Safety Biggest Concern for Meyer

HOOVER, Ala. -- The blaring question surrounding the Florida Gators heading into the season is the trouble at safety and no time was wasted during Urban Meyer's session at Wednesday's SEC Media Days about the topic. It was just one of many things the head Gator addressed in Alabama.

In addition to moving Ahmad Black from corner to safety, Florida will also move walk-on and son of former safeties coach Doc Holliday to safety. But incoming freshman Will Hill will be counted on most.

"Will Hill was one of the very highly recruited guys out of high school," Urban Meyer said. "He's on campus. I look forward to watching him play. I hear good things from our strength staff about what kind of work ethic he has."

Meyer said he is confident in Major Wright at safety, so it will mostly be Hill and Black battling for the other spot. He did hint at another player possibly entering the discussion.

"We already met with a player, I don't want to release it yet, but we'll probably bump another good freshman player over from offense to defense and let him compete for one of those spots as well," Meyer said.

On a more positive note, the Gators are loaded with talent and depth on the offensive side of the ball, including at tailback for really the first time in the Meyer era. Meyer is hoping it's a running back that leads the team in rushing instead of Tim Tebow.

"I hope that happens," Meyer said. "I think Kestahn Moore this is the best we felt at running back. This is our fourth season and it's not even comparable, as far as work ethic, attitude and work level at our tailback position. But also included in that group is Percy Harvin because he is a tailback. When he lines up back there, he is a tailback."

Florida's offensive talent obviously goes beyond just its quarterback and tailbacks. The Gators have a myriad of wide receivers to go to as well as two tight ends in Aaron Hernandez and Cornelius Ingram.

"We have a luxury this year," Meyer said. "We have two very good tight ends, two guys that are going to be playing football for a living if they stay healthy. So you'll see two tight ends in the game at the same time quite often because they're both dynamic receivers. That's probably an element we have not done a lot of just because of personnel."

With so much at the talent positions, Meyer feels the offensive line might be the most overlooked unit on this year's squad. The Gators return tackle Phil Trautwein from injury, Jim Tartt and the Pouncey Twins.

"We could probably put seven guys out there that we feel very comfortable with," Meyer said. "I remember at times at Florida, we had a hard time marching three or four of them, major league guys that could potentially play in the National Football League. We have three seniors - Watkins, Tartt and Phil Trautwein. Not only are they very good players, but all are on course to graduate. One of them already graduated. All very good leaders, all extremely hard workers. Then you mix Pounceys and you have a good group. Behind them you have Gilbert, Maurice Hurt and a couple other guys. That's without question the most under publicized group."


Much has been talked about the speed with which Jeff Demps brings to the Gators. Demps just fell short of representing the U.S. track team in Beijing, and now he's found out he's not even the fastest player on the Gators. Yesterday, he and Chris Rainey raced and the sophomore tailback Rainey had the upper hand. … Percy Harvin is between 80-90 percent healed from heel surgery he underwent in the spring. Meyer said he's been working out, is bench pressing more than 400 pounds and weighs more than 200. … Meyer said that the reason why he is against an early signing period is because it doesn't give enough time to evaluate a player, and when you're job is on the line, he wants all the time he can in evaluation.

Questions or comments? Contact's Chris Chmielenski

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