LB Earl Everett

2004 Statistics

Coach: Urban Meyer
1st year
2004 Record: 7-5
at Tennessee LOST 28-30
at Mississippi State LOST 31-38
Georgia LOST 24-31
at Vanderbilt WON 34-17
at Florida State WON 20-13
vs. Miami FL LOST 10-27

2004 Final Rankings
AP-25, Coaches-25, BCS-23

2005 Outlook

The hubbub for 2005 will be about Meyer, and rightfully so, but in all of the new-coach-hype, don't forget these players. The tests they have been through with ex-coach Ron Zook - both from the fans/media as well as from the schemes that marginally prevented potential from being fully reached - were never too much for Florida to still show major signs of what could be. In other words, character through adversity has already been instilled. Their last three SEC losses were by 12 points combined (only the loss to MSU wasn't acceptable, just ask Ron), meaning the heart is there; it just has to be enhanced to accompany the (so far only) partially realized potential of each. Now, the fruits of their talents and efforts will come pouring in. Once together, the potential will be unlimited - yes, start the BCS talk here and now.

The tight relationship Meyer and Mullen share will be the cornerstone of future success here, as it has been at both of Meyer's other head coaching stops. Also Offensive Coordinator at each, it has been Mullen's work (too) as the QB's coach that was the key reason Meyer's teams cannot be stopped. Meyer does a great job of judging (coaching) talent and letting his assistants then run with the ball, so to speak. That's how FSU got its 15 year dynasty going, and Meyer has all the makings to achieve another "Spurrier-level" of success (did we just conjure FSU here? Sorry!). That means lots of offense to cushion the fledging defense, and a pension for keeping tighter games under control via masterful clock and field position management. To say the sky is the limit is to understate just how wide-open this all is as we presently write - only huge rashes of injuries could prevent Meyer from proving why the "fire Ron" site will soon be validated through hindsight.

The subtle offensive schemes will complicate the field and dare defenders to take what seem to be worthy risks. Once baited, Meyer will exploit and burn defenses. When his teams adjust to other team's adjustments, Meyer shows why he garners his genius label - he hasn't been out-coached yet, so watch out, Bobby, seriously. Leak & Co. have the multi-talented abilities needed for such adaptations. And with an extra recruiting star's worth of potential for these incoming freshmen over Bowling Green and Utah's usual level of incoming freshmen, the clay Meyer has to shape can only become a masterpiece by December. It is up to the defense to bolster this guaranteed juggernaut and make Florida back into a national contender.

With the (early) ease of its non-con slate and its initial patsy SEC foes, only Tennessee is in position to impact Florida's rising star. A trip to LSU and one to South Carolina (for novelty reasons) look to be interesting, as does the "World's Largest Annual Outdoor Cocktail Party" - their game versus Georgia in Jax. But once the Gator's machine starts to roll, few teams (in their slate's latter half) will have a chance. Even in the SEC and with FSU to close out, Meyer is this good to take what is already a massively talented squad and make it an immediate winner. Speed kills, and speed with savvy coaching and discipline equals maybe two losses, at most. It will assuredly seem like a swamp when you see opposing players' feet appear to be stuck in mud as they are demoralized and decimated (like how Meyer did that to Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl), but it is only the Gators that will make it seem this way as they run past everyone for its divisions spot in Atlanta come December. And, yes, as stated already, the BCS is definitely within reach…Dispatch the local Gainesville authorities now - University & 13th will be a jumpin' as the Purple Porpoise keeps a thumpin', eh Geno?

Projected 2005 record: 8-3
QB - 4.5 DL - 4
RB - 3.5 LB - 4.5
WR - 3.5 DB - 3
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Chris Leak, 399-238-12, 3197 yds., 29 TD

Rushing: Skyler Thornton, 55 att., 230 yds., 1 TD

Receiving: O.J. Small, 35 rec., 379 yds., 1 TD

Scoring: Andre Caldwell, 43 rec., 689 yds., 3 TD

Punting: Eric Wilbur, 53 punts, 42.3 avg.


Tackles: Brandon Siler, 77 tot., 50 solo

Sacks: Earl Everett, Marcus Thomas, 4.5 each

Interceptions: Jarvis Herring, 4 for 24 yds.

Kickoff Returns:
Andre Caldwell, 11 ret., 15.8 avg., 0 TD

Punt Returns: Vernell Brown, 21 ret., 7.7 avg., 0 TD


QB Chris Leak
OFFENSE: O.J. Small-WR, Jonathan Colon-OT, Mo Mitchell-OG, Matt Leach-K, Ciatrick Fason-RB (NFL)
DEFENSE: Kenny Parker-DT, Travis Harris-WLB, Reynaldo Hill-CB, Cory Bailey-SS, Channing Crowder-LB (NFL)

In the newly established Urban Meyer era, it all starts and ends with a dual-threat QB like Florida already employs. Junior Chris Leak has wowed them from day one, and has only gotten better. Leak is a sound, strong-armed passer who can make split-second decisions for optimal results. Only 12 other QBs threw more passes in I-A, and only eight had more aerial TDs (29 for Leak). To then say he finished 16th in efficiency tells the story - he can handle the responsibility and the physical work load. That's good, because under Meyer and his trusty sidekick Dan Mullen (QBs coach and Offensive Coordinator), all of that only increases. Leak will have more straight runs, and when you take sacks away from his rushing numbers, Chris averages five per carry to secure that dimension, too (4.6-sec 40 speed doesn't hurt, either). Backup (RS junior) Gavin Dickey is just waiting for his chance. Even faster than Leak (4.4), Dickey would fit just as well (if not more so) with his accurate arm, keen mind (Honor Roll student), and sense of winning (two Florida state titles as a first-team prep all-American and Gatorade Player of the Year). Others await their chances, too (6'6" Cornelius Ingram, Josh Portis). This unit is tight, and will explode in even more production under the new staff.

Running Back
Junior DeShawn Wynn was relegated to backup status after a groin injury against Georgia, so this power runner is hungry to reclaim what was once his. The competition in classmate Skyler Thorton is tough, with his slicing ability and blitz-pickup skills. But we think Wynn is a better fit for what is to come (quicker first step and bigger in protection), especially if it is a one-back set as expected much of the time. Both will assuredly see much time, and the depth here (Manson, Ingram, and even Dickey lines up here sometimes) must hold up with only one TB in this year's class. A former walk-on LB, local (Buchholz) product Matt Latsko will likely see less duty in the new scheme, but his soft hands will not be ignored when he is in - watch for this. Meyer will surely rotate (in) many of his RB-FB assets, and with the talent levels and worthy distractions now at his command, this unit's many facets will produce huge results. Look for what was a 58th-ranked effort here to climb into the top 20.

Spread 'em… that's what Meyer will do here within formations and distributing the ball. Again, the three starters will give way to bevies of snarlers who will each have an assured specialty by mid-season. Junior Chad Jackson's 22+ average per catch mean s he is again a/the deep threat and designated field-stretcher, along with leading returner Andre Caldwell. Big-man Dallas Baker and fellow-junior Jemalle Cornelius will likely go short more often, but all of these labels mean little when Meyer shuffles the corps for optimal results. Funky, unconventional formations will give way to simple, yet effective four- and five-receiver schemes, making first-down catches and lots of YAC the norm again in Gatorville. As is ironically true in this retirement state, the influx of receivers is strong, so look for new names to secure Gator wins - that's how it will be under the new watch, watch.

Tight End
6'6" Tate Casey has made waves from day one - he was one of only two true freshmen to see action in all 12 games. Trusted with four TDs in his eight catches (16.9 yards per grab), this svelte specimen is a perfect fit for the new age of offense here. Occupying an extra LB/safety will be the distraction that makes everything else work. Converted-DE Markell Thompson punishes foes only, but that makes him indispensable in a two-TE set, especially when Casey takes off near the goal line.

Offensive Line third-team all-American Mike Degory, the Gator's senior center (not an old-age facility), is a great start here, as is returning starters and fellow seniors Randy Hand (T) and Lance Butler (G). All are proven mobile crushing machines. This line secured only 19 sacks and plowed ahead for 4.5 per run. But for what Meyer is about to install/instill, their mobility will be tested, and newbie quicksters could up heave anyone's permanent status if/when feet drag. Sarasota-Riverview products Steve Rissler (two starts at RG), Drew Miller (first true-frosh lineman to play opening day since 2002), along with weight room fiend Drew Tartt (though a guard), are the biggest and fastest possible replacements for Colon's vacated tackle spot. The SEC demands the mobility and size this crew has, so expect much more from here than last year's modest results.

Wipe the board clean and let's start all over again. The offensive consistency struggles in Gainesville are about to abruptly end. Meyer brings his guy Mullen in after dragging him through Bowling Green and Utah with him. The/His results have been unstoppable, and they are (one of) the major reasons Meyer now has the old Spurrier chair and Spurrier is in South Carolina. Meyer-Mullen will allow Leak the freedom to roll out, with multiple options then available, including his own well-disguised number more often. They will go from multiple backs to wide-open formations in the same play (before the snap, with call-off options built in), shifting and deploying and giving no clue as to why the personnel seen are where they eventually line up. Ergo, all of the offensive number will increase, but it will be the way these guys spread it out that will keep any one back and/or receiver from hogging the show (except Leak, of course). That's the key to Meyer's plans, for if we could tell you everything here, his plan would have already been blown. So come watch the new Urban Meyer Show, as he slaughters your favorite teams this fall.


C Mike Degory


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Chris Leak-Jr (6-0, 210) Gavin Dickey-Jr (5-11, 205)
Cornelius Ingram-Fr (6-4, 225)
RB DeShawn Wynn-Jr (5-11, 230) Skyler Thornton-Jr (5-11, 209)
Markus Manson-Fr (6-0, 210)
WR Dallas Baker-Jr (6-3, 204) Kyle Morgan-Sr (6-2, 221)
WR Chad Jackson-Jr (6-1, 205) Jemalle Cornelius-Jr (5-11, 190)
WR Andre Caldwell-Jr (6-1, 200) Kenneth Tookes-Jr (6-2, 209)
TE Tate Casey-So (6-6, 242) Dane Guthrie-Fr (6-2, 224)
OT Randy Hand-Sr (6-6, 310) Michael Brown-Fr (6-4, 295)
OG Tavares Washington-Sr (6-4, 320) Ronnie Wilson-Fr (6-4, 310)
C Mike Degory-Sr (6-6, 304) Steve Rissler-Jr (6-3, 310)
OG Jim Tartt-Fr (6-3, 315) Drew Miller-So (6-5, 310)
OT Lance Butler-Sr (6-7, 315) Phil Trautwein-So (6-6, 310)
K Chris Hetland-Jr (6-0, 185) Eric Nappy-Jr (5-10, 180)
Jonathan Phillips-Fr



Defensive Line
Senior Jeremy Mincey is the best of the four returning starters, with a head for both spotting the run and/or adjusting to a (play-action) pass. His thorough stat line shows why this end will anchor well. Joe Cohen is an ex-FB who has to be his athletic, blue-chip self for this line to rise above its former 53rd ranking. Though marginally successful in his efforts, he has not hit as expected so far. Listed as a backup to Cohen, Steven Harris will bolster that effort regardless (participated in the second most plays for any DL in 2004). RS frosh Derrick Harvey and Jarvin Moss both have huge upsides yet to be seen, so depth exists. Juniors Thomas and McDonald play bigger than they seem for their inside positions with such a hefty demand, both able to get into opposing backfields while not allowing the play to go by them (over pursue) with their speed. Depth inside is less, but will develop with the talented, svelte crew available. Sack number will increase as allowing 3.7 per rush will decrease. Battle scars will mean valuable lessons that will equal a strong line by mid-season at the latest.

Brandon Siler started as a freshman so well that he proved why he was the No.4 MLB coming in ( by leading the team in tackles. Sophomore Earl Everett similarly came in No.6 (2003), and his worth is the same (2nd leading tackler) as he proves also to be the right fit for stopping both runs and passes. Experience and numbers drop off from there, but leave up to two more incoming freshmen (Demps and Stamper) to help continue the great Gator LB legacy. It's not that the backups aren't decent, but they are rather unproven, and in the SEC, they will have to be solid here, and they are potentially. Unfortunately now, it's still wait-and-see, and this many question marks mean spring ball will again show everyone how the depth chart will eventually read. Speed, not size, reign here, and run-support against major SEC foes may suffer when the fourth quarter takes its toll, accordingly.

Defensive Back
Senior free safety Javis Herring and junior CB Demetrice Webb head a super-deep group that will surely improve on its 27th-rated (defensive) pass efficiency efforts. Herring drops back and ball-hawks as well as he hits crossing receivers with authority. Soph Kyle Jackson is about to make an impact on north Florida sport's-talk radio as he starts, and brothers Jermaine and Tremaine McCollum will do the same at corner (Jermaine is ahead of Tremaine for now on depth charts). There are so many DBs stacked and ready, it will be a travesty if somehow (interim head coach and) defensive coordinator Charlie Strong didn't again improve numbers here. The "strong" showing here (17 team INTs in'04) will allow the LBs to help the developing linemen (and visa versa), but if they are still on islands come SEC time, Florida gets assaulted here and doesn't fare as well overall.

Eight out of eleven isn't bad for starters returning from the 57th-best defense in I-A. Numbers and performances were strong enough to make us believe returning so many will improve things even more, especially when Meyer's offensive prowess gives them leads and therefore allows for more creative schemes and approaches. This squad wasn't bad; it was just great SEC ball that would do them in, never a lack of effort or talent. Last campaign's shortcomings were predicated on not stopping the run - we start there in our focus, as will they. The safeties cannot afford to again have to help run-stopping efforts, so the developments at LB will dictate just how many dimensions this crew can bolster. The talented LBs and linemen will kick in quickly, and the stunting can then change things up well enough that the Gators finish with a top 20 defensive effort overall.


LB Brandon Siler


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Joe Cohen-Jr (6-2, 275) Steven Harris-Jr (6-4, 281)
DT Marcus Thomas-Jr (6-3, 285) Steven Harris-Jr (6-4, 281)
DT Ray McDonald-Jr (6-3, 285) Clint McMillan-So (6-1, 282)
DE Jeremy Mincey-Sr (6-4, 265) Derrick Harvey-Fr (6-4, 260)
SLB Todd McCullough-Sr (6-5, 233) Bryan Royal-Sr (6-0, 230)
MLB Brandon Siler-So (6-2, 239) Brian Crum-Jr (6-3, 237)
WLB Earl Everett-Jr (6-2, 231) Billy Latsko-Jr (5-10, 230)
CB Demetrice Webb-Jr (5-11, 190) Tremaine McCollum-Jr (5-8, 178)
CB Vernell Brown-Sr (5-8, 165) Reggie Lewis-Jr (5-10, 195)
SS Jarvis Herring-Sr (5-11, 205) Tony Joiner-Fr (5-11, 200)
FS Kyle Jackson-Fr (6-1, 200) Deshawn Carter-Sr (6-0, 203)
P Eric Wilbur-Jr (6-1, 195) Nick Fleming-Sr (6-0, 205)




Senior Matt Piotrowicz will again handle KO duties, but his assured promotion to PK isn't secure until fall. Senior punter Eric Wilbur, scant on his KO tries, has also been patiently waiting, so reports will come after spring ball about how this pans out. Coverage here will be a reflection of the budding defensive talent, so it will be tight.

Wilbur has the Gators second-highest career average (43.7), meaning the Ray Guy isn't beyond expectations for this tough, fast former-safety - especially seeing how, in '03, he yielded 44.8 per, something he can obviously achieve again. But he did force more than twice the fair catches as the prior year (hangtime improvement). Again, here, coverage will only improve, so dredging up last season is fruitless for analyzing net results.

Return Game
When Andre Caldwell struggled, Tremaine McCollum and Chad Jackson both made waves on KO returns, but local-hero Vernell Brown will have to be displaced at his PR position. The jockeying shouldn't detract from the huge potential impact that this stable of runners - each ready for this mantle - can bring. Meyer will make this area better, too.