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Former Florida tight end Tate Casey glad to see Dan Mullen’s Gainesville return

Dan Mullen
Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

New coach Dan Mullen certainly has a lot of history at Florida. As offensive coordinator from 2005-08, he helped the Gators win two national titles in the three-year stretch.

Tate Casey played tight end at Florida on both of those national title teams, and he joined 1010XL Radio in Jacksonville earlier this week to talk about his former offensive coordinator.

“I love the hire,” Casey said regarding Mullen. “I love to see Dan come back as a head coach. … It’s a great opportunity for him to do what he does because he is just a great offensive guru.”

Casey praised Mullen’s intensity and attention to detail.

RELATED: What kind of work can Dan Mullen do on recruiting trail at Florida, both immediately and in future?

“I think with Dan, what you get is a sharp, focused individual,” Casey said. “First and foremost, he’s a competitor. He loves competition and he loves to win. He does a great job of being that guy that’s always smiling and always happy. He takes every day as a chance to get better.

“He lives that out, but behind the scenes he’s grinding. I think a lot of players can attest that he is a very gritty guy when you get in the trenches and are competing to win a championship. He’s the kind of guy that will get down and dirty and get it done.”

Casey expects Mullen and his staff to project a strong vision for recruits at Florida.

“What I remember most about Urban Meyer’s staff as it relates to Mullen is those guys have a way of selling the offense, selling the goal and selling exactly what they are trying to do,” he said. “I think what he is doing right now is putting a staff together that will be a tough staff to beat in terms of the recruiting process. When you get guys like Billy Gonzales and John Hevesy — both have been at Florida and they know the process and they know the ins-and-outs of how to sell the program. That’s a huge deal.”

Casey played four seasons at Florida and probably is best-remembered as the guy who caught the first Tim Tebow jump pass, against LSU in 2006.

RELATED: The cupboard is closer to full than bare at Florida, but QB situation a giant concern

“I get quite a bit of comments about it,” Casey said, laughing. “The way I see it is it’s better to be known for something than nothing at all. I had some great memories at Florida and obviously that was one of them.

“I keep telling people you don’t know how hard that adjustment was. Give your boy some props; I think it should be called the Tate Casey jump catch instead of the Tim Tebow jump pass.”

(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)

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