Player notes: Ivie ready for more

Joey Ivie earned his way on the field last season at defensive end during his freshman year. After a full offseason to workout and gain weight, the Florida coaches believe he’s a better fit at defensive tackle this fall.

The added weight was the difference. Ivie is now up to 288 pounds, and that weight helps him feel confident going against interior linemen in the Southeastern Conference.

It’s another body the Gators need that could step up. The coaches feel good about Jonathan Bullard, Darious Cummings and Leon Orr at tackle, but they’ve said multiple times that the youth needs to emerge. Ivie could be one that does with his added weight.

“I’m still moving the same that I was before,” Ivie said. “A lot of us young guys have to step up. There aren’t too many older guys left. It’s a big job for us younger guys to step up.”

Ivie played in just three games last year and made three tackles, all coming against Georgia Southern. It wasn’t significant playing time, but it did give him a chance to get on the field and get used to what it’s like to play for Florida.

“It helped a lot to know what it feels like in a game,” Ivie said. “You get the atmosphere down and that adrenaline. It’s a good way to burst that bubble. This season coming up, I won’t feel as nervous anymore. I’ll feel like this is my mission to get done.

“It also made me more motivated. It motivated me more because I got a little taste of it. Now I want to eat.”

COX PLAYS ONE WAY: Bryan Cox, Jr. earned a spot in Florida’s rotation because of his effort. He doesn’t take plays off and doesn’t give up on plays. That’s the main reason he could begin the season as a starting defensive end, if Florida elects to play Jonathan Bullard inside at tackle.

That effort and energy is what caught the eye of the Florida coaches when he played at St. Thomas Aquinas, and it has always been a part of him.

“It’s just in me,” Cox said. “A lot of people say it comes from my dad, but I fought through my situation. I try to show that every day on the field.”

His father also played a part in it. There’s some noticeable hesitancy when Cox is asked about his father. Not because of any issue with the two’s relationship, the younger Cox just wants to create his own mark.

He has dealt with the comparisons to his dad since his early days in football.

“I don’t mind it, but at the same time, I don’t try to just be Bryan Cox’s son,” Cox said. “I try to be the best player I can be. I don’t mind it. I do try to keep it to a limit though.”

ORR EXCITED FOR THE FUTURE: After coming to Florida as an offensive guard, the 6-5, 305-pound Leon Orr is heading into his final season with one last shot to prove he’s capable of playing in the NFL. His main goal this fall is bringing the Florida program back to the top of the conference, and along with that should come a chance to play at the next level.

“I’ve got family and kids. I’ve got a daughter, nieces and people that I want to take care of out of the kindness of my heart,” Orr said. “I want to be in that position to do something. Everyone knows you don’t get paid unless you go pro, and that’s definitely one of my dreams that I’m running towards.”

Orr has matured since coming to campus, and even Florida coach Will Muschamp was able to notice it heading into fall camp. This is the best Orr has felt in his Florida career.

“I feel like now I’m more stable, more put together and complete this year,” Orr said. “That’s the difference. I’m a lot more complete.”

He has his degree in sociology and is working towards a dual major in psychology.

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