GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The Southeastern Conference announced the participants in its league media days, which begin in less than a week in Hoover, Ala. Among the participants will be Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel, right guard Jon Halapio and defensive tackle Dominique Easley.
QB Jeff Driskel will become the first non-senior to go to SEC Media Days under Will Muschamp.
Driskel is the first non-senior to attend the event under head coach Will Muschamp.
While that may not mean much, it's certainly a sign of Florida's confidence in him, which has been steadily exuding from the program since the 2012 season ended.
"I think him understanding where his protection is, where the routes will be, how the receivers should adjust the routes based on the coverage, whether it’s middle-field, whether it’s split-safety, again I think that he’s made a lot of steps there," Muschamp said following the spring.
The second-year starting quarterback will need to make a big jump in 2013 if Florida hopes to duplicate an 11-1 regular season with an appearance in a BCS bowl. The defense lost seven starters, and an offense that ranked 103rd nationally a year ago won't be enough to overcome some of the losses defensively and match the same win total.
That's where Driskel knows he has to step up.
After the spring, he admitted he's much more confident now that he's the man. With Jacoby Brissett gone, all eyes are on him. His inclusion in a traditionally all-senior lineup for Muschamp at SEC Media Days underscores the confidence the Gators are placing in him.
And Driskel can feel it.
"It just settles you down. You are not worried about making a mistake. You can go out and play," he said back in April. "When you are watching film, when you are in your meetings with your coach, you can ask questions and can ask for them to explain it and not be scared that they think you don't understand it. There are a lot of things that help out a lot. It's just more of comfort level more than anything."
Halapio will represent the Gators as the best returning offensive lineman, while Easley returns as the lone starter on the defensive front.
Florida will take the stage on Tuesday in the first session at SEC Media Days.