One note: Sophomore Jordan Scarlett was not at the early portion of practice Monday leaving the Gators with three running backs – sophomore Jordan Cronkrite, junior Mark Thompson and senior Mark Herndon.
During the Gators’ “fastball” drills, Cronkrite got one carry and was immediately wrapped up by DL Bryan Cox in the backfield.
Herndon and Thompson took reps in the second team’s “fastball” drills, but both backs only saw blocking assignments.
Running backs coach Tim Skipper was very pleased with the trio’s effort in non-contact running back drills. All of them possess good speed, but Herndon appears just a tad slower than Thompson and Cronkrite.
While working with the quarterbacks, Mark Thompson who has become known for his brawn and power, had some words of advice for freshman QB Kyle Trask. Thompson told Trask to “keep the ball down” on a read-option hand off. Trask corrected his technique and drew compliments from Thompson and the coaches.
All three running backs looked great catching the ball out of the backfield. Offensive Coordinator Doug Nussmeier was critical of Herndon on one specific play when he ran his route too far up field, but the rest of Herndon’s attempts were “perfect”, according to Nussmeier.
Unfortunately, we were not able to see many running plays with a full line of scrimmage. The running backs primarily focused on picking up blocking assignments as their quarterbacks dropped back into the pocket.
The defense didn’t rush linebackers, so the backs helped out their tackles with chipping the defensive ends.