As much as I enjoyed last season, there are times when looking back, parts of it seem deeply surreal to someone who’s lived and died with the program for better than three decades. Take this quote from an anonymous Florida player about the strength and conditioning program under McElwain, for example:
“That first year  it really wasn’t noticeable because a lot of our players carried over from coach Muschamp, but starting in that second year, I was as heavy, but I wasn’t as strong. When we played teams like Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, we just looked small. I’m a pretty good size for my position, but I remember standing next to Lorenzo Carter and Roquan Smith [of Georgia] and saying to myself, ‘Damn, these are some big ass dudes. What are they feeding them over there?’ I remember when Roquan visited us in the summer when he was being recruited and he was skinny, and now he looked sculpted. You shouldn’t be at Florida and feel intimidated by looking at other SEC players.”
Unreal, right? This is from the same program that seemed like it just waited around for Georgia teams to implode during the game, or walked in wearing fake juice jerseys that advertised inferiority.
Imagine how that kid felt after the most glorious seven-and-a-half-minute start I’ve ever witnessed in Jacksonville.
I’m not predicting anything as silly as a 18-3 run here, but I don’t think Smart will ever have his team walking into that stadium feeling intimated. I can live with that.