One of the things that happens to college football players in their time at school that want to be the best they can be on the football field, is that they develop their bodies to fit the job they are going to do on the field. For most, that means weight and muscle gains so they can fight the battles they need to fight in the trenches or even in the open field. Football is a physical game and the bigger, stronger, and faster you are can only help.
With that we have seen some pretty nice weight changes among the team since the last weigh in. And we have recorded the previous weights in order to quantify the differences. For the guys that were already on the team before January, the weights were taken before fall camp. For those early enrollees and junior college transfers listed here, the change in weight has happened in just two months’ time and since their arrival on campus.
Here is a positional rundown of the weight gains and losses and I generally only mentioned those that had a difference of five pounds or more.
I am going to start with a player that really only gained three pounds since January but the fact that junior college transfer Mark Thompson is now weighing in at 6-foot-2 and 242 pounds seems very significant. He is a monster back now and should be a punishing yet still fast runner for the Gators. But, the guy that really caught me off guard was Jordan Scarlett who is up a whopping 15 pounds from August and is weighing in at 5-foot-10 and 213 pounds. He looks like he is trying to keep pace with Thompson.
RECEIVER / TIGHT END
There wasn’t a lot of movement at receiver, but true freshman Josh Hammond, who arrived here in January, has added five pounds and is now listed at 6-foot-1 and 184 pounds. Tight end DeAndre Goolsby in an effort to make himself faster and more of a down field threat has lost 13 pounds and now stands 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. Sophomore Camrin Knight as one of the better blocking tight ends on campus has added seven pounds of muscle and is now listed at 6-foot-3 and 237 pounds.
There were a whole lot of changes on the offensive line, and with so much weight on these guys you would expect that to be the case. Some went up and some went down. In both scenarios, the moves were significant for that player.
In the weight loss category we have three significant ‘losers’ if you will. Junior guard Antonio Riles his toned down 11 pounds and is now listed at 6-foot-4 and 311 pounds. The most significant weight loss in the unit comes from guard Brandon Sandifer who we have told you he was working hard trying to reshape his body. Sandifer is down 18 pounds from a year ago and is weighing in at 6-foot-3 and 339 pounds. Another 15 pounds and he should be really close to where he wants to be. Lastly, junior starting left tackle David Sharpe has trimmed off eight pounds and is listed at 6-foot-6 and 347 pounds now.
There have also been some significant weight gains along the offensive line and these guys needed it. The biggest addition comes in the form of redshirt freshman Nick Buchanan who is up a whopping 24 pounds at 6-foot-2 and 309 pounds from his August weigh in.
Sophomores Martez Ivey 6-foot-5 and 312 pounds, and Fredrick Johnson 6-foot-6 and 315 pounds, are up 10 pounds each from August. Redshirt freshman Richerd Desir Jones (6-foot-4, 297) and redshirt sophomore Kavaris Harkless (6-foot-5, 307) are both up seven pounds. True freshman and early enrollee Stone Forsythe (6-foot-7, 314) is up five pounds from his weigh in from January.
You can tell that defensive line coach Chris Rumph is looking to make his unit as quick and fast as possible. There might be exceptions to the rule in terms of needing someone to grow into a role, but a most of the weight changes came in the form of getting leaner and faster.
We will start off with the biggest change on the entire team and this isn’t likely for good reasons. Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Thomas Holley has had a lot of issues with a hip injury and it has set him back a great deal. He did play in several games a year ago but missed most. Holley is down a big 60 pounds from August and now weighting in at 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds most likely due to not being able to work out like he wants and keep the weight on. Next in line is the guy that is likely up for his contract season. Redshirt junior Caleb Brantley (6-foot-2, 300) is down 14 pounds from August and looks in fighting shape.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Ivie is down 24 pounds from his listed weight in August clocking in at 6-foot-1 and 278 pounds. His brother Joey Ivie, a senior, is down five pounds (6-foot-3, 290). A really significant decrease in weight of 23 pounds from redshirt freshman Jabari Zuniga (6-foot-3, 240) tells me a couple of thing. This is why he looked to me to be sculpted at the higher weight and also that he doesn’t intend on going to the interior at all. Finally in the weight loss column, sophomore defensive end Cece Jefferson (6-1, 270) is down five pounds from August.
On the weight gain side, we see some things that make a lot of sense as well. One of the bright spots is sophomore defensive end Keivonnis Davis (6-foot-4, 244) who is up 14 pounds since he weighed in back in August for the first time. At 244 he can be an effective pass rusher for the Gators and really looked good Wednesday during the whole of practice. One guy we think is eventually headed to defensive tackle is redshirt freshman Luke Ancrum (6-foot-5, 257). Ancrum spent a lot of time in drills Wednesday with both hands down. He’s added the six pounds since August which isn’t a lot, but still a move in the right direction. He definitely looks thicker. Finally Khairi Clark (6-foot-2, 326) could end up being that giant nose tackle that this team lacks. He is pretty much at the weight necessary and certainly has added muscle that will help him fight the double teams he will endure at the position.
We saw some significant gains t linebacker as well. Senior star Jarrad Davis (6-foot-2, 240) is up 10 pounds from his August weigh in. Senior Daniel McMillian (6-foot-1, 227) is up eight pounds from August. Redshirt freshman and former safety Kylan Johnson (6-1, 228) is up eight pounds from August.
The lone linebacker that lost a bit of weight is redshirt junior Alex Anzalone (6-3, 237) who is down seven pounds. It could be from recovering from injury, but added quickness won’t hurt Anzalone who is plenty big enough already.
The one guy that lost weight in the secondary makes some sense. We saw junior Duke Dawson (5-10, 190) line up at cornerback a lot on Wednesday. He will certainly will get a lot of looks at NICKEL if not completely outside. He is down 14 pounds from August and that should help his speed and quickness. Another significant move weight wise in the secondary is true freshman McArthur Burnett (5-foot-9, 172) who has packed on 15 pounds since arriving in January and at a weight now that is much more in line with playing in college. The last guy to mention is fellow freshman corner Chauncey Gardner (5-11, 205) who has already put on eight pounds of muscle since January.
Everything we hear from behind the scenes is that the weight program is a good one and that the players are taking to it and reshaping their bodies. These are many examples of that happening and it will be interesting to follow as they keep changing their bodies.