Wenger Looking Forward to Senior Day

Saturday is Gator Senior Day, a day that only comes once for a college football player. Unless, of course, that player is Dan Wenger. The sixth year Notre Dame transfer went through senior day in South Bend last year, but that was before he knew he'd get another season. Wenger struggled with concussions, unsure of what his future held. The chance to play at Florida came up, and he jumped on it.

Dan Wenger had played for both Florida Offensive Coordinator Charlie Weis and Offensive Line Coach Frank Verducci at Notre Dame, so the transition to the "new" Gator offense was almost smoother for the offensive lineman than for many of the seasoned Gators.

Saturday, Wenger will run out of the Swamp tunnel one last time, and he's pretty sure this is really the last time.

"We're talking to the NCAA about a seventh (year of eligibility), but I don't know how likely that is," Wenger joked. "It's pretty emotional for me and my family, this is truly going to be it, last time running out of this tunnel and any collegiate tunnel. It's a pretty emotional week for me."

When Wenger transferred to Florida, he wasn't even sure he'd see playing time because of his concussion issues. Not only was he cleared to play, he earned a starting spot on the offensive line, and started almost every game. The Gators 6-5 record this season hasn't exactly been the fairy-tale ending Wenger might have hoped for, but he says he wouldn't trade it.

"It's been amazing, it's been a lot of fun regardless of the ups and downs that we've had. Obviously wish it would have turned out better, but I couldn't be more thankful and blessed for the opportunity that I've had to play here and play another sixth year of college football," he said.

Through the various health issues Wenger has faced on the field, he's tried to stay positive. Coach Will Muschamp says it's that attitude that's invaluable to the team.

"I think he is a guy that has bonded very easily and quickly with our players, he's shown maturity and knowledge of the system and what was expected. I think he has been a very valuable member for us. He's in graduate school right now doing very well. He's a really good people person," Muschamp said.

Wenger has only been playing for Coach Muschamp for a few months, but he says playing for Muschamp was a great way to end his college career.

"I'd be lying if I said I didn't love playing for Coach Muschamp, it's been a lot of fun," Wenger said.

"I just love the way he coaches, I love his intensity. I love the character behind Coach Muschamp. There's going to be a tough transition out of football, but one thing that will make it easier is knowing that I played for a great head coach and great assistant coaches that wanted all the same things I did in a team. Looking up to him, that's what I want out of my head coach."

Wenger isn't sure what's next for him. He has aspirations of becoming a strength coach, but he isn't worrying too much about that yet.

"I'm going to worry about that when the time comes, we still have FSU and the bowl game, and right now my focus is on FSU and nothing else," Wenger said.

For the Florida native, there's no better way to finish his time at Florida than with a victory over Florida State.

"As far as redeeming the season, I don't think any win or loss can really overcome the downside of the season for any team, but going out on a winning note against and opponent as great as FSU would make going into a bowl game a lot better," Wenger said.

"Everyone keeps (saying) it's the state championship and I'm happy to be a part of it."

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