Gators' Summer was Relentless and Focused

Nothing like an exhibition of physical strength and stamina to show off what their summer training regimen was like and the University of Florida football team did that Friday night at the Gators' Charity Challenge. There was a season to forget a year ago and this team seems focused on not allowing such a disappointing season to take place again.

Florida sophomore Jonotthan Harrison is looking to play a big role on the offensive line this year. At the close of spring drills he was the starting center after never playing there before. Harrison was out there Friday in The Swamp pushing sleds, tugging on rope, lifting heavy weights and more as the team gave back to the Salvation Army, and also showed that they are ready to go hard.

"This is just showing that we are determined to show we will give it our all and do anything it takes to get better," a tired by smiling Harrison said after the event.

Starting middle linebacker Jon Bostic is excited about the team morale as they head toward two-a-day practices later this month. They want to get the taste of last season out of their mouths.

"It is real important," Bostic said. "You can see it in everyone's eyes when they come in to the weight room. Everybody is focused now and everyone has one goal. They want to get to Atlanta."

The one thing that has been a constant with players about the strength program is that they all seem to think this summer everything moved faster and there was an emphasis on speed and quickly getting to the next exercise or repetition.

"It was a lot different," Bostic said. "The amount of stuff we were doing, the time in between things, (Mickey Marotti) was getting us going. It's way more than the past."

Bostic said the poster boy for the strength program in the offseason was someone that changed the entire look of his body. Offensive lineman Xavier Nixon lost a lot of weight by the end of last football season and was playing at a weight that wouldn't work in the SEC.

"He went from 240 in the spring and got focused," Bostic said when asked if there was one guy that really stood out in the offseason. "The other day he weighed in at 292."

Bostic said folks around campus will notice the change in the demeanor of this team.

"We just wanted to get everybody focused again and get closer as a team," he said. "If people see us around, they will see how close we got in the offseason.


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