'Twas the Night Before Christmas…

Here is our annual take on the Gators for the holidays...

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the Swamp,
Not a sound was about, not even a Chomp.
The Gators were hung out to dry by a Champ,
But called on Jim McElwain so he could revamp.

An offense that was missing for five years plus,
The only addition to the trophy case was dust.
To the Championships alas we belong,
And nary a one can we count for too long.

So McElwain was hired despite a buyout,
Foley made him his man, there was no doubt.
To revive the offense and get us a ring,
And get back to feeling like we are the king.

His first hire was a minister of sorts,
A defensive coordinator who is known for his thwarts.
The ‘Minister of Mayhem’ is what they call Geoff Collins,
Cuz where his defense begins the offensive ball ends.

On offense there was no surprise,
He went with someone that sees with his eyes.
Familiarity is key for the greatness they aspire,
So he went with the track record of Doug Nussmeier.

A little bad rap he has, and for not all of his doing,
He’s successful and young with ties to Florida recruiting.
One bad year with a staff in its last year,
Is not enough for his name to smear.

To fill out the offense we’re not looking for bummers,
We can move to the offensive line and Mike Summers.
He cast his magic on a group that was lost since ‘10,
With injuries his guys played the best on O again and again.

It’s cold outside and the running game needs some fire,
But we can change that real quick with some warm apple (JaJuan) Seider.
He recruits to the whistle and down south where it counts.
Four and five-star recruits he would quickly pounce.

And what about receiver, a position that’s shot,
Mac needs a magician to fix all the spots.
He’s looked all over, high and low,
But appears he will reel in an NFL’er named Groh.

Mike Groh is a beast of a recruiter and coach,
This is one hire that would be beyond reproach.
And the ties are all there for Mac and Nuss too,
It makes so much sense, please tell us it’s true.

On to help Collins, we doubt there will be a T-Rob,
He’ll continue with Champ to feel safe with his job.
They offered the house for him to stay,
But he can’t break away from his mentor today.

So maybe in-state they look for their man,
A Golden Knight named Callahan.
He’s been at Florida before and has some loose ties,
To Collins and Mac and some other guys.

Now Callahan might surprise with ability to coach,
But, I know Janoris loved his approach.
And he’s a guy that can own Tampa recruiting,
Like a hurricane hit there and he was just looting.

Speaking of Hurricanes, there’s this guy named Shannon,
Who coaches linebackers and defense with passion.
And recruits Miami like he’s putting on a show,
He’ll make the Canes cry, ‘more than you’ll ever know’.

On the defensive line I still am trying,
I’m still not convinced we won’t see Lawing.
Some negative transgressions he has supposedly made,
But I don’t think this is how it was quite played.

Now on to the team, and wishing success,
To a quarterback that gave his all to impress.
It didn’t work out for the guy through year four,
Maybe Jeff heads to BC like others before.

To Dante we wish a round one smile,
And four sacks in Birmingham to leave in style.
He brought what he could and from the time he signed on,
Best wishes as he has decided to move on.

To the offense we see an inspired gang,
Up from the ashes on the McElwain train.
Some stability is key and must be had,
And a few more weapons wouldn’t be bad.

That leads us to prospects still in limbo,
A few they need to snag from Jimbo.
Like Tate who was already looking again,
And knows Nuss well from recruiting at Michigan.

This guy named Davis would be a nice get,
Just give him the ball and watch him jet.
Things look great on that front but the work is not done,
A little more prodding and we’ll have some fun.

Scarlett, a great color this time of year,
And if he wore orange and blue, we might shed a tear.
This could happen, but again work is still needed,
Or the outcome might have us a little defeated.

Another back from the south we haven’t forgotten,
Don’t sleep on your boy Mark Walton.
From winning program he plays,
And a teammate of Treon he’s known him for days.

On to the line and man talk about needs,
They could sign ten prospects and still want to plead.
But one big one I feel is ours to be had,
One great big, giant, Apopka lad.

And at least two more they will inherit,
Hopefully one by the beach named Merrick.
With Summers on board they should feel pretty chill,
About landing some big boys to play in the ‘ville.

On defense it all starts with the line,
A couple of fives who have taken their time.
But alas in the end, we will be fine,
For on the dotted line they will sign.

Linebacker is scary, who knows where to look,
But Minister of Mayhem won’t get took.
Maybe Holland, McNair, Perry, or Roquan,
They need to get two before they are gone.

Now my final wish is for the staff who is done,
Maybe Lawing, Hutzler, Durkin, or Robinson.
And Roper, Leak, White, and Lewis,
Great people of which things will be missed.

May they find success but not at our demise,
For they gave their all for a chance at the prize.
Their effort won’t be forgotten here,
Our thoughts go to their families through this next year.

Now it is time to look forward and fast,
Try to forget about the recent past.
It’s time for Gator Nation to put up a new fight,
And say ‘Go Gators’ to all and to all a Good Night.

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