Muschamp keeping options open at punt returner

Florida's Andre DeBose runs up field against Bowling Green at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Sept. 1. Florida defeated Bowling Green, 27-14.

Matt Stamey/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 12:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 12:13 p.m.

Although Florida coach Will Muschamp said he has confidence in Andre Debose as a punt returner, the Gators apparently still have not settled on a starting returner for Saturday night's Vanderbilt game.

Debose and safety De'Ante “Pop” Saunders combined for zero punt return yardage in the victory over LSU this past Saturday. Debose let two punts drop in front of him, while Saunders had three fair catches.

Saunders was the No. 1 punt returner for the start of the LSU game, but was replaced by Debose late in the second quarter.

“I have a lot of confidence in Andre,” Muschamp said on the SEC coaches' teleconference Wednesday. “Andre got banged up last week. We've just got to make better decisions as far as fielding the ball.”

Muschamp said Debose, Saunders, wide receiver Frankie Hammond Jr. and cornerback Marcus Roberson have been getting reps at punt returner this week in practice.

“We're still repping a lot of guys,” Muschamp said. “I have confidence in Andre. We have to do a better job holding up, blocking for him. A couple of situations, we could have certainly fielded the ball and not lost yardage there.”

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