5 quick hits from Billy Napier's first spring football practice with Florida Gators
Florida opened spring practice Tuesday under the cover of the indoor practice facility, giving UF coach Billy Napier his first opportunity to apply his teaching methods on the field. The Gators will hold 15 practices before the Orange & Blue game April 16, UF’s first public scrimmage in three years.
“I think we’ve got to replicate winning conditions for the players in practice. Extremely proud of the effort, I think we did a lot good today,” Napier said Tuesday night after practice. “We’ll get better as we move forward.”
The program allowed local media to view nearly 15 minutes of Tuesday’s late afternoon session — here are five takeaways from the practice's open portion.
Billy Napier works with quarterbacks
The Gators split into position groups during the open portion of practice. Napier was working at the 50-yard line with the quarterbacks, including Anthony Richardson, who wasn’t wearing a brace and showed no sign of being limited in a non-contact portion. The quarterbacks later worked with the running backs on a screen drill. Emory Jones completed screen passes to Lorenzo Lingard and Montrell Johnson.
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Jamar Chaney is at practice
Jamar Chaney is back in Gainesville, and he was mostly observing as inside linebackers coach Jay Bateman instructed the linebackers. Senior linebacker Diwun Black, listed at 6-foot-3, 221 pounds, looks to have leaned down as he heads into his first spring with the Gators.
Jalen Kimber and Jaydon Hill likely will be limited
Jalen Kimber and Jaydon Hill went through practice in non-contact jerseys while working with the defensive backs, a sign both players will be limited in spring. Kimber is recovering from shoulder surgery, while Hill is working his way back from an ACL tear suffered in fall camp. Both players are expected to be fully healthy by fall camp.
Kamryn Waites makes a big impression
He’s no Desmond Watson, but Kamryn Waites is still one massive man. The 6-foot-8 redshirt freshman may be listed at 358 pounds, nearly 60 pounds less than Watson, but his sizable frame and height seemed even more noticeable on Florida’s indoor field. Waites is one of two offensive linemen the Gators added via the transfer portal in the off-season, with O’Cyrus Torrence being the other.
Troy Bowles and Raylen Wilson among recruits there
It wasn’t just Florida football personnel, boosters and select media in the building with UF’s student-athletes. The Gators welcomed multiple recruits on unofficial visits for the first spring practice under Napier, including a pair of four-star linebackers in the Class of 2023 in Troy Bowles and Raylen Wilson.