Notebook: Mann going on the offensive


Published: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 7:43 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 7:43 p.m.

True freshman Jafar Mann has been moved from defensive tackle to offensive guard, a source told The Sun on Tuesday.

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Florida's Jafar Mann talks with an assistant coach during a recent practice.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer

The position switch didn't come as a shock to Ron Gartrell, Mann's coach at Stephenson High School in Stone Mountain, Ga.

“Well it's no surprise to us that they moved him to the offensive line,” Gartrell said. “We kind of felt that's where he would be playing at the next level. It's not new to him.”

Mann started at offensive guard as a sophomore and junior before playing both ways as a senior and becoming a three-star defensive tackle prospect. Gartrell said Mann was a key blocker for the Jaguars and helped them produce one of the top rushing attacks in the state of Georgia, led by running back Mike Davis (a former UF commit now at South Carolina).

At 6-foot-3, 317 pounds, Mann certainly has the ideal size of an SEC lineman. Gartrell said the key for Mann will be how he responds to the competition at the collegiate level.

“If he's motivated, he can become as good as anybody,” Gartrell said. “I know he should be at Florida. When you're in high school and you're one of the bigger kids on the team, you start just about every game you play in. It's kind of easy to get bored or lose interest in your work ethic. He worked hard here, but the challenge wasn't there every day. So I think at Florida he'll be challenged every day and he should do well because that's expected of him.”

Mann's move to the offensive side of the ball should help UF fill a recruiting need at guard. The Gators lost a commitment from Joshua Outlaw (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King) on Aug. 19 and it looks like they may have trouble finding a suitable replacement this fall.

More replays for SEC fans

Football fans will witness more game action on stadium video boards when they attend games in SEC stadiums this season.

Beginning this Thursday when Vanderbilt hosts South Carolina, there will be no limit in the amount of replays that can be shown from the end of a play until the beginning of the next play, except when a stoppage occurs for an official review. In previous years, the conference policy only allowed one real-time replay for all plays in a game.

During official reviews, stadium video boards can show replays from the television network that is broadcasting the game between the referee's signal to stop play and his announcement of the review's outcome.

Additionally, replays of touchdowns not stopped for official review can be shown after the PAT up until the ensuing kickoff.

The change in replay policy was approved this month by the SEC Athletics Directors in following a recommendation from the conference's Working Group on Fan Experience.

“The change in policy will allow our fans to see more of the action, including great plays and close calls,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “Fans in the stadium now can see many of the same views of a play seen by fans watching on television. This should add to the overall game experience for fans inside our stadiums.”

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