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    Junior linebacker Alex Anzalone will require season ending shoulder surgery on his shoulder. / Gator Country photo by David Bowie

Callaway and spring practice
update: Florida Gators podcast

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Written by Andrew Spivey, March 9, 2016, 2 Comments,
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This GatorCountry podcast breaks down what Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain had to say about Antonio Callaway and Treon Harris being away from the team this spring.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre also recap the injury situation as the Florida Gators start spring practice on Wednesday, plus what these injuries mean for Florida.

Andrew and Nick look ahead to the first few spring practice, plus discuss what happens on the days the Gators aren’t on the practice field this spring.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Once again, your man, Andrew Spivey, joined by Nicholas de la Torre. What’s up, Nicholas?

Nick:                         It’s always interesting to see how you’re going to pronounce my name when we start these.

Andrew:                 I like to change it up a little bit. Sometimes it’s Nicholas de la Torre. Then sometimes it’s just Nicholas. Just depends on what the mood of the day is.

Nick:                         Your mood today was a little weird.

Andrew:                 It was a little weird?

Nick:                         Yeah, a little weird.

Andrew:                 I did notice something today. I was typing up our round table. Are you and Del Rio related?

Nick:                         No.

Andrew:                 Del and de la. Maybe.

Nick:                         Oh man.

Andrew:                 Just wondering if you maybe forgot how to spell your last name a little bit here. Let’s talk a little football. Coach McElwain met with the media on Tuesday, and kind of put out some big news. Not really big news, well I guess it is big news. If you’re on Gator Country you kind of knew some stuff was going on with Antonio Callaway and Treon Harris. Nick, I guess the best way to describe it without getting into too many details is they’re just away from the team right now with some stuff going on behind the scenes. They’re working out. They’re in school, taking classes, all that good stuff, but just not a part of the football team.

Nick:                         Yeah. It’s some stuff that’s being handled by the school, which is why Jim McElwain couldn’t really talk about it publically. It is what it is. To me, not having Antonio Callaway is a big deal. You’ve got a new quarterback in Luke Del Rio that really needs to gel with his, maybe his only, but definitely his best playmaker on offense, and you’re not going to get that opportunity, at least as we start here, and really indefinitely. Jim McElwain didn’t say they wouldn’t be back, but didn’t say they would be back. Kind of just left a lot of doors open there with this whole situation.

Andrew:                 My thing is this, Callaway being gone hurts from a standpoint of getting quarterback receiver relationship built up, but if he’s able to come back by the summer or fall Callaway’s a player that is good enough that is not going to be hurt by missing the spring. It is good that they are giving the chance to the younger guys, I guess would be the best way to say it. They’re allowing, now three guys have the opportunity to step in and gain some depth as you go in.

I think the biggest thing for Callaway right now is handling his business and being ready to go for fall, for summer and fall, getting his name cleared of anything and getting business taken care of, then not letting academics slip so you’re eligible when you do come back from your suspension or leave of absence, whatever you want to call it. Mac didn’t call it anything in particular, but whatever you want to call it. Whenever he gets back academics need to be in order and staying in shape. You and I have both been told they’re working out together, so that should be there.

Nick:                         To me I think every player maybe needs a wakeup call or has something happen to them that is a wakeup call. Antonio Callaway is a kid that loves football, that really takes it seriously, so I don’t think it’s going to be a situation where if his name is cleared, and he’s eligible to come back, that it’ll be like he showed up, he’s eligible, but he’s got about two weeks to get back into shape. I’m not worried about him staying in shape. To me it’s kind of how long does this take to play itself out. If it’s something where he’s gone for the entire spring while it plays itself out, does that have any negative effect on the offensive as a whole? I don’t think it has any negative effect on his progression as a player, but the offense as a whole I can see it really being an issue.

Andrew:                 I think it’ll be an issue from a perception standpoint of not being able to see your best playmaker in the spring game. I don’t see that being a big deal going forward, as long as he does handle his stuff off the field. Treon Harris, I hate to be that guy, but one strike, two strikes, how many more strikes you asking for before you’re given up on is the best way to say it?

Nick:                         This would be his third suspension.

Andrew:                 I’m saying the second suspension was everybody does it, but what I’m saying is this is the second big suspension. You’re starting to see fans turn against him already. He was thinking about maybe going to receiver a little bit. We’ve been told that he was very open to that, and that kind of stuff. Every chance he had of getting better at that kind of went out the door, and if he did want to get better at playing quarterback, that went out the door as well. It definitely hurts him.

Nick:                         I thought that he was going to have an opportunity to play a little bit of quarterback before completely switching positions. Jim McElwain really shut down everything when it came to asking questions about Callaway or Harris, but he did say that potentially it is a possibility that he could move to a new position.

Andrew:                 Right. I don’t know. It doesn’t bother me he shut it down. Like you said, there’s a lot of things that we don’t know that went on about it, and we don’t know what he can and can’t say about it. Sometimes it’s best to side with the less, the less you say, the least amount of trouble you can get in. I’m not too worried about that. It is kind of a negative light on the program heading into that. I know fans, I think you and I can agree, it’s like when is the last time you had a spring or fall that went without some big news that was breaking news with somebody suspended, somebody with season ending injury, somebody leaving the program, whatever it is? I mean, you think about it. Let’s just go through it. Three years ago it was Easley tearing his ACL. Treon missing the LSU game. Then last year with Will Grier. Now it’s this. You begin to wonder. I don’t know. I’m not trying to make a joke about it, but it just seems like that dark cloud of Will Muschamp is still hanging over. They need to clean the air.

Nick:                         There’s always something going on.

Andrew:                 Always something. I’m not going to say it. Never mind. I’m not going to say what I wanted to say. I was going to go with the Nick Saban phrase that Nick Saban wouldn’t allow this to happen, but I won’t. I’ll just be quiet.

Nick:                         There’s never, it seems to be that there’s never a dull day or slow moment around this team, but football is back sort of, and that’s what we’re here to talk about.

Andrew:                 Sort of is better than none any day of the week.

Nick:                         I’m not complaining. As Mac said it on Tuesday, the team will be out there in underwear. The first two days is no tops at all, so you’re just in jersey’s, helmets, shorts. After two days of practice you can throw the tops on. We call them shells. We called them shells back when I was around teams. When I was in high school we called it shells, which is helmets and uppers, upper pads. Then fifth practice, sometime next week, finally get to go all out and really get some tackling, get into some real football.

Andrew:                 I think the thing that is important that maybe we don’t talk about a ton is that these first practices and in between practices are probably more important than the hitting practices and the big practices later on in the thing, because these off days they get are good for installing the packages, are good for reviewing that stuff, for watching film, walk throughs, just simply in a coach’s office walking through things on the board, that kind of stuff. I think that we kind of sometimes take for granted that they got the day off, so they’re not going to the football program. No. That just means they’re not outside hitting on there. I think that is something that maybe we overlook.

To kind of go over the schedule a little bit, we can’t really release the schedule too much, but for the most part it’s going to be about every other day is kind of where they’re going to go this spring. You will have that day in between for good learning and reviewing and installing stuff, especially with three quarterbacks that haven’t been on campus in Appleby and the two freshmen it’s huge for those guys. Then you look at your two receivers, or your three new receivers, Mark Thompson, those guys, that are going to need that installation for this. Not that it’s already not in, a lot of it’s already in, but learning some more fine tune stuff.

Nicholas, did we lose you?

Nick:                         No. I’m here. That’s the thing. It’s only going every other day, so people might question that, but really the off day is not like, kids, go run amok, do whatever you want.

Andrew:                 Go drink a beer.

Nick:                         That entire day is spent going over what you did yesterday. I don’t totally agree with you that these days are the most important, before the pads come on, but it is very important, because it’s kind of a way to get the little things out of the way, the install and so it’s basically putting you in a position so that when the pads come on we’re not still doing install. When the pads come on, we’re full go, and we’re ready to go as a normal practice.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Being able to split days up and do an install day, go back, watch it on film and say this is what you’re doing right, this is what you’re doing wrong, this is how we’re going to correct it, and here’s a preview of what we’re going to do tomorrow, where you need to be, what you need to do, and then repeat that process. That gets you ready so that you’re not wasting time once you get into full pads and you’re doing 11 on 11 and tackling and stuff like that.

Andrew:                 I mean, you only have a certain amount of time on the practice field. You want to use that time to be going full speed, not we ran this play wrong, let me teach this. I had a head coach of mine that I coached under, and he told me, “A championship team can practice off the field as well as on the field.” That is visualizing the stuff in the meeting rooms and that kind of stuff to where you take what you have in the meeting rooms, and if you can translate that to the field, even if it’s only half right, if you can go full speed in that, and then go into the office the next day or later that evening and watch it and get better, that’s better than stopping, having to teach, wasting all that practice time, killing all momentum, and that kind of stuff. That’s kind of why I was saying those middle days, those off days from the practice field are your most important to me, because those are the days that set the tempo for the next practice and so on with that.

Nick:                         When we get out there, we’ll be out there at practice on Wednesday, as you’re listening to this, it’s just something to keep in mind. When people come out and say, here’s the top performer, just know that the first practice is guys in tights and jerseys with no pads on. They’re running around. They’re doing football stuff, but not really playing football. I mean, take it with a grain of salt.

Andrew:                 Even what comes out of spring.

Nick:                         Yeah. As far as, we can get, we will get insight, but it’s a thing where you have to take it for what it is.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         I think you and I kind of do a good job of that as far as taking it for what it is, not trying to make it something bigger just to grab some clicks.

Andrew:                 I’m going ahead right now. Kyle Trask is starting quarterback.

Nick:                         Oh God.

Andrew:                 I mean, someone last year wanted to call Jacob Guy, and now he’s off the team. I’m just going to go ahead and say it. Kyle Trask, starting quarterback. I’m all for the clicks.

Nick:                         No thank you.

Andrew:                 No. You’re right.

Nick:                         You won’t hear that from me.

Andrew:                 No. You won’t hear that shit from me either. I’m too real for that. A couple things, you and I had touched on this in the previews part of our podcast last week. Check them out on iTunes if you want. Kylan Johnson. We had said that we thought he could potentially move to linebacker, and Mac kind of said that that’s where he was going to play at linebacker.

Nick:                         He said, “Wait till you see him, he’s grown up.”

Andrew:                 Yeah. He’s grown up. You and I had said last year Jake McGee and a couple other guys told us the same thing. He’s a guy that’s been working out at both. I told you I thought he could be a potential guy that plays a little bit in the dime. Be interesting to see how he adjusts to that. That’s a different, the closer you get to the ball, the harder it is to play, and the less time you have to react. We’ll see how his reaction time is on that.

Then Brandon Powell, Martez Ivey, both of those guys are officially out. Nothing wrong. Both had off season surgery. Brandon Powell with the foot. Ivey with the labrum, right? The shoulder labrum, Nick?

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 It hurts Ivey not practicing.

Nick:                         Is it time to start getting concerned with Ivey? Dealing with injuries, he played through injuries last year, but basically was almost unserviceable last year towards the end of the year playing through an injury. At what point when you start thinking of a guy who’s 6’4”, 6’6”, 300 pounds, do you start worrying about knees and ankles? At what point do we start thinking, is this going to be an issue with him? Is he going to be dealing with injuries his entire time at Florida?

Andrew:                 It’s something to definitely be concerned about I would say. You’re in year two, and it’s still the same thing. I want to see how he recovers from this and see if it’s just something he needed to recover from and is now better from it after that, or what happens when this comes back. He’s a guy that needs to be taking some mental reps in a big way, because he’s going to be asked to do a lot. There is no more freshman mistakes, that kind of stuff. You’re a sophomore. You’ve been through the fire. That’s there. I will say this. He’s down.

Next man up, you guys are reading this on our site now on the round table that Nick and I and Kevin Camps put up on Gator Country. I said it. I said I thought the one concern for me was the interior of the line, and I say that, and I know someone’s going to say, there’s plenty of guys there. Sure. My question is this. Cam Dillard was benched at the end of the year for Trip Thurman at center. To me that said that they weren’t happy with Cam Dillard. If Tyler Jordan was to slide inside to center, now who plays your two guard spots?

Nick:                         Right.

Andrew:                 Is it Antonio Riles, who played awful last year, or is it Nick Buchanan, Travaris Dorsey, who we heard a lot of good things about in the fall. Dorsey got injured. Buchanan just fell behind. Where is it? Who plays these guard positions?

Nick:                         You didn’t mention Heavy Chocolate. I think he is still too heavy. Still a little too much chocolate there. Got to melt away some of that chocolate before I think he’s ready to get in there. That is a big question mark. If Cam Dillard can start, that really helps, because you can leave Tyler Jordan at guard. We’ve never ever seen Dillard really work at guard. It’s always been center. So I don’t know how a transition in his redshirt junior year would go.

Andrew:                 I’m going to be honest. He’s a center. If it ain’t center, it’s that good old wood on the side.

Nick:                         I think they’re actually made of metal, but we don’t need to split hairs there.

Andrew:                 You know what I mean. That’s kind of the, what’s the word I’m looking for here? That’s just the word that’s used to describe the pine.

Nick:                         The bench. The pine is the word you were looking for, the bench.

Andrew:                 Yes. There you go. Again, that’s what I’m saying. I think that’s a big question mark for him. There is some exciting news though, and that is that Alex Anzalone is able to come back and is going to be limited, no contact, Mac says. You and I hit on that on the podcast the other day. We didn’t think there was no way that he was going to get contact. No sense in getting contact. He doesn’t need contact. He’s been through the works already. I don’t think either one of us was surprised by hearing that, but it is exciting to know that the Duct tape, as Mac called it, stuck together.

Nick:                         We kind of talked about this on the last podcast. I think it’s a smart decision. One, you’re not really going to put Alex in a position where he’s going to hurt the shoulder, continue giving it time to heal. Last year Trip Thurman wasn’t sure if he was even going to play his redshirt senior year, took that entire time off, as Mac said at that time, give him a full eight months. Football season is about four months. Give him a full seven, eight months of no contact to see what the shoulder can do. Alex Anzalone hasn’t been in any kind of contact drill since he got hurt in the second week of the 2015 season.

To me, it’s kind of a win-win. You give Alex a chance to be healthy, but have him still out there. Then you’re getting David Reese, a freshman who was able to early enroll, smart kid, get him more reps, but because Anzalone is out there, “Hey, Rook, come over here. This is how we do it. This is what you need to be looking for. When we’re in this package, this is what we’re looking for. This is your first check. This is your second check. You need to make sure these two guys on either side of you know what they’re doing. Make sure you have your line checks.” Just those little things that Anzalone is a guy who’s been here for going on his fourth year knows and are kind of second nature to him now. Maybe help the game slow down a little bit for Reese.

Andrew:                 And Kylan Johnson. That’s another one that will be big for. Like I said, does he need the reps? No.

Nick:                         Anzalone doesn’t need the reps. Kylan, David Reese, my boy D Mac needs all the mental reps he can get.

Andrew:                 Chopper Dan. Chopper Dan does, yeah. Then two other guys on the injury note, Joey Ivie and Quincy Wilson will both be limited a little bit with the hernia surgeries.

Nick:                         I’m very impressed with Quincy Wilson and the way he’s been running, which I know running, walking hurts after a sur-, after a hernia.

Andrew:                 Are you inventing a word here, the surnia?

Nick:                         You’ve invented plenty of words since we started pod casting, maybe it’s my turn.

Andrew:                 Me? Me inventing words, no. That’s just my language.

Nick:                         Also, Quincy Wilson’s dad just tweeted this out. Congratulations to him. He was just named to the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Andrew:                 You act like I care. Popping that up on a podcast. We’re talking football.

Nick:                         Unbelievable.

Andrew:                 I’m just kidding. Congrats to Quincy. That’s awesome. Awesome to hear. Props to Quincy. He’s a guy that does it well on and off the field, and from a great family. Chad and Mrs. Wilson, they do a good job as well.

Let’s move on to a couple more things here. Mac did talk about those guys being limited. Also the kicker position, no idea who he was talking about when he said the two kickers. I’m guessing he’s talking about Austin and Jorge.

Nick:                         Here’s the thing. He followed that up by saying, “We’ll have one.” Right now the dentist is still on the roster, but he also had knee surgery. He was able to kick in the Citrus Bowl, but he also had knee surgery. Mac followed that up with, but we’ll have one, and that’s Eddy Pineiro. Eddy’s not hurt. Eddy’s fine. You’ve seen his trick shots over spring break. That’s going to be your only kicker. If he’s mentioning we have two guys that aren’t hurt, or that aren’t going to be able to go, Jorge Powell, obviously. He’s still coming back from an ACL. Austin Hardin’s not coming back from an ACL, probably not anyone on the coaching staff’s favorite person on the team right now, but I really don’t see any kind of reason as to why he wouldn’t be there.

Andrew:                 Only thing I can think of is the ankle injury that he suffered at the bowl game, but to me it looked like just a sprain. I don’t know. That’s a situation that, to be honest with you, I really don’t care. If you want me to be honest. I really don’t care. We’ll do that. We’ll see how that works with those guys there. Pineiro, he can use all the work he can get. He ain’t going to get tired, because he’s a guy that kicks all the time.

One other piece of news that came out of Mac’s press conference is he said Del Rio’s got the leg up. You and I have hinted at that all along.

Nick:                         I wouldn’t even call it hinting.

Andrew:                 I said it.

Nick:                         Just straight up saying it.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Did I expect Mac to say he had the leg up?

Nick:                         I did not.

Andrew:                 I didn’t. I thought he would say we’re going to have a quarterback battle. That’s what I thought he was going to say. It makes sense. Del Rio’s been there. He’s got to be the guy.

Nick:                         Not only has he been there at Florida, he’s been there in Nussmeier’s offense. You can say it’s not Nussmeier’s offense. I think those guys work together very closely, and he’s been in the offense as a freshman at Alabama. He was in the offense last year, went through everything, other than when he had his appendectomy. To me, it’s a clear cut path for him to be the starting quarterback for the entire year. In my opinion, he would lose the job. If Del Rio is not the starter on Day 1, it means he lost the job, because to me, in my mind, he’s the clear front runner.

Andrew:                 Like a #1 seed get upset by a 16 seed?

Nick:                         Maybe like a 2 and a 15.

Andrew:                 That’s pretty common nowadays.

Nick:                         It always happens. It’ll happen once every year, but it’s not common.

Andrew:                 Once every year is pretty common.

Nick:                         Shut up.

Andrew:                 That’s what Nick does when he’s wrong.

Nick:                         A 16 over a 1 has never happened.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         So I’m not going to say it’s never going to happen. Screw it. 16 over 1. Del Rio’s going to be your starting quarterback.

Andrew:                 When you’re wrong, you’re wrong.

Nick:                         Del Rio’s going to be the starting quarterback. I’ve said that since probably before the bowl game. Del Rio’s going to be the starting quarterback next year.

Andrew:                 Okay. Lordy, Lordy, guys. We got some questions though. My man, Uncle Silk, I know he’s trying to trick me here.

Nick:                         He is.

Andrew:                 By throwing the last name in there, but I’m going to say it like I want to say it. Is Jabari climbing the depth chart? Nick, I think you and I agree.

Nick:                         Jabari who?

Andrew:                 I don’t know. Jabari. You and I have talked about the depth chart. You’ve got a story up on the site today, Wednesday. I know you got Jabari second. I think he’s climbing. Everything we were told is he had a good year last year. It was simply about learning. We got to remember, he just turned 17 years old. He’s still a young man.

Nick:                         Young guy. Still coming along. Definitely filled out a lot. I’m interested to see what he’ll look like after being in the weight program for the past two months and what kind of gains he’s able to make over that little part. To me, a guy that as a really high ceiling, but probably still kind of raw.

Andrew:                 I agree with that. I think he’s a guy that is raw, but has got a lot of really good talent that can make an impact. Let’s go with the next question. Ryan Todd, up on Twitter. He said, how do you think the defense will do in the next coming years under McElwain? I’m saying that I think it’s still going to be good. First of all, the state of Florida, Nick, you can agree with me, you got to be dumb shit not to get great players, especially at the DB position. Randy Shannon, in my opinion, is very good. Chris Rumph’s one of the best defensive line coaches. Geoff Collins does well with the defensive coordinator. I have a lot of respect for Torrian Gray.

I don’t think the defense takes that big of a step back. You look at the guys they’ve gotten. You look at this year, Chauncey Gardner. Cece last year. I think they’ve gotten some really good players. I don’t think the defense, do I think the defense is as good as it has been where it’s been one of the Top 5 in the country? Maybe not, but is it still going to be one of the best in the SEC? I believe so.

Nick:                         I would be, I guess I’m a little bit more concerned. I’m not pushing a panic button. I’m not running around breaking stuff, but I guess a little bit more concerned than you are. Kind of because it’s something I mentioned before Mac’s first Signing Day, before the Signing Day this past year. It’s that there’s been so much to do on offense. Are you resting on your laurels, or can you keep recruiting defensive guys? You got some good ones on defense. I’m excited to see Antonneous Clayton when he comes on in the summer. Chauncey Gardner. It’s like you said, in Florida if you’re a team in the state of Florida, and you don’t have a good secondary, you’re not doing your job, because they’re everywhere. You can probably also say that about the wide receivers. For a while Florida didn’t have a good wide receiver.

Andrew:                 Now let’s hold on. Let’s hold our horses with receiver. You’ve got to have a quarterback to throw them the ball.

Nick:                         Can you name more than five?

Andrew:                 I’m just saying. Last year, as good as the receiver corps was, I mean as bad as the receiver corps was last year for Florida, when the ball got there they were catching the ball, but the ball wasn’t getting there very often.

Nick:                         I would probably take two receivers from the team last year. I would take one from the year before that, and that’s it.

Andrew:                 Alright. Whatever. I think we both agree though that the defense…

Nick:                         If you were going to start a football team, and you could pick any receivers from the SEC, how many of them would have been Gators?

Andrew:                 Here’s the thing. This is what I say. It’s tough for me to say really. Ahmad Fulwood, I don’t know what his deal is, but it’s tough for me to say with some of these other guys. You look at some of the guys that’s come out and done okay in the League. Quin Dunbar.

Nick:                         Quin Dunbar is doing well in the League at cornerback.

Andrew:                 That’s what I’m saying, at corner. What would he have done at receiver with a decent quarterback? You look at Frankie Hammond a few years ago. Same thing. You look at some of these guys that have went it, it’s tough for me to say.

Nick:                         They had a decent quarterback in Washington, and Washington told Quinton Dunbar with their decent quarterback who they’d just franchised and gave a bunch of money to, buddy, you might want to play the other side of the ball if you’re going to make the team.

Andrew:                 Right. Whatever. Anyway. Let’s go to the next question.

Nick:                         That’s what Andrew does when he’s wrong. Let’s go to the next question.

Andrew:                 Let’s go to the next question. For real. Here we go. The question is, how will the secondary depth chart shake out? Will Williamson get involved at all? This is a million dollar question, I think. Nick, you and I struggled when we were talking about the depth chart with your story.

Nick:                         Here we go. Florida plays mainly nickel, so there’s five. You need five names. You’ve got three, Marcus Maye, Jalen Tabor, Quincy Wilson. Then now you’re looking for another safety and a nickel.

Andrew:                 I think the nickel’s this. I think it’s Gardner or Duke. Would you agree with that?

Nick:                         Basically McElwain came out on Tuesday and said, Marcell and Duke are starting, which means Marcell is starting next to Marcus Maye at safety, and Duke’s starting in that nickel spot. I think when you get into a dime package, and you’re bringing that sixth defensive back on, that’s when you might see Chauncey take over at the nickel. Maye slide down at the dime, and then you move Duke back, take Marcell off the field.

Andrew:                 I agree with that. My thing is this. I hope Marcell has gotten better, because if not, you want to talk about the defense taking a step back? That’s where it’s going to take a step back, because every team in America is going to pick on that side of the ball.

Nick:                         To me that’s the biggest. Florida doesn’t have anyone that gives you Keanu Neal’s level.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Safety will take a step back this year. There’s no way around it, because there’s not anybody on the roster that can play at Keanu Neal’s level. Marcus Maye had his best season by far in 2015, and you’d like to see him continue to play at that level if not better, but Nick Washington, Marcell Harris, they’re not Keanu Neal, and there’s nobody on the roster that is going to be him.

Andrew:                 Right. For the spring I will say that I think it’s like you said. It’s Duke, Marcell to go with Quincy, Tabor, and Maye. I think when you go to the dime Chauncey gets in there somewhere or another, and I think Chris Williamson is the first guy off the bench to back up Quincy and Tabor, because they’re going to rotate.

Nick:                         Chauncey’s going to get plenty of time.

Andrew:                 McArthur Burnett.

Nick:                         McArthur Burnett will get some time. He tweeted out that he’s 177 pounds. Florida has him listed, what was it? 150?

Andrew:                 Ain’t no way in hell that boy is 177 pounds.

Nick:                         Florida had him listed at 157, which means in the two months he’s been on campus he’s gained 20 pounds.

Andrew:                 Here we go. Here comes the tweets.

Nick:                         I don’t think he’s weighing 177 pounds. I want to see what he looks like, but I think Chris is definitely more ready to play than he is.

Andrew:                 The next question we got here is where do you see the wide receiver depth chart being? Let’s just go through a couple of names we think are good. At the running back position all three guys are going to rotate.

Nick:                         In the spring.

Andrew:                 In the spring. In the season it’ll be a two guy rotation mainly, with one guy being that guy. I’m in the opinion that Mark Thompson’s going to be the guy to be the “starter”, and the other two Jordans are going to play. Are we agreeing on that?

Nick:                         Mac rolls out with that dude. There is one guy that gets those carries. There’s one guy that eats, and then the other two guys spell him when he needs.

Andrew:                 They snack.

Nick:                         They spell him when Mark needs some Gatorade after finishing another mouthful of carries.

Andrew:                 So I think all three guys, with Lamical being the guy not on campus yet. We’ll see who shakes out to be that guy and who shakes out to be the guy that gets the rest of the carries. At receiver, Callaway we’ll cancel him off for the spring. No, I didn’t mean he gets kicked off the team. He’ll be back. Don’t tweet me that bullshit. He’s not here for the first day of practice. You and I talked about it. I think it’s Fulwood, Chris Thompson at the X, Worton, and who? Who am I missing here?

Nick:                         Inside? On the other side of Fulwood?

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         CJ Worton, Chris Thompson, Freddie Swain. Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain are both guys I’m really excited to see. Both outside guys in my opinion. Then inside, without Brandon Powell, probably dealing with another injury, is Dre Massey and then maybe someone like an Alvin Bailey.

Andrew:                 Dre Massey and Dre Massey.

Nick:                         Someone, a name will be there.

Andrew:                 Maybe Chris Thompson was there.

Nick:                         It’s Dre Massey, but I can see Ryan Sosa and Bailey getting reps there.

Andrew:                 It’s Dre Massey and then one of those Zs move over there. I think that the thing that when we look at this it’s going to be who really stands out to be that guy who takes over that role of being that guy with Callaway off, not on the field right now? Is it Swain? Is it Hammond? In today’s article in the roundtable on Wednesday I talked about Josh Hammond is a guy that I’ve heard a lot about this off season. Does it carry over to the practice field? That’s going to be the interesting thing for me. Then Freddie Swain as well.

Next question is what redshirt freshman will have the biggest impact? Man, redshirt freshmen. Nick, you’ll have to help me here. I’m kind of drawing a blank of who even redshirted last year. Maybe Buchanan.

Nick:                         Redshirt freshmen. Maybe you might look at the offensive line, especially if we’re talking just as a spring. You might look at somebody like that, a Nick Buchanan, because Martez is out. So it kind of gives you a lot of opportunity. You’ve got guys like Buchanan, Andrew Ivie, TJ McCoy, Brandon Sandifer, Richerd Desire-Jones.

Andrew:                 I know who it’s going to be. It’s going to be Jabari. That’s going to be my guy.

Nick:                         Jabari what?

Andrew:                 Jabari.

Nick:                         Jabari Zuniga.

Andrew:                 Jabari.

Nick:                         That’s how you say it. You got to open up your program, and they’ve got a pronunciation in there for you.

Andrew:                 Jabari. Jabari from Georgia is going to be the guy.

Nick:                         That’s your guy. It’s not a bad pick. There’s a lot of talent on the defensive line, and I think I might lean towards a Nick Buchanan just a little bit more for the spring, with Martez Ivey out. We’ve kind of seen what you’re going to get from Antonio Riles. I haven’t really been impressed with Travaris Dorsey either. Maybe Nick Buchanan is somebody, a redshirt freshman who can come in and make an impact this spring and possibly earn time moving into the fall.

Andrew:                 You and I both were told that Dorsey was doing really well before he was injured, and then he just never really regained that positive energy. I want to see if he regains that. Florida wants to get bigger at the interior. He’s a bigger guy that we were told is in his best shape that he’s been in. Where does that go? Is he able to get better there, or is he still going to struggle like he did post injury? That’s kind of the biggest thing for me whether he plays or not.

Next question is can Jacob Guy be the guy? No. We’re not the other site, sorry. Why do players keep getting in trouble? It’s a college campus, and stuff happens. Agree?

Nick:                         Stuff happens. College kids do a lot of stuff.

Andrew:                 Yeah. There’s plenty more I’d like to say, but I don’t feel like getting sued. I’ll be quiet. The next question is can you be successful without mobility at quarterback? Absolutely. When you say without mobility, we’re not talking about a guy that’s fat and out of shape like myself that can’t move at all. When I say without mobility I think you’re thinking about a guy like a Jacob Coker or a Greg McElroy, I don’t know. Just guys that are just not known for their wheels, but if they have to run they can run. Do you look at it the same way?

Nick:                         For guys as far as returners?

Andrew:                 At quarterback.

Nick:                         I think Florida’s kind of needed to have a guy in the past, just because the offensive line has been bad. I think the offensive line should be better this year. Mac’s not looking for a mobile quarterback. I think Florida can absolutely be successful with a guy that’s not as mobile. You look at someone like Greg McElroy was probably a little more mobile than people gave him credit for.

Andrew:                 Would you agree that Mac just wants a quarterback that’s kind of like that?

Nick:                         Yeah. Just someone that can run the system. We’re not going to ask you to go out there and win games on your own. We’re just asking don’t screw it up. That’s all the quarterback position did last year was screw it up. He’s just looking for someone that’s not going to do that. He doesn’t need you to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,500. Florida doesn’t need, in this offense and what they’ll try to accomplish, don’t need a guy who is a run first quarterback.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. That’s where I’m at. That’s all the questions we got. We’ll be back again on Friday. We’re going to hit these three times a week. Plenty of stuff going to come on Gator Country. We didn’t talk about it, but prospects are going to be coming on campus now. Coach Mac said that was big to get them on. It is. It’s great to have them see the team. See what Del Rio, those guys, are all about. See Torrian Gray and the coaches in action. Expect that to happen. Nicholas, tell everybody where that’ll be known at.

Nick:                         www.GatorCountry.com. As always, on Twitter, on the tweet bot, the Twitter deck, you can find me @NickdelaTorreGC, @AndrewSpiveyGC. GatorCountry on Twitter. Gator Country on Facebook, and The Gator Country on Instagram. That is where you can find all of us. I’ll be out there for practice for our little open sessions, and I’ll grab some video, grab some pictures, and all that stuff will be on our board.

Andrew:                 It’ll be some good stuff. Doing recruiting. Baseball and softball won’t be over with. We’ll be doing that. Basketball on Thursday at high noon against the Arkansas Razorbacks. I think that’s about all, Nicholas. Anything you want to add before we sign off?

Nick:                         No. That’s it. It’s an intellectual weekend on the baseball diamond. They’ll play UNF Tuesday, Wednesday, and then Harvard comes into town.

Andrew:                 The Gators go up to Auburn, Alabama, Nick’s favorite campus life, for a three game set starting on Saturday. It’ll be a big weekend. It’s a really good team Auburn has.

Nick:                         Alabama is one of the worst states in the country, and Auburn is probably the worst city in the state.

Andrew:                 Take it from Nicholas de la Torre, who has three last names and doesn’t know which one. Take your opinion from him. Whatever you want to say. Anyway, Butch and Mark, hope your spring sucks. As always, go Braves. Chomp, chomp.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

Andrew Spivey

About Andrew Spivey

Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.

  1. sandhillsgatorMarch 9, 2016, 1:43 pm

    Andrew, I read your entire podcast and still know as little as I did before on the Treon and Callaway situation. Was Coach Mac just being obtuse or are there extenuating circumstances that prevent him from revealing what they are being kept out of practice for. Would like to know what happened.

    • Andrew Spivey
      Andrew SpiveyMarch 10, 2016, 12:38 pm

      Coach Mac isn’t able to talk about it too much right now. Things should be straightened out over the next few weeks.

http://www.gatorcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Univeristy-of-Florida-junior-linebacker-Alex-Anzalone-goes-through-drills-during-spring-football-camp.-Florida-Gators-football-1280x852-150x150.jpg Andrew Spivey FeatureFootballPodcasts ,,,,,,,,
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This GatorCountry podcast breaks down what Florida Gators head coach Jim McElwain had to say about Antonio Callaway and Treon Harris being away from the team this spring.

Andrew Spivey and Nick de la Torre also recap the injury situation as the Florida Gators start spring practice on Wednesday, plus what these injuries mean for Florida.

Andrew and Nick look ahead to the first few spring practice, plus discuss what happens on the days the Gators aren’t on the practice field this spring.

TRANSCRIPT:

Andrew:                 What’s up, Gator Country? Once again, your man, Andrew Spivey, joined by Nicholas de la Torre. What’s up, Nicholas?

Nick:                         It’s always interesting to see how you’re going to pronounce my name when we start these.

Andrew:                 I like to change it up a little bit. Sometimes it’s Nicholas de la Torre. Then sometimes it’s just Nicholas. Just depends on what the mood of the day is.

Nick:                         Your mood today was a little weird.

Andrew:                 It was a little weird?

Nick:                         Yeah, a little weird.

Andrew:                 I did notice something today. I was typing up our round table. Are you and Del Rio related?

Nick:                         No.

Andrew:                 Del and de la. Maybe.

Nick:                         Oh man.

Andrew:                 Just wondering if you maybe forgot how to spell your last name a little bit here. Let’s talk a little football. Coach McElwain met with the media on Tuesday, and kind of put out some big news. Not really big news, well I guess it is big news. If you’re on Gator Country you kind of knew some stuff was going on with Antonio Callaway and Treon Harris. Nick, I guess the best way to describe it without getting into too many details is they’re just away from the team right now with some stuff going on behind the scenes. They’re working out. They’re in school, taking classes, all that good stuff, but just not a part of the football team.

Nick:                         Yeah. It’s some stuff that’s being handled by the school, which is why Jim McElwain couldn’t really talk about it publically. It is what it is. To me, not having Antonio Callaway is a big deal. You’ve got a new quarterback in Luke Del Rio that really needs to gel with his, maybe his only, but definitely his best playmaker on offense, and you’re not going to get that opportunity, at least as we start here, and really indefinitely. Jim McElwain didn’t say they wouldn’t be back, but didn’t say they would be back. Kind of just left a lot of doors open there with this whole situation.

Andrew:                 My thing is this, Callaway being gone hurts from a standpoint of getting quarterback receiver relationship built up, but if he’s able to come back by the summer or fall Callaway’s a player that is good enough that is not going to be hurt by missing the spring. It is good that they are giving the chance to the younger guys, I guess would be the best way to say it. They’re allowing, now three guys have the opportunity to step in and gain some depth as you go in.

I think the biggest thing for Callaway right now is handling his business and being ready to go for fall, for summer and fall, getting his name cleared of anything and getting business taken care of, then not letting academics slip so you’re eligible when you do come back from your suspension or leave of absence, whatever you want to call it. Mac didn’t call it anything in particular, but whatever you want to call it. Whenever he gets back academics need to be in order and staying in shape. You and I have both been told they’re working out together, so that should be there.

Nick:                         To me I think every player maybe needs a wakeup call or has something happen to them that is a wakeup call. Antonio Callaway is a kid that loves football, that really takes it seriously, so I don’t think it’s going to be a situation where if his name is cleared, and he’s eligible to come back, that it’ll be like he showed up, he’s eligible, but he’s got about two weeks to get back into shape. I’m not worried about him staying in shape. To me it’s kind of how long does this take to play itself out. If it’s something where he’s gone for the entire spring while it plays itself out, does that have any negative effect on the offensive as a whole? I don’t think it has any negative effect on his progression as a player, but the offense as a whole I can see it really being an issue.

Andrew:                 I think it’ll be an issue from a perception standpoint of not being able to see your best playmaker in the spring game. I don’t see that being a big deal going forward, as long as he does handle his stuff off the field. Treon Harris, I hate to be that guy, but one strike, two strikes, how many more strikes you asking for before you’re given up on is the best way to say it?

Nick:                         This would be his third suspension.

Andrew:                 I’m saying the second suspension was everybody does it, but what I’m saying is this is the second big suspension. You’re starting to see fans turn against him already. He was thinking about maybe going to receiver a little bit. We’ve been told that he was very open to that, and that kind of stuff. Every chance he had of getting better at that kind of went out the door, and if he did want to get better at playing quarterback, that went out the door as well. It definitely hurts him.

Nick:                         I thought that he was going to have an opportunity to play a little bit of quarterback before completely switching positions. Jim McElwain really shut down everything when it came to asking questions about Callaway or Harris, but he did say that potentially it is a possibility that he could move to a new position.

Andrew:                 Right. I don’t know. It doesn’t bother me he shut it down. Like you said, there’s a lot of things that we don’t know that went on about it, and we don’t know what he can and can’t say about it. Sometimes it’s best to side with the less, the less you say, the least amount of trouble you can get in. I’m not too worried about that. It is kind of a negative light on the program heading into that. I know fans, I think you and I can agree, it’s like when is the last time you had a spring or fall that went without some big news that was breaking news with somebody suspended, somebody with season ending injury, somebody leaving the program, whatever it is? I mean, you think about it. Let’s just go through it. Three years ago it was Easley tearing his ACL. Treon missing the LSU game. Then last year with Will Grier. Now it’s this. You begin to wonder. I don’t know. I’m not trying to make a joke about it, but it just seems like that dark cloud of Will Muschamp is still hanging over. They need to clean the air.

Nick:                         There’s always something going on.

Andrew:                 Always something. I’m not going to say it. Never mind. I’m not going to say what I wanted to say. I was going to go with the Nick Saban phrase that Nick Saban wouldn’t allow this to happen, but I won’t. I’ll just be quiet.

Nick:                         There’s never, it seems to be that there’s never a dull day or slow moment around this team, but football is back sort of, and that’s what we’re here to talk about.

Andrew:                 Sort of is better than none any day of the week.

Nick:                         I’m not complaining. As Mac said it on Tuesday, the team will be out there in underwear. The first two days is no tops at all, so you’re just in jersey’s, helmets, shorts. After two days of practice you can throw the tops on. We call them shells. We called them shells back when I was around teams. When I was in high school we called it shells, which is helmets and uppers, upper pads. Then fifth practice, sometime next week, finally get to go all out and really get some tackling, get into some real football.

Andrew:                 I think the thing that is important that maybe we don’t talk about a ton is that these first practices and in between practices are probably more important than the hitting practices and the big practices later on in the thing, because these off days they get are good for installing the packages, are good for reviewing that stuff, for watching film, walk throughs, just simply in a coach’s office walking through things on the board, that kind of stuff. I think that we kind of sometimes take for granted that they got the day off, so they’re not going to the football program. No. That just means they’re not outside hitting on there. I think that is something that maybe we overlook.

To kind of go over the schedule a little bit, we can’t really release the schedule too much, but for the most part it’s going to be about every other day is kind of where they’re going to go this spring. You will have that day in between for good learning and reviewing and installing stuff, especially with three quarterbacks that haven’t been on campus in Appleby and the two freshmen it’s huge for those guys. Then you look at your two receivers, or your three new receivers, Mark Thompson, those guys, that are going to need that installation for this. Not that it’s already not in, a lot of it’s already in, but learning some more fine tune stuff.

Nicholas, did we lose you?

Nick:                         No. I’m here. That’s the thing. It’s only going every other day, so people might question that, but really the off day is not like, kids, go run amok, do whatever you want.

Andrew:                 Go drink a beer.

Nick:                         That entire day is spent going over what you did yesterday. I don’t totally agree with you that these days are the most important, before the pads come on, but it is very important, because it’s kind of a way to get the little things out of the way, the install and so it’s basically putting you in a position so that when the pads come on we’re not still doing install. When the pads come on, we’re full go, and we’re ready to go as a normal practice.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Being able to split days up and do an install day, go back, watch it on film and say this is what you’re doing right, this is what you’re doing wrong, this is how we’re going to correct it, and here’s a preview of what we’re going to do tomorrow, where you need to be, what you need to do, and then repeat that process. That gets you ready so that you’re not wasting time once you get into full pads and you’re doing 11 on 11 and tackling and stuff like that.

Andrew:                 I mean, you only have a certain amount of time on the practice field. You want to use that time to be going full speed, not we ran this play wrong, let me teach this. I had a head coach of mine that I coached under, and he told me, “A championship team can practice off the field as well as on the field.” That is visualizing the stuff in the meeting rooms and that kind of stuff to where you take what you have in the meeting rooms, and if you can translate that to the field, even if it’s only half right, if you can go full speed in that, and then go into the office the next day or later that evening and watch it and get better, that’s better than stopping, having to teach, wasting all that practice time, killing all momentum, and that kind of stuff. That’s kind of why I was saying those middle days, those off days from the practice field are your most important to me, because those are the days that set the tempo for the next practice and so on with that.

Nick:                         When we get out there, we’ll be out there at practice on Wednesday, as you’re listening to this, it’s just something to keep in mind. When people come out and say, here’s the top performer, just know that the first practice is guys in tights and jerseys with no pads on. They’re running around. They’re doing football stuff, but not really playing football. I mean, take it with a grain of salt.

Andrew:                 Even what comes out of spring.

Nick:                         Yeah. As far as, we can get, we will get insight, but it’s a thing where you have to take it for what it is.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         I think you and I kind of do a good job of that as far as taking it for what it is, not trying to make it something bigger just to grab some clicks.

Andrew:                 I’m going ahead right now. Kyle Trask is starting quarterback.

Nick:                         Oh God.

Andrew:                 I mean, someone last year wanted to call Jacob Guy, and now he’s off the team. I’m just going to go ahead and say it. Kyle Trask, starting quarterback. I’m all for the clicks.

Nick:                         No thank you.

Andrew:                 No. You’re right.

Nick:                         You won’t hear that from me.

Andrew:                 No. You won’t hear that shit from me either. I’m too real for that. A couple things, you and I had touched on this in the previews part of our podcast last week. Check them out on iTunes if you want. Kylan Johnson. We had said that we thought he could potentially move to linebacker, and Mac kind of said that that’s where he was going to play at linebacker.

Nick:                         He said, “Wait till you see him, he’s grown up.”

Andrew:                 Yeah. He’s grown up. You and I had said last year Jake McGee and a couple other guys told us the same thing. He’s a guy that’s been working out at both. I told you I thought he could be a potential guy that plays a little bit in the dime. Be interesting to see how he adjusts to that. That’s a different, the closer you get to the ball, the harder it is to play, and the less time you have to react. We’ll see how his reaction time is on that.

Then Brandon Powell, Martez Ivey, both of those guys are officially out. Nothing wrong. Both had off season surgery. Brandon Powell with the foot. Ivey with the labrum, right? The shoulder labrum, Nick?

Nick:                         Yeah.

Andrew:                 It hurts Ivey not practicing.

Nick:                         Is it time to start getting concerned with Ivey? Dealing with injuries, he played through injuries last year, but basically was almost unserviceable last year towards the end of the year playing through an injury. At what point when you start thinking of a guy who’s 6’4”, 6’6”, 300 pounds, do you start worrying about knees and ankles? At what point do we start thinking, is this going to be an issue with him? Is he going to be dealing with injuries his entire time at Florida?

Andrew:                 It’s something to definitely be concerned about I would say. You’re in year two, and it’s still the same thing. I want to see how he recovers from this and see if it’s just something he needed to recover from and is now better from it after that, or what happens when this comes back. He’s a guy that needs to be taking some mental reps in a big way, because he’s going to be asked to do a lot. There is no more freshman mistakes, that kind of stuff. You’re a sophomore. You’ve been through the fire. That’s there. I will say this. He’s down.

Next man up, you guys are reading this on our site now on the round table that Nick and I and Kevin Camps put up on Gator Country. I said it. I said I thought the one concern for me was the interior of the line, and I say that, and I know someone’s going to say, there’s plenty of guys there. Sure. My question is this. Cam Dillard was benched at the end of the year for Trip Thurman at center. To me that said that they weren’t happy with Cam Dillard. If Tyler Jordan was to slide inside to center, now who plays your two guard spots?

Nick:                         Right.

Andrew:                 Is it Antonio Riles, who played awful last year, or is it Nick Buchanan, Travaris Dorsey, who we heard a lot of good things about in the fall. Dorsey got injured. Buchanan just fell behind. Where is it? Who plays these guard positions?

Nick:                         You didn’t mention Heavy Chocolate. I think he is still too heavy. Still a little too much chocolate there. Got to melt away some of that chocolate before I think he’s ready to get in there. That is a big question mark. If Cam Dillard can start, that really helps, because you can leave Tyler Jordan at guard. We’ve never ever seen Dillard really work at guard. It’s always been center. So I don’t know how a transition in his redshirt junior year would go.

Andrew:                 I’m going to be honest. He’s a center. If it ain’t center, it’s that good old wood on the side.

Nick:                         I think they’re actually made of metal, but we don’t need to split hairs there.

Andrew:                 You know what I mean. That’s kind of the, what’s the word I’m looking for here? That’s just the word that’s used to describe the pine.

Nick:                         The bench. The pine is the word you were looking for, the bench.

Andrew:                 Yes. There you go. Again, that’s what I’m saying. I think that’s a big question mark for him. There is some exciting news though, and that is that Alex Anzalone is able to come back and is going to be limited, no contact, Mac says. You and I hit on that on the podcast the other day. We didn’t think there was no way that he was going to get contact. No sense in getting contact. He doesn’t need contact. He’s been through the works already. I don’t think either one of us was surprised by hearing that, but it is exciting to know that the Duct tape, as Mac called it, stuck together.

Nick:                         We kind of talked about this on the last podcast. I think it’s a smart decision. One, you’re not really going to put Alex in a position where he’s going to hurt the shoulder, continue giving it time to heal. Last year Trip Thurman wasn’t sure if he was even going to play his redshirt senior year, took that entire time off, as Mac said at that time, give him a full eight months. Football season is about four months. Give him a full seven, eight months of no contact to see what the shoulder can do. Alex Anzalone hasn’t been in any kind of contact drill since he got hurt in the second week of the 2015 season.

To me, it’s kind of a win-win. You give Alex a chance to be healthy, but have him still out there. Then you’re getting David Reese, a freshman who was able to early enroll, smart kid, get him more reps, but because Anzalone is out there, “Hey, Rook, come over here. This is how we do it. This is what you need to be looking for. When we’re in this package, this is what we’re looking for. This is your first check. This is your second check. You need to make sure these two guys on either side of you know what they’re doing. Make sure you have your line checks.” Just those little things that Anzalone is a guy who’s been here for going on his fourth year knows and are kind of second nature to him now. Maybe help the game slow down a little bit for Reese.

Andrew:                 And Kylan Johnson. That’s another one that will be big for. Like I said, does he need the reps? No.

Nick:                         Anzalone doesn’t need the reps. Kylan, David Reese, my boy D Mac needs all the mental reps he can get.

Andrew:                 Chopper Dan. Chopper Dan does, yeah. Then two other guys on the injury note, Joey Ivie and Quincy Wilson will both be limited a little bit with the hernia surgeries.

Nick:                         I’m very impressed with Quincy Wilson and the way he’s been running, which I know running, walking hurts after a sur-, after a hernia.

Andrew:                 Are you inventing a word here, the surnia?

Nick:                         You’ve invented plenty of words since we started pod casting, maybe it’s my turn.

Andrew:                 Me? Me inventing words, no. That’s just my language.

Nick:                         Also, Quincy Wilson’s dad just tweeted this out. Congratulations to him. He was just named to the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Andrew:                 You act like I care. Popping that up on a podcast. We’re talking football.

Nick:                         Unbelievable.

Andrew:                 I’m just kidding. Congrats to Quincy. That’s awesome. Awesome to hear. Props to Quincy. He’s a guy that does it well on and off the field, and from a great family. Chad and Mrs. Wilson, they do a good job as well.

Let’s move on to a couple more things here. Mac did talk about those guys being limited. Also the kicker position, no idea who he was talking about when he said the two kickers. I’m guessing he’s talking about Austin and Jorge.

Nick:                         Here’s the thing. He followed that up by saying, “We’ll have one.” Right now the dentist is still on the roster, but he also had knee surgery. He was able to kick in the Citrus Bowl, but he also had knee surgery. Mac followed that up with, but we’ll have one, and that’s Eddy Pineiro. Eddy’s not hurt. Eddy’s fine. You’ve seen his trick shots over spring break. That’s going to be your only kicker. If he’s mentioning we have two guys that aren’t hurt, or that aren’t going to be able to go, Jorge Powell, obviously. He’s still coming back from an ACL. Austin Hardin’s not coming back from an ACL, probably not anyone on the coaching staff’s favorite person on the team right now, but I really don’t see any kind of reason as to why he wouldn’t be there.

Andrew:                 Only thing I can think of is the ankle injury that he suffered at the bowl game, but to me it looked like just a sprain. I don’t know. That’s a situation that, to be honest with you, I really don’t care. If you want me to be honest. I really don’t care. We’ll do that. We’ll see how that works with those guys there. Pineiro, he can use all the work he can get. He ain’t going to get tired, because he’s a guy that kicks all the time.

One other piece of news that came out of Mac’s press conference is he said Del Rio’s got the leg up. You and I have hinted at that all along.

Nick:                         I wouldn’t even call it hinting.

Andrew:                 I said it.

Nick:                         Just straight up saying it.

Andrew:                 Yeah. Did I expect Mac to say he had the leg up?

Nick:                         I did not.

Andrew:                 I didn’t. I thought he would say we’re going to have a quarterback battle. That’s what I thought he was going to say. It makes sense. Del Rio’s been there. He’s got to be the guy.

Nick:                         Not only has he been there at Florida, he’s been there in Nussmeier’s offense. You can say it’s not Nussmeier’s offense. I think those guys work together very closely, and he’s been in the offense as a freshman at Alabama. He was in the offense last year, went through everything, other than when he had his appendectomy. To me, it’s a clear cut path for him to be the starting quarterback for the entire year. In my opinion, he would lose the job. If Del Rio is not the starter on Day 1, it means he lost the job, because to me, in my mind, he’s the clear front runner.

Andrew:                 Like a #1 seed get upset by a 16 seed?

Nick:                         Maybe like a 2 and a 15.

Andrew:                 That’s pretty common nowadays.

Nick:                         It always happens. It’ll happen once every year, but it’s not common.

Andrew:                 Once every year is pretty common.

Nick:                         Shut up.

Andrew:                 That’s what Nick does when he’s wrong.

Nick:                         A 16 over a 1 has never happened.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         So I’m not going to say it’s never going to happen. Screw it. 16 over 1. Del Rio’s going to be your starting quarterback.

Andrew:                 When you’re wrong, you’re wrong.

Nick:                         Del Rio’s going to be the starting quarterback. I’ve said that since probably before the bowl game. Del Rio’s going to be the starting quarterback next year.

Andrew:                 Okay. Lordy, Lordy, guys. We got some questions though. My man, Uncle Silk, I know he’s trying to trick me here.

Nick:                         He is.

Andrew:                 By throwing the last name in there, but I’m going to say it like I want to say it. Is Jabari climbing the depth chart? Nick, I think you and I agree.

Nick:                         Jabari who?

Andrew:                 I don’t know. Jabari. You and I have talked about the depth chart. You’ve got a story up on the site today, Wednesday. I know you got Jabari second. I think he’s climbing. Everything we were told is he had a good year last year. It was simply about learning. We got to remember, he just turned 17 years old. He’s still a young man.

Nick:                         Young guy. Still coming along. Definitely filled out a lot. I’m interested to see what he’ll look like after being in the weight program for the past two months and what kind of gains he’s able to make over that little part. To me, a guy that as a really high ceiling, but probably still kind of raw.

Andrew:                 I agree with that. I think he’s a guy that is raw, but has got a lot of really good talent that can make an impact. Let’s go with the next question. Ryan Todd, up on Twitter. He said, how do you think the defense will do in the next coming years under McElwain? I’m saying that I think it’s still going to be good. First of all, the state of Florida, Nick, you can agree with me, you got to be dumb shit not to get great players, especially at the DB position. Randy Shannon, in my opinion, is very good. Chris Rumph’s one of the best defensive line coaches. Geoff Collins does well with the defensive coordinator. I have a lot of respect for Torrian Gray.

I don’t think the defense takes that big of a step back. You look at the guys they’ve gotten. You look at this year, Chauncey Gardner. Cece last year. I think they’ve gotten some really good players. I don’t think the defense, do I think the defense is as good as it has been where it’s been one of the Top 5 in the country? Maybe not, but is it still going to be one of the best in the SEC? I believe so.

Nick:                         I would be, I guess I’m a little bit more concerned. I’m not pushing a panic button. I’m not running around breaking stuff, but I guess a little bit more concerned than you are. Kind of because it’s something I mentioned before Mac’s first Signing Day, before the Signing Day this past year. It’s that there’s been so much to do on offense. Are you resting on your laurels, or can you keep recruiting defensive guys? You got some good ones on defense. I’m excited to see Antonneous Clayton when he comes on in the summer. Chauncey Gardner. It’s like you said, in Florida if you’re a team in the state of Florida, and you don’t have a good secondary, you’re not doing your job, because they’re everywhere. You can probably also say that about the wide receivers. For a while Florida didn’t have a good wide receiver.

Andrew:                 Now let’s hold on. Let’s hold our horses with receiver. You’ve got to have a quarterback to throw them the ball.

Nick:                         Can you name more than five?

Andrew:                 I’m just saying. Last year, as good as the receiver corps was, I mean as bad as the receiver corps was last year for Florida, when the ball got there they were catching the ball, but the ball wasn’t getting there very often.

Nick:                         I would probably take two receivers from the team last year. I would take one from the year before that, and that’s it.

Andrew:                 Alright. Whatever. I think we both agree though that the defense…

Nick:                         If you were going to start a football team, and you could pick any receivers from the SEC, how many of them would have been Gators?

Andrew:                 Here’s the thing. This is what I say. It’s tough for me to say really. Ahmad Fulwood, I don’t know what his deal is, but it’s tough for me to say with some of these other guys. You look at some of the guys that’s come out and done okay in the League. Quin Dunbar.

Nick:                         Quin Dunbar is doing well in the League at cornerback.

Andrew:                 That’s what I’m saying, at corner. What would he have done at receiver with a decent quarterback? You look at Frankie Hammond a few years ago. Same thing. You look at some of these guys that have went it, it’s tough for me to say.

Nick:                         They had a decent quarterback in Washington, and Washington told Quinton Dunbar with their decent quarterback who they’d just franchised and gave a bunch of money to, buddy, you might want to play the other side of the ball if you’re going to make the team.

Andrew:                 Right. Whatever. Anyway. Let’s go to the next question.

Nick:                         That’s what Andrew does when he’s wrong. Let’s go to the next question.

Andrew:                 Let’s go to the next question. For real. Here we go. The question is, how will the secondary depth chart shake out? Will Williamson get involved at all? This is a million dollar question, I think. Nick, you and I struggled when we were talking about the depth chart with your story.

Nick:                         Here we go. Florida plays mainly nickel, so there’s five. You need five names. You’ve got three, Marcus Maye, Jalen Tabor, Quincy Wilson. Then now you’re looking for another safety and a nickel.

Andrew:                 I think the nickel’s this. I think it’s Gardner or Duke. Would you agree with that?

Nick:                         Basically McElwain came out on Tuesday and said, Marcell and Duke are starting, which means Marcell is starting next to Marcus Maye at safety, and Duke’s starting in that nickel spot. I think when you get into a dime package, and you’re bringing that sixth defensive back on, that’s when you might see Chauncey take over at the nickel. Maye slide down at the dime, and then you move Duke back, take Marcell off the field.

Andrew:                 I agree with that. My thing is this. I hope Marcell has gotten better, because if not, you want to talk about the defense taking a step back? That’s where it’s going to take a step back, because every team in America is going to pick on that side of the ball.

Nick:                         To me that’s the biggest. Florida doesn’t have anyone that gives you Keanu Neal’s level.

Andrew:                 Right.

Nick:                         Safety will take a step back this year. There’s no way around it, because there’s not anybody on the roster that can play at Keanu Neal’s level. Marcus Maye had his best season by far in 2015, and you’d like to see him continue to play at that level if not better, but Nick Washington, Marcell Harris, they’re not Keanu Neal, and there’s nobody on the roster that is going to be him.

Andrew:                 Right. For the spring I will say that I think it’s like you said. It’s Duke, Marcell to go with Quincy, Tabor, and Maye. I think when you go to the dime Chauncey gets in there somewhere or another, and I think Chris Williamson is the first guy off the bench to back up Quincy and Tabor, because they’re going to rotate.

Nick:                         Chauncey’s going to get plenty of time.

Andrew:                 McArthur Burnett.

Nick:                         McArthur Burnett will get some time. He tweeted out that he’s 177 pounds. Florida has him listed, what was it? 150?

Andrew:                 Ain’t no way in hell that boy is 177 pounds.

Nick:                         Florida had him listed at 157, which means in the two months he’s been on campus he’s gained 20 pounds.

Andrew:                 Here we go. Here comes the tweets.

Nick:                         I don’t think he’s weighing 177 pounds. I want to see what he looks like, but I think Chris is definitely more ready to play than he is.

Andrew:                 The next question we got here is where do you see the wide receiver depth chart being? Let’s just go through a couple of names we think are good. At the running back position all three guys are going to rotate.

Nick:                         In the spring.

Andrew:                 In the spring. In the season it’ll be a two guy rotation mainly, with one guy being that guy. I’m in the opinion that Mark Thompson’s going to be the guy to be the “starter”, and the other two Jordans are going to play. Are we agreeing on that?

Nick:                         Mac rolls out with that dude. There is one guy that gets those carries. There’s one guy that eats, and then the other two guys spell him when he needs.

Andrew:                 They snack.

Nick:                         They spell him when Mark needs some Gatorade after finishing another mouthful of carries.

Andrew:                 So I think all three guys, with Lamical being the guy not on campus yet. We’ll see who shakes out to be that guy and who shakes out to be the guy that gets the rest of the carries. At receiver, Callaway we’ll cancel him off for the spring. No, I didn’t mean he gets kicked off the team. He’ll be back. Don’t tweet me that bullshit. He’s not here for the first day of practice. You and I talked about it. I think it’s Fulwood, Chris Thompson at the X, Worton, and who? Who am I missing here?

Nick:                         Inside? On the other side of Fulwood?

Andrew:                 Yeah.

Nick:                         CJ Worton, Chris Thompson, Freddie Swain. Josh Hammond and Freddie Swain are both guys I’m really excited to see. Both outside guys in my opinion. Then inside, without Brandon Powell, probably dealing with another injury, is Dre Massey and then maybe someone like an Alvin Bailey.

Andrew:                 Dre Massey and Dre Massey.

Nick:                         Someone, a name will be there.

Andrew:                 Maybe Chris Thompson was there.

Nick:                         It’s Dre Massey, but I can see Ryan Sosa and Bailey getting reps there.

Andrew:                 It’s Dre Massey and then one of those Zs move over there. I think that the thing that when we look at this it’s going to be who really stands out to be that guy who takes over that role of being that guy with Callaway off, not on the field right now? Is it Swain? Is it Hammond? In today’s article in the roundtable on Wednesday I talked about Josh Hammond is a guy that I’ve heard a lot about this off season. Does it carry over to the practice field? That’s going to be the interesting thing for me. Then Freddie Swain as well.

Next question is what redshirt freshman will have the biggest impact? Man, redshirt freshmen. Nick, you’ll have to help me here. I’m kind of drawing a blank of who even redshirted last year. Maybe Buchanan.

Nick:                         Redshirt freshmen. Maybe you might look at the offensive line, especially if we’re talking just as a spring. You might look at somebody like that, a Nick Buchanan, because Martez is out. So it kind of gives you a lot of opportunity. You’ve got guys like Buchanan, Andrew Ivie, TJ McCoy, Brandon Sandifer, Richerd Desire-Jones.

Andrew:                 I know who it’s going to be. It’s going to be Jabari. That’s going to be my guy.

Nick:                         Jabari what?

Andrew:                 Jabari.

Nick:                         Jabari Zuniga.

Andrew:                 Jabari.

Nick:                         That’s how you say it. You got to open up your program, and they’ve got a pronunciation in there for you.

Andrew:                 Jabari. Jabari from Georgia is going to be the guy.

Nick:                         That’s your guy. It’s not a bad pick. There’s a lot of talent on the defensive line, and I think I might lean towards a Nick Buchanan just a little bit more for the spring, with Martez Ivey out. We’ve kind of seen what you’re going to get from Antonio Riles. I haven’t really been impressed with Travaris Dorsey either. Maybe Nick Buchanan is somebody, a redshirt freshman who can come in and make an impact this spring and possibly earn time moving into the fall.

Andrew:                 You and I both were told that Dorsey was doing really well before he was injured, and then he just never really regained that positive energy. I want to see if he regains that. Florida wants to get bigger at the interior. He’s a bigger guy that we were told is in his best shape that he’s been in. Where does that go? Is he able to get better there, or is he still going to struggle like he did post injury? That’s kind of the biggest thing for me whether he plays or not.

Next question is can Jacob Guy be the guy? No. We’re not the other site, sorry. Why do players keep getting in trouble? It’s a college campus, and stuff happens. Agree?

Nick:                         Stuff happens. College kids do a lot of stuff.

Andrew:                 Yeah. There’s plenty more I’d like to say, but I don’t feel like getting sued. I’ll be quiet. The next question is can you be successful without mobility at quarterback? Absolutely. When you say without mobility, we’re not talking about a guy that’s fat and out of shape like myself that can’t move at all. When I say without mobility I think you’re thinking about a guy like a Jacob Coker or a Greg McElroy, I don’t know. Just guys that are just not known for their wheels, but if they have to run they can run. Do you look at it the same way?

Nick:                         For guys as far as returners?

Andrew:                 At quarterback.

Nick:                         I think Florida’s kind of needed to have a guy in the past, just because the offensive line has been bad. I think the offensive line should be better this year. Mac’s not looking for a mobile quarterback. I think Florida can absolutely be successful with a guy that’s not as mobile. You look at someone like Greg McElroy was probably a little more mobile than people gave him credit for.

Andrew:                 Would you agree that Mac just wants a quarterback that’s kind of like that?

Nick:                         Yeah. Just someone that can run the system. We’re not going to ask you to go out there and win games on your own. We’re just asking don’t screw it up. That’s all the quarterback position did last year was screw it up. He’s just looking for someone that’s not going to do that. He doesn’t need you to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,500. Florida doesn’t need, in this offense and what they’ll try to accomplish, don’t need a guy who is a run first quarterback.

Andrew:                 Right. Exactly. That’s where I’m at. That’s all the questions we got. We’ll be back again on Friday. We’re going to hit these three times a week. Plenty of stuff going to come on Gator Country. We didn’t talk about it, but prospects are going to be coming on campus now. Coach Mac said that was big to get them on. It is. It’s great to have them see the team. See what Del Rio, those guys, are all about. See Torrian Gray and the coaches in action. Expect that to happen. Nicholas, tell everybody where that’ll be known at.

Nick:                         www.GatorCountry.com. As always, on Twitter, on the tweet bot, the Twitter deck, you can find me @NickdelaTorreGC, @AndrewSpiveyGC. GatorCountry on Twitter. Gator Country on Facebook, and The Gator Country on Instagram. That is where you can find all of us. I’ll be out there for practice for our little open sessions, and I’ll grab some video, grab some pictures, and all that stuff will be on our board.

Andrew:                 It’ll be some good stuff. Doing recruiting. Baseball and softball won’t be over with. We’ll be doing that. Basketball on Thursday at high noon against the Arkansas Razorbacks. I think that’s about all, Nicholas. Anything you want to add before we sign off?

Nick:                         No. That’s it. It’s an intellectual weekend on the baseball diamond. They’ll play UNF Tuesday, Wednesday, and then Harvard comes into town.

Andrew:                 The Gators go up to Auburn, Alabama, Nick’s favorite campus life, for a three game set starting on Saturday. It’ll be a big weekend. It’s a really good team Auburn has.

Nick:                         Alabama is one of the worst states in the country, and Auburn is probably the worst city in the state.

Andrew:                 Take it from Nicholas de la Torre, who has three last names and doesn’t know which one. Take your opinion from him. Whatever you want to say. Anyway, Butch and Mark, hope your spring sucks. As always, go Braves. Chomp, chomp.

Nick:                         You stay classy, Gator Country.

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Dane Dunning, Florida Gators, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Dunning K’s 10 in 6-2 win over North Florida

Dane Dunning struck out a career-high 10 batters in six innings of work on Tuesday.

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