Friday January 9, 2009Urban Meyer Meets With Members Of The Media
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Head coach Urban Meyer met with members of the media on Sunday to discuss the Florida Gators and their FedEx BCS National Championship victory.
I'd like to thank Danny Ponce and Eric Poms for the hospitality. I can't imagine a better week as far as the hospitality and the people in south Florida taking care of us, Howard Snellenberg at FAU did a tremendous job. A team that prepares like we do and take the seriousness of our practice routine, he went above and beyond what we asked him to do to make sure the fields were right. A lot of people to thank, but most importantly I'd like to thank our players, and this is all about them. I want to make sure that our players, this team goes down as one of the great teams in Florida football history. It's one of the greatest group of young people I've ever been around, and I'm starting to get a little bit of experience behind me now, 20-something years, and that's saying a lot because I've been around some great young guys. Everything they have coming to them, they deserve it. The team fought through our last two ballgames, was the epitome of college football. They fought through adversity, played two excellent teams coached by -- I'm going to go back to the Alabama game, by Nick Saban and a tremendously talented team and then to go against Coach Stoops, who's one of the best coaches in the business, and have a great group of very experienced -- I saw today in the paper how experienced, just the offensive line and the veterans they had. My heart is out to our plays. I know our coaching staff feels the same way, but this is as good a group of young people as I've ever been around, and I want to thank them for that.
On securing a place in college football history:
COACH URBAN MEYER: It's very humbling, and two years ago when it all happened, I really can't remember much about it. But I just asked the gentleman that gave us the Mac Arthur Trophy, I said, I'd like to read about this because our name is on it twice. I think I owe that to them and I'm going to read it to our team. I am a fan of college football. I think college football is the greatest venue going, and to think that our name is forever etched on that great trophy, it's my responsibility to learn more about it and make sure our players learn it because they're on it. That's why we did that. If you ever come to Florida, our administration was good enough to put a lot of money into a front door window to let people see the history of Florida football when it was never there before. You walk in there now and it's legitimate. It's one of the great programs in college football history. We're going to continue to make sure that thing grows and grows and grows, so it is the best place in college football.
On Tebow’s decision whether or not to enter NFL:
COACH URBAN MEYER: This is going to be a little harder. There's not much difference than Nathan, my son. Nate, my son, and Tim. I love Tim. He's family. He's everything. At some point I'll get blasted for it, but I think he's one of the best players to ever put on a helmet. I don't know if he's the best quarterback, that's all relative and in people's eyes they can choose whoever they want. Tim will make a very well educated decision. I'm going to put him on the phone with people I trust. I did that with Alex Smith, I've done that with some other players; they've made some great decisions. So rest assured, and Gator Nation needs to know Tim will make the right decision. I have no idea what it is, and out of respect to Tim and his family it hasn't even been discussed. I'm sure over the next few days it will.
On his most memorable plays of the game:
COACH URBAN MEYER: Well, I saw it last night, just parked myself in front of ESPN for, what was it, four hours I had, right? The 3rd down and 11 where he pulled it down and he hit and I saw his leg drive and get that extra two yards, I mean, how many guys could do this? He got hit, made a guy miss, hit two people, and his eyes and he looked over he knew exactly where that yard marker was. The other play was when he scrambled and hit Riley Cooper. Those were the two plays on offense. On defense the two interceptions - the one by Ahmad Black that just completely took it right away from the guy. Up by three and we were driving the ball, obviously a prolific offense. And then the one down in the red zone where the ball is tipped and Major Wright made the play. Those are the plays I'll never forget. On highlights it was a phenomenal effort.
On Percy Harvin:
COACH URBAN MEYER: Right now he's got to be one of the best players in America. He's got the best first step. You saw that yesterday. I think he played at about 80 percent. I saw him on the sideline and I kept talking to him and he looked at me right in the eye and said, I'm ready, Coach, I'm ready. A couple of those runs he got out of there, when he's 100 percent I'm not sure they catch him. But that was a tremendous effort. Very unselfish effort. What he did to prepare for that game is what legends are made of. Not many guys I've ever seen do what he did as far as preparing himself for that game.
On David Nelson’s performance:
COACH URBAN MEYER: Isn't that something? David Nelson continues to amaze, and Riley Cooper -- they're program players, actually very talented program players. Usually when people say "program players," they're guys that aren't good enough to kind of step up. Very talented guys that were influenced by outside forces. David Nelson had kind of the attitude that I'm not getting my fair share, and I should be treated a little different, and that goes back to the third uncle comment where people were influencing his practice, and the fact was he was not very good. He didn't practice very good, and he didn't play very well. And now he's playing at an extremely high level.
On what he’s learned in four years at Florida:
COACH URBAN MEYER: What I've learned at Florida is when you take over a program that's kind of bigger than life in some people's eyes, it still comes down to a bunch of young guys playing football, and I kind of got caught up in the Gator clubs and signing autographs, and it still comes down to David Nelson going four yards, selling the stop clock, showing his hands and doing the right thing, and that's no different than Bowling Green, Utah or Florida. I graded myself probably a C my first year because it was – Florida is big time now. But I've got news, there's a lot of other big time places, and if you start to sleep, you'll fall behind. It still comes down to getting guys to go as hard as they can, it all comes down to getting guys to graduate, to live right. At the end of the day you want a bunch of players that are committed to the right thing. And it's not easy to get that. It's not easy. In 20-something years of coaching, on one hand I can hold the amount of teams that I've been around the kids that do it the right way. I'm not talking about a few, I'm talking about the core of your team if you do it the right way, and we've got it here at Florida.