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March 15, 2013
Football Practice: In-Depth Instant Analysis
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Just like last spring, Florida opened up a weekend practice to the fans and media. Inside the Gators has in-depth coverage forthcoming, but first, a rapid reaction to the happenings at the Sanders Practice Fields late Friday afternoon.
QUICK OVERVIEW: Florida conducted a 16-session practice for the second time this spring, again mostly focusing on fundamentals, teaching and competitive 1-on-1 drills in helmets, jerseys and shorts. The workouts had some intensity to it (especially during gunner drills), but overall the physicality was rather nominal.
THUMPS UP: In a stunning development, the secondary shined again. What a shocker. Sophomore defensive back Brian Poole (more below) was one of the stars off the day, but the overall talent and depth at the position is ridiculous, and that's without Louchiez Purifoy taking a single snap in the defensive backfield. Florida's defensive line, particularly the first unit, consistently whipped the starting offensive line for would-be sacks. Unlike fellow JUCO-defensive tackle Damien Jacobs just a year ago; transfer Darious Cummings seemed quite comfortable in his second day in a Gators uniform.
THUMBS DOWN: Offensive tackle Tyler Moore had a rough afternoon. The Nebraska transfer is currently penciled in as UF's starter on the right side, but that won't be the case if he has many more practices like Friday. Moore has the size for the position, but sophomore rusher Dante Fowler Jr. consistently beat the slow-footed tackle off the edge. Early enrollees Daniel McMillian and Alex Anzalone flashed their potential at times; however both freshmen linebackers were lost and/or blew assignments far too many instances. Offensively, quarterback Jeff Driskel had a rather pedestrian day, but backup Tyler Murphy was really poor throwing the ball and regularly received tongue-lashings from coordinator Brent Pease.
FIVE WHO STOOD OUT:
1. Jabari Gorman - One of last year's open practice all-stars did it again Friday, performing well in special teams drills, 11-on-11's and 7-on-7's. Currently listed as a starting safety, the junior corralled two interceptions -- one for a touchdown -- during the scrimmage sessions.
2. Fowler Jr. - See above… The sophomore, who appears to have lost some of his baby fat, was a monster rushing off the edge -- always with his hand in the ground.
3. Andre Debose - Receiver is again a position of interest this spring, and Florida's enigmatic senior was the most noticeable. Although Driskel struggled with consistencies on his deep throws, Debose did catch a couple nice, sideline patterns, including skiing for one up high.
4. Clay Burton - Yes, Clay Burton. Despite Florida's tight ends having to run sprints after practice, the junior had a really strong day catching the football. Running crisp routes, Burton burned McMillian and linebacker Darrin Kitchens on a deep end and wheel route.
5. Poole - Like Gorman, the sophomore defensive back was all over the field. Playing both safety and cornerback, Poole disrupted multiple passes in the 11-on-11 drills and was one of the top performers in the gunner competition too. Also, Poole whipped (with a jam) early enrollee Demarcus Robinson during a 1-on-1 session.
THIS AND THAT: Strong-side linebacker Neiron Ball played at full-blast, despite being listed as limited this spring. … Former UF defensive end Duke Lemmens was on the field coaching, holding up defensive calls and taking notes on a clipboard. According to a UAA spokesperson, Lemmens will be a student-assistant this fall. … Signees Trenton Brown, Jarrad Davis and Caleb Brantley were among the recruits in attendance. Brown, a 6-foo-8, 350 pound offensive linemen, was massive and easily the biggest guy on the field - by a significant margin.
Tune back in throughout the evening for in-depth coverage of Friday's practice, including photos, video and detailed offensive and defensive reports as well as a post-practice roundtable.