The Florida Gators football team opened the gates to practice number five this fall and tonight was the first time the team was in full pads.
Prior to practice we asked five questions of what we wanted to focus on and see from the team. We didn’t get as many answers on Friday as we did on Thursday but it was nice to see some live action and some nice hitting.
Here we go.
1) How is the offensive line performing?
I didn’t focus on the offensive or defensive lines on Thursday because it’s hard to judge line play when the teams aren’t in full pads. I shifted gears on Friday to focus on the big guys and came away impressed with what I saw.
Max Garcia had a lot of snapping trouble in the spring but he has looked great snapping the football these past two days. Garcia is having some good competition with Darious Cummings, Leon Orr, Jay-nard Bostwick and others and holding his own at his new position.
Trenton Brown is still mainly working with the second team with the starting five being (left-to-right) D.J. Humphries, Trip Thurman, Max Garcia, Tyler Moore, Chaz Green.
Rod Johnson has been the most impressive offensive lineman that isn’t in that starting five. He’s been backing up Chaz Green at right tackle but, in my opinion, he’s outperforming some of the guards and could find a starting job if one of them struggle.
For the most part the second team offensive line was no match for the defensive line. They are very young and with the exceptions of Brown, Johnson and David Sharpe are struggling to block
2) How are the interior defensive linemen progressing?
Darious Cummings had a good night against the run and Leon Orr flashed a couple of times. Behind them, Gerald Willis, Taven Bryan, Jay-nard Bostwick and even Caleb Brantley look to be coming along nicely.
Willis has freakish speed and I really seem him getting a lot of playing time this year. Bryan is holding his own on the inside and will provide depth.
There isn’t a single player on the roster than can replace Dominique Easley but Florida is much, much deeper along the defensive line this season than they were a year ago.
3) With Vernon Hargreaves out, who will step up in his place.
Get used to hearing the name J.C. Jackson. The freshman from Immokalee is a stud and a star in the making. He’s taken Hargreaves spot across the field from Jalen Tabor — who is running with the first team still.
Quincy Wilson wasn’t in full pads because he missed a practice earlier in the spring and Duke Dawson continues to work at multiple spots in the secondary.
This is the youngest but the deepest position on the team.
4) Will a placekicker please stand up?
Nope. We didn’t see a single field goal attempted and the most work we saw the specialists do tonight was up-downs after practice.
5) Kyle Christy vs. Johnny Townsend
Like the placekickers, the punters didn’t get a whole lot of work on Friday. I still think this is Christy’s job to lose.
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