Observations from Florida’s open practice Sunday

Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks (13) talks to freshman tight end Kyle Pitts during Saturday's practice. [Lauren Bacho/Staff Photographer]

By Zach Abolverdi, Correspondent

The Florida football team held another open practice for the public Sunday, and fans once again filled the sidelines to check out the No. 10 Gators.

After warming up in the Indoor Practice Facility, the team moved outside to the Sanders Practice Fields in front of a crowd of about 200. Fans hoping to see Emory Jones got their wish, as the true freshman received a lot of reps at quarterback.

The Gators also got great news on the recruiting front, landing a commitment from four-star safety Rashad Torrence (Marietta, Ga.) for the Class of 2020. Torrence visited campus Sunday morning before giving his pledge, choosing Florida over Alabama and Clemson.

Here are observations from Sunday’s session:

1-on-1 inside 10-yard line

* Jones started things off with a touchdown pass to Van Jefferson on a back-shoulder throw over C.J. Henderson. Jefferson beat Henderson again later in the period on a pass from Feleipe Franks.

* Quarterback Kyle Trask (foot), still in a boot, threw a pair of touchdowns to Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain. The slot receivers beat safeties Donovan Stiner and Jeawon Taylor, respectively, on their scores.

* Cornerback Brian Edwards broke up a pass intended for Kyle Pitts, but the freshman tight end caught a touchdown on Edwards later in the session on Trask’s third TD.

* Franks also had two more touchdown passes to Hammond and sophomore receiver Daquon Green.

* Jones threw a touchdown pass to fellow freshman Jacob Copeland on a crossing route. He also had two attempts batted down by defensive backs Chauncey Garnder-Johnson and John Huggins.

* Freshmen DBs Amari Burney and Trey Dean III also had pass breakups in the end zone.

7-on-7 inside red zone

* Franks opened up the period with a completion to Hammond, but the series stalled after dropped passes by wide receiver Kadarius Toney and tight end Kemore Gamble.

* Jones threw back-to-back touchdown passes to Jefferson and tight end C’yontai Lewis on his first rep.

* Trask started out with a TD strike to freshman tight end Dante Lang, then hit Pitts on a crossing route. His last throw was a dump-off pass to running back Dameon Pierce, who turned it upfield and ran over walk-on DB Isaac Ricks at the goal line for the score.

* Running back Jordan Scarlett snuck through the middle of the defense for a touchdown run after a pump fake by Franks. Gardner-Johnson wasn’t happy about it.

* Later in the period, Gardner-Johnson picked off Franks for the second day in a row. Franks also had a pass broken up by linebacker Vosean Joseph, and another attempt was thrown into double coverage and almost intercepted by Stiner.

* Franks found the end zone as well, throwing two touchdowns to Hammond and another to tight end Moral Stephens, who was wide open on his score.

* Freshman defensive back David Reese came down with a pair of pass breakups during this session. After his first stop safeties coach Ron English told him, “Nice job Reese.”

* Redshirt sophomore receiver Rick Wells caught a pair of touchdown passes from Jones and almost scored a third time when Trask connected with him.

* Jones also threw touchdowns to Swain and tight end Lucas Krull, while Trask had a TD toss to Trevon Grimes in the flat. Both Jones and Trask had interceptions dropped by safety Shawn Davis and walk-on DB Nick Oelrich, respectively.


* Franks opened the period with a swing pass to Scarlett, who took it for a big gain down the sideline.

* Jones also hit running back Lamical Perine on a swing pass, but overthrew Wells on his corner route and Copeland on a deep ball.

* After a couple runs by Jones and a pair of completions to Grimes and Krull, Pierce made it to the second level with a great run before getting tagged by linebacker Ventrell Miller.

* Perine had a few carries before finally breaking one. He made a move to the left and stumbled, but kept his balance and slipped through the hole for a long touchdown run.

* Franks connected with Toney twice, including a 20-yard gain on a scramble. He also did a great job of spreading the ball around, completing passes to Gamble, Grimes, Jefferson, Krull and Stephens.

* Burney and Ricks both got in the backfield for a sack on Jones. He had a couple scrambles, including a first-down run, but wasn’t able to find the end zone during 11-on-11 work.

* Scarlett bounced outside for a 10-yard gain, one of only three touches for him in this period. The bulk of the workload went to Pierce, who had a great carry off left tackle and stiff armed Olerich before going out of bounds. He also broke off back-to-back long runs that would have gone for touchdowns.

* Defensive end Antonneous Clayton came up with two big plays, tackling Pierce in the backfield and sniffing out Toney’s double reverse to make the stop.

* Freshman defensive lineman Malik Langham also corralled Pierce on one of his carries, while defensive tackle T.J. Slaton tracked down Scarlett for a tackle.

* Perine had a big block on Ricks near the end of practice, making the team go crazy.

* A pair of defensive players also got some action on offense, with Joseph catching a swing pass and Gardner-Johnson running a jet sweep on the last play of practice.


  1. I read some disturbing “news” from one source this morning to the effect that of the Top-150 recruits, only 3 had mention of Florida — one as first prediction, and two as second prediction. The numbers committed to or predicted to FSU were somewhat staggering. Now, I had thought that this season in particular would result in a dramatic uptick in blue chip recruiting, and yes, there’s still a long way to go. My take away, though, is that we had damn well better beat Michigan and beat them soundly at that. Go Gators!

  2. WTH has happened to Antonneus Clayton?!?! He’s been on the MIA list for the past 3-4 years! He has definitely not lived up to his 5* potential. Don’t know if he got in Mac’s doghouse as well as Coach Mullen’s doghouse but dude hasn’t gotten out yet. I hope he can breakout soon. He was thought to be an integral part of the defense but just hasn’t panned out thus far. Can’t wait to see the Gators in the ATL on the 29th. GO GATORS!!!!

    • Isn’t Clayton in his 2nd season? Seems I read about him some in the article on Saturday’s practice. He came in needing to add weight and strength and unfortunately we didn’t have a conditioning program his first year.

      • What’s up, my friend? I’ve just been chillin’ out, gloating and basking in the glow that is the 41-14 blowout of those hated criminoles!! Also sipping beer/champagne and throwing up bouquets of roses to the Aggies of A & M for beating lswho!! Man I tell you-there are some sore losers here-they’re STILL talking about that loss on talk radio!! LOL! Now I’m gonna be a UCF flag bearer for the next couple of weeks!! They’re also still hating on UF-saying they aren’t that good, blah blah blah. My response is well if the Gators aren’t that good what does that make lsu, seeing as how they curb stomped you guys?!?! They’re quick to point to a ‘blowout loss to Kentucky at home’. I yawn. ANYWAY-let’s go Knights!!!

  3. I saw the number one recruit committed to Oregon. He was west coast and I thought it would be a stretch for him to join us. I do think the bowl game for us is important. If the recruits see we can win bowls too they will come. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Mullen and his staff are moving us in the right direction the right way. The guys getting reps are going to make a huge impact. There was some great insight in the article.

    • I didn’t expect to get him either, 65…..but you’re right about Rome not being built in a day. I think I got a little ahead of myself first thing this morning — should have had a cup of coffee first — but at first blush it was disappointing. Looking at it more logically after working out and cooling down with a glass of ice tea, of course we’re going to do fine. We’ll be there in two or three seasons……..ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY!

      Tango Yankee.

      • 6 Some of the recruits likely committed to the schools earlier and while I would like to flip some of them I have to commend some for sticking to their commitment even if I don’t agree with them. There has to be some honor out there even if their rational was wrong in deciding to go to those other schools. There is some humor meant in there. What we are doing in recruiting is selling our program over others. I think the new crew is doing this the right way (from what I’ve read). You hear when players transfer that what they were told and what happened where not the same. While things change that may be out of the coaches control or the players if the ‘sale’ was honest then that change can be just the way life goes. If the ‘sale’ was smoke and mirrors then deception was involved. I think our guys are class and there won’t be the later happening here. With the RS guys ready for next year, the incoming freshmen (of which some are going to play) and the veterans we are going to be solid next year. I was looking at our schedule for next year which is a tougher schedule than this year. UM (NS), @UK,UT, AUB, @LSU, UGA(NS), @MISSOU, FSU
        UM is interesting they start the season strong, depends on the new DC, UK broke the streak and will be on a high and has the home field adv but if we come to play the new streak will begin. UT will be in the 2nd year and I’d expect the raging dumpster fire will only be a smoldering mess by now and they will be a tough opponent, AUB will be rebounding from a down year and will be tough as well, LSU in LSU is going to be a nasty game. I’d expect them looking to avenge the loss, this will be the biggest game of the season for us. Coming home with a “W” will be huge. UGA can’t wait for this game because with a year under his belt as the HC I think the players will be all in for this one. Missou has had our number since joining. I think this is the year we turn the tide. FSU? Unless what I saw was an aberration the problems there ere a lot deeper than reported in any news service. This will be the year that proves or disproves if their coach is real.
        Why am I talking about next season in a thread about practice for a bowl game? The recruits that see us and how we perform in our bowl are going to be influence in what teams and what coaches they want play for going forward. And 6 while we are not there yet in recruiting I or at least my gut is still telling me we are on the right path. Looking at recruiting boards we are up in 2020,2021 (not sure of the history of how these finish) but I think the 2019 class is a solid group. With a few more to choose. QB is still the question as we haven’t seen the production we want from Franks though he has improved. Reading about the practices he did well but so did Jones and even Trask. Of course that was scripted. We won’t know until the papers are signed and the ball rolls to a stop on the Peach Bowl at the final gun (or whistle now days) and a few days later when NSD closes about our recruiting class, but for me this has been a wild roller coaster year of excitement and leaves me optimistic of our near and long term future. Gator Nation is coming back and it is going to be fun again and what am I going to do with all the time between now and Early signing day, Bowl day, NSD, and spring camp and and summer camp and can’t they just play year round?

      • Just heard on SEC Network that Justin Fields is transferring from UGA. Didn’t hear any details as to whether he’s already got a team, but I wonder if CDM would pursue him, given he’d have to sit a year, and the possible ego damage to the Joneses.

    • Dan, Actually struggled at writing in college. Comp 101 professor didn’t think I would make it. But I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express one night or maybe it was one of those bumps on the head aligned some dormant brain cells that were not previously functioning. Or maybe it comes from, “because you were _______ in class you will write 500 times, ‘I will not ______ in class.” on the chalk board.

      • Not to fret 65. I struggled to pass my finance and accounting classes at UF (mostly because I was surfing on weekends). Upon graduating (somehow) I wanted to join the Florida Marine Patrol. In the end, I spent a 40 year career managing the purchases of hundreds of million dollars annually for a couple of major retail chains. Go figure! Keep writing your thoughts, as one of the reasons I enjoy reading this site is that I can agree or disagree with all the various posters and still enjoy my retirement time. Much like Gator-6 except I’m not as funny.

        • Ah, but you are a man of honor, Dan, and besides — you’re having a ball in retirement! So am I, come to think of it — but what passes for a sense of humor is really just an alternative to waking up screaming every morning. Tell you what tho, now that I can’t spend as much time at the shooting range or tinkering with 1911s…..reading and reacting to the amazing insights on this forum is a gift. I even tell my wife about it, although she doesn’t understand most of what I’m saying. She does keep asking tho if I’ve heard from Leland — I’ve sure missed his wit and off beat sense of humor this fall.