Gators notebook: UF expecting a few positive tests for COVID-19

Robbie Andreu
Gator Sports

 Florida’s football team will have some new positive tests when the school releases new COVID-19 data Tuesday, UF coach Dan Mullen said Monday.

 “We'll have a couple more guys that have tested positive,” he said. “I think we might have some false positives that we've identified. That’s a huge concern. You have these asymptomatic guys with multiple negative tests.

 “They had one that was a false positive come back, some false positives come back. I don’t think that will be reflected in the numbers you get, but we’re working very closely with all our local health officials.”

 In the latest update last week, the Gators had one new positive test. It was the first positive test since early July.

 So far, the virus has had a minimal impact on the Gators, Mullen said. 

 “We’ve felt the impact of it on different things within the program, but not anything that threw us off,” he said. “Hey, you have guys having to quarantine, you have guys having to isolate at different times. But the program as a whole has continued to move forward. And it probably hurts a little bit more on individual growth with each person that we've dealt with throughout the whole time."

Lingard grinding hard

 Because he has been here for such a short time, Miami transfer and former five-star recruit Lorenzo Lingard is a little behind the other running backs in terms of knowing the offense. But he’s working hard to try and catch up.

 “The one thing that I've been most impressed with him is his attitude and his work ethic,” Mullen said. “He is a guy that was really a highly rated recruit out of high school. He is a guy that shows up and he works his tail off every day.

 “He shows up on special teams. He plays hard and you see that he loves to play the game. The thing that I have been the most impressed with is his effort level and his attitude and approach to how hard he works every day. He has worked on picking it up. He is very conscientious on picking the offense, even though, mentally he is a little behind some of the other guys that have more experience in the system.”

Lang fitting in at DE

 Dante Lang signed with the Gators as a tight end. But, as it turns out, he was a pretty good defensive end in high school as well. And that’s the position he’s at now after making the move from offense to defense at the start of preseason training camp.

 It actually was Lang’s play at defensive that first caught Mullen’s attention when he was looking at Lang’s high school tape during the recruiting process.

 “He always reminds me of my first phone call to him when I got hired and I tried to watch all the players that were committed to us,” Mullen said. “I said to him, ‘Hey, I love watching how you rush the passer, your athleticism, how you get after it and your athleticism getting after the passer.’ He said, “Coach, I’m coming in as a tight end.’

 “I said, ‘Well, that’s great but I was just watching film and I loved your athleticism getting after the passer. He reminds me of that. You look at his body type, his skill-set and the needs really fit into the defense. I think long term he even understands that’s possibly a better position for him not just here at Florida but even beyond here. I think it became kind of an easy choice for everybody.” 

 After playing tight end at 253 pounds last season, Lang is now 6-foot-4, 280 pounds.

 “He’s been able to put on some size,” Mullen said. “That’s pretty good size for a defensive end. A really big tight end, and great size for an athletic defensive end.”

Punter from Down Under

 Mullen said Australian punter Jeremy Crawshaw has made a nice adjustment to college football — and life in a new country. He’s competing with walk-on Jacob Finn for the starting role.

 “He’s doing really well,” Mullen said of Crawshaw. “He hasn’t played in live game situations or live football situations where people are running at you to try and block the kick, but he certainly has a lot of talent.

 “Jacob Finn, who has been around the program a long time, understands what it is. Both of those two have done a really solid job. Both of them have to be ready to play. We’ll see who the one guy (starter) will be at the end of next week.”