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Highlights from Florida's new episode of This Is… The Swamp

On3 imageby:Zach Abolverdi05/10/24


GAINESVILLE, Fla. — This week the Florida Gators released an episode of their video series This Is… The Swamp, now in Season 4. The latest show focuses on spring ball, the new assistant coaches, the GatorMade program and more.

Here are highlights from the new episode.

RELATED: ‘This is… The Swamp’ provides inside look at Florida Gators football

* The episode opens with Graham Mertz’s radio interview on ESPN Gainesville. Asked about the Gators’ chemistry, Mertz said they have the right guys in the locker room who care about their teammates. “Where you really see it is either in your hardest workout or a really hot practice. You see the guys that can sustain that energy the entire time. The reason they do that is because they’re not doing it for themselves. They’re doing it for each other. … This offseason, I’ve seen that and that’s fired me up.”

* The next segment features GatorMade’s third annual Business Break, this time in Los Angeles. It includes stops at the LA Showroom and Rodeo Drive, NFL Network, the LA Lakers, Google, Activision Blizzard and Paramount Studios. “The GatorMade program is one of kind. The older I get, the more I see it,” UF tight end Hayden Hansen said. “This is my second GatorMade trip. I went to New York last year for spring break and it’s going to help me take leaps into the professional world whenever my football career is over.”

* This episode profiles two of Florida’s new assistants, including defensive line coach Gerald Chatman. He is shown behind the scenes watching film, with one shot of critiquing a player’s footwork. “I’m gonna coach everything,” he says. “Cleats, how you tape, all that.” Sophomore DL Kelby Collins said Chaman coaches the position hard, but his demanding style produced better results this spring. Chatman and Collins also revealed the name for their meeting room. “We call it the living room,” Chatman said. “That’s exactly what it is.” Collins added, “Whatever we say in the living room, stays in the living room. … Having that safe space has allowed us to grow as a unit.”

* The episode has Chatman and new secondary coach Will Harris both mic’d up at practice. It also includes the introductory press conference for Harris, who was asked about playing defensive back at USC. “It’s not like here,” Harris said matter-of-factly. “It ain’t like here.” UF safeties Sharif Denson and Bryce Thornton credit Harris for harping on fundamentals and technique with players both young and old. “He just breaks everything down to a T,” Denson said. “There’s nothing left for interpretation.” Thornton added, “He’s very energetic and with kids in college, I feel like you need that. He can relate to us. He’s going to be in the drills, like, he can do it. Everybody can just buy in even more.”

* The final segment features Billy Napier’s message to the team at the end of spring ball and highlights from the Orange & Blue Game. Collins, EDGE Tyreak Sapp and receiver Taylor Spierto spoke about the changes within the program this offseason. “I think there’s been a culture shift,” Spierto said. “It’s been different this year, starting in January. Guys were just locked in.” The Gators replaced multiple assistant coaches and their head strength coach … twice. “We had a whole lot of things change and we had to go through that together,” Sapp said. “It just led to us wanting to do more for each other.” The show closes with Napier addressing the players after practice. “Look, I’m at the University of Florida. I’ve got opportunity. The work’s in front of me. Why not me? Let’s go.”

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