5 questions for open practice No. 2

The fifth practice of fall is upon us and that means one thing: the team will be in full pads tonight!

Through the first four practices, the team and coaching staff is somewhat limited in what they can do because the NCAA mandates that every team have an adjustment period where they are not in full pads for the first four practices.

With the team moving into full pads and full hitting on Friday, here are five questions that we want to see answered when the Gators open the gates for the second time this fall.

1) How is the offensive line performing?

Any offensive linemen will tell you that it’s not fair to judge them when defensive linemen aren’t in pads. Defensive linemen are faster and normally more athletic and offensive linemen can’t be as physical without pads.

How is Max Garcia transitioning to his new role at center (he looked good on Thursday) and who are the five starters across the line?


2) How are the interior defensive linemen progressing?

Dante Fowler was unblockable, as usual, but he’s never been the question for Florida on the defensive line. The major question is how do you replace Dominique Easley? There wasn’t an answer last year and the defense took a step back from their elite level last season after Easley went down.

Darious Cummings and Leon Orr are the veterans here and the Gators desperately need them to be solid. After them, there is a lot of youth that needs to pick up the defense and start making an impact. Who is standing out early?


3) With Vernon Hargreaves out which freshmen will step up?


Vernon Hargreaves going down with a bone bruise is not good. Your best player getting hurt is never a good thing but it does create opportunity for Florida.

You know what you’re going to get from Hargreaves and I wouldn’t mind if Florida shut him down completely this fall camp.

Now, JC Jackson, Quincy Wilson, Duke Dawson and Jalen Tabor will have their feet held to the fire. They were all expected to play this fall but with Hargreaves on the sideline they are now thrust into a position where they need to start showing that they are ready to play right now.


4) Will Florida’s starting placekicker please stand up?

Thursday was my first look at transfer Brooks Abbott. He has a huge leg but was shaky at best. Hardin missed a couple of field goals.

Somebody has to want to win this job. Nobody came close on Thursday.


5) Kyle Christy vs. Johnny Townsend


Punters are people too!

This may be the tightest position battle on the team but it’s really a win-win situation for Florida.

I still think best case scenario is that Christy returns to from (he’s looked good in the spring and early on in the fall) and Townsend can redshirt — giving him an extra year to kick at Florida.

Still, Townsend isn’t going to just hand the job over and the two will continue to battle the rest of camp.


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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC


  1. You have to wonder about UF’s offensive line when we hear that Fowler is “unblockable” again this year. Fowler was not a great player last year, even Durkin said that there were some games that he didn’t show up. It worries me that no one can block him at UF,yet other teams don’t have that problem. Maybe the offensive line needs to study film of LSU. They mauled Fowler and the rest of UF’s defensive line last year. I don’t want to see the matador approach that seemed to be in vogue last year when Uf faced defensive ends.

  2. RMLEONEO6, I’m sorry you “hate” me. I just bring up facts and don’t believe much of what is said since I’ve heard it all before. Last year, the same exact thing was said about Fowler, that he was “unblockable.” It wasn’t true.