It happens every spring, of course. Players
with potential who haven’t done much in the past suddenly start getting
it and start becoming players.
The most improved.
We’ve seen it happen in the first half of Florida’s spring.
Here’s who I consider the most improved players of the spring so far:
* Markihe Anderson: The senior cornerback
is fully healthy for the first time in a long time and he’s starting to
consistently make plays. He intercepted another pass in Saturday’s
scrimmage and is really running to the football and playing with a lot
of confidence. Earning playing time inUF’s talented secondary isn’t
going to be easy, but Anderson has shown the coaches (and those
watching every day) that he is going to be a factor next season.
Omar Hunter: When injuries prevented him from doing much last season,
some were ready to call this defensive tackle a bust. He’s shown this
spring that he has a chance to become the dominant nose tackle the
coaches thought he would be when they signed him a year ago. He’s
making plays, playing with confidence, and he’s got the kind of
explosion off the line that all great nose tackles have. Maybe he will
turn out to be the TimTebow of last year’s recruiting class after all.
Thompson: This fast and talented receiver was sort of just there last
season. He played, he did some good things – but nothing special. Based
on what he’s done in recent practices, he’s going to have a breakout
season in 2009. He’s consistently getting open and he’s catching
everything thrown in his direction.
* Jaye Howard: He came here
as a defensive end, but now he’s a 305-pound force in the middle at
nose tackle. He’s been a real run stuffer, and a guy the offensive line
has not been able to handle. He’ll be in the playing rotation next
* Lorenzo Edwards: He has always looked the part at outside linebacker. Now, he’s starting to become a player.
* Wondy Pierre-Louis: After losing his starting job at cornerback to Janoris
Jenkins last season, this kid could have given up. Instead, he’s made
himself a better player and he’s competing for playing time.
* Duke Lemmens:
This true junior defensive end is bigger and stronger than a year ago,
and his motor never stops. The Gators aren’t real deep at end, so he’s
got a chance to get some serious minutes in the fall.