Durkin has also made it clear for years that he would like to be a head coach someday.
"Do I have head coaching aspirations? Yeah," D.J. Durkin said. "I definitely one day want to?do that. In terms of this season or any other with a school, that's all stuff that I don't even have time to think about or look at until after the season. I'm just trying to stop Georgia Southern running the?triple option right now, and when I say that, I really mean it."
The offseason could mean that multiple schools come calling for Durkin. Working up north at Bowling Green and Notre Dame from 2001-06, there's a chance a smaller school from the area could make a run at Durkin.
"I haven't been approached by anyone or anything, but one day I do want to be a head coach," Durkin said. "It would have to be the right situation, the right place, a lot of factors go into it. It wouldn't just be any job."
TRIPLE OPTION: This week provides a unique challenge for the Florida defense with the triple option Georgia Southern has been using for years. The Eagles have recruited to it and have the right personnel to make it work. The Florida staff knew it would be a challenge and spent time in the offseason watching film of the triple option to make this week's preparation slightly easier."It's a very different offense than what we see normally on a week to week basis," Durkin said. "They're talented, they've got great speed, they've been running that system there for a long time they're good at what they do they've got good answers for the things you give them. It'll be challenging for our guys. I think these guys have gone into play a lot of teams throughout the past couple years that are, whether it's SEC BCS level teams, that really put up numbers and move the ball, so it's going to be a challenge for our guys."
The challenge is knowing assignments on the defensive side of the ball, and those assignments are different from what Florida faces during the rest of the season against pro-style offenses or even a spread. This week involves teaching a completely different defense than what the Florida staff has been faced with this season.
"Usually you go from one opponent to the next you have a different game plan but you build off certain concepts and things that you usually carry and work on, there's carryover," Durkin said. "This week there's not as much carryover. It's kind of a whole different game plan in how you play it.
"It's just responsibility football; it's everyone doing their job. Everyone's got an assignment on each snap and they gotta do their job and not worry about the guy next to him and try and guess and see what he's doing. Option football, that's what they make you do, they're gonna make sure everyone's doing their job and if not they're gonna make you pay."
DAVIS STANDS OUT: Freshman Jarrad Davis was creating a role for himself with his strong special teams play, but when Antonio Morrison was lost for the season during the Vanderbilt game, Davis earned a starting job at South Carolina and will start the final two games of the regular season.The freshman had five tackles, including one tackle for a loss, on Saturday in Columbia.
"Jarrad played really well," Durkin said. "He played fast, the game wasn't too big for him, he was ready. He responded well, he played really well. It wasn't like he was out there just running around, he was where he was supposed to be within the defense. He did a great job, he's going to continue to play more and more."
His skillset will be even more important on Saturday. Against South Carolina, he showcased his lateral speed on a key fourth down in the fourth quarter, creating a stop and getting Florida the ball back. That type of speed will be important on against Georgia Southern, a team that wants to run the option laterally.
"Jarrad can run sideline to sideline as well as anyone and these guys, they run the ball sideline to sideline so having a guy who can be able to do that, I think he'll make a lot of plays Saturday," Durkin said. "He's in tune with what we're doing in the game plan we have him in a good spot for what we're asking him to do."
His teammates are starting to see it, too. Davis has turned heads in practices and with his hits on special teams, causing the veteran linebackers to gain respect for the freshman.
"That's my boy," Florida linebacker Michael Taylor said. "I love when he's out there. Y'all have seen it. I've seen it. Coaches have seen it. The whole public has seen it. The boy can play football."