Podcast: Talking the Billy Napier hiring and what he said on Sunday

    GatorCountry brings you a new podcast as we discuss the hiring of Billy Napier and what he had to say on Sunday at his press conference.

    Andrew Spivey and David Soderquist discuss what Napier had to say during his press conference and what he calls the keys to building the program.

    Andrew and David also discuss potential assistant coaches that could join Napier in Gainesville, plus we talk about Florida’s upcoming bowl game.



    David: What’s up folks of Gator Country? This is none other than your boy David Soderquist, along with Andrew Spivey. Coming fresh off Billy Napier’s introductory press conference. Scott Stricklin took the stage first, and then Billy Napier came up there with Scott Stricklin with a Napier 1 jersey, a jersey that I want really bad, but I’ll probably never get ahold of.

    Spivey, we were sitting in on this press conference. Listening to Billy Napier talk you can just tell how much of a genuine guy he is, a very detailed guy. He did allude to that sometimes you’re going to be frustrated with him as a head coach, but you got to be patient. Patience was a key word there. Very detailed. He had an eight-part structure of how he’s going to run his program, and then a six-part structure of recruiting or something like that. It was just crazy on how detail oriented you could see that he was just listening to the presser. I’m pumped. I don’t know about you.

    Andrew: I’ve been pumped since the day he got hired. Actually since rumors got to me that Billy was close to taking the job.

    Couple things for me, David. I say this all the time, but I’m an Alabama guy, so obviously I know the Saban model, the Saban program specifically, pretty well from coaching there and growing up most of my adult life seeing Nick Saban. To hear Billy Napier kind of goes back to what we talked about last week, and that is from multiple people I’ve talked to who’ve worked with Saban and Kirby and Billy and knows all three of them, they say there’s only two people that really construct their program 75-80% like Nick Saban, and that was Billy Napier and Kirby Smart.

    When you hear Kirby Smart get up at that podium, and you hear him break down, he’s not just telling you things about we’re going to be this. He’s telling you how it’s going to be done. He’s telling you it’s going to be like this. He also made it very clear, it might be a slow Signing Day next Wednesday, and he’s okay with it. Because he’s willing to sacrifice what he may sign on the 15th to get the very best coaches to coach this team next fall. There’s no sense in going out and hiring a bunch of people to recruit for the next couple weeks to land for the next week and a half if they’re not going to be the best coaches on Saturdays in the fall.

    I know that’s not going to be a popular opinion for some, but I will say this. It was what was going to happen with Dan Mullen. You were going to have some guys that weren’t good players. He’s going to cut some of those guys. First casualty was Terrence Gibbs. Just is what it is. He wasn’t impressed, and he said, cut him loose.

    David: Yeah. He’s obviously not going to put up with any undisciplined players either. Nobody. I hate to poke fun at Copeland, because he’s just, wide receivers are like that. You’ll get more of your diva personalities from wide receivers more than you would any position on a football team. But he’s not going to put up with Jacob Copeland tweeting like that all the time.

    Andrew: Here’s the thing though, David. This is what frustrates me, and not just you, but everybody. When they say things like that about Copeland, here’s the thing.

    David: First of all, I just want to say I’m not trying to trash Copeland.

    Andrew: Oh yeah, but I’m saying there’s 105 different personalities that sit in that locker room any given day. There’s 105 different ways you got to deal with your program. I know Jacob Copeland really well. Know where he’s from. You don’t deal with him the same way you deal with Emory Jones. You don’t deal with him the same way you deal with Malik Davis, but you don’t deal with Malik Davis the same way you deal with Emory Jones. That mindset that the previous staff had of dealing with everybody in the same way doesn’t work.

    Billy gets that. Nick Saban gets that. Nick Saban could not deal with Julio Jones the same way he’d deal with Derrick Henry or vice versa. You just don’t. That’s not the way. Everybody grows up a certain way, and things get through to people a certain way. I think that the first meeting between Billy Napier and Jacob Copeland, if Jacob Copeland decides he’s coming back to school, I think you’ll see some things change, but also you will see Jacob treated better, and you will see somebody understand or try to understand Jacob Copeland better.

    Those are just small samples of what Billy Napier said when he said you have to build, and you have to teach these guys. A lot of these guys- and, David, I’m not saying anything we don’t already know, but a lot of these guys come from single parent homes. Some of them come from no parent homes, and they live with grandma, or they live with a guardian. That’s what Billy Napier talked about, teaching them how to become men. How to dress, how to shake somebody’s hand is what he mentioned. None of this sloppiness that you had in pregame where everybody was running around in shorts. That doesn’t cut it. It’s not what team football is about.

    David: He also talked about all the penalties, the turnovers, all sorts of miscues that go on on the football field. He’s like, that’s going to stop. That was a big emphasis about him saying this is going to stop. You’re going to play more disciplined football. Just from an all-around feeling and an aspect, an initial reaction to all of that, that’s something we’ve been missing. I can probably look up the stat of how many penalties we drew. It had to have been over 100 this year. It had to have been over 100 penalties, and probably thousands of yards.

    Andrew: That’s attention to detail.

    David: Yeah. Attention to detail.

    Andrew: That’s something that Billy Napier is going to be key at. Billy Napier is going to be attention to detail. Now, does that mean they’re going to commit penalties? Sure. But they’re not going to be one of the most penalized teams in the country. You’re not going to have multiple delay of game penalties, multiple timeouts because you don’t have enough guys on the field or vice versa. You’re not going to have those situations as much.

    You’re not going to have a situation where a kid decommits because coaches forgot to call kids. You’re not going to have those situations. You’re not going to have situations where a cookie cake is made with the name spelled wrong, or a nametag is given to a parent with their name spelled wrong, or whatever it may be. You’re not going to lose a kid because you didn’t know who the decisionmaker was. That’s not going to be the case.

    Is everything going to be fine and dandy and hunky-dory and never a criticism against Billy Napier? No. There’s going to be criticism. Heck, there’s criticism of Nick Saban. There’s criticism of Bill Belichick. There’s criticism of everybody. It’s just part of the deal of being the head football coach. Billy Napier says he understands that. I think he does. I also think Dan Mullen understood that. It’s a whole different mindset when you get in the fire.

    I will say this. I believe in the plan that Billy Napier has and the foundation that Billy Napier has and the people surrounding Billy Napier. That’s the thing. Billy Napier has surrounded himself with some veterans that are smart people. I know everybody wants to harp on Jim McElwain. Jim McElwain’s been at Florida before. He’s done this before. It would have been stupid for Billy Napier not to reach out to him. That’s a friend of his, a guy who’s been here. Why not? Why not reach out to him? Good. Will Muschamp. That’s another guy. Why not reach out to him?

    David: Why not reach out to Nick Saban, a guy that gave him some great accolades? I’ll go ahead and play the clip real quick.

    Nick Saban: Billy did an outstanding job for us. I mean, he was a very good coach. He was a good recruiter. He had great relationships with the players. He was a good teacher on the field. Hard worker, great character, great personality, very, very good family. There’s nothing bad that I could think of to say about Billy Napier in terms of what he did here, and no surprise to me, because he’s a very well-organized guy and does due diligence before he makes any decision about anything, very calculated in terms of how he tries to do things in a very positive way for his organization. So, not a surprise to me that he did really, really well when he got a head coaching job, and I think he’ll continue to do well.

    David: He did say that his times at Alabama he learned the most over there with Nick Saban being over there, and that’s what helped him with the job at Louisiana Lafayette. When he had taken over Louisiana Lafayette, I did some stat digging. He talked about the transition class and for everybody to be patient with this class, and they probably wouldn’t sign a lot of people. Billy Napier did allude to the next month he’d look into the portal, or he kind of clued in on that. We’ll worry about that later.

    ecruiting class rankings from:

    Like I told people after the press conference, I really think Billy Napier is going to be a gamechanger at the University of Florida. His on-field success, we’ll see. He did emphasize that you win at the line of scrimmage. He said he was going to have an offensive line coach and an offensive assistant coach there with him, so he’ll have two assistants there. He did say that he might have a couple of guys that do positions as well. Corner, he said, how are you going to coach six, seven guys at corner with only one guy? He’s going to have assistants. He said he’s going to increase the manpower. That was a big thing that he was talking about was increase the manpower as far as position coaches, nutrition, name, image, and likeness. He went down a whole list of just everything.

    Andrew: That’s what I was going to say. Not to interrupt you here.

    David: Go ahead.

    Andrew: One of the biggest things Billy Napier had when negotiating with Florida was he said, listen, here are some things that I need to have happen. I need a staff pool that’s bigger than what it is. I need to be able to increase the manpower behind the scenes. I need support in getting people, as far as more nutrition people, fixing up the food that’s better for the players. Diabate talked about that a little bit. All these little things that he talked about that are, once again, attention to detail.

    I talked about it on Gator Country. One of the things he talked about, he wanted to change up how the new indoor facility for the coaches was going to be done. Dan Mullen wanted an open floorplan for the whole entire recruiting staff to use. Billy Napier said, no way, give each of these guys an office. Let’s make this an office. We’re not making this an open room environment. Everybody needs their privacy. It’s the attention to detail, the little things that it is.

    He understands. If you’re going to win in the SEC, if you’re going to win in college football nowadays, you have to win the money race just as well as you have to win the race on the field. You win the race on the field because of the money race, because of the investment. Nick Saban and Kirby Smart have investments behind them. If they call tomorrow and say, listen, we need Gatorade to come in here and design a new drink for us, somebody in Alabama is going to be on the phone with Gatorade figuring that out. That’s just what’s going to happen. That’s the same thing Billy Napier needs at Florida.

    One thing he said was Scott Stricklin did not flinch. He did not back up when talking about that, that he was all for it. He understood. Listen, I know there needs to be better. I know there needs to be this. So, he’s cool with it. He gave it to Billy. That’s success right there from the get go. That’s already improving things.

    re not going to be behind in:e has the opportunity to host:

    I’ve said this, and I’ll repeat it, because Billy Napier said it on Sunday. Patience. This program since Dan Mullen took over has been destroyed. Destroyed. I’m not talking bad about the University of Florida, the orange and blue. I bleed it too. The program today is not the same program four years ago that was inherited. The talent level, the disorganization, the relationships that he just destroyed is going to take time. I talked to hundreds of people in the past couple weeks, many people who used to have kids go to Florida. I mean coaches and seven-on-seven coaches, and they all said, Coach Napier has got to get our trust back. Coach Napier’s got to get our trust back. I need him not to lie to me like Mullen did, because I would never send a player to Mullen. I’ve talked to several former players. They’re the same way. They’re like, we want to be welcomed back. We want to be welcomed back.

    It is going to be a process. What he said is patience, and I think that’s the biggest thing. It is probably the thing that fans don’t want to hear. Listen, I don’t want to deal with another loss to Georgia next year or being second in the SEC. I want to win too. I like going to Atlanta. I want to go to a college football playoff. But you got to be patient. If you’re going to build something right, you’ve got to build it. You can go build a million dollar home, David, and if you do it in half the time, because you cut too many shortcuts, your million dollar home is going to look like a $500,000 home.

    David: Within a matter of minutes.

    Andrew: Right.

    David: I get that completely. For those guys out there that expect immediate results, you know when Dan Mullen came here, he won 10 games, won 11 games. Cool. He did that with McElwain’s guys. Awesome. Don’t expect Billy Napier to come in here and be undefeated his first season. It’s not going to happen. It could happen. I hope it happens, but I doubt it will. You got to be patient with him. We’ve already said this. I really honestly think within a couple years you’ll see a totally completely different team.

    Somebody I was talking to earlier today said the player meeting that was at 1:00 today, he had a player meeting, and I don’t know if this is true or not. It could be a rumor, so don’t quote me on this. He said that he was shaking hands with all the players. He went over to Khris Bogle, shook his hand, and said, we need to talk later. I’m guessing he’s going to talk with Khris Bogle, because right now he’s in the transfer portal, and that doesn’t mean that he’s leaving. That just means that he’s putting his name into the portal. It’s attention to detail like that.

    You want to see a coach that comes into a program and shakes a player, looks at him straight in his eye and says, let’s talk later. He’s going to make time to talk with him. He’s going to be that guy. I think the Ragin’ Cajun podcast said, he’s going to be the guy that’s going to work 18-20 hours a day. So is his staff. He’s going to put those type of guys around him. He talked about increasing the manpower. It’s increasing quality manpower. You can’t just hire somebody off the street and say, you’re going to be my assistant coach. He’s going to vet these guys. He’s going to be very detail oriented when he hires these guys.

    Andrew: He wants a couple NFL guys. Somebody said this to me. They said, why wait on an NFL guy? If that NFL guy is Billy Napier’s top choice, you’re not winning football games in the next six weeks. That’s how many weeks are left in the regular season. You’re not winning no games. Maybe you land a recruit or two different there. If you get that recruit or two different, but you get that terrible football coach that comes in that you have to refire in a year or two, you’ve set the program back. It’s just wheels that are just spinning.

    The thing for me is this. This is going to be very interesting to me. How hard does Billy Napier hit the transfer portal? Because he can supplement this class and supplement this roster a lot by hitting the portal. I said this. He maybe goes and gets a quarterback. I don’t know. We don’t know the status of Emory Jones. We don’t know. Anthony Richardson doesn’t seem to stay healthy. We don’t know what you’re getting out of Kitna and Del Rio, and you have a freshman in Nick Evers, who you can’t expect to play and be your starter. Does he go hit the transfer portal there? Honestly, he needs to go hit the transfer portal for about four or five offensive linemen.

    David: Big time.

    Andrew: Needs to go hit it for defensive linemen, linebackers. He has to be able to go recruit some guys to fill some immediate holes. That, in my opinion, is the difference to how success will be for next year. We’ll see.

    ing is being built correctly,:

    David: Yeah. He did say he was concentrating. He said he’s not going to concentrate on games until they get here. He said it will be recruiting this next month and all that that they will concentrate on, but he didn’t promise anything, and that’s good. A lot of coaches will go up there in a press conference, like a Willie Taggart, let me throw that out there. He said, we’re going to have the #1 recruiting class at Florida State. You knew that was a bold-faced lie right when he said it. Everybody laughed at him. He wasn’t the guy that went up there and promised you anything. He promised what he was going to implement into this school. He never promised results, never promised recruiting results or anything like that.

    Andrew: He did promise that if you can’t sign 25 good players to Florida than they need to be looking for a new head coach.

    David: Right. Let’s go into some contract details. Some contract details were posted today.

    Andrew: One second, before we go to contract details.

    David: Go ahead.

    Andrew: We have to look at this as a whole here. Florida should never rebuild. That’s your first problem. Florida should never have to rebuild. They should reload.

    David: Right.

    Andrew: Florida’s not at that position right now where they’re able to reload. They are rebuilding. Honestly, Napier has to fast forward his rebuild. He can’t take four years to win a conference championship, like he did at Lafayette. I don’t think. Fans will be pissed. Obviously, his resources and his ability to improve a lot is increased at Florida. Now, obviously, the competition he faces is going to increase at Florida as well.

    Here’s the thing I’ll say. He ain’t afraid of Kirby Smart.

    David: No, he’s not.

    Andrew: He ain’t afraid of Kirby Smart. I’ve heard from multiple people that’s a rivalry. I don’t want to say it’s a personal rivalry. I don’t know if there’s any personal beef. I don’t know if there is or isn’t. I don’t know. I haven’t asked that question. I do know this. Beating Kirby Smart is big for Billy Napier, just like beating App State was for him at Lafayette.

    David: I don’t even really think, like you alluded to, it was more of a personal thing. I think he just accepts it as a challenge. He even said, this is going to be a bigger challenge for me. He felt that staying at Louisiana, and he wasn’t ready to take on a head coaching job, because he’d been offered head coaching jobs before that. He felt, and he said in the press conference, this was the right place at the right time and the right university, and that’s why he took the job. Obviously, he alluded to the championship game, as you talked about. He said seeing four years of hard work culminate into another championship there, obviously him getting the Sunbelt Coach of the Year again, just makes you feel good, but it’s the hard work that you put in is the results that you’re going to get in the end.

    Like you said, you can’t patch things up like Dan Mullen was patching things up through the transfer portal, because he didn’t want to go out there and recruit. He was handing his phone over to other people and letting them talk to them as if it was him, for some reason. That’s another story for a different day. You’re not going to get that with him. He’s not going to patch holes, because there’s not going to be any holes. He’s going to build a foundation that doesn’t have leaky water pipes or have a busted hot water heater. He’s going to build you a million dollar mansion, and it’s going to be tough from there on out. That’s what I like to hear from Billy Napier. He’s a complete night and day difference. I would say Will Muschamp kind of. He has his own different personality. I can’t say he’s night and day, but he’s definitely night and day from Dan Mullen. that’s something that I like. I’m pumped.

    If we want to get into some of the salaries and all that stuff, I read a thing here that was posted by Nick de la Torre, Dave Waters, a couple of guys that are up there today at University of Florida. I guess they handed out a packet discussing the coaching salary and how it’s going to be structured.

    It says here, a coach shall have access to a salary pool of $7.5 million annually for 10 full-time assistant football coaches. Coaches shall have access to a salary pool of $5 million annually for other football support staff members. All salaries, job responsibilities, and terms of employment will be agreed upon by a coach and the athletic director and consistent with the UAA/UF employment policies and practices. Coach shall have the discretion to reallocate such pool amounts as coach deems appropriate, in consultation with the athletic department.

    So, getting $7.5 million here for assistants. Dan Mullen, he had like $6.1 million for assistants?

    Andrew: Yes.

    David: That’s already an increase. I believe, didn’t he take less of a salary to do that?

    Andrew: Billy?

    David: Yeah. That’s a question floating around.

    Andrew: No. That was a thing that was said from the beginning.

    David: Okay. So, he just worked that out.

    Andrew: From both. Listen, you’re going to give a salary that I need, but I’m still going to get my salary. Don’t take that as Billy being greedy or anything else. You’re expected to do good things. You’re expected to win. You’re expected to do those things, to have that commitment. I think that was the biggest thing. Billy didn’t want to be whipped around. Well, I’ll commit, but I’m not ready to commit right now. That wasn’t going to be the case. That was the case at South Carolina, some of the other places, Tennessee. He was like, no thanks. Because there was promises, but nothing was willing to be done up front.

    Again, these were things that were not asked by the previous staff, the amount of money and that kind of stuff. That just shows that the program wasn’t being built. What was it, four years ago maybe, five years ago, where you were able to start having these more recruiting staff and more analysts and all that kind of stuff go? Florida has never caught up. It wasn’t because Florida wasn’t willing to, per se. Some of it might have been, but it was also because the last staff didn’t care for that. We’ll see.

    I am very interested to see who he brings in. He is very well known in the coaching circles, very well respected in the coaching circles. Not many people say anything bad about Coach Napier. Some buddies of mine that coach high school ball, who’ve sent kids to Alabama when he was there and sent a couple kids to Clemson when he was there, and then even sent some kids to Lafayette when he was there, every one of them say Billy Napier is the most genuine human being you’ll meet. What he says is what it is. He’s not going to come in there and say, I like your kid. He may come in and say, you got a good player, he’s just not right for me, but he’s not going to beat around the bush and say, we may offer the kid. No. That’s just not the way it is. First of all, what do you accomplish there? Nothing. I think that’s a big thing.

    I’ll say this again. I know I’m repeating myself, but I need to make this very, very clear from myself. The University of Florida needed a guy like Billy Napier. Somebody to come in and demand of the administration, and that’s not to say the administration wasn’t willing, because once again they were willing. They didn’t put up any resistance here. But somebody that came in and told the administration this is what I need, this is what I need to go out and win. Somebody to come in and set the mindset of this program that is missing.

    I’ve asked this of so many people. What was the mindset the last four years? What was the motto the last four years?

    fort, but that died off after:

    Andrew: Right. So, there has to be a mindset. Billy Napier said physicality. That’s going to be his mindset.

    David: Disciplined physicality.

    Andrew: That’s the mindset. That needs to be instilled from Day 1. That’s why his strength coach is coming. He’s coming. The strength coach is the guy who is going to instill that in there. That is the biggest thing that I have with people saying Nick Savage should be retained. Why? People were calling this team soft. This team was out of shape at times. People called this team noncompetitive.

    David: Dried up bacon.

    Andrew: That’s a Nick Savage problem.

    David: They were eating dried up bacon, Spivey.

    Andrew: Whatever it was. I don’t care what it is.

    David: I don’t know what it was.

    Andrew: Like I said, it all goes back to your strength staff. It all goes back to the people who are there from Day 1 and have you 365 days a year, or 360 days a year, whatever it is. That’s your strength staff. That’s got to be the change there.

    I’ve heard this. He’s planning on bringing in a mental coach to work with these guys for their mentality standpoint. I’m all for it. Nick Saban does. I’m all for it.

    David: I don’t think Will Muschamp, McElwain, or Mullen did that, did they?

    Andrew: No. Nobody had a mental coach.

    David: That’s not trashing any of the head coaches before, but that’s cool to see that he’s that detail oriented and wanting to have a successful program. You don’t see that out of a lot of head coaches. You don’t see that out of a Mario Cristobal, Lincoln Riley, a guy that left Oklahoma without telling any of his players for two minutes, and then he goes straight to USC, and he still has his Oklahoma shoes on. You’re not going to get that out of Billy Napier.

    The attitude and the respect that that guy demands is what’s going to set him apart from all the other coaches. Nick Saban does the same thing. Nick Saban, I will exactly say that Nick Saban is probably the same kind of guy Billy Napier is, but, obviously, they have different personalities.

    Andrew: Here’s the thing. I’m not talking about you in general.

    David: I don’t want to compare him to Nick Saban. I’m not doing that.

    Andrew: This is the thing that I want to say too. Everybody sees Nick Saban on Saturdays and at press conferences. I’ve been able to be in settings at coaching clinics and see Nick Saban at events, whether that’s the Senior Bowl or whether that’s out recruiting. Nick Saban’s a good dude. Is he going to be the person that walks up to you and talks to you for 45 minutes about golf? Probably not. But he’s the guy that’s you walk you to them, and you’re able to have a small conversation. It may be small, because he’s a busy man. It’s the same thing with Billy Napier. Both of those are good people. They’re just very intense.

    Listen, I don’t know where this has been lost throughout the years, but I was always taught that when you step between the lines, there’s no friends. It’s all competitiveness. You want to beat the person in front of you. That’s the biggest thing I have with Dan Mullen when he laughed and smiled after getting beat. I’m pissed off. I’m ready to break something. That’s just me. Maybe I’m that lunatic. Whatever it may be, bring the fire. Billy Napier showed a little bit of emotion on Sunday when he talked at the press conference about his dad. He showed that emotional side, and he also showed his serious side. Listen, this is the way it’s going to be. I’m the head guy. I’m getting paid $7 million a year at the University of Florida. This is how it’s going to be done. This is the direction we’re going to go in as a program. You either get on board, or, guess what, get left out.

    David: He’s going to do it in a respectful way, but he’s not going to BS. I’ll ask you this, Spivey, because you’re a former coach and all that. I put this on Twitter. I said, my initial reaction, we’re going to have to be patient with Billy Napier, but I think in the long run we will be extremely happy with the ending results. Totally pumped and haven’t felt this good about a head coaching hire. Take that for what you will.

    Me, as a guy, I would say as a fan, I was okay with Will Muschamp after his introductory press conference. I just wanted to see what he could do. Urban Meyer, I remember his. I don’t remember what my initial reaction was to Urban Meyer a long time ago. McElwain, I was all right about it. I didn’t know. I had some questions. I didn’t know. Mullen came in here, and I was a little bit excited. He felt like he had some kind of energy when he was talking in his press conference. It made me excited for what the product would be his first couple years. It was, until it died off. This head coaching hire here, I just see something different, man. I’m more pumped about this coaching hire than I have been in the last four. I’m not just saying that to be a sunshine and rainbows guy and float my boat, whatever, and get everybody all excited. I haven’t felt this way. You’ve been a coach before. How do you feel?

    Andrew: Here’s the difference. I look at this. I said this when the last staff got fired. You tell a lot about a person when they leave. You always find out what kind of person they are. If your girlfriend leaves you or whatever, and you have to go to instantly bashing that person, what does that say about you? What does that say?

    You look at what happened at Lafayette after the game on Saturday, and throughout the week. Fans, coaches, players, media, all of the people were just out there saying how much they loved Billy. They gave him a Gatorade shower after the game. That’s a guy who was about to leave them, or not was about to, but had announced for another school a week before their Sunbelt Championship. For a lot of these guys, the biggest game they will ever play. They’re out there congratulating him. They’re out there saying how much they loved the guy. To me, that says everything I need to know about what kind of person he is.

    Billy Napier told his guys at Florida, go ask my ULL guys. They’ll tell you what kind of person I am. They may hate me some days, and they’ll love me some days. The overwhelming response from those guys is love and appreciation. It’s that kind of stuff.

    Here’s the thing too. Scott Stricklin got his #1 guy.

    David: Finally, right?

    Andrew: You didn’t get your #1 guy last time. You had to go to #3. You look at LSU fans. They’re pissed. They went down the list to get Brian Kelly.

    David: At the last minute too.

    Andrew: Yeah. I guess that’s what it is. For me, it’s a couple things. I’m a little biased here, because I love me a guy with some Alabama connections. I love a guy who’s been in the Saban tree, who’s done that. Also, he’s good friends with a friend of mine in Jim McElwain. He knows people that I know, and those people who I know and trust speak volumes about what kind of good person Billy Napier is. They all speak volumes about how detail oriented he is. For me, that’s what gets me fired up.

    I will say this too. Anybody in America getting the job would have probably had me more fired up than I was the last four years. I don’t hide that. It is what it is. It was misery, because you saw how bad the program was falling so quickly. You saw the way things were being treated, and so it was misery for a lot of people.

    I’m excited. I am so excited. I’m fired up to see what the next couple months is going to be. Would I love a fiery signing day on the 15th? Yeah. I would. I would love that. I know it’s not reasonable to ask. First of all, there’s really four days for Napier to get on the road, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. He can do a little bit on Friday, but he has to be back in Gainesville to start hosting official visitors on Friday. He’s really got four days to do in home visits. There’s only so many guys you can visit. We know on Monday he’s going to be in Louisiana, and he’s going to go see Chris McClellan in Oklahoma. He’s going to be able to see a couple guys in Louisiana. We know on Tuesday he’s going to see Nick Evers and Shemar James. How many guys can he realistically get to that quick? It’s going to be tough. It really is.

    Right now, he only has two assistant coaches that he brought with him in Patrick Toney and Juluke is I believe how you say his name, Jabbar Juluke, the running back coach from Lafayette. Those two guys are with him.

    David: He’s a good running back coach too.

    Andrew: What’s that?

    David: I said, he’s a good running back coach too.

    Andrew: Yeah. Coached Fournette, coached Guice. Pretty well known in Louisiana as well. Those are really the only two guys that can really go out and preach the message that Billy Napier wants preached. Personally, I don’t think anybody on the current staff stays. I don’t. Even if some of them do stay, they really can’t walk into a home without Billy Napier to be there with them and give Billy Napier’s message. They don’t know him.

    David: I believe Louisiana Lafayette retained their tight end coach today. I believe that was announced. Maybe Tim Brewster stays. I don’t know.

    Andrew: I don’t think so. First of all, I don’t see how those two guys would connect.

    David: That’s what you want. You want connections anyway. If Brewster was to leave, that’s fine. I’m okay with it. I told somebody earlier today. They said, who do you think he hires? I said, I don’t really care who he hires. I said, I know he’s going to go out and hire a good guy. He’s going to hire the right guy. I’m that confident in it. I could care less who it is. I really don’t care.

    As you talked to and alluded to, obviously he’s going to be visiting visitors. I expect Azareyah Thomas to be one of those in Louisiana that he’s visiting. Lot of recruits that came out on Twitter talked about it, kind of impressed with the hire a little bit. We’ll see what happens. He did allude to, he said it’s hard to have a relationship with a kid that you’ve only met for 10 days, or have 10 days to have a relationship with a kid. He said he doesn’t think that that’s fair to the kid to have that kind of a short relationship with somebody. He’s still going to go out there and recruit, but that’s why he told people to be patient, and they may not sign a lot of kids from this class, but we’ll see.

    Andrew: Here’s the thing too. This is what you have to also understand a little bit. The guys he was recruiting at Louisiana and the guys he’s recruiting at Florida is two totally different. he’s watched film last week on some guys. There’s no way he could have watched enough film to see what it is. Obviously, he had to start with the current commits in the class to see who he wants to keep. A big one is to go recruit Nick Evers and get as many guys on campus next weekend to spend time with those guys as possible. It’ll be interesting to see. It really will be just interesting to see how many coaches does he have by the weekend? That’ll be a key.

    On the Lafayette thing real quick, tight end coach. That was a good hire by them. Kind of expected. He played quarterback for those guys back in the day. It’ll be interesting to see who he keeps. Does he keep some guys that maybe Napier was thinking about bringing over? Maybe he promotes some of those guys over there. That’ll be interesting to see. Some support staff members are supposed to come. Does he promote some of those guys to on field roles to keep them? There’s a lot to be put in motion here.

    One thing I was told is Napier has a gentleman’s agreement with Lafayette. He’s going to wait until after the bowl game and their signing day before he just yanks the rug out from under everyone over there.

    David: I’ll put this out there to you. You were talking about how Billy Napier left Louisiana Lafayette. You had fans had signs that said, thank you Billy Napier. Everybody that I’ve known that has been a fan of Louisiana Lafayette or any kind of coach, they weren’t any kind of angry or upset. They were upset that Napier was leaving. Of course, you want to hold onto a coach like that, but they weren’t angry about it. He went out respectfully. They were excited. They’re actually excited for us, because they know what we’re getting.

    You didn’t see that with Lincoln Riley. Those Oklahoma fans are pissed off. They’re mad. You didn’t see that with Notre Dame. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame people, they’re pissed off.

    Andrew: Notre Dame fans should be happy. They got a winner in Freeman. They got rid of weirdo Brian Kelly. LSU’s in a dumpster. That hire doesn’t make sense to me. Brian Kelly in the SEC doesn’t make sense to me, but what do I know? I don’t know anything. It is going to be interesting. We’re taping this on Sunday. Before we get out of here, Cristobal has until Monday afternoon to let them know if he is going to take over as head coach where they currently have a head coach.

    David: Manny Diaz is still there.

    Andrew: Manny Diaz is still there, out still recruiting. What he’s telling those kids, I have no clue. If Mario doesn’t take the job, then Manny will be brought back. He’s like the nerdy boy that is hoping and praying that the homecoming queen doesn’t get picked up by the quarterback.

    David: Can you really be brought back if you’re already there?

    Andrew: If I’m Manny, with any respect for myself, I’m giving Miami the middle finger.

    David: I would just say, I’m out. I’m good.

    Andrew: Go hire Mario. Whatever.

    David: Sometimes, I will say, the flashy hires aren’t always the best. I thought Billy Napier was a flashy hire, honestly, because there was a lot of schools that wanted him throughout his whole career at Louisiana Lafayette.

    Andrew: It’s not always the splashy hire. You have to find the best person for the best job. I say this all the time. Some people just do not fit. It’s like Brian Kelly. I think Brian Kelly is a good football coach. I don’t think Brian Kelly fits Louisiana. It’s kind of like Mullen, for instance. Could Mullen go win up at Penn State? Possibly. He fits that one. He doesn’t fit down here.

    David: Yeah. Since we’re about to end this podcast, and I know there’s tons of things we could talk about. I was just going to add, when I was talking about how the fans were pissed off, recruits see all of that. Recruits see when a coach leaves and abandoned their school, pisses off a bunch of people at the last minute, their students and all that, and they go in the transfer portal, which they are right now. A lot of those recruits see that. Do you really want to go play for a coach like that? They’d rather play for a coach that told him team weeks away, I’m going to Florida. Had a team meeting with them all. Let respectfully.

    They see that kind of stuff. They want to play for a coach like that. The parents see that kind of stuff. They don’t want their kids going to a coach that’s going to abandon kids like that. They want to play for a coach like Billy Napier, a guy that’s very respectful and very honest, and he’s going to tell you 100%. If you can trust a coach on a recruiting visit, and the parents can trust a coach on a recruiting visit, that could the slim to none right there that you’re going to land that recruit over the other person. I just had to add that.

    But Georgia. Let’s talk about Georgia.

    Andrew: Local radio show in Alabama, they asked me to come join their SEC tailgate show yesterday on Saturday for the last hour or so. I went in the studio and did it for the last hour. I was asked multiple times by multiple people, you watched Florida play Bama, and you watched Florida play Georgia, what do you think? I said, if Bama can figure out a way to throw over the top of Georgia, it’s over with. They said, what if they don’t have time? I said, once again, if they’re able to, which involves having time to do that, it’s over with. Georgia’s secondary is not good. Period. End of discussion.

    Georgia had not been tested by a good quarterback to throw the ball all year. Emory tested them a little bit running the ball. Richardson and Emory both did a little bit running the ball. But you look at Kentucky, couldn’t throw the ball. You look at Auburn, they didn’t throw the ball deep very well. You look at Tennessee, they didn’t throw the ball deep very well.

    Alabama was the first team to do that, and it exposed them what it was. Georgia can’t win a high scoring battle with anybody. They just can’t. They don’t have the offense for that. It’s going to be interesting. Is it Alabama-Michigan, or is it Alabama-Georgia for all the marbles?

    David: Alabama will play Cincinnati, and Michigan will play Georgia in the first round. Michigan’s got a good defense too. I believe their defense in points per game is ranked second in the nation. You’re going to see really two good defenses play against each other, Georgia and Michigan. That’ll be an interesting game. I don’t know if you had anything to add.

    Andrew: Florida has UCF. We’ll get into that deeper.

    David: Do they officially have it now?

    Andrew: Yes.

    David: Sweet.

    Andrew: They’ll be playing on the 23rd. That’ll be a good matchup. Quick little thing on how this will work. Basically, Greg Knox and the old staff will work on the bowl game. They’ll be fully invested in the bowl game. Billy Napier and the new guys will be fully focused on recruiting and building for next year. There’ll be two separate staffs working on two separate things. The old guys will not be touching recruiting. The new guys will not be touching the gameplan for UCF. They’ll just be out there monitoring, watching, evaluating, all that good stuff. That’s how that will work.

    ength program, focused on the:

    David: Definitely join the VIP boards, if you haven’t. Andrew Spivey and Ray and Ethan. Ethan keeps you up to date on the pressers. Spivey and Ray, they’ve been all over the place posting some really good stuff that not a lot of people knew. If you are on the VIP boards, don’t give out Andrew Spivey’s info and say it’s the wrong info at the same time. That’s not a good Andrew Spivey to have to deal with.

    Andrew: Take the info elsewhere and say half the info. Come on.

    David: At least do it right, if you’re going to steal it.

    Andrew: Yeah. At least do it right, if you’re going to steal it. Don’t take half of it. Nothing frustrates me like that. Maybe I’m just dumb, but that’s the way I feel. I don’t know. Be a good person.

    David: I always say this on the podcast before we end. I like fired up Andrew Spivey. I just don’t like red ass fired up Andrew Spivey. I like the positive fired up Andrew Spivey.

    Andrew: I think it’s going to be a lot of positive, because Gators have got a new man in charge. Things are about to start rolling for the Gators. Bright days are ahead for the Gators. Bright days are ahead for Billy Napier. I’m excited.

    David: I’m excited too. I’ll be crunching the numbers between the UCF vs Florida matchup. As you know, I’m a big stat nerd, so I love my stats there. I’ll be posting those there on the VIP boards for you guys too. I’ll be posting some on Twitter as well. That’s all I got.

    Andrew: Let’s do it.

    David: For the GatorCountry.com podcast, we got a new head coach by the name of Billy Napier. I’m excited. You can follow me @SoderquistGC on Twitter, and you can follow Andrew Spivey @AndrewSpiveyGC on Twitter as well. That’ll wrap it up, folks, for this episode of the GatorCountry.com podcast.

    Andrew Spivey
    Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.