Drayton Out…Who Will Replace Him?

The Florida Gators got the official word on losing their running back coach and recruiting coordinator after the rumor had been jockeyed around for a couple of weeks now. Stan Drayton left Florida to take the wide receiver coaching position at Ohio State and it was made official on Thursday when it was announced in Ohio. Who will replace Drayton at Florida? The leading candidate might surprise.

The move happens at an auspicious time for Florida with less than a week before signing day for prospective high school football players. At the same time it helps Ohio State for the purpose of the receiver prospects to get to know Drayton, at the same time, he has no history of coaching receivers on his resume.

As for Florida, the lone running back commitment is already enrolled in school and mike Blakely isn't going anywhere. JaJuan Story and Curtis Grant are the two prospects on Florida's board that are also currently looking at OSU and both have already given statements noting that Drayton's change would not favor the buckeye's.

FOXSports and Scout.com reporter Laura McKeeman quoted Story today via Twitter, "I don't get why a RB coach is going to coach WR's?". This was in direct reference to Drayton's change of job status.

Florida head coach Will Muschamp delivered a short and sweet statement about Drayton's departure without mentioning the departed coach at all.

"Our focus will always be on the staff that are here, our current players and the prospective student-athletes we are recruiting," Muschamp said through a release from Florida's Sports Information Department.

As for his replacement, a new hot rumor on the collegiate coaching carousel is one that might be a hard pill to swallow for some. It seems that Florida State's Eddie Gran has surfaced as an early candidate to replace Drayton at Florida. Gran worked with Muschamp for two years while at Auburn from 2006-2007, they both have been on many a recruiting excursion together.

Gran is known as an ace recruiter and the Florida job, widely viewed as a better one anyway, could also be spruced up with the added title of recruiting coordinator which is now open with Drayton's departure.

Maybe Muschamp will head into a direction that won't create so much drama. If that is the case, what better way to get the local fans excited than bringing home one of their own. Robert Gillespie just assumed the running back coach position at West Virginia, following 'Coach in Waiting' Dana Holgorsen from Oklahoma State to take the position. Gillespie played for Florida in the late 90's and would be a fan favorite from the start. Muschamp already hired Florida Gator Great Aubrey Hill to be his wide receivers' coach.

Gillespie has had a 1,200 plus yard back in each of the last two seasons at Oklahoma State and is known as one of the best young running back coaches in America. He also served four years on the staff at South Carolina with Steve Spurrier before heading to OSU.

One other real thought at the position is Notre Dame's current receiver coach Tony Alford. Alford was the lone retained coach from Charlie Weis' staff when Brian Kelly took over in South bend. However, Alford has been a running back coach for most of his career and was moved to receiver's coach under Kelly.

Frank Verducci was Weis' offensive line coach at Notre dame in 2009 and is now the offensive line coach at Florida. Bryant Young was a graduate assistant in 2009 also at Notre Dame and has been hired as the assistant defensive line coach at Florida.

As the coaching search continues, we will keep you informed.

Fightin Gators Top Stories