Florida Gators first spring practice notebook

Dan Mullen’s first practice as the head coach of the Florida Gators is in the books. Here are the highlights and notes from the first day of spring camp.

Starting 11
First, a caveat from Mullen about starters:

“The most important one is who finishes. You want to see who the real people are? It’s not maybe who plays the first play of the game, that’s maybe what everybody concerns themselves on, it’s when we’re in overtime who plays the last play of the game.”

That’s all well and good, but everybody wants to know who were the starting 11 on both sides of the ball when the team went into 11-on-11 work.

QB – Feleipe Franks
RB – Lamical Perine
TE – C’yontai Lewis
LT Martez Ivey
LG – Tyler Jordan
C – T.J. McCoy
RG – Fred Johnson
RT – Jawaan Taylor
WR – Van Jefferson
WR – Tyrie Cleveland
Slot – Kadarius Toney

DE/OLB – CeCe Jefferson
DE – Jabari Zuniga
NT Khairi Clark
DT – Luke Ancrum
LB – David Reese
LB – Vosean Joseph
CB – Marco Wilson
CB – C.J. Henderson
Nickel – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
S – Jeawon Taylor
S- Brad Stewart

Amari Burney
The early enrollee had two interceptions on Friday afternoon. The first came in 7-on-7 work and the second in 11-on-11 work. Both drew loud cheers from the crowd and then murmurs of, “who’s wearing No. 30?” If Burney keeps playing that way people won’t be asking who’s wearing No. 30 for long. Burney started his first collegiate practice at safety, where Mullen said he would start. He’s an athletic player that could potentially play on both sides of the ball or at multiple positions on defense. For now his home is on the defensive side of the ball.

Cornerbacks C.J. Henderson and Marco Wilson
Whether it was 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 the duo was impressive. We didn’t see either allow a reception all day and they’ll likely be some of the first players to earn a starting role, if that hasn’t been put down in sharpie already.

Van Jefferson
Florida won’t know Jefferson’s status until after spring practice (Jefferson transferred from Ole Miss after the school was put on probation and is going through an appeal process to be immediately eligible).

However, it’s apparent that the Gators have a special talent in Jefferson. He is already the best receiver the Gators have. He’s a solid route runner with sneaky speed that can get him behind the defense and great hands. If he’s eligible he’ll be a key player on the Florida offense this season.

Nick de la Torre
A South Florida native, Nick developed a passion for all things sports at a very young age. His love for baseball was solidified when he saw Al Leiter’s no-hitter for the Marlins live in May of 1996. He was able to play baseball in college but quickly realized there isn’t much of a market for short, slow outfielders that hit around the Mendoza line. Wanting to continue with sports in some capacity he studied journalism at the University of Central Florida. Nick got his first start in the business as an intern for a website covering all things related to the NFL draft before spending two seasons covering the Florida football team at Bleacher Report. That job led him to GatorCountry. When he isn’t covering Gator sports, Nick enjoys hitting way too many shots on the golf course, attempting to keep up with his favorite t.v. shows and watching the Heat, Dolphins and Marlins. Follow him on twitter @NickdelatorreGC