Meyer Return Virtually Certain

Unless some form of testing turns up something dramatic this spring, all signs point to Gator football coach Urban Meyer being on the sidelines for the 2010 season. Meyer's 10 minute media session at halftime of the Gator basketball game Saturday night was further proof that Florida's 45-year-old mentor will guide Gator squad for his sixth season on the Florida sideline.

In Urban Meyer's previous trips to the O'Dome there was always law enforcement at hand and it was clear he wasn't interested in conversing with the likes of me. But this time, Meyer looked healthier and stronger than he has in months and he answered a slew of questions about his and his team's future.

The most notable thing Meyer said was that he fully intends to be on the field for every one of the Gators' 15 spring practices. But the important thing wasn't what he said. It was that he said it. The fact that he was feeling good enough to engage in a media session and openly discuss his plans for the spring spoke volumes about the progress he has made in the three weeks since Florida beat Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl.

Meyer is too young to hang it up, and he's too young to play golf every day. But he's also too young to be tying himself into knots so tight that a 911 call had to be made on his behalf. He still has challenges ahead in developing a plan for truly delegating responsibility and relinquishing control over things that really don't matter. He has to figure out how to get a break from the job, even on game week if and when it's necessary. He's already learned that he can be hugely successful recruiting talent without traveling much if at all.

There were times when it seemed like Meyer's plan to return was wishful thinking. Right now, it looks to me to be all but certain.

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