SPRING: Gators focus on punt blocking

For the second day the Gators worked extensively on punt blocking. Coach Urban Meyer is serious about addressing the need to make big plays on special teams and set the offense up with good field position.

The player who has been the most impressive overall firing off of the line of scrimmage and blocking the ball has been true freshman Chevon Walker. The 6-0 192 running back has been wonderfully consistent in the drill. Walker has great quickness off the line of scrimmage and has drawn praise from his peers and the staff.

There were several other Florida players who looked good through the drill, but none as efficient as the Ft. Myers native.

Punter Eric Wilbur nailed several punts during today's workout that hung high and traveled at least 50 yards. I only saw one that sailed off of the right of his foot about 30 yards downfield. He only hit part of yet another punt. Wilbur has plenty of leg, but has needed to demonstrate more consistent. Thus far he appears to be working on improving that aspect of his game. He also took a fake punt downfield.

Reggie Nelson, Andre Caldwell, and Jemalle Cornelius were back in punt return again today. Nelson has been especially impressive fielding the ball. That's not to say that Caldwell and Cornelius haven't, but as receivers- you expect that to be a given.

The seven-on-seven drill saw a couple of awe-inspiring performers. Wide receiver Dallas Baker hauled in two passes that grabbed your attention. He ran a route to the right side (sorry, but I didn't see him get off of the line) slowed just inside the sideline and leapt over cornerback Lamont Sheppard for a pass from Chris Leak. Baker took the ball downfield.

Later, Baker hauled in an underthrown Tim Tebow pass, which was tipped by either safety John Curtis or cornerback Tre McCollum, then Baker himself. He followed it into his hands for the reception.

The other "instrumental player" in the seven-on-seven drill was an eight-foot ladder. Yes, an eight foot ladder. The coaches have placed three ladders simulating the lanes on the field. Tebow managed to find the ladder on a pass instead of the intended receiver. After the play was blown dead, safety Reggie Nelson ran over to the ladder and gave it a high five for its' effort.

The ladder later tipped another Tebow pass.

Speaking of Tim Tebow- he struggled today missing several receivers. It appears that Tim is pressing to make the perfect throw. At times he appeared to be aiming the ball in there. He was just not on target. One thing that Tebow appeared to be doing was adjusting for the speed of the defense. Just as I said two days ago- don't worry about Tebow. He'll be fine. Major adjustments are something that all freshmen have to work though.

One of the better plays by a member of the secondary came when Tony Joiner broke up a pass intended for Tate Casey. Joiner had outstanding position and as the ball was delivered from Tebow, Joiner stepped in front to knock the ball away. He looked very good today.

I also noted a couple of good plays by safety Dorian Munroe.

Since the offensive line was working out on the opposite field I was able to get a few looks at the battle for the right tackle position. Coach Hevesy lit up second team right tackle Carlton Medder. The 6-5 315 redshirt junior seemingly had difficulty with his footwork.

Starting right tackle Drew Miller looked very good in pass pro drills. Very good. I watched him on three plays and his man never got a push into the backfield.

The depth chart (and reserves) on the offensive front included:

The depth chart at linebacker today included:

Vernell Brown was at practice today. Also, Tampa Jefferson signee Trent Pupello arrived at practice today just before 5pm.

The team will practice again tomorrow at 10am.

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