Overcome adversity on the field.
That's a now-famous mantra from Florida Gator head coach Will Muschamp regarding what football players, individually, and teams as a group must do if they are to succeed. And football, of course, constantly challenges one to do just that. Every single play is another opportunity to overcome adversity on the field.
This year, it seems, the Gators have had an abundance of adversity to overcome.
The team? They're doing a fairly good job of doing just that. Our fanbase? Not so much.
It's maddening to me. Bitch and moan, bitch and moan, bitch and moan. Good grief. Did anybody watch what former Gator assistant coach Steve Addazio coached his team to do to FSU in the first half yesterday up at Boston College? For a first-year program, they were disciplined and motivated under Addazio's leadership and very impressive.
Less than a decade ago we have a CHAMPIONSHIP coaching staff come into Gator Nation, win two national championships for us, and people insist on nitpicking or dismissing them while they were here and afterwards. We have the guy most Texas Longhorn fans would take in an instant heading up our football program, and people insist on complaining about all manner of things, like not throwing enough in the second half of an easy win last night against Kentucky. We have the good fortune of seeing the benefit of another elite player Urban Meyer recruited coming through in the clutch, a player Muschamp maintained, and people think trash about the current staff for not playing Tyler Murphy ahead of that Driskel guy who is a physical beast with all of the tools.
We have good problems at the University of Florida, people, because we're the number one program in the nation even though many of us still don't quite know how to comprehend that. Many of the questions asked on this board are good questions -- it's just the presumptions and tone that come with them that are bizarre. Life does happen. No one can change that. The question is how you roll with it. Luckily, we have a head coach who knows how to roll with those punches. More of us need to give him some serious dap for that quite evident talent. Think about the depth we're going to have at Quarterback next year while we're enjoying the effort our Gators are giving this year.
All of the injuries have changed my outlook on this year. It has allowed me to kick back, acknowledge the "adversity on the field," It's still a championship year to me until proven otherwise, but that's no longer my focus. I'm only thinking about enjoying the games and the effort given by those young men who wear the Orange and Blue. I have to admit, I'm enjoying my change in attitude. And Tyler Murphy is the face of that change in attitude.
Tyler Murphy is perhaps the greatest face for Gator football that Will Muschamp could hope for. He has traveled quite some way to overcome adversity on the field. Here is a man who humbled himself, who embraced his university and its mission of education, who will apparently graduate in December with a degree in Telecommunications, and who genuinely seems to represent that top 1% of 1% Urban Meyer liked so much. To read about this man is to be encouraged about our youth.
Whatever decision he made, it was based on ‘Can I play quarterback.’ That was the goal he set for himself.”
And while it didn’t happen overnight — or even over several years — that goal slowly but surely started to come into play.
Reed, who was recruited as a quarterback the year before Murphy arrived, was moved to tight end. Trey Burton, who was recruited as a quarterback in the same class as Murphy, took on a hybrid role in the backfield. And when Brissett transferred this spring, it allowed Murphy to move into the back-up role. He even got first-string reps when Driskel needed an appendectomy this fall.
“That gave him a lot of confidence,” Campanello said of Murphy‘s brief run with the ones.
And it was that confidence which Murphy carried over with him to the field against Tennessee. Murphy’s performance may have caught the college football world off-guard. It didn’t surprise those who knew him best, however.
“He’s gotten himself in that position,” Campanello said. “He put himself in that position by preparing himself every single day so that when the time came he could make the most of it.”
But beyond any skills Murphy showed on the field this past weekend, he also gave outsiders a glimpse into his true character as well. In an era where everyone, in seemingly every walk of life, wants immediate success, Murphy waited four long years to get his first taste of playing time.
It’s a sacrifice not many of his peers would’ve made.
True, true, true. Ideally, this is what the top 1% of 1% looks like when context is taken into consideration.
I happen to be a Gator fan who loves Jeff Driskel and sees him as a phenomenal championship quarterback (and yes, I realize that's more on potential than demonstrated evidence on the field but it is what I believe). That said, I absolutely love Tyler Murphy and acknowledge him as the face of Gator football this year. I can only hope he continues to show the poise and leadership we need from our quarterback position.