Scrimmage One Goes Down to the Wire

The Gators scrimmaged for the first time this spring and it was all about short yardage. There was a lot of hitting going on and a good time seemed to be had by almost everyone in attendance, especially those participating on the field. It was a barn burner finish as the offense won the scrimmage on the very last play. Freshman quarterback Trey Burton was the hero of the day for the offense.

It now does appear that the Gators are alternating the three middle linebackers on the depth chart and they did it by seniority on the first three days. On Wednesday, the first day of practice, Lorenzo Edwards was the starter in the middle. On Friday, redshirt sophomore Brendan Beal got the nod all day. Saturday, when the pads came on, Jon Bostic got the start and he didn't disappoint. I believe he and Janoris Jenkins were the best players on defense on the day.

The "Circle of Life" drill was the first thing on the day and the only one any of us could see due to the players surrounding the group was Gerald Christian getting the better of Neiron Ball and promptly promptly putting him on his back. The contact started a little later for the full team in a drill very similar to the "Circle of Life", where two guys square off at point blank range slamming into each other and trying to drive the other backward. James Wilson got the best drive of the drill planting Omar Hunter on his backside...Others that performed well in the last drill were Jon Bostic over Emmanuel Moody. Will Hill got the best of one receiver. Ahmad Black won his battle. Jonotthan Harrison won his.

Stephen Alli started in the 7 on 7 drill as Carl Moore sat out for some reason. Alli took advantage and caught a tough deep seam pass for a TD. Alli finished with three really nice plays in 7-on-7 and took advantage of his time with the starting unit. He is a kid with some freakish physical skills and if he can compete with the hitting in practice, he has a chance to be a special player at Florida. Jaylen Watkins had a nice break up during the drill. There was another good catch and run in traffic from Jordan Reed, his fourth in three days. Janoris Jenkins had two pass break ups during the drill.

Mike Gillislee and Trey Burton were stars of the short yardage scrimmage. Gillislee had a long run after breaking several tackles near line of scrimmage and scored twice inside the five and two bouncing off of tacklers, we should have all of that on film. He also had a nice bull dozer TD near the goal line.

Burton had a naked bootleg that fooled everyone watching including every camera person, then coasted in for the TD and got yelled at big time by Loeffler and Addazio for coasting. Then with everything on the line and offense needing a score Burton kept the ball from 4th and 5 at the 5 and got smacked at the three yard line. He kept his feet and as more defenders came he kept driving. There were about five of them trying to bring him down and he just wouldn't go down. Finally some offensive guys got behind and the pile moved forward and he landed one yard into the end zone. The offense won by one point.

Leading up to the final points, Strength Coach mickey Marotti really dressed up the winner / loser thing for the guys. The winner of the scrimmage was served Gatorade on tables with bright orange tablecloths brought onto the field. The losers (in this case the defense) had to drink water from the garden hose and do a ton of up-downs after the long 2.5 hour stuff.

Unfortunately for Florida, another injury occurred and this time to sophomore safety Josh Evans. Evans was participating in a drill very similar to the "Circle of Life", where two guys square off at point blank range slamming into each other and trying to drive the other backward. Evans barely got his foot planted on contact with the person he was facing and something gave (I believe his ankle). He basically had to be carried off the field on two trainers' arms and really couldn't put weight on his left ankle.

Kyle Koehne also sustained some kind of injury during the day and was in a sling for the end of practice. Sam Robey did come back after a day off and snapped the ball. Mo Hurt was third team center behind Michael Pouncey and Robey.

Besides Evans and Koehne, several other Gators missed action on Saturday. Offensive tackles Carl Johnson (shoulder) and Matt Patchan (knee) will miss the entire spring. Defensive tackles Lawrence Marsh (leg), Terron Sanders (unknown), and Brandon Antwine are still not participating as well. Defensive tackle Leon Orr did a little bit of the drills without contact with the offense. Chris Rainey (hamstring) and Andre Debose (hamstring) also sat out. Rainey should be back soon after a slight hamstring pull on Friday.

Future Gator checking out his teammates...

Tampa Catholic offensive lineman Chaz Green was at practice today watching his future teammates. He is a big boy and looks in great shape. He and his father made the trip.

Recruits Abound...

There were a number of big time prospects on hand at practice Saturday. Tight end / offensive lineman Jordan Prestwood of Plant City was here. Quarterback Phillip Ely, offensive lineman Tony Posada, and running back, linebacker James Wilder of Tampa Plant were around for their second full day. Adamsville (AL) cornerback Chris Jones was here. The nation's number one defensive tackle, Tim Jernigan was in attendance. Quarterback Jeff Driskell of Oveido Hagerty was also on the practice field Saturday.

I would say that Wilder, Prestwood, Jernigan and Driskell are all at the the top of the recruiting board right now. Not a bad group to have on campus on the first Saturday.

Home sweet home...

Percy Harvin was still here and he told me at Pro Day that he works out regularly in Gainesville. Gator great defensive end Willie Rodgers watched practice and was amazed by the team speed on defense and says it eclipses recent teams in terms of speed. Dorian Munroe, Maurkice Pouncey, and Aaron Hernandez from the 2009 team were also watching the festivities.

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