Lane emerges as physical rushing threat for Gators

Redshirt freshman Adam Lane runs up field during the second half of the Orange & Blue Debut at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. The game ended in a 23-23 tie.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 12, 2014 at 7:36 p.m.

Adam Lane's emergence in Saturday's Orange & Blue Debut can best be described by starting quarterback Jeff Driskel.

Lane led all rushers with 12 carries for 64 yards.

Driskel said Florida's players are well aware of Lane's abilities, but he doesn't hear much about the redshirt freshman running back from people outside of the team.

“You never really know how good he is until you see him live,” Driskel said. “He's a guy that not too many people want to tackle.”

That's because few can bring down the 5-foot-7, 222-pound wrecking ball.

“Adam Lane is a physical runner,” linebacker Jarrad Davis said. “He's a smaller, shorter guy with a low center of gravity.

“You have to really wrap him up and put everything that you have into him. If you don't, you're just going to bounce off and not make the tackle. He'll run through it.”

With starter Kelvin Taylor playing just one series and three other running backs sidelined due to injuries, Lane received some extended snaps in the game and made the most of them.

He broke several tackles and was never driven backward by a defender. On one of his runs, Lane reached the second level and collided with Keanu Neal, Florida's most physical safety.

Lane knocked Neal's helmet off.

“I just try to always go forward, keep my feet moving and blast the defense,” he said.

Lane believes redshirting last season helped him develop his game and get ready for a moment like Saturday.

“Last year, at first I was kind of sad about the situation,” he said. “But I feel like it was the best thing I could have ever done. I got to sit down, evaluate myself and things I needed to get better on, and just grow as a player.”

Lane's improved play allows new offensive coordinator Kurt Roper to use two-back sets, which UF coach Will Muschamp called one of their best personnel groupings.

Davis feels Lane will provide a valuable change-up at the position.

“You get him in the red zone or wherever you want to put him,” Davis said, “and he can come in and get those hard-nose yards.”

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