Kingsley Eguakun is a Florida native – but he wasn’t always a Gator commit.
The 6’4 center received offers from Auburn, Tennessee, UCF and Miami – just to name a few. Eguakun committed to the Hurricanes in Jan. 2018. After a year full of offers, camps and campus visits, his mind was still made up. He hadn’t visited Gainesville since Sept. 2017. He seemed poised to head to Miami the following year. Then, in Nov. 2018, an offer arrived from the University of Florida. Less than a week later, Kingsley was a Gator.
#Gators confident in center Kingsley Eguakun manning the middle.
Ethan White called him “freaky athletic” and says he might be the strongest player on the team.
“Physically he has all the tools, and and then mentally he’s very good with calls.”
— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) August 20, 2021
Three years later, Eguakun is the starting center for the Gators. After starting in all 13 games last season, the redshirt junior has garnered plenty of praise from his coaches and teammates alike. During a press conference on Tuesday, Eguakun elaborated on Coach Billy Napier’s changes to the program, the O-line’s performance in practice and what it’s like to work with co-offensive line coaches.
Parking & Provisions
Two of the most talked about (and Tweeted about) changes to the program are the improvements to the team’s food and parking. For Kingsley, the new reserved parking lot was a welcome relief. After sustaining two ankle injuries against Tennessee last season, he had two choices: walk a mile to his car on an injured foot, or risk getting a ticket by parking under the stadium.
Now that the players have a reserved lot near the stadium, players won’t have to choose between their health and their wallets.
Eguakun also expressed that the food has improved, and it’s not just better-tasting: it’s fresher, too.
One look at Florida’s Chompin’ in the Swamp promo confirms the quality of the program’s cuisine:
The Identity Program
Coach Napier has a plan for Florida football – an eight-phase plan, to be exact. The team is in phase two, also known as the Identity Program. According to Eguakun, the program pushed a lot of players mentally – but he “wasn’t phased.”
Though he stated he enjoyed phase two of Napier’s plan, Eguakun wasn’t immune to the toughness of some of the drills:
Florida’s Billy Napier announces who will call plays on defense, while also discussing how they will find the leaders on this team.
— OutKick (@Outkick) February 15, 2022
Since his hire in Dec. 2021, Coach Napier has been putting together an ever-growing team of recruiters, nutritionists, analysts – and, yes, coaches. Florida is unique in that it now boasts two full-time offensive line coaches: Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton. When asked about having two OL coaches, Eguakun said it gives the team even more opportunities for reps and improvement.
Despite enjoying the extensive offensive staff, Eguakun joked that he’s got a bone to pick about the water break rule:
Florida’s two OL coaches, Rob Sale and Darnell Stapleton.
If spring is any indication, Sale will be working with offensive tackles while Stapleton develops the interior OL. Makes sense, Stapleton was a guard in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/ejyPZlX26S
— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) March 17, 2022
Working With the O-Line
Asked about a few of his teammates, Eguakun spoke in admiration. He noted Justin Shorter’s dedication, stating that he’s “always been hungry”:
As for quarterback Anthony Richardson, Eguakun said he’s taken on a leadership role in practice:
Kingsley Eguakun and the Gators are back at Ben Hill Griffin next week for the annual Orange and Blue Spring Game. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14.