With an abundance of youth, Urban Meyer doesn't know exactly what he'll get during Saturday's season opener against Western Kentucky, but he knows the effort will be there. That's quite a change from year one of Meyer's tenure in Gainesville.
During Urban Meyer
's first fall in Florida
, many of the faces surrounding him were players brought in by other coaches, and at times the new coaching staff found it difficult.
"The resistance really showed up when it got hard," Meyer said after Tuesday's practice. "Going into two-a-days, I saw some of it - young guys who were trying to quit, veterans who were trying to transfer out. I don't see that right now."
Now that more than half the scholarship players were recruited by Meyer and his staff, there's no resistance, and the players left from the previous coaching staff have bought into the program especially after the success of last season.
"Good day today," Meyer said. "Much better than yesterday. Were getting pretty close to game ready."
But after three weeks of practice and everyone anxious for the season to get underway, now is the most crucial time to control the attitude of a young team.
"That's the reason why we work so hard and take up so much of their time," Meyer said. "It's going to get even worse here in a few days when the masses start showing up."
Meyer's never been the head coach of a team that was entirely recruited by his staff, but he's looking forward to that day coming.
"You get a really strong relationship," he said. "I have not experienced that yet. I guess I have as an assistant. I have not had a guy for five years. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a good deal."
When it does happen a few years from now, no more will he have to answer questions about coaching another guy's players.
"I don't look at it like we win with other coaches' guys," Meyer said. "I look at them as football players. It's nice to know the families of the guys you recruit."
Markihe Anderson has been the only one to lock down a starting roll at cornerback during fall camp, but a sprained ankle may now keep him sidelined on Saturday. Said Meyer, "Markihe is almost for sure not going to play in this game. There's still a chance that he'll be ready for next week."
Meyer said if Anderson is healthy enough to go, he'll definitely play.
Percy Harvin is completely recovered from the tendinitis he suffered in his Achilles during fall camp.
Jarred Fayson and Kestahn Moore will be the kick returners for Saturday's game. Said Meyer, "[Fayson] is a football guy. He can go in and play quarterback, tailback and receiver. He's a valuable guy to have in your offense."
Derrick Harvey may be one of the quietest guys on the roster, but Meyer wouldn't trade his work ethic for anything. Said Meyer, "He's off the charts as far as going hard and the seriousness to which he takes his game. If I remember right, he didn't play a lot of football in high school. He's a grown man right now."
Freshman offensive lineman James Wilson is expected to begin practicing next Monday.
Tailback Mon Williams, who will miss the season due to an ACL tear in his left knee, is doing individual workouts in practice.