The Gators have finished four practices this fall camp, which gets them through the NCAA mandated precautionary or acclimation period. The first two days the team was in shorts and t-shirts and the next two days in shoulder pads but Tuesday will be the first day the team is in full pads and really getting geared up for the season opener against the Miami Hurricanes.
Dan Mullen met with the media shortly after practice on Monday to discuss where his team is at.
No recruits on August 24
Florida was able to host a ton of recruits last weekend fro Friday night lights — pulling in two commitments — but they won’t be able to host recruits when they open the season. The NCAA doesn’t allow hosting recruits for neutral site games — something Florida and Georgia deal with yearly.
Mullen said the Gators and Canes would have to petition the NCAA for a special waiver because August 24 is a recruiting dead period and both teams would need a waiver to host recruits even if it were a home game. On top of that there are logistical reasons that make it difficult.
“One we’d have to get a special waiver from the NCAA to even have recruits come to it and then both teams would have to figure it out. One of the hard things about that neutral site games and having recruits come is just the logistics. It’s not your stadium. Sometimes for these neutral site games in NFL stadiums the security is very different. There becomes a lot of gymnastics having to do that.
It’s unfortunate because I know these guys want to come to the games but it’s just part of playing in these big neutral site games.”
It’s a disadvantage for the Gators in the sense that they have two neutral site games this season; giving them just six opportunities to host recruits for a game.
Two Gators still missing
The Gators have been without incoming freshman Arjei Henderson and sophomore John Huggins.
Henderson is still finishing an online class in order to be able to enroll at Florida. Mullen still insists he believes Henderson will qualify but that it won’t be until the start of fall classes. Registration for fall at the University of Florida begins August 19 and class begins the following day on August 20.
“Arjei won’t be updated for a couple; he’s still taking a class,” Mullen said. “So whenever the end of that class is. But I don’t think that’s for like, we wouldn’t; I don’t think they’re expecting him, honestly, until the first day of school. It should happen well before that, but that transition, like it wouldn’t be a whole lot of… it would just kind of be like, ‘Hey, I’m here,’ but end of training camp type of deal.”
Huggins has been dealing with a “family issue” according to Mullen and Florida. He has been absent from Florida’s media day and all four practices this season.
“I have to check with him with the family situation,” Mullen said.
Team coming along
Four practices in and Mullen feels as if the team is where they need to be. There is much more familiarity within the team when it comes to knowledge of the playbook and schemes and what is expected of them. The Gators have a lot of players returning from last season and the knowledge of the system and expectations is allowing camp to run quickly and efficiently.
Still there are some new freshmen that may need some more time and that’s what the next few days are for.
“They get a little break now. We’re going to do a review day tomorrow. We’ve done four straight installs and we’ll review tomorrow’s and then they’re off the next day. Now, after this practice there is nothing new going in. They get to watch the film, they get the walk-through to review the first four days tomorrow and then another day off to review it all. It really gives a chance for these guys right now to catch up and get where they need to be to see if they are ready to get on the field and really be contributors before we continue to move forward with installations after that.”