Urban Meyer arrives at Florida with successes galore at Bowling Green and Utah. Can he duplicate that success in the Southeastern Conference? Is the key to his success some secret system? Meyer says it’s more basic than that.
“There's a common theme of Coach Meyer and his staff. We have taken over programs with very good players. This is no exception. When you are talking about systems, systems don't work unless you know that's where I try to redirect all the focus. You can say Urban Meyers does haven't an offense. It's Chris Leaks' offense.”
Meyer saw returning talent at Florida, and the opportunity to continue to replenish that talent, as integral.
“In Florida, you can compete because you are recruiting some premium football players. But it does it make it easier. Obviously, it makes it a lot easier. The style of game that we play, which is a fast, speed game, the talent that's in the program right now is conducive to what we do. “
Enter brand-new coach number two to the SEC, Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron. Orgeron arrives in tiny Oxford, Mississippi, fresh from the sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, where he had a hand in USC’s national championships as the Trojan's top defensive assistant coach. Before that Orgeron was in Miami, and before that, Syracuse, New York. So is Oxford a culture shock for the new head coach?
“Well, my boys love it, they go bullfrogging in the morning at 6:00. They have four-wheelers, they go fish, they play baseball all day. They play football, very similar to the way I was raised.
My wife is from Jonesboro, Arkansas, and I was born in south Louisiana. I think it's very good, that culture shock.”
Orgeron also believes his team has the talent to win right away. “I'm really pleased with the talent level that was at Ole Miss when I got there, especially at some positions. Running positions, Jamal Pittman and Anthony Hobgood, fullback, and Jason Cook, also plays at fullback. Those guys are going to be really strong.”
He also believes that the area is fertile for recruiting, a key to future success:
“I believe that the talent in the south is by far the best in the country. Look at the draft and the look at all the players that get drafted, 47 players in the draft were drafted, six out Oxford, Mississippi. I think it's tremendous. I look at recruiting in the State of Mississippi, State of Tennessee, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, it's a tremendous opportunity for us. “
Speaking of opportunities, there are plenty available on the Rebel team for every player, according to Orgeron.
“The depth chart will be etched in sand. There’s not a lot of sand in Oxford, but it will still be etched in it. . I want (the players) to note that it’s special to start for the University of Mississippi and just because you did something yesterday don't mean a thing to me. I want to know what you did today, on a daily basis. Better not think they have (the position sewn up) one bit.”
Part II of KSR’s continuing coverage of SEC Media Days, Day One, continues at this link with a look at South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Tennessee’s Phil Fulmer. Check the KSR front page often for continued updates during SEC Media Days.