Friday, March 21, 2008

Former player talks about Zook

Drew Miller, Gators offensive lineman tells about the differences between Zook and Meyer: You were a freshman during Zook's final season - what was your reaction when he was dismissed during your freshman year?

Drew Miller: "I was like everyone else, I was shocked. We were given the impression when we signed that he was going to be given time [to turn it around], that he was going to be there for awhile. Or I wouldn't have signed there. When it happened, I had to move on. I was eager to find out who was going to be the replacement and get off on a good foot with them." What was your initial impression of Urban Meyer?

Drew Miller: "My impression after the first meeting was that he was going to be very strict. In that first meeting he was like, 'Sit up straight in your chairs and look at me when I'm talking to you.' I think he was trying to be intimidating because of some of the disciplinary problems we had the year before. I was excited about it. He was different, but I think he brought what we needed. Several players now in this series have said he was much different. How were things different after Meyer took over?

Drew Miller: "School wise if your GPA wasn't where he thought it should be you had mandatory tutor hours – no exceptions. The worse your GPA was, the more hours you had to spend with the tutor and if you didn't do it, you knew you were going to get punished. It wasn't smoke and mirrors with him. He said how important it was to leave Florida with a degree and he backed it up. Little things like that. Even if a player didn't care about school or getting a degree, Meyer made them care because it was harder to go through the punishment than it was to work to get your GPA up. Things like making us part of his family – one big family. I never saw a coach's family until coach Meyer came in. After that, I've met every single wife and kid. I've been to three or four coach's houses, I've been to my position coach's house multiple times. Hung out with their kids. The family feeling was definitely a big part of what he [Meyer] wanted to bring to Florida. It's nice to have a home away from home."
Read between the lines there folks. Discipline, grades, achievement. All big changes for the players under Meyer.