Meyer Back and Ready to go

After almost three months of uncertainty, the Florida Gators head coach Urban Meyer put much of the speculation to rest by being back on the field for the start of spring practice Wednesday. Even though many eyes were on Meyer to see if they could notice any changes he made to his coaching style, Meyer tried to put the attention back on his players.

Urban Meyer did not want to answer any questions that dealt with the details of his health issues, but continued to say he was feeling great.

He did not seem to be as loud or animated at practice but his presence was still felt, as he was involved in most aspects of practice.

One part of practice he was noticeably less involved in was special teams, which he has coached in past years. New linebacker coach D.J. Durkin coordinator the special teams Wednesday.

"I didn't know what to expect. I'm usually more involved in the kicking game and a little more involved in the offense, and I will be more involved," Meyer said. "I think springtime I'm usually like this, I let the guys coach and let everybody do their jobs to see what we've got."

Despite some changes in his practice routine, Meyer was just as excited to get back on the field and watch his and his staff's newest recruiting class.

"It's always nice to see the freshmen play. It's like a coach unwrapping a Christmas present to see what you got," Meyer said. "The guy that looked good to me is (Solomon) Patton, the little guy who runs real fast."

It wasn't just the freshmen that impressed Meyer.

Jordan Reed who is transitioning from quarterback to tight end stood out to the coach.

"Jordan Reed looked good today. Hopefully, he will be a CI-type player," Meyer said.

While there were those that impressed him, Meyer needs some others to step in order for the 2010 season not be a rebuilding year for the Gators.

Meyer was quick to name the players he is looking at on the defensive side of the ball.

"Bostic, Jelani Jenkins. Leadership: Will Hill and Ahmad Black and Janoris Jenkins and (Justin) Trattou and Duke (Lemmens)," he said.

As for the offense, all eyes were on John Brantley, whose reign as starting quarterback of the Gators officially began. Meyer said you can tell he has been waiting for this for a long time, and it is easier for him to take more of leadership role now that it is his team.

"It's hard to be a leader when the other guy is out here and is so overwhelming — Tim," Meyer said. "I saw some leadership from Johnny. I was hoping it would happen, and it happened today. It's hard to take charge of a huddle when the other guy's in charge. Now it's his huddle, and he took charge today."

Brantley will need someone to throw if he is going to have any chance of filling Tebow's shoes. With the Gators top to receiving options from last year gone, they will need someone to step up at the position. One player that is expected to have an increased role is Deonte Thompson.

"He has to be the man. He has to develop into being the X receiver. Him and Carl Moore have to be the main guys. We have some numbers, but it's time Deonte becomes like he's the No. 1 receiver in America."


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