Hollywood Bob's In-Depth Spring Practice Report

There was a tornado watch in effect, but the bad weather held off so the Gators got the entire practice in Friday afternoon. There were more than 700 high school coaches who are in Gainesville for the coaching clinic and they were all over and around the practice fields. That kept much of the practice out of view from spectators and media who were kept on the east sideline of the main practice field. It was a non-contact practice.

WHAT'S NEW: They did a series on offense where they drive all the way down the field, taking snaps every five yards. Plays are called depending on the position of the field they're on. The offense and defense went head to head and did the same thing all the way down the field twice… Derrick Harvey was working with the first team defense who played a lot of three man line today. I believe that Harvey and Mincey will be the defensive ends right now in a three man line set. Brian Crum was the third linebacker on this defense and may have moved ahead of Todd McCullough.

Michael Brown got a lot of work at the second team left tackle spot, while Jason Watkins mired on the third team today. Ronnie Wilson started at left guard but was pulled in the middle of the team drill in favor of Carlton Medder for a mistake he made. The second team o-line read from left to right, at the end of practice, Brown, Medder, Steven Rissler, Drew Miller, and Phil Trautwein… Gavin Dickey left practice to go to baseball early today. He stayed as long as he could, dropped his pads and jersey off at the gate, and went right over to take batting practice before the game.


Hundreds of high school coaches (500-700) were there for Meyer's Coaching Clinic.

THINGS I LIKED: Nick Fleming was kicking off, hammering the ball consistently two yards from the back of the end zone. The staff had to keep pitching the return guys a ball shallower so they could continue their kick return drill… Dee Webb jumped a couple of passes and forced incompletions today. He had another good day… In the 3-3 front, the defense busted three option plays in a row behind the line of scrimmage. I know Coach Meyer used to call Coach Strong and talk to him about ways to attack the 3-3 defense. It is one of the toughest for this offense to go against.

THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE: A personal gripe but it is all good in the name of recruiting… With all of the coaches in attendance, we sightseers were left fending for gaps to watch the play on the field. Hey, I'm for it if Joe Five Star commits because Coach X came to a clinic and liked the Gator staff enough to push his big time recruit to UF. One other problem it causes is everything is slower and the amount of work done on the field seems a lot less… I thought this was Portis' worst practice today. His first throw in pass-skel was underthrown and three defenders had a chance to intercept.


Deshawn Carter, #24, as he moves into make the tackle.

HIGHLIGHTS: DeShawn Carter broke up a bomb to Dallas Baker on a deep post. He was in position to intercept, but couldn't quite haul it in. Later he jumped on the pass from Portis to Tate Casey and almost had an interception….Chad Jackson made a highlight catch of a Chris Leak lob over Reggie Lewis and right in front of Kyle Jackson. Later, Jackson took a short pass and made a move on Reggie Lewis that left Lewis standing still as he raced by.

Tony Joiner got a pick of an errant Josh Portis throw…Dallas Baker used his body to shield Dawayne Grace, caught the ball and raced down the sideline during team drills…Tranell Morant had a sack on a play in the team session where he blew by the left tackle. The next play he messed up the reverse coming his way and caused Jemalle Cornelius to lose yardage…Todd McCullough picked off a Cornelius Ingram pass and headed the other way with it.

PLAY OF THE DAY: Earl Everett was on deep coverage with Tate Casey. The ball was thrown on a shallow rainbow arc. The ball careened off of Everett's helmet and into the air. Kyle Jackson swooped in for the interception.


First team offensive line -- Jim Tartt (63), Mike Degory (68), Lance Butler (72), and Tavares Washington (76).

PLAYER OF THE DAY: DeShawn Carter may have had his best practice ever as a Florida Gator. He broke up several long passes and had a chance to intercept a lot of them. Seeing Carter step up his game has to be a welcome surprise for Coach Doc Holliday (safeties) and the rest of the defensive staff. One time Coach (Chuck) Heater jumped him [Carter] for being there but not finishing and making the interception. I counted four pass breakups on the day for Carter. "I am just trying to get better every day, keep going," Carter said after practice. "Like coach says, we only have 15 practices, and you can't afford to take one off."

THINGS HEARD AND SEEN: Mike McIntosh wasn't in The Pit and participated in practice but he seemed like he is still slowed so he didn't participate as much as usual… I couldn't hear what he was saying, but Coach (John) Hevesy was not happy with his offensive linemen and was riding them… Gavin Dickey played some at receiver again today, even with the first unit … Coach (Steve) Addazio singled out a player on special teams and said "Every rep!!" He was implying he wanted hustle on every play… Dallas Baker remains with the third kick return unit.

FACES IN THE CROWD: Chris Leak's brother C.J. and father Curtis. Coach Buddy Nobles from Union County. Coach Rick Swain from Boca Raton (ex-Gainesville HS coach). Coaches from my alma mater, Englewood in Jacksonville. Coaches from hundreds of other schools included former Gator and current Pompano Ely HS Head Coach Willie Snead and Trinity Catholic's Kerwin Bell… Coaches from Miami High, North Miami, Palatka, Tampa Jefferson, Tampa Middleton, Orlando Evans, Orlando Dr. Phillips, Tampa Robinson, Valdosta. Tallahassee Lincoln and many, many others.

QUARTERBACK STATS: Leak 29-37, 1 interception; Portis 7-15, 1 interception; Dickey 1-3; Ingram 8-15, 1 interception.


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