Depth Finally There

In the last several years, depth has been an issue for the Gators. They've lacked bodies at nearly every position, but finally Urban Meyer is comfortable with the team's situation.

"It's not even close," Urban Meyer said. "With what we've had, we never would have been able to get through it. This is the deepest we've been."

The Gators have faced injuries at just about every position this fall, but the numbers have been there to still get what's been needed to accomplish in practice.

"This is the one time that I can remember having all these nagging injuries," he said. "We can let Jim Tartt take a bunch of shots in that shoulder after he's had three surgeries, but it's probably not real smart. You want everyone to go full till, but on the other hand you have to be cautious."

Freshmen defensive tackles Omar Hunter and Matt Patchan continue to recover from those nagging injuries. Both are doing more and more in practice each day, but still not taking part in full contact drills. Offensive tackle Phil Trautwein is also back in full swing after missing a few days with a sore shoulder. And Percy Harvin did some light conditioning work as he still fights to get back into practice after having foot surgery in the spring.

"A lot of it was change of direction stuff, so we're getting close," Meyer said.

The injuries over the past two weeks have been a concern, but Meyer doesn't expect the trend to continue once game week arrives next week.

"The game week is much different than training camp," he said. "In camp we pound and pound and pound. Game week is Tuesday/Wednesday padded practice. Monday and Thursday is just to shine it up."

Fay's on her way

A hurricane in the forecast for Gainesville on Wednesday doesn't help during the last week of training camp, but Meyer said there's a backup plan should Wednesday become a washout.

"I worry about that weather," he said. "We can't have wasted time. We have to have everything planned so that if anything happens we don't lose a practice. Wednesday is supposed to be the double, we just want to finish the week the right way."

Meyer did say that they are one practice ahead of schedule so he has the wiggle room to cancel a session should the weather force them to do so. But before the weather deteriorates tomorrow, the Gators plan to get in another scrimmage.

"Tomorrow we're going to have a Hawaii scrimmage," he said. "It'll be ones versus twos with the twos running the Hawaii offense, defense and kicking game."

Black leading the way

Ahmad Black is the leading candidate to start beside Major Wright at safety when the season kickoff does arrive on August 30.

"The Dorian Munroe injury set us back a little bit, but Ahmad's doing well," Meyer said. "He graded out as a champion during our first scrimmage. He's football player. He wishes he was bigger and stronger, but he'll be at the play."

Meyer said he's ahead of both Will Hill and Justin Williams.

"[Major] and Ahmad have been close," Meyer said. "They've been here a while."

Notes

  • Meyer said he can't be sure until the middle of the season, but it looks like the team has developed some team chemistry. Said Meyer, "I like that they've been cooped up in the hotel and I don't hear them. So either their really quiet and complaining to each other or there's some chemistry, which was lacking last year. But I don't think that will be a problem this year. I really like my football team."

  • A few more newcomers have lost their black stripes – Carl Moore and David Young.

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


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