Gators notebook: Running back Lingard's time is coming
Miami transfer and former five-star recruit Lorenzo Lingard hasn’t played yet this season and has kind of become Florida’s forgotten running back. But the coaches certainly haven’t forgotten him, and it sounds like it’s only a matter of time before his opportunity comes.
UF coach Dan Mullen had high praise for Lingard on Wednesday’s SEC coaches teleconference.
“He’s doing awesome, has a great attitude,” Mullen said. “He’s a really hard worker. Got a little banged up in camp and missed a little bit of time. When you look at other guys that have come back who have played in the system for a couple of years, he’s catching up to them.
“He missed some time in camp. It set him back a little bit. He’s somebody who comes out every day, works his tail off, has an unbelievable attitude. His approach to the game, I love. I couldn’t be happier with where he’s at, his performance and how he’s continuing to grow.”
Having Burney’s back
Earlier in the week, linebacker Amari Burney said that his play in the first two games was unacceptable. It’s been an adjustment for the junior because he’s gone from a part-time inside linebacker to a full-time one this season.
Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said Burney will make a successful transition.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he said. “He'll be a fine linebacker there. I think that part of being a really good player and working into being a great player is having that kind of attitude. Because whether you win or lose it's really about watching the tape and making a critical assessment of what I have to do to be a better player.
“Because if we all take ownership in that and continue to work and become better players from watching the tape, then our team is better. And that's the ultimate goal is we want to develop players, and we want to make our team better.
“So, the character of Burney doesn't surprise me, him being able to do that because he's a guy that is very critical of himself and wants to be a good player. So we're going to continue to coach him and teach him and he's going to get there.”
‘Dogs on his mind
Another five-star transfer, buck defensive end Brenton Cox, is already looking forward to his date with his former team, the Georgia Bulldogs.
“It will definitely be personal,” he said. “I just can’t wait to play them in Jacksonville. Can’t wait to get the W.”
Big win for Feleipe
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson had a chance to watch his former starting quarterback pick up a significant victory last weekend. Feleipe Franks led Arkansas to an upset of Mississippi State in Starkville on Saturday.
“I watched. Texted, talked to him,” Johnson said. “I was really proud of him. I thought he played really well. Good for him. Went down to Starkville, 2-0 in Starkville now for him. So, it’s always fun. My girls watched. My wife. We finished early so we got a chance to sit back and watch Feleipe. Very proud of him to see him go out there and play really, really well. Proud of him.”
Redshirt sophomore Andrew Chatfield had a good reason for switching to No. 10 this season after wearing 90 the year before.
“I just felt like it was time for me to go 10 times harder than what I was doing last year,” he said. “So, that’s why I changed it.”
The play harder approach worked in Saturday’s win over South Carolina. Chatfield teamed up with Cox to produce a big sack in the second half.
“It’s very inspired,” he said. “Every time we come after practice we come up with different moves. Always trying to get better. Always getting after it. Rushing with him, you learn a lot. We both teach each other certain things. We figure out what’s your weakness, what’s my weakness. And how can we make that stronger.”
As for his No. 90, that’s not the only thing he’s given up. He’s handed off the Chuckie doll — a defensive line tradition started by Dominique Easley — to one of his teammates.
“I gave Chuckie to Khris Bogle,” Chatfield said. “He wanted him bad. He was like ‘Chat, let me have him.’ ”
The Gators' wide receiver group has grown a little bit deeper.
Jordan Pouncey, a transfer from Texas and the older brother of true freshman cornerback Ethan Pouncey, announced on social media earlier this week that the NCAA has granted him immediate eligibility.