Gators ready to report for duty

Florida football coach Dan Mullen talks with members of the media Thursday during the annual Florida Football Media Day at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Florida football coach Dan Mullen and the Gators open preseason practice Friday morning. But the first order of business was media day Thursday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and then reporting for duty at 5 p.m.

Mullen, sporting a bandage over his right eye after suffering a bump earlier, said he’s excited to see the progress the team has made over the summer.
“What more did they do on their own, working on the fundamentals, technique, watching film, putting in the extra time to get ready for this season,” he said. “Hopefully they’ve put in a lot of extra time.”

Mullen said true freshman wide receiver Dionte Marks has been cleared to enroll and is on the roster, while Arjei Henderson will be in this weekend. Both were dealing with academic issues.

Freshman offensive lineman Wardrick Wilson, who is from the Bahamas, is still waiting on his VISA to be issued before he can report.

Offensive coordinator/line coach John Hevesy said he felt good about his starting five offensive linemen coming out of the spring.

“I think we have some pretty good offensive linemen. They just haven’t played much,” Mullen said earlier.

Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham likes what he’s seen from the team so far. “I like the attitude of our team as a whole,” he said.


    • very pleased to hear this, we need this kind of player, particularly at this time, with some starting experience, both for the offense and for special teams. everyone wishes him the best. If the line can do well with pass protection, that could be enough, with the rest of the overall talent we have, for us to accomplish our goals. im confident in our backs to make the necessary yards without the best blocking.

      • I forgot to say, some of those freshmen the newspaper was sure would never play here are fully compliant. one left in a bureaucratic thing, but we will have good players. sorry to lose a few, but what we lost isn’t going to unravel what has been built. next offseason I hope the newspaper will talk more about player development and less about irrelevant things, because unless your name is emmitt smith, you don’t arrive ready to play at the highest level. everyone has to work. new guys aren’t always going to make it anyway. in tennis, they say if you don’t miss one out of seven, you aren’t pushing it enough. I don’t know the numbers for cdm, but I accept some risk in the program, no one likes needless unproductive risk, but I don’t think we have that kind of a problem right now.

  1. Now let’s get jiggy with it! Feel OK about the OL — good to hear from the coach. Maybe not a lot of separation from a question mark and “they just haven’t played a lot”, but seems to me if he feels good then we’re OK. Hell of a game to cut your teeth on coming up, but they might well be the surprise of the year.

    • Yeah 6…I don’t know if you recall breakdown by Joe about the so called lack of experience. He pretty much debunked it with the stats to boot. That post, and some of the reports I have been hearing make me feel a lot better about this group. Is is the 24th of August yet? 🙂

  2. Over on gator Country LP had and article by N dl T. A good perspective of what a player goes through when coaches change Young man stuck with us and I hope he sees his senior year play out well. He appears to have a long history with CDM and Co before the he came to UF. Thanks for coming back for your last year and hope you do well in the draft.

    • I tell anyone who will listen, Perine is the key to a great season. I have confidence that with him in the backfield, the offense will open up. He will take heat off Franks. Great combo in the backfield. OL experience is a concern, but that is what will make the season interesting to watch. I just hope everyone can stay reasonably healthy.

      • I’m with you David. I’ve been a Lamical Perine fan since day one. He just seems to carry himself well and takes care of business and is never a problem. He had a solid year last year and I’m looking forward to big things from him this year!

  3. O-line will be ok. I still believe our season will come down to does Franks make the next step in play. He played great the last couple games, but can he do it every game? He cant miss open guys in tight games….or at least not a lot of times. Now let’s go Go Gators!

    • I noticed last year that when he kept both hands on the ball until the moment of release, he was accurate to a minute of angle just about every time. Don’t know if that was an artifact of observation or not, but somebody else recently suggested throwing in a few more pump fakes as well.