Spring football is all about working on fundamentals and developing the young players, which in turn builds your overall depth. So, the fact that spring football probably isn’t going to happen for the Florida Gators will have minimal or no impact on the veteran starters, whose practice time likely would have been limited anyhow.
The guys it does affect, and in a big way, are the early enrollees and other young players who were expecting to make their case this spring for possible playing time in the fall. Now, all those guys are going to have to wait until August, when they will be joined by the freshmen who did not enroll early.
Here are some players who are going to be hurt by a football-less spring:
- Anthony Richardson, the talented dual-threat quarterback who is eager to get his development started under Dan Mullen and Brian Johnson. He got a little taste of it during early bowl preparation. Now he’s going to have to wait to get more of it.
- Na’Quan Wright, the redshirt freshman suddenly finds himself in a crowded running back room with the addition of Miami transfer Lorenzo Lingard. He was counting on his big-play capability showing out this spring and putting him in a position to contribute in 2020. That bid is now on hold.
- Jesiah Pierre and Ty’Ron Hooper, the two redshirt freshmen linebackers who are being counted on to provide possible significant playing in the fall will miss all the important reps they needed this spring.
- Joshua Braun, Isaiah Walker and Richard Leonard, the three true freshmen offensive linemen who were going to have the opportunity this spring to show if they’re physically ready to provide depth up front.
- Jahari Rogers, the true freshman cornerback who had hoped to establish this spring that he’s ready for significant playing time. It’s going to be a lot more challenging to do that in August, with the Gators getting ready for the start of the season.
- Khris Bogle, the sophomore defensive end/outside linebacker who showed so much promise last season as a true freshman. He’s gotten much bigger and stronger and was looking forward to seeing how much of a difference that would make. Now, he — and the Gators — won’t find out until late this summer.
Jeremy Crawshaw, the true punter who apparently killed it this winter in the offseason strength and conditioning program. The question was: how good of a punter is he? That was supposed to be answered this spring. Now it will have to wait.
If there is no spring practice for the Gators — and that’s certainly a real possibility — it’s not going to be any big deal for the starters and veterans who have already proven themselves. But it’s going to be a huge one for the young guys who needed this opportunity to compete.