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Gators freshman LB Daniel McMillian is one of eight early enrollees in 2013 recruiting class.

Thursday February 28, 2013Early Enrollee Q&A: Gators Linebacker Daniel McMillian

Gators freshman LB Daniel McMillian is one of eight early enrollees in 2013 recruiting class.

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER Senior Writer

Editor's note: National Signing Day was Feb. 6 and Gators coach Will Muschamp announced the 2013 recruiting class. Eight members enrolled early and began classes in caught up with the players for a Q&A series.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. First, let's go ahead and get this out of the way. Gators freshman linebacker Daniel McMillian appears to be a man of few words. Or maybe he just wasn't in the mood to talk.

Whatever the case, the newcomer from Jacksonville didn't have much to say the day caught up with him recently. In fairness to McMillian, teammate Ronald Powell was ribbing him as he tried to take questions from a guy with a recorder.

It was all in good fun and McMillian played along. But you also got the feeling that with Powell or no Powell messing around that McMillian is no chatterbox.

We did find out one thing about the 6-foot-3, 220-pound linebacker out of First Coast High: He isn't afraid of a tough workout.

The day GatorZone stopped by to interview the early enrollees on the roster, McMillian stayed behind lifting weights longer than anyone. In fact, when strength-and-conditioning coordinator Jeff Dillman checked to see who we were waiting on and was told McMillian, Dillman warned us that he was probably long gone like the rest.

Their workouts had been over about an hour ago, Dillman said. When told that McMillian was still pumping iron, Dillman went to see for himself. Sure enough there was McMillian, finally about to finish his self-imposed extra session.

So, maybe he was just too tired to talk that day.

Here is what we know: Florida coach Will Muschamp is a fan of the way McMillian plays and his play-making ability. McMillian is long and lean and has an athletic frame. He was also a basketball player in high school and the Gators envision him as a play-making machine at linebacker.

As a senior at First Coast, McMillian was named the Florida Times-Union's Defensive Player of the Year after registering 116 tackles, seven sacks and four interceptions.

"Went and watched Daniel in person on our open week and he took a fake punt about 80 yards for a touchdown,'' Muschamp said. "The play-making ability [stands out]. I always look at linebackers that have instincts."

Here is our Q&A with McMillian (at least those questions with more than a word or two for answers):

Photo: McMillian on National Signing Day in Jacksonville (Florida Times-Union/Bob Self).

Q: What is your mindset now that you have moved past the recruiting stage and enrolled?

A: It's great. Now I can focus on getting to my goal weight and try to get playing time on the field.

Q: How much weight are you trying to gain?

A: My goal is 235.

Q: What do you want to take advantage of as an early enrollee?

A: I want to take advantage of getting a chance to train early and getting to know the coaching staff, my teammates.

Q: What's something people don't know about you?

A: I have a lot of agility and I don't get tired easy.

Q: Why did you choose Florida?

A: It was in the SEC, it's close to home, I love my teammates. It's just a great place to be.

Q: What's your most memorable moment in a football game?

A: I got to do a fake punt and kind of be a running back.


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