Moody at Practice

On the day college football officially kicks off its 2007 season, the Gators wrapped up their final preparations for their season opener against Western Kentucky. And for the first time since making his decision earlier this week, the newest Gator Emmanuel Moody was on the practice field.

Emmanuel Moody has to sit out the season, but will be eligible next year. In the meantime, the USC transfer will get acquainted with the Gator offense after passing his physical.

"We don't want him to get beat up, but we also want him to learn the offense," Urban Meyer said after Thursday's practice.

Moody made some questionable comments during the transfer process, comments that revolved around his own personal motives rather than team-oriented goals. But Meyer said that wasn't a concern for him.

"We're glad to have him," Meyer said. "He's a high character person. He's a decent student. The good thing about it is that this is it. It's not like he can pick up and go somewhere else."

Meyer and the Gators did their research before enticing the Trojans second leading rusher from a year ago to Gainesville.

"We talked to his strength coach, trainers and assistant coaches at the school he was at," Meyer said. "We talked to other people who were recruiting him. We talked to his high school coach, and I made my own judgment when I met him."

Even though Meyer didn't get a chance to spend time with his family over the last week, he did learn about Moody when he was in high school.

"During recruiting we tried to get a little involved with him, but he committed to Texas and then to USC," Meyer said. "We don't normally do this and it has to be for a reason."

Time to prove their worth

Meyer is hoping some of the questions about the youthfulness of the Gator defense will be answered on Saturday.

"I'm really anxious to see some of these young cats play," he said. "Major Wright is the guy off the top of my head and those corners. We have some young talent, and I'm looking forward to seeing it."

Meyer warned the newcomers about their first experience running out of the tunnel into The Swamp, but said their reaction to the 90,000-plus could determine who plays.

"How we call the game is determined by how they look at you," Meyer said. "[Tim] Tebow is going to be fine, but that's one of the fun parts of coaching."

Meyer said he remembers the first time he ran out of the tunnel before the Gators' season opener against Wyoming in 2005, but said it took a few games before he realized the full atmosphere offered in The Swamp.

"As a coach you go right to the sideline and worry about what the first play called will be," he said. "There's so much going on. The first time I really noticed it was when we blocked a field goal against Tennessee. I said this is the loudest place I've ever heard."


  • There's been no update on the status of senior offensive tackle Phil Trautwein who has a stress fracture in his foot. He is definitely out for the first two games, but Meyer is uncertain after that.
  • Sophomore corner Markihe Anderson didn't practice again on Thursday, nursing a knee sprain. Anderson will not play against Western Kentucky, and there is an 80-85 percent chance that he'll play against Troy.

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