Over the next 64 days, Gator Country will preview the players that make up the 2013 Florida Gators football team as we inch closer and closer to the season.
Each day we will count down using the player whose jersey number corresponds with how many days there are left until Florida kicks off against Toledo in the Swamp on August 31.
Today we take a look at redshirt senior offensive lineman Kyle Koehne.
Koehne was named the Indiana Player of the Year as a senior in high school and helped lead his team to a state championship. Despite those accolades, Koehne’s arrival on campus barely created a stir among even the most hardcore Gator fans.
Despite dressing for six games as a freshman – including the SEC Championship game – Koehne earned a redshirt his first year on campus. As a redshirt freshman, Koehne played in all 13 games, mainly on special teams, and saw limited time at guard and tackle.
His sophomore season saw Koehne earn his first start (against Furman) while playing in every game and earning the scrap iron award for his performance against Kentucky.
Last season saw more of the same for Koehne. He continued to play in the rotation on the offensive line and filled in at both tackle and guard when players went down with injury.
He’s a reliable backup who can play multiple positions well and he has earned the trust of the coaching staff.
Koehne’s biggest strength is his versatility. Being able to play on the left and right side of the line, as well as both tackle and guard is no easy feat. The techniques are different and for Koehne to be able to seamlessly transition from one to another is impressive.
He’s a nasty blocker who excels in the running game. He plays with good leverage and also has great footwork. He is able to get a good punch off of the snap and can sustain blocks well.
He is a high motor player who is unselfish and will do anything that is asked of him by the coaching staff.
Koehne struggles in the passing game, especially when at tackle. He’s better suited at guard and struggles to shuffle his feet and keep fast pass-rushers in front of him when at tackle. He had some trouble last season identifying blitzers on the defense and that led to some easy sacks for Florida’s opponents.
What to Expect
Koehne will continue to backup just about every position along the offensive line. If Max Garcia gets hurt, Koehne will probably be the first man off the bench. Jon Halapio, Jon Harrison? Yep, Koehne can step in there as well.
He’s a jack-of-all-trades guy on the offensive line and the way that Florida’s linemen have struggled to stay healthy throughout the course of the season, expect to see Koehne filling in and playing a key role for the Gators in 2013.