Spring practice No. 9: Defensive observations

Defensive Observations

  • Darious Cummings was not at practice today. He has been dealing with family issues this spring.
  • Keanu Neal was back in pads today but he was extremely limited in what the coaches allowed him to do. The coaching staff is really taking a lot of precaution with his hamstring.
  • Caleb Brantley continues to struggle. Brantley earned an earful from both Brad Lawing and Will Muschamp today. The coaching staff gets on Brantley a lot for not hustling and when he makes mistakes (like an offsides flag today) it seems to pile on.
  • Taven Bryan made a nice play to get past the offensive line and made a tackle in the backfield. Bryan is coming along nicely.
  • Antonio Morrison and Jarrad Davis have been taking all of the first team reps at linebacker and the combo seem to be developing a solid bond and good communication flow. Seemingly every time they come off the field together they spend most of their break talking about coverages and the reps they just went through.
  • Vernon Hargreaves jumped a route so well on a pass from Jacob Guy that he was able to swat the pass away with the force of a professional volleyball player on a spike. Hargreaves did, however, stop running on a route today leading to a big connection between Driskel and Demarcus Robinson. Travaris Robinson and Will Muschamp launched into an expletive rant directed towards the corner for not hustling and running through the rep. It’s the first time all spring that Hargreaves has been the target of ire from the coaching staff.
  • Marcell Harris had a nice day, putting himself in positions to make plays; he just wasn’t able to come down with would-be interceptions. Harris also blocked a low kick from Frankie Velez during field goal work.
  • Nick Washington is a much bigger hitter than I thought he would be. Washington laid a big hit on Adam Lane on Monday and had a nice hit today during tackling drills.
  • Jon Bullard may not like playing defensive tackle but he’s adjusting to the position well. He gets good, consistent pressure throughout practice.


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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


  1. It sounds good that Bullard is getting acclimated to playing inside. After Easley went down, UF was weak there. Bullard has never lived up to the hype at defensive end and if someone develops there the move of Bullard inside may improve both positions. Dante Fowler should be in line for an All-SEC type of year, especially since it will be a ‘money’ season if he decides to go to the NFL early. He just needs to do his job, plays like when he blew his assignment in the Georgia game that allowed Gurley to catch a short pass that turned into a long touchdown must not happen anymore. IF UF can improve rushing the passer, it will go a long way to help mask a secondary that is talented but is very young and inexperienced.

  2. Bigharold 58 Fowler was supposed to drop back in coverage, even Muschamp said so in his postgame press conference. He didn’t name him but said the defensive end didn’t do his job. UF, and many other teams, will drop their linemen back into coverage to confuse a quarterback. If Fowler had done his job, the result would have been an interception, a sack, or an incomplete pass. Instead, there was a long touchdown pass that the Gators never recovered from.