Thus far in camp, true sophomore tailback Malik Davis, who was emerging as Florida’s best running back last season, has not appeared hampered or limited in any way by his knee that was surgically repaired last fall.
“He’s looking pretty good out there on the field,” UF coach Dan Mullen said Monday. I haven’t seen any real setbacks for him. I think you’re starting to see him build confidence in it.”
Davis was leading the Gators in rushing last season before injuring his knee early in the Georgia game. He finished the season with 526 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
With his return, along with that of junior Jordan Scarlett, UF’s leading rusher in 2016, the running back position may be the deepest on the team.
It includes Davis, Scarlett, Lamical Perine, Adarius Lemons and the two true freshmen — Dameon Pierce and Iverson Clement.
“I do feel like we have talent, some talent and some depth at the running back position,” Mullen said.
With so many capable backs, Mullen said there are times he will play two at the same time this season.
“We’ll have some things in we didn’t get too much into in the spring,” he said. “We’ll have two backs on the field at different times because those guys can play. And we’ll do some different things to put them in position to get the ball in their hands.”
The number of carries each back gets will be based on performance.
“They’re going to earn all their playing time in there,” Mullen said. “We want to run the ball. We want to be a physical running team, and guys are going to earn their carries and earn their touches, earn their right to play.
“We’ll stay fresh and be able to keep pounding at you. If one guy really separates himself from everybody else, and earns more, he’ll get more carries and touches.”