Gator fans will likely bemoan that I even mention his name, but I am giving them one choice to make.
And they can only pick one.
The best thing to come out of the Will Muschamp era at Florida is_________.
Before you answer, let me add a few more rules. The answer cannot be “he was fired” or “nothing”.
Whether they want to admit it or not, there are plenty of positives Gator fans can point to that Muschamp accomplished during his tenure as the Gators HBC.
Coach Boom, without a doubt, did recruit some of the best talent to UF that other teams might commit NCAA violations to have at their programs. Yes, I know, the majority of those recruits all played on the defensive side of the ball. As much as Gator fans have come to really appreciate a good defense… they still drool over a prolific offense.
Some Gator fans might ‘fill in the blank’ with players names like Dante Fowler, Vernon Hargreaves, Kelvin Taylor, Antonio Morrison, Will Grier, Caleb Brantley, Alex Anzalone, Brandon Powell and Jonathan Bullard just to name a few. Some of those players are having a prolific season in 2015 under new HBC Jim McElwain and Muschamp did say:
“They’ve got a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you he ain’t got any players. I can tell you that right now,” Muschamp said. “There are some good football players in that locker room.”
Maybe fans can would pick all the latest facility upgrades either completed or still under way. The design and preparations to build the Indoor Practice Facility were well underway while Muschamp was at UF, but we may have him to thank for upgrades to the athletic dormitories and other facilities as well.
“All the facility changes and all the nice things that have happened within this campus is awesome to see,” Muschamp said. “I’ve seen the Wellness Center and I know the student-athlete housing. On the recruiting trail, all the kids that would come to Florida would come to Auburn and tell me how nice the housing was here, so it’s good to be on that side of it now. I’m excited about that.”
I still hold to this day that Boom said that so publicly to help Florida and put them into a position to take action quickly. Yes. Really.
If I were to personally answer the question myself, no recruit or facility upgrade would make my first choice.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the court, I present as evidence one article by ESPN’s (and Gator Alum) Edward Aschoff about how the Gators Offensive Line went from the weakest link on the team to possibly one of the most surprising units in the entire country.
Aschoff essentially makes the very strong case for me that the best thing that ever resulted out of the Muschamp era at Florida. Since the start of spring camp, the general consensus was that this team would succeed or fail based on how well a depleted and inexperienced O-line would play this season. As the saying goes, it all starts up front and we well know it can end there pretty quickly too. So the question is does a unit with this particular make up do as well as they have without one key piece leftover from Muschamp’s reign in The Swamp.
The man Muschamp hired to coach up the big uglies on the offensive side of the ball – Mike Summers.
What Summers accomplished with last year’s offensive line situation was undoubtedly remarkable. What he has managed with this year’s squad, which includes only 1 returning starter, 2 sophomores and a transfer from Fordham. Backing the starters up are… five true freshman. Yet will Grier has managed to mostly stay upright the majority of the time and limit the grass stains off his tuckus.
What Summers has been able to do with this very young offensive line may just be Nobel Prize worthy.
The best thing to come out of the Will Muschamp era at Florida is Mike Summers.
And we have Muschamp to thank for it.