October 31, 2011

'It's not dark anymore'

For once after playing Florida, Orson Charles can't wait to go home to Tampa.

"Now, I've got bragging rights," said Charles, who was still beaming after practice Monday afternoon.

"It meant so much, not just to me, not just to all the Florida guys, but to the program and the coaches," he continued. "We hadn't beat Florida since 2007, so this meant a lot.
"There's a big cloud over us and it's not dark anymore."

Charles wasn't the only Bulldog still feeling a bit giddy following Saturday's 24-20 win.

Quarterback Aaron Murray made an impromptu appearance at Monday's post-practice press session to playfully film center Ben Jones during an interview, while others clowned around, including tight end Arthur Lynch, who walked around asking teammates to explain the meaning of "foliage."

Charles said Saturday's game was one he will never forget.

"We talked about it today; it just meant so much," Charles said. "I just want to thank my teammates for fighting, even though we were down 17-3; we never lost hope, never lost doubt."

Like teammates Jarvis Jones, Charles said being able to disprove a claim former Gator coach Urban Meyer used to make to recruits like himself made it all the more sweeter.

"It's like Jarvis said, (Meyer) used to tell us if we went to Georgia he'd beat us every year. He said that to all of us (recruits)," Charles said. "So even though he's gone, there was still that weight on my shoulders. Every time I'd see a Florida symbol on a shirt or anything, I'd think about what he said."

Charles was asked if he still had Meyer's number and if he'd consider giving him a call.

"Oh, no," Charles said. "I still respect him as a coach, but I'm sure he's got better things to do than hear from me."

Monday's comments were the first from Charles about the game as the junior tight end has started a tradition of not commenting during the week of the game.

"It's just that when everybody thinks Orson Charles and Florida, it's always about the trophy," explained Charles, who accidently broke one of the Gators' original national championship trophies during one of his recruiting trips.

"It was taking away from Georgia versus Florida and becoming Orson versus Florida," he said. "The reason I stopped it is because I didn't want it to be about me, but about us, the team, going over there and beating Florida which is what we did."

Anthony Dasher is the managing editor for UGASports
and he can be reached via email at dash@ugasports.com.