Offense gets rolling


The offense, led by a handful of young skill position players, hung a pretty good one on the defense Saturday morning with hundreds of high school coaches from the state looking on.

The stars of the scrimmage were redshirt freshman tailback Chevon Walker, true sophomore wide receiver Jarred Fayson, true freshman tight end Aaron Hernandez and true freshman quarterback Cameron Newton.

We’ll start with Walker, who is UF’s best breakaway threat at tailback now that Mon Williams is out for the 2007 season after tearing an ACL in his knee in Wednesday’s practice.

Walker had perhaps his best day as a Gator on Saturday, breaking two long runs and scoring a touchdown. He looked extremely quick and fast and ran with a great deal of confidence. Both of his long runs looked like short gains at first, but he found a crack and darted through both times for big gainers.

Fayson also had an excellent day and continues to have a breakout spring. Very fast and elusive, he turned a bubble screen into a crowd-pleasing touchdown and he caught several other passes.

Hernandez was also a big factor in the passing game. Having problems with dropped passes throughout the spring, the true freshman made some tough catches Saturday, including two for touchdowns. He runs so well that if he shows he can be a reliable receiver, he’ll be a factor in the offense next fall.

Newton’s confidence continues to grow in his back-up role to starting quarterback Tim Tebow. He’s throwing the ball much more accurately and with much more authority than he was earlier in the spring. He threw two touchdown passes Saturday and looked very poised and comfortable running the offense.

On the defensive side of the ball, redshirt freshman end Lawrence Marsh continues to impress with his speed, power and ability to make plays. At times, he has been unblockable. Redshirt freshman outside linebacker A.J. Jones also continues to make plays.