Over the next 29 days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.
Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in the Swamp on August 31.
Today we take a look at redshirt freshman Rhaheim Ledbetter.
Ledbetter was high school teammates with defensive end Jonathan Bullard. He chose Florida over scholarship offers from Auburn, Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina and North Carolina State.
Ledbetter was listed as a safety last season while spending the year redshirting. Ledbetter was named Scout Team Player of the Week on special teams the week leading up to Vanderbilt and Scout Team Player of the Week on defense leading up to the Missouri game.
Ledbetter was moved from safety to fullback this past spring, a move he welcomed and took on without any questions.
It’s tough to evaluate Ledbetter as a fullback when we’ve only seen him play there on a limited basis. He played some running back in high school and is a comfortable runner. The coaching staff has talked about having the fullback carry the ball more and while the starting fullback job is unquestionably Hunter Joyer’s, Ledbetter could be a nice change of pace for when Florida wants to run with the fullback.
Ledbetter is a very physical player. He has the right mentality to do the dirty work in the running game and won’t be afraid to lead through the hole and take on 250 pound linebackers.
The obvious knock here is that Ledbetter doesn’t have experience at the position. Will Muschamp has talked about using the fullback in some one-back situations but it remains to be seen how serious the staff is about that. With the stable of running backs that Florida has, it will be tough to take carries away from them to give the ball to the fullback.
What to Expect
This is Joyer’s position. Ledbetter and fellow defensive transplant Gideon Ajagbe won’t take too many reps away from Joyer and they’ll have to battle amongst themselves to get what limited reps Joyer gives up.
I wouldn’t expect Ledbetter to make a huge impact this season as he continues to learn a new position and is firmly behind both Ajagbe and Joyer at the position. He has a future at Florida but will have to bide his time until his number is called.