Meyer Hires New RB Coach

Florida head coach Urban Meyer wasn't thrilled when he found out former Gator running backs coach Stan Drayton was going to be going against him as part of Philip Fulmer's Tennessee staff this season. Now he's found a replacement for Drayton from another SEC East division opponent. has learned Vanderbilt running backs coach Kenny Carter has accepted the same position with Meyer's staff.

Carter was also the recruiting coordinator for Vanderbilt the past two seasons. He went to Commodores head coach Bobby Johnson seeking the job. The Nashville City Paper quotes Johnson explaining the 2006 decision to promote Carter as having been an easy one. "He's very knowledgeable, has had experience at different schools and has recruited different areas of the country."

Carter is 40 years old and has spent four years with the Commodores. Prior to that he spent three years as wide receivers coach for Joe Paterno at Penn State and also spent time on staffs with Pitt and LSU at the Division 1 level. He's got some NFL familiarity as well, having put in an internship with the Miami Dolphins and having current Seattle Seahawk wide receiver Bobby Engram as a cousin.

Florida's running backs have not developed the way Meyer had hoped for the past three seasons. Carter gets a potential true number one tailback to work with this spring in Southern Cal transfer Emmanuel Moody as well as some experienced depth in senior Kestahn Moore and young talent coming off injury redshirt years in Mon Williams and Chris Rainey. Knowing how big a premium Meyer places on ball security, all of them would likely benefit from reading this article Carter wrote on the subject.

Vanderbilt's ground attack has been steady, with 149.6 and 150.2 rushing yards per game the past two seasons. After being fourth in 2006, last year they were seventh in the SEC and used a dual tailback combination featuring Cassen Jackson-Garrison and Jeff Jennings.

As a recruiter, Carter has a number of areas he may be able to help Florida. He's a South Carolina native and has recruited in that state successfully for Vanderbilt. Despite only spending one year on Gerry DiNardo's LSU staff, Carter is well regarded enough in Louisiana that he was a finalist for the Grambling head coaching job that went to NC Central head coach and former UF assistant Rod Broadway after the 2006 season. His Pennsylvania region ties may also prove useful for Florida in an area Urban Meyer expressed specific interest in targeting more during his Signing Day press conference this year.

Neither UF nor Vanderbilt has officially revealed Carter's hiring as of Tuesday evening, but has learned that he has notified his players of the impending departure. An announcement is expected soon.

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