Offense, a father leans over and tells his son, we used to have that here in Gainesville. The Florida Gators changed the landscape of the SEC twice, first with the fun n’ gun and then with the spread offense. Florida was the standard for offense in the SEC and the rest of the conference would be force to adapt to keep up. The evolution was quick, efficient and it kept the Gators on top of the league for more than a decade.
The devolution the past four years has been caused in part to inconsistency on the offensive line and at quarterback but also across the board at the skill positions. Florida simply hasn’t had the guys at receiver to challenge defenses, make them swat and worry about getting hit for a big play.
Jim McElwain thinks he has a solution to that problem and part of it is sophomore Brandon Powell.
2014 Season Stats: Rushing -16 carries, 70 yards, 1 touchdown
Receiving – 15 receptions, 147 yards, 1 touchdown
The talented playmaker from Deerfield Beach High School came to Florida as a running back and enrolled early. Despite getting on campus early, Powell was set back when he broke his foot, an injury that required a surgery and a pin to be placed in his foot.
Powell was buried on the depth chart behind Matt Jones, Kelvin Taylor, Mack Brown and Adam Lane but he still managed to get playing time in 11 games, including two starts. Powell played in and scored his first touchdown in the first game of the season against Eastern Michigan. Powell set a career high for carried (7) against Missouri and receptions (6) against LSU.
Heading into this season Powell has moved from running back to receiver permanently. Jim McElwain identified Powell as a player who worked hard on and off the field and saw his unique skillset.
Being new to the receiver position, Powell has a lot to work on in the way of route running and some of the finer points of the position but he is unquestionably talented and the offensive coaching staff plans to find ways to get him the ball in space.
In the spring Powell lined up all over the field. Fans will see him lined up in the backfield, in the slot and even out wide as the staff gets creative with ways to get Powell the ball in space.
Powell impressed the coaching staff enough that he should be a featured player in McElwain’s inaugural offense and a breath of fresh air to the fans who have been longing to watch some semblance of offense in Gainesville for the past five years.