James Wilson among many, including Riley Cooper and Louis Murphy, who considered transferring under Meyer
Not so long ago, redshirt sophomore OL James Wilson was struggling with injuries and self-doubt, and nearly buried on the depth chart.
His answer, so he thought, was to transfer. And apparently he wasn't alone.
Florida coach Urban Meyer said many players, especially at the skill positions, have seriously considered quitting the Gators' team at some point since his arrival. He said Wilson was "gone. He was packed and ready to go (to Wake Forest).''
"He's like a lot of these guys,'' Meyer said. "They just want to run from something that's hard. If I had a list of every kid who wanted to quit or quit in the last 20 years. . . As a matter of fact, I went through this: every receiver we've ever had at Florida at one point quit. Think about that. From Dallas Baker to (Riley) Cooper to all those guys in between. At some point, every one of them. Because it's hard. Expectation levels, especially on skill players, these guys are all superstars in high school and they come here and they're not a superstar. It takes a while to become a good player. And their frustration pours out.
"C.I. (Cornelius Ingram), Dallas Baker, Bubba Caldwell, Percy Harvin, Riley Cooper and Louis Murphy - they all at some point were (thinking of leaving),'' Meyer added. "Only two actually left - Jarred Fayson and Nyan Boateng are the only two that packed up.''
Wilson is finally starting to impress the coaching staff.
"I grabbed him after practice and I said, 'You know you could play this game a while if you'd just practice," Meyer said Tuesday night. "It's not his fault. He had a micro-fracture knee injury. He's had a multitude of issues he's dealt with and now he's finally going and he's a pretty good player.''
Wilson, who has a shot at joining the starting lineup next week, said he's glad he stuck around.
"I wouldn't trade all the friends I've made and my teammates are great,'' he said. "And that (national championship ring) is not bad to have. That's a bonus.''