Spring practice report: Wednesday, April 1


Published: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 11:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 11:52 p.m.

Highlights

Wednesday’s rain forced the Gators to start practice about 30 minutes early, and they spent the entire day on the field turf field at the west end of the practice complex. ... Quarterback Tim Tebow spent the early part of practice taking five and seven-step drops and then throwing passes to stationary receivers. He looked extremely sharp and appears to be getting very comfortable with the things new quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler is teaching him. His mechanics and throwing motion appear much better after only a week of work. ... No. 2 quarterback John Brantley also continues to throw the ball extremely well. After practice, Loeffler said Brantley is just a natural passer and a pleasure to work with. ... In full-speed one-on-one blocking drills, senior wide receiver David Nelson got the best of starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins. In the same drill, strong safety Ahmad Black overwhelmed wide receiver Paul Wilson, while redshirt freshman wide receiver T.J. Lawrence effectively blocked starting safety Major Wright. ... In one-on-one passing drills, Carl Moore slipped the coverage of Jenkins to make a catch over the middle and Black broke up a pass intended for Nelson. Later in the same drills, Wright put some suffocating coverage on starting tight end Aaron Hernandez, who could not shake Wright despite making numerous moves., and reserve cornerbacks Adrian Bushell and Moses Jenkins broke up passes. Also, Loeffler showed a very accurate arm alternating with Tebow throwing passes. He threw a beautiful fade route to wide receiver Justin Williams. ... Tailback Jeff Demps did not practice. He spent the day with the track team. ... In seven-on-seven, Brantley completed two passes to wide receiver Carl Moore, the second coming in serious traffic over the middle. Moore continues to have an excellent spring. ... On consecutive plays later in the drill, Brantley completed a pass to Nelson over the middle, then hooked up with Cade Holliday for a 25-yard TD pass over the middle. Also, Tebow completed a 25-yard pass to Moore. ... In the final phase of practice, 11-on-11, tailback Chris Rainey broke off a long touchdown run (about 60 yards). The defense also had its moments, with Emmanuel Moody getting stuffed by end Jermaine Cunningham and Brantley getting stopped for losses on consecutive option plays.

Lowlights

Cornerback Markihe Anderson dropped an interception during seven-on-seven. In the same drill, wide receiver Justin Williams dropped a pass and outside linebacker John Jones dropped an interception. ... In one-on-one drills, the defensive front pretty much ran through and around the young offensive linemen..

Young guy watch

In one-on-one passing drills, redshirt freshman Frankie Hammond made a nifty double move on true freshman Dee Finley to get open for a touchdown reception. Hammond had another excellent practice, probably catching more balls than any of the other wide receivers. ... Redshirt freshman wide receiver T.J. Lawrence faked out safety Will Hill with a double move to catch a pass from Brantley. ... True freshman tight end Desmond Parks continues to make plays. He caught a 25-yard TD pass from Brantley midway through drills. ... Redshirt freshman center Sam Roby could not handle nose tackle Jaye Howard in one-on-one blocking drills.

Quote/unquote

“(Redshirt freshman wide receiver) Frankie Hammond is making some unbelievable catches out there, and he’s really stepping up. He’s starting to get it, he’s starting to make plays.”

—No. 2 quarterback John Brantley

Play of the day

In 11-on-11, true freshman linebacker Jon Bostic intercepted a Brantley pass and returned it for a touchdown.

Injury update

Kick returner Brandon James is still using crutches, but he now has a boot on his injured foot and is walking some on it. ... Offensive tackle Matt Patchan (knee) put down the crutches Wednesday, but there still is no timetable for his return. ... The players in the pit Wednesday were defensive linemen Troy Epps (knee) and Terron Sanders (calf), offensive guard Jim Barrie (knee) and outside linebacker Branon Hicks (shoulder). Defensive tackle Brandon Antwine (knee) was at practice but not participate.

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