Dan Mullen is not starting his tenure as Florida’s coach quietly.
In fact, he’s boldly firing shots from Gainesville up north to Athens.
At a speaking appearance with boosters, alumni and fans on Wednesday night, after all the National Signing Day mania had died down, Mullen took a question regarding how Florida would be able to keep pace with Georgia, which secured the No. 1 recruiting class in the nation on the heels of an SEC title and National Championship Game appearance.
“Listen, making it to one SEC Championship Game doesn’t make you a dominant program, you know what I’m saying?” Mullen said, pausing as the crowd started cheering. “I mean, two out of the last three years we’ve still been to the SEC Championship Game. So even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.”
That line drew “ooohs” from the crowd, as Mullen said, “Next question.”
Gators fans have to love Mullen not backing down to the Bulldogs.
While the Bulldogs ran away with the top 2018 recruiting class, Florida finished at No. 14 in the 247Sports composite rankings. Georgia signed seven 5-star prospects while the Gators signed zero.
But prior to Georgia’s romp in Jacksonville last season, Florida has owned the rivalry, winning 21 of 28 against the Bulldogs.
Florida might still be in Georgia’s head, and Mullen’s boldness might be what his program needs to get back on track in the rivalry game.