Monday Practice Report

Florida releases depth chart, but starting quarterback still remains a mystery....

It's the first day of practice; The first day to analyze the freshly released depth chart; The first day to find out all the secrets about the quarterback race from two weeks of camp.

Or not.

Just when it seemed as if the competition for the starting job appeared to be winding down, Coach Ron Zook continued to cling to a plan which only he has the blueprints Monday.

But what thing seems certain. Zook, in his head, does have a plan.

"I think you have to look at this week in practice," he said. "I've got a pretty good idea, but once again I think you look at this week. I've talked with all of them and I feel good about how they feel and I think they feel good about the direction we're going."

In all likelihood, Chris Leak, Gavin Dickey and Ingle Martin will see snaps this weekend.

But with Miami looming in the season's second week, will Saturday's opener act as a rehearsal for the starting role against the Hurricanes? Not so fast, Zook says.

"I don't think you have to say that we've got to have one guy going in there," he said. "Going into Miami, I'm worried about a lot more things than just the quarterback."

Zook said he expects a decision to be announced before game day. He also squashed the perception that Saturday's starter will be Martin based on experience alone.

"Just because you're an upper classmen, it's not your birthright to be a starter," he said. "Hopefully the upper classmen are guys that you know have done the things necessary to be a starter, but I don't think it's your birthright to start or to play. You have to have play the players you feel are going to give you the best opportunity to win the football game."

Dickey, who met with Zook last week to discuss the option of transferring, said Monday he now feels confident he'll have the opportunity to play Saturday.

"I think I'm going to get that shot," he said.

DEPTH CHART RELEASED: While nothing was learned about the quarterback situation, the release of this week's depth chart did offer up a few surprises.

Most notably, defense end Bobby McCray, who sat out a week of practice with turf toe, is slated as the backup to Travis Harris. But McCray wasn't concerned – or surprised – by the swap after practice. He expects to be back at the top within the week.

"The better man has to go right now," McCray said. "I'm going to try and finish out the week strong, and hopefully by Saturday [the depth chart] will be changed. The turf toe is still nagging me a little bit. I should be 100 percent by Saturday."

At defensive tackle, Ray McDonald jumped past Eric Holcombe, who actually is listed as a third-teamer. Holcombe, a junior college transfer, hasn't lived up to the potential first expected of him.

But Zook said the depth chart on the defensive line isn't as important as how the unit's youth steps up.

"It's starter by committee there right now," Zook said. "You're young, but you're not going to ask one guy to do it. It's a lot easier when you don't take a young man and put all the pressure on him. It's going to help."

The Gators appear to be sticking with their veterans at wide receiver. Seniors Kelvin Kight and Carlos Perez and junior O.J. Small, the most experienced trio of the bunch, will line up at wide out first.

Sophomore Dallas Baker is slated to play on the second team, and true freshmen Andre Caldwell and Chad Jackson each are listed as third-teamers.

EARLY SCOUTING REPORT: After watching this weekend's game between San Jose State and Grambling, Zook said he saw what he expected – a competitive, wide-open football team.

"They're an impressive football team," Zook said. "They've got a lot of skill. They've got three or four receivers back. They've got two good running backs including a good true freshman. They blitz more than they have been doing."

"They've got four or five offensive linemen back. They've got a good quarterback back there. I was impressed with them. Their skill level, watching on tape, is comparable to what we'll see."

BRIEFLY: True freshman defensive tackle Clint McMillan will be out for a few weeks after having a bone chip removed from his knee. … Guss Scott, Darrell Lee, Shannon Snell, Ben Troupe and Casey Griffith will serve as captains on Saturday… Defensive lineman Michael Hill continues to remain away from practice because of medical testing.


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