For Florida fans who were alive to watch the 1996 National Championship team, there were a ton of great players they enjoyed watching on that team. Of course there was Heisman-winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel, Ike Hilliard, Jacquez Green, Travis McGriff, Reidel Anthony, Fred Taylor, Mike Petersen and James Bates.
That last guy in Bates is still tuned in to the Florida football scene and works for FOX Sports currently. Having played under Steve Spurrier he knows a thing or two about great coaches and he thinks that Jim McElwain is well on his way to becoming one. A captain on that memorable 1996 National Championship team, Bates joined the Gator Nation Football Podcast to give some thoughts on McElwain.
"Absolutely, Jim McElwain can be every bit as successful as Coach Spurrier, as Urban Meyer. I say every bit as successful as Coach Spurrier, and maybe that's a stretch because it's a different era in college football. It's a different era in the SEC. I mean, timing wise, we were very fortunate that Coach Spurrier was ahead of the game as far as offensive strategy goes and his mindset. It took a little while for everybody to catch up with him. But Jim McElwain can go out and win us some championships. That's for sure."
Bates also went on to crediting McElwain for bringing Spurrier in as a special adviser and ambassador for the team and school. If you can have Spurrier back on your side, why not bring him in? And if he can become any combination of those national title winners then the Gators are going to be in some great hands down the road.
[h/t Campus Insiders]
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.