Just two days after flipping from Florida to FSU, star running back recruit Dalvin Cook decided to pour salt on the wounds of the Gators.
After the announcement that he’d be taking his talents to the Seminoles, fans insisted that Cook watch the Duke game to see Florida’s new offensive coordinator, Kurt Roper, in action. He did, and he’s not sold that Roper can produce the same type of results in The Swamp.
Cook had the following to say about Roper and the Gators after Thursday’s Under Armour All-America Game:
“People were telling me to watch the Duke game, but I feel like you can’t really look at the Duke game because they ain’t the same type of players,” Cook said. “People told me to watch the Duke game, I watched the Duke game. Coach Roper is a great coach, but I don’t think Florida has the athletes like Duke got.”
“That’s all I can say.”
There are two lines of thought with his quote: (1) this is just another attempt to troll the Gators, or (2) he doesn’t know much about college football.
Despite a down year on the field, where the Gators suffered a catastrophic amount of injuries, there is talent in Gainesville. In the 2013 recruiting class alone, Florida brought in the No. 5 (Demarcus Robinson), No. 7 (Alvin Bailey) and No. 16 (Ahmad Fulwood) wide receivers in the country, according to Rivals.com. The Gators also landed the No. 6 running back, Kelvin Taylor. Even at its worst, it is safe to say that the players on Florida’s roster still present Roper more to work with than the Blue Devils.
The larger issue that has loomed over the Gators since head coach Will Muschamp’s arrival is player development. None of the highly-ranked offensive recruits stepping on campus have seemed to progress in their game. That includes the all-important quarterback play, which is an area that Roper has proven successful, having turned Eli Manning into a No. 1-overall pick in the NFL Draft.
Contrary to what Cook thinks, athletes have never been an issue at Florida. The Gators bring in the best of them, just like FSU or any top-tier school in the country. If Roper can shine even a dull light on player development and offensive scheme, the 2013 season will be an outlier in Florida’s history books.