Gators’ practice observations: 8/25

Portions of Florida practice were open to the media on Monday for the first time in two weeks.

There didn’t look to be much change at the quarterback position besides a newcomer we’ll get to shortly.

Will Grier didn’t look as sharp as he did earlier in camp, but he still had his moments. The arm strength isn’t elite, but it’s certainly enough to get by as a starter in the Southeastern Conference. He showed a good connection with C.J. Worton on Tuesday, which was also evident two weeks ago during the open portions. Worton didn’t look to be bothered by the leg injury he suffered earlier in camp.

Treon Harris was just OK on Tuesday. He had his moments but was still too inaccurate on throws to the sideline. The Florida quarterbacks spent half of one practice period working exclusively on roll out drills, and neither Grier or Harris was sharp.

This was our first look at Luke Del Rio, and he impressed. He opened practice by throwing a perfect fade to Chris Thompson for a 35-yard touchdown. He was accurate while throwing routes on air. In pass skel drills, he dropped a pass perfectly over the shoulder of Demarcus Robinson for a gain of over 30 yards.

Not much to take from the running backs because there wasn’t any 11-on-11 stuff. They all look good running when the threat of being tackled isn’t there. It is funny to watch Jordan Scarlett run. Defenders aren’t allowed to tackle in the periods we saw, but they all simulate the motion of it. There were multiple times where Scarlett bounced off defensive backs trying to put a hand on him.

At receiver, it was clearly Brandon Powell and Demarcus Robinson -- then everyone else. While running drills with a coach throwing passes, one of the balls was high and behind Robinson. He jumped up, reached behind his body and tipped the ball to himself. Powell brings a dimension the rest of the Florida offense doesn’t with his speed and elusiveness.

Bob watched both lines and saw the first team offensive line as left tackle Martez Ivey, center Cam Dillard, right tackle David Sharpe while Trip Thurman and Antonio Riles manned the guard positions. Travaris Dorsey was back at practice.

A friend at practice saw Antonio Morrison running around at practice and mentioned how good he looks. If you didn’t know about the knee injury, you’d think he looked healthy during non-contact periods. He looks really good, but that doesn’t mean much until they feel the knee is ready to go in game situations.

The news out of the secondary was Keanu Neal not being on the field and Brian Poole working at safety. Neal suffered an injury in the scrimmage Friday and wasn’t on the field. With Neal off the field and with Marcus Maye suspended for the first game, Poole could be one that slides into the safety spot against New Mexico State in the season opener. Nick Washington, Marcell Harris and Duke Dawson all saw reps there, too.

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