Jacob Copeland, WR: One of the highest-rated players in the 2018 recruiting class, his UF career got off to a slow start when he injured his knee early in preseason camp and underwent surgery. Once he recovered late in the season, he started showing his playmaking potential in practice and saw playing time in the Idaho game. The expectation is this explosive athlete will work his way into the playing rotation at wide receiver.
Andrew Chatfield, OLB/DE: With a lack of proven depth at outside linebacker with the early departure of Vosean Joseph to the NFL, this highly rated prospect is expected to compete with sophomore James Houston for the starting role. There’s also a chance he could be a factor at the DE/OLB vacancy left by Polite and Jefferson.
Richard Gouraige, OT: Gouraige benefited from some playing time last fall and lots of reps in practice under offensive line coach John Hevesy. He came on strong in practice late in the season and is expected to compete for a starting role at left tackle, which is wide open with the departure of Martez Ivey.
Emory Jones, QB: After being brought along at a relatively slow and comfortable pace by Mullen last season, the dual-threat QB is expected to have an expanded role in the offense as he challenges incumbent starter Feleipe Franks. He’ll likely get plenty of reps with the No. 1 offense this spring.
Malik Langham, DE/DT: One of the highest-rated prospects in the 2018 recruiting class, Langham was signed as a defensive end. But he’s steadily gained weight and is now already at 286 pounds. The coaches are projecting that he’ll likely grow into a defensive tackle, which is where he’ll probably get lots of reps this spring. By the fall, he could be ready to compete for a starting role.
David Reese, OLB: This quick and athletic redshirt freshman is capable of playing safety, but he figures to spend his spring at outside linebacker, where the starting role is wide open with the early departure of Vosean Joseph to the NFL. He’s a potential playmaker in UF’s attacking defense.
Chris Steele, CB: Mullen has already said this true freshmen is going to get reps with the No. 1 defense this spring because of the lack of depth at the corner spots. While former starter Marco Wilson still not fully recovered from knee surgery, Steele will have a chance to compete for the starting role this spring.
Mohamoud Diabate, LB/DE: This four-star recruit and true freshman from Alabama could see practice time at both outside linebacker and the hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker spot vacated by Polite and Jefferson. With a good developmental spring, he could be in a position to compete for possible playing time in the fall.
Will Harrod, OL: Among the four freshmen offensive linemen who enrolled early, he is the highest-rated prospect and probably the most athletic. Given the lack of depth across the board on the offensive line, he could see practice time at tackle and guard this spring. It’s not easy to play as a true freshman on the offensive line, but he might have an opportunity to do so with a good spring.
Jaydon Hill, CB: Like Steele, this highly rated true freshmen should get plenty of reps this spring at a position that lacks proven depth. A four-star recruit who excelled in man coverage in high school, he will have an opportunity to work his way into the playing rotation this spring.
What: Start of UF spring football practice. It’s open to the public
When: 4:15-6:45 p.m.
Where: Sanders Practice Fields on UF campus. Bleachers will be set up on the east side along the Indoor Practice Facility. Fans can congregate on the east and south sides to watch practice.