Florida head coach Billy Napier directs his team against LSU during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Gator OT David Conner talks Napier and program

When offensive tackle David Conner first visited the swamp, he was greeted by a different coaching staff than the one he now plays under. The freshman from Atlanta, Georgia, liked the brotherly environment he saw on his UF recruiting trip. He committed soon after he received an offer.

David Conner, OT

When new Florida football head coach Billy Napier was hired, Conner said Napier reached out to him and reassured him that he was still wanted and important for the team. Conner felt that there was still a relationship with Florida, even with the new coaching staff.


Adjusting to college football is something every true freshman has to go through, especially as an offensive lineman. Conner considered himself a “raw player” who dominated in high school.

Conner said he had to learn the fundamentals of college ball: watching film and learning the playbook. He was no longer a big fish in a little pond. At Florida, he said everybody is good at their job.

“You got to learn how to stand out and be great,” he said.

Conner’s coaches and mentors are multiple in number. The veteran offensive lineman took him under their wing and showed him the ropes and how to approach college football.

Conner has two offensive linemen coaches as well. With two coaches, he said it’s great to have two different personalities with different perspectives on play. It’s an advantage for Florida, with the ability to break into groups and get in more reps. He said there’s always a coach available.

New Napier Era

When asked for his thoughts on Napier, Conner had nothing but praise for the coach. He said he loves Napier and did even when he was a recruit. He said it was easy to buy into the program because Napier really showed that he cared.

“We are his prized possession,” Conner said.

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