Gators ready to start season

John Brantley said Monday his back feels better. Courtesy of UF Communications

Published: Monday, August 29, 2011 at 12:31 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 29, 2011 at 1:54 p.m.

Florida senior quarterback John Brantley's back is fine and he's good to go this week, he said during Monday's news conference at UF.

The Gators open the season at 7 p.m. Saturday against Florida Atlantic at Florida Field.

Brantley said his back has been sore and tight, which forced him to miss some practice time work over the last two weeks.

Meanwhile, Florida players can't wait to unveil the new offense under coordinator Charlie Weis, Brantley said.

“UF fans are going to like this offense,” Brantley said. “We're ready to show everybody what we've got.”

Brantley also credits Weis with helping him overcome last year's poor performance. Weis has told Brantley to forget about last year and move forward.

Also from Monday's news conference, coach Will Muschamp is pleased with his team's preparation. The Gators had good practices after the poor scrimmage last Wednesday night, he said.

In other notes: Muschamp on calling plays on defense: “(Dan) Quinn is going to call it and I'm going to be on the headset. Both coordinators will be on the field.”

Tight end A.C. Leonard is out for the opener. Cornerback Jeremy Brown (knee) and wide receiver Omarius Hines (hamstring) are questionable, along with linebacker Dee Finley. ... Freshman Pop Saunders is the front-runner to start at free safety. Muschamp said he has all the intangibles. ... The most hotly contested jobs are on the offensive line and in the secondary, according to Muschamp. ... Jaylen Watkins has moved to cornerback and he'll split time between cornerback and safety.

Click back for more on today's news conferences.

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