Day 4: Hollywood Bob's Spring Practice Report

<b>WHAT'S NEW: </b>There were four scholarship quarterbacks out today as Cornelius Ingram (fresh off the basketball team's loss) and Gavin Dickey (off day for baseball), joined the fracas. Chris Leak and Josh Portis took most of the snaps, but Dickey got a good share…

KICKOFF RETURNERS --- 1st team Jemalle Cornelius and Chad Jackson; 2nd team Bubba Caldwell and Mike McIntosh; 3rd team Markus Manson and Tremaine McCullom… The defense switched to dime personnel or six defensive backs on te field, when the offense went to an empty backfield or four wideouts and a running back. Steven Harris came in as a defensive tackle in those long yardage situations. They blitzed Brandon Siler and Jarvis Herring a lot…Carlton Medder went to the second team left tackle over Jason Watkins. Watkins and Michael Brown were third team with Brown as the left guard.

THINGS I LIKED: Again they are working hard on special teams, putting a lot of time into it this early in spring ball. I have seen a few blocks against the first punting unit but the work they are getting in will pay dividends down the road and is allowing the coaches to place players in the right places. It looked like somewhat of a full contact kickoff returns and the returns seemed to be working late in the drill…Walkon wide receiver John Curtis continues to play well and may get a chance to ge6t in the two deep if he keeps it up…Dickey showed up throwing well on his first day, hitting both long and short passes and showing the ability to tuck and run the ball when he saw no passing options. I would think Meyer was pretty pleased with his play overall…Dee Webb needs a few props from me. He has played very well in the first four practices and with me being the offensive minded person I am, I tend to overlook the defensive exploits. On one of the better plays of the day, Webb was all over Caldwell when the ball came screaming from Portis. Webb was able to knock the ball up in the air and Kyle Jackson was there to make the interception…I would also say today was Vernell Brown's best day. He looked like he was in the hip pocket of the receivers most of the day…Kyle Jackson had two chances at decapitating his teammates and pulled up at the last second. The guy just knows where to get when the ball is in the air…The defense is getting tested in the pass-skel drills. There are a lot of five-wide sets and little motion being used. The defense ends up playing a lot of nickel and dime coverages. In the pass-skel, Leak was 12-13, Portis was 8-10 with an interception (I gave him a catch on a drop), and Dickey was 5-8 (he was also credited with a catch that was dropped)…Brandon Siler is one of, if not THE most vocal player on the field. He is constantly in his teammates' faces and getting them razzed up.

THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE: The receivers are getting worn out. Everyone thins we are loaded at receiver and as far as top tier talent that is true. But when the Gators utilize a four-wide set most of the time, the second team consists of two walk-ons or the first teamers go again… I wanted to see what Ingram had at quarterback but it is clear he is way behind the others right now having been full time with the basketball team until today…On three consecutive snaps Mike Degory snapped the ball high. The first one sailed over Leak's head and (offensive line Coach John) Hevesy made sure he knew about it.

HIGHLIGHTS: It isn't really called bull-in-the-ring, but we will stick with it. They did it again for the second day in pads. Chad Jackson and Jarvis herring were dead even. Ray Mack beat Lance Butler. Jeremy Mincey got the best of Trautwein. Billy Latsko and Markus Manson had one of the hardest hits of the day. Latsko ended up on top of Manson. Brian Crum pancaked Skyler Thornton hard and fast, Jason Watkins got the best of Harvey until Harvey turned and flipped Watkins. Mike Degory and Clint McMillan was a close call. Grace and Baker paired off again and Grace finally got the best of Baker. John Curtis got the better of Vernell Brown. Kyle Morgan flipped Terrance Holmes and took him down. Steven Rissler and Michael Hill were close with the call going to Rissler. Tree Morant gets Markell Thompson to the ground and celebrates over him. Carlton Medder lost a helmet to Ray McDonald and fought on. Markus Manson and Earl Everett squared off and Manson got the best of Earl. Joe Cohen was all over Randy Hand. Drew Miller made short work of Todd Bunce. Deshawn Carter spun and took down Kenneth Tookes. Jermaine McCullom and Mike McIntosh took their bout into the fans. McIntosh flips over and lands on a woman sitting near the sideline. Grace got the best of walk-on Jimmy Newmeyer. Eddie Haupt was more than Julian Riley could handle. Coach Hevesy went nuts on the play. Riley ended up injured. Derrick Harvey and Dane Guthrie were pretty even with a slight nod to Guthrie… Portis threw three perfect bombs in the one-on-one drill. Two of them were over 45 yards in the air and the other about 55. The young man has a great arm and later showed he can really run with the ball too…Vernell Brown molested Dallas Baker on one play and came up with a great interception.

LOWLIGHTS: The weather was rainy again…The injury to Riley (knee) didn't look good… No Tony Joiner, but Coach Meyer said he expects Joiner to have his issues settled so he can be back with the team shortly.

PLAY OF THE DAY: Chad Jackson was the benefactor of a Josh Portis bomb that sailed over the heads of both safeties and into his arms some 45 yards down field in the team drills.

PLAYER OF THE DAY: Josh Portis had a great day throwing the ball deep. He had three of the prettiest deep balls you will ever see during the one on one drills versus the defensive backs. He followed that up with beautiful long throws in pass-skel and team drills, including the play of the day. He has been getting so many reps due to the absence of Ingram and Dickey that is voice is almost non-existent when barking out the cadence..

THINGS HEARD AND SEEN: Defensive backs Coach Chuck Heater was yelling at Grace when Grace had somewhat of a bum shoulder and was not playing hard. "If you don't want to play get your butt off the field!!!" he yelled. "If you don't want to play, that is fine with me!!!" Heater continues to be one of the more demonstrative coaches on the field…Coach Hevesy is easily heard across the fields at times. On one occasion he was yelling at his troops about the shovel pass. "What's the rule? What's the rule? Shovel! Shovel!" … Another coach who is very vocal is tight ends Coach Steve Adazzio...Taurean Charles, Reynaldo Hill, Matt Leach, Willie Rodgers, Channing Crowder, and Dwayne Thomas were just a handful of ex-Gator players that were out at practice today.


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