Meyer Tackles the Transfer Issue

Before the national championship season at Florida in 2008 could ever start Urban Meyer was facing something he was used to but maybe not quite as published as this particular incident. Freshman offensive lineman James Wilson was ready to leave the friendly confines of the University of Florida football program and transfer to Wake Forrest. According to Meyer it was nothing new.

James Wilson spent his entire freshman season recovering from one injury or another. When it was done, he had a bad taste in his mouth about the program he signed up for and because of that, he was ready to leave.

It became a public ordeal as the media and fans found out about what Wilson wanted to do. The questions started to mount, but as time passed like so many others, Wilson wanted to stay put.

"He was gone," Meyer said of Wilson and his plan to leave. "His bags were packed and he was ready to go. A lot of these guys, they want to run from something that is hard."

Hard in this case was the injuries that forced Wilson to sit all of his freshman year and then even after he stayed put, miss most of his second year. However, hard in most cases for guys that want to transfer comes in the form of competition or just how hard the process is for some of the people in the Gator program.

Meyer shed some light on transfers and noted that it is something they deal with pretty often.

"Every receiver we have had at Florida...at one point they quit," Meyer said. "From Dallas Baker, to Riley Cooper, to all of those players running around out there, they all quit. It is hard."

"The expectation of skill players, when they are a superstar in high school and they come here and they aren't a superstar. It takes a while to become a good player.

According to Meyer, almost all of the players see the light of day and come to realize that running away is not the answer. The Florida system and what Meyer and company have developed is something that helps make these players and people better.

"CI (Cornelius Ingram), Dallas Baker, Bubba Caldwell, Percy Harvin, Cooper, Louis Murphy," Meyer listed off the guys that wanted to transfer and didn't. "Only two of them left, Jarred Fayson (Illinois) and Nyan Boateng (Cal)."

In the end it isn't all about football that most stick around. What the university of Florida has going for it and its football program goes way beyond playing time and pro potential.

"Common sense and family support," are the things that prevail according to Meyer. "We start talking about the education and our track record. All of our receivers have graduated that are gone except for Percy Harvin (1st round NFL pick as a junior) and Chad Jackson (2nd round NFL pick as a junior). The track record is pretty good."

Meyer has recently had to fight off the transfer issue with freshman middle linebacker Brendan Beal. The rumors have been rampant that Beal was ready to make a change to the Northeast, and Meyer didn't sidestep the rumors on Tuesday. Meyer was asked if Beal was happy.

"He is now," Meyer said. "The one thing about Brendan Beal is he is a very smart guy. He loves the game and wants to play and he wants a great education. Sitting out last year really bugged him, he wants to play."


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