GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Billy Napier has spent plenty of time coaching inside and outside the SEC.
You don't have to remind him of the responsibility that comes with being atop the University of Florida football program.
"I can't tell you how humbled I am the history, the tradition of the iconic coaches and players that have been a part of this program are unmatched. This is truly one of the most special places in college football," Napier said at his introductory press conference on Sunday.
Napier signed a robust seven-year, $51.8 million contract. The former Louisiana Lafayette head coach will call the offensive plays. His coaching staff will also include two offensive line coaches.
"We will construct our staff on both sides of the ball and put a premium on the line of scrimmage," Napier said.
Napier inherits a program with a lot of question marks, mainly on the recruiting trail. Florida has struggled to land top in-state recruits for quite some time, something Napier wants to change.
"Our proximity to player is a direct advantage so our ability to get these young men and their families on our campus. If we can't sign 25 good players at the University of Florida then you'll be looking for a new coach," Napier said.
Florida has struggled to land five-star recruits as well. Napier isn't worried about ratings as much as he is about player evaluation.
"I think it's going to be more about evaluation, we're going to go through a very thorough evaluation process. We're going to hire an army of people," Napier said.
During previous stops at Alabama and Clemson, Napier helped recruit top-tier talent such as Calvin Ridley, Jerry Jeudy, and Tajh Boyd. Napier has little time before the early signing period begins on Dec. 15. The new Gators coach is taking a realistic approach to his first big task.
"We're going to evaluate the situation this week, you can expect us to be very conservative try to position us for post-signing day. When we do have our entire staff and organization put together position ourselves for some really strong weekends in January and then try to close strong in February," Napier said.
Patience is at the core of Napier's recruiting philosophy and it won't change at the University of Florida.
"For me, I think it's important in recruiting that both sides understand each other and have had time to build relationships. To fully understand what the plan is, I think it goes both ways in that regard," Napier said.
Napier's father, who died from ALS, was his biggest idol growing up. As the 28th University of Florida football coach soaked it all in Sunday, he reflected back on his early days with his father.
"He taught me life's about people and I think we play a great game, it's game of people and about people," Napier said.