Jeff Driskel looked much sharper and (predictably) more comfortable in Kurt Roper’s offense than he has in the previous playbooks.
Driskel is a spread quarterback that has been trying to play in systems that magnified his deficiencies as a quarterback rather than accentuating his strengths. That all changed when Roper was hired and Driskel is flourishing. He hit freshman tight end DeAndre Goolsby on a beautiful 35-yard touchdown pass at the beginning of practice and had several other nice throws throughout the night. Driskel was not perfect but he looked much better.
Treon Harris ran the second team unit during 11-on-11 drills but Skyler Mornhinweg ran the second unit in 7-on-7 drills and Will Grier was second in line when the team was working in skeleton drills. The depth chart behind Driskel is murky and while each quarterback had some good moments, nobody really stood out to me.
The running backs are big and fast. This may be the most talent that Florida has had in the backfield in a while and my biggest question going into the night was if Kelvin Taylor was pulling away and would take most of the reps.
He is not.
Matt Jones looked strong and fast, back to his old self before a stomach virus depleted his strength and size and a knee injury ended his season. Brandon Powell also looks great early on. Powell is the picturesque spread running back and if he keeps showing up at practice like he did on Thursday, he’s going to get plenty of action this season.
Florida Gator running back Kelvin Taylor struggled a little bit catching the ball out of the backfield and he looked visibly upset with himself after practice. Jones, however, showed great hands as a receiver paying the B position as well as coming out of the backfield and catching passes.
Clay Burton had one bad drop but held on to most of the passes thrown his way and led the line when the tight ends were working with the quarterbacks. Burton wasn’t really attacking positional drills like the rest of the tight ends, kind of jogging through them, which makes me wonder if he was sick or dealing with a nagging injury.
DeAndre Goolsby and Jake McGee are incredible pass catchers. Both of them look like naturals when the ball is thrown their way and I can see both of them getting a lot of action this fall.
Demarcus Robinson had one drop but he just makes catches that other players can’t. He’s a physical specimen — a “freak” like his teammates describe him. Robinson was electric and had no problem getting open deep but is also being used a lot on jet sweeps. Roper is clearly trying to find ways to get Robinson the ball in space and let him go to work. Robinson hauled in a nice touchdown on a fade route late in practice. He’s a fun player to watch.
Andre Debose had some drops that were troubling. He didn’t really do anything to stand out.
Quinton Dunbar was productive, nothing flashy, same with Ahmad Fulwood.
C.J. Worton was very impressive. He’s a very solid route runner and he didn’t come close to dropping or double catching anything his way. If the ball is near his hands he’s going to come down with it.
I didn’t watch the offensive line work in drills because they weren’t in full pads but based on 11-on-11 work and 7-on-7 work the starting line (from left-to-right) is; D.J. Humphries, Trip Thurman, Max Garcia, Tyler Moore, Chaz Green.
Rod Johnson was backing up Green at right tackle and Trenton Brown worked as the second string right guard. David Sharpe worked behind Humphries on the left side.
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