No college football player is perfect, not even Tim Tebow. That’s why every Florida Gator is heading into the summer with the goal of improving certain aspects of their game.
In the case of running back Lamical Perine, the junior is working on becoming more elusive and tightening up his pass protection, a crucial element for all running backs. He’s also looking to gain weight and strength in Nick Savage’s offseason strength and conditioning program.
“Making people miss, getting my muscle weight up and just like being more consistent in pass blocking,” Perine said when asked about his summer goals.
Perine said he started working on his pass blocking during spring practice.
“I worked on it after practice,” he said. “Going over film, checking out schemes, defensive schemes and stuff like that, and it really helped me out.”
Perine knows that if he doesn’t improve his game, he could lose carries and playing time, because the competition at running back is going to be very intense in preseason camp.
Jordan Scarlett, the leading rusher in 2016, is back. Malik Davis, the second-leading rusher last season, is supposed to be back after rehabbing from knee surgery. And then there are Adarius Lemons and two talented true freshmen who showed great promise in the spring — Iverson Clement and Dameon Pierce.
“We push each other to be better and it’s really helping us all out,” Perine said. “We feel like everybody can bring something to the table, everybody a different style running back so it’s going to be fun to watch.”
Perine offered a brief description of the other running backs.
“Powerful, breaking tackles,” he said of Scarlett. “You’ve got Malik who can catch out of the backfield, speed back. Iverson Clement, he’s a shifty back. Dameon Pierce, downhill.
“Adarius is a home-run hitter. Eighty yards, he can strike for 80 real fast.”
And what about Perine?
“I would say I’m balanced,” he said.
He’s seeking to expand on his balance this summer by becoming a little bit more elusive, which could lead to some longer runs in the fall.
“I need to make people miss,” he said.