SPRING: A few minutes with Nyan Boateng

Nyan Boateng has been raising a few eyebrows this spring. He's become a big target for both Leak and Tebow, and consistently seems to run tight routes and create space between him and the defender. In Saturday's scrimmage, Nyan added to his spring touchdown total with a 20-yard reverse that caught the defense by surprise. Nyan feels great about Florida's group of receivers this year.

JR: You seem to be fitting in real well out there...

NB: Yeah, it was a tough day for me. I could have made a few plays that I didn't, and I ended up making a few...so it's up and down. But things have been real good lately. I try.

JR: Your play looks very consistent out there...do you feel more comfortable this spring?

NB: I feel real comfortable out there. It's all about confidence. The off-season helped me out a ton, as far as the off-season work-outs. I'm just trying to carry it out onto the football field.

JR: What do you think about this group of receivers?

NB: I think we have the best group of receivers in the country...from top to bottom. I think we're all talented in our own way, and I think we'll get it done this year. I think for the first time we'll be able to play together as a unit. We've got some depth too.

JR: Last year's group had some injury issues that limited the offense to certain types of play. You don't feel that the same situation might be possible again if there's a few injuries?

NB: Yeah, we're not worrying as much this year about injuries at receiver...not nearly as much as we were last year. When Bubba went down last year, we were like "WHOA!". We didn't know who we were going to be able to throw in. But I think this year we've got some experience, and I think some guys can come in and get the job done in that situation.

JR: What do you think about the offense in general? Do you think that Mullen is sticking strictly to the short-yardage stuff because it's still early in spring practice? Or is what we're seeing out here representative of the offense this fall?

NB: I think that right now that's what our offense is based on. I think that with the athletes that we've got, though, I think we'll be going down field more than last year. We've got a lot of speed. We gotta stretch out the defense.

JR: Is that just simply not integrated into the offense yet, or is it more of a case where you're just practicing the shorter stuff rather than the deep ball?

NB: It's there...it's there. We just haven't been practicing it yet as much. Yesterday me and Bubba got behind the defense quit a bit on some longer plays. It's there, just for some reason right now the coaches aren't running it a lot. The coaches are running more of a quick game right now. We're working on the quick game. I think that's what they're trying to accomplish this spring. I think by the summer and the two-a-days, they'll put it all together.

Nyan and Jemalle Cornelius have both improved their short yardage game over the off-season. Both should open up Florida's offense nicely this spring with Dallas Baker and Bubba Caldwell stretching defenses with the deep threat. Nyan is playing like he's a third or fourth year receiver and is consistently reeling in the 10-15 yard routes. He has a few kinks to work out that will come with more experience, such as blocking and finding gaps in the coverage, but look for Boateng to contribute to an already talented group of receivers this fall.


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