Practice report: Gators get in work for missing teammates

Martez Ivey
Florida offensive lineman Martez Ivey (73) sat out Monday's practice. (Cyndi Chambers/Correspondent)

Preseason All-SEC left tackle Martez Ivey missed Monday’s practice with some swelling in an undisclosed area, but the injury does not appear serious, Florida coach Jim McElwain said Monday.
“We held out Ivey today. Just had some swelling,” McElwain said. “No, I hope (he doesn’t miss any more time). Look, here’s the deal. I will let you know if he’s out. But there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be playing tomorrow.”
McElwain said there have been no serious injuries in camp so far, including Ivey’s.
Safety Quincy Lenton, cornerback C.J. McWilliams, linebacker Kylan Johnson and defensive tackle Khairi Clark were also held out of practice Monday. Lenton and McWilliams have strains, Johnson was suffering from some soreness and Clark woke up sick Monday morning.
“Quincy Lenton, he should be back, a little bit of a strain. Same thing with C.J. McWilliams,” McElwain said. “Kylan will be back. Clark was sicker than a dog this morning. But, he’ll be back, there’s nothing wrong.
“So, nothing major has happened at all other than the normal kind of things that happen during camp. The good thing is that it allowed us to really get some good work with some other guys in some spots.”
McElwain singled out several players for stepping up in place of the injured players, including true freshman offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort, true freshman defensive tackle Kyrie Campbell and sophomore defensive tackle Luke Ancrum.
“I’ve been really happy with Luke Ancrum,” McElwain said. “I think he’s really stepped up and grown up there on the inside. It was good to get Kyrie some really good reps at Khairi’s spot as well.
“These guys really rose to that occasion. I’ve been happy with a couple of those groups. I think the d-line has kind of stepped up a little bit and challenged those o-linemen. I see a lot of good things going on in practice and that’s been a lot of fun to see.”
With Ivey out, Telfort worked with the No. 1 offense at left tackle. He was an early enrollee who impressed the coaches last spring with his size, strength and footwork.
“I think, first of all, the word growth. Physically, he’s done a great job,” McElwain said. “I think one thing I’ve seen him do is really learn to trust, number one. And number two, learn to talk the guy next to him. And it’s really seemed to elevate his game as far as knowing what the look is and now knowing what the assignment is.
“What we try to do with those young guys is not to overload them. We’ve kept him at tackle and that will be something that we’ll do.”
At the right tackle spot, Jawaan Taylor is the starter, but Fred Johnson, the projected starter at right guard, also is getting some reps there to improve depth.
“Working on the other side, getting Fred (Johnson) a little bit of guard and tackle,” McElwain said. “The one thing we’ve been able to do is with both (Antonio) Riles and (Kavaris) Harkless, is splitting those reps at (left) guard. I think that’s something that’s going to be good for us.
“It’s actually one of those things that allows you to work some of those young guys next to some of the older guys. And the communication piece has been pretty good.”
The Gators practiced in pads for the first time Monday, and McElwain seemed pleased with the practice and the overall progress in camp so far, including by the quarterbacks who are battling for the starting role.
Feleipe Franks, Luke Del Rio and Malik Zaire have been sharing reps with the No. 1 offense. Zaire, the graduate transfer from Notre Dame, was the first QB to work with the starters Monday. Franks did it last Thursday, and Del Rio last Friday.
“The first thing, just technically, the guys have learned to get their feet in the ground, their cleats in the ground, and to get the ball out,” McElwain said. “I think our depth at receiver has helped them as far as their trust.
“When you are in the different drills, they feel good about letting the ball go and somebody coming up and making a play for them. That’s been good. Probably more than anything, this is good because there’s some guys fighting for the starting job. I mean not just, ‘Now it’s kind of mine.’ There’s a true competition and that’s a good thing.”
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