The Florida Gators lost their tight ends coach on Wednesday — at least, the reporting on former tight ends coach Ja’Juan Seider’s decision to leave the Gators began in earnest on Wednesday.
Not even 24 hours later, the Gators have a new coach at the position.
That would be former Tennessee offensive coordinator and Miami interim head coach Larry Scott, whom the Gators announced as their tight ends coach late Thursday morning in a release with a quote from head coach Dan Mullen.
“We are excited to have someone of Coach Scott’s coaching experience and background in the state of Florida,” Mullen said. “Larry will do a great job coaching our tight ends, which is one of the most important positions on our staff based on how we utilize that position and the flexibility they have within our offense.”
Scott spent his last two seasons at Tennessee, working as a tight ends coach for both seasons and as special teams coordinator in 2016 and offensive coordinator in 2017.
Tennessee’s offense was, of course, not very good in 2017 — leading to the firing of Butch Jones and his staff, including Scott — but Scott’s roots in Florida and history with tight ends are, of course, the more germane aspects of his c.v. when he’s only a tight ends coach.
And both of those bullet points reflect well on him.
Scott is a native of Sebring, graduated from USF after being part of the school’s first football recruiting class, and coached at Tampa’s Wharton High School, Orlando’s Freedom High School, and his alma mater of Sebring High School before jumping to the college ranks to work under USF (under Jim Leavitt, mostly) and then Miami (under Al Golden).
At USF, he was chiefly responsible for a lot of the recruiting that helped the Bulls be nationally relevant briefly in the mid- to late 2000s — Scott was integral to the construction of the Bulls’ 2008 recruiting class, which included B.J. Daniels, and the 2009 recruiting class, which produced NFL players Jason Pierre-Paul, Khyri Thornton, and Kayvon Webster — and known as an excellent recruiter of South Florida. At Miami, he was less of a stud recruiter — though he does get credit from 247Sports for reeling in Braxton Berrios and Tyree St. Louis — but tutored talented tight ends Clive Walford and David Njoku, both of whom are now in the NFL.
And at Tennessee, Scott helped Ethan Wolf finish his collegiate career as one of the Volunteers’ all-time best tight ends — no small feat at a program that produced Jason Witten.
That background makes him at least somewhat comparable to Seider as a recruiter, though the two coaches’ areas of greatest impact may be different, and quite clearly likely to be Seider’s superior as a tight ends coach if experience with the position is any indication.
And Florida’s swift hire of Scott — who, granted, was unemployed — certainly suggests that Dan Mullen might have had a contingency plan in place for the possibility that Seider would leave after being assigned to a position group he had never coached before.
With Scott in the fold, Florida’s coaching staff is once again at its limit of 10 full-time on-field assistants.