On The Road Again

Its a bye week for the University of Florida. So what has the Gators staff done this week? Recruit! Yesterday, I spoke with Gator Recruiting Coordinator Tyke Tolbert.

The Florida Gators enter their off week with an 8-3 record and a four game winning streak. Their last regular season game is a week from Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium against arch-rival Florida State.

With the week off, what has the Florida coaching staff been up to? That's an easy answer. Recruiting.

"We want and have too be on the road recruiting," said Florida Recruiting Coordinator Tyke Tolbert. "We are hitting it hard this week. Normally, most programs save their evaluation days for their bye week. We saved two so we can get a thorough look in our needs areas."

Each school is only allowed six evaluation days between September and November. Each staff is only allowed to have a maximum of seven coaches on the road at one time. For Florida, even Head Coach Ron Zook has hit the recruiting trail this week.

"Coach Zook has been out and seen some top guys. He will go out this weekend too."

Now Coach Zook is widely regarded as a fierce recruiter with a tireless work ethic. He had an amazing campaign during spring evaluation in May. Wait until December hits.

"We are very happy where we stand so far," state coach Tolbert. "You work it hard, offer your kids and hope for the best. Winning for us has been big so a win against FSU and a Bowl game could be huge for us. We, as a staff, have had a very good reception from the prospects, their parents and coaches. Hopefully we can close with wins."

Winning will be an important ingredient for a successful recruiting campaign. There is a big difference between a potential 10-3 or 8-5. Either way, Florida still had to overcome some other obstacles as well.

"People don't like change. The biggest thing we have had to overcome is the "newness." Florida has been so good for so long and we have done some things differently. People reject change. But we are really working hard in recruiting and the results are getting better and better."

Florida needs to heal this off-week as well, with injuries taking their toll on the Gators and to the rest of college football. During the bye week, Florida did have some practice sessions going through fundamentals and slowing easing into preparation for Florida State. The main thing is trying to get as healthy as they can.

In the meantime, as the Florida coaches trickle back to campus this week to get ready for Florida State, the Gators are priming the recruiting pump, hoping to strike gold come Signing Day.

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