"It was very average," Meyer said. "It was the first day in pads, and it looked like a young team."
The older guys continue to look better as each day goes on, but that's what you would expect from the veterans.
"I'm pleased with the older guys, unfortunately on the [defensive] side of the ball there's not a whole bunch of them," Meyer said. "I think Dustin Doe and [Brandon] Spikes are going real hard. We're pleased with that, and obviously [Derrick] Harvey. We got a long way to go. Clint McMillan seems to be going pretty hard."
The most obvious question after day three was how did the new freshmen fare in their first workout with the older players, and the answer wasn't great. Meyer paused for quite a while before responding to a question about whether any freshmen stood out.
"No," he said. "Major [Wright] kind of excites you, but then he misses a tackle. [Chris] Rainey did good. We did a little drill before practice, and they threw it right in there. There's no place to run or hide in that thing, and he's not the biggest guy in the world. I thought Rainey had a good day."
Last season, Meyer managed with only two quarterbacks, but this year he has the benefit of three. Yesterday, he was high on John Brantley, and today was no different.
"John Brantley had another good day," Meyer said.
The same couldn't be said for starter Tim Tebow. At first impression, Meyer didn't think he had one of his better days.
"I don't know if he had a great day today," Meyer said. "I'll have to check the film. He's throwing the ball well. There's just a lot of stuff. He'll be fine."
But with three quarterbacks, and Cameron Newton expected to return to practice on Friday, Meyer said it is tough to get reps for all three guys.
"It's hard to get three guys enough reps to be game ready," Meyer said. "We're going to have to cut back and find out who the back up is here real soon."
On the defensive side, Meyer was impressed with freshman defensive end Justin Trattou.
"Justin Trattou is playing," Meyer said. "You can write that one down. He's earned that right."
Making the Move
Everyone knows the names like Andre Caldwell, Derrick Harvey, Tony Joiner and Cornelius Ingram. But what about the other members of the junior and senior classes? The Gators are loaded with young talent, but some of the veterans who haven't contributed a whole bunch are going to have to step up in the fall.
A few guys are making early names for themselves.
"Louis Murphy is doing a very good job," Meyer said. "Kestahn Moore didn't practice today because he had a class, but he's another guy who is off the charts right now and doing what we're asking him to do."
And a highly recruited redshirt freshman is also making a move in the right direction.
"Someone who is making a little bit of a move is Jamar Hornsby," Meyer said. "He's going through that player development between your first and second year."
Sub-par Day in the Trenches
The first day in pads brought the first day of contact between the offensive and defensive lines. The veteran offensive line is supposed to be one of the best units for the Gators, and the starting defensive line has some veteran experience as well with McMillan, Javier Estopinan and Harvey. But today, both lines showed some rust.
"If you walked away from this practice you wouldn't walk away saying those are two good offensive and defensive lines going after each other because it wasn't," Meyer said. "It was the first day in pads, and we have to coach them up. The heart and effort is there. We just have to coach them up."