Over the next 91 days, GatorCountry 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 freshman early enrollee Joey Ivie.
A 6’4”, 269-pound defensive lineman from Pasco high school in Dade City, Ivie chose Florida over other scholarship offers from Florida State, Miami, Mississippi, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
Ivie enrolled last spring and was a full participant in spring practice. Ivie competed with the rest of the defensive linemen and had his share of battles with Florida’s depleted offensive line. Ivie won some battles against D.J. Humphries and Jon Halapio but was given a “welcome to college young buck” moment when Jon Harrison pancaked him on back-to-back reps in one on one drills.
Will Muschamp mentioned Ivie several times throughout the spring and singled Ivie out as a young player who was competing and doing all the right things on and off the field and for showing up on campus in shape and ready to go.
Ivie played strong side defensive end in high school but will slide inside and play defensive tackle or the 5-technique for the Gators. Ivie is already a big kid but has the frame where he could add another 15-20 pounds and become a serious physical presence in the middle of the defensive line.
Ivie shows a high football IQ and a unique ability to bat down passes even while he is being engaged by a linemen.
Ivie plays with a high motor. That relentless motor allows Ivie to seemingly always be around the ball on every play.
Ivie is a very sound and fundamental wrap-up tackler.
Ivie didn’t play against the toughest competition at Pasco and often faced offensive linemen who were overmatched. This means he hasn’t really been challenged to develop rush moves or learned to use his hands effectively. He’ll need to improve in those two areas.
Ivie doesn’t have a great initial burst off of the line and relied on his strength and bull rush to overpower linemen in high school. He will need to find other ways to be an effective pass rusher and run stuffer, because he’s not ready to plow over SEC offensive linemen just yet.
Ivie played both defensive end and defensive tackle in high school but he will spend most of his time inside at Florida. He needs to get used to his new position and continue to add good size and fill out to play the position.
Ivie needs to work on his consistency as well. When he keeps his pad level low he can be disruptive in both the running and passing game but too often he stands straight up and becomes easier to block.
What to Expect
Honestly, before this past spring I would have said to expect Ivie to redshirt this season. However, he showed up in Gainesville in shape and ready to work. That work ethic impressed Coach Muschamp. Ivie has all the tools to become a very effective interior lineman but will need to polish up his technique, learn to play with his hands and become more consistent.
Ivie got off to a good start by enrolling early and impressing his head coach with his approach to he game but I think he will see very limited playing time this season. Ivie will develop into a productive player for the Gators and he could eventually become a starter down the road.