It's been a rough few years in Gainesville.
Urban Meyer retired—twice—and then wound up as the new Ohio State head coach. The team struggled to a 15-11 record the last two years and has lost two straight to intrastate rival Florida State.
Thursday night provided more evidence of the struggles of the Florida football program.
For the first time since 2006, no Gators were selected in the first round of the NFL draft. In fact, no player from Florida, Florida State or Miami was selected in the first round for the first time since 1980.
Is that an indictment on the state of the program under former head coach Urban Meyer?
Between 2007 and 2010—Meyer's last recruiting class in Gainesville—Florida finished with Scout.com's top recruiting class twice, and finished in the top 15 three times. Those classes represent the majority of the players from Florida who are eligible for this year's draft. None of them heard their name called by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday night.
What's the reason? As his time in Gainesville came to an end, Meyer recruited more of a track team than a football team.
There's no shortage of athleticism in the state of Florida, but those players still need to be developed to be ready for the next level in order to sustain success at the college level. Recruits go to college to prepare themselves for a career in the NFL, and the lack of Florida players in this year's draft is further proof that Meyer's focus slipped late in his Florida career.
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