With the Gators’ preseason camp now basically over, it’s time to present some observations based on interviews with coaches and players, and on what little UF revealed in its open practice this past Saturday:
* Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel both have a very good command of the offense. Driskel appears to have the stronger arm of the two, and he has the ability to make more happen with his feet. Brissett seems to have a slight edge mentally, especially in terms of composure and pocket presence. So, yes, they remain basically even.
* Mike Gillislee has had an excellent camp and the downhill running attack seems to be a perfect fit for his running style (which is strong between the tackles). The big thing is he’s stayed healthy. Will Muschamp calls him UF’s most complete tailback because he’s very smart, can catch and is excellent in pass protection. Mack Brown and true freshman Matt Jones are going to be a factor. Jones is now up to 236 pounds. Omarius Hines also will get some carries.
* Trey Burton is listed as the starting fullback, but he also lines up as a wide receiver and tight end. It’s obvious he’s going to play a major role in the receiving end of the passing game.
* The offensive line is stronger and tougher than last season. The Gators have been pounding the ball (with success) throughout camp. Now, can these guys pass protect well enough?
* True freshman Kent Taylor isn’t big enough yet to line up as a blocking tight end in the SEC, but he has a chance to contribute this season as a pass-catching tight end. The way he runs routes and catches passes, he looks like a big wide receiver.
* Several of his teammates have called true freshman Buck end/linebacker Dante Fowler a beast — and that’s what he is. He’s big, he’s powerful and he’s pushing senior starter Lerentee McCray for serious playing time this season. By all accounts, he is given the line a major upgrade in terms of an outside pass rush. Another true freshman, Jonathan Bullard, also is a big, strong kid who is going to see playing time at end behind Dominique Easley, Muschamp said Monday.
* Sharrif Floyd, Jelani Jenkins, Jon Bostic, Matt Elam and Marcus Roberson are All-SEC caliber players on defense.
* With four corners (Roberson, Cody Riggs, Jaylen Watkins and Loucheiz Purifoy) and five or six safeties (Elam, Josh Evans, De’Ante Saunders, Valdez Shower, Brian Poole and Jabari Gorman) who can play, this has a chance to be one of the best secondaries in school history, and the strength of what should be a very good defense.