Another Look at the New Kids on the Block

Well the Florida Gators' 5:00 a.m. practice Monday morning turned out to be based on the Central time zone, but we still got our second look at Florida's newbies out on the practice field.

Nothing changed dramatically in the second workout of the fall, with the exception of the temperature being about 25 degrees cooler. We did get a chance to watch some other guys a little bit more closely.

John Jones ----- The first year linebacker looks good in a Gator uniform and is starting out in the WLB position. Jones has the frame to carry more than his 205-pounds and will need to fill out before he can take on the kind of players he'll be facing in the SEC.

Steve Wilks ----- Early on it appears Wilks ranks fourth among the young linebackers and that makes sense. He is making the move from safety, and like Jones, needs time to fill out physically. He seems to be thinking his way through each play, but that's not unusual for a true freshman in his first couple of practices.

John Brown ----- It took a long time for the Lakeland defensive tackle to get the okay to join the Gators, and it will take him a while to catch up. Brown looks in decent shape and certainly comes off the ball extremely well. He has a chance to get in the mix at defensive tackle, but if I were a betting man, I'd bet on a redshirt season, assuming Brown is cleared officially. It'll be hard to him to catch up to Torrey Davis let along make up even more ground on veterans Terron Sanders, Lawrence Marsh, Clint McMillan, Brandon Antwine et al.

Moses Jenkins ----- He's quite long for the corner spot at 6-2 or so and that makes it difficult to see how well he might progress. Jenkins seems to have a pretty good understanding about playing the position, but I haven't seen great change of direction in the first two days. Chances are he'll sit out this fall as well.

Jay Howard ----- He was one of Florida's first commitments last year, but he later wavered before re-confirming his plans to attend UF. Howard may be the leanest of the defensive ends and that might make it likely he redshirts, but I'm not ranking the ends until they put on the pads. He looks good coming off the ball and his excellent basketball career in high school attests to his athleticism.

John Brantley ----- He has the look and skills of a traditional pocket passer, but in two days Brantley has shown he is a good enough athlete to run this offense. No, he'll never be the running threat that Tim Tebow is, but he'll never be as uncomfortable running the ball as Chris Leak was. Considering the Gators went 13-1 with Leak at the helm, there's no reason to dismiss Brantley as a candidate to eventually lead this unit. We haven't seen enough of him throwing the ball because there was only one true receiver (Deonte Thompson) out there for the first two days.

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