Florida Gators football: Spring practice notebook

The Florida Gators finished their final practice without pads on Wednesday and will return to the football field in pads this Friday for their third practice.

“I thought it was a little sloppy actually today,” McElwain said. “We’ve got a lot of details that we need to take care of, and yet that’s to be expected when you get new install like this.”

The Gators are working this spring without a full deck due to low depth chart numbers and injuries but time slows down for no man and no team. After working almost exclusively under center on Monday, Florida worked on installing shotgun and pistol formations into the offense. There is a lot to go over and a lot to install. It’s a whirlwind for the players and the main reason that Florida is taking days off in-between practices. That gives the team time to get into the film room, watch what they did the day before and learn from it. There will be a lot of learning going on in the film room on Thursday.

“We may have to actually take possibly a little bit of a step back and yet the key right now is to kind of keep loading the wagon and keeping loading the way and come back, reteach it again,” McElwain said. “They’ll be able to go through it this summer and then we’ll get ready for the fall.”



  • Will Grier and Treon Harris both looked sharp throwing in the skeleton drills. Harris and Grier both threw the ball with zip and accuracy.
  • Sophomore Brandon Powell made a beautiful over the shoulder catch on a pass in tight coverage from Will Grier. Powell was bounced around a lot last season but McElwain wants to give the sophomore some stability.
  • “In our offense, he’s a guy that’s obviously got to touch the ball, but he’s probably more comfortable at running back, but we’re putting him at full-time receiver. Now we’ll use him in jet sweeps, we’ll bring him back in the backfield and he can still run the ball as a running back, but that’s the versatility that you kind of look for at that position. I think he really looks comfortable out there. That’s something that’s good to see.”
  • Defensively, Duke Dawson is still working at safety with Keanu Neal and Marcus Maye. Marcell Harris hasn’t been getting as many reps as the other players during the open portions of the first two practices.
  • Redshirt senior Jake McGee looks fluid and fast returning from his broken leg. McGee is not working out when practice moves to the full-team portions but he is showcasing his athleticism and playmaking ability when he’s in there.
  • Brandon Powell, JC Jackson, Demarcus Robinson and Vernon Hargreaves have all been working out as returners on special teams.
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Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC