Notebook: Harvin, Spikes likely out


University of Florida's Percy Harvin is tackled by University of Michigan's Jamar Adams in the third quarter. Harvin is likely out for Florida's opener against Hawaii on Saturday.

BRANDON KRUSE/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 28, 2008 at 12:06 a.m.

As the days tick down until the season opener against Hawaii, the chances of Florida having two of its biggest stars on the field is fading.

UF coach Urban Meyer all but ruled out junior receiver Percy Harvin (heel) and junior linebacker Brandon Spikes (foot) for this weekend's game after Wednesday's practice.

Harvin has practiced this entire week and there seemed to be a chance that he would be ready to play against the Warriors, but now it seems UF's staff will look to get him close to 100 percent in time for the Miami game on Sept. 6.

Meyer also made it clear that he is not looking to hold either player out until conference play.

"There's no holding them," Meyer said. "We better play some excellent defense and take care of the football Saturday."

Junior Ryan Stamper will replace Spikes on Saturday. In limited duty at linebacker, Stamper has accumulated 25 tackles and two sacks in three seasons.

"Stamper is a very physical, accountable guy," Meyer said. "(Spikes and Stamper are) very similar players. He's always there. He's one of those guys that works his tail off. He starts on punt team which tells a little bit about how much I think of him."

Besides Harvin and Spikes being out, Meyer said redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Maurice Hurt will miss Saturday's game because of a stinger in his elbow.

DAVIS WORKING OUT:

Defensive line coach Dan McCarney said sophomore defensive lineman Torrey Davis is working out with the scout team right now and has yet to get into any kind of rotation on the defensive line.

"We just finished 28 practices and he's been with us two days," McCarney said. "He's not in very good shape. He's a long ways a ways from playing on game day. (He is) still on the team. Still on scholarship, but he won't be playing Saturday."

Davis was held out of preseason camp due to academic issues.

TEAM INVESTED:

Meyer has mentioned many times this summer that the team chemistry is much higher now than it was at any point last year.

The main reason, Meyer said, is because his players have matured since the 2007 season and have become much more invested in the program.

"If you're invested in something then you respond to adversity," he said. "If you're not invested then there's nothing to respond to because you're not invested. My guess would be that the reason we're still so positive (and) we're going to have a great year is because there's a lot of invested players. They're older and more mature. It's not the same (as it was last year)."

ETC.:

McCarney said Ronnie Wilson is no longer working with the defensive line and will head back to offense, but could still be used on defense in goal line situations. "I enjoyed working with him," he said. "He's a tough guy and a strong guy. He's gotta help out the team somehow, someway." Meyer said defensive end Brandon Antwine, who suffered a devastating back injury a year ago, is working out with the team and could return to full speed by the second half of the season. "I give Brandon a lot of credit," he said. "That was a real painful situation he had and he's out there practicing or trying. He's not practicing with pads on. He's just trying to get back in shape." Redshirt freshman quarterback John Brantley (staph infection) practiced Wednesday, Meyer said. Senior Jonathan Phillips will start at place kicker Saturday, while freshman Caleb Sturgis will handle kickoff duties, Meyer said.

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