Each off-season Inside the Gators interviews the departing seniors and early entry juniors for our Parting Shots series. It enables us to get an in-depth look back on their time at Florida as well as what they're up to now and plans for the future.
ITG has several interviews already set up, but for the very first in the 2013 series, we wanted to try something different. We asked a player to anonymously share his thoughts on players who fit into four different categories: NFL early entries, The graduating seniors, The players who transferred since last season and the true freshmen who redshirted this past season.
As an aside, allowing a player to comment anonymously has both an up and down side. The upside, of course, is that they get to speak more freely and share their real thoughts. The downside, commenting anonymously gives them a pass to say what they want without fear of reprisal or having to answer for their comments.
After taking everything into consideration, it was determined that there is great value in what a person who has been around these players for years thinks about each of them.
Cornerback Willie Bailey - He played hard on the scout team and was never a character issue guy. I just think he just isn't ready for this level of play and he isn't used to all that talent in front of him and I think he just saw himself falling down the depth chart and not coming back up. He will succeed in a lesser conference. I think the coaches agreed he will never be a starter, so didn't hold him back from transferring. He has good height, but he needs a couple years before he is physically as mature as he needs to be. A late bloomer. Harder worker though.
Quarterback Jacoby Brissett - I don't really have a lot of nice things to say about him. He always had a bad attitude and bad body language. I'm glad he's gone, the longer he stayed the worse it was for everyone. He was the dividing factor on the team. He made things more divisive than they needed to be. He talks crap about our starting quarterback, especially to the receivers and tried to turn people against him. He has a strong arm but he is not very football bright. He'll end up at a good, but not great program. The coaches gave Jacoby every opportunity to take the job and he wasn't able to do it. He can't complain about not getting a fair shot, in the spring and fall camp it seemed like he got more reps with the first team than Jeff, but Jeff just did better with the second team offense going against the 1st team defense than he did with the 1st team offense going against the 2nd team defense. They gave him every opportunity to win that job and he just couldn't.
* An example of what I mean by bad attitude...
After a BIG win this year, Coach White was running around high fiving everyone and telling them good job and how proud he was. When he got to Jacoby, he told him, "Good job man!" and tried to give him a hug and Jacoby said, "Why would you say that to me? All I did was hold the f#&$ing clip board. I didn't have any part of this win. Get off me." Coach White looked confused and disappointed and just kind of walked away.
Running back Chris Johnson - He was one of the best special teams player in the country. He is a fast, physical kid, but I don't think he was ever going to be big enough to play running back for us. I think that him not originally being recruited as a running back didn't help him in the depth chart. At the end I think he saw that he wasn't going to get full time minutes at safety (he moved back to safety during bowl camp.). I know coach Muschamp would have done everything possible to keep him outside of lying to him. He is a really nice kid, always bouncing around and positive, but he wasn't going to be a able to crack the depth chart a safety. One of the most animated kids on the team, which makes it a big loss to the team as far as a locker-room type, but if he wants to be a full time starter, probably the best move for him personally. We are going to need someone to step up to fill his big shoes on special teams though.
Not sure if he has decided where he is going, but I wouldn't be shocked if he ended up at UConn. That's where Graham Stewart transferred to. The two were roommates and best friends here and I know Juice would love to be at the same school as him again.
Offensive tackle Matt Patchan - I think he largely blames the training staff for his current injury because he wanted specialists to look at his injury and UF was resistant. His specialists advised him to sit out all year and UF wanted him to be back in six to eight weeks. Patchan didn't make things easy for himself either because he is really stubborn. He is super smart, which makes him think he is always right, which leads him to being so stubborn. You should have seen him during two-a-days before he got hurt, he was dominating, which is why the coaches wanted him back so fast at first. I feel bad for him because he had so many freak accidents.
Safety De'Ante Saunders - He just couldn't stop smoking… Its sad, he was a good player. I know he really tried to stop, but he was too weak minded to do it. He was even in a program for it, which was his saving grace last year. I know Coach Muschamp really liked him and tried to do everything he could to help him. He doesn't have a great background as far as having a lot of good influences. It's very sad because he was a really nice guy. Hopefully he can get his head on straight because he has all the talent in the world.
Offensive lineman Jafar Mann - He was a waste of a scholarship. He just gave no effort in anything. He was lazy in the weight room and on the practice field. I didn't know him to hang out with him but it wouldn't shock me if his academics weren't stellar either. He smoked a lot too… which didn't help.
The comments above are not word for word direct quotes - for continuity and spacing issues, the comments were paraphrased in places. Though some comments were cut out, none were added.
Monday: The early entry juniors
Tuesday: The graduating seniors
Wednesday: The transfers
Thursday: The redshirted freshmen