Fowler impressed by McElwain

After deciding to forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft, Dante Fowler’s focus has been on the next level. That hasn't kept him from hearing positive reports about new Florida head coach Jim McElwain.

The star defensive end returned to Gainesville for the weekend and had time to spend with players and the new coaching staff. He originally spoke with McElwain for over a half hour before he left Gainesville when the 2014 season came to an end, and the new Florida coach impressed him from that conversation.

Now that he’s had some time to be away from the program, Fowler returned to hear glowing reviews from the players as well.

“He’s ready,” Dante Fowler said with his usual grin. “He’s ready to get it back on top. I like to see how confident he is because I’m the same type of guy, so I know he’s going to do it. The players love him, the players love the new staff.”

The players haven’t had much time with the new assistant coaches since they’ve been traveling for most of their time on staff. The players are already in the offseason workout program with new director of strength and conditioning Mike Kent.

Players never enjoy that part, but Fowler did say the returning members of the team like the way Kent is pushing them and preparing them for the 2015 season.

“The weight training staff, they’re working out right now and they’re really busting their butts and getting ready for the season,” Fowler said. “It’s going to be a special season.”

Fowler was back in Gainesville on Saturday, taking a break from the Andrews Institute in Pensacola where he’s preparing for the NFL Combine. He spent the first half of Saturday’s basketball game against Arkansas by sitting in the front few rows of the student section with defensive lineman Alex McCalister. The O’Connell Center cameras put Fowler on the stadium’s screens while dancing at the first media timeout, sending the sellout crowd into a loud ovation.

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