Throwing 'Em in the Mix

Urban Meyer decided to do things a little different this year. Instead of keeping the freshmen separate from the veterans, he mixed them together on just the second day of fall camp.

Heading into the 2008 season, the Gators are deep at nearly every position, but a lot of the depth is because of the freshmen. Plus, six of them took part in spring practice and will likely contribute this fall.

"We wanted to integrate them faster this year," Urban Meyer said. "It was a staff decision, so we brought them in seven periods early, taught them how to practice and some drills and then had them jump right in."

One freshman is still not taking part in fall camp. Adrian Bushell is still awaiting clearance from the NCAA Clearinghouse, but Meyer said it shouldn't be too much longer.

"We should have it cleared up in a couple of days," Meyer said.

Bushell is a 5-10, 183-pound cornerback from DeSoto (Texas) High School.

Cautious Outlook

Several Gators are coming off injuries or offseason surgeries, and Meyer is being very cautious not to rush anyone back. Percy Harvin is probably the biggest impact player and ran yesterday as he's still rehabbing from heel surgery in the spring. Harvin did just some light running today.

"We're being real cautious," Meyer said. "I've just seen guys where if one part of your body hurts, other parts start to hurt. We just have to be real careful. He was a little sore today."

Senior left guard Jim Tartt has dealt with a sore shoulder throughout his Gator career, and even though he's back to 100 percent, Meyer is being cautious with him as well. Tartt did not take part in the Gators' two-minute drill at the end of practice.

"Tartt's doing good," Meyer said. "We're just being cautious again. He's a fifth year guy. We're just trying to keep him in shape. His attitude is tremendous. We got to get him, Carl Johnson (broken wrist) and Maurice Hurt (scooter accident) going. Those are the three linemen that are hurt."

NOTES

  • Will Hill drew the most attention after today's workout, but he hasn't impressed Meyer yet. Said Meyer, "[He's done] nothing yet. He's a great athlete, but he's still trying to learn. He's a very intelligent player, but it's so early. I think he'll be a great player."

  • Cornerback Jeremy Brown was one of the early enrollees, and Meyer thinks he'll play in the fall. Said Meyer, "He's a real great kid. He's a real smart kid and one of the hardest workers. He's earned a lot of respect from our team. He'll be one of the guys playing as a freshman."

  • Brown is up to 178 pounds, and Meyer said it's a testament to what the do at Florida. Said Meyer, "It's amazing. A.J. Jones has put on 45 pounds since he's been here. A lot of these kids get out of their high school habits and they come to a place like this with training tables and good meals. Chris Rainey is pushing 180 now."

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


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