PRACTICE: Day One; Young Linebackers

Coach Charlie Strong has hung a Neon help wanted sign for his linebackers post. The Gators are looking for few able bodies that are mentally and physically apt to handle the rigors of Florida football. Auditions began this morning at the Pseudo practice facility off Hull Road.


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: Gator Country's legendary Fall Practice coverage will be free today so you can see through the hype why everyone comes here for the very best in practice coverage. Unlike the others, we don't brag about it - we deliver! Click here for a free 7 day trial!

Linebackers are not as easy to evaluate as defensive backs and receivers on day one. That is true of anybody playing close to the line of scrimmage. I can give you some very basic information, nothing much of substance though.

#55 Jon Demps 6-4 219 Pensacola (Washington)

Demps doesn't look quite as intimidating wearing the number as Scot Brantley and Channing Crowder did in their glory years, but it seemingly suits him. My first thought upon seeing Demps today was how comfortable he seemed playing (strongside) around the line of scrimmage. He received praise for setting the defense on one play, and was corrected on the next. As you all know, that is typical of freshmen.

He possesses pretty good quickness and flashed a little speed for a big man running drills. Demps was pretty good at times covering on the short routes. As with most freshman, they need to get enough reps so they react instead of think and react. It'll be interesting to see just how he reacts in a few days. Demps was among the Gators in when the team went seven-on-seven. Obviously, we'll know much more once the Gators go into full gear.

# 43 Daryl Gresham 6-3 251 Roanoke, Va. (Fleming)

Gresham and teammate Kalvin Baker have a lot of lower body strength, which was evident in some of the drills this morning. He Gresham (MIKE) started alongside Demps and Stamper in the seven-on-seven drills.

Gresham was pretty good getting in front of and cutting off routes inside. I hope that he demonstrates the physical attributes once he goes into full gear.

# 41 Ryan Stamper 6-1 217 Jacksonville (First Coast)

Stamper was the third linebacker who got the start in the seven-on-seven drills. He was pretty good though the drills. He made his share of mistakes, and was ripped by the staff. Stamper runs pretty darned well though. He is every bit as athletic as we were told. Outside of that, there is just not too much to offer at this time.

# 37 Kalvin Baker 6-0 245 Columbus, Ga. (Pacelli)

Baker demonstrated a lot of quickness and speed in the drills. He got around the cones well and displayed quickness from a stop. He looked pretty fast out there overall. Baker drilled He did not start during the seven-on-seven drills though.

# 35 Eric Sledge 6-2 195 Apopka

Sledge was better on the short routes. He is pretty effective cutting off the receivers, but he wasn't as effective when he had to turn and run. He was better early in all aspects, but seemed to lose some confidence as the day went on.

While I wouldn't call it spectacular, it was a solid first day for the freshmen linebackers. Nobody particularly stood out, like Reggie Nelson did at corner.


Fightin Gators Top Stories