Florida sophomore running back Adarius Lemons made a rare move Wednesday, one that certainly both surprised and pleased members of the media.
Surrounded by tape recorders, microphones and cameras, Lemons opened player interviews by giving an opening statement. The last player to do anything like that was quarterback Tim Tebow after the loss to Ole Miss in 2008.
Lemons talked about what’s going on at the running back position and how coach Dan Mullen is approaching things in his first season.
“I want to start by letting all you guys know the running back room is one of the biggest competitions in the building),” he said. “Every day Coach Mullen talks about going out with relentless effort, playing hard, playing physical and playing fast.
“Most of the things that we go over in the walk throughs, he wanted it to carry over in practice. He wants us to be perfect with those things. We have guys messing up and we have guys doing the right thing. He just wants us to stay on the ball with things moving forward.”
Lemons said Mullen knows it takes time to turn around a program in the first year, but “he is doing his best.”
Lemons said the running backs are putting in the work.
“The competition is really hard and we go out there every day and we compete every day,” he said. “We are working to get better and we try as a whole group to better ourselves and help each other.
“Make sure we’ve got our blitz pick-ups. One thing Mullen is really sound on is the blitz pick-ups and seeing to the protection.
“In order to be a running back you’ve got to protect the ball and you’ve got to protect the quarterback. Those are some of things Coach Mullen has done in order to be a running back in the running back room.”
Lemons and the LBs
Lemons confirmed his Tweet earlier this week that he hates linebackers. He said his hate only started recently.
Lemons’ Tweet was his response to some big hits he’s taken from the linebackers, James Houston and Ventrell Miller, in particular.
Fellow running back Jordan Scarlett said Lemons has good naturedly provoked the physical approach by the LBs.
“Yeah, because he likes to talk a little smack, keep it interesting, keep it juiced up,” Scarlett said. “So they always are after him. He runs hard, even in practice. Coaches are like, ‘Stay up,’ and he’s trying to run over a DB. He’s like, ‘I’m working on my stuff.’ So they’re like, ‘All right, we are going to hit you then because you want to play so hard.’
“So they take him down every time he runs the ball. I’m like, ‘You’re going to get tired of that, man.’ But he hasn’t gotten tired yet.”