Meyer: Two More Likely Gone

Practices seem to be going fairly well for the University of Florida, but this week has been a tough one in terms of the roster on a very talented team. Head Coach Urban Meyer announced Tuesday that reserve offensive linemen Byran Jones and Jim Barrie are likely done as members of the Gator football squad. This follows the news last week of reserve receiver Paul Wilson suffering the same fate.

According to Meyer, Byran Jones is no longer with the team and the sophomore offensive guard from Jacksonville is seeking another school to play football.

"He isn't with us right now and for a variety of reasons," Meyer said about Jones on Tuesday when addressing the media after practice. "We wish him the very best....he is no longer with the team."

Meyer is reluctant to just let anyone transfer off the team that wants to, even those that aren't seeing a lot of playing time.

"It depends on why," he said. "If their uncle is telling them they need more playing time and they are a good kid, then no. If they can't make it academically and it is in the best interest of them to go to a smaller school, or because they will never really play, then we wish them the best and move on."

Meyer also had bad news regarding junior offensive lineman Jim Barrie. Barrie was on the mend from an ACL tear from a year ago but was expected to provide depth this season. According to Meyer it seems the recovery is not happening as expected.

"Jim Barrie had a devastating knee injury and he tried to come back, but it doesn't look like he will play again," Meyer said not totally ruling out the chance Barrie returns. "He might be a medical (hardship) and that is going to be done here in the next four days. There is a chance he might be a student assistant. He's an excellent student and wants to be a lawyer. He's a great kid and has a year and a half or two years left. That was a tough surgery last year, it was not a normal ACL injury."

Meyer watched his team practice on Tuesday and it was the hottest day yet for his veteran group. He wouldn't have it any other way as he knows the toll it is taking will make his group better in the end.

"They turned up the heat on us today," Meyer said. "It was a tough one (for me) and I didn't even do anything. Hopefully we are near the top of the hill. Execution wise, this was a tough day. We are at the point where guys are banged up and there isn't a lot of rah, rah. They are feeling really bad. It is our opinion that we have to feel lousy before we feel really good. We are getting to the point where everyone is feeling lousy. That is a positive, that's good."

The Gators brought in a very talented freshmen class of 16 players and the word so far has been very good on the group. However, a tradition that Meyer has impressed upon all of his freshmen classes has been that they have a black stripe removed from their helmets when they have deserved the right to become true Gators. So far, only three have had the stripes removed and Meyer was expecting more.

"No new de-stripings, we have to get the freshmen going," Meyer said. "I thought we would have a few more by now... I am a little disappointed."

"I get excited about them and say that this guy is going to play as a freshman, but then they don't have a chance."

"Josh Evans is one I was hoping would be de-striped. He has talent, but he has that freshman far away look and we need to rally him up."

Meyer was kidding when asked if someone might get a stripe put back on, but he evidently has seen running back Mike Gillislee not live up to his Gator status since having his striped removed.

"I told Gillislee he might wake up with one back up on his helmet," Meyer said. "It's like getting coal at Christmas."

Meyer rattled off the rest of the injury situation.

"Injury wise Debose still has a hamstring and some tendinitis in there as well," he said. "...Hamstrings are bad deals, it could linger. James Wilson has a sprained foot and should be back soon, but he needs to practice. Trattou is back. Major Wright had non-contact,full practice with no hitting. Maurkice Pouncey will be game week I think...The other guy that got a little dinged is Duke Lemmens."

Two guys Meyer is hoping to have back maybe as early as next week have been suffering back problems. Freshman cornerback Jeremy Brown has been injured since last fall and can't go every day. Senior receiver Carl Moore is also on the mend, but Meyer thinks both may be back shortly.

"Carl Moore and Jeremy Brown had little procedures done to their backs so it will be a few days," Meyer said. "They aren't out for the season, I don't even know what it is. It just means they are completely out of business for a couple of days, but they should come back rather quickly (after that).

The offensive line has had it's share of injuries but when healthy seems like a really strong group. Meyer was asked if he thought the starting unit would consist of Matt Patchan at left tackle, Carl Johnson at left guard, Maurkice Pouncey at center, Mike Pouncey at right guard, and Marcus Gilbert at right tackle. The last four seemed destined to start, but it is Patchan that is the question of that group.

"That is a real possibility," Meyer said of that particular lineup. "We aren't ready to announce that but I think that is the way we may go...Matt Patchan was running with the first team and had a fairly good day."

Patchan needs to fill out more on his tall frame, but he is a 'supreme athlete' according to Meyer.

"Intensity, athleticism, and he just loves to play football," Meyer said of Patchan. "That is why he was able to play as a true freshman at 245 pounds on defense. He is a premium athlete as far as tackles go. He's a 4.8-40 guy and he is 280 pounds. The negative is he isn't 290-300pounds. It is hard to sit down on those (defensive linemen) unless you are 300 pounds plus.

Meyer again praised the work of outside linebacker A.J. Jones. The Tampa product is coming into his own as a junior. He also had praise for a player that was thinking about transferring last season.

"A.J. Jones is probably the most improved and surprising guy," Meyer said. "I would say Wondy Pierre-Louis would fall in that category where he was kind of written off a little bit. Now remember those guys didn't play a lot last year, they were part of the bad defense and not the good defense."

Right now Pierre-Louis is part of a cornerback group that backs up two All-Americans, yet Meyer has faith in the group heading into the middle of fall camp.

"Markihe (Anderson), Wondy, and (Adrian) Bushell are the next group and they are practicing at a high level," Meyer said.

There are lots of rumors and speculation that Brandon Spikes has been missing practice time. The starter at middle linebacker and team captain on defense has done well so far this fall.

"Brandon Spikes is doing great," Meyer said.

Meyer also likes some of the depth he has along the defensive line. One sophomore in particular should provide more pass rush this year with a little more weight to back him up.

"William Green is right in the mix at the defensive end spot," Meyer said. "He is 246 pounds, looks tremendous, and plays hard."

Finally, Meyer gave an excused absence from practice to one senior on the team. Senior kicker Jonathan Phillips will spend the day over at the UF Law School.

"He was excused from practice today to go to law school orientation," Meyer said. "He came to me and kind of broke down. He told me when he first got here if he could miss practice it was a great opportunity because he hated practice. He was tearing up last night because he was going to miss it."

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