Significance in Numbers

Size isn't all that matters in college football, but it usually does mean something. When the University of Florida released the official weights of the football team by means of the media guide last week, we were able to see some distinctive differences in weight for some of the players that really are needed to make a difference for this football team in 2011.

Adding or subtracting weight won't make a player good, but often times, if done correctly, it will make them better. So without seeing them play, here are some thoughts on this subject and some players on the roster that seemed to have moved in the right direction. .

One of the more eye opening numbers to me was the current weight of receiver Stephen All. At 6-5, he is the tallest receiver on campus, but he is also one of the fastest and most athletic as well. If there is a concern it is his toughness and he seems to be on the right path to fixing that by adding 11 pounds of bulk to his frame. You aren't going to find too many 220 pound receivers playing in the SEC.

Joining Alli in the getting stronger category is the guy that has been turning heads behind closed practice doors, Quinton Dunbar. Dunbar has supposedly been making life miserable for Gator defensive backs all of last fall and this spring and now he has changed his body and gone from 175 pounds to 190 pounds which should allow him to better contend with defenders.

Coming in as a freshman is always tough and usually they aren't strong enough to play right away. However, freshman tight end A.C. Leonard made significant strides in the weight room and has added 15 pounds of bulk. His 245 pounds will now allow him to be that in-line blocker the Gators desperately need at tight end and he showed a great deal of that ability in the spring game back in April.

The offensive line is the king of bulk, but the gators have had trouble keeping weight on a coupe of them. If the current listings are right, then the 295 pounds listed for junior tackles Matt Ppatchan and Xavier Nixon have to be exciting for them, the coaching staff, and fans that have been following their plummeting weight loss over the year.

One young guy that has seen significant change as well is sophomore guard Ian Silberman. Silberman showed up to Florida 18 months ago in the 270 pound range, but he has since been moved inside and is now weighing right at 300 pounds. He has always been very strong and athletic and now the extra bulk should allow him to really compete at such a young age along the line of scrimmage.

True freshman Clay Burton comes in at a surprising 252 pounds. He is already at a weight that will allow him to play the strong side defensive end position in college. We will find out if that is good weigh, but if he has the work ethic of his brother, there is little doubt that Burton has been doing his business in the weight room.

One of the more surprising weights is that of Lynden Trail. Trail showed up last January a very gangly 215 pounds. Now he has a very serious 250 pounds on his 6'-6" frame. He will still need more bulk, but at 250 pounds e should be able to do some of the pushing around up front instead of just being tossed.

Lerentee McCray will be asked to play with a hand down at times as a BUCK end and sometimes play up as a SAM linebacker. That means he has to play a delicate weight game and can't go too high or too low. Coming in at a solid 252 pounds, McCray seems to be at that happy medium weight wise that he can play both.

Sometimes losing weight is the thing to do and that is exactly what happened at defensive tackle. The Gators want quick tackles that can also play out on the end sometimes with a three-man line formation. Dominique Easley is down from over 300 pounds in high school to a very solid and quick 285 pounds. His explosion off of the snap is second to none on the squad.

Sophomore Sharrif Floyd is in the same boat and after reaching about 310 pounds during the season a year ago, Floyd is also down and at 285 pounds. He's another quick tackle that doesn't want to be too heavy and yet not lose too much weight.

A surprising drop comes from 6-5 tackle Leon Orr. Orr was thought to be that big plug nose guard in the 3-4, but it seems his skill set is more in tune with the quick tackle and Orr has gone from a little sloppy 320 pounds to a very solid and quick 300 pounds since the beginning of the spring.

This guy plays bigger than he is anyway, but adding another 10 pounds will do him well in SEC play. Jelani Jenkins was second on the team in tackles a year ago and maybe first on the team in hard hits. Now, he brings 230 pounds to the point of attack and that can only mean bad things for ball carriers.

Another great weight gain is from redshirt freshman middle linebacker Michael Taylor. Taylor is probably the meanest playing linebacker on defense and he always did it a little undersized., Now he's gone from 205 pounds to 220 pounds and he may leave permanent scars after contact.

Up a whopping 17 pounds from a year ago, free safety Josh Evans will play the position at 202 pounds. At 185 he could hit and run, but now when he hits he will probably leave a mark. Evans is expected to start and impressive weight training gains will only help his stock with the staff.

Finally Jaylen Watkins was all but moved to safety after the spring, then moved back to cornerback due to lack of depth. We now know that Watkins has gone from 180 pounds to 195 pounds which may be one reason for the original move. If he can keep his sped up, that 195 pounds could help with the physicality that Muschamp likes in his cornerbacks.

There were more weight changes than those listed above but this is the list of guys that really pops off the page when talking about putting together a winning football program. In the world of SEC football, it is physical on both sides of the ball and you have to have a team, prepared to be physical every Saturday in the fall. Maximizing the effectiveness of muscle and bulk on your team is one way to have that happen.

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