Florida coach Dan Mullen has fired up UGA fans this spring with various comments and digs at the Bulldogs.
The most infamous was Florida using the official attendance number at its spring game to do an epic troll of Georgia’s national championship drought.
A close second was Mullen’s verbal jab at the Bulldogs over losing quarterback Justin Fields to a transfer (although Mullen never mentioned Fields by name).
Here’s the infamous quote from March:
“I’d think we did a poor job recruiting if guys were coming in and then immediately walking out the door because it was something different than what they thought it would be and we lied to them during recruiting, or we sold them on a dream that wasn’t true,” he said.
Flash forward to now: Last week, Florida’s top signee from this year’s recruiting class, Chris Steele, announced he was transferring from the Gators after spending only one semester there. The Gainesville Sun reported that Steele’s primary reason for transferring from Florida was because he was “uncomfortable” around his roommate (who was later accused of sexual assault) and had his request to change dorm rooms … denied.
Shortly after the Steele news broke, some UGA fans started tweeting Mullen’s infamous quote back at the Florida coach, along with Gators reporters and fans.
This week, Mullen was making the booster-club rounds in Tampa, Fla., and was asked about that particular quote after how things went down with Steele, via 247sports reporter Blake Alderman.
“I think there were a couple different things that go on. I think as you see young men transfer around the country, part of what I said is you hope that there’s reasons they’re doing it and it’s for the right reasons and it’s not because I told them something our program was not. Or I’m somebody that I’m not, within the process.”
The Florida coach defended his honesty and integrity during the recruiting process.
“I always look at them (incoming freshmen) and I say, ‘Hey, in recruiting didn’t I promise you we would work hard and I’d push you to levels you’ve probably never been pushed before?’
“And they usually get a little smirk on their face and start to giggle. I say, ‘I just want to make sure I told you what you were expecting.’ They’re like, ‘Coach, you told me this would be harder work than I’ve ever been through and anything I’ve done before.’ I said, ‘Good, I just want to make sure I told you that and I’d follow through with that promise.'”
Meanwhile at UGA, Smart finally did respond to Mullen’s string of verbal attacks, ultimately saying, “We want to talk with our helmets.”