Here are five more Florida football players who have put themselves in a position to emerge in preseason camp:
Jacob Copeland, WR, redshirt freshman — On the rare occasions he practiced in the spring — and we’re talking about only one or two practices at most — Copeland flashed the explosiveness and playmaking ability that made him a big-time recruit (and get) coming out of high school. The goal is to get him healthy this summer and keep him that way throughout camp. If that happens, he could have a significant impact in the passing game in 2019.
Chris Steele, CB, freshman — With starting cornerback Marco Wilson limited to non-contact work in the spring, the highly rated Steele had an opportunity to get extensive reps with the first-team defense. He had some early struggles, which were expected for a true freshman at that demanding position, but he also flashed some of his big-time potential and showed the coaches he’s on track to contribute in the fall.
Jesiah Pierre, LB, freshman — He steadily improved over the course of the spring as he grew more comfortable in the defense. Near the end of the spring, he seemed to start reacting instead of thinking his way through his assignments — and the plays started coming. If he continues to make progress in preseason camp, he’ll likely see playing time in the fall — and not just on special teams.
David Reese, LB, redshirt freshman — He’s a bit of a physical freak who is capable of playing multiple positions — safety, linebacker, rush end. He’ll likely open preseason camp at rush end, where Jachai Polite and Cece Jefferson must be replaced. He certainly seems to have the skill set for the position, and the potential to wreak some havoc coming off the edge as a pass rusher.
Andrew Chatfield, LB, redshirt freshman — A highly rated prospect coming out of high school, Chatfield caught the coaches’ attention with his strong play on the scout team last fall, then started showing even more playmaking ability in the spring. He figures to see significant time at a position where the Gators continue to build depth.