No clear leader at quarterback yet, according to McElwain.
“I think both those older guys [ Luke Del Rio and Austin Appleby] had their moments. I think both of the young guys [ Kyle Trask and Feleipe Franks] really threw the ball well. I was impressed with how they handled a lot of situations," he said. "But, you know, no clear-cut one way or the other.”
“Yeah, they’ve been getting a ton of reps and Alvin Bailey actually had a really good scrimmage, stepped up. He’s had that kind of a back he’s been dealing with, but I thought he did some really good things, as well as Chris and Ryan Sousa made a couple of big plays.
"There are some guys getting extra reps that normally wouldn’t in some situations there. To see those guys kind of compete and get after it, I’m really happy," he said. "I’d be remiss to say we caught the ball really well in the scrimmage, even our running backs out of the backfield."
Thompson is a real threat as a pass catcher.
"I guess I knew this and didn’t really realize it with Mark Thompson, he started out as a wide receiver and outgrew the position. He’s got real natural hands and that was good to see."
However it's Herndon that stole some of the spotlight last week and throughout most of spring.
"Mark Herndon is a guy that has really had a good spring," said McElwain. "Obviously he was on every special teams for us and will be again, but he’s a guy that looks like that knee is 100 percent. He’s been running real well.”
The biggest improvement with this group, howeve,r was their pass protection.
"I think that’s something that they’re kind of understanding that that’s gotta be a major thing for them from a playing time standpoint.”
"There’s really been four guys who have really stood out," said McElwain. "I'll start with Moral Stephens, who has really become a guy that has kind of taken to the role as an on-line blocker playing physical. Obviously C'Yontai, it's been good to have him back and in there. DeAndre Goolsby really showed up in the last scrimmage. He made some really big plays in the pass game and has gotten a little bit better as things have gone you know from a blocking standpoint, especially some point of attack stuff. Camrin Knight is a guy that just keeps getting better and better and he'll play a lot of us."
For Goolsby, it's about finding consistency.
"I would say he has done remarkably better than what he had done in the past is he has come to work and actually go out and to get better everyday. Where sometimes he may take some practices off a little bit," said McElwain. "He's really had a good spring and has developed into a guy that the quarterbacks feel comfortable with too because he's there everyday
Medical Report Card
- Caleb Brantley [sick]
- Cameron Dillard [Nose]- Should be back at the end of the week
- Thomas Holley [Hips]- "That hip flared up," said McElwain. "That's going to be a tough one. He did everything he could, obviously losing the weight and taking the pressure off that. We'll see where that is as the spring rolls on."
- Ahmad Fulwood [Leg]-McElwain hopes he can come back by Friday
- Dre Massey [Leg]
The Gators will focus on a few more situational drills this week.
Odds and Ends
- On Bryan Cox: "it’s great to see how hard he plays and how important the game is to him," said McElwain. " Even afterWednesday’s practice, you know, when defense kind of got together he stepped in and said a few things. I thought he’d taken over that leadership role with that, he’s been really good. He plays the game so hard and it’s great to see.”
- Chauncey Gardner Impresses: The freshman is playing safety and caused a turnover down the goal line during scrimmage. "He's a guy that sometimes isn't getting to the deep middle third like you'd like and some rotational things, but part of that is being young. I've been really proud of the way that he's come up and tried to play physical, especially in our team run stuff."
- On his raise: McElwain made $4,723 a year in his first job. On Monday, McElwain joked he had to tend bar, teach classes and work at J.C. Penny during his first job coaching quarterbacks and receivers. McElwain is now receiving a $4.25 million paycheck after seeing a $750 thousand raise.
- "It's so good to know that your university and your administration believes in the direction that we're taking this thing. It's something that sends a message in recruiting. Just the belief in our organization and where we're going. We got a ways to go now, but I'm happy for all of us."
- McElwain added, "it's something you don't really think about either. You go about doing your job to the best of your abilities. You just work, but, no, nah, I’ve said before there’s times I just even walk out to practice and it’s hard for me to sometimes imagine I’m at the University of Florida. Those are things you just try to go every day and do your job and work hard. I’d have never thought I’d be sitting here talking to you, I know that.”
- Defensive Backs Step Up “Chris and Duke have been doing a really good job there. Marcus Maye has gotten some reps there, kind of good to see the versatility there, as well. Marcell is doing a really good job back there at safety with Nick. I think we’ve created some pretty good versatility back there.”