HOOVER | University of Florida coach Will Muschamp mentioned about 40 players in a rapid-fire presentation at SEC Media Days on Tuesday, but he had no hesitation in talking about the key to the Gators' 2013 season.
"Jeff Driskell," Muschamp said. "It's his football season."
Driskell emerged as the Florida quarterback last season and led the Gators to 11 wins, although it was a year when UF won largely based on defense and special teams. This year, Muschamp says Driskell will take a larger role.
"Offensively, we need to be more consistent (and) more efficient throwing the football," Muschamp said. "I'm not telling you anything you don't know. We need to be better. We need to limit negative plays, whether it is a sack or a turnover.
"I feel much more comfortable about that than I did a year ago. I know who our quarterback is. He has put in a lot of study in the off-season. You've to know where to take the ball, understand how you're protected, where the pressure may come from. Jeff is extremely bright and he will learn from those situations he was in last year."
Driskell made the most news this summer when he signed a baseball contract with the Boston Red Sox, but Muschamp says his quarterback remains "committed" to football.
"He came in my office and told me 'Coach this is the deal. It is a non-compete contract that ties me to the Red Sox, but I haven't touched a (baseball) bat in two years,'"
Muschamp said. "I told him 'Jeff, if you were my son, I would tell you to sign the contract.' His commitment to Florida football is as strong as ever."
Beyond Driskell, Muschamp said Florida will continue to be a physical, run-first football team.
"It is personal preference, but at the University of Florida, we can recruit to play our style. At some schools, they have a hard time recruiting the kind of running back, the kind of offensive line that you need to do it. But we can recruit those players."
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Deal ends 08.31.13