While the Sept. 1 season opener against Charleston Southern may be months away from taking place, die-hard Florida fans will be hard-pressed to not get excited about the season after reading recent comments made by the program’s new defensive line coach Sal Sunseri.
Officially announced as Dan Mullen’s first defensive line coach in early January, Sunseri brings 34 years of coaching experience to Gainesville. The former Tennessee defensive coordinator and associate head coach of Nick Saban’s Alabama team, from 2009-11, returns to the college ranks looking to win titles.
Not SEC titles mind you, but national titles.
The Florida DL coach met with the local media Tuesday and expressed not only his belief in Mullen but of the ceiling of the Gator program.
When you get a chance to come to the University of Florida you take that opportunity." -Sal Sunseri
— Jake Winderman (@jakewinderman) February 13, 2018
Sunseri added these thoughts on the possibility of adding to his trophy case:
"I'm blessed enough to have three of those on my fingers, and that's not enough,' #Gators DL coach Sal Sunseri on national titles.
— Edgar Thompson (@osgators) February 13, 2018
Winning big in the SEC will obviously take talent and Sunseri believes the program has what it takes to compete with the big boys from the league — something he’s seen first-hand during his short time in Gainesville.
Check out his comments on elite Florida defensive line signee Malik Langham, who was believed to be a lock to join Saban’s Alabama program leading up to National Signing Day.
Sunseri on Malik Langham: "To go up into Huntsville, Alabama and get Malik out of there is a credit to the coaching staff. When you go up there you're battling Alabama and Auburn."
— Nick de la Torre (@NickdelaTorreGC) February 13, 2018
Apparently, it wasn’t just the football program that won Langham over, it was Florida’s strong academic tradition as well:
Sunseri said UF's academic center really sold defensive end Malik Langham, who picked the Gators over Alabama and Auburn.
— Robbie Andreu (@RobbieAndreu) February 13, 2018
Taking all this into account, Sunseri has seen what a championship program looks like and he suggests the pieces are in place for the Gators to return to that level under Mullen. Now it’s a matter of building up the roster and setting the standard for the players to rise up and achieve on a daily basis.