SPRING: Day Three – The Pads Come On

With today being the first scrimmage of sorts for the Gators, it was a big one so we’re going to cover some specific aspects of practice in a series of reports. In our Day Three Review, I am going to concentrate on the one on one action and later tonight follow that up with some video tape of what we are talking about.

It was the first day of the “Circle of Life” drill and thanks to some help from CDG8tr, we have a good opinion on who won each battle. For those that don’t know, the Circle of Life is like a sumo match between an offensive and a defensive player. The coaches decide who wins the match based on different criteria. Needless to say, if they wind up on the ground, they usually lose. Here’s a look at who won the individual battles.


* Carl Johnson and Trent Pupello went three consecutive times and it was a draw every time.

* Jermaine Cunningham beat Jason Watkins

* Maurice Hurt and Brandon Antwine went three times and it was a push twice before Hurt won the third one.

* Jamar Hornsby beat Justin Williams

* Ryan Stamper and Eric Rutledge was a push

* Bryan Thomas beat Paul Wilson

* Michael Pouncey was a push with Lawrence Marsh

* Maurkice Pouncey beat Terron Sanders

* A.J. Jones was a push with Mon Williams

* Aaron Hernandez whipped Spikes

* Jarred Fayson beat Joe Haden

* Markus Manson beat David Nelson

The fact that a young Jermaine Cunningham beat Jason Watkins bodes well for his ability on the defensive line against a much older and experienced lineman. That Brandon Antwine pretty much held his own against Maurice Hurt was a good sign also. Hornsby is probably not getting enough mention, he seems to be playing well these first three days and does well with contact. Jarred Fayson showed a surprising physical side that will definitely win him points with this staff. To me one of the more significant impressions made was Hernandez, who later did the same thing to Spikes in the other one on one drill.

After offense and defense split and worked on some more drills, they met again for more one on one action. This time they line up and in rapid fire action, they basically repeat the same circle of life drill right in front of the crowd on hand. The competition is fierce and the constant score being kept keeps the players in the action all the way down the line. Here is how it went:

* Dustin Doe over Mon Williams

* Lutrell Alford beat Maurkice Pouncey

* Carl Johnson got the best of Lawrence Marsh.

* A.J. Jones beat Chevon Walker

* David Nelson beat Jamar Hornsby

* Bryan Thomas over Paul Wilson

* Vernon Shelton beat Corey Hobbs

* Maurice Hurt over Trent Pupello

* Ahmad Black beat Mon Williams

* Jim Barrie over Jermaine Cunningham

* Dorian Munroe got the best of Paul Wilson

* Cornelius Ingram over Bryan Thomas

* Eddie Haupt outlasted John Fairbanks

* Tate Casey beat Lorenzo Campbell

* Aaron Hernandez again beats Brandon Spikes

* Brandon Antwine over Drew Miller

* Jason Watkins over Cunningham

* Eric Rutledge over Ryan Stamper

* James Smith over A.J. Jones

* Ronnie Wilson over Lutrell Alford

* Carlton Medder over Lawrence marsh

* Joe Haden over Percy Harvin

* Kyle Jackson over David Nelson

* Justin Williams over Jamar Hornsby

* Kestahn Moore over Joe Haden

* Mo hurt over Terron Sanders

In this group the most significant one was again Aaron Hernandez taking it to Brandon Spikes. Spikes is no slouch as Gator fans saw him put the wood on players last year, but Hernandez can really play hard also.


In the 7 on 7 passing drills I thought Tim Tebow looked really sharp for the most part. The defense was a little lax in the open field and the offense had a lot of open looks, but Tebow was on target for most of the day.

Cam Newton also had some really nice throws, but again struggled to try and throw to targets on time and instead threw behind and short a lot. He did complete a sweet pass on that deep delayed crosser to Harvin like the Gators ran twice for touchdowns against Tennessee last year.

David Nelson continues to look good, but he did drop a ball tat hit him in the chest today.

Caldwell also dropped a perfect pass from Newton.

On the next play Newton hit a strike on a corner route to Fayson that would have gone for a bunch.

Fayson showed a lot of his quickness and moves with a flat pass that he made the defender look foolish after the catch.

Hernandez caught a short pass and headed up field, before a collision forced a fumble.

Louis Murphy dropped a nice Tebow pass that should have been an easy catch.

Ingram caught a mid range crosser right on target from Tebow. Ingram has the best skills at catching the ball than any one else on the team.

Overall the 7 on 7 was sloppy and the defense didn’t seem to be on the field for most. They are really hurting at numbers at the cornerback position right now and playing a lot of walk-ons at the position while those guys heal.

We will have more observations as the weekend progresses. Stay tuned to Gator Country and check out message boards for more on spring practice. Look for the action video of the last two practices late Saturday evening.