Notebook: Mixed reviews at TE

Coach Will Muschamp says tight end Tevin Westbrook has been doing a good job of blocking.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 3:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 3:59 p.m.

Even though Florida's tight end position has produced only one reception for one yard this season, Will Muschamp said he's not totally dissatisfied with the overall play at the position.

“We've been very good as far as the blocking,” he said. “Clay Burton had his best game as far as that's concerned up at Kentucky. Tevin Westbrook has done a nice job. Very disappointed Colin Thompson hurt his foot again. Colin was really turning the corner for us and becoming a more dependable guy who was going to really, really help us.

“Kent (Taylor) has been banged up with an ankle and just got back this week. A little frustrated, to be honest, as far as the production in the passing game. We would like to get more out of it.”

UF's leading receiver last season was tight end Jordan Reed, who had 45 receptions for 559 yards and three touchdowns.

Muschamp said senior wide receiver Trey Burton is filling Reed's role.

“He's done a really nice job in the slot,” Muschamp said. “Very similar to how we used Jordan last year, by design to be our leading receiver. (Reed) was a very good weapon for us in the passing game. Trey has been, too, and really has been a guy we have counted on in the passing game.

“We've gotten the production from the position, just with a different type of body doing it, maybe a different type of label as far as the position is concerned.”

DiMarco swings into new role

Chris DiMarco, the PGA Tour veteran and UF Hall of Famer, will be the third Gator great to perform the “Mr. Two Bits” celebrity pre-game ritual Saturday before the UF-Arkansas game.

“It's pretty cool,” DiMarco told The Sun. “I've gotten to do a lot of cool things in my life, but this is one of the best.

“They sent me a video of how Mr. Two Bits did it. I'm sure there will be a lot of adrenaline pumping trying to get 90,000 exited.”

DiMarco was preceded in the role by Errict Rhett and Danny Wuerffel.

Bielema fitting right in

Bret Bielema said his transition from the Big 10 (Wisconsin) to the SEC (Arkansas) has been a smooth one so far.

"It's been everything I could expect for the type of job it is,” said the new Arkansas coach. “It's been an awesome experience for my wife and I to settle into a great community. It's a university that loves the Hogs. Academically, athletically, we're getting all the support that we need.”

Bielema said one of his early coaching moves was to make a trip to Gainesville this summer to familiarize himself with UF and The Swamp.

“I went to Gainesville earlier this summer to take a sneak peak at the stadium and the hotel where we're staying at in Ocala,” he said. “It's been fun.”

Bielema said he knows there's much work ahead rebuilding the Arkansas program.

“I knew when I took the job it was going to be a tremendous challenge,” he said. “It's a work in progress. I was in a comfortable situation at Wisconsin, but wanted a different challenge and a chance to get out of my comfort zone.”

Bielema familiar with UF staff

Bielema has been around Muschamp several times, including at the SEC spring meetings in May, and said that he knows several members of Muschamp's coaching staff.

“I have tremendous amount of respect for Will and his staff,” he said. “I know several of them. Know Joker (Phillips) and Tim (Davis). I know a lot of those guys on that staff. They do a tremendous job, not just coaching players, but in the recruiting world.

“It's fun to watch their defense. Obviously, we're going to have to play against them Saturday, but they are a team that I have respect for, the way they're coached and the way they play.”

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