UF notebook: Injuries, suspensions and position battles on game week

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Florida linebacker David Reese (33) is on the injury report. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

There’s a chance Florida will be without starting middle linebacker David Reese for Saturday’s opener against Charleston Southern.

UF coach Dan Mullen announced Monday that Reese is questionable for Saturday. He did not specify Reese’s injury, but there were reports last week that Reese is dealing with a sprained ankle.

“It will be a game-time decision,” Mullen said.

If Reese is unable to go, he’ll be replaced by junior Rashad Jackson, who is coming off a strong spring and preseason camp.

Mullen also announced safety Shawn Davis (unspecified) is questionable for Saturday’s game, while true freshman wide receiver Jacob Copeland (unspecified) and cornerback C.J. McWilliams (unspecified) are doubtful.

Any suspensions?

Mullen was asked if any players are facing suspension from Saturday’s game, and he gave the same answer he did back on the team’s media day.

He said if any players are suspended, he will announce it on game day.

In depth on the depth chart
UF released its depth chart for Saturday’s game, and Feleipe Franks being listed as the No.1 quarterback was not the only revelation in it.

It also showed that two senior defensive linemen — buck end Cece Jefferson and nose tackle Khairi Clark — are not starting Saturday.

Jachai Polite is ahead of Jefferson, while true sophomore Elijah Conliffe is getting the start ahead of Clark.

“He’s had a great camp,” Mullen said of Polite. “He’s had a great training camp. He’s worked his tail off, and it’s the effort you give on the field.”

The depth chart also revealed that two position battles will continue throughout the week before the starters are determined.

Nick Buchanan, T.J. McCoy and Brett Heggie are battling for the starting role at center, while true freshman Evan McPherson and Jorge Powell are running even at place-kicker.

Mullen considers the center position the most vital on the offensive line.

“That’s a situation I want to see right now, because now we’re getting into a game week,” Mullen said. “You’re getting into a game plan for those guys. It’s a tight battle, so I want to see who’s going to handle that the best.

“Brett Heggie’s been banged up a little bit, but he’s back healthy now. We’ll see how that works, if he’s going to be more comfortable competing at center or guard as the week goes.”

As for the kickers, Mullen said he wants to see how their nerves hold up as the Gators draw closer to Saturday’s game.

“I want to see how they respond (this week),” he said. “They haven’t been in this situation where they’re expected to go kick on a Saturday. That could be something that gets decided as we run out of the tunnel.  “All of a sudden, you go in there and you get into pre-game warmups and one guy freaks out. I want to see how they react, because they’ve got to think about it the whole week of possibly being out there and having to go do it live. I want to see who handles that situation the best.”

The depth chart also shows that Tommy Townsend, the younger brother of Johnny Townsend, has won the punting job, beating out walk-on Jacob Finn.

In the return part of special teams, Adarius Lemons and Dre Massey will be returning kickoffs, while punt returns will be handled by either Freddie Swain or Kadarius Toney.

Oh, captain, my captain

Mullen said he hasn’t decided yet whether to have different captains for each game or have one set for the entire season.

“Captains, I have to discuss,” he said. “We voted and different things for captains. I want to discuss it whether, if you look at the balance, do we have game captains or yearly captains in year one or how that works. I’ll figure that out as we go.”

 

23 COMMENTS

  1. Mullen is just as bad as Mac when it comes to discussing injuries. Cousin Eddie it’s Charleston southern. Get over yourself. Tell me about some rubber bands in the back of the leg and what not next time. These coaches are ridiculous 🙄

      • Right you are! For Mullen’s sake, I hope he doesn’t lose games he should win and that his offense doesn’t lay an egg in terms of touchdowns. If it happens, people will show their true character and objectivity by not only criticizing his injury reports but also incessantly ridiculing his name (e.g. Cousin Eddie), his choice of shoes with a business suit, his wife’s shopping habits, his subpar recruiting, drawing conclusions on unsubstantiated allegations as if they are fact, his mannerisms, and his many other faults.

    • Some of you guys are some real neophytes and should really refrain from posting as you expose yourselves BLATANTLY. If you don’t know why you wait to divulge injuries, then likely don’t watch many games in college or NFL.

  2. I’m a little surprised about CC Jefferson, I realize he will get plenty of plays, but he has seemed to be a leader all year, I hope its a case where he does better coming off the bench. the captain is also important, it scares me we don’t know who that is either. this fight at center is really something –

  3. As fans injury reports as mkf says satisfies curiosity. We cannot change things. But other teams can modify there game based on who’s playing. Likewise gambling benefits as well. Other than wishing or favorite players speedy recoveries, who gains from injury reports? Other than the next team we’re playing?

  4. Injuries… I like the fact that he’s not specific. I like it a great deal. Why give the opponent that sort of insight (same goes for suspensions)? Also, the rest of us are protected by law w/r/t our medical history/status, so why shouldn’t these kids have the same rights?

  5. I think the last part of this notebook really highlights what’s been wrong with Gator football for the last 8 years. Mullen can’t decide whether to name a captain for the season. If you don’t have a single player who is the obvious captain, then you are clearly a team deficient in terms of leadership. Hopefully, Mullen can find some players to step into that role in the future. I don’t think you cna have a great football team without that one player that everyone turns to when times get tough.