What we thought would be a press conference to simply introduce the new special team and linebackers coach, Jeff Choate, turned into much, much more on Wednesday.
First the news that Jessamen Dunker has decided to transfer to get a “fresh start”, followed by a new, updated depth chart.
There were some very notable changes to the depth chart we received today compared to the one that Florida went into the spring with.
Let’s take a look at Florida’s summer depth chart and discuss those changes and how things will shake out in the fall.
QB: Jeff Driskel, Tyler Murphy
- Driskel is still the No. 1 but Murphy has slightly distanced himself from Mornhinweg for the backup role.
RB: Matt Jones, Mack Brown
- Matt Jones remains the starter but Muschamp said that Mack Brown has “distanced himself” from the other guys. He added that he likes what Kelvin Taylor did in the spring but he needs to work on the mental aspect of the game.
FB: Hunter Joyer, Gideon Ajagbe
- Gideon Ajagbe remains as the backup fullback. Rhaheim Ledbetter doesn’t appear on the depth chart at all.
X: Quinton Dunbar, Demarcus Robinson
- Andre Debose was listed here in the spring but was moved in the new depth chart. Robinson showed the coaches enough this spring to earn the backup job here and he will play at both X and Y this season as the X and Y mirror each other in Brent Pease’s offense.
Z: Latroy Pittman, Andre Debose, Solomon Patton
- Debose moves here from X and jumps ahead of Solomon Patton. Raphael Andrades drops off the depth chart. Loucheiz Purifoy is also gone from his role as a receiver. Muschamp reiterated that he was impressed with Purifoy in the spring but he wants to evaluate what he has at wide receiver for the first 12 practices before he makes a final decision on how much Purifoy will play at receiver.
F: Trey Burton, Latroy Pittman
- No change here.
TE: Clay Burton, Tevin Westbrook OR Kent Taylor OR Colin Thompson
- As we wrote toady, the tight end job is wide open. Clay Burton, the most experienced player at the position, has a slight lead over the rest of the pack but it’s not by much. Westbrook, Taylor and Thompson are all listed as potential backups and this is a job that will be tightly contested throughout the summer and into the fall.
LT: D.J. Humphries, Trenton Brown
- Trenton Brown makes his first appearance on Florida’s depth chart. Brown just missed enrolling in school this spring and is a player the coaching staff is hopeful can come in right away and play.
LG: Max Garcia, Ian Silberman
- The news of Dunker’s transfer has opened the door for Ian Silberman. Silberman missed the spring with an injury but should be healthy for fall and he replaces Kyle Koehne as the backup left guard.
C: Jonotthan Harrison, Kyle Koehne
- No changes here. Cam Dillard is a guy to watch and could potentially be the backup center if the coaches don’t decide to redshirt him.
RG: Jon Halapio, Trip Thurman
- Having gone through a labrum injury myself, I don’t know how Trip Thurman is going to be able to play this season. Extending your arms out and holding onto people or pushing is excruciatingly painful when you are coming off of this type of injury. I remain skeptical that Thurman will be able to return this season but Koehne has experience playing here and the Gators are very deep along the offensive line.
RT: Tyler Moore OR Chaz Green
- By simply adding the “OR” it appears that the coaching staff saw enough from Tyler Moore this spring to have him openly compete with Chaz green for the starting spot. I think Moore is more of an interior lineman and wouldn’t be surprised to see Trenton Brown starting at this spot at some point during the season.
DE: Jonathan Bullard, Bryan Cox Jr.
- Despite missing most of the spring, Bullard showed the coaching staff enough during his freshman season and bowl practice to give them confidence in starting him. Dominique Easley is moved out of this position, although he will almost certainly play here at some point, and Bryan Cox moves up to No. 2.
NT: Damien Jacobs, Leon Orr
- Leon Orr was listed as the starter heading into spring but falls down to No. 2. Damien Jacobs moves over from his spot at defensive tackle and ahead of Orr on the depth chart while Cummings is no longer listed here.
DT: Dominique Easley, Darious Cummings
- Muschamp told everyone that if the season started today Dominique Easley would play tackle; and here he is. While he is very versatile, Easley is a natural tackle and will shine in this role. Cummings moves here from nose tackle but you can expect Cummings and Jacobs to rotate between both positions.
BUCK: Dante Fowler Jr., Ronald Powell
- As predicted by our staff weeks ago, Fowler holds on to the starting Buck spot. Muschamp did say that Powell will play at Buck and reiterated that the “best 11” will play.
Sam: Ronald Powell, Neiron Ball
- Sticking with that “best 11” theory, Powell finds a new home at Sam linebacker. Muschamp said that Fowler and Powell will rotate some between Sam and Buck.
Mike: Antonio Morrison, Michael Taylor
- Antonio Morrison looks every bit of the kind of middle linebacker every SEC team needs. Alex Anzalone was listed here at the beginning of spring but he underwent shoulder surgery to repair a labrum tear. It’s interesting that Thurman, who had surgery after Anzalone and will be putting much more stress on his shoulder while playing, is listed on the depth chart and Anzalone is not.
Will: Darrin Kitchens OR Michael Taylor
- One of the bigger surprises is Daniel McMillian falling off of the two-deep depth chart here. McMillian started the spring as the backup here and was impressive throughout the spring. Kitchens moves over here from Sam and will compete with Taylor for the starting job.
RCB: Loucheiz Purifoy, Cody Riggs
- Loucheiz Purifoy will play defense this spring, at least for the first 12 practices. While Purifoy was impressive this spring, the coaching staff wants to see what they have with the incoming freshmen before moving Purifoy into a bigger offensive role. Cody Riggs was listed as a starting safety but moves to the backup corner on the right side.
LCB: Marcus Roberson, Brian Poole
- Marcus Roberson retains his starting position while Brian Poole comes over from the other side to back him up.
Nickel: Cody Riggs OR Brian Poole
- Muschamp likes a player who can play multiple positions and that is exactly what Cody Riggs is doing. Poole was listed as the starter heading into spring but Riggs appears to have closed the gap.
Dime: Marcus Maye, Valdez Showers
- No change here.
S: Jaylen Watkins, Valdez Showers
- Jaylen Watkins moves here from his starting cornerback spot, just like Muschamp said he would following the Orange and Blue Debut. Valdez Showers remains the backup.
S: Marcus Maye OR Jabari Gorman
- Maye has closed the gap on Gorman and this is a battle that will continue into the fall.
K: Brad Phillips, Austin Hardin
- Somewhat surprising to see Brad Phillips ahead of Austin Hardin here but with both kickers struggling with consistency in the spring, the coaches go with the more experienced kicker.
P: Kyle Christy, Justin Vogel
- Kyle Christy returns from a shoulder injury and takes his starting spot back. Justin Vogel jumps over Todd Fennell on the two-deep.
H: Tyler Murphy, Trey Burton
- Murphy and Burton swap spots.
LS: Drew Ferris, Kyle Crofoot
- No change here.
KR: Andre Debose OR Loucheiz Purifoy OR Solomon Patton
- Talk about wide open. Expect to see all three of these players rotate throughout the season.
PR: Marcus Roberson, Trey Burton, Andre Debose, Loucheiz Purifoy
- Marcus Roberson remains the starter and Trey Burton his backup while Debose and Purifoy are added to the depth chart.