With his back against a wall, Will Muschamp went soul-searching this offseason. The power, pro-style attack that he brought to Gainesville and promised to make work, didn’t. Even winning 11 games in 2012 was difficult to watch at times. The offense did just enough to win games and tried to stay out-of-the-way of the defense. But, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and they didn’t. It led to a disastrous 2013 campaign and fundamental change.
Muschamp made moves; He overhauled the coaching staff and with it his philosophy for Florida’s offense. The hire of Kurt Roper is a risk, but one that Muschamp had to make. Roper has installed a fast-paced, spread offense and with that comes a new position. You won’t see a traditional full back — a position that is dying in the college and professional ranks — rather, a “B” back, which Roper uses like a tight end/h-back hybrid.
The “B” back is responsible for blocking as well as receiving out of the backfield and in the slot.
The Two Deep: Jake McGee (Sr.), Tevin Westbrook (Sr.)
The Rest: Hunter Joyer (Sr.), Clay Burton (Sr.), DeAndre Goolsby (Fr.), C’yontai Lewis (Fr.), Gideon Ajagbe (RSr.)
Think of this position as an H-back; someone who will operate in the backfield, motioning to help block for the power run and some pass protection but the player also needs to be a good receiver as well.
Jake McGee is an adequate blocker, or as good as Florida has at the position, but his game is predicted as being a very good pass catcher. McGee will get a lot of playing time as a traditional tight end but having him on the field gives Florida an actual weapon at tight end, someone the defense has to account for.
The flip side of the position, and good news for Hunter Joyer, is that moving to the spread offense doesn’t mean Florida won’t be able to run the ball in third-and-short situations. Florida can use the “B” back like a fullback down on the goal line when they need better blockers up front.
Because the “B” position calls for a very versatile player, expect Florida to rotate through McGee, Joyer, Ajagbe, and Westbrook here.
DeAndre Goolsby and C’yontai Lewis also fit in here as athletics, pass catching tight ends. Both players will excel in this offense down the road but may not be ready to step up right away as freshmen. That’s not to say that Goolsby and Lewis can’t contribute as freshmen, just that McGee will command a lot of attention in this offense with his ability and experience.