Because they don’t know how the game will play out in the first half Saturday against Florida International, the Florida coaches don’t really have a set plan for when John Brantley and some of the young players replace the starters.
But it’s going to happen at some point against a team that’s giving up more than 400 yards a game to opposing offenses.
With that in mind, here are some young guys to keep an eye out for Saturday in The Swamp:
Brantley — Meyer said earlier in the week that he’s been kicking himself at times for not giving Brantley more playing time this season. That time should come Saturday. Maybe Brantley will get a chance to work with the No. 1 offense, which would give us a more true gauge on some of the things he can do in the passing game. All of his other work this season has come with the backups. Before the start of the season, Meyer said Brantley had earned the right to see playing time. It should come in this game.
Mike Gillislee — The true freshman tailback has been impressive on special teams — and on the few occasions he’s gotten into games on offense. He appears very fast and explosive, and with Emmanuel Moody out of this game with a sprained ankle,Gillislee could end up getting more carries than Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey.
Omarius Hines — Like Gilleslee, the redshirt freshman wide receiver caught the attention of the coaches with his strong play on special teams. Now, he’s starting to emerge as an option in the passing game. He caught two passes at South Carolina last Saturday and should see plenty of playing time (and passes) in Saturday’s game.
Adrian Bushell — I know we’re sounding like a broken record here, but the redshirt freshman cornerback has earned the trust of the coaching staff with his play on special teams. If star cornerback Joe Haden leaves for the NFL after the season, Bushell is the heir apparent at that position. He’s got a lot of speed and ability, and he’s shown on special teams that he’s a player.
William Green — This true sophomore probably hasn’t seen as much playing time at defensive end as many expected heading into the season. But the coaches love his motor and he should see extensive playing time Saturday. He figures to be a starter next season.
Jonathan Bostic — This true freshman middle linebacker has really come on in special teams and has gained the confidence of the coaching staff. He’s a gifted athlete and a physical specimen, and the likely starting middle linebacker next season.
Here’s one guy not to look for: True freshman outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins has not played since injuring his ankle in the second game of the season, and it appears he will be redshirted this season. He’ll be back competing for significant playing time in the spring.