Five surprises from Saturday's practice

With the second open practice all wrapped up, FightinGators.com brings you five of the surprises we saw at practice today. Surprises can come in various ways, and this is one piece that has a bit of it all. Several players played well on Saturday, but these guys did something surprising for those in attendance.

A couple of young BUCKS

Florida is always looking for new ways to get to the quarterback. With Alex McCalister out at the BUCK position with an injury, that leaves only Dante Fowler and Ronald Powell at the position. Well, the Gators are asking two young freshman linebackers to do some of the BUCK stuff, especially when they are in long yardage and passing situations. Enter true freshmen Alex Anzalone and Daniel McMillian who both ran with the second unit as BUCKs and hands down sometimes in long yardage situations.

It looked like Anzalone got quite a bit more snaps on Saturday for whatever reason and honestly, they didn't appear to be too productive off the edge. But it is still a big note to look at and another way that this defense can line up with certain personnel and confuse offenses. --Bob

Garcia double training

We have reported many times that Maryland transfer Max Garcia was considered by many of his peers to be the best lineman on offense at Florida. The junior has been a little hurt and so hasn't taken a ton of snaps in the two open practices we have seen. However, on Saturday, Garcia was working second team at left tackle for several snaps and looked good doing it.

Muschamp has always been about getting the best five players on the field at the position regardless of where they usually line up, and this move could happen if starter D.J. Humphries goes down and then allow Kyle Koehne or maybe Tyler Moore to left guard. Speaking of Koehne, he took quite a few snaps at center as well. -- Bob

Poole makes a move with fans watching

It's easy for a player to get lost in the Florida secondary depth chart this year. The Florida coaches haven't talked about Poole much this year, but Will Muschamp said on Friday that he's still slated to start the season as the nickel unless that changes before August 31. He made some nice plays in coverage on Saturday.

Poole pulled down an interception during the seven-on-seven red zone portion of practice and was around the ball on Saturday more than the first open practice on Thursday. No matter which position he plays this fall, it looks like Poole will play a big role in the defense. -- Cody

Big play Raphy?

The drop off after Quinton Dunbar and Demarcus Robinson is noticeable at the receiver position. Andrades doesn't have game breaking speed, but he showed some downfield potential on Saturday. He caught two long passes, each at least 40 yards, before exiting practice about midway through. He was seen limping back into the south end zone tunnel and headed for the locker room.

The Gators need to develop depth at the receiver position. Andrades didn't stand out on Thursday, but his plays on Saturday came against Cody Riggs and other veteran defensive backs. He could be a trusted piece of the Florida offense if he continues to develop. -- Cody

Cox earning summer and spring time praise

One guy that Will Muschamp talked good about following spring practice was defensive end Bryan Cox,Jr. The redshirt freshman from Ft. Lauderdale came to Florida as a linebacker or possibly a BUCK, but his natural body progression has moved him to the more substantial position of defensive end.

We talked about Cox yesterday about being hit and miss and he certainly didn't win 100% of the battles, but it is very clear that he can be a major disruptive force on defense. He even lined up with the first unit when they went to a long yardage situation defense. The coaches have to really love Cox because he just throws his body around without recourse. He will eventually get a little bit more under control, but the fearless attitude is huge for a freshman and one stepping up against the big boys on the line of scrimmage.

There is zero doubt in my mind that if healthy, Cox will get a lot of playing time and early in the season. I probably should have included him in the top five new guys story honestly, he was definitely one of those on Saturday. – Bob


Cox (94) with Caleb Brantley


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