Gators DL Tyreak Sapp Credit: floridagators.com

Gators Have Trust in Napier’s Process, Tyreak Sapp Says

Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Tyreak Sapp had three tackles for the Florida Gators against the Utah Utes in the season opener last Thursday. He spoke at a news conference following the 24-11 Gators’ loss.

Sapp opened the conference by supporting his team, telling reporters that the Gators’ defense is not shaken by the game’s outcome.

When asked about how motivated the team is to prove themselves, he said they are, “Very motivated, extremely motivated… everybody is not only motivated but they want to win.” He gushed over his defensive teammates, “I love all my guys on that defense, from the older guys to the younger guys.”

While Gators football is a stressful environment, Sapp urged that he is always there to support his team.

“I’m there with them along the way,” he said. “I always let them know I’m here.”

He treats his teammates like family, understanding that nobody is perfect, Sapp said.

“Don’t be scared to make a mistake, don’t be scared to mess up. I’m here no matter what happens.”

Looking Forward

Sapp said he saw lots of improvement in the first game compared to last year.

“I love going on the field with that group of guys and playing like that’s a group of guys I want to play for,” he said.

He trusts his teammates will lay it all on the line on the field.

“I’ll basically die on this field for you. I want you to go out there and play fearlessly.”

The game gave Sapp lots of confidence.

“No matter who we play, we go out there and let loose, we play fearless and we strike.”

He says the Gators need to play a cleaner game and focus on techniques and fundamentals in order to outwork and outsmart the opponents.

“I love the fact that we can improve and it can be even more scary.”

He is excited for the team to get better.

“We can wreak more havoc and give teams problems.”

The team can improve by winning on first and second down, “We got to earn the right to rush the passer.”

Trust in the Coach

Sapp said the practice this week was tough, but that it’s always a hard-practice environment.

“I used to always tell recruits, if you come here, it’s going to be hard.”

Sapp said coach Billy Napier has been honest with him and that he has kept his word every time.

“I’m with him (Napier) regardless of what anybody thinks.”

Napier motivates Sapp to be a better player.

“You want to play hard for him, you want to run through that wall for him, you want to dominate for him.”

Sapp is looking forward to the first home game in The Swamp.

“That place is electrifying… it’s sacred ground.”

The Gators play McNeese State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

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