Notebook: Pease excited to see Robinson

The hype around Demarcus Robinson has been building since he enrolled in January. The Gators desperately needed a weapon in the passing game, and judging from the comments of coaches and players, it could be Robinson. Even as the often even-keeled offensive coordinator Brent Pease spoke about the freshman on Monday, it was easy to see how anxious the Gators are to get him on the field.

"That guy's really developed for us," Brent Pease said, grinning ear-to-ear. "For a young kid, he's got a lot of talent, great hands. Is the kid going to make mistakes? Yes, because he's a freshman, does he have the ability to be fun to watch? Absolutely. Is he fun to be around and coach? Absolutely.

"A lot of the freshmen coming in give me those flashes and glimpses -- just continue to get better and better in your approach to being accountable and coachable. Just keep working."

The Florida coaching staff has tried to downplay their excitement about Demarcus Robinson since he enrolled. In the spring game and the three open practices during the fall, Robinson stole the show. One-handed catches and tough grabs in the end zone give the Gators something they didn't have last season -- a receiver that can command respect from opponents.

Robinson made this catch in the spring game

Enrolling in the spring gave him a head start. Robinson is starting to look comfortable at practice. He understands the plays and his responsibility when the ball is snapped, giving him an advantage over most freshmen.

"I think he's getting to that point where he's comfortable with things," Pease said. "He's playing on instinct. Now let's see you do it in the game, because that's what it's going to come down to."

The freshman will have his first chance on Saturday against Toledo. The Gators released a depth chart on Friday that had Robinson listed behind Quinton Dunbar at the X receiver. Solomon Patton and Trey Burton were also listed as starting receivers.

Despite the layout, Pease was quick to point out on Tuesday that they would find ways to get Dunbar and Robinson on the field at the same time. Dunbar played the Z receiver last year and can also play in the slot. He will move around, allowing Robinson to slide in as the X receiver. The Gators are trying to keep Robinson at the X receiver spot this year to ease the learning curve and keep him from being overwhelmed.

PURIFOY WILL BE INVOLVED: Pease wasn't clear exactly how many plays or packages Loucheiz Purifoy will be on the field for on Saturday. He does know that the cornerback/wide receiver will touch the ball. Even if it's just three or four touches, Purifoy will have a package on offense and will be involved in what the Gators are doing. That number also allows him to continue playing on defense and special teams.

Purifoy will help the offense

"I think he's a kid that loves football," Pease said. "I think he's very natural being a football player. So to come over and play defense, and then all of a sudden switch over to do a play on offense and all of a sudden hit a post route -- he makes it look so natural sometimes.

"He understands it, and he should understand it because he is a defensive back, so he should know how they're going to play him anyway, where they're vulnerable at and techniques."

JOYER BACK AT PRACTICE: Florida fullback Hunter Joyer returned to practice on Monday after missing the previous two weeks with a hamstring injury. Pease was happy with how the fullback handled rehab and kept his body in shape to return without much of a drop off.

"He looked fine physically," Pease said. "I think we've kept his reps down to a minimum. The one thing about him is that the position he plays. You've got to kind of watch those guys because they take a lot of hits, especially with what they do.

"He'll be there (Saturday) and be ready."

FAMILIAR WITH TOLEDO: Pease is more comfortable with the Toledo defense than most in the Florida football facility. Two years ago when he was at Boise State, Pease coached at Toledo and saw the scheme they ran. It stood out back then, but this time, he seems some improved players on the roster.

"They got some guys now," Pease said. "What they do scheme-wise and how they move around and the energy their kids play with, they're going to cause some confusion in what they do up front. I feel they've got some depth in guys. They're not just going to sit there and play straight up on us. They're going to maneuver, slant and twist and try to create some confusion up top."


Fightin Gators Top Stories