The Florida Gators released their week one depth chart leading up to Thursday’s kickoff against Utah.
Gator Country provides a breakdown of the depth chart with quotes from Monday’s press conference.
QB: Graham Mertz, Jack Miller, Max Brown, Micah Leon
No surprises here after Graham Mertz was named Florida’s starting quarterback earlier in fall camp. Jack Miller, who has taken reps with the first group during the majority media viewing periods during fall camp, slides in as the 2nd string quarterback. Miller has been dealing with tendonitis in his throwing shoulder which has limited him towards the end of camp, but the Gators expect him back for the start of the season.
RB: Montrell Johnson, Trevor Etienne, Treyaun Webb
Montrell Johnson is listed as the starter after out-touching Trevor Etienne 155-118 in 2022. I expect the Gators’ running back duo to be as close to a 50-50 split as you can get. True freshman Treyaub Webb makes the depth chart over JUCO transfer Ja’Kobi Jackson, which was expected.
WR: Ricky Pearsall, Eugene Wilson, Aidan Mizell
WR: Caleb Douglas, Marucs Burke, Andy Jean
WR: Kahliel Jackson, Ja’Quavion Fraziars, Taylor Spierto
Pearsall and Douglas have impressed all camp and were considered “locks” to start for the Gators in 2022. Florida’s depth chart has former walk-on Kahliel Jackson listed as the third starter after being awarded a scholarship this past spring.
“I can still remember the first practice we had when we got here, I was asking about Kahliel, ‘who’s that guy’, why isn’t he on scholarship,” Napier said during Monday’s press conference. “A good example of a guy who works extremely hard, has really opened up relative to communicating, being vocal, having good presence, the bottom line is he’s been a very productive player. He’s got traits, this guy’s big, he’s long, he’s very skilled, he can get open, and he makes plays on the ball.”
True freshman Eugene Wilson finds himself on the second team behind Ricky Pearsall after turning heads in fall camp. I expect Pearsall’s versatility to allow Wilson to see the field this season.
“He’s extremely talented,” QB Graham Mertz said on Eugene Wilson. “I’ve played in college a few years, I haven’t seen a young guy that fast, that twitchy, that retains information that quickly, knows how to get open, but he’s shifty man.”
TE: Dante Zanders, Hayden Hansen, Jonathan Odom
TE: Tony Livingston, Jonathan Odom, Arlis Boardingham
Another surprise on the offensive side of the ball is true freshman Tony Livington listed as one of the two starting tight ends.
“Tony’s got a motor, he practices hard, he’s tough, he’s not scared, he’s durable, he’s got some physicality, I mean he will put his face in there, he’s got some athleticism that allows him to be effective in the passing game, he’s hard to tackle,” Napier said on Livingston.
Despite being listed as a starter, Napier says Livingston is not a finished product.
“He’s still growing as a player relative to knowledge of the system, football IQ, details of his fundamentals, but I think Tony has a bright future,” Napier said. “Tony is not a finished product, he’s got lots of work to do, but there’s potential there and I’m very pleased with the growth that we’ve seen.”
LT: Austin Barber, Jordan Herman OR Bryce Lovett
LG: Richie Leonard, Knijeah Harris, Christian Williams
C: Kingsley Eguakun, Jake Slaughter, Knijeah Harris
RG: Micah Mazzccua, Knijeah Harris, Jalen Farmer
RT: Damieon George, Lyndell Hudson, Bryce Lovett
Knijeah Harris will serve as the backup to both guard spots, according to the depth chart. The true freshman has impressed the coaches since arriving to Gainesville for spring camp and is projected to be one of the first offensive lineman off the bench this fall.
NT: Cam Jackson, Desmond Watson, Jamari Lyons
END: Caleb Banks OR Chris McClellan, Will Norman
JACK: Princely Umanmielen, TJ Searcy OR Jack Pyburn
F: Tyreak Sapp, Jack Pyburn OR Kamran James OR Kelby Collins
Tyreak Sapp finds himself starting at the ‘F’ position after projected starter Justus Boone suffered a torn ACL earlier in fall camp. Sapp has spent most of his time practicing with the interior defensive lineman but will start for the Gators on the edge.
Jack Pyburn will serve as a rotational player on both sides of the defensive line.
LB: Scooby Williams OR Teradja Mitchell OR Derek Wingo
LB: Shemar James, Mannie Nunnery OR Jaden Robinson
SAM: Scooby Williams, Mannie Nunnery, Ja’Markis Weston
The LB room is one of the most competitive units on the roster leading up to week one. Scooby Williams made a name for himself this offseason and is in the running for a starting spot at linebacker, while being listed as the starter for the SAM position (strongside linebacker).
“I think in particular he had a really good spring,” Napier said on Williams. “He’s back in a good place and there’s a role for him on our team. That’s a very competitive room.”
CB: Jason Marshall, Ja’Keem Jackson OR Aaron Gates
CB: Jalen Kimber OR Devin Moore, Dijon Johnson
Jalen Kimber and Devin Moore will compete for the starting cornerback opposite of Jason Marshall. I expect Florida to rotate 4-5 guys in at cornerback this season as they have a loaded unit to work with.
STAR: Jaydon Hill OR Jadarrius Perkins, Sharif Denson
S: Miguel Mitchell, Kamari Wilson OR Bryce Thornton
S: Jordan Castell, RJ Moten OR Bryce Thornton
True freshman Jordan Castell is listed as a starter for Austin Armstrong’s defense.
“He’s earned it.” Napier said on Castell. “I think he showed up in January and he’s made the most of each opportunity. We reward what we see. There’s a certain level of integrity relative to who plays, and I think you got to call it exactly how you see it.”
“He came in, grasped onto the defense very quickly, adapted very well, he communicates very well,” cornerback Jason Marshall said on Castell.
Castell brings great speed to the safety room with the ability to excel in coverage given his size.