Day 2 Practice Report

The defense made several plays on the ball in passing drills and seemed to have the upper hand today as the Gators continued toward their goal of another special season. Friday marked the largest practice crowd I can ever remember at the Sanders Practice Field as more than 500 people were standing room only to watch the last Gator practice open to the public before the season starts.

Let's talk offense first and what I saw out there.

First, Aaron Hernandez must do better as I fully expect him to be the leading receiver for these Gators this year. Hernandez dropped way too many balls for the Gators to be what they want to be in 2009. And this is without contact...not a good sign but most likely an aberration.

It looked to me like Andre Debose was starting to already get time with the first and second units. I am telling you, this kid is special. Forget Percy, this is the next Debose and will be different on the field. He has springs in his feet instead of the constant churning like Percy had, I just love the way he darts through everything. He did have a drop today when he thought Major Wright was going to rearrange his head gear, but that is a rookie thing and he will get over that.

Frankie Hammond was the talk of the spring among redshirt freshmen, but the two other redshirts have stood out to me so far. Omarius Hines looked really strong on Friday after a pretty good on Thursday. I have heard that Hines is slow to pick things up, but it looks like maybe the light has come on after recovering from his injury he had during the spring.

T.J. Lawrence looks much quicker than he was a year ago. I like the way he is playing with quickness and authority out there.

There wasn't much to notice again with the running backs except Chris Rainey did drop the ball in 7-on-7 with what should have been an easy catch and run.

The offensive line is experiencing all kinds of stuff right now

On the first unit, it appears the right side is set with RT Marcus Gilbert and RG Mike Pouncey. Maurkice Pouncey will be the starter at center but missed a lot of action again today while he still recovers from shoulder surgery. In his place when Pouncey couldn't go was freshman Sam Robey.

The left side of the line was a little more variant on the day. Most of the time the starting LG was James Wilson with the starting LT Carl Johnson. However, there were times when Johnson moved to LG and Matt Patchan moved to the first unit at LT.

The second unit was a lot more varied. Nick Alajajian seems to be a staple at right tackle while David Young and Maurice Hurt shared the right guard spot. Center was either Robey, Corey Hobbs, or Kyle Koehne. LG was Hobbs or most of the time Jonotthan Harrison. LT was Jim Barrie or Xavier Nixon

There are lots of ways this offensive line could end up by the first day. I don't see any true freshmen cracking the starting line up on day one, but I can see it during the course of the season. Urban Meyer called out Xavier Nixon today for being smart and mature. He has all the brawn and quickness to go with those two qualities as well. When the big man is singling you out this early, that means something.

Defense

Not much has changed on the defensive line. Carlos Dunlap, Lawrence Marsh, Terron Sanders, and Jermaine Cunningham will be the starters. I did notice Gary Brown getting some extra one on one attention from Dan McCarney and although he was correcting errors, the attention is nothing but a good thing at this stage.

McCarney did say that William Green is now up to 247 pounds...he looks like a really lean 247.

The starting linebackers are what I expect on opening day...here is the order they appeared on Friday

Middle – Brandon Spikes, Jon Bostic, Brendan Beal
Strong – Brandon Hicks, A.J. Jones, Lerentee McCray
Weak – Ryan Stamper, Lorenzo Edwards, Jelani Jenkins

The most flexible guys in the group are Bostic, Stamper, and Edwards and I believe those three can play any of the three positions.

I watched Brandon Hicks a little closer today and my worries from yesterday about favoring his shoulder have gone for now as he looked ready and able to do everything out there.

Joe Haden and Janoris Jenkins continue to stand out even though the quarterbacks know they should stay away from them. Both had INT's either in 7-on-7 or 1-on-1 today. Two other corners that have come on in my opinion are Moses Jenkins and Josh Evans.

Moses was singled out by Vance Bedford a number of times today and yesterday. He had an interception in 1-on-1 drills and almost two in the 7-on-7. Evans made three breaks ion the ball today and his quickness is phenomenal and made for the position. The fact he is 6-2 has to have Bedford giddy so far.

Wondy Pierre-Louis was also a standout in the group. This has got to be the best total group of corners at UF in 25 years.

Look for our highlight video coming later today so you can see for yourself what we saw.


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