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Tuesday November 6, 2012 Pease responds to rumors, Gillislee feels fine, plus more tidbits

Mike Gillislee

Photo: Gators running back Mike Gillislee said he feels healthy with regular season winding down.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A day after Gators coach Will Muschamp fully endorsed offensive coordinator Brent Pease as a future head coach, Pease faced questions about the rumors that he is a potential candidate to replace outgoing Kentucky coach Joker Phillips.

Kentucky announced earlier this week that it will part ways with Phillips at the end of the season.

Pease spent two seasons as Kentucky's offensive coordinator in 2001 and 2002.

The 48-year-old Pease, in his first season at UF after six years at Boise State, downplayed the rumors on Tuesday.

"First off, that situation is out of the question right now because I haven't heard anything,” he said. “I wouldn't do that. I'm focused on here. I've only been here one year. I've made a commitment to be here, especially with my family."

Pease and his wife Paula have two kids in high school in Gainesville.

Pease said he enjoyed his time in Lexington and believes that you can recruit good players to the basketball-crazed school.

However, he refused to speculate on his name being mentioned as a potential candidate.

"I can't comment on a ghost story right now,'' he said.

*****

As you probably know by now, Gators senior running back Mike Gillislee doesn't say much. He showed up at a Monday press conference with a T-shirt that read, "Run More Than Your Mouth."

Gillislee has done that this season, using his legs to churn out 797 yards through nine games. Gillislee is on pace to become the first UF running back since Ciatrick Fason in 2004 to rush for 1,000 yards.

While he tweaked his back in last week's win over Missouri, Gillislee said he will be ready come kickoff Saturday vs. Louisiana.

"Physically, I’m doing good,'' he said. "My body and everything is feeling good."

*****

Freshman defensive tackle JaFar Mann's career with the Gators is over before it ever got started.

Mann, who is from Stephenson High in Stone Mountain, Ga., will transfer.

"JaFar Mann and I met last night and he decided to transfer,'' Muschamp said Monday. "He and I agreed that it’s time for him to move on.”

Mann was moved to the offensive line in fall camp and then later moved back to the defensive line. However, he was never able to crack the lineup as fellow freshmen defensive linemen Dante Fowler Jr. and Jonathan Bullard emerged as reliable rookies.

*****

Pease said backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett has handled playing behind starter Jeff Driskel all season like "a true professional."

Brissett lost a quarterback battle to Driskel and has played sparingly since.

Muschamp echoed Pease's sentiments in regard to the way Brissett has handled not playing. He started two games as a true freshman when John Brantley suffered an ankle injury.

"He's approached it knowing he's a snap away of walking on the field and having to win for us,” Muschamp said. “We've been nothing but more than pleased with how he's handled things.”

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