Moody Adjusting to Florida

The Florida Gator backfield has quite possibly the most potential this spring than in any of Urban Meyer's previous three springs in Gainesville. Part of that is because of Southern Cal transfer Emmanuel Moody.

Emmanuel Moody provides the Gator backfield a smart, explosive runner who also has the size and strength to protect the quarterback in the backfield. Combine Moody with the return of senior Kestahn Moore, redshirt sophomore Mon Williams, junior Brandon James and sophomore Chris Rainey, and the Gators have depth, but more importantly, competition in the backfield.

With the competition for playing time, Moody hopes he can stand out and get on the field in the fall.

"[Coach Meyer] told me that I would have a chance to come in and compete," Moody said. "He told me that I would have a really good chance. At any school you look at you have to compete and you can't really say you're the man when you just get there and haven't proven anything. The time at SC is done with and I have to prove that I can do it over here."

At 5-11, 206-pounds, Moody has a lot of things to adjust to now that he's at Florida. Although he was here in the fall, he didn't get to do much in practice since he had to sit out the season.

"In the fall I was just kind of observing," he said. "They were getting ready for games so I couldn't take very many reps. This spring there are going to be opportunities for me to help out for the '08 season."

Two things that stand out right away for Moody are the shotgun offense and the speed of the SEC. Moody said there's a lot more speed here than there was at Southern Cal, and he is used to a more traditional offense, so adjusting to the spread has been a bit of a challenge.

"It's just different than from taking the ball right under center and having the quarterback next to you the whole entire time," Moody said. "You got switch your arms, what arm you put up first and the steps are different. I'm just really trying to get used to that."

Moody pointed to a couple other differences from out West. First, UF's typical practice runs about three hours where at USC it typically went for about two hours. The other big difference has to do with the coaching style of Urban Meyer. It's a completely different style than Pete Carroll, but it's also one of the reasons why he transferred to Florida.

"Urban is a lot more in your face," Moody said. "He's going to tell you how it is and if you don't like it, he's still going to tell you. Coach Carroll, he'll tell you how it is, but not so much. I like it more because you know how you stand at all times. You know what the honest truth is."

He also likes the family atmosphere that Meyer has become so associated with.

"I love the fact that coach Meyer has really installed that family feeling and that we need to have a team relationship," Moody said. "It's to really play for one another and get rid of all the selfish attitudes. If you get put on special teams than you should be on special teams and fight for it. He's really taken out that selfish aspect of the game and makes it more of a team game. I really like the players and they're really buying into the system that coach Meyer is feeding out. Coach Meyer, I really have a lot of respect for him."

As for on the football field, Moody said he is really starting to get accustomed to the Florida offense.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "I'm really getting this offense now and really starting to get comfortable. I'm really starting to play fast."

And having to sit out last season has motivated him for the fall.

"I do feel like that whatever I put my mind to I will be able to do it," Moody said. "Last year, I was looking at it from an audience point of view. I could see how much I missed the game. Really just missing a year gave me that hunger and passion."

Questions or comments? Contact FightinGators.com's Chris Chmielenski


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