Keeping a List and Checking it Twice

Urban Meyer

There's been no new news regarding the status of safeties coach Doc Holliday and the open job at West Virginia University, but Urban Meyer has a list ready in case Holliday, who interviewed for the job on Tuesday, gets the call.

Head coach Urban Meyer keeps a file of prospective assistant coaches should someone from his staff leave for another gig.

"Over the years, I keep a file on it so if something happens we can get the best possible guy out there," Urban Meyer said after the Gators' Thursday practice. "It's based off of who we've played, who I've come across."

Meyer said a big part of the equation is what kind of recruiter the coach is. Holliday is known for his relationships in South Florida and brought in players like Major Wright and Marcus Gilbert who both came from Ft. Lauderdale's St. Thomas Aquinas. He also brought in Brandon Spikes from North Carolina. Holliday coached at N.C. State before coming to the Gators.

"It's who I see recruiting in the South," Meyer said. "The guys that grind it out. Steve Addazio is one of the hardest recruiters I've ever seen. So is Greg Mattison and so is coach Strong. I've been with them since Notre Dame."

A lot of times, Meyer bumps into other school's assistants or head coaches on the recruiting trail, which can tell him a lot about a coach's work ethic.

"There are guys that when you're getting up at 6 and they're getting up at 9 a.m.," Meyer said. "Those are the guys that aren't on the staff. They're at the Waffle House while we're at high schools."

Looking good for Orlando

The Gators should be near full health for their match-up with the Michigan Wolverines in the Capital One Bowl on January 1. The only player who most likely won't make it is wide receiver Riley Cooper who is still nursing a broken finger.

"It's a broken knuckle and it moved on him," Meyer said. "I just want that kid to be healthy. He's been like a toothache around here for the last two years. He's a good kid and a tough kid."

Whether it was a foot or now a broken finger, Cooper has had to deal with something since arriving in Gainesville.

"He's a nut," Meyer said. "He goes off the deep end with frustration. He's handling it better now because he's had so much of it to deal with.

Both the Pouncey twins are dealing with minor injuries and were held back at Thursday's workout. Michael has a sore shoulder and Maurkice has a sore back. Offensive guard Jim Tartt has also been out with a case of mononucleosis.

"They'll do an ultrasound today and find out if he's good to go," Meyer said. "I just worry because we have to get him in shape. But I've been assured that he'll be in shape."

Meyer said that there has been little to no effect with Tim Tebow after having his cast removed from his broken right hand last week.

"His hand is good," he said. "They're not sure what they're going to make him wear for the game."

Other than injuries, Meyer said there are no discipline or academic issues. He received everyone's grades on Wednesday and the team posted a collective 2.9 grade point average.

Notes

  • The Gators practiced in full pads on Thursday, and Meyer was pleased with the effort the day before breaking for the holidays. Said Meyer, "Today is a Thursday, but we treat it like a Wednesday and it was one of the best Wednesday practices we've had all year. That was a terrific practice. Hard, hot, full-padded, I'm really proud of today's practice."
  • With all the off-the-field issues the Gators have had in the last year, Meyer will address the issue before sending everyone home for four days. Said Meyer, "You always worry about the travel home. You always read about something in the paper this time of year. The second thing is that you want them to spend time with their families, and that's it. If they do that, then we'll be good."
  • Meyer didn't think he would be nervous in New York before the Heisman announcement, but he was. Said Meyer, "I was real nervous. I didn't think that I would be, but all I was thinking was, ‘Oh my God, what if he doesn't win?'"
  • If you visit the Oaks Mall over the next couple of days, don't plan on bumping into the Gators' head coach. Said Meyer, "I just hate doing that kind of stuff. I hand my daughters 50 bucks and tell them to go buy something for their mother. That's what I did today."

    Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski

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