The offense returns pretty much intact for Florida except the big question at quarterback which should be answered by players already on campus. However, there are some roles to be filled depth wise at a few questions. We have three spots on offense where we feel a true freshman needs to come in and add depth to the roster.
The Gators need one of the two expected in June to play in 2017. I can’t remember a season where the Gators used less than four running backs because of all the wear and tear they take with an SEC schedule. One of Malik Davis or Adarius Lemons needs to be ready to go come September.
Both are fast. Davis may be more of a scat back, but the Gators should get some play with that kind of athlete with the trio of Brandon Powell, Dre Massey, and Kadarius Toney who can all drop in the backfield from time to time. Lemons is tall and angular, will eventually need to add weight, but should project as a bigger back.
Either one will be fine to get on the field in year one, whoever can learn it the quickest.
Two more receivers join the fold over the summer and that would be high school All-Americans Daquon Green and James Robinson. This is another position where at least one of the two needs to get on the field and see some playing time.
The Gators had just four healthy scholarship players at the position in the spring with Dre Massey, Freddie Swain, and Kalif Jackson all missing time because of injuries. Starting to build some depth and talent at the position, one of Green or Robinson would be helpful in 2017 for sure.
Robinson provides more size and length with a great deal of play making ability. Green brings a strong body and really good speed to the position and has pretty good height as well.
Either one will do to get on the field, but getting at least one of them ready will help with depth issues. This is a little less pressing than running back though.
T.J. Moore is the only one coming in this summer and while the gators have gotten better and more experienced up front, they still lack depth and Moore could provide that instantly.
Linemen usually take longer to develop and so most would rather redshirt all that come in, but Moore seems a little more progressed than most and they need him to help come in and squash the depth issue.
Big and strong, he has the frame to play guard or tackle, but will certainly get a shot at tackle first when he arrives.
The Gators have two more defensive tackles arriving this summer and quite frankly, they need both to contribute at least some in the fall. The starters seem set in Khairi Clark and Taven Bryan. Kyree Campbell showed up in January and showed that he can play some this fall as well. Richerd Desir-Jones will add depth but is new at the position and we don’t know what we will get out of him. Other than getting a few downs from some defensive ends, this would be the list of defensive tackles that were here this spring.
So, Elijah Conliffe and Tedarrell Slaton need to be ready. Conliffe looks to be more of the 3-technique or quicker tackle, a play maker that saw plenty of time on the outside in high school and can really move.
Slaton is the big bodied run stuffer that is so hard to find. Campbell fits that bill as well as Clark. Florida hasn’t had that much size at the Nose in a long time and that is a great sign.
This is the position of most pressing need in terms of young guys coming in and playing right away. There aren’t numbers and even the starters aren’t all that versed at the outside corner positions.
Florida needs all of C.J. Henderson, Brad Stewart, and Marco Wilson to come in and be prepared to see the field immediately. Fighting for a starting job would even be better. They need these guys to play a lit in 2017.
Stewart and Henderson are the bigger bodies. They bring the more physical style of play and both are also great athletes.
Wilson is probably the more technique sound and more of a pure cover guy. If I had to pick one to see the field first it would be Marco Wilson.
Seeing the field first does not matter. All three of these guys need to be ready to play in 2017.