Spring Position Changes I'd Like to See

As I write this spring football practice is still three weeks away and the Gators have yet to finalize the coaching staff for the 2008 season.

So What?

It's time to start talking about and thinking about the upcoming football season and the important issues facing the Gators this spring. We'll look at each unit in depth as spring ball draws near, but for now let's look at some position changes worth experimenting with during spring ball. I'm not saying that any or all these switches should be permanent. But I do believe Florida should move some guys around, just a bit to try to put the best possible team on the field this fall.

Michael Pouncey to DT ----- I've written about this young man as much as any other first year player I can think of, but here we go again. There is no question that Florida's defensive front needs to improve significantly. There's also question that Pouncey gave that unit a lift when he switched sides late last season. There's also no question that the offensive line, with four returning starters is in much better shape than the defensive line in terms of proven performers. As I've said and written many times, finding a center is a lot easier than finding a defensive tackle. And defensive tackles are a lot more important.

Lawrence Marsh to DE ----- Marsh was a load at defensive end last spring but seemed frustrated and out of place when he was moved inside in the fall. Put him back where he's more comfortable and see what he can do.

Lorenzo Edwards to SLB ----- Edwards served a season of apprenticeship behind Brandon Spikes at MLB last fall, but he's too gifted physically to be a reserve. Florida was undersized at SLB last year and that was a factor in teams' ability to convert short yardage. A lot more size might be a good thing at this spot.

Riley Cooper to FS ----- Florida missed Reggie Nelson terribly last season and in my view Major Wright would be better suited for the strong safety position. Maybe Bryan Thomas or Jamar Hornsby can emerge to give the Gators some size and closing speed at that position. But until someone emerges, why not see what Cooper's physical skills and attitude might bring to the secondary?

Moses Jenkins to FS ----- In my never ending search for a difference maker at this position Florida's unusually tall (6-2) corner is a pretty good candidate. Jenkins will already have cover skills that are valuable plus he adds size and range as well. If he looks good back there, the Cooper experiment would not be needed or warranted.

James Wilson to C ----- I don't know if Florida has brought in a better looking young lineman than Wilson and based on that plus video I've seen he seems too talented to be a reserve. Since Maurkice Pouncey and Jim Tartt are set at guard let's see how well Wilson snaps the ball.

Kestahn Moore to FB ----- This would not be a fulltime change, but Moore is a physical guy and using him at the FB spot creates some opportunities to take advantage of his running and receiving skills from a position that Florida's opponents aren't used to have to defend.

I'm not sure how any of these experiments are likely to work, but isn't it worth a look? Let me know what you think, and any other changes you'd like to see tried.

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Larry Vettel

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