Notebook: Freshman tight end coming on

Tight ends Kemore Gamble (88) and Kyle Pitts (84) and defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (23) walk up to the practice field last week. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Tight end Kyle Pitts, a 6-foot-6, 246-pound true freshman from Abington, Pa., is making a favorable early impression on his position coach, Larry Scott.

“All I can say is the guy is a football guy,” Scott said. “He comes in and he wants to learn. He’s got a real natural skill set that we really like.

“He’s got a long ways to go learning how to compete every down and play in this league and the schemes and some of the things that we ask them to do in our offense.”

The tight end plays a significant role in Mullen’s offense. And it’s a multiple role that Pitts is still in the very early stages of grasping.

“The tight end has to be a very smart guy,” Scott said. “He’s involved in a lot of different things in the run game, pass protection, route running, coverage recognition and making calls with the O-line. There’s a lot that’s thrown at a young guy like that when they come in the room.

“There’s a lot being thrown at him right now. We’re only in practice five, so he’ll continue to just get better and better as it goes.”

Emory still in the hunt

The perception may be that it’s now a two-game race for the starting quarterback role between Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask, but true freshman Emory Jones is still very much involved, quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson said.

“They’re all close,” he said. “I love Emory. He works his tail off. He has a ton of talent. Obviously, having him in the spring helped his development and sped him up a little bit.”

Johnson said all three quarterbacks continue to struggle with consistency, something Mullen brought up earlier this week.

“All those guys are not where you want in terms of consistency,” Johnson said. “There are flashes of brilliance and there are flashes of not so good. So we’ve really got to shrink that gap as a position and come out and have a much higher consistency in our performance each and every day.”

Breakout time for LB?

Vosean Joseph did not have the big year at linebacker that many were expecting last season. But it’s going to happen in 2018, junior middle linebacker David Reese said.

“Vosean is a guy that has unbelievable talent,” Reese said. “He can do anything he sets his mind to. Whatever type of Vosean he’s going to want to give you, that’s the type you’re going to get. I feel like he’s going to

have a great season.”


  1. probably 2 out of 5 of these offseason breakout stories work out to be true, so who knows. its better for the program if the young tight end works out if I had to pick one from this group, lb second. sorry mr. jones, stay out of the police reports is all I have to say about you until I see something that will change my thinking.

  2. mveal. I met Emory Jones at a spring practice and he went out of his way to have a conversation with me and multiple other people when he could have just taken off to the locker room after practice. He seemed to be a great kid to me, and he has a great family as well. You need not worry much about Mr. Jones. And I am positive that he learned an extremely valuable lesson that night. My bet is he becomes a star QB at Florida eventually, as well as a team leader.

    • Thanks for that insight Tampa.

      I think Emory wasn’t truthful about the incident with TayBanks or whatever his name was, right? IE…backing his friends…we cannot paint all of the guys in that in the same light. That whole thing to me was a little overblown, especially after the fact.

    • I think you can pretty much throw out anything you saw happen the last few years and just chalk it up to bad coaching. It’s safe to say this is going to be a much stronger, more disciplined, well coached team.

  3. Feleipe Franks weighs in at 240 this year. After a few 5 yard runs he opens up the field for everybody including his wide receivers. And, the O line will not see the 100% bull rushing from every defensive lineman that played against the Gators for years.
    Think Coach was behind that weight gain this year?

  4. I suspect that while we fans are starved for a better brand of football and while the coaching staff wants to put out a product they are capable of, we are all tempered by the knowledge that you just don’t instantly turn last year’s 4-7 team into the 1967 Green Bay Packers overnight.

    That said, I sense that since January, this team has been getting a crash course in how to be a winning football team and I suspect that most of the team has bought into REAL strength & conditioning, REAL film study, and REAL practice habits. IF all of that is true, then the next three weeks of installation and scheming and technique work should naturally produce a team more worth watching on September 1. They might not compete for the national title but this team shouldn’t make you throw your bbq nachos at the 70″ tv either. 🙂

    • Rog you’re right it is producing a product we want to watch. Developing well Disciplined players is the hardest part. They’ve been shown how they should be now they need to develop the identity of a team and groups. No name defense etc.

    • You also have to keep in mind that that 4 win team would’ve looked much different had they not been reduced to only having 30 scholarship players available by the end of the season. Pretty sure even Bama would’ve lost a lot of games losing that many players. This is a program that won 19 games and 2 division titles the previous 2 seasons with horrible coaching and strength and conditioning. If Mac can take over a team that had far less talent than this team does and win 10 games and a division title after they only won 7 games the year before, then there’s no reason to believe Mullen can’t have even more success than that.

  5. I remember the days when the Old Head Ball Coach would say “We are not very good” we may not score a point this year. Even his words on Danny “Shoot, Danny is not a good practice player but he shore is a great gamer” If all this social media crap was going on back then and everything being given play by play, day by day, We would have been pulling our hair out. I see the direction and I like it. I did not see a direction from Musschump or that Jim guy. I do now and I like it! Every football team has their up years and down years. We had our down years for too long now, so let’s get on the train and head for a new era of great football by the “Fighting Gators” Question I have it this…If the Gators come out the first game and win 17-14 will you jump from the train???

    • I for one, will not be jumping from the train. First, I can’t imagine this team will look any worse than last year, so with any improvement, I’m good. Second, as many of us will agree, rebuilding this program is a multi-year project. Now, if we start the season with two straight runs up the middle, a bubble screen for no gain, and a weak punt….I may… throw something at my TV and go look for my Doug Nussmeier voodoo doll…..

  6. This is feeling like 2005 to me. Remember the “abysmal” 7-5 season we had under Zook in 2004. MacElTrainwreck & Co were so much worse than The Chump and WAAAYYYYYY worse than Zook. Remember the way the team – especially the offense – struggled under Zook/Fedora. By the 4th-5th games of the 2005 season, you saw the very noticeable improvement in the play on the offensive side. Leak started clicking with his receivers and the rest is history.

    I think we’ll see much of the same improvement this season.

  7. Liking that some of the younger players are making strides, steadily improving. Sounds like they have a great work ethic – something very much required to play division 1 football in the SEC. I am also interested in hearing how Moon is doing. A previous article seemed to indicate a move from LB to DE, which if so, makes sense based on his height. Also, I heard he gained about 20 pounds – this is also great news. GO GATORS!!!