Morning Sessions Opens 2009 Camp

The Gator Football team opened fall camp with what had to be a record crowd on hand for a session that got underway shortly before 6:00 Thursday morning. There had to be somewhere around 300 fans at one point watching the Florida veterans go through their paces in shorts and jerseys.

There's not a lot you can tell from the first practice in any situation, but we can offer up a few observations on some of the players out there.

Jaye Howard ---- Was impressive to look at and moved extremely well. If there's one veteran non-starter who I think has the best chance to become a starter this year it just might be this powerful defensive tackle. Howard had a good spring and seems primed to make a move on starters Lawrence Marsh and Terron Sanders.

William Green ---- This guy was painfully thin a year ago and even during spring ball but looks to have matured quite a bit physically since last we saw him. Green has a chance to make plays for this defense because no one comes off the corner quicker than he does.

Aaron Hernandez ---- This guy is going to have a huge year. He's ideal for this offense because of his combination of blocking and receiving ability. The only times they threw downfield in pass-skel it was to the big junior and he was open both times.

Jeremy Brown ---- It wasn't a good sign that this tremendously talented but injury plagued corner was held out of the first practice. Brown struggled with back problems throughout the fall and spring before finally getting cleared for a couple of practices late in spring ball. For him to have to sit out this one is certainly not encouraging.

John Brantley ---- The heir apparent to the QB job in 2010 had a tough first day throwing behind some receivers and overthrowing others. It doesn't really mean anything, but QB Coach Scott Loeffler almost sent his visor flying after one play. When have we seen that before?

Riley Cooper ---- After spending the summer playing baseball Cooper was back in a football uniform Thursday morning. He appears to be in excellent shape for a baseball player but is bound to go through some transition issues while trying to get into "football shape". After practice the senior receiver was all smiles and seems quite content with his decision to play his senior season in Orange and Blue.

Fans ---- Perhaps the most noteworthy thing was the incredible turnout of fans for one of the two days of public practices this fall. As I wrote above there had to be at least 300 people there and 100 of them were lined up to try and get Tim Tebow's autograph when the workout ended. A year ago there might have been 15-20 people for the first practice early in the morning. I got to the practice field at 5:45 and the bleachers were already full. Remarkable.

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