SPRING-Offense hits paydirt in endzone drills

Florida's inexperienced offensive line -- both first and second team -- helped pave the way into the endzone against a veteran defensive front in goal line drills. This seemingly had to be an impressive April Fool's Day joke, but it wasn't. Markus Manson, Tim Tebow, Chris Leak, Nyan Boateng, and Chris Leak performed well in the scrimmage portion as the offense found their way to early paydirt.

Throughout earlier drills, the defensive line got the best of Florida's offensive line. It didn't really seem to matter if they were man-on-man or as a group, things appeared to go as imagined with the veterans showing the way.

However, the paved road took an unexpected turn when Coach Urban Meyer lined the squad up in goal line situations. Running back Markus Manson started right and cut back to toward the middle for a touchdown that looked too easy.

Moments later, Tim Tebow rolled to his left and found tight end Cornelius Ingram, who had settled in an open space. Tebow drilled the ball into his chest for the second unit score against the second team defense.

Tebow again found an open receiver- this time Nyan Boateng for the second team offense's second consecutive score. Just as they had earlier coaches prompted Tebow and company to gather in the endzone and congratulate each other for their efforts.

Manson found the endzone once more with Chris Leak and the first unit mixing the run and pass. The defense had stiffened though. Brandon Siler, Joe Cohen, and Jarvis Moss teamed up to stuff the offense on a play from one yard out.

Goal line- Defensively speaking

There were a few standouts among the defensive front. Personally, I thought that Clint McMillan looked very good. He was able to find the gap and force plays elsewhere on three different plays. He was praised by the coaches twice.

I also thought that Joe Cohen looked pretty good out there. Cohen chased the Manson down a couple of times as he was looking for a seam. He also filled the gap and blew up his blocker on two other plays that I witnessed.

Moss was in on a few tackles as well. One thing that caught my attention was that Moss appeared to be better at taking on blockers and plays directed at him. Moss' best tackle though was his diving stop on Manson, who had tried to get back outside as the middle was clogged up.

The linebacker corps needs some much needed help. Ryan Stamper seemingly came ready to play. He looked pretty good when he needed to step up and make a tackle. He also looked pretty good in the seven-on-seven drills in pass coverage.

Goal line- Offensively speaking

The vast majority of the running plays for the Gators went to the right side of the line. Just as he was yesterday- Drew Miller got my attention. It was hard to focus on him as he was on the opposite side of the field. But, when Manson blasted through the lien for his second score, Miller threw a big block to help spring him. I noticed Miller getting a couple of other good blocks in there.

Playing at right guard was Ronnie Wilson, who at times was explosive. Wilson enjoys getting physical and he had to today. I can't wait to see him after enjoying additional reps throughout the spring. That should help greatly with his inconsistency.

I also thought that Steve Rissler did a pretty good job at center. He mixed it up pretty well with the big boys in there.


The line worked man-on-man twice today. You could tell it was the first day in pads as several of the defensive guys looked down when the whistle blew and they charged toward their man. That doesn't happen with the Silers, Everetts, or Cohens, but several of the younger guys will have to work on technique.

Javier Estopinian got the best of Carlton Medder twice. Medder appears to take plays off- both physically and mentally. It's almost as if he is going through the motions and the intensity level is hovering around zero. He looked better overall when the team scrimmaged.

Freshman Carl Johnson was eatin' up by McMillan on one play. Johnson came in way too high. McMillan hit him low and drove him like an ice chest across a tile floor. Johnson has some girth, but can be moved. Johnson returned later to get the best of Brandon Daniel.

Jim Tartt did a nice job against Lutrell Alford. I may have missed him accidentally, but I didn't see Tartt in when the team went to goal line drill.

Jason Watkins demonstrated some aggressiveness in the drills. He did a nice job against Daryl Gresham, who had popped him pretty good with the first lick. As the two got after each other, Watkins more or less took control. It wasn't total control, but he was much better as he let out a yell in anger. Watkins later got the best of Estopinian.

Joe Cohen blew by Simon Codrington on one play. Cohen played physical football today.

As solid as Markus Manson was running the football- he had a terrible day blocking. His technique was just terrible. It wasn't just any one thing either. I noted on different attempts that he failed to lock out on a would-be tackler, came in too high and was driven backwards, and didn't drive his legs.

Signees Jarred Fayson and Trent Pupello, both from Tampa, watched the team practice today.

Fightin Gators Top Stories