While almost the whole of major college football is engaged in a sprint to Early Signing Day on Wednesday, you could be forgiven for mistaking Florida’s approach for a stroll.
The Gators will, of course, sign a number of prospects on or just after Wednesday, pouring the foundation for Billy Napier’s first class as Florida’s head coach. It’s still not clear whether that number will be in the double digits, however, as just seven commits sit in a class ranked No. 79 nationally and dead last in the SEC by the 247Sports Composite.
Napier has, of course, made clear that this was a likely scenario, saying in his first press conference that he would take things slowly and even admitting that fans and media members were likely to be perplexed or even angered by his methods. It was a brilliant bit of expectation-setting for Florida’s new coach, who inherited a class constructed by Dan Mullen that many thought was so substandard as to be fireable and has since seen it stripped to the studs — but only figuratively speaking, as the proverbial “studs” in this class have largely departed for other programs.
But it feels to me like Florida fans are willing to give him a pass for this in a way they notably didn’t give Mullen — who, sure, oversaw a shocking decline from these Gators in the second half of this 2021 season, but also won more games at Florida than Napier had won at Louisiana through three years of their respective tenures.
My question to you: Have you noticed this? If so, why do you think Napier might be getting grace that didn’t extend to Mullen? And if not, why am I wrong to detect it?