After Andre Caldwell broke his leg in the third game of season in 2005, the Gators were left with so few playmakers that Urban Meyer’s spread offense was rendered ineffective in his first year at Florida.
Three years later, the Gators have playmakers all over the place on offense and this could
be the most devastating arsenal ever assembled by Meyer and offensive
coordinator Dan Mullen.
On paper (and on the practice field), it looks electric.
Meyer basically had zero playmakers in his first season. Now, we count at least a dozen.
Here they are, in order of big-play capability:
1. Percy Harvin “ He’s a threat to go the distance every time the ball is in his hands. He’s not just track fast, he’s football fast, the way he comes out of cuts at full speed. You have to figure he’s going to get at least 10 to 12 touches a game as UF establishes him as a deep-threat receiver.
2. Tim Tebow “ He can run and pass and the ball is going to be in his hands at some point on every offensive play. With all the weapons around him, Tebow will have all kinds of options and the opportunity to make all kinds of plays.
3. Andre Caldwell “ He’s fast, strong and coming off a very strong preseason camp. He’s going to be lining up on the outside this season and will see some man-to-man coverage, which means some deep balls are going to be coming his way. He’ll also be a threat on reverses and screens.
4. Jarred Fayson “ He’s going to play wide receiver and line up at tailback (and even quarterback) at times. He’s one of UF’s fastest and most versatile players and the coaches are going to put the rock in his hands.
5. Brandon James “ He showed last season that he’s a home run hitter as a punt and kickoff returner. This season, he’ll have a chance to show some of that open-field magic lining up at tailback and in the slot.
6. Cornelius Ingram “ He’s a physical freak with a definite NFL future. He’s a huge target, has soft hands and can really make things happen after he catches the ball.
7. Chris Rainey “ The coaches probably will use this true freshman much in the same way they utilized Harvin a year ago. He’s going to line up at tailback, in the slot and he’s going to get some touches because of his breakaway ability.
8. Deonte Thompson “ He’s another speedy true freshman who can go the distance. He’s made some long touchdown catches in practice and he’s also going to have a chance to return kicks this season.
9. Louis Murphy “ He was the star of the spring game and this true junior wide receiver has kept up the impressive work in camp. He’s one of UF’s fastest players and appears primed to have a big season.
10. Riley Cooper ” He’s battled through a foot problem and has had an excellent preseason camp. He’s a big, strong target who can really run.
11. Aaron Hernandez ” The true freshman tight end/H-back has shown skills similar to Ingram’s. With all the speed UF has on the perimeter, Hernandez could make a killing working the middle of the field.
12 Kesthan Moore “ The coaches are sold on this true junior tailback, so we’re buying in, too. Running backs coach Stan Drayton says Moore is much quicker and faster than a year ago and he’s predicting some big runs this season.
What do you think?