Sophomore tailback Malik Davis is still recovering from knee surgery and likely will miss most of the spring, Mullen said. Several other players will be limited due to injuries.
“Malik Davis won’t be doing much,” Mullen said. “(Defensive tackle) Kyree Campbell is going to be out for a little bit of spring. And (offensive guard) Brett Heggie, he’s still out a little bit.”
Junior defensive end Keivonnis Davis, who sustained serious injuries in a scooter accident last fall, has returned and is participating in limited workouts.
“Keivonnis will not be back for spring. He’s just recovered and started to work out,” Mullen said. “He’s probably behind all those other guys and just getting into working out. There’s actually positive hope that he might be able to make it back.”
Watkins a CB?
True freshman Justin Watkins, a two-way star in high school, likely is going to start his UF career on defense instead of at wide receiver, Mullen said. Watkins enrolls this summer.
“Justin and I talked the other day. I think he might start at corner,” Mullen said. That’s changed here or there, a couple different times. I said, ‘Hey, we come to meetings, you get here the first day, you split into positional meetings. Where are you going to go?
“It’s like, “Wherever you want me to go, coach.’ I said, ‘I’m not going to tell you where to go. I want to see where you feel most comfortable.’
Mullen said Watkins has a chance to excel wherever he ends up lining up.
“When you look at a guy that’s a phenomenal athlete and has all the positional flexibility he has, I kind of say — where do you feel most comfortable?” he said.
Burney a linebacker?
Another talented true freshman, early enrollee Amari Burney, will open the spring at safety, but could eventually grow into a linebacker. He’s currently listed as 6-foot-1, 224 pounds on the spring roster.
“He can do an awful lot,” Mullen said. “You watch him as a high school player, he played everything. He played everywhere on the field. I think he’s played safety. He’s going to start out at safety. But physically, you look at him as a younger guy that has potential to grow into being an inside linebacker, potentially a nickel/star type of player for us.
“There’s obviously a lot of potential and flexibility that he has. His physical development and size and where he gets to will kind of determine where he ends up, but I think his athleticism gives him the flexibility to play three, four different positions on the defense.”