All four running backs saw a lot of action today and even started working on receiving snaps in the ‘Wildcat’ formation.
Junior Mark Thompson was finding holes easily in the Gators’ open practice. Running up the gut is a strong suit for him; arm tackles stand no chance against the brutish Thompson.
Redshirt freshman defensive end Jabari Zuniga made a nice move off the edge to get to Thompson, but Thompson absorbed the hit and kept going.
Even when his line failed him, Thompson bounced off tacklers with ease. Sophomore defensive lineman Cece Jefferson appeared to have him wrapped up in the backfield, but Thompson edged Jefferson off as Jefferson spun around in disbelief.
Sophomore Jordan Scarlett looked quicker than usual today. Scarlett had a couple of nice runs up the middle as he bounced off of junior defensive tackle Caleb Brantley and walk-on Jahim Lawrence on back-to-back reps.
Sophomore Jordan Cronkrite didn’t look quite as good as Thompson or Scarlett today, but that is a tough bill to live up to considering how good these guys have been. Cronkrite received a carry in the Gators’ “fastball” period, but senior linebacker Jarrad Davis and senior defensive tackle Joey Ivie immediately stuffed him in the backfield.
Finally, senior Mark Herndon looked pretty good today. Although, he still appears to be the fourth back in a very talented backfield.Herndon made redshirt freshman linebacker Kylan Johnson miss after taking it outside, but walk-on linebacker Cristian Garcia swallowed Herndon up the second time he tried to run around the left tackle. Herndon’s speed around the edge was impressive, though. He seems to be improving every practice.
Towards the end of open practice, the running backs started working on receiving snaps in the “Wildcat” formation. All four handled the drills well. Once they got in a groove, they started motioning receivers across the field and running the read-option.