The offense will look very similar to what UF has been doing for the last two years. Some nuances such as more no huddle and a lot more formations with four receiver sets will be employed. Expect UF to really move at a fast past with the football to try and establish an up-tempo offensive attack. I do think you will see the ball down the field to the young receivers on the outside. Florida will continue to work on it's shotgun running attack as well.
Keep an eye on: Sklyer Thornton
2) How will the new secondary replace four seniors?
This is going to be tough because all four seniors were very good players. New secondary coach Dan Disch will create a demanding environment, which will create good competition. Reynaldo Hill showed some signs in the Outback bowl and may find some new confidence with a new coach. Demetrice Webb should emerge at one corner. Terrence Holmes and Jermaine McCollum are a couple of backups looking to provide some stiff competition at safety and corner. Jarvis Herring and Cory Bailey have played a lot of football but now they must step up and lead in the spring. I do think several freshman will be in the mix in the fall.
Keep and eye on: Terrence Holmes
3) Which defensive ends will step up and emerge?
With the graduation of Darrell Lee and Bobby McCray combined with Travis Harris move to linebacker Charlie Strong returns little experience. What he does return is talent and potential. UF has plenty of young guns ready to compete at defensive end. You could see as many as five guys in the rotation in the fall during a game. Jarvis Moss has the ability and has added some size to take over for McCray. Steven Harris, who played some, is up to 275 pounds and in great shape. He has the chance to be a double threat at end with his ability to rush the passer and play the run. Joe Cohen, Julian Riley, Tranell Morant and MacKenzie Pierre will battle as well.
Keep an eye on: Tree Morant
4) Will C-4 take over the running back job full time?
The running back position will remain a strength on the offense with Ciatrick Fason and DeShawn Wynn returning with invaluable experience. Jimtavis Walker and Skyler Thornton make this a deep and talented unit. The key to the spring will be the ability to stay healthy. Obviously UF will use more than one running back in the fall but it is important for Fason and Wynn to stay healthy and be productive. Coach Fedora has had strong running games with very good backs as an offensive coordinator and this year should be different. If Fason can have a big spring and show maturity as a third year player he could lock up a lion share of the carries this fall. Wynn must overcome some of his fumble issues while Walker must improve his pass protection.
Keep an eye on: Thornton
5) Which wide receivers will step up?
This is the million dollar question with so many young guys forced to produce .Andre Caldwell could be the go to guy by the end of spring because he will work at various positions and possesses great speed. Chad Jackson is also poised for a big spring and will battle Jemalle Conelius for a starting position. Dallas Baker, who has impressed coaches and fans in the past during practices and scrimmages, needs to be more consistent. With a lot of spread formations on the ledger expect to see all the receivers get plenty of opportunities at various positions.
Keep an eye on: Chad Jackson
6) Who can replace Max Starks and Shannon Snell?
Florida loses a lot of experience with the departure due to graduation of Max Starks and Shannon Snell. Jon Colon will not take part in spring drills but if healthy could be a factor at left tackle. Tavarus Washington, Steven Rissler, Anthony Guerrero, Ryan Carter and Carlton Medder will all be in the mix. Mo Mitchell, who should compete at right guard with Lance Butler, could be a candidate as is Butler to move over. Expect UF to use a bunch of combinations to develop the right continuity.
Keep and Eye on: Carlton Medder
7) Who will win the backup quarterback job?
Depending on how much Gavin Dickey participates in the scrimmages on Saturday's could effect this outcome. If they started today Dickey would be number two and rightfully so. Justin Midgett has had a good off-season and now must grasp the offense in the spring. This will be a great opportunity for Midget to elevate himself, and if he does he could end up making Leak a better player. I think Midgett has Eric Kresser like ability and Kresser made Danny Wuerffel a better player. Dickey has a good attitude and should be improved.
Keep an eye on: Justin Midgett
8) Which linebackers will rise up and become players?
This could be the toughest question to answer. Channing Crowder, who played in some pain to end the season, is UF's leader and he will look to bring along his mates. Crowder is a three down linebacker who could see some time at middle linebacker. Earl Everett plays Crowder's spot and having them both on the field is the ideal situation for UF. Travis Harris will move back to SAM and should be reliable. Todd McCollough is going to see limited action after recovering from shoulder surgery. Howard Linguard, Brian Crum and Taurean Charles will look to have big springs to make an impact.
Keep and eye on: Earl Everett
9) How will this team look compared to the end of last season?
Faster. This team will have more speed in their top 40 players on their roster than last season. While losing some veteran experience they will make up for it to youthful talent. These receivers have something you cannot coach which is "speed". I think linebackers and defensive line will be faster units. If you have speed you can overcome inexperience especially on defense.
Keep an eye: Defensive line speed
10) How important is this spring for Ron Zook?
This is a critical spring for Coach Zook from the standpoint that he cannot have any "wasted" practices. His team must approach every day looking to increase it's learning curve to prepare for the season. This roster has more of "his" players than the first two years and his systems have not changed. Florida has talent they need, experience and repetitions and that's why this spring is more valuable than some other spring practices for college teams. After consecutive 8-5 seasons many fans may not except the "youthful" answer if the results are not better. One thing in UF's favor is they return one of the most talented and experienced quarterbacks in the conference in Chris Leak. The freshman season was good but his sophomore season will be better. He must lead in the spring and embrace this role with his teammates.
Keep an eye on: Scrimmages on Saturdays in the Swamp