Thursday's Practice Notes & Comments

Who did Chris Leak connect with on two TD passes today? What does Gator assistant coach Joe Wickline think of the progress of his O-line? Coach Zook comments on Steven Rissler, Jarvis Herring and more.

Sophomore QB Chris Leak seems to be coming along just fine. On Thursday, he was mostly right on target with his receivers. One outstanding play was about a 50-yard pass to Junior WR Dallas Baker, who made a sweet aerodynamic catch for a touchdown.

One another exciting play, Leak nailed Sophomore WR Andre Caldwell on a slant pattern in the corner of the end zone during a hurry-up drill. Caldwell, then, got a bit too excited. He spiked the ball extremely hard, and, was flagged by the official. The crowd cheered!

Offensive Line Coach Joe Wickline on his squad's progression this spring: "They're doing a really nice job. I'm proud of them. They have not gone backwards. You know, usually in spring, you have fifteen days, and, there'll be some days you go forward and go forward…and, some days you kind of go back. They haven't had that yet. They've gone forward everyday. It's still not clean yet, as far as what we need to do, but, it's coming a long way. I think it's starting to sink in.

As far as the Gator O-Line's depth and personnel, Coach Wickline said that, "we won't have a couple of things, as far as…maybe a person here, a person there…as we did last year. But, by the same token, I think we'll have more at every position. And, I think some of the guys that are there have different attributes, which basically will be a wash in some different area. I think because of the effort, the attitude, and, as far as the chemistry of the group, they'll be fine."

Regarding the upcoming scrimmage on Saturday, Coach Wickline said that, he "expects them to continue to get better. I expect the offensive line, the leaders we've got…Mike Degory, Mo Mitchell, Lance Butler, Randy Hand…those guys who've been around for a few years…Jonathon Colon (who is not in there, but is starting to come back)…a bunch of guys are involved. I think they all have great attitudes that work hard, the intensity is right. I think they're beginning to get better and will do a nice job up front."

UF Head Coach Ron Zook on Junior FS Jarvis Herring: "Jarvis is playing like he's a starter now. He's playing with confidence. He's trying to do everything we ask him to do. He's really doing a nice job. He knows it's on him now. And, sometimes, when they (players) are back-ups, you try to keep them from falling into that role. Now, he knows it's his job."

Coach Zook on Sophomore OL Steve Rissler: "Steve's doing a really nice job. I'm really proud of him. And, once again, this is their (the O-Line's) first spring…and, those guys are working hard and getting better. Steve's one of those guys who brings his lunch pail and is going to be a heck of a player."

Coach Zook on Sophomore QB Gavin Dickey: "He got some reps in today. He threw a couple of INT's, but, I'm not worried about that…I mean the timing and so forth. Just keeping him in there, and, getting the reps, which is what we want to do. We need to get him in at least once a week, even twice if we can. I know baseball is important to him. They (the Gator baseball team) had a great win last night (beating Florida State). I was there for most of that. In fact, the baseball team came out and watched some of our practice today. Gavin is such a competitor. He jumps in there and he has a presence."

Coach Zook on the upcoming scrimmage on Saturday: "We're going to kind of push it up a little bit, in terms of trying to get the offense and defense a little bit of scoring opportunities. So, we'll kind of keep score with the offense and defense…give the defense a way to make some points…keep it competitive."

=======Gator Bits========

This week, UF hosted the Florida High School Coaches Clinic, which invites coaches from all over the state to participate. They came to learn, and, to watch the Gators practice. Former Gator QB Kerwin Bell, who now is the head coach at Ocala Trinity Catholic High School, was in town for the H.S. coaches clinic. Check out Fightingators.com on Friday for an exclusive interview with Bell. He'll speak about being a H.S. coach, his thirteen pro football seasons in the NFL and CFL, and, his thoughts on Coach Zook, Chris Leak, and more.


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