Swampie’s thoughts on practice

It was a hazy day and hot but not as hot as I expected. One lone shower NW of Eustis on the way up it was a large one but didn’t bother the trek up to Gainesville.

Kept seeing those signs on I-75 that read ‘We Bare All’ was thinking I’d get to the practice field and see a sign saying ‘We Bare All for the fans for One Week Only!’ But they didn’t have such a notice.

Hope Urban Meyer gives us this one week to see the incoming freshmen—would hate to see him take that away.  Never thought I’d say this but here it goes Swampie can understand his taking a week away from the public it was a mob scene there today.

It was packed and it has to be a distraction.

It was ho-hum as far as practices go until ‘the Hit’.  ‘The Hit’ was delivered by one true freshman to another.  And maybe it was some payback for the state championship game who knows.  After about a 12 yard gain on a draw play, Chris Rainey pulled up to try and make a cut but Major Wright had nothing of it he just ran through him and flattened him.

Up till then the practice was OK but the entire defense rushed in and circled around Wright in some sort of tribal dance they all bounced up and down shouting some sort of “woooHOOO” thing.  I mean I felt like getting up and shaking some myself it was so exciting.

Rainey was OK.

But this wasn’t the only jawing that went on. On one play earlier where Tebow couldn’t find a receiver and he rolled out Clint McMillan pulled up and tagged him.  Tebow then delivered the ball but McMillan was pointing and laughing and saying ‘I got ya, I got ya.’

The defense was just plain sassy today.

Now it’s early you don’t want to jump the gun.  I’ve seen fall practices where one day the defense has the best day the next it’s the offense.  You almost wonder if the coaches are pulling some strings to boost the squads up at times.

But this is what this man came away from this day thinking this offense isn’t going to be as great as people think it’s going to be and this defense is going to be a lot better than this man expected.

If they meet somewhere in the middle we’ll all be very happy.

McMillan and Javier Estopinan are nice football players.  Derrick Harvey is a rock and the biggest joke on the handout is Jermain Cunningham at 6-3, 229.  Cunningham is no joke at all but he’s a beast and I’m not sure if 249 would be accurate would guess he’s more like 255. 

There are some awfully small numbers on some awfully big people.  Jay Howard is wearing #6 but he isn’t anywhere near 6-5 and 230.  More like, hmmm, ok 255.

And #8 Carlos Dunlap is a stinking freak.  They list him at 6-6, 240, you’ve read the reports that he’s up around 280.  Well he’s huge but get this the young dude is sleek and looks as hard as a rock.

Saw Torrey Davis but didn’t see him play much he’s a true 6-4 and a good couple to three inches taller than John Brown.  Both of them looked in great shape.  Now Duke Lemmens at 6-5, 238, well he looks 238 but perhaps more 6-4ish. 

Percy Harvin—I kept hearing this and that but you don’t understand it till you see it.  Man, has he bulked up in the upper body.  His arms are huge and ripped and his chest is sprung.

John Brantley is very impressive.  Listed at 6-3, 195, well I’d take issue with that.  One long time Gator personality said today he’d love to be there one time when the coaches were taking the height and weight of the kids and hear what they say as they put them down.  You get the idea on that one you know its football not some hard science like mathematics or engineering.

I’d think Brantley is 6-2 and 195, he isn’t as stocky as Tebow but he doesn’t strike you as some frail little kid out there.  He looks like a QB and he’s a dam good one.  Cameron Newton better heal up and get on out there or Brantley will take over the number two spot.

Chris Rainey is lightning quick he is small but he doesn’t look bad in a football uniform and doesn’t look out of place out there.  Not once you see him run you don’t have to open up a hole long for him.

Told a young man that today is a day that’s tough on me because it’s the first day out with so many new faces to try and see you just can’t see them all.

Last year the linemen looked sleeker especially the offensive tackles.  Not this year they looked bulked up.  I swear Marcus Gilbert looks like he’s grown two inches.  He looks 6-6 or more and he looks like he has gained weight around the waist line. 

The belly is back at Florida and it makes this man wonder if the Gators aren’t looking to play a little different football this fall?

Our linebackers look very good, so do our defensive backs.  Jamar Hornsby made a diving INT when he got up he flipped the ball to Justin Williams the WR the ball was meant for.  Bryan Thomas was sassy—he broke up a few passes and the corners were flying around all over the place.  Coach Heater deserves shares in the Gators, he sure can coach.

Didn’t know that Jason Watkins was being tried at left tackle and that Phil Trautwein had moved to RT and Carlton Medder has moved to RG.  Fortunately Center is stable with Drew Miller; looks like Maurice Hurt has LG nailed down without Jim Tartt —didn’t seem him out there today.

Oh, #26 Lorenzo Edwards does not look 240, sorry.  He is built and looks like a player but I’d bet the ranch he’s closer to 230 than 240. 

This football team is very athletic. 

Can’t close till I’ve mentioned Brandon Spikes he no longer looks like the guy who stepped on campus a year ago.  He is tighter than ever think his waist line has gotten smaller yet he’s stayed the same weight and by reports he’s gotten faster.

Also Deonte Thompson made some nice plays he got a couple of grabs today.  Jeremy Finch was out there getting into it Brandon James was making some noise.  John Jones was out there flying around he didn’t look out of place.  Butch Rowley is now wearing number 37 his days as a back up QB look like they are over.  I couldn’t tell the twins apart, good thing one had 55 and the other had 56.

It was so much fun hope to make it back this Friday.  If I go I think I’m going to pick five guys to watch and that’s it. 

Have to say today the play of the safeties was impressive and John Brantley.  Rainey is a very quick football player.  I am no longer worried about our defensive line, that was a huge concern of mine going into this season.

I am not worried about the offense do have some concerns about Tebow.  Wonder if he’s trying to hurry his passes, you know get them out soon.  Time will tell just expected him to look sharper but heck give him a break this is what the forth day.

This could be a very good football team.  I think our coaching staff is very good perhaps the best ever at Florida.  This season they get a chance to prove just that.

It was so good getting back and the doctor said my cholesterol was good that I celebrated by going to Burrito Brothers.  There will be one of those and Gator Football on cable in Heaven I’m sure of that.


You can get more of Swampie at http://swampie.net/ until we finally get the moving trucks going and bring his mill onto Gator Country.