Thursday, April 19, 2018
Colleges

Florida Gator running back Mike Gillislee tones down his big talk

GAINESVILLE — Nearly two weeks after he made headlines at SEC Media Days for expressing his desire to put up lofty numbers this season, Florida running back Mike Gillislee wanted to clarify something.

Sitting alone at a table during Florida's team media gathering Thursday, Gillislee didn't back down from his comments about wanting to rush for 1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns. But he believes they might have come across the wrong way.

"I wasn't making any predictions," said Gillislee, who last season had 328 yards on 56 carries (both third on the team) for 5.9 yards per carry (first among those with at least 10 carries).

"That's not me. Those were all goals; my own goals. I'm pretty sure nobody would expect me to set my goals real low. So those are my goals. That's all."

Gillislee doesn't apologize for thinking big, and the senior said his teammates won't either. Most, he said, have unspoken individual goals in addition to the team's goal to reach the SEC title game.

But while expectations are high for the former DeLand High star, UF has depth at running back. Mack Brown, Trey Burton, Oamrius Hines, Matt Jones (Armwood High) and Hunter Joyer (Wesley Chapel) are battling for carries.

All the better, Gillislee said.

"Everybody on this team is hungry," he said. "I'm going to get pushed every day. There's lots of competition."

With inexperienced quarterbacks Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett vying to start, how well Gillislee and the other backs perform could go a long way in determining how the Gators fare, especially early in the season.

Florida has not had a 1,000-yard rusher since Ciatrick Faison's 1,267 in 2004.

"In the running back room, we can see all the 1,000-yard backs (pictured on the wall)," Gillislee said. "I can picture myself being up there."

Will Muschamp said Gillislee will have that opportunity. The second-year coach said after reviewing film of last season, he "regrets" not giving Gillislee more carries. He insists the Gators will rely heavily on the running game. And while he isn't predicting specific numbers, he believes Gillislee can be a 1,000-yard rusher.

"You have got to create balance in this league," Muschamp said. "You become one-dimensional in this league, it's very difficult to have success, regardless of where you are at other positions."

The hiring of former Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease also has Gillislee optimistic. He has watched hours of tape of Boise State's offense.

"This is more my style, down-hill, getting tough yards; just a physical back," Gillislee said.

"Coach Pease is a guy that likes to run the ball. Now is the time for me to step up. I feel like this is the best opportunity for me. This is my last year. I want to be remembered. I want to be remembered as a leader, a hard worker and a team player."

Comments
Report: Florida Gators’ Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Report: Florida Gators’ Cece Jefferson out four months after shoulder surgery

Florida Gators defensive lineman Cece Jefferson will be out four months after having surgery on his right shoulder earlier this week, according to a report Wednesday evening from the Gainesville Sun.Jefferson, a 6-foot-1, 242-pound senior, injured th...
Published: 04/18/18
Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Florida has signed 15 quarterbacks since Tim Tebow. 10 have transferred

Tuesday evening's news that quarterback Jake Allen plans to transfer from the Florida Gators isn't a surprise.Allen, a former three-star recruit in 2017, was fourth on the depth chart. The St. Thomas Aquinas product didn't seem to fit new coach ...
Published: 04/18/18
Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

Auden Tate will be the third FSU receiver drafted in 11 years. Why so few?

When former Wharton High star Auden Tate hears his name called sometime next week, he'll join a surprisingly small group.Recent Florida State receivers drafted into the NFL.Over the past decade, only two Seminoles receivers have been drafted: Rashad ...
Published: 04/18/18
Police suspected FSU’s Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Police suspected FSU’s Deondre Francois intended to sell marijuana

Tallahassee police suspected Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois possessed marijuana with the intent to sell it when they executed a search warrant on his home last week, according to an affidavit.The case — which culminated Thursda...
Published: 04/17/18
Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Florida State takes over No. 1 spot in 2019 recruiting rankings

Even as Florida State was finishing its first recruiting class under Willie Taggart, the Seminoles were already talking about what they could do in the new staff's first full cycle, for 2019."I can only imagine having a year here to be able to recrui...
Published: 04/17/18
Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

Former five-star back Khalan Laborn rejuvenated after FSU coaching change

TALLAHASSEE – Florida State running back Khalan Laborn's breakout 140-yard output in Saturday night's spring game was a sign of what could be for the former blue-chip recruit.It was also a reminder of what almost wasn't for the Seminoles.With a...
Published: 04/16/18
New Orlando football team will welcome Steve Spurrier on Tuesday night

New Orlando football team will welcome Steve Spurrier on Tuesday night

Steve Spurrier will make one of his first appearances in his new role with the Alliance of American Football tomorrow in Orlando.The league will welcome Spurrier as the coach of its Orlando team at an event at Ember (42 W Central Blvd.) at an event f...
Published: 04/16/18
Five takeaways from Florida State’s spring football game

Five takeaways from Florida State’s spring football game

TALLAHASSEE – Judging by the crowd for Florida State's spring game on Saturday, Seminoles fans are excited about the dawn of the Willie Taggart era.The official attendance of 53,974 — a new record for a spring game — inclu...
Published: 04/14/18
Five takeaways from the Florida Gators’ spring game

Five takeaways from the Florida Gators’ spring game

GAINESVILLE —It took some time, but the offense scored points in bunches, much to the delight of the 53,015 in attendance at Florida's spring game.And the Gators had fun doing it, pulling out all the stops with gadgets and celebrations that bro...
Published: 04/14/18
FSU quarterback Deondre Francois faces marijuana complaint

FSU quarterback Deondre Francois faces marijuana complaint

Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois agreed to a pre-arrest diversion program after police found 17 grams of a cannabis/tobacco blend in his bedroom Thursday afternoon.The Tallahassee Police Department previously received a report of drug activ...
Published: 04/13/18