The UF players seem unanimous in their belief that strength and conditioning coordinator Nick Savage has made a big difference in getting them mentally and physically prepared for camp and the start of the season.
UF coach Dan Mullen agrees.
“With Coach Savage, we’re bigger, stronger, faster,” he said.
Senior defensive tackle Khairi Clark said there’s a big difference between now and last season in terms of strength and endurance.
He said the Gators basically ran out of gas in almost every game last season.
“I would honestly say it was the majority of the games,” Clark said. “Last year I felt like we weren’t as strong as what we are right now, because of the staff we had last year. We didn’t get pushed as hard as to what this staff does for us. I feel it’s a big difference now, because this staff has actually made all of us very stronger, and we’re noticing it during practice.”
While Mullen is happy about the shape his team is in, he’s not been pleased with the overall effort through the first few practices of camp.
“Our guys have really got to learn the level of our expectations that we need them to work at,” Mullen said. “Worrying about how hard can you go from the beginning to the end of practice. When that comes as an entire team, we’ll continue to make improvements.”
“Physically, I think we’re fine. I don’t know if they’ve worked to the level we expect them to work in training camp. It’s not they can’t. They’re in shape enough to. They’ve just got to learn how to work at the level we expect them to go at. But physically, we do a good job. We’re bigger, faster and stronger than we were in the spring.”
UF’s offensive line is in familiar territory. The big guys are struggling with consistency, Mullen said
“They’re coming along,” Mullen said. “Again, we’ve thrown a bunch at them. The first couple days I’ve just seen too many up-and-down performances from them. A lot of it’s still new. I would put the pressure on them to learn the investment they have to put in.
“It’s a little bit too inconsistent for me right now on the offensive line and the offense as a whole. That’s just where we have to have great mental toughness and focus on what’s going on on the field.”