Notebook: Sarvary giving center a try


Florida offensive lineman Drew Sarvary has recently started training at center to add depth to the position.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 5:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 5:56 p.m.

Drew Sarvary has done a lot of bouncing around since his high school days in Tallahassee.

He signed with Florida A&M and started as a true freshman, his first game coming against Oklahoma. He left after a year and went to Tyler Junior College in Texas. He played for a season there, then committed to Texas Tech but ended up signing with Florida last December.

Well, Sarvary is bouncing again. This time, from tackle to guard to center.

His latest bounce came last week, when the Florida coaches asked him if he’d like to give center a try, a position where the Gators lack depth.

“It’s going well,” Sarvary said Thursday. “I like it. It’s a little different, brings new challenges. It definitely motivates me more. Wherever they needed me. That’s where coach came up to me and told me, ‘Do you want to try out center?’ I was like, ‘I’ll do whatever you need.’ So, that’s where they’ve got me.”

It’s been a quick and successful transition, apparently. UF coach Will Muschamp named Sarvary one of the nine offensive linemen he has confidence in earlier in the week.

“Toughest part is just trying to get your angle on your blocks,” he said. “I played guard and tackle before. You don’t really have a guy that close to you. When you’re playing center, you have a guy that’s probably six inches away. At guard, you’re probably a foot-plus back. It’s a lot different playing with someone right up in your face.”

Sarvary said the move to center may help him get on the field sooner this season.

“Yes sir,” he said. “I'm bouncing all over, center, wherever they want me. I'll help out the team wherever they need."

Sarvary said he’d never played the position until he lined up there for the first time last week.

“This is my first week snapping. It's not too bad,” he said. “It’s going good (with the shotgun snaps). I haven't had too many mess-ups. It's not as hard as everyone thinks it is. It's almost like golf. You've got to do the same repetitions every time and it'll go right back to the quarterback."

Jackson in the rotation

Even though true freshman cornerback J.C. Jackson (shoulder) continues to practice in a non-contact jersey, he’s been able to show the coaches quite a lot, apparently

“He’s got all the ability in the world. He’s going to be playing out there. You’ll see him on the field,” defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin said. “Not being there in the spring, he was behind the learning curve a little bit. He caught up fine and we feel good about where he is responsibility-wise, especially as we hone in on through camp and install a lot of things. Now that we get into game week, we try to narrow it down. I think he’ll be fine.”

Dawson cross-training

Another true freshman defensive back, Duke Dawson, is splitting his practice time between cornerback and safety, and could end up playing both positions this season.

“Duke is cross-training, learning both corner and safety for us,” Durkin said. “Duke is doing a great job, for a freshman to do that. Now, he was here for the spring to do that, but Duke has a great demeanor about him, great practice tempo, he wants to learn. He’s learning and doing a great job. He’ll play.”

Rolin coming along

Redshirt freshman linebacker Matt Rolin has recovered from the ACL surgery he underwent last August (his second in a year), but the coaches continue to place some limits on him in practice.

“It’s kind of half and half,” Durkin said. “We’ve been very careful in implementing him back in. He’s doing all the individual (work), he’s doing a lot of the drills that are 11-on-11. We’ve been cautious so far in 11-on-11 with him and that’s just to get him back full strength. We don’t want to hurry him into a situation he’s not ready for. But he’s cleared to do all that. It’s kind of us just watching his number of snaps.”

Hargreaves leading

It’s become fairly clear in camp that sophomore cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III has emerged as a team leader. Another sign popped up Thursday, when he told the defensive backs they should do some extra running on their own after practice, and they all joined in with him.

“When we get disciplined we usually have to go run a little bit,” redshirt safety Nick Washington said. “Today, just for extra, we ran a little bit and that was his idea. It was a good idea.

“I mean, it was hot outside. To be honest with you I was like, ‘Oh, man, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do this.’ But when I thought about it we actually need conditioning because we will play noon games and it’s going to be hot outside, and we can’t say that during the game.”

Law-dog getting it done

Sophomore defensive end Alex McCalister revealed Thursday that he has a nickname for veteran (and very respected) defensive line coach Brad Lawing, who coached Jadeveon Clowney at South Carolina.

“Coach Lawing? Coach Lawing’s my dog, big Law-dog,” McCalister said. “Coach Lawing has shown me a lot. He’ll show you everything, really. He’s been coaching for 92,000 years so you can learn a lot from coach Lawing.

“Simple stuff — coming out my hips, striking, using your helmet — just every little thing. Coach Lawing knows it all. He’s a pretty good, old guy.”

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