UF preseason camp: Players to watch

Florida Gators quarterback Emory Jones throws as part of a drill during spring practice. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Emory Jones, QB: He probably won’t be the starter, at least early in the season, but there’s a good chance he’ll be given a package of plays to run in games, like Tim Tebow did as a true freshman for Dan Mullen. He has the skill set Mullen seems to favor in his QBs.

Van Jefferson, WR: The Ole Miss transfer was perhaps UF’s best offensive player in the spring. If he’s ruled eligible this season, which appears likely, he has a chance to be a big-time playmaker in the passing game.

Tedarrell Slaton, DT: He flashed his potential as a true freshman last season and followed up with an impressive spring that saw him dominate at times. He could provide an explosive inside pass rush that has been missing in recent seasons.

Cece Jefferson, DE/OLB: Everyone seems to agree that this attacking defense and the rush end position are a perfect fit for his skill set. If his shoulder holds up, he has a chance to emerge as an elite player in his senior season.

Marco Wilson, CB: Despite starting and more than holding his own as a true freshman last season, the driven Wilson said he wasn’t satisfied with his overall performance. He’s determined to push his game to a higher level in 2018.

Jordan Scarlett, RB: He hasn’t played in a real game since the end of the 2016 season, when he began to emerge as an elite back. He’ll be looking to regain that form after showing signs of it in the spring.

C’yontai Lewis, TE: He hasn’t done a whole lot in his first three years, but he has good size and pass-catching skills, and tight end is a go-to position in Mullen’s offense.

Martez Ivey, OT: Following a potential career-changing offseason under Nick Savage, the former five-star recruit is looking to become the dominant player everyone thought he would be when he signed with the Gators.

Rayshad Jackson, LB: Under the new coaching staff, he’s gone from mostly a special teams player to a potential starter on defense. In the spring, he showed impressive speed, hitting ability and instincts. He’s earned the trust of his coaches and teammates.

Adam Shuler, DE: The graduate transfer from West Virginia brings all kinds of playing experience to the defensive line. And he has two years of eligibility remaining. He’s instant depth up front.


  1. Robbie. The number one player on your players to watch list should have been Feliepe Franks, and he was not even on your list. Right now, he is the key to the success of this season for the Florida Gators football team and coaches. How much bigger, stronger, and faster will he be? How improved will he be after the spring and the summer workouts? Is he more innate? Is he more accurate? Is he a leader that a QB needs to be? Has he totally consumed Mullen’s offense and can execute it without thinking or worrying too much? I just know the player I am most interested in watching and hearing about is Feliepe Franks.

    Oh, and one more question about Franks: Did Toney shoot Franks with his “cheap” AR15 thinking he was a “local” threat?

  2. You all can watch Jones Scarlett and Lewis all you want but they are last resort guys to me until further notice. Maybe I’m being harsh on Lewis but I don’t like reading police reports in the sport section.
    I’m rooting for Frank’s now after this mess. Jones is looking like he should have stayed in Georgia.
    Still I like the team. Not a fan of the 34 defense. I like the Dan Quinn approach. I will be watching the kicker too.

  3. Whoever plays quarterback needs time to throw the ball and whoever gets to tote the rock needs a gap to run through. Our OL needs much improvement and our OL recruiting needs to pick it up.
    That being said I’m more optimistic about our Gators than I have been in recent memory. I was a sophomore when we went 0-10-1 in 1979 then bounced back in 1980 to 8-4. Go Gators!

  4. This is getting to be ridiculous. Another Florida player with questionable actions on his part. I would rather see Mullen estsbish a no tolerance policy where violators would be immediately dismissed. Even if we had to finish the season with 53 players, I would rather see Mullen apply tough love or whatever you want to call it, than see thugs continue to run wild at a Florida.

  5. Timonthy. Wilkins could be described as thuggish because he likes to beat on women. Carrying a gun legally in ones car is not thuggish, and behaving like juveniles and irresponsibly with fake guns as well is also not thuggish. Sorry. But I am tired of stupid childlike behavior and irresponsibility by some of the Florida players.

  6. Football players have NO NEED for guns PERIOD!!! I am for grace if it is deemed appropriate. With that said, there needs to be a zero percent tolerance for real guns or real-like by these players. It’s one thing if they’re legitimately hunting, but a nightclub? What are they doing at a nightclub, but looking for trouble?