SPRING: Q and A with Tony Joiner

Safety Tony Joiner ended the spring on a high note, playing well enough to merit a lot of playing time with Kyle Jackson and Jarvis Herring on the first team defense. Joiner figures to be in the defensive rotation in the fall and he has the talent to be a big time contributor.

On finishing the spring and reflecting back on the coaching change…

"The coaching change is really a good thing. Last year, you could really see a kind of favoritism to getting players on the field that were just older. Now, it's like they're giving everybody a chance and the best players are going to get on the field.

On his spring…

"My spring this year has been a pretty decent spring, but I won't say it's the greatest spring. I have more to come, but it was a pretty good spring."

On what safety position he will be playing primarily…

"Strong safety. It's very much a position that I can uphold and it's something that fits me very well."

On the defense as a whole after the spring…

"The defense is very explosive this year. It's really almost the same, but the different coaches that we have, and the more one-on-one we have, because we have more coaches on defense this year, it's like they're teaching different things --- pursuit, angles. It's the small things that make the big picture work."

On moving forward over the summer…

"I'm ready to give my all to this team, which is something that I dedicated to doing along time ago. This spring game was just another step that this team is taking in becoming that much more improved in every aspect."

ESTEBAN'S TAKE: I think the first quote that he gave is a testament of the mindset of what the young talent on this team was feeling last year. Without taking shots at any particular graduating members at the 2004 safety position, young potential was often bottled up when it could have been seeing the field much earlier. While Tony Joiner in particular might not have been ready to see the field right away, Kyle Jackson should have been starting much earlier. After having a scare early on in the spring, Joiner should be willing to go above and beyond for Meyer and the Gators and as part of the two-deep rotation already, he will be a good one to watch come Sept. 3.


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