GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Urban Meyer surveys his squad of Gators as they sprint past, snapping at those who lag behind.
It's the final practice of the spring for Florida and its new coach. Traditionally, the Gators have had a light workout the day before the Orange and Blue scrimmage in "The Swamp."
Not this time.
"Another day of work, men," Meyer calls out. "Another day. Another day. Another day."
Nearly three hours later, the Gators are done.
Welcome to Urban Renewal at the University of Florida, where optimism abounds, the coach is adored and the buzz words are honesty and accountability.
Meyer has risen through the ranks of college coaching with head-spinning speed. After two seasons at Bowling Green and two more at Utah, the 40-year-old with the innovative offense and contagious intensity is already being called the next great college coach.
"It's very humbling and, if you know me, it's extremely uncomfortable," he said.
Leading Utah to a 12-0 season and a berth in the Bowl Championship Series made Meyer the most wanted coach in the country last year.
Florida was first to come calling in search of a replacement for Ron Zook. In three seasons under Zook, Gainesville had become a grumpy place. The Gators, once mighty under Steve Spurrier, were often mediocre for his successor.
"What we went through the last three years was not good," athletic director Jeremy Foley said. "A lot of negativity. A lot of divisiveness. It wasn't fun for anybody."
Foley fiddled with the idea of bringing back Spurrier, but the coach decided he wasn't interested in trying to rekindle past glory. Foley then went after Meyer.
Meyer had all but made up his mind to take the Florida job when Notre Dame made its pitch for the former Irish assistant.
He had his pick from two of college football's most prestigious programs.
"I'm Irish Catholic so I love Notre Dame," Meyer said. "I love that place. I always will. That was more than a tug."
But the Florida job was just too good.
"The best academics. The best facilities. The best stadium. The best location," Meyer said.
Just hiring Meyer helped improve the mood in Gainesville. And with every move he's made, the players, many of whom groused when Zook was let go, and fans have become more devout followers.
"We heard him talk and the confidence that he had and the enthusiasm that he had, we just looked at each other like, 'OK this is going to work,"' linebacker Brandon Siler said.
Meyer has done small things such as bringing the bleachers back to the practice field, so fans could sit and watch the spring workouts. Zook had removed the metal stands.
He's done big things such as creating a leadership committee to make players accountable to each other. The committee of 14 players, chosen by the team, will make decisions ranging from what's served for dinner to the type of punishment doled out to rule-breakers.
"The key word in this whole thing is ownership," Meyer said. "If they think it's a dictatorship, there's much more resistance."
Meyer has been brutally honest when speaking to the media about his players. Early this spring, he said the team wasn't tough. He said defensive tackle Ray McDonald, a two-year starter, didn't always play hard. He called quarterback Chris Leak a poor leader, because while Leak was a model student-athlete he didn't do enough to make sure his teammates were the same.
Meyer doesn't call it criticism.
"I say it's honest evaluation," he said.
And the players don't seem to mind.
"Some coaches might hold back because they're scared they might hurt your feelings," safety Jarvis Herring said. "He'll tell you what's on his mind. I love that."
Meyer has reached out to former Gators greats, many of whom grew disenchanted with the program during Zook's tenure. Neal Anderson, Alex Brown, Danny Wuerffel, Chris Doering and Jack Youngblood were among the dozen or so former Florida players at the Orange and Blue game on Saturday -- along with a record 58,500 fans.
"There's a tradition here that's as good as any in the country, especially in the last 15 years," Meyer said. "Those guys need to come back."
Meyer even called Spurrier, "just out of respect."
Meyer's even trying to get the students more involved, visiting the fraternity and sorority houses and encouraging everyone on campus to learn the fight song.
Ultimately, though Meyer will be judged on wins and losses.
Foley says he wants Florida to be "in the hunt" for championships again, like it was in the 1990s under Spurrier.
It's a huge jump up the college football food chain for Meyer, from Utah of the Mountain West to one of the flagship programs of the Southeastern Conference.
The spotlight will be brighter than he's ever faced, the potential distractions more plentiful.
His plan for success, however, is unchanged.
"What's the difference between Florida and Bowling Green? Inside the walls, nothing," he said. "Outside the walls, everything. So how much time do I spend outside the walls? Not a whole lot."