Practice observations: Offense

The final open practice of the spring ended on Saturday afternoon with the Gators putting on pads for the first time. The offense didn't have consistent success, but there are some new playmakers in the passing game that could help the Gators be more successful in that area this season. There does need to be an added level of consistency, but Florida has positive things to build on.


Jeff Driskel made some nice throws on Friday, and while there were more on Saturday, his day wasn't as good as the first one. He threw some passes to open receivers that went behind them, and even though they were caught, the throw slowed down the progress of the person catching the ball.

He did make some nice throws downfield. He showed good anticipation to hit Loucheiz Purifoy on a comeback route about 20 yards down the field. Driskel also hit Trey Burton on a corner route about 30 yards down the field. His throws down the field didn't happen as often, but they were more on target than the shorter throws.

There weren't many positives behind Driskel. Tyler Murphy and Skyler Mornhinweg both struggled on Saturday. Murphy threw a few passes that went end-over-end out of his hand while Mornhinweg struggled to get the ball in the area of the receiver down the field. Florida fans need to hope Jeff Driskel stays healthy.

Running back

The goal of the running portion of practice was for the defense to keep the offensive players up instead of tackling them to the ground, but running back Matt Jones was the one doing the tackling. He took one handoff outside, lowered his head and put safety Cody Riggs on the ground. He's running tough early in practice.

Mack Brown got more touches than freshman Kelvin Taylor on Saturday, but it's way too early to look into that as meaning anything. Taylor did make a few nice, quick cuts with the ball in his hands. He made freshman linebacker Alex Anzalone whiff badly during the one-on-one tackling portion of practice.

Wide receiver/tight end

The two that continue to stand out are Purifoy and Demarcus Robinson. Purifoy has looked like the best wide receiver on the team in the first two days despite spending last season at cornerback. He'll work out exclusively at wide receiver the first seven days of practice since he will play both ways in the fall.

He's learning and continues to improve at his route running. His natural ability with the ball in his hands is undeniable. He can make people miss, run by defensive backs and go up the ladder to make a catch. Purifoy even took jet sweeps in the offense. He will be a difference maker on offense in the fall.

Robinson still needs help lining up in the correct spot, but this isn't abnormal for a freshman. Joker Phillips was hands-on with him on Saturday. When Robinson is lined up and knows the route he's running, he makes plays. He showed off his leaping ability down the field, but he also runs drag routes and can run with the ball in his hands. The speed isn't elite, but the route running will be when he gets settled in.

Andre Debose made a few plays and continues to show off his explosiveness. The issue, as two different coaching staffs have now talked about, is his consistency. If he can play at a high level all the time, Debose can make an impact in his final year.

Latroy Pittman continues to show off good hands while making tough catches in the middle of the field. The offense also ran a few wide receivers screens to him.

Raph Andrades worked with the football team on Saturday instead of being at the baseball practice. On Friday, he practiced with football and then spent the baseball game in the dugout.

Offensive line

There weren't many running plays on Friday, but when there were, the offense was able to move the ball. The big problem for the offensive line was one that many teams will face this fall -- keeping Antonio Morrison out of the backfield.

Tyler Moore looked better on Saturday than Friday. He's big and was beat multiple times on Friday, but it's not the biggest surprise. He didn't play football last fall and will take some time to get back in the flow. Going up against the pass rushers on Florida's defensive line should make that happen in a hurry.

D.J. Humphries still needs weight while being listed at 280 pounds, but he moves his feet well and has good technique. His matchups with Jonathan Bullard and Dante Fowler have been fun to watch during the first two days.

Jon Halapio is limited this spring so Kyle Koehne is filling in for him at right guard while Max Garcia plays left guard. Koehne can play all five positions and will serve as an important backup for the team. Trip Thurman also earned some first-team reps at right guard when Koehne was forced to play other positions.

Fightin Gators Top Stories