the country last season, averaging eight flags for 71 yards per game. On top of that, they were -8 in turnovers, good for 10th worst in the country. They need to stop shooting themselves in the foot if they're going to have a leg to stand on.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]