Florida Gator Offensive Observations
On Friday afternoon Florida Gator Head Coach Will Muschamp said that Jeff Driskel has distanced himself from the other quarterbacks on the roster. This isn’t breaking news by any means but it was on display tonight. Driskel wasn’t as sharp on Friday — he sailed some passes high — but he is clearly head and shoulders ahead of the other quarterbacks. Treon Harris and Will Grier continued to split reps with the second team along with Skyler Mornhinweg. Grier connected with Demarcus Robinson for a nice touchdown pass (more on Robinson later) but wasn’t as consistent as he was on Thursday. Treon Harris threw some wobbly passes on Friday night but looks like he’s grasping the offense well, which is good considering he has only been on campus for a couple of months.
Matt Jones, Kelvin Taylor and Brandon Powell are separating themselves from the rest of the running backs. Mack Brown looked fast on Friday night but he isn’t keeping up with the other guys. Matt Jones continues to look fast and powerful. He was popped by Keanu Neal on Thursday night but returned the favor on Friday when he lowered his shoulder into a pursuing Neal for a NFL-size collision. On Friday, Jones said he was never really healthy last season but he isn’t shown any ill-effects of his stomach virus or knee injury from last year. Taylor’s vision might be the best of any of the running backs. That, combined with his one-cut ability, makes him extremely dangerous in this spread offense. Jones and Taylor split the first team reps pretty evenly from what I could see. Brandon Powell is fast and shifty. He accelerates from a stop with ease and gets back into his top gear quickly. If Roper’s history of rotating his running backs stays true, Florida has an extremely talented group of backs to carry the load.
Demarcus Robinson continues to impress. He makes plays that others simply can’t. Early on in practice Robinson beat freshman Quincy Wilson along the sideline and Driskel fired a pass his way. Robinson leapt for the high pass, caught the ball at its highest point with his body twisting in the air. He, somehow, came down with the ball and both feet in bounds for the acrobatic catch. Robinson caught another touchdown pass from Will Grier on the far field. He continues to impress on the field, he just needs to stay on the field in the fall. Quinton Dunbar continues to be Mr. reliable and had a nice leaping grab of his own. Andre Debose did not finish practice but did have his left knee on ice towards the end of the night. Will Muschamp has said that they will closely monitor Debose’s snaps and the ice is most likely a precautionary measure.
I sat in front of the tight ends while they went through individual drills again. My first thought when watching the tight ends hit the sled to work on blocking was, “Jake McGee was not brought here to block.” That’s fine. McGee is still the best receiver at the position and he’s going to be a weapon for the offense. I’ve been most impressed by McGee and DeAndre Goolsby but Tevin Westbrook made a great diving grab today, very impressive catch. Goolsby left practice early with a trainer. He was able to walk off the field on his own.
The offensive line had an off night and, for the most part, was manhandled by the defensive line. Max Garcia continues to impress me but Trip Thurman and some of the interior offensive line need to keep working. Chaz Green looked good but had to jog off and hydrate a couple times during practice. That’s fine, it allows Rod Johnson to get more reps and he’s been one of the standout offensive linemen thus far. Trenton Brown continues working with the second team offensive line.
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