Almost Here

Just one more practice to go before the Florida Gators wrap up fall camp and begin preparations for the season opener against Western Kentucky. Friday's workout was interrupted by the elements, but Urban Meyer was happy with his team's work ethic after a long day.

"I like the fact that they came out and worked today," Urban Meyer said. "To get delayed a half hour for lightening and come out and refocus and get the job done, that was a long day today. We got a lot of work done. I don't know if we got it all completed. I'm still worried about a couple positions."

Most of the concerns are on the defensive side, and although Meyer said he would not announce a backup quarterback until tomorrow, he did say that it was clear who it was. The rest of the offense is ready for next week.

"[Tim] Tebow's been consistent," Meyer said. "Another position that's been consistent has been tailback. I can't believe that I'm saying that, but our tailbacks have been real consistent and that's ball security and pass protection. Everything else is recruiting, but if you can teach them to protect the quarterback and protect the ball, you're doing a good job."

The receivers have benefited from the senior leadership of Andre Caldwell.

"The leadership, the work ethic, the non-stop, he's grinding," Meyer said. "I love Bubba, and I love that family. I always have. I've never seen him grind like this. Some guys have a great senior season, and others don't. We're going to set him up. He's going to have a great senior season."

Caldwell has the rest of the receiving corps following his every move.

"Percy Harvin goes wherever he goes," Meyer said. "Jarred Fayson, Riley Cooper, that whole group is responding. It's our most consistent group."

"I've seen a side of Andre Caldwell that to be honest with you I didn't know existed. He's a next level guy right now."

The Gators hold their final fall camp workout on Saturday morning before getting the day off on Sunday. Saturday afternoon, the team will host its third annual former player barbecue. Each year since Meyer's arrival, the number of former players that attend the new tradition increases, and the current players respond to it.

"That and the captain's breakfast when those guys come back and talk," Meyer said. "We've had some great speakers, and there's no doubt that those guys appreciate them. When we build this facility it's going to be dedicated to No. 1 recruiting and No. 2 the history of Florida football. All of those greats are going to be rewarded."

Saturday's practice will be a lighter workout compared to the last several days of practice, and tomorrow's events clearly mark the official end to fall camp.

"It's here," Meyer said. "It's officially here, game-week, Florida-style. I can't wait."

Meyer can sense that the players are getting anxious for next week's opener.

"I think they are sick and tired of practice," Meyer said. "I get that feeling, and that's typical. First thing they want to do is find out if they're wearing pads or not. That all changes next week because then we're in a routine. I haven't seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet because we still have to get through tomorrow."


  • In addition to Caldwell, three other veterans have stuck out as leaders during fall camp. Said Meyer, "Drew Miller has done a great job. On defense Derrick Harvey has done a great job and Tony Joiner."
  • The Gators best tackle is Phil Trautwein and he was moved from left tackle to right tackle to help protect Tebow's blindside. But, Trautwein moved back to his regular left tackle spot earlier this week. Said Meyer, "The blind side, that's overrated. It's true that sometimes he [Tebow] can't see what's happening, but a lot of times we're looking that way and that's the front side of the protection. I'm not that worried about it. He [Trautwein] was more comfortable on that side.
  • Meyer will announce the 2007 captains on Saturday.

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