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Billy Napier to be Florida’s next head coach | College Football Enquirer

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Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Billy Napier heading from Louisiana to Florida and explain how AD Scott Stricklin was calculated in his decision to bring in the former Alabama assistant.

Video Transcript

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DAN WETZEL: Billy Napier to Florida. Pete, your thoughts on Billy Napier to Florida. They seem to go-- they-- they didn't want to get in this derby. They identified the guy, and this is the guy they want. [INTERPOSING VOICES] You know, at least-- at least they got a plan, right?

PETE THAMEL: Yeah, targeted strike by AD Scott Strickland. This is who they wanted, and look, he's built Louisiana into a power and has a plan, right? Billy Napier is a meticulous, thoughtful, thorough guy, who basically took a hybrid of the Saban model and applied it in a way that Louisiana, and I give him credit. He also has been targeted and meticulous.

Could have gone to Auburn. Could have gone to South Carolina. Could-- could have gone to Tennessee and said, you know what? I'm going to wait for a better job.

Knew with the kind of team he had coming back at Louisiana-- and look, had a few nail-biters this year. I'm sure there were a couple of fourth quarters on the sideline, there in Lafayette, this year where he was like, maybe I should have gone for that paycheck. But really good work by both parties, Billy on his part for saying, I'm going to wait for a job where I have a true chance to win the National title.

And Scott Stricklin said, OK, I'm going to-- I'm not going to get caught up in this-- in this insanity of the carousel. I am going to lock in, and I am going to find my guy and go get him. And you know, they basically had him by-- by-- by noon on-- by noon on Sunday.

PAT FORDE: Yeah, I mean, I think it was-- it was smart and well orchestrated, the way they did it. And I think it's going to work out well. And again, going back to Dan's point, you never know. You do not know. But I think there's a lot of reasons to think that Billy Napier is going to just continue to be a very successful coach for the rest of-- or for a long time.

If you talk to, like, the people in the Saban pipeline, they-- Napier's one of the most highly regarded, well-respected guys that were in the-- amongst all the great assistant coaches they've had in the Alabama tenure for Saban. And he was-- he was good, in terms of, you know, work ethic and coaching and developing players, but he was a very good recruiter, too. And he was a good recruiter in Florida. I believe he was part and parcel of recruiting Calvin Ridley and Jerry Jeudy, who were both Florida-- Floridians who went to Alabama.

If you're the University of Florida, you think, huh, well, maybe if you get those kind of talents to come to Florida instead of leaving, we could have something here, including Ja'Corey Brooks, who caught the touchdown that saved Alabama's season. He's another Florida kid yesterday. But anyway, I-- I think that Florida did well to come out of this with somebody who they could get and who is going to, I think, have a very good chance to succeed, as opposed to chasing here, there, and everywhere else and suddenly being left holding a bag that's empty or half full.

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