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Saturday, January 22, 2022

When UF offensive line coach Steve Addazio is speaking, it's best to stand a few feet away.

"He's always got spit flying," senior center Drew Miller said. "He brings all the energy and juice for us, trying to get us motivated."

That's what the UF football team calls the "Vitamin Addazio," a rousing pep talk the morning before every game in the team's hotel.

There are differing opinions on whether Addazio BscaresC the players, but there is one thing the team is unanimous on: Addazio is a firecracker.

He mainly deals with the offensive line, but the whole team gets to witness the saliva-spewing speech during breakfast every Saturday.

BI sit kind of away from him, because that dude?s crazy,C sophomore Jarred Fayson said. BHe might hit you any day, he might push you, he might throw a Gatorade or something. You just got to try to stay out of the way from him. It?s a good speech that?ll get you going.C

With the Gators at 3-0 and coming off a 59-20 thrashing of Tennessee, Vitamin Addazio will certainly remain part of a complete breakfast for UF.

But nobody ever said that breakfast was exactly wholesome.

BIt?s just about every other word,C Fayson said when asked if there?s profanity in the pep talks. BI can?t repeat none of that. He?s always walking around the locker room screaming. When we get ready for practice, he?s just walking through there loud.C

Whether it?s Saturday morning before a game or every day in the film room, there?s little chance of escaping the Vitamin if you make a mistake.

BIf I mess up in practice on kickoff return, it could almost mess up your whole practice,C cornerback Joe Haden said. BTomorrow when you go to your kickoff meeting - oh my God - he?ll tear you apart. He scares me the most.C

While the rest of the team gets some time off from Addazio, there?s little the offensive linemen can do to avoid him.

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Fayson said he and the receivers joke that they?re glad they don?t have to face Addazio on a consistent basis.

BHe has his days,C freshman offensive lineman Mike Pouncey said. BIf we mess up, he?s going to get after us. We know that. (I get spit on) all the time. When he goes to yelling, he just can?t control it. It just comes out. I?m like, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. He can spit it far now.

BWe have fun with him all the time, so we don?t really mind it. It?s great having a coach like that. I love being around him.C

With Saturday?s game against Mississippi kicking off at 12:30 p.m. EST, Addazio will have to put in some overtime to get the Gators ready.

BWhen we wake them up, it?s a circus,C Coach Urban Meyer said. BThere?s no alarm clock going off. There?s assistant coaches kicking doors in, they rip their curtains open. They give them orange juice and throw a newspaper at them.C

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