Dickey Impressive

Throwing a baseball can only help sophomore quarterback <B>Gavin Dickey</B> throw a football with more accuracy and speed. On Monday, Dickey, who does double-duty both for the Gator football and baseball teams, made his spring football practice debut. He seemed, at least to me, that he's been throwing a football everyday since last season ended. "It felt good," said Dickey. "It was fun to get back out there with the guys. You know, run around a bit and throw the football around."

UF Head Coach Ron Zook said Gavin Dickey's performance was impressive. "He's a heck of an athlete. There's only a few guys who can do that stuff (play two sports), and, he's one of them that can do it. He's been throwing a baseball, which is a little different. I thought he did a nice job," said Coach Zook, adding that, "a lot of times when they get here, they find out that they can't. Gavin's one guy that's special and can do that."

Getting a ton of snaps on Monday, Dickey hit his receivers with precision most of the day, especially when he scrambled out of the pocket and threw on the run, or optioned to keep the ball and gain some yardage by himself.

Wide receiver Chad Jackson said he liked Dickey's play. "I caught a couple of ball from him. So he's looking pretty good. I think he'll be all right."

Andre Caldwell said he thinks Dickey practice very well, considering that he's been playing baseball the last couple of months. "He hasn't been out there for awhile. He has got to get the rust off. He's doing all right. He's gonna be ready when it's time to play," said Caldwell.

Dickey said his double-duty on the gridiron and diamond is pretty tough. "I don't really get a day off. Today's supposed to be our day off for baseball. So, I decided to come to football practice. It is tough and time consuming. But it's great being around two great teams. They're great guys on both squads."

Giving credit where credit is due, Dickey stressed how he is definitely in-shape. He said, that, "that's because of our strength and conditioning program. I hadn't thrown a football since the Outback Bowl. I was a little rusty. But, my arm felt pretty good today."

To me, QBs Chris Leak, Justin Midgett, and Matt Kynes, all played second fiddle to Dickey on Monday. Right now, I'd have to say that Leak certainly has his work cut out for him to maintain the starting signal caller for the orange and blue. But, of course, it's way too early to tell.

Dickey's size, at 5-10 and 195 pounds, may hinder him as being the smallest QB on the Gator squad. But, don't let his size fool you. His potential is endless.

Monday's Practice Notes
After watching film from the first spring scrimmage, Coach Zook said that, "if you evaluate (that scrimmage)… and after the first four days, I think therer were an awful lot of improvement needed, which will happen as we practice. I thought tonight's practice was excellent, with great temp. And, he said, "we're making progress."

Mo Mitchell said he feels all right, even though he didn't put the pads on and practice on Monday. He tweaked his knee and said he's coming along fine. Coach Zook agreed and said that he held Mitchell out of practice for precautionary reasons.

During practice you couldn't help but hear Coach Dwayne Dixon shout to his squad to "play disciplined! Play with coverage!" (After that exclamation his guys did just that.)

Andre Caldwell spoke of the receiving corps' expectations: "They expect a lot of big plays out of us. We just have to put it together and make big plays. We have a lot of big play players and we're just trying to make it happen right now."

Coach Zook agreed with Caldwell's statements. He said that all of UF's receivers "are always competitive. I think the point you try and make with the players is that everyone's striving to get better. Our whole thing is that we want to be the best that we can be. I think the fact that we have got some very talented guys there and that makes competition good. And obviously that's what's going to make you better."

Freshman linebacker Richard Brown had his left arm in a sling. Coach Zook said his shoulder was hurt during Saturday's scrimmage. Brown will have an MRI taken to see how much damage there is.

Coach Zook commented on new Secondary coach Dan Disch: "He's doing a nice job. He really is. I think the way he's come in and jumped into it, with the players and with the other coaches, he's just what I thought he would be." During one particular practice sequence, Disch threw up wounded ducks to his secondary corps, which helps, because not all balls are going to be perfect throws coming their way.

For the third time since spring practice began, cornerback Deshawn Carter picked off a pass and scampered all the way into the end zone. After the mock touchdown he was thrown he was then ‘jacked' by OL Lance Butler, who knocked Carter's helmet off. Carter's previous two picks were off of Leak. Monday's pick was from Midgett. Carter was OK after the hit by Butler.

On one particular play, linebacker Channing Crowder was wall-like when running back Ciatrick Fason ran into him. Crowder just stood in there as Fason bounced off him like no one's business!

Florida football fans JK Harrill and his son James left southern Knoxville, Tennessee at 2 am on Monday morning to come to watch the Gators practice. Mr. Harrill said he was very pleased at how the Gators practiced and liked the no-huddle offense. He also said that Coach Zook was a class act.

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