Gator Country's Mid-Spring Positional Analysis

The scrimmage Saturday marked the middle of spring practice, a good time to analyze the improvement of some and disappointments of others. I don't claim to be a coach and never have been, but I have watched spring practice from the sidelines every year since 1994. Here is my opinion of the players at each position that have improved or not improved the most this spring.


Stock Rising: Gavin Dickey. Although Chris Leak has been good to great all spring, Dickey was very impressive Saturday in only his fourth practice of the spring. Dickey showed the arm and wheels and did some great things in this offense at the quarterback position. He also is showing that he may need to be on the field somewhere this season even if not at quarterback.

Dickey, Ingram, and Kynes.

Stock Falling: Cornelius Ingram. It isn't fair to say his stock is falling, but I had to pick someone. Ingram also has the tools. His lack of time in the offense and in physical training in the off-season due to basketball has set him back farther than all of them.


Stock Rising: DeShawn Wynn. Before Saturday it was clear that it would have been Skyler Thornton. Wynn was very good on Saturday displaying speed, power, and balance like Gator fans have wanted from him for three years now. Wynn has the size to be durable and it really looks like he is coming out of the dog house he was in early on.

Stock Falling: Markus Manson. Maybe he needs more work with the first team offensive line to have more accurate grade. Like Ingram, I don't think the coaches are disappointed, but I had to pick someone. Manson has all the tools, but managed eight yards on seven carries yesterday in the Swamp. He had a great down field block on Dickey's 26-yard scramble that will certainly earn him points in the film room.


Stock Rising: Chad Jackson. It could have been Kenneth Tookes for being the surprise starter at every practice so far this year, but… Chad Jackson has been the man so far this spring on offense. He had an unofficial 157 yards receiving on eight receptions Saturday. He has had the play of the day three times in practices. He was player of the day three times. He just continues to do the big things and has a better grip on the mental aspects than before.

Chad Jackson snags the ball in front of Carter.

Stock Falling: Mike McIntosh. Bubba Caldwell could be a vote here, but I'm going with McIntosh. He is bigger and supposedly faster than last year. He as going against the first team defense all last year and seemed to have his way with them at times. This year, he hasn't looked bad, but just hasn't lived up to the hype so to speak. I have seen nothing from him that makes me think he can't break out of it, but he needs to start while he is still getting time in the rotation.


Stock Rising: Tate Casey. He has been excellent all spring although he only had one reception in the scrimmage Saturday. He has been getting deep and catching everything thrown his way. He creates serious match-up problems because of his height and he is relentless while on the field. I think he is the offense's version of Brandon Siler.

Stock Falling: Markell Thompson. He just isn't in the rotation at all, behind a sophomore and a freshman right now. He is the tallest guy out there, but doesn't have the foot speed of Casey or the strength and speed combination of Dane Guthrie. He drops too many balls in practice also.


Stock Rising: Jim Tartt. Surprise, surprise. We may have a freshman starting on the offensive line this year after all. Tartt has moved to the starting right guard spot first manned by Steven Rissler, then by Drew Miller. Tartt has impressed with his hustle and the fact he is the perfect mauler type they are looking for at the guard position. Miller also fits the build, but may be more comfortable on the left side.

Jim Tartt will be a solid fixture on the line.

Stock Falling: Jon Marvin. I didn't even notice him at the scrimmage. I am not sure where he was. He is a senior that hasn't played any significant downs for UF. I seriously can't name another stock falling person on the offensive line. Rissler, I believe was moved to back-up center from his starting guard spot to make sure the Gators are secure with depth at the center position


Stock Rising: Steven Harris. He jumped over from defensive end and now is listed as a starter alongside Ray McDonald. Harris looks bigger than his listed 268 pounds. I would put him in the 280 range. Like most of the Gator DTs, he's very quick.

Stock Falling: Ray McDonald. The Gators need him to be disruptive up front and get to the backfield. He isn't doing it and has already been called out by the head coach. He has made recent strides, but look for the coaches to be on his back until he gets consistent.


Stock Rising: Jarvis Moss and Derrick Harvey. I gave it to both of them because this position doesn't have anyone really wowing them. These two guys have moved up the depth chart and are starters with the second team right now. They need to push the starters and get some heat on the quarterback.

Jarvis Moss whams Caldwell and forces a fumble.

Stock Falling: Tree Morant. Listed as third team on probably the most under-achieving bunch on the roster, Morant has the size and ability to play the position. He has a chance to prove something where no one else is.


Stock Rising: Brian Crum. He has made his way onto the field with the first team a little bit. Crum has the athletic ability to play multiple positions in the linebacker corps. He just needs to show he can tackle and play with instincts he hasn't shown in the past.

Stock Falling: Eric Rutledge. Again, only because I had to pick one, Rutledge is learning a new position and seems last among the six to see possible playing time right now. The defensive game isn't coming to him right now, but let's give him time before we really critique him.


Stock Rising: Jarvis Herring and Kyle Jackson. Herring is so far ahead of the game as far as knowing what to do. He has been sitting down from the first team to give Tony Joiner more reps. He is a physical type that will be asked to rush the passer on the blitz. Jackson will have a ton of interceptions and leave a ton of receivers with headaches this year. He likes to hit and absolutely can get to the ball when it is in the air.

Stock Falling: Terrance Holmes. Holmes has all but disappeared this spring. He spent Saturday in "The Pit" due to injury. He has the ability much like Jackson, although I am not sure of the instincts.


Stock Rising: Reggie Lewis. He is already the third best cornerback even though he's only been at the position for seven practices. Lewis has better size than most of the corners on roster and has shown great speed in keeping up with the burners on offense. He still has a ways to go, but is pushing Vernell Brown hard for that other starting spot opposite Dee Webb.

Reggie Lewis challenges Tate Casey.

Stock Falling: Nick Brooks. Brooks has fallen to probably the last cornerback on the roster. He is the biggest of all the corners but is a staple on the third team. He needs to take this chance to make a name for himself while he can.

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