Notebook: Defensive backs have impressive showing
Published: Monday, August 4, 2014 at 10:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 4, 2014 at 10:25 p.m.
Florida's five true freshmen defensive backs made a positive impression on coach Will Muschamp on the first day of preseason camp Monday.
Two of the freshmen — cornerbacks Jalen Tabor and Duke Dawson — practiced with the team as early enrollees in the spring. The other three — Quincy Wilson, Deiondre Porter and J.C. Jackson — went through their first practice Monday night. Jackson, still recovering from shoulder surgery, was limited.
“Athletic,” Muschamp said of the young DBs. “Those guys (Tabor and Dawson), good carry-over. Jalen did some nice things. Duke did some nice things. He's a guy we played at the nickel a little in the spring. He can play a different position.
“He gives you a different skill set as far as a bigger guy that's a good blitzer. He's got good run instincts, could possibly get some looks at safety. Smart guy. Quincy Wilson had an interception tonight. Deiondre Porter played mostly offense in high school, so it's a transition for him, but he's a very good athlete.
“Pleased with what we see so far. Some very positive things.”
Muschamp said Wilson is playing cornerback.
Gators an SI sleeper
Sports Illustrated has picked Florida as one of its five sleeper teams to possibly make it to the four-team College Football Playoff this season.
SI had this to say about the Gators: "Top-to-bottom talented, yet underperforming SEC team shifting from a pro-style to a spread offense? Sounds a lot like Auburn last year, only Florida won't have to make nearly as steep a climb."
SI's other four sleeper schools are Duke, Marshall, Iowa and Mississippi State.
Fulwood coming on
True sophomore wide receiver Ahmad Fulwood continues to make progress after coming on strong in the last half of last season, according to Muschamp.
“He's a matchup issue because of his length. He's gotten stronger, he's gotten much more crisp in his route running, snapping routes off,” Muschamp said. “He catches the ball extremely well. But because of his length, he's a guy as a defensive coach when you line up, you are a little leery of lining up a smaller corner versus him because he does have exceptional ball skills and he catches the ball at the highest point very well. So because of his length, he presents some issues.”
Muschamp said the Gators will face adversity at some point in camp, just like they will at times during the season. He said the players need to prepare themselves to take on any tough times ahead.
“Embracing adversity, we'll have adversity this year, when it will happen, I don't know,” he said. “It could be in training camp, during the season at some point. It's going to happen. We've got to handle and embrace that.
“With that being said, embrace your competitive edge as a player. That helps our football team. Those are things to me that we are really emphasizing heading into camp, making sure that we develop those things.”