Foster Likes Addition of Drayton

HOOVER, Ala. -- Last year when Florida played Tennessee the Gators racked up 59 points in routing the Vols 59-20. It was perhaps the Gators' most impressive performance of 2007 to post that kind of win over a big rival. Little did anyone know at the time some of the ironic circumstances that would surround the '08 game between the Gators and the Vols.

Florida's performance that day was aided by assistant coach Stan Drayton who tutored the Florida running backs. After the season, Drayton moved on, leaving the Gators and heading up to Rocky Top where he will have the same post with the Tennessee Vols. The same Vols he helped score 59 on back in September.

It's an unusual transition to see a coach move laterally from one position job to another between rival schools, but that's just the way things turned out. As a result, Drayton will now be tutoring one of the top returning runners in the SEC in Vols senior Arian Foster. Foster rushed for 1,193 yards last season, trailing only Darren McFadden and Knowshon Moreno in that category. He also ran for a dozen scores for a Tennessee offense which averaged over 32 points a game.

Foster is closing in on becoming the Vols all-time leading rusher and he says that it is certainly one of his goals for his senior season. He has a great chance at doing just that with a veteran offensive line and new quarterback in Jonathan Crompton. He talks about the addition of Drayton and building a relationship with a guy who coached against him less than a year ago.

Foster on Drayton ----- "He's been in the NFL. I think every running back wants to go to the NFL, especially at this level (SEC). He brings a sense of urgency. He has a lot of knowledge about that game because he played the position and that helps so much when you have a coach who played your position. He's really intense about what he does and brings a passion for it."

Foster on Drayton/UF Connection ----- "I was surprised to see him jump rival schools, that's pretty unique but he did. When he called me on the phone when he first got the job we had a long conversation. I know the Florida week is going to be special for him, we all know that. We're going to try and make it as best a homecoming as we can. They're coming into our house and we're gonna try and play the best we can."

Foster on last year's game w/Drayton ----- "Yeah, we kinda joke about it a little, but it's not a laughing matter really. That's a lots of points man, a lot of points. It's definitely in the back of our minds."

Foster says the Vols are not upset at being overlooked while the hype is focused on Florida and Georgia despite the Vols having won the SEC East last season. He says the Vols have been picked third in the East every year he's been at Tennessee and the game isn't played in magazines, it's played on the grass.

Questions or comments? Contact's Larry Vettel

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