Gators Caravan visits Ponte Vedra

Football coach Billy Napier, pageantry highlight event


Florida Gators fans from across the First Coast converged at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, which was the most recent stop on the Gators Caravan tour, which featured the university’s head football coach Billy Napier being the guest speaker on the night.

It was a great opportunity for fans to ask questions and engage with Napier about the program and how next season is looking.

Jacksonville was the fifth of six stops scheduled during the caravan, which Napier met with the media prior to the event and expressed how important the initiative is for the program and its fans.

“It’s motivating and there’s a little bit of accountability to it,” Napier said. “We’re hopefully that we’ll have a lot to celebrate in the future and right now we’re in the process of trying to put Florida in the position to be a contender consistently, and there’s still a lot of work to do and right now we’re in the middle of that.”

According to Napier he believes the work that continues to be put forth is really starting to reflect itself in the makeup of the roster and the vibes within the program heading into his third year as head coach.

“We were down in Ponte Vedra today for lunch and there was a guy out there in the ocean and the waves just kept smashing him and knocking him down,” Napier said. “I kind of felt like that guy for two years, but I think we’ve built really good processes and systems when it comes to the (transfer) portal and NIL (name, image and likeness) in particular with Florida Victorious. So, you kind of finally feel like you’re standing in the boat now and have a different perspective.”

The steady nature of the program starts and ends with the roster and the evaluation that has been done to help devise it.

“Our roster is in a lot more stable place, and we’ve got relationships with the parents and the circles of influence,” Napier said. “I think that just leads to more trust and chemistry.”

There was plenty of Gators’ pageantry on the night and it allowed for an opportunity for fans to talk football and get the excitement of the upcoming season building with the summer months underway.