Quarterback Jeff Driskel has become one of the biggest stories of underachieving in college football since he first stepped on the field for the Florida Gators as a five-star recruit in 2011, but he does have one man in his corner.
Driskel asked for and was granted his release from his scholarship back in January and he subsequently transferred to Louisiana Tech. As a graduate transfer, he won the starting quarterback’s job and his coach, Skip Holtz, lashed out at the culture of Florida under Will Muschamp during Driskel’s time there.
Speaking to Sean Isabella of the Monroe News Star, Holtz further elaborated.
“I think down at Florida, it got very toxic for him. He became the scapegoat,” Holtz said according to the Monroe News Star. “He became the guy that was tied to losing at Florida as a fan base that does not take very well to losing. It really became a negative situation, which is unfortunate because he’s such a great Christian young man with such great values who is a leader.
“If you ever have a chance to sit down and talk with him, he’s almost too good to be true. He’s exactly the way you’d want to raise your son. I’m really proud of him and really happy for him that he was able to go out, play that way. Our fan base was able to embrace him the way that they did.”
That’s not entirely untrue as save for going 11-2 in 2012, the Gators did not play particularly well under Muschamp, whose defense-first approach was a far cry from the high-powered offense for which the Gators had become known under Urban Meyer. In fact, Driskel was recruited by Meyer.
Granted, the “toxic” situation is not the sole reason for Driskel’s underperformance at Florida, as he also battled injuries and was benched for Treon Harris last year. Playing for Louisiana Tech, he can actually rebuild his value and prove that he actually is indeed a better player than his time in Gainesville suggests.
Some Florida fans may not like what Holtz has to say, but it’s also kind of hard to argue against it.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports