Head Coach Ron Zook
“The first three days of practice are like what we thought. We are a very athletic football team. We are a very young football team, inexperienced is the word I guess. There is no doubt in my mind after these first three days that this football team is better than we were a year ago – I think rightfully so. Any time you are in your second year, things are smoother. The players know the coaches. The coaches know the players. There is also no doubt in my mind that this football team is going to [go up]. There is no way that you can buy experience, you have to play. I have been very, very impressed with these first three days. The split sessions that we have done was our coaching staff’s idea. It was a great idea, and it was very productive for us. Our freshmen have gotten so much more in terms of practice, in terms of repetition, in terms of knowledge of our offense, defense and special teams probably more than any freshman class ever because of the fact we had repetition. If you bring them in and just have your freshmen, there are not enough people to have a team so it has been a good thing for us. We are excited where we are at right now, and this team will [go up] from where we were three days ago.”
“I don’t know what the biggest concern is. I know this – the attitude of this football team is super right now and rightfully so in the beginning. We can see these guys becoming close quickly. I think the upper classmen and the younger classmen are becoming close, and I like that because I think it is important. WE stressed that we have to be a football team – a team. All we can do is make sure that we are a team and that these guys are working towards their objectives.”
On “shocking the world:”
“I think it is something that they came up with. At the University of Florida, you are always in a proving mode. I think you always have to prove yourself that the University of Florida, no matter how many national championships you win, you have to continually prove yourself. These guys are excited about that. They look forward to the challenge. It is a great challenge, but it is an exciting challenge. I think that is why you are in athletics – because of the competition. That is why you get nervous – because of the challenge. It is something our guys are really excited about.”
On being the underdogs:
“I’m not sure that it makes any difference right now. I think right now, where you are is where you start. There is not a lot you can do right now. I think the thing that we want to do is reach the potential that this football team can.”
On defensive ends:
“These seniors realize that this is their last opportunity. Where I really begin to notice that these guys were turning the wick up is summer B – the off season. Darrell Lee is a completely different person. We all know that Bobby McCray is a very talented individual. He can lift a lot of weight, run real fast, jump real high. Like you say, he has still not done the things that everybody wants him to do. Travis Harris is another guy that is in that situation a little bit. He moved from linebacker to the defensive end spot and he looks like he has been there all his life. The motor he plays with is exciting. What happens to these guys is that they realize this is their last opportunity. They turned the wick up and you see a different concentration. When they walk though that gate on the practice field, you see a different awareness. You see them helping and pushing the freshmen. Those are all things that are very, very positive and things that are going to help this football team.”
On true freshman wide receiver Andre Caldwell:
“After three days of practice it is hard to say who is going to help and who is not. I will say this about both of those freshman wide receivers, they have both been impressive. Andre Caldwell has a little bit of a different gear. When he comes off the line of scrimmage and when he catches the football, it is a different gear. It is exciting as is Chad Jackson. I learned from Coach [Mike] Gottfried that you never get too high or too low on the freshmen early. My personality kind of tends me to [go too high], but they have really been exciting. I think it remains to be seen but we are excited. ”
On not lowering expectations:
“I should be probably but I have been fortunate enough to work for a lot of coaches, I have talked to some of those guys in the summer, and the advice I have gotten from the guys who have been very, very successful is that the expectations are where you want them. You talk about being this or that, but you know what, that is not me. I think that our football team and our staff understand that we have a great challenge. We have a tough schedule. We are a young football team and no one really cares. It is what it is, and I am excited about the attitude of this football team. I think that we are going to start here and [go up]. I think we have a chance to be a pretty good offense. I think defensively, we are at a starting point – how hard we work from spring until we report –that will be our starting point. The harder we work, the higher that starting point is going to be. They worked hard. The intensity level and the way they put their arm around these young guys. We are going to get better as the year progresses – a lot like the 1993 team. I compare this defenses potential to team in ‘93, when we struggled early and ended up playing pretty good defense at the end of the year. I think it is not in my nature to be that way, maybe that is right, maybe that is wrong. I am excited about the attitude of this football team.”
On the freshmen class:
“It is hard after three practices to say who is going to have an impact. I think probably a skilled guy like Andre [Caldwell] or Chad [Jackson], they may have the best chance of making an impact. Last week, I kept the freshmen right here, and we talked a little bit. I told them that [come Saturday] we are all going to be together. It is going to be a little different. Some of them are not going to get as many reps as they are accustomed to getting. It is going to get a bit faster. We are going to turn the wick up a bit. You just keep chopping wood. Good things are going to happen. What has been the most impressive is how much offense, defense and special teams we have in already, and how those guys have sorted through that stuff. They have done extremely well. We are signaling and doing things. We are ahead of where we were at this point in time last year. As we continue to install, there will be more and more of it. When they walk out of this meeting room, they understand it, but when they walk out on the field and the bullets start flying and things start going fast, sometimes it kind of runs together. I told them to just stay with me and work. Pretty soon the mud will start to settle and things will become clearer. How fast it clears depends on the individual. Saying who is going to make an impact the fastest – I don’t know. I do know that that is a talented class.”
On quarterbacks personalities:
“I think it does matter. I think the big thing is that they are who they are. I haven’t seen Justin [Midgett] loose like you said. I have seen him concentrating. I have seen them all very similar – very focused, concentrating, no-nonsense type thing. Chris [Leak] has been that way since the very first time I saw him in our camp last summer. He was just quiet. He is in the meeting room all the time. That is him. That doesn’t mean Justin is not. They have both been up there a lot. The thing that I have noticed about Ingle [Martin] is that he is much more focused than he was last year. Gavin [Dickey] has been pretty much the same. I think the biggest thing with this football team is that they be themselves and not try to be someone they are not.”
On the quarterbacks:
“Ingle [Martin] was listed at the top of the chart because he’s been here the longest and he’s the oldest. If you at look Ingle at Gavin [Dickey] have both been in the offensive system about the same amount of time, although Gavin redshirted. Ingle has picked up right where he left off. As I said earlier, at the end of the spring, I felt like either one of these guys could lead this football team. They have enough talent and enough ability, offensively, to still be pretty good. The two freshmen [Chris Leak and Justin Midgett] have both come in and done extremely well. I’ve been very impressed with the way they’ve picked up things and the way they’ve competed. They haven’t backed off, they haven’t shied off. A lot of times, if a guy gets a little unsure of himself he doesn’t want to step in there and take a swing. These guys have been swinging and I like that. I think this: all four of those guys are very, very talented. I think whoever is going to give us the best chance to win is the guy that we have to go with. That’s the thing that we’re looking at. Obviously, you keep statistics of every single practice: attempts, completions, drops and all those kinds of things. And then there’s a lot of times those guys – when they get into a game – they find it’s a little different. Ingle was that way. Last spring, our first spring here, Ingle kind of flopped around in practice and all of a sudden he got into the spring game last year and in the game he played, he was a gamer. I think you also have to look at those kinds of things – how they’re going to be in the game.”
On difficulty of entering the season after losing the season finale:
“There’s two ways to look at that. I think, No. 1, if you end on a very, very positive note, you kind of relax. I think that’s human nature. Sometimes you learn a lot more and you work a lot harder when your back’s against the wall. This recruiting class does have a chance to be exciting after seeing the first three practices. This university we have here and the coaching staff -- people say that you should have a great recruiting year. Well, your players are your best ambassadors. If you players aren’t into the program, if your players haven’t bought into what you’re trying to accomplish then you’re not going to have a good recruiting year. I believe that. They’ve done a great job. From our standpoint and our situation, we’ve used it more as a positive.”
On getting the tight ends and Ben Troupe involved this year:
“It’s going to be done. It’s like when I was in Kansas City and we would play Denver and you’re facing [Shannon] Sharpe – you couldn’t play base defense against the guy because of all the things he could do. Ben’s that kind of guy. You start spreading Ben out and now they’ve got to make a decision: are they going to put a linebacker on him or are they going to play nickel defense. What are they going to do? He’s a very, very talented guy. He’s a guy that, when he gets the ball in his hands, he makes things happen. Ben is really a different person today than he was a year ago today. Once again, it’s that thing where he realizes it’s his last year and he realizes he’s the guy that we’ve got to get the ball in his hands. In my opinion, he will be one of our weapons.”
On the effects of Wilbur’s injury:
“Eric’s not going to kick. I told him and his father when we signed him that he could take those goalposts down in his backyard. He doesn’t have to worry about those goalposts. We brought Eric in here to be a punter. That’s what I want him concentrating on. I really think it’s hard for a guy to do both. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but I think it’s hard to do because it’s a different swing. It’s different for your legs. If it was easy to do you’d see them doing it in the National Football League because it would give them another roster spot. He’s fine. He’s going to be fine. He broke the bursa sac and then he got a staph infection in the knee. I guess he was out there tapping it around yesterday . He’ll tap it around a little bit tonight. The doctor thinks by Monday that he’ll be at full strength. There’ll be a lot of punting going on between now and the first game, so I don’t think this has hindered him at all.”
On Reynaldo Hill and Dee Webb so far in practice and the plan to move CB Keiwan Ratliff to receiver:
“Reynaldo and Dee Webb, coming off of three days of practice, are exactly what we thought they were: fast guys and guys that compete. From that standpoint, it’s exciting. On the other hand, you take Keiwan, who’s got a chance to be an excellent corner as well. The reason that we put Keiwan on offense last year is that we were trying to generate big plays and when Keiwan gets the ball in his hands, he just has a knack for making big plays. On the other hand, if Chad (Jackson) or Andre (Caldwell) or O.J. Small – O.J. has been very impressive these last three days. You’re always going to need more than two corners the way people are now. You get multiple-receiver sets, so the more corners you’ve got, the better you’re going to be when you get into the nickel and dime situations. So, maybe it won’t be so imperative that we use Keiwan on offense, but that’s going to play out as we go through camp.”
On the offense maybe being more conservative:
“I don’t want to say that’s it’s going to be a more conservative offense. Obviously, you’d like to be 50-50 [pass-run]. You’d like to be able to take the pressure off the throwing game with the running game. I really feel like, with our offensive line and our running backs, we’ll be much improved running the football. I think that we have enough weapons that we can do enough things with the outside guys that we’re not, obviously, going to ask those quarterbacks to win the game for us. We’re going to ask those quarterbacks to play the system and let their athletic ability take over from there. I still want a wide open offense and I still want to be able to throw the football down the field. I want to be able to do all those things and, obviously, you want to be able to do both. Maybe early, we’ll be a little more conservative. It’ll depend on how the quarterbacks mature.”
On having his own team as opposed to inheriting a team:
“Last year, I never felt like it wasn’t our team. You’ve heard me say this a lot of times, that senior class – I’ll be forever indebted to them because when we got into rough seas, we started to take some water on, the senior class could have very, very easily split. I think that’s one thing that these young guys who are here – they understand that and how important it is to be a team. It’s going to be crucial for us this year to be a team. I think anytime that you’re in your second year, it’s easier for the coaches. But, more importantly, it’s easier for the players because they know what’s expected. They know me better. They know if I start ranting and raving that it’s not a big deal – that’s just me. They’re more relaxed and it’s easier for them. I think anytime you go around the second time, it’s much easier.”
On the front seven and what it needs to work on:
“The one thing we have in the front seven is a lot of inexperience, but we have a lot of talent and that’s the exciting thing. We have a lot of talented guys. To me, if you have a lot of young guys playing – if you’re going to take one or two guys and put it all on them, I think that would be a much, much bigger concern. The fact that you’re going to be able to roll people and keep people fresh and you’re not going to put all the pressure on one particular guy, that’s going to allow guys to mature because they’re not going to have all the pressure on them. They’re going to be able to mature and the more experience they get, the better they’re going to get and the better we’ll be as a football team.”
On having Daryl Dixon back:
“It’s exciting having Daryl back. Last year, we redshirted Daryl and I’m very glad that we did. But our football team, particularly our defensive guys, they came to me and they wanted Daryl Dixon to travel. When you travel, you can only take a certain number of guys, so you make a decision. Why are you going to take Daryl Dixon? They wanted him in the locker room, they wanted him in meetings and they wanted him around this football team. Daryl’s not a guy that talks very much, but when he says something, they listen. He is a very, very talented guy. I’ve seen him on tape from previous years. Obviously, we didn’t get a chance to see a lot of him other than the spring, but I knew that in the spring he had some special qualities. He’s got a little different gear as well. So, it’s the leadership that he has on this football team – not only on the defensive side, but the offensive side as well – it’s something that makes it really exciting to have him back.”
On moving Ed Zaunbrecher from the press box to the field:
“Some guys like to coach from the press box and some guys like to coach from the field. I think I’ve been in the press box, maybe three or four games in my career. I want to be there, I want to see it, I want to feel it. Ed felt that he could be more productive in the first year from the press box. He felt that Rex was a guy that he could say what he needed to say and talk about what he needed to talk about over the phone and be fine. Now you’ve got whoever’s the quarterback or whoever’s playing that doesn’t have an awful lot of experience – he wants to look in their eyes. He wants to see what they’re thinking and maybe draw it up and explain to them exactly what he’s saying. It’s just something that we felt was important for the quarterbacks and he felt good about it as well.”
On having high expectations for the program despite people’s expectations who are outside the program:
“I think you get what you expect. I’ve learned that if you demand perfection, you may not get perfection, but you’re going to get a level that everyone’s going to be happy with. We talk to our players about living right and being right and doing right – obviously, in today’s age, everyday you pick up the paper and there’s something that happens. It’s a concern, it really is. We tell our guys that it’s an honor and a privilege to be at the University of Florida and to play at the University of Florida. You have to be different. Is that fair? It doesn’t make any difference if it’s fair or not, that’s the way it is. If you demand perfection -- going to class and in doing what they’re supposed to be doing and if they don’t do those things, we punish them from there. There’s no doubt or no question in my mind that we’re on the right track and that this program is in the right direction and that we’re going to be where we’re supposed to be.”
On Chris Leak and how close he is in the quarterback race:
“I don’t think there’s any way that you can sit and say that Chris is ‘this far’ or ‘that far’ away because even though Ingle [Martin] and Gavin [Dickey] have both been in the system for two years, it’s too early to tell. The thing we’ve seen – and we’ve seen it from all four of those guys – is there’s no doubt in my mind that Gavin and Ingle can run this offense and do it very, very effectively. There’s also no doubt in my mind after these first three days, all four of those guys have an awful lot of talent. The two young freshmen [Justin Midgett and Chris Leak] are excellent, excellent prospects. It’s exciting. It really is. I think it’s going to be a good competition and they’re good people. They’re going to help each other. They’ve been split up the last three practices and now they’re all going to be together. They’ll learn from each other.”
Mike Locksley, Running Backs Coach and Recruiting Coordinator
"Distance and proximity are the first factors in choosing a school, but the connections a school has and its alumni base help. Recruiting is the lifeline of our success. It's not the X's and O's but the Jimmy's and the Joe's. It's something you have to do everyday. It's an area where you can still outwork someone."
On Coach Zook's recruiting:
"He has a tremendous amount of energy when it comes to recruiting. I thought I knew some guys who were at his level. What put him over the edge was when he had his skiing accident and he was still visiting high schools on a motorized scooter. He's a guy who will do whatever it takes to sell the Florida football program and tradition."
Charlie Strong, Defensive Coordinator
"There's nothing wrong with expectations. This program was built on them. When you're at the University of Florida you have the best facilities, great academics, and you should be good. It's important for the players to understand that, and I think they do understand the expectations."
On having a young team:
"We have a collective team where we can play a number of different guys and feel comfortable. Our last two recruiting classes are going to help us. We have guys that have started and played a lot. With Darrell Lee and Bobby McCray we're looking at two defensive ends that can play anywhere in the country. If we play hard, then we have a chance. We can be just as good as anybody in the country."
Mike Woodford, Defensive Backs and Special Teams Coordinator
On this year's defense:
"We have some inexperience, but we haven't even put the pads on. Personality and style comes after putting the pads on. If you look at it, we're not real young. We have three senior starters with Guss (Scott), Daryl (Dixon) and Keiwan (Ratliff). The backups are young, but it's as much talent as I've ever been around."
Ed Zaunbrecher, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
About the quarterbacks:
"Well, the competition will play out over the next few weeks. It's too early to say anything. By the time we tee off against San Jose State, somebody will line up there."
About confidence in players:
"A guy has to feel like he can be successful. At this level, if you don't feel like you can be successful, you don't need to be here. We have guys that are smart guys and competitors, they have confidence in themselves. It's going to be a competitive situation. If they are afraid of it, they need to get out of it."
On how you can tell when a quarterback is seeing things in slow motion and emerging as a great player:
"You can tell in their decision making process. They can tell you what they're supposed to do in a meeting, but when you get out in a live situation or a team situation and they don't do that, you have to ask why. Maybe they made the wrong read or they just froze up. The production of doing the things they're supposed to in the sequence that they're supposed to is key."
On the quarterback situation being one of the most important decisions of the season:
"Well, that's why we're coaches. That's part of process because there's a lot of competition going on at other positions, too. When you're not a participant and you're on the outside looking in, there's a lot more time to speculate, talk and wonder 'what if.' We don't deal with that, we're involved in what's happening and what's going to go on. We talk to the players about being together as a team and what you do to be successful. As coaches, you deal with the situations that come up. You anticipate things but you don't try to create things."
Corey Bailey, Strong Safety
On his role as a starter/backup:
"In the media guide it had me starting in six games last year, so I guess I can be counted as a starter. Playing in the SEC, there are more three-wide offenses with one back. Basically the nickel package is the starting defense for a lot of teams (in the SEC). So I feel like I'm a starter and I have to know everything because I am right behind them. I feel every player on the team has their own role; it's kind of like the sixth man in basketball."
On the young guys:
"Practice has been real important. Once you get in the fire, there's no more teaching and you really have to know it. A lot of the young guys have had a chance to get a lot of reps and a chance to learn, and we have to help them out. They're flying around and learning quickly. It's going to be a good thing for years to come."
Dallas Baker, Wide Receiver
On Chris Leak:
"He's a real nice quarterback. So far he is taking the right steps and making the right reads. I know a lot of people have high expectations of him, but he can only go out and perform the best he can. There's no doubt he's a great player."
On a connection with quarterbacks:
"I want to have a connection with all the quarterbacks. I just want him to throw it to the man who's open. We haven't had much practice just yet, so there's no real way to tell who has connections or who the best quarterback is. It's all about just dropping back, making the right reads and hitting the receiver."
Andre Caldwell, Wide Receiver
On this season:
"I'm going to go out there and do what I have to do, prove a point and show I need to be on the field. I'm going to keep doing what I am doing."
Ran Carthon, Running Back
On helping the younger players:
"I have to do whatever is going to help this team. My job is to keep them calm and focused on what they have to do. I have to let them know they can make a mistake, as long as they make it going full speed and not to get too down on themselves."
Jemalle Cornelius, Wide Receiver
On the receiver corps:
"I want to make a name for myself and do what I can to contribute. We have a lot of good receivers and I just want to get in and do my part to make us the best receiver corps in the SEC. Being a redshirt last year was a little frustrating, but I learned a lot and it was probably the best thing."
Mike Degory, Offensive Line
On the offensive line becoming a cohesive unit and how things have differed from last year:
"Experience is key, it really is. I've said this a million times. Just to know where everybody is, who's got my back, whose back do I have and stuff like that is important. We know not to step on each other's feet anymore, to get everything down, and that we're in a system that really improved. In the spring and in two-a-days (entering last year) we were kind of thrown into a system. A lot of guys such as myself, Shannon (Snell) and Max (Starks) all learned under Spurrier, and we were trying to adjust to (Zook's system) last year. I'd say a year really does make a difference. However, we also know that we still have a lot of work to do. We have big plans but we don't want to get too confident and too cocky."
On his level of responsibility as a center and his level of comfort with it:
"I feel more comfortable with it this year. I knew a lot last year, but every day I go out there and I learn a few things here and there. Coach Zook has been kind of challenging me which I accept with open arms. If they're not challenging you, then that means they're not thinking you can get any better. Hopefully the coaches think I can get better and personally I think I can get a lot better."
On his offseason mindset after a year of experience:
"My offseason mindset really hasn't changed. I felt last year that I played around par, maybe sub-par last year. I wouldn't be a competitor if I didn't think I could get better so my offseason mindset is just to take it another step up. If I get complacent and start getting lazy, I wouldn't be doing myself any good. It really doesn't matter what kind of year I had last year because everybody wants to get better, so I'm just one of those people."
Gavin Dickey, Quarterback
On battling for the top spot at QB:
"I have to go out and just be consistent every day. My mindset is to go out and try to do my best to win the job and that's the whole reason that I came to the University of Florida. I knew there was going to be competition and the job's not going to be handed to me You have to go out and prove that you're the best quarterback and let your talents on the field show--that's why I came here."
On preseason predictions:
"It definitely is motivating. People are underestimating us this year, and it's just giving us that burning desire to go out and prove the whole nation wrong. We've got a really good team this year. Our offensive line is really good, and if we just get the ball into the right guys' hands, we're going to be alright."
Johnny Dingle, Defensive Line
On starting this year:
“They (the coaches) are very high on Bobby (McCray) and a couple others, but I feel like next year I should be able to start.”
On Zook’s intensity:
“I love it like that because he’s showing me that we're both on the right path."
Daryl Dixon, Free Safety
On Coach Zook:
"I see a player's coach. His style makes you want to play for him. His door is always open to talk to him about anything. He's easy to talk to, like one of your teammates. He gives the young players the confidence they need."
On the secondary:
"The secondary is definitely going to be a strong point. We have experience, leadership and the talent. We are going to go out and show we are a force."
Earl Everett, Linebacker
On learning the defense:
"There are a lot of plays and formations thrown at us, but in time we will get use to it."
On the competition at linebacker:
"If everything goes well and I learn the plays, I hope to get some playing time. The guys ahead of me are very good and very competitive. So we'll just have to wait and see."
Ciatrick Fason, Running Back
On the offseason:
"The thing I had to work on was my hands, and they've improved. I've improved a lot. I understand defenses better and the weight room has helped me to be able take a pounding."
On the offensive line:
"I think they are one of the greatest in the nation. We've got two first-rounders (Max Starks and Shannon Snell) and (freshman All-American) Degory, the junior college transfers are doing a lot better than most people thought. They can all be potential All-Americans. I think the experience from last year will help us out a lot more."
Randy Hand, Offensive Line
On how he's settled in and the changes he's seen since last year:
"I definitely feel a lot better about everything this year. I've got a pretty good grasp on all the plays and I've got some experience under my belt. I think it's going to be a lot easier for me to pick everything up."
On the offensive line and it's depth:
"We've got more depth this year. I think we'll be able to rotate, move some guys around and see what's the best combination."
Jarvis Herring, Free Safety
On Coach Strong:
"He's created a lot of camaraderie. You will play a lot more free and better for him because of friendship. The more you like someone, the better you will play for him."
On Keiwan Ratliff playing both ways:
"We're not going to lose him to the offense. He's in such great shape that he can play both ways, and it won't bother him. He's a machine."
Kelvin Kight, Wide Receiver
On the wide receivers:
“People question the receivers, but I just blow it off because I know that we are going to work hard each and every day, and it’s going to carry over to game day. We are going to go out there and be playmakers. We are going to show the world that this is the best receiving corps in the nation.”
On the preseason expectations:
“I don’t really pay attention to the rankings because each and every game in the SEC you’ve got to come out and play. You never know who is going to be there on the top. As long and we take it game by game and do the things that we need to do, I believe that we will be up there at the top.”
On working with former Gator Taylor Jacobs:
“Even though he left, he came back this summer and helped me with route running and other things that I needed to do. When he was here, he was the leader that showed me and Carlos (Perez) and the rest of those guys the little things that we needed to work on like going hard each play and doing the little things.”
On the quarterbacks:
“It doesn’t matter which quarterback is throwing the ball to us. They have to throw the ball and we have to make the catch. We just have to make things happen.”
Matt Leach, Kicker
On the kickers:
“Punters, kickers, holders, snappers: we’re a tight group. I guess it’s just like the quarterbacks are. We have our own group and stick together.”
On correcting mistakes:
“During meetings we watch our film. You can learn a lot just from watching that. If I hit a ball bad, I can see that. The coaches just try to keep things positive.”
On this year:
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm out there. A lot of us can’t wait for the season to start. We are going to get back to where we should be: at the top of the country. That’s our goal this year.”
Chris Leak, Quarterback
On practice and the upcoming season:
"Everything's going great, practice has been going great. We're just going out there and everybody's working hard. I've got a good feeling out there with my teammates. Everybody's been going out and giving it 100 percent."
On Dallas Baker, the rest of the wide receivers, and how comfortable he is with them:
"They're just an awesome group, an awesome core of receivers this year. All of them have speed and quickness and they get into their routes really well. It's a real honor to be able to throw to them."
"Gainesville is a really nice place, it's my kind of town. It's like my home away from home."
On his relationship with the other quarterbacks:
"All the guys are great, it's just great to be a part of the team and go out and compete. It's a real good situation right now."
Ingle Martin, Quarterback
On learning as a quarterback:
"A lot of learning is repetition, from the time you're in first grade to college, you have to repeat things to really know them. You've got to study. That has taken place each year in the spring and the fall. I'm still learning and it's just a matter of applying what I've learned to football."
On getting sharper and obtaining a better vision with experience as a quarterback:
"It's all about having confidence and knowing that you're going to have a guy sitting there if the other two don't come open. It's the knowledge of knowing what to do in a certain coverage. If you don't know that, you're going to make bad reads. Knowing the coverage and knowing where your guys are will help you tremendously. From there things just become a lot easier."
On the freshman wide receivers:
"They are as quick as I've seen here. We've got a lot of raw talent. Coach Fedora and Coach Zaunbrecher are going to do a great job of getting those guys ready to play. They've been in for three days now, and I can honestly say they're improving with it. It's just getting those repetitions, and then it becomes second nature to them. They'll learn from these older guys like Kelvin Kight, Carlos (Perez), and O.J. Small. Being around people who know what they're doing will really help them."
On his goals for the season:
"I'm a winner and want to do whatever it takes to win. I just want to win the SEC East, put us in an opportunity to go to Atlanta, and make it to a BCS bowl."
Bobby McCray, Defensive End
On his senior season:
"It doesn't matter what our record is, we have to play hard every play. I've matured and learned you can't let fatigue set in. This is my last go around and I can't take any plays off. You're going to have to drag us off the field."
Carlton Medder, Offensive Line
On coming to the University of Florida and what the experience has been like:
"It's been a great experience so far. It's a lot different, a lot faster, and it's going to take a lot of getting used to, but overall it's great."
Justin Midgett, Quarterback
On the quarterbacks:
"All the quarterbacks are really helpful. I mean, Gavin (Dickey) and Ingle (Martin), of course they know a little bit more than Chris (Leak) and I, and they are helpful with everything we ask them. This is a team sport and they are the epitome of what a team player is."
On proving himself:
"Something (Coach Zook) said during the spring was the quarterbacks are pressing and that's one thing I don't want to do. I don't want to put too much pressure on myself. I don't want to do things that make it look like I'm forcing throws. I just want to relax back there and do the things I can do and I feel like if I play the way I can play, I can be a starter. That's a decision for them to make."
Jarvis Moss, Defensive Line
On being recruited:
"At the defensive line position they lost a lot of players, and I looked at that as sort of an opportunity to get early playing time, maybe this year or next year.”
“He’s a good motivator and that’s really what it takes for a coach to get his players going in the direction he wants."
“To win me over, I looked at my opportunity in my position. Having an opportunity to play early is what won me over.”
On playing this year:
"If I stay healthy and learn the defense I think I will have a good shot at playing. Whatever is the best, I want to do what my coaches want me to do. I want to be a team player and do whatever the team needs me to do for us to be good. I've always been confident. I feel like if I work and bust my butt here, then I can contribute in positive manner to the team."
Carlos Perez, Wide Receiver
On this year's team:
"We lost a lot, but we also have a lot of people that redshirted, and we have some real good, young quarterbacks. We have to keep an open mind. Our offensive line is awesome and our receivers are great. Being that it is our second year under Coach Zook makes a big difference."
Keiwan Ratliff, Cornerback/Wide Receiver
On Coach Zook's second year:
"We've got a year under our belt and a year of experience, so a lot of the players are more comfortable and confident. A lot of the calls have become second nature. Things go a lot easier after getting so many game reps."
On playing offense and defense:
"I'm not special, I'm just fortunate enough to have a coach that has enough confidence in me. We have other guys on the team that are athletic enough to be able to do it. I think it's the trend now. I think that more and more coaches are going to trust their athletes and put their best athletes on the field to let them try to make plays. Some of the other receivers and defensive backs can do it. It's all about stamina. Stamina is not a problem for me."
On preseason predictions:
"It's something everybody looks at. When people pick us to finish third or fourth it adds to our fire. It makes us feel that the media and everyone are against us and our backs are against the wall. We like that though, because we're the underdogs now instead of being picked to finish first and having everyone gunning for us."
Steve Rissler, Offensive Line
On role models on the team:
"Being that I'm playing center now, I'd probably say Mike Degory. I played against him in high school when I was a sophomore and he was a senior when we played his team in the playoffs. I've just been watching what he does and trying to learn from him because he knows all the plays. I figure if I watch him and see what he does, I can learn from him and try to do the same."
On his expectations for the coming year:
"I may redshirt, but if I don't I'm just looking to play as much as I can and get better everyday."
On the depth of the offensive line:
"Last year we didn't have that much depth which is why it was a little bit of a question mark because a lot of young people had to play. I think on the offensive line, you have to have a lot of depth so you can switch players and they can try them at different positions. I think the depth this year is going to help us out a lot."
On how he's adjusting to UF and this new experience:
"So far it's been real good. I've been handling things alright. During practice, everything's coming a lot faster. There's a lot more speed to where you need to know what you're doing. Basically out on the field, I'll try to learn my plays and once I get that down, I think I'll be alright."
On making the change from high school ball to college ball and how the two levels compare:
"I was the top dog at Riverview (Sarasota, Fla.). Now I'm here and I won't be anything until I show myself. I’m basically one of the smallest offensive lineman here whereas in high school I was easily the biggest kid probably in the school. There's a lot more people here and a lot more competition here."
Guss Scott , Strong Safety
On last year's first-year coaching staff:
"You can't put a lot of blame on them. We are the ones on the field making the mistakes, not the coaches. We have to put more on the players. Now we have a year under our belt, so everything will run better. We have to stay as a team and keep our attitude up. People are down on us right now, but nobody picked Ohio State to win it last year."
O.J. Small, Wide Receiver
On the young team:
"I've tried to take on a leadership role, sometimes by my voice and sometimes by my play. I've tried to teach them some of the tricks."
"We're underdogs right now, so we don't have anything to lose. We just need to work hard everyday and try to shock the world."
Shannon Snell, Offensive Guard
On selecting a quarterback:
"Whoever the coaches choose will be the best decision and we'll block for them. All of the quarterbacks are good and can do special things with the ball."
On becoming a running team:
"We have a lot of experience in the backfield. We have to run block first to set people up for the pass. We have an experienced line and some great backs, so if we can get the job done up front we will have a great running attack."
Jermaine Thomas, Defensive Back
On the difference between high school and college:
“You practice longer, you got to know more and the coaches expect more from you. In high school I was used to being a superstar. Here, everyone has the same potential.”
On Vernell Brown being a mentor:
“Vernell Brown has helped me out a lot. He has been trying to get me through this. Sometimes it’s like I want to quit, but he tells me I can fight through it. I met him a couple years ago. I watched him play a high school game and talked to him after the game, and I kept in contact with him.”
Ben Troupe, Tight End
On Kellen Winslow:
"He brings a lot of attention to the position, so I am appreciative of him."
On the tight end position:
"It's one of the those types of positions where you really have to be a team player. But if you're a playmaker, then you just go out and make plays, no matter the position."
On his illness:
“I am hopefully going to go out today and practice kicking a little. I should be up to full speed by Monday. They just told me it was a staph infection (right side). It set me back a little mentally because I missed the first day of college practice. I am just standing around watching how things are going and getting used to the tempo of practice.”
On the amount of attention coming into college:
“It’s been kind of exciting, but I’m trying to not let it get to my head. I’m going to work and do what I have to do. I still have to win the job. Nothing is given.”
On the punters in preseason:
“(Sean) Morton has been punting great. I don’t know what happened last year, but we have great guys out there.”
On the difference between high school and college:
“I know it’s going to be completely different. That’s what everyone has told me. I can’t really train for it because there’s no way to know what to expect. Everyone tells me it’s going to be different. It’s going to be exciting, running out of the tunnel in front of 90,000 screaming fans--of course it’s going to be different.”
Demetrice Webb, Defensive Back
"Coming in and helping the team is what I want to do. Coming here to Florida, I have to come in and be ready to go. I feel I can hold my own right now."