Muschamp ‘real pleased' with draft

Florida head coach Will Muschamp isn't shy about his program's success in the 2013 NFL Draft. It's a testament to the changes implemented by the Florida coaching staff after taking over the program. Muschamp spent time in New York at the draft and was able to celebrate with first round pick Sharrif Floyd, but the success in the draft went much further than just one player.

"Real pleased," Will Muschamp said. "I think we've got some free agents that are guys that are going to make teams. There's no question in my mind on that. Very pleased and happy for those guys. A lot of hard work, dedication goes into a lot to have a three-day time period when those guys are hearing their name called. Really excited for them."

The Gators had eight players drafted during this year's draft, falling just one short of tying the school record for picks in one year. Muschamp and his staff didn't recruit any of the talent that was drafted over the weekend to Gainesville, but the group developed talent and worked with them into becoming selections in the NFL Draft, including two first round picks.

Florida had at least one player drafted in each of the first six rounds. There was a defensive lineman, two linebackers and two members of the defensive secondary taken. For the first time in program history, both starting safeties were taken in the same draft.

Tight end Jordan Reed and running back Mike Gillislee were the only two offensive players selected, along with kicker Caleb Sturgis.

It's a testament to a constantly improving program since Muschamp took the reigns.

"We're an ascending program," he said.

A big reason for that is recruiting. Muschamp and his staff are using their own talent evaluation to recruit the kind of players they want for the program. The head coach believes that's a big reason the Gators have eliminated their off the field problems in recent years.

"We've done a really good job of developing and coaching those players," Muschamp said. "You look at the feedback you get from the Baltimore Ravens, the Minnesota Vikings, the Miami Dolphins and the other countless teams in the NFL that say, ‘We want your guys on our football team. We want the Florida kids on our football team because of the development on both sides of the ball, on and off the field, in the weight room.'"

There was no example of that more clear than what the Dolphins did over the weekend. On the third day of the draft, Miami selected linebacker Jelani Jenkins in the fourth round. In the fifth round, the Dolphins took Mike Gillislee with the 164th overall pick, and two picks later, they took kicker Caleb Sturgis.

"It's a great organization," said Muschamp, who served as Miami's defensive coordinator under Nick Saban. "Jeff Ireland, the general manager, is a guy I've got a lot of respect for. Coach Philbin's done a great job in his first year. Mike Sherman's an outstanding play-caller who I've gone against before. I've got a lot of respect for him, so really happy for Mike, Jelani and Caleb there."

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