Gators End Camp with Successful Scrimmage

The Florida Gators wrapped up their final practice of fall camp with a successful scrimmage. With two weeks until the season opener, it was the last opportunity for the non-starters to impress the coaching staff since many of the veterans were sidelined.

Most notably, Urban Meyer held out both Tim Tebow and Brandon Spikes. Meyer said holding Tebow out was more to give John Brantley more reps rather than risking Tebow's sore back.

"Tim Tebow has not missed practice," Meyer said. "He's been held out of live situations against the defense, mainly to give Johnny Brantley reps. His lower back was a little sore. It's not a disc issue and he'll be full speed on Monday. He's fine, 100 percent. We've also held Spikes out a little bit, but that's what you do this time of year."

Meyer said the Gators are 100 percent healthy heading into next week's game-week routine.

"We're a good team coming out of camp," Meyer said. "Our players are pretty excited to get to the real practice field, probably more excited then I am. And we'll get to work on Monday."

Some of today's focus was getting the younger guys comfortable with the routine of a game.

"A lot of game mechanics – running on and off the field," Meyer said. "It was a hot day. I want to see guys fight. There's a nice little battle between Jaye Howard and Terron Sanders for the three-technique spot. A.J. Jones hasn't had a good camp, he's had a great camp."

Jones leads a talented group at strong side linebacker.

"At SAM, Lorenzo is doing pretty good, A.J. Jones and Hicks will be coming back next week, so there's a little bit of flexibility with that."

There's not as much flexibility with a banged up middle linebacker unit. Meyer said Ryan Stamper would likely be Spikes' backup.

"Jelani [Jenkins] has been a little slowed with a hip flexor," Meyer said. "Beal has been doing a good job and Bostic has a little bit of a sore neck. He's been kind of piecemealing that. We'll have that finalized next week."

Depth is not an issue at safety with Meyer labeling all four contenders starters.

"Will Hill is a starter," Meyer said. "It depends on the formation. There's going to be a nice rotation back there. Will he beat out Ahmad, Major or Dorian, there all starters."

With depth and experience throughout the defense, Meyer said it will allow defensive coordinator Charlie Strong to run more complicated schemes.

"We have a lot of complexity on defense," Meyer said. "We have really good coaches out there. The defense had the better half of this two-a-day camp. More looks, more personnel groupings. College football is completely different from when I first started coaching. The athletes are a lot better than they were, and the video technology."

Brandon James was another veteran that was held back during today's scrimmage. For really the first time since his arrival, Meyer has depth behind James in the kick return game that should allow James to see more time on offense.

"Rainey, Demps, Joe Haden, so we have some guys," Meyer said. "You remember our first year, we really struggled back there. Last year, Brandon James had really earned some time on offense, but when you think about the team concept, return game. Now we can use him more on offense because we've got some more depth back there."


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