Ack's Insights

Spring practice is just days away. Who is expected to shine? Who had an impressive off-season? All that and much more in this week's Ack's Insights.

Spring practice is now two weeks away and the team is six weeks into the current off-season workout phase and guys are starting to show some serious gains. With testing this week many players will look at their progress in different phases with the winter workouts coming to a close.

Next up will be a mixture of spring practice and spring maintenance work in the weight room. The big test comes with summer workouts, which are obviously the longest and most demanding of the year round work that student athletes put in. While testing results are kept in house for the team to monitor and gauge, Ron Zook was proud of some of the numbers his players are producing.

Mo Mitchell, who recently moved back to right guard, registered a 32-inch vertical jump. This shows the flexibility and athleticism to play offensive line. Mo's weight will always have to be closely monitored but his work ethic in the weight room has also been seen in the classroom and on campus. Other lineman who are having good winter workouts are Lance Butler, Mike Degory,Tavares Washington and Carlton Medder. Keep an eye on Medder because he has tremendous upside for UF.

Todd McCollough's recent surgery was a success and he will go through Spring full speed non-contact. McCollough is a physical guy and spring will be more about helping him knock off the rust from missing fall game action.

One unfortunate injury for Spring is Jon Colon, who continues to battle back problems. I believe he has a shot at the left tackle spot if he is healthy and reliable. Tavares Washington will start the spring at left tackle.

O.J. Small is still recovering from surgery on his finger that was broken last year early in the season. He may or may not go in the spring bu the showed great toughness last year playing hurt.

Speaking of receiver one battle to watch is Chad Jackson and Jermalle Cornelius. Cornelius seems to have a slight edge but Jackson's potential is ready to meet expectations. Both guys will play and have worked very hard in the winter sessions and both want to be called the starter. Andre Caldwell will experiment at the "X" position with Dallas Baker looking to use his speed to stretch the field.

With all new tight ends in the passing games expect new coordinator Larry Fedora to experiment with four and five receiver sets. All of the receivers will look to learn more spots to increase playing time in down and distance situations.

Defensively, Joe Cohen to end as expected is great for Cohen because he has bulked up into the mid 270's. But the competition will be extremely tough with a wealth of young talent at end.

Look for Channing Crowder to see time at Mike Linebacker so that UF can get him and Earl Everett on the field at the same time.
v In the secondary one name to keep an eye on is Jermaine McCollum. He has great instincts and speed but lack's the size that Ron Zook would like in his corners. McCollum however will have a chance to shine with the new group competing this spring.

Five young guys to watch in Spring practice -
1. Dallas Baker
He may not be young but he is only in his second year. He has shown greatness in practice and must be more consistent. Baker will be pushed this spring by young wideouts and must respond.

2.Steven Harris
He's physically is ready to produce. His toughness and ability to play the run and pass will make him a player. Harris got off to a slow start last year because of a suspension.

3.Reynaldo Hill
Like Baker he is not young but is in his second year. He will have the keys first to the starting corner spot. He will start with a clean slate with new defensive back coach Dan Disch.

4.Jarvis Moss
He has added size and has unlimited potential. This guy really could be the next Jevon Kearse. To do that Moss must learn to dominate spring practice.

5.Justin Midgett
Gavin Dickey is the backup for now but Midgett will beat him out. He has a strong arm and a quick release. Midgett also has the confidence to push Leak. Fans should root for a big Spring from Midgett and it will make Leak better.

Snippetts and tidbits
This is the time of year in which staffs send their guys to clinics and places to visit and learn some new ways of doing things. UF's offensive staff spent last week at a National One Back clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina, hosted by North Carolina State. Not only did UF ‘s staff speak on their system they also visited with over 20 college one back teams and some from the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts all had their offensive staffs on hand for the clinic. The defensive staff spent the first part of this week in Miami with the Dolphins. Miami has two former UF assistants on staff in defensive coordinator Jim Bates and assistant Bob Sanders. The Dolphins have a very aggressive 4-3 defense with some aggressive non-blitz techniques.

From the field

We have yet to talk quarterback when assessing Spring practice but Chris Leak will go through his first at UF. Doesn't it seem like he has been here forever? Leak will look to improve his overall knowledge of the offense and pickup the subtle nuances of his receivers. UF will throw almost 95% of it's offense in the practice schedule in the first four days of practice and then work back down on certain aspects. Leak will have an advantage over the others because he played last season, but expect Justin Midgett to be impressive. He has a good release and a big league arm. He has worked hard in the off-season and it bigger and stronger. If you have not seen him since two a days you will not recognize him. Gavin Dickey is expected to be with the team when he is not at baseball games. Saturday's are scrimmage days and he may miss them if he travels or has a game.

Basketball Notes
Florida is 10-1 when David Lee scores 15 points or more in a game. The one loss was at Louisville. Since taking over full-time point guard responsibilities Anthony Roberson has 25 assists versus eight turnovers. That is better than 3:1 ratio. Florida needs the win against Georgia on Wednesday night to avoid possibly sliding as far as number five in the SEC East. UF could lose it's last two games and be as low as five or split and end up at number two. If UF finishes number two in the East, they would play the last game on Friday night against the winner of the West #3 (LSU) and the East #6 (Tennessee) as of today. Finally, UF has hit 200 three pointer for the sixth straight season the only team in the SEC to do that.

Stat of the Week: 8

The number of three pointer made per game by UF this season.

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