CFB: Florida's Meyer feeling better, staying involved
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida coach Urban Meyer is working out, eating better and has gained 20 pounds since the end of the season — all good news for the Gators.
As for that leave of absence?
Well, it might not even happen. Or at least not like anyone thought it would.
Meyer, speaking publicly for the first time since Florida beat Cincinnati 51-24 in the Sugar Bowl, said Saturday night that his workload has been about the same as it has been during other recruiting seasons. The biggest difference is he is traveling less.
He also plans to coach the Gators during spring practice.
Meyer announced his resignation last month, citing health concerns three weeks after he was rushed to a hospital with chest pains. He changed his mind the following day and instead said he planned to take an indefinite leave following the bowl game.
"I keep hearing about this time out," Meyer said. "People I'm closest to are going to demand I take some time off, but I tried that already. I tried a day and a half, and it didn't work."
Meyer returned to the office, hired four assistant coaches and has assembled what is shaping up to be the nation's No. 1 recruiting class.
Nonetheless, he has a series of heart and stress tests scheduled for next month. But he again declined to divulge details about his health.
"I'm not going to get into that publicly, but so far the tests are coming back pretty positive," he said.
Meyer said athletic director Jeremy Foley and his wife, Shelley, want him to take some time off after signing day next month. He indicated he might step away between signing day and spring practice — something he hasn't done the last five years in Gainesville — but added that he hasn't made any definite plans.
"I've been instructed I have to. I'm just not sure what I'm going to do," he said. "I just don't know how long."
Meyer made it clear, though, his daily routine needs to be overhauled.
"I have to change some things," he said. "That's obvious."
His routine already has been modified, starting with workouts and including better eating habits.
"I feel real good," he said. "I've been working out a lot. I'm over 200 pounds, so I guess that's how they gauge it a little bit because I was not good there for a while. Doing a lot better."
Asked why he lost so much weight during the season, he replied, "It's called ignorance or something like that."
Meyer watched the first half of Florida's game against South Carolina alongside two big-time recruits, safety Matt Elam and defensive end Ronald Powell.
"I'm excited about our staff," Meyer said. "I'm really excited about our team and recruiting's obviously going well."