Wrapping up the spring

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Before we starting sprinting off toward summer, here are some final observations from Florida’s spring practice:

* With so many receivers out or limited by injuries in Saturday’s final practice, Jeff Driskel and the Gators never really had a chance to show the progress the offense has made in the passing game this spring. When the Gators are back to full strength in the fall, the offense (and passing game) is going to look much different and be much more productive. Will Muschamp kind of summed it up several times over the course of the spring: The Gators need to play better around their quarterback. If that happens, Driskel is going to have a chance to emerge as one of the SEC’s best quarterbacks in 2013.

* Even though he missed a big chunk of the spring with a high ankle sprain, true freshman wide receiver Demarcus Robinson showed enough that the coaches think he has a chance to have a major impact in the fall. He’s got size, speed, hands and seems to have a knack for coming down with the football.

* I only saw him in that one practice, but true freshman Kelvin Taylor looks like the purest runner (vision, feet, cutting ability, acceleration through the hole) the Gators have had in quite some time. Taylor, Matt Jones and Mack Brown could combine to blow away the numbers Mike Gillislee piled up last season.

* The addition of transfers Max Garcia and Tyler Moore is huge. They have become instant starters on the offensive line, which should be very, very good when everyone is healthy again in the fall.

* Trip Thurman was having a great spring before he injured his shoulder. He’s going to get lots of playing time at guard next season.

* The offense will revert to its 2011 form if Drikel gets injured. Tyler Murphy and Skyler Mornhinweg have some skill and are trying their hardest, but it’s a huge dropoff if the Gators have to rely on their No. 2 quarterback.

* The lack of production from the tight end position is a little bit alarming. Jordan Reed was the go-to guy in the passing game last season, but the Gators don’t have a TE anywhere close to him in terms of skill set.

* Florida’s pass rush should be significantly better in 2013, with Dante Fowler Jr. and Jonathan Bullard coming off the edge and Dominique Easley coming from both the inside and outside. Alex McCallister and Bryan Cox Jr. also look like they’re going to have a chance to make plays at defensive end.

* Antonio Morrison looks like he’s poised to emerge as one of the SEC’s elite linebackers in 2013. If he keeps progressing like he has, he has a chance to become one of the best LBs in school history. He may already be the hardest hitting one.

* Even though safeties Matt Elam and Josh Evans have moved on, the Gators have a chance to be even stronger in the secondary than they were last season. UF may have the best group of corners in the SEC, and redshirt freshman Marcus Maye has to potential to grow into a big-time safety as he gains experience.

* One of those top corners, Loucheiz Purifoy, did not have a chance to show much at wide receiver in Saturday’s practice, but the offensive coaches are excited about what he can bring to the passing game in 2013. He’ll have a package of plays and will have a chance to use his speed and ball skills at wide receiver.  He’s already a dynamic player on defense and special teams. Maybe he can also be that kind of player on offense.

* The Gators are going to have a hard (if not impossible) time replacing Caleb Sturgis, Mr. Automatic. Brad Phillips and Austin Hardin both struggled with consistency, and consistency was Sturgis’ strength.

* One final note unrelated to the spring: I know that some readers have posted that they think I’m the poster who calls himself/herself Roll Tide, but I can assure everyone that I am not that person. I don’t know who he/she is, but its obvious that his/her motive is to try and agitate Gator fans. My advice would be to ignore his/her ramblings instead of engaging him/her.  That’s all for now.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Why not block the Roll Tide idiot. He brings nothing constructive to the debate. His only motive is to agitate people. Just like most Bamer fans, they claim national championships that were awarded by gemologist.

  2. Don’t worry about “Troll Tide”. Whoever it is has bragging rights… for now. Wait and see if they are still flapping thier jaws after the Gators spank Alabama’s rear end this year. Got my fingers crossed on Driskel, he is a wild card right now. Either way, I support our boys! Go Gators

  3. When the Gators are back to full strength in the fall, the offense (and passing game) is going to look much different and be much more productive.

    Wishfull thinking, Robbie. I will believe it when I see it.

  4. Mr Andrea.

    I dont think our new middle LB is already the hardest hitting LB ever to play for the Gators. I still remember Wilbur Marshall, Andre Davis, and Brandon Siler so it will take Antonio more time to convince me. But he does hit hard

  5. This team’s greatest attribute should be it’s ‘D’, again. And, while great defenses win championships, the Gator fans saw only ‘glimpses’ of what Pease’s offenses are about, last year (the Tenn. game was the best).
    The offense is going to pound it with it’s stable of R.B.s, and HOPEFULLY mix-it-up with some ‘play-action’.
    The key for Florida will be the O-line’s health…if it goes south, so goes the offense next year, in my opinion. That’s why my biggest goal for the Summer… get those O-linemen up front as big & strong as I legally could, Trainers.
    GO GATORS!

  6. I went to the Orange & Blue practice, here is what I saw:
    1. No deep pass attempts, nothing even approaching 20 yards.
    2. Most catches by receivers still made with their back to the end zone, thus no “down hill” passing.
    3. Too many banged-up receivers in no contact jerseys, D. Robinson still hobbled.
    4. Driskel still does not appear to go through progressions as a matter of routine, he seemed to be looking at only half the field on passing plays. But, in fairness, why would one take time to look toward certain WRs that have not shown they can catch the ball consistently?
    4.b. Driskel still throws behind receivers too frequently.
    5. Kent Taylor seems to be in a funk, no improvement noted, but he really has nice hands.
    6. Tyler Murphy’s fundamentals looked way better, hands good, footwork good.
    7. Running game appears to be a team strength, again.
    8. Pass coverage may be really good, or our receivers just are too easy to cover.
    9. Gorman looks a step slow right now.
    10. Not sure on the D-line, so many hurt O-line they did not appear to go too hard.
    10.b. Same with line backers, looked frustrated with all the no contact jerseys in their midst and early whistles. Typical for a Spring scrimmage, though.
    11. Not sold on the Purifoy at WR experiment.

    Still hoping for a good year! Go Gators!

  7. I’m surprised RB bit at the roll tide accusation. It’s hard to take advice to ignore a poster from someone who doesn’t. Nevertheless, we should ignore the jerk (gender friendly) since he evidently doesn’t deserve to be banned. And why try to predict the future of the Gator football team? Who saw 11 wins last year? Who saw the Louisville debacle? Just take solace in the fact that this football team, top to bottom, is out to achieve at the highest level and live the Orange and Blue experience. It’s FUN!