Week 1 observations

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With the first week of preseason camp winding down, I offer these observations:

  • Jason Watkins has really come on and would be the starter at right tackle if the season started today. His emergence has allowed former starting right tackle Carlton Medder to move to left guard, where he is the No. 1 guy. The coaches have been shuffling guys around, looking for the best starting five. Right now, it looks like this: Phil Trautwein at left tackle, Medder at left guard, Drew Miller at center, Maurice Hurt at right guard and Watkins at right tackle.
  • True freshman tight end Aaron Hernandez has been much more consistent catching the ball after having numerous drops in the spring. He runs extremely well and figures to be a factor in the passing game.
  • Junior Kestahn Moore has clearly been UF’s top tailback. No one is even close at this point. Stan Drayton says Moore is quicker and faster than a year ago and is predicting he’ll break off some long runs this season. True freshman Bo Williams looks like he’s favoring his knee after undergoing surgery in the spring.
  • Redshirt freshman wide receiver Justin Williams is quietly having a good preseason camp. He’s working his way into the playing rotation.
  • After a sluggish start, true freshman defensive tackle John Brown is really coming on and making plays. He and fellow true freshman Torrey Davis look like they’re headed for serious playing time at DT.
  • It’s still very early in camp, but true freshman John Brantley continues to impress. He’s starting to emerge as the leading candidate for the No. 2 role at quarterback.
  • Speaking of quarterbacks, Tim Tebow has been very inconsistent throwing the ball so far.
  • Just as the coaches were hoping, true sophomore middle linebacker Brandon Spikes has become a leader on defense.
  • Prediction: Safety Major Wright will be the first true freshman to have the stripe removed from his helmet, signifying he’s officially become a Gator. His monster hit on freshman tailback Chris Rainy in Wednesday night’s practice was one of the biggest I’ve ever seen on the practice field. Urban Meyer loves this kid.