Spring bling for Gators


Urban Meyer established some new traditions at Florida. He also eliminated an old one — those annual spring awards that Steve Spurrier and his staff used to hand out at halftime of each Orange and Blue game.

Well, we’re reviving the tradition here.

We present our version of the Gators’ spring football awards:

Best offensive player — Hard pick here, but we’re going with a true freshman — wide receiver Latroy Pittman, who brought some much-needed electricity to the downfield passing game.

Best defensive player — Easy pick here. Buck defensive end/linebacker Ronald Powell. He was dominant in scrimmages and established himself as a dynamic outside pass rusher. Which brings us to our next award.

Biggest disappointment — Powell tearing his ACL in the first half of the spring game. Just when it appeared he was coming into his own, a major setback for him and the Gators. He could miss the whole month of September and some of October.

Most improved offensive player — Xavier Nixon. After being a revolving door at offensive tackle at times last season, he re-established himself as a very solid player. He’s bigger, stronger — and healthy (which he wasn’t for much of last season).

Most improved defensive player — We have a tie here between cornerback Jaylen Watkins and safety Jabari Gorman. Watkins looks like a different player. Gorman was all over the field making plays in the spring game.

Best disappearing act — Kyle Christy. The Gators punted zero times in the spring game. What’s up with that?

Best true freshman — A lot of guys in the mix here, but we’re going with linebacker Antonio Morrison, who has future star written all over him. Man, can that guy hit.

The Greg See courage award — Easy call. Senior offensive guard James Wilson, whose career has been crippled by chronic knee problems, was granted a sixth year of eligibility and made it through the spring healthy and as the starter at left guard.

Worst hair: Middle linebacker Michael Taylor. He just doesn’t look right as a blond.

Best position battle: No question about this one. Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel are so close in the QB competition that their battle will carry over to the fall. Will anyone be surprised if the Gators end up playing both next season? Didn’t think so.

Most improved position group — The offensive line went from being soft to a potential team strength. The big guys have really bought into this get-tougher mentality.

Best coaching job of the spring — We have a tie. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis. The new guys on the staff really got it done.


  1. In answer to a question about whether he inherented a ‘broken program’, W/M (in my opinion, understandably) decided not to give a responsive reply. Instead he commented about ‘discipline’, about two national championships and about conference results. That is all well and good. But, it does not constitute a response to the question asked. W/M’s answer was the politic thing to say because everyone knows or reasonably should know the condition of the program U/M left behind. For, if U/M did not leave a mess in his wake, W/M has in one year proven himself to be incompetent. If U/M left behind a strong program and competitive program U/M should be fired immediately. We all know or reasonably should know why U/M is now called Urban Liar. He is called Urban Liar b/c he does not tell the truth. As a Gator since 1965, I wish W/M the very best in his efforts to correct the mess that ‘other guy’ left behind. We must all get behind W/M’s efforts to return competetiveness to the Gator football program. Good luck Will!!

  2. If the 2nd 10 you listed in your draft is the best we have, then that’s why we’re a mediocre team in the SEC right now. Patchen? Dunbar? None of them have done anything! Halapio seem overrated to me, but is getting better so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.
    When I see Bostic meeting RBs in the hole, then I’ll consider him improved. He hasn’t done it like LBs in the past; same with Jenkins. I hope they all take that leap this year with all the experience and improved strength.

  3. Robbie, I couldn’t agree any more with you on your ‘Spring Bling’, and Gorman would be my favorite for “WHERE DID HE COME FROM? AWARD” on Defense. On Offense it would be Chris Johnson. After watching the Orange & Blue Debut again, and again…Chris Johnson at R.B. and Gorman were very pleasant surprises for U.F.’s Football Team. I hope the term ‘broken’ and ‘dysfunctional’ begin to fade into our Gator memories and NEW FLORIDA FOOTBALL MEMORIES will be created in a very short 5 moths…Trying to HOPEFUL and POSITIVE! I truly believe this Gator Team should beat the likes of U.G.A. and Auburn types, which were loses last year. This Team is beginning to yield fruit, and how much fruit by Thanksgiving is ‘up to them’ now- in the weight-room, running routes together in drills, etc…GO GATORS!

  4. Will Muschamp has my respect now. Given all the things we have learned recently, I admire how he has dealt with them. I like his conviction about doing things the right way, and his two new hires as coaches are excellent. Last year was about trying to follow Urban and survive all the crap he had to deal with. This year is about doing it his way…..and it’s going to work….proud of him.