FALL CAMP: Waggener Still Adjusting

Day by day, Bryan Waggener is beginning to shake the rust off. The 6-6, 232-pound junior college transfer arrived in January but has faced strong competition from fellow 2007 signees Cameron Newton and John Brantley. He drew his share of criticism from head coach Urban Meyer following his practice on Monday.

"[Waggener] is way behind," Meyer said. "He's a typical junior college guy, but from a quality program like Citrus we thought he would be much further advanced. But he took a hit on I think the first day."

A lot of Bryan Waggener's struggles can be attributed to a foot injury that he suffered at the beginning of spring practice and excluded him from valuable practice time.

"I came in to compete with Tim for the starting job and that was my goal from day one and breaking the foot just kind of slowed me down," Waggener said.

He's benefitted a lot from Cameron Newton's absence in fall practice to date due to academic issues.

"I want Cam out here and I like Cam," Waggener said. "He's a good guy. It's hurting him but I like getting the reps. I feel like I've needed them with the broken foot and missing all of spring, so it's nice to get all the reps right now."

Waggener took all backup snaps on the first two days, but has since been joined by Brantley when the freshmen merged practice with the veterans.

But by Tuesday, Waggener displayed a better grasp of the drills he was involved in. The team practiced for the first time in full pads, but Waggener dismissed it from being a significant change. But he's definitely noticed the difference in resources that are available at UF as opposed to a junior college.

"It's not really that different, just getting used to throwing with shoulder pads and moving around with them. But we've got the best equipment in the world though," Waggener said.

Waggener has had little difficulty establishing a rapport with the Gators' myriad of offensive weapons. He has improved in his performance in the pass skel drill, hitting receivers on both mid-range and deep routes.

"I feel comfortable throwing to everyone," Waggener said. "We get so many reps with all the receivers. It's not like we're throwing to the same receivers all the time. We need to have a feel for everybody because you never know who's going to be in the game."

When asked what he was most surprised by in the first days of fall practice, Waggener was quick to answer.

"Heat and humidity, Waggener said. "I'm from California, but it's not that humid there. So it's just been killing me out here. But I'm working on getting in better shape."

Waggener sat out most of Wednesday's practice because of the heat.

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