FOOTBALL: Mike Degory Sounds Off

Gator center Mike Degory, a second team All-Southeastern Conference selection, spoke out about a variety of subjects with Gator Country. Here are some of Degory's thoughts.

On staying next year and bypassing the NFL draft…

I already told Coach Meyer, the decision has already been made. They give me five years, I might as well play all five. We talked on Saturday, he gave me a call and a couple of other players a call.

The Gainesville Sun, those guys can write whatever they want to. I haven't talked to the media since the Florida State game and I wasn't concerned about it then and I'm not now. I will be a Gator. My mind is already made up. I plan on helping Coach Meyer and have him help me out my senior year. I'm in no rush to start rushing. I have a lot of fun on the field and off the field. There are two guys that I play beside that I have a lot of respect for in Randy (Hand) and Lance (Butler). I definitely want to get a couple of rings on my finger.

His opinion of Coach Meyer…

This isn't the first time I've met him. He actually recruited me at Notre Dame. When I was up there I looked over at my dad and my dad says to me "that guy is going to be a head football coach." Four years later, he is my head football coach. It is funny how it works out. Seeing him out there, you can definitely see that he is a guy that has all the answers.

What he took out of the team meeting….

If you ask any of our players, our only chance to win is to buy into the system. We have enough leaders on this team that we will lead the way.

On team discipline…

We have responsibilities as student athletes. Obviously situations have come up in our past and hopefully we will get rid of those. Situations happen everywhere. He will become a player's coach if we start winning ball games.

On Coach Strong coaching the Bowl Game…

Coach Strong is going to be a head football coach one day and there is a lot of respect there and a lot of love for Coach Strong. We are looking forward to getting him his first win.

On Coach Zook missing the bowl game and coaching Illinois…

I understand Coach Zook's situation. He has tried to keep us informed of what he is thinking, but he has another university that he is concerned about now. I'm very proud of him. Those guys at Illinois are going to find out real quick what kind of guy he is. A guy whose door is always going to be open. You are always going to know where you stand with him. I think Illinois is getting a steal.


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