Time to visit Moody again

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Because he is such a talent, and has been such an enigma in his time at Florida, tailback Emmanuel Moody has been discussed in this blog many times over the past two years.

We’ve talked about his injuries, his durability. His potential, his frustration. His flashes of greatness, followed by his mysterious and befuddling disappearances in the offense.

Now, we’ve got something new to talk about: Moody’s opportunity to become the tailback everyone thinks he can be now that Stan Drayton is his position coach again. Drayton, who played an integral role in Moody ending up at Florida after he decided to transfer from Southern Cal, seems to think Moody’s emergence may be coming soon.

Drayton talked earlier in the week about how Moody has started to “grow hair on his chest a little bit and stay behind his pads.” Drayton also said Moody may be back in his comfort zone now that he’s back working under him following a two-year separation (a painful one for Moody).

“Moody and I were both excited to be reunited,” Drayton said. “Moody came here because he was real interested in developing a relationship with his positional coach. It was a tough little transition he had to go through (when Drayton left). Coach (Kenny) Carter did a great job while he was here.

“But Moody and I became really, really close in the recruiting process. I think there is a great level of comfortability that we’re back together.”

We don’t know if comfortability is a word or not, but we know exactly what Drayton is saying.

Moody is now in a comfort zone perhaps for the first time since he’s been at Florida.

I know, I know. In the past there have been times we thought Moody was all set to explode on the scene and it didn’t happen. Maybe this will be the time it actually occurs.

35 COMMENTS

  1. why the fascination with Moody

    As if he’s Bo Jackson in waiting and know one has figured it out.

    Maybe dude will have a breakout yr. but it’s not like UF is going to line up in the I formation and hand it to him 25 times

    Dude has coughed it up several times in limited action.

    Time will tell, hope the best for the kid, but if was the 2nd coming of Herschel or something, why didn’t he just stick with USC and dominate the PAC 10?

  2. They can start by handing Moody the ball. His production/confidence will not be helped standing on the sidelines. In my opinion he’s been underutilized, unless coaches have felt that he could only carry the ball a handful of time per game.

  3. Speed is great but what I see in Moody is one of the top running backs in college football if he can get enough carries. A back like Moody will make the Tebow to Brantley transition seamless by giving the gators a back that can break tackles and get the tough yards inside. I hope Mr. Drayton has enough pull to get Moody more carries and make him the feature back UF needs so bad. Go Gators

  4. Dude gets 7-10 yards if he gets past the line. He’s a dynamic runner. If they let him stay in the game and get his legs under him and not put him in for a play here and a play there he will have a bust out year. Unfortunately, for him, because of the other talent we have back there its gonna be running back by committee again and no one guy will bust out.

  5. I agree with Tony fannin. Moody is the best back we have and should get the ball. Maybe the reason he fumbles so much is hes so excited and hyped up to actually get his hands on the ball. Maybe if he got more carries he would settle down in to a more reliable back.

  6. The most confusing playing I have ever seen in a Gator uniform. He comes in, makes a great run to ignite the crowd and the team, and then he immediately goes to the bench, rarely to return. Then he comes in and makes a great run and gets hurt and goes to the bench and never returns. Then he comes in and is not used at all on a play and then goes back to the bench never to be seen again. Typical states: 3 carries, 28 yards. Three carreis, 28 yards. Give the damn ball to the guy more, please! But I guess he can’t block or something. Who cares! Give him the damn ball! He is a better runner than either Demps or Rainey. Both those guys should be playing in the slot receiver position. Demps has such great speed. Never makes a 60 yard run??? Rainey, fumbles 10 times more than Moody but plays 10 times more. Don’t get that! Now, Gillesse (sp?) looks like a horse, too. Give him the ball more, too. And Brown is a horse. You better give him the damn ball when he is ready. Moody should be the every down back next year, period.

  7. Times are changing in the Gator Nation. Moody will rush for over 1000 as the featured back this season getting 70 percent of the carries. This will help Brantleys transition and give Mack Brown a year to get bigger and settled in Gainesville. Demps will still get some touches, probably 20-25 percent…he has to. Rainey will mainly be in the slot and possibly return some kicks…although I hear Matt Elam is going to be a beast in the return game immediately. Debose may get some carries and maybe even Dunkley. Gillessee will spell on occasion and take mop up duties. Drayton is back and he wants to run the ball. Our top rusher for the past 3 years is gone and someone needs to fill the void while at the same time keep the defense honest for our cannon-armed-best QB in the SEC next year (Cam Newton who?)

    nuff said

    Go Gators

  8. He is one of the biggest keys to Floridas success this year. I think he will have a breakout year in a much larger role on offense especially with Rainey taking over the old Percy position. Look for big things this year from Moody!

  9. He hasn’t played a lot mainly because he has never stayed healthy. Dude always gets hurt. Bottom line. If he stays healthy, he’ll have a shot. He is the least “Home Run-Threat” of the backs we have, but is a big back that can bruise. Wish him well.

  10. i like moody but i don’t believe he is our best back. considering they have both seen limited play gillislee is probably our strongest running back with moody coming a close second unless one of the freshmen show us all something different. i believe moody can be a great back but urban has to gain confidence in him and stop thinking he can blow through an sec defense with just speed.as we all seen last season demps didn’t go very far through the middle of the line with an experienced O line.unless the O line just were not that good at blocking! anyway i hope to see more moody this season but i believe gillislee will be our dominant back.

  11. It will be very interesting to see exactly how the offense adapts to having Brantley at QB. Third and short will no longer be a QB keeper 95% of the time is one thing I know that will be changed. Moody has the upper hand at becoming the guy to get those carrys, but Mike Gillislee was very impressive the way he ran hard when he got a chance last year, too. Meyer loves to try the quick hitter up the gut with Demps and Rainey almost to a fault, IMO. Let Moody run the rock 15-18 times a game and I bet he goes for 100 about every game. That said, I’m not the coach and I’ll root for whoever Urbie decides to give the ball to.

  12. I don’t understand the Moody lovefest. The best RB we have is Demps…period. How is that not obvious? Despite all the dreaded dives up the middle, which everyone seems to think he and Rainey suck at, he still averaged 7.5 ypc and scored 7 TDs this season. Moody: 6.5 ypc and more carries during garbage time — not bad at all, although Gillislee impressed me more and averaged 8.6 ypc. In 2008, Demps averaged 7.8 ypc. Plus he has shown himself to be much more durable than Moody with significantly more carries. There is a reason why Demps starts and gets the most carries of the RBs. Tebow is obviously gone, along with all his carries, but I’d be surprised if Moody averages more than 10 carries per game. It seems more likely that we’ll throw the ball more, some of those passes going to the RBs, and Gillislee will be more involved earlier in games.

    I guess there is a contingent of Gator fans convinced we need a “big” back. We had Tebow so not sure why it was so important previously. This argument reminds me of the constant hankering for tall WRs. Riley Cooper was 6-3 or so, but how often did his height make the difference? Body position and speed were more effective weapons for him. Another example: F$U’s Greg Carr — all 6-6 of him — TOTALED 7 catches for 119 yds and 1 TD in 4 games against us and our sub-6′ CBs, yet we heard ad nauseum how much of a weapon he was with jump balls. More BS!

  13. While I like what I have seen of Gillislee, it has been with fresh legs late in the 4th quarter against our opponants scubs for the most part, so I’m not ready to claim he is our best back just yet. What nobody has mentioned regarding Moody, including coach Drayton, is that he just recently underwent successful surgery on both ankles to remove bone chips/spurs that have hampered him since his arrival in Gainesville. That fact was obviously kept very quiet. I have read recently that the coaches are very excited in regard to his chances now of becoming the back they envisioned him to be when they signed him and also the kid that was the Pac 10 freshman of the year at USC.

  14. Moody is a big back with great burst and vision. He gets hurt because he is always fighting for extra yards. He has that forward lean you like to see in your running backs and he is adept at the cut and go.

    I don’t know if he is the best RB on the team but he brings something unique to the table that we need and we should use.

    As pointed out Emmanuel will be healthy and in his comfort zone with Coach Drayton and the offense. Now that Tebow won’t be toting the ball 16 times a game the opportunity is there for all the Gator RBs to get carries and show their stuff. A healthy Moody helps the Gators and that is all I ask.

  15. Debose still has to get through rehab though reports indicate he is doing well. He might see some limited time in the Spring but he won’t face contact till Fall.

    The good thing with Debose is he can play slot or he can play wide and still be effective. In the meantime we loosen the logjam in our backfield by using Chris Rainey and his ultra special abilities in the slot. Like Percy Harvin there is no doubt Chris can make things happen with the ball in his hands and this is a great opportunity for him to get more touches,

  16. I think it is evident that Moody is a good RB. He has had durability issues and fumbling issues, to a certain degree. However, the biggest setback for him was learning the playbook and blocking on downs that he wasn’t carrying the ball. If he can accomplish those things then he should be a stud this year. One area that he seems better than Demps at is his ability to catch out of the backfield.

    That is one thing I was hoping Demps would do this offseason, work on his catching the screen passes. I’m a huge fan of Demps but that is one area he needs a little work.

  17. Let’s face it. Moody has a lot of competition. Whoever emerges as the everyday back at Florida will have to be a Heisman candidate. Moody, Demps, Rainey, Gillislee and Brown could all start at almost any Division I school in this country. And watch out for Elam who is also someone in the mix.

  18. Running game next year may harken back to the Pell/Hall days in terms of impact. Consider this:

    – Rainey – Harvin position (20% of running game).

    – Demps – primary speed option (25% of running game).

    – Moody – primary power option (Tebow replacement) and primary pass blocker (40% of running game)

    – Gillisee and new RB group – fill in for above plus special situations (5% – 10% of running game)

    – Brantley – QB options and scrambles (5-10% of running game)

    The threat provided by this running attack, when combined with the threats posed by Brantley’s passing skills and what looks to be an improved WR corps, will definitely keep Def Corrdinators up at night!

  19. I still say RECRUIT one of those “world’s strongest man” athlete; Those 260 pound no neck guys. If they can pull a Boeing 707 or a firetruck, flip over 500 pound barrels, or throw tractor tires 50 yards think of what they could do to a defensive line. Maybe we need to recruit Russia, Finland, Latvia, and Estonia. Seriously 190 pounds as a smashmouth, up the middle player? Moody’s good but Florida HAS to get over this small guy only mindset!

  20. Want to point out too that little backs didn’t always work well for Spurrier. Remember how Florida was manhandled by Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl several years ago?

    One of the concerns about the spread was that SEC defenses were too fast and open holes would close quickly and the small backs would be stuffed for no gain. That’s why Tebow’s 240 pounds worked. Big backs are a good complement to have and with 90+ players on the roster there’s no reason that 1 or 2 can’t be actual running backs, no just catching backs, Hope Moody can beef up to be a power back!!