Meyer's Plan Begins With Qualifying

There isn't much that Urban Mayer hasn't accomplished in his short tenure as the University of Florida's head coach. In four years Meyer has two SEC and National Championships under his belt, he's one of the two best recruiters in the nation, he graduates his players, and maybe the thing that makes it all happen...he recruits players that will qualify.

It is actually a pretty remarkable feat that Meyer and his staff have accomplished with recruiting prospects that have qualified in the past five years. The Gators just turned over another recruiting class of big time athletes that also made the grade and are currently enrolled in classes at Florida.

In five recruiting seasons, Meyer has seen only one player not qualify within a semester of fall enrollment. Considering that was a prospect from Meyer's first recruiting class and the staff was way behind in recruiting, one oversight was bound to happen.

Since then, only Dee Finley didn't make it in by the fall semester and he enrolled one semester later this past January and is said to be doing very well in class.

To contrast, the Gators' two biggest in-state rivals Florida State and Miami have had nine and 13 non-qualifiers, respectively, in the same time frame. Both schools currently have two prospects that are not enrolled in school from the 2009 class and may not make it by fall. Georgia has had five over that same time frame.

Recruiting is the bloodline of a great program, but all the recruiting rankings in the world aren't going to help if the prospects don't make it into school. Once in school Meyer and his football staff have pushed them to be the best they can be both athletically and academically.

Along with their SEC and BCS Championships in 2009, Florida had the most of any program in the SEC (tied with Vanderbilt) with 37 players on the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll. Meyer also saw an unprecedented 100 percent of his senior athletes finish off their Gator career with college degrees when all 12 of them were able to walk at graduation before their playing time was up.

High academic standards themselves may not generate championships, but not missing on signing day keeps holes from the roster. Pushing them to succeed while in school has allowed the Gators to mature into championship teams in two of Meyer's first four years.

There are always going to be academic risks in recruiting. Meyer and company have done the best job imaginable in making those risks work to their advantage.

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