Gators in August; Offensive Needs

We all know the offensive line needs work, but quarterback is a big concern and a few other things as well. The Florida staff has a month to prepare this team for a tough schedule.

There are questions everywhere on offense and a few answers as well. Let’s explore what the staff needs to accomplish this preseason to make it a successful season.

Get Nine Ready Up Front

We believe that senior Trip Thurman at left guard and to a lesser extent sophomore David Sharpe at left tackle will be ready to go on September 5th. The unenviable task is figuring out seven more players to plug into a two-deep that is ready to compete at an SEC level.

Starting at tackle, you have to believe that senior transfer Mason Halter will battle as will true freshman Martez Ivey who comes in as the nation’s highest rated lineman from the high school ranks.

Redshirt freshman Kavaris Harkless finished the spring atop the depth chart at right tackle. Fellow redshirt freshman Andrew Mike was on call last year but never go to the field.

At guard, Thurman will start at one spot. That leaves redshirt sophomore Antonio Riles and redshirt freshman Travaris Dorsey to fight hard for the right guard spot. The two were starters at both guard spots in the spring while Thurman recovered from labrum surgery.

Nick Buchanan has been impressive in the offseason during drills. He and fellow true freshmen Richerd Desir-Jones and Brandon Sandifer will join the battle. Finding four would be nice.

At center, expect redshirt sophomore Cameron Dillard will get the nod to start camp. True freshmen Tyler Jordan and T.J. McCoy will compete. Thurman has played some at center and could fill in behind someone.

They need to get nine ready. Players that can alternate positions will get a nod over others. They need some flexibility in case of emergency.

Decide on a Quarterback

There is a remote chance that Luke Del Rio could be eligible fr the 2015 season. The sophomore transfer from Oregon State is a walk on but there is a lot of familiarity with offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier. However, it is unlikely he wins the appeal for a second time like he won at Oregon State when he transferred from Alabama.

That means that incumbent sophomore Treon Harris and redshirt freshman Will Grier are most likely the main guys to compete for the job.

Grier starts the August workouts as the leader in the clubhouse. Harris has the experience at the college level. The coaches will have to decide between the two and there aren’t many programs with a duo like Jim McElwain and Nussmeier to make that choice and nurture that quarterback along.

Find Depth at Running Back

Kelvin Taylor will be the starter when August camp begins. Is Taylor a superstar? We haven’t seen that yet, but not many back at Florida have run for over 1,000 yards in their first two years on campus.

What needs to be established are the backs behind Taylor. We have seen Adam Lane do some great things in one game. But he hasn’t been consistent at all while the new staff has been around.

Jordan Scarlett seems to be the next in line at Florida. The true freshman arrived on campus with all of the tools necessary to be a big tie back in the SEC. Jordan Cronkrite has had a great month on campus and has been impressive, but what will he be like when they start coaching him up?

Taylor has improved his pass blocking a great deal. Which of the other backs are going to do that in order to help out with that questionable offensive line and all of the pass protections?

These are the questions that need to be answered over the next month.

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