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Mullen skips recruiting question amid Gators skid

After losing back-to-back games to unranked LSU and No. 1 Georgia, Florida coach Dan Mullen said he’s not focused on recruiting while the team is in season and refused to address the subject during his weekly news conference Monday.

“We’re in the season now,” Mullen said when asked about his recruiting approach. “We’ll do recruiting after the season. When it gets to recruiting time, we can talk about recruiting.”

Following Mullen’s news conference Monday, Florida canceled all remaining media availability for the week.

In June, Florida signed Mullen to a three-year extension as the Gators came into the season ranked No. 13. They are now unranked at 4-4 and in fourth place in the SEC East.

The topic of recruiting has plagued Mullen and the program lately as the Gators have struggled to top their SEC counterparts as well as the sport’s best programs, on and off the field. Since being hired by Florida in 2017, Mullen is 6-9 against top-25 teams.

Florida’s recruiting classes have ranked below Georgia’s classes every year since 2015. In ESPN’s Class of 2022 recruiting rankings, the Gators are currently No. 23, which is sixth in the SEC and puts Florida well behind Georgia, which is No. 1.

Following Saturday’s 34-7 loss to Georgia, Mullen was asked about the talent gap between the two programs. He brushed away the question by saying: “We won last year and they won this year. That’s what it is.”

Mullen’s comments stood in stark contrast to the stance made by Georgia coach Kirby Smart after the Bulldogs won Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida.

“If you don’t recruit, there’s no coach out there that can outcoach recruiting,” Smart said. “I don’t care who you are. The best coach to ever play the game better be a good recruiter because no coaching is going to outcoach players. Anybody will tell you that our defense is good because we have good players.”

Though Florida started the season 2-0 and gave then-No. 1 Alabama a fight in a 31-29 loss, the Gators have lost three of their last five. All season, Mullen has been going back and forth between two quarterbacks — Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson — despite Richardson performing better.

Florida will face unranked South Carolina on the road Saturday.

Sourced from ESPN

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