Who Will Play in 2010?

The Florida Gators lost loads of talent from the 2009, No. 3 final ranked football team. Behind the veterans was a great deal of talent that really hadn't had a chance to show what they can do. Add to that a freshman class that was ranked No. 1 nationally by Scout.com and 11 of which enrolled early and participated this spring.

There are several new players that we saw that we believe contribute a lot.

The Gators have to replace key cogs at quarterback, receiver, tight end, offensive line, defensive end, middle linebacker, and cornerback. They also lost some depth at receiver and linebacker along the way. This spring there were players challenging to get on the field at all of these spots. And here are the newcomers that we believe will play a lot in 2010.

This is really just a list as we are about to bring you a detailed break down of every position post spring and heading into the fall. This list only includes players that showed something in spring practice.

We all know John Brantley will start at quarterback, but was there a backup that is capable of coming in and playing at a high enough level? Trey Burton seemed to show a lot of what the staff wanted to see out of him this spring. He grabbed the bull by the horns the entire spring and ran with it. I think most folks that watched him were impressed despite his lack of star status as a prospect.

Jordan Reed was a real shocker to me. I will list him here at quarterback because he certainly showed that he will play as an option quarterback if healthy in the fall. Reed has more athleticism than anyone including me gave him credit for. He's 6-4 and 240 and a monster at quarterback, but has really elite athleticism at tight end as well. Still the biggest surprise of the spring for myself.

If anyone doubted Mike Gillislee would see a lot more time in the fall, whoever watched more than one spring practice had any doubts squashed. He is an animal at tailback, will only get bigger in the offseason and does everything they need him to do in this offense. Right now I would put him second on the depth chart to start the fall, behind Jeff Demps.

Some receivers also made their mark this spring. The absolute best sight of the spring was watching Andre Debose take his first contact of the spring in practice 12. We saw enough of him in four practices (including the spring game) to know he will play a huge part this year.

Omarius Hines also showed up in the spring game much like he did all spring. Hines has become a nice fixture at the tight end position in some passing routes and loves the deep corner route. He is actually built a lot like Aaron Hernandez was and has looked good this spring. He also runs some at the Z position an should be Carl Moore's backup moving into the fall.

Carl Moore looked good for most of the spring, then decided to take a two-day hiatus to work on some personal matters. When he returned that pretty good turned into really good and he finished the spring like a man on a mission. Moore was scheduled to play a lot last year before a back injury sidelined him and despite his doubters should crack the starting lineup in the fall.

In the slot, Chris Rainey has looked extremely good, he should start there this season. We already mentioned Debose who should line up behind Rainey. The two others at the position will be in a dog fight to see who gets on the field. Both true freshmen Solomon Patton and Robert Clark looked good this spring. I had Patton slightly ahead of Clark before Patton went down and out of practice for the last several sessions. Clark finished strong and now we will just have to see which one gets on the field at the slot.

Stephen Alli was being thrown to the wolves and practiced well before the wolves snuck up and bit him. Alli has some amazing physical gifts and whether he can take a hit and keep going has been the issue in my opinion. After a couple of rough practices taking slant passes and getting beat up inside, he was lost for the rest of the spring with an awkward groin injury, missing about half of it at the end. That was a setback he didn't need, but I still think he works to get on the field in the fall because he can be a difference maker with his athletic ability.

Frankie Hammond seems to be the only other sure shot to get some real playing time at receiver that hasn't been counted on before. Hammond is just consistent and should back up Deonte Thompson at the X in the fall.

On the offensive line, the injuries certainly helped a lot of young guys get some valuable minutes. The one guy that was likely to step into a starting spot via the absence of NFL bound Maurkice Pouncey is James Wilson. Wilson was getting a lot of praise form the staff early in the spring before getting hurt and missing most of spring ball. Still, he played left guard in the spring game and I expect him to start at right guard when the season begins.

Senior Maurice Hurt should be the next guy in but he also missed most of the spring. Hurt has had various injuries throughout his career but has always been someone the staff liked. Freshman Jon Halapio seemed to be the next big one in, but the injury bug struck again and the true freshman guard missed most of spring ball because of it.

Nick Alajajian subbed at center for injured backups Sam Robey and Kyle Koehne. He struggled with snapping for most of the spring but got better at the very end with that detail. He may work himself in as the third center, but I think Sam Robey will be the top back up when the fall starts.

David Young seems like the next guy that will get playing time up front after that group listed. He showed great versatility in the spring game starting at guard for one team then flipping to tackle for the next series and the other team. The staff loves that versatility in players.

The only other one I see playing right now that hasn't played is freshman Jonotthan Harrison. Harrison is huge and a road grater at guard. He and Halapio are a nice duo for the future at the position.

On the defensive line, No one that we didn't already expect to play at defensive end made a statement. The two starters are seniors Justin Trattou and Duke Lemmens, they both improved as the spring went on and that was necessary for this defense. The other one we knew about was junior William Green and in my mind he was the most improved from the mid point of spring on. It is a solid threesome at end, but no one else really developed mainly due to injuries.

No defensive tackles really emerged and the only real possibility of a newcomer was really true freshman Leon Orr. Orr missed a lot of the spring recovering from a knee injury in high school and looked great at times, but is really raw at the position.

At linebacker, they really rotated the group around. The one guy that stood out the most out of the ones that haven't played a lot was freshman Jelani Jenkins. He was so impressive, he finished the spring as the starter at middle linebacker. Sophomores Jon Bostic and Brendan Beal also played well in the spring and should play in the fall.

Matt Elam is a newcomer but probably not a surprise to most that he played well enough to get on the field in the fall at safety. The true freshman was one of the top 10 prospects in America coming out of high school and is the projected starter at nickel and back up at strong safety when the fall begins. He played very well this spring. True freshman Jordan Haden had his moments as well and should add depth in the fall.

At corner a welcome surprise was a healthy Jeremy Brown. The sophomore from Orlando hasn't played a down for Florida and missed two entire seasons due to a back injury. He started off the spring very rusty, but was showing a ton of aggressiveness. That aggressiveness paid off as the spring progressed and those near pass break-ups turned into pass break-ups and interceptions. Urban Meyer said Saturday if the season started this week, Brown would likely be the starter at one corner.

Three other guys played well also and have made it somewhat of a logjam to really decide who starts opposite Janoris Jenkins in the fall. True freshmen Jaylen Watkins and Joshua Shaw had a ton of bright spots this spring as well as some low spots. Moses Jenkins was the most consistent of this quartet and started the entire spring at one of the corner positions. For the coaching staff, as much as they would like to have a clear cut winner and starter named, the competition between the four is a perfect situation for the summer months and heading into the fall.

That is quite a few players that made an impression enough to believe they will see significant playing time in the fall. There are quite a few freshmen that still haven't arrived on campus and some of them will certainly make some noise when all is said and done. The coaching staff gave this spring an A and for developing some players to come in and play I have to agree with them.

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