Top five newcomers on Monday

Less than two weeks from the season opener, the Florida coaching staff has a good idea about which newcomers will help them during the 2013 season. The fortunate thing for the Gators is that Monday's five standout newcomers are all at positions of need. Florida will have plenty of freshmen on the field this year, and they continue to put together consistent practices.

Demarcus Robinson

It wouldn't be a list about the top freshmen without Demarcus Robinson. He has cemented himself as the top freshman at all three of the open practices in the last week. His ball skills have received plenty of praise from the coaches, and it's easy to see why. The Gators haven't had a receiver that can catch a poorly thrown ball in years. Robinson's body control allows him to make plays on a bad throw.

With quarterback play falling off in recent years, the lack of this kind of receiver has hurt the offense even more. Jeff Driskel now looks confident and poised for a strong year, making it easier for the receivers to get involved. Robinson has been going head-to-head with Marcus Roberson and winning his share of the battles. This seemed clear in the spring and continues to be more obvious -- he will play and be an instant difference maker starter August 31. -- Cody Jones

Marcus Maye

Marcus Maye wins the trifecta going three for three as a top five new guy in the three open practices. The kid isn't without mishaps as Will Muschamp chastised him quite loudly one time for not being in the right position at the snap of the ball, but the kid is usually spot on and seems everywhere when the ball; is in the air.

Maye is a pure athlete on the field and has nice size to play at safety. He also happens to be a very intelligent player which s helping him even without any experience in games before this season. He's tough, aggressive, and he likes to thump the receivers when they go across the middle. -- Bob Redman

Keanu Neal

For the second of three open practices, Keanu Neal delivered the big hit of the day. Solomon Patton was running his route toward the sideline and jumped for a pass when Neal quickly put him on the ground. The Gators have spent most of their open practices keeping defensive players from tackling, but every once in a while, a player just gets the urge to change that. And Neal did in a big way.

He also had a big hit that put freshman running back Adam Lane on his back on Thursday. Both times, the coaches have immediately taken Neal to the side and talked to him about backing off from hitting a player in practice like that. However, it's a plus for Florida that he's this active. The coaches would rather it be this way then have to encourage aggression. -- Cody Jones

Jarrad Davis

Outside of Ronald Powell, I believe Jarrad Davis is the most physically imposing linebacker the Gators have and he plays that way. He brings the hammer with him when he hits a ball carrier. He is another smart player that is catching on quickly.

On Monday, Davis had a couple of nice hits and he also forced a fumble from freshman running back Kelvin Taylor in a 1-on-1 drill. That isn't easy to do.

I watched during the position drills and he is very quick and athletic for his size. He runs with the best of the linebackers that are almost all smaller than he. -- Bob Redman

Ahmad Fulwood

The frame jumps out the first time Fulwood takes the field. He's 6-5 with long legs and long arms. His teammates and coaches have complimented his ability to get downfield and be a difference maker on deep balls. He didn't showcase that on Monday, but he did make a few nice catches in the red zone drills.

That's where he could become a target this year. The Gators have Quinton Dunbar and Demarcus Robinson to catch the ball down the field, but Fulwood could create his role as a red zone target. -- Cody Jones

Fightin Gators Top Stories