Ask Ack: June 7, 2004

This week I answer questions about new hoops coach Larry Shyatt, the importance of walk-ons in the football program, the two-deep depth chart for the secondary, hoops recruit Tyler Hansbrough and more!

Hey Ack,
I haven't heard much about Tyler Hansbrough recently. A local newspaper mentioned that he had eliminated Florida. Do you know anything about this?


A recent story in the local paper had stated that he has taken UF off his list. Dave Telep still lists Florida as one of his schools. He visited early and maybe is looking elsewhere. I have not heard anything that he is officially not being recruited by UF.

Hey Ack,
What is your 2 deep in the secondary? Also, how did Reynaldo Hill do this spring/summer as he was expected to be a really good starter this year?


I think UF has five guys, maybe six, on campus today they can go into battle with to open the season. It looks like the young players will need to provide some depth and for their sakes get in against Middle and Eastern. At one corner it is Dee Webb and DeShaun Carter. The other corner is Reynaldo Hill and Vernell Brown. Jermaine McCollum is in the mix and Carter has to play better in the fall camp or he may get passed by a freshman. The safeties are interchangeable and there really is no strong or free so to speak. I would say Jarvis Herring and Terrence Holmes are the starters and Cory Bailey and Zep Augustine are the backups. Bailey is kind of a co-starter and will probably open the season on the field. Hill is doing well but what he needs improving on he cannot get in the summer. He needs to be more physical. He played with much more confidence in the spring and is very fast.

Hey Brady,
There were several 'unknowns' that got some exposure in the recent O&B game, can you give us some 'inside' info on them and others? e.g. DT Dwayne Norris, LB Shane Cimock, WR Tim Higgins, WR Jimmy Newmeyer, TE Hunter Cain, TE Otto Graham, OL Zach Kink, OL Chris Parker, OL Doug Pokomy, OL James Stone, LB Doug Guziec, LB Alvin Butler, LB Bryan Royal, , RB Eddie Hatch, RB Dajuan Lawrence, DB Kyle Morgan, DB Matt Neddeff, LB Alkik Scott.
Being a former walk on I can appreciate what many of these guys do for the program and mean to the program. Ron Zook was a walk on at Miami of Ohio so he appreciates all of these guys. I think it says a lot about this program that Zook would give Billy Latsko a scholarship. I think you left off Zep Augustine who has a chance to play some in the secondary. Zach King is a good looking offensive line prospect, Newmeyer has good hands as does Hunter Cain. Two guys who could see special teams action this season are safety Matt Neddeff and linebacker Alkik Scott.

Hey Ack, Good work! First: I'd like to thank you and everyone else that has anything to do with our football team. Coaches, waterboys, trainers, players, fans, student body, alumni, announcers, ticket people, families of players, groundskeepers and understanding wives. I've been to a lot of college games all over this great country of ours but until you've seen an SEC battle or Florida/Florida State game in the Swamp, it's like listening to surround sound with only one speaker working! We are so very lucky. Go Gators! Keep it loud fans, pass it on! Nuff said! Ooops, Flashback memory... it seemed in the old days we're on our 35 yard line, 4th and a million, we don't kick or run but throw a 40 yarder and make it. We had the players, confidence and a go-for-it attitude which I assume made all the difference. But with a powerful balanced attack shaping up, and the best group of players (imho) since the '96 team, doesn't it open the door for some of those surprise displays of pure confidence? With Chris at the helm and a new offensive coordinator mind at work, what receivers do you feel will step it up this year? Will we see any of that ballsy stuff that you're probably not supposed to do, that unconventional wisdom we were all so enamored with?
--malscott in Los Angeles

I am not sure that it is ever good to go for 4th and whatever off your own 35 yard line. That sounds more like the old Kentucky teams. Florida did have a mentality of going for the throat in 96 and that took time to develop. I do think having Chris back this year and some experience under his belt will help accentuate the skills of the young receivers. Jemalle Cornelius is a guy that could develop into a serious threat. There will be a lot of attention shown to Baker and Caldwell at the beginning of the season. I think this staff has some trick plays and good ones I might add but they have not worked very well. I think the "ballsy" stuff your talking about is throwing deep off your own five yard line and I do think you will see that sometime this season.

Ack, give us Gators your opinion on Zook and his staff. It is all about championships. Can he win championships.

I think everyone knows how I feel about this staff. I think they can win titles if a couple of things can go right for them. They do all the things necessary to be successful. They recruit hard, they work hard and they motivate the kids real well. The key is winning some close games and letting the talent take over. With a couple of breaks here and there Zook and his staff can be successful here for many years to come.

Stanford wins the Sear's Cup title every year because they compete in so many more sports that we do and if I understand the scoring correctly you get to take your top 20 sports for consideration for the All Sports trophy. Could we not add a few more?

Florida is always looking to add women's sports and stay title nine compliant. I think that you must be generating money and feel comfortable with the progress of your athletic program to add sports. Stanford has so many sports that UF just does not need. I think UF should be proud of winning the SEC title every year under Jeremy Foley.

Why was Larry Shyatt hired? What was the specific "need" his hiring is intended to address?

Shyatt was hired because he is thought of as a defensive genius. He has a creative defensive mind and his teams are terrific rebounders of the basketball. I think that Billy decided he needed to add someone with some experience and some different ideas and he was able to reshuffle his staff and get a former head coach to come work with him. I believe this says a lot about Donovan's commitment to Florida and how bad he wants to win.

Ack, I'm really interested to know how Jarvis Moss is doing in the weight room. In my opinion he is the main guy who needs to gain serious weight in order to really contribute this year. Also, have any of the receivers stood out in summer workouts? What receivers are making statements in the weight room that didn't make them in the Spring game, in particular Chad Jackson? Thanks!

Jarvis is athletic and hard working. Jarvis reminds me of Fee Bartley -- a former team mate of mine in the early 90's. He is at about 235 right now and should come to camp at 240 or 245. He needs another full year in the strength program before he begins to look like Jevon Kearse. If he stays healthy he can be a star at Florida. He can still contribute at 235 as long as his upper body strength continues to improve. The receivers are doing well in the weight room but the throwing is still in the early stages. Look for more reports in Summer B about the pass drills from campus. Chad Jackson is doing well and he is already built like a pro receiver. Chad just needs a little more confidence in the offense and he will be fine.

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