GatorZone.com Senior Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Remember when Danny Wuerffel did his “Mr. Two Bits” thing for Tennessee? Well, former Florida teammate Chris Doering got a preview the night before.
In his living room.
When Wuerffel got the call to be the honorary “Mr. Two Bits” before the Gators played the Volunteers on Sept. 21, the former Florida quarterback and 1996 Heisman Trophy winner stayed with Doering the night before. Together, they went over the famous pre-game ritual, with Wuerffel rehearsing his version of the routine for the guy who once caught so many of his touchdown passes.
“I definitely coached him up,” Doering said. “I don’t know if he ever gave me credit for his performance, but it was all because of the work we did at my house.”
Now, Wuerffel-to-Doering takes on a new meaning.
Doering is next in line to try his hand at the famous cheer after being tabbed as the fourth honorary “Mr. Two Bits” for Florida’s homecoming game Saturday against Vanderbilt at the “Swamp.”
The fourth Gator Great to get the “Two Bits” call, Doering was a second-team All-American as a senior in 1995 and left UF after setting the Southeastern Conference record with 31 career touchdown receptions and playing on league championship teams for Coach Steve Spurrier in 1993, ’94 and ’95.
“I doubt there’s very many people who played at Florida that grew up going to as many games as I went to,” said Doering, now 40. “I’ve been watching Mr. Two Bits forever and when he retired I think it left a void on game day. What they’ve done is a great way to fill that void and honor his tradition.”
The honor is Doering’s.
His was the classic local-boy-makes-good story. Doering was a multi-sport standout at nearby P.K. Yonge who got next to no nibbles on the recruiting trails. He decided to walk-on at the university across the street and as a sophomore in 1993 took his place in Gators lore by catching a 28-yard touchdown with three seconds remaining in a 24-21 road win at Kentucky.
Wuerffel, in just his second college game, came off the bench to hurl that game-winner to a teammate who eventually became one of his best friends.
Together, from there, they become stars.
This weekend, they’ll be rivals. Sort of.
“Danny and I have always had this competition deal with one another,” Doering said. “We’d race after practice. At the hotel the night before games, I’d have a football and we’d throw it back in forth in the room and try to make the other guy drop it. He was bigger than me, and always wanted to wrestle me. It was just that way between us. Now, here comes something else for us to compete in.”
“And I’m sure we’ll both think we did it better.”