Quinn Notebook: Freshmen Moving Positions

The Florida coaches are starting to experiment with some of the freshmen. Jafar Mann signed with the Gators as a defensive tackle but is now starting to get some playing time as an offensive guard. Defensive coordinator Dan Quinn said that the move isn't permanent yet, but they are moving some freshmen around on the defensive line to add some necessary depth.

Dan Quinn said the defensive and offensive coaching staffs both agreed to move Jafar Mann. They used him at defensive tackle since he made it to Gainesville, and the Florida staff wants him to get some time at offensive guard in the next few weeks before making a final decision.

"We all looked at it, and when we evaluated him, we knew he was a guy who could play nose tackle, but also could play offensive guard," Quinn said. "He played both in high school. We took our time looking at him on defense. We're going to do the same thing on offense. After this week or next, we'll make a final determination. Is he better suited to play over at nose tackle or stay all the way there at offensive guard?"

The Gators will fill Mann's spot on the defensive line by giving Quinteze Williams an opportunity to play inside at defensive tackle. He was recruited to play outside at end and will still get reps there, but Florida coaches want to cross-train him inside to add more depth and potentially find a quicker way for him to get on the field.

Williams is listed at 6-5, 276 pounds. It's an added challenge for him to work inside because it forces Williams to keep his pad level down. The adjustment should also help him during his time at defensive end.

Williams has plenty of size

"When we play our 3-4 style, where he kind of lines up at a defensive end spot, it's a little easier for him. When he has to play inside over a guard or a center, it's really the pad level is the thing," Quinn said. "You don't see a lot of tall guys playing inside, so it's kind of a constant reminder for him to keep down.

"From a size standpoint, it would be similar to like a Leon Orr, whose got great size. Those guys who are real tall, when you play inside against shorter centers and guards, you've really got to make an emphasis and say ‘I've really got to keep my pads down.'"

SWITCHING POSITIONS FOR PLAYERS: Quinn was asked if the coaches ever considered using Trey Burton on defense, and he responded by saying that it was a conversation but Burton never practiced at safety. The offensive coaches thought he was too valuable on that side of the ball.

What followed were questions about switching other players. Asked which player he would take from the offense to turn into a defensive player if possible, Quinn didn't have much doubt. He would move Jon Halapio to defensive tackle.

"Jon Halapio would be a heck of a nose tackle I think," Quinn said with a smile. "He's 320 pounds and strong. I always joke with him, if we ever are playing goal line or nickel, we're going to bring you ever. So, he'd be one that we'd certainly do. I think if I had to pick one, he'd certainly be one."

There were conversations of safety Valdez Showers making the switch to running back in the offseason to help with the depth, but Quinn fought to keep him at safety. Showers opened eyes as the scout team running back last season and was considered to make the move.

He said earlier in the fall he wouldn't have minded the move, but he has bought into the safety spot this season. Quinn is glad that move wasn't made.

"He's really settled in at safety," Quinn said. "We are counting on him to do that. He's going to be a guy who is going to be a really big factor with Coach Durkin on (special) teams as well, and he's done a good job so far with that in training camp."

Bowling Green IMPRESSIONS: Most of the defensive preparation for Florida has focused on Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz. The redshirt junior completed 59.5% of his passes last year while throwing for 3,024 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions during the 2011 season.

"I'm very impressed with their quarterback, not just from his accuracy but the way he can create," Quinn said. "He gets outside the pocket and can convert. He's got good legs. He can run on third down to convert, but he can create also. If protection were to break down, he can get outside the pocket and still make completions.

"I think it's always good, knowing the opponent you're playing against. We've had time to watch him on tape and know this guy is a strong caliber quarterback. We're certainly up for the challenge."


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