Daily Football Fix: Breaking down UF tight end position

Florida tight end C'yontai Lewis (80) is expected to be a key to the Gators' attack. [The Associated Press]

Even dating back to his previous time at Florida, Dan Mullen has always featured the tight end in his offense. He’s still doing it, something that was evident throughout the spring and again in the Orange & Blue Game last month.
It’s obvious the tight ends are going to be very involved in the passing game in the fall.
The starter coming out of the spring is senior C’yontai Lewis, who has flashed playmaking ability in the past and seemed to gain more consistency over the course of the spring.
The Gators are currently four deep at the position — Lewis, Moral Stephens, Kemore Gamble and walkon R.J. Raymond — and will add two true freshmen this summer (Kyle Pitts and Dante Lang).
Near the end of the spring, tight ends coach Larry Scott took the time to break down the four players he’s been coaching. Here’s what he had to say about each one:

Scott on Lewis
“He is eager. He is just eager right now. He is hungry. Different things are starting to slow down a bit to him because he is understanding the bigger picture. He is asking a lot of questions. When he is watching film, he is watching film with details because he knows what he is looking at and he knows what he is looking for as far as the things he needs to improve. We are going to put together a really good plan for him moving forward from spring and into the summer. If he takes care of the things he needs to, we expect to come back out and put himself in the position to have a good fall for us.

On Moral Stephens
“Moral is one of those guys that his body is changing. You talk about confidence and those type of things, he is starting to do some things he hadn’t been able to do and that’s because of a little more strength that he has got and a little more girth that he is having now. He is starting to get an understanding on defensive structure and coverage and how to get open and how to do those things. Again, with the performance, he is starting to gain some confidence. Hopefully, he is a guy that we can continue to build that confidence, keep building his body through the weight room with the time that he has left. He has to have a high sense of urgency because his clock is ticking and he understands that. He is attacking it right now and we are going to get the very best that he has. He is a guy that is really starting to pick up some confidence. I like what he is doing.”

On Kemore Gamble
“He is responding and he is working, but it’s a process. It’s a process because it’s all new, and he is learning how to be a complete tight end. It’s learning the protections, learning the run game, learning technique and fundamentals and different things like that. Changing his body, he has got to get strong, he has to get lean he has to run. So, his process is at the very beginning. He is a redshirt freshman, nothing is wrong with that and just him understanding and developing a process to get himself better each and every day is where we are trying to keep him. Just worry about today, not worry about tomorrow.”

On R.J. Raymond
“R.J. has been good. He is a very good, smart football player. He plays hard and it means a lot to him. He is one of those guys that is asking questions. Once you explain it he picks it up real fast. He is a quick learner. R.J. is just one of those guys that is just steady. Once he gets his game to the level of the maximum potential that he has and play to that consistency, he will be able to do some things and have a role that will help us out I believe.”


  1. What did the previous TEs coach do during working hours? Not much coaching of the TEs it seems. McElwain’s tenure was just a disaster for the Florida program in so many ways, but his hiring of assistant coaches was a super storm kind of disaster. And I thought Muschamp was bad. In reality, he was far better than McElwain and still not that good at Florida.

    • It’s amazing, right? It’s becoming clear we had a mediocre high-school coaching staff last year where the coaches did very little coaching of any kind. I am so happy for these players to have actual coaches now who are helping them become their best selves. That’s what coaches who really care do, and these coaches care.

    • It seems more and more that what we had here last year was a mediocre high-school coaching staff who did little real coaching but mostly just stood around in their coaches’ shorts making jokes and talking about barbecue. I am so happy for these players that they have coaches now who are pushing them to be their best selves. That’s what coaches who really care do for their players.

  2. And did anyone else take notice that one of the greatest TEs in NFL history decided to retire right after the announcement that the Dallas Cowboys had hired Doug Nussmeier to coach their TEs. LOL.

  3. 2 top nfl tight ends, try burton and Jordan reed are ex-gator qbs. Hopefully Franks would consider trying to join those 2. id say financially its better than not making an nfl roster at the qb position, which looks like his fate to most people I know.

    • Agreed. But that got kicked around here a few months ago, mveal, and most responses were negative. Me, if QB still doesn’t work out this time around, then he’s a good athlete and has the height regardless. By the way, Burton is, was, and likely always be a stud. Maybe Franks would be too?

    • mveal. Franks has a lot more physical skills for the QB position than Burton or Reed ever had. Mainly, a very strong, NFL type arm. Burton and Reed were mostly just running QBs in the spread offense with very weak passing skills. And Franks is not built like Burton or Reed. He does not fit the TE build. Stand next to hikm and you will understand. Wide receiver, maybe. But Franks will likely only play QB or nothing at Florida.

      • OK, 10 May 18, 1002 hours EST (I guess 0902 CST here). That’s recent, yet you have ignored the rather nice post I directed to you yesterday, in which I offered you a no risk solution to take this matter off line, where it belongs, and solve it like two grown men. both loyal Gators, instead of little boys. I will suspend judgement on that factoid until a few more hours have passed, in all fairness.