The biggest change today was players in different groups. Noticeably changed from yesterday were redshirt freshman quarterback Cornelius Ingram and true freshmen center Eddie Haupt from Group A to Group B on offense. On Group B defense today were true freshmen linebackers Daryl Gresham and Jon Demps along with juco transfer corner/safety Reggie Nelson and true freshman Avery Atkins (corner) and Dorian Munroe (safety). One position move I forgot to mention yesterday was Javier Estopinan to defensive tackle from defensive end. Estopinan has grown quite a bit since he came to Gainesville a year ago as a linebacker.
Plays of the Practice:
Vernell Brown continues to play very well! He broke up a Chris Leak pass to Dallas Baker and Baker was almost worked over on the play. He followed that up with a great play against Chad Jackson knocking the ball away ... Reggie Nelson got his first interception off of a Cornelius Ingram pass to John Curtis. He played tight on Curtis and was just there when the ball came to the receiver ... Earl Everett almost picked off a Chris Leak pass and a few plays later, he picked off a Cornelius Ingram pass ... Reggie Nelson also knocked down a deep pass intended for Kyle Morgan ... Terrance Holmes had a nice pass break up on a deep pass to Chad Jackson from Chris Leak ... Todd McCullough picked off another Ingram pass in the flat ... Demps harassed Tate Casey enough on one play where he forced an incompletion.
Player of the Practice:
It could have been Vernell Brown again, but I will go with Chris Leak today. He looked much sharper completing some very tough and very nice passes. He hit them long and short and threw to a lot of different targets.
Solid as a Rock:
Markus Manson can really move. He showed some great cutback skills at full speed and should be fun to watch running behind the first team offensive line this fall when he gets his chance.
Moving On Up:
Gavin Dickey was a more visible target today with Jemalle Cornelius and Andre Caldwell absent. They will be working with the mostly freshmen Group A this evening, probably to help coach up the outstanding young players.
Freshmen of Influence:
Demps, Atkins, and newcomer (sophomore) Nelson continue to play well on defense and look now as if they will play early. I expect a lot of playing time for those three in particular, this season. Demps can fly when he gets moving and Nelson and Atkins are two of the most aggressive young cornerbacks I can remember.
What I Liked:
Moving the tailback out as the widest receiver will be great for this offense. To get a flyer like Markus Manson matched up wide on a linebacker is exactly what this offense wants to do. Of course, going against the UF defense, Manson was matched with Earl Everett, who is as fast as most safeties ... The defense again came out to play and really handled the offense for most of the team session today. They aren't in pads yet, and it is early, but the offense should still be hitting on more plays against the defense ... Leak looked good the couple of times he carried the ball on option plays.
What I Didn't Like:
Ingram wasn't very good for most of the practice having to go against the number one defense a lot. I counted at least three interceptions in a rough outing … The offense in general isn't hitting on all cylinders yet. In the team session, as mentioned above, the defense basically dominated. The offense is a little out o sync.
Heard It On The Field:
Coach Greg Mattison is big on pep talk to inspire his guys through the tough heat. He will often belt out phrases like, "This is the play that will make us a champion … we have to win this play."