The last opportunity

The Gators will depend on multiple young players this season, but there are a handful of upperclassmen that need a big season this fall in what could be their last opportunity.

Receiver Andre Debose: This is an obvious one. As a sixth-year senior, it really is Debose’s last chance to put together a big season at Florida. In three seasons on the field, Debose has 29 catches for 543 yards and four touchdowns. He has made his mark on the kickoff return duties, averaging 27.4 yards per return with a school-record four kickoffs returned for a touchdown.

But the questions come in his play at receiver. Debose has admitted multiple times that he thought he would be on campus at Florida three years before heading to the NFL and starting his professional career. That timetable would have seen him move on after the 2011 season, but as the Gators prepare for 2014, Debose is still on the roster.

It hasn’t gone the way he expected, but Debose still has one more chance. In the new offense of first-year coordinator Kurt Roper, everyone is on even playing field under the eyes of the new coordinator. Debose has to utilize fall camp to show what he can do if he wants to take advantage of his last shot.

Offensive tackle Chaz Green: This season should give Green every opportunity to take advantage of his final year. He missed all of last season after suffering a torn labrum weeks before the start of the season. He’s now penciled in as the starting right tackle on an offensive line that is expected to start five players that are all juniors or older.

Green has battled inconsistency and injuries during his time at Florida, but he now has a starting job to himself and doesn’t have to worry about battling for one going into this season. As long as he’s healthy, most expect Green to go out with a bang as a senior.

Safety Jabari Gorman: The Gators have shuffled through multiple starting safety combinations while Gorman waited his turn. After Matt Elam and Josh Evans departed, it was Cody Riggs and Jaylen Watkins last season. Heading into his final year of eligibility, this is Gorman’s last chance to earn a starting position. He served as an important reserve last year and still managed to create a role on defense.

But can he earn a starting job? It’s going to be tough. Even though he’s the most experienced returning safety, the Gators have talent at the position that the coaches have been raving about. Between Marcell Harris, Marcus Maye, Keanu Neal and Nick Washington, the Gators have four younger players with a lot of talent. It’s up to Gorman to prove in camp that he’s the man for the job.

Receivers Raphael Andrades and Latroy Pittman: These two juniors need to make a push for playing time this fall or it might not happen again. This season isn’t as final for them as it is the three listed above, but it’s still an important season that needs to show some progress. The Gators have three sophomores -- Ahmad Fulwood, Demarcus Robinson and Chris Thompson that are all expected to see increased snaps this season. If Andrades and Pittman can’t make their way onto the field for significant snaps this fall, it might not ever happen.

Pittman showed signs of progress in the spring, even running with the first team offense through a majority of practices. However, we have seen this before after he had a strong spring in 2012 while enrolling early but didn’t make any impact in the fall. That has to change this season. Andrades battled injuries last season but has to stay healthy this year to prove he can handle the snaps.

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