Here’s one thing you can count on every offseason: The Florida Gators talking smack about UGA, despite the fact that the Bulldogs have won three SEC East championships in a row.
This offseason, the war of words between the bitter rivals kicked off with someone else other than Florida coach Dan Mullen. This time, the honors belong to Tim Brewster, the Gators’ new tight ends coach who has been described as “an elite recruiter.”
Brewster is laser-focused on the recruiting domination by UGA coach Kirby Smart, who recently signed the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class for the second time in three years. Brewster had this to say to the Stadium and Gale podcast via Swamp247’s Thomas Goldkamp:
“Georgia is Georgia. Kirby’s done a good job. But what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to put stakes in the ground. That fence has got to go up (at the Florida-Georgia border). And Kirby’s got to understand that the state of Georgia is the state of Georgia, OK?
“And we recruit the state of Georgia, we’re going to get some really good players from Georgia, but we need to make sure that he understands we’re going to fight him tooth and nail for the greatest resource in the state of Florida, and that’s the high school kids here.
“And just make sure that he understands and send that message on a daily basis, that we’re here and we’re going to protect our own.”
Good luck to the Brewster and the Gators on building that fence. Something has to change, though. Florida has been embarrassed by the outsiders from Georgia on their home turf during the last three recruiting cycles.
Since Mullen was hired at Florida in 2018, the Gators have signed only three of the state of Florida’s top 10 overall prospects, while UGA has inked six, per the 247sports composite rankings.
With regards to blue-chip talent grown in the state of Georgia over the same time period, the Bulldogs have landed 10 top-10 recruits, while the Gators have imported none.
Perhaps most telling, as far as signing 5-stars out of high school (regardless of state), Smart has welcomed 16 over the last three cycles, while Florida got its first in the Mullen era earlier this month.
Surely, Smart is shaking in his boots over Brewster’s tough talk, the impending messages on a “daily basis” from the Florida, and — above all — the looming showdown vs. the Gators, particularly in the Sunshine State.
One final note: It will be interesting to see what Florida announces as its spring-game attendance in just over a month, after last year’s epic troll of UGA.
Florida's reported spring game attendance: 39,476
39 – years since Georgia's last national title
476 – games Georgia has played since its last national title
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 16, 2019