The Florida football team will go full gear and scrimmage tomorrow morning for the first time this spring. Nobody is more excited abut seeing how redshirt freshmen and eight early enrollees will respond than the coaching staff, so they can begin to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.
“I’m really excited about tomorrow,” head coach Urban Meyer said Friday afternoon. “When they come out and compete like I’m hoping they’re going to compete tomorrow. It’s going to be a goal line scrimmage with a winner and loser at the end of the day. If it’s a dead, lazy, lethargic practice- we’re not going to be very good. If it’s one of those ones like it was last year, those kids would rather leave it all out there on the field than lose a scrimmage- then we have a chance to be pretty good.”
Is Bryan Waggener out for the spring?
“Yeah, he broke his foot and it was a non-contact injury. Doggone it, that’s a tough deal for us and even tougher for him, because he’s a competitor. He was dong pretty good. And we just need reps. The positive is that Cam Newton now is going to get 64,000 reps and he needs every one of those.”
Would the ideal situation have been Waggener as the backup because he’s got a little bit of an age and experience advantage?
“We were in a situation that I would probably say maybe 5% of colleges are in with one quarterback, and that quarterback is a true sophomore. I think (offensive coordinator) Dan Mullen did a heck of a job. We got three and first of all they’re all quality people, they’re competitors, and they’re winners. Those are great characteristics to have, but they’re also talented. I can’t say that it was ideal, because I don’t know about those guys yet.”
Is the secondary coming together a little bit?
“No. We’re a mess right now back there. Markihe Anderson dinged his back and missed part of practice. I don’t think it’s serious. I’m about to go find out in a minute. Jacques Rickerson knee was swollen and he had it scoped, I want to say about four weeks ago. He’s not full speed yet. Coming together- No.”
What’s Riley Cooper’s status?
“Riley Cooper’s feet are getting better. He injured it in the middle of the season. It’s an injury of overuse. I don’t really understand what it is, but he’s in pain when he runs. They’ve got Orthotics, which make him feel better. I don’t know. I’m as perplexed and I feel sorry for him, because he needed this as well.”
Are you pleased with the way (freshman cornerback) Joe Haden has jumped in there?
“Yeah, I really am. Thank God that he’s here, because I’d have to cancel practice because we don’t have any corners. He’s a competitor and he’s doing good.”
How has the transition been for him?
“We’ll tell you tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a good day for guys like that. Can he tackle? Will he tackle? Does he want to tackle? That’s part of the job description at corner. We’ll find out tomorrow”
The Gators are scheduled to practice Saturday morning from 10:10am-12:40pm.