Rob Foldy/Getty Images
Florida coach Dan Mullen has talked about accountability within his program since his introductory news conference.

Dan Mullen talks accountability and what he’s seen so far in Florida’s spring practices

Ryan Young

Florida Gators football is the No. 1 topic in Good Morning, Gators every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across the Gators sports world. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Florida football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Gators coaches share observations from first few spring practices

Reporters were allowed to return to the practice facility on Tuesday evening at the end of Florida’s third spring practice, and when they did, the Gators were running gassers from sideline to sideline.

By the end, the sprints had taken their toll, with one player needing to be pushed across the field and back by a teammate and another being coached up as he gutted through the final set.

New Gators coach Dan Mullen has promised from his first news conference that there would be accountability within the program, and that was one example, he said. As it turns out, the end-of-practice running Tuesday was a consequence of players missing class.

“Yeah, they weren’t real happy,” Mullen said. “That was pretty simple, that was about going to class. I don’t control that; they control that. If you’re late for class, everybody that’s late for a class would run a gasser for it. If they don’t want to run gassers, then show up on time for class and we don’t run gassers.”

While the end result was one teammate literally having to push another across the field and back, Mullen wants his players pushing each other figuratively at all times.

“Hey, if some guy is struggling, somebody else better push him and you better work together as a team,” he said. “I think that was the biggest thing to me. Making sure that we understand that everyone out there, our goal is to win the game and that everything we do is about working together as a team — not just as an offensive guy or a defensive guy or, ‘Hey, I don’t want this guy to push me.’ Well, he should push you if you’re not living up to the standards and expectations of the program.”

All that said, Mullen struck a positive tone Wednesday while meeting with reporters to reflect on those first three spring practices. As did his coordinators the night before.

As for the accountability matter, Mullen said he won’t ask the Gators to do anything he’s not prepared to do as well.

“I’m part of the team, so I should run the gassers too, you know? And make sure I’m not just standing there telling them to do it,” he said. “So, if they ever look and say, ‘Hey, you just stand there with a whistle,’ [I can say], hey, if you guys mess up, if we make mistakes, we’re all going to pay the price. Whether it’s discipline issues, academic issues, football issues, training issues, we all pay the price, and so I’m going to pay the price just like them.”

MORE: Click here to sign up for the Good Morning, Gators newsletter!

In other Florida football news

Recruiting roundup

Florida baseball on prodigious power pace

  • The No. 2 Gators produced 3 more home runs Wednesday night in a 10-3 win against Jacksonville. JJ Schwarz, Wil Dalton and Blake Reese supplied the power, and Florida is now up to 36 homers through 23 games. If the team sustains that pace (1.6 per game), it would be the most in coach Kevin O’Sullivan’s 11 seasons. Read more here.

Another no-hitter and more tennis honors

  • Kelly Barnhill threw her fourth complete-game no-hitter of the season Wednesday in the softball team’s 9-0 win over USF. Barnhill struck out 12 and walked 2 in the five-inning game. The Gators improved to 24-3. Read more here.
  • Florida freshman tennis standout Oliver Crawford has racked up a strong collection of honors in his first season. After back-to-back SEC Freshman of the Week awards, Crawford was named the SEC Player of the Week, the conference announced Wednesday. Read more here.

What they’re saying on Twitter

  • Florida point guard Chris Chiozza responded publicly to coach Mike White’s parting praise:

  • Florida basketball head trainer “Duke” Werner also chimed in on Chiozza:

  • Florida assistant basketball coach Jordan Mincy posted highlights of the Gators’ incoming freshmen:

  • Gators cornerback C.J. Henderson is setting the bar high for Florida’s cornerbacks:

  • Gators legend Danny Wuerffel is hosting open tryouts for his American Flag Football League team:

Miss a previous edition of Good Morning, Gators? Get caught up here.