(AP Photo/Butch Dill)
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- During a big recruiting weekend last month, Florida coach Jim McElwain told a basketball crowd on campus that "when we get back to Atlanta next year, we're going to kick the door down."
He was asked on national signing day -- which Alabama dominated once again -- how he planned to accomplish that after the Crimson Tide topped most recruiting lists.
"Get a bigger hammer," McElwain said. "Steel-toed boots this time instead of tennis shoes."
Florida lost to Alabama in the Southeastern Conference championship game each of the last two years in Atlanta, falling 54-16 in December and 29-15 in 2015.
Could the third time be the one?
"We're looking forward to it," McElwain said. "I know this: We've got a good football team. We've got a bunch of good players. We got a bunch of guys committed to something that, you know what, our first recruiting class now has been to Atlanta back-to-back years. I don't know how many recruiting classes in the SEC have ever done that.
"They understand what it is and what it is. Now, what they need to do is they need to impart some of that with these guys and really get them indoctrinated in the way we're going to do things. Part of it is an expectation. Part of it is a mindset about how you go about your work."
The Gators finished with the 10th-ranked recruiting class, according to 247Sports composite rankings. Alabama topped the list for the seventh straight year.