The Gator offensive line was much maligned last
season and rightfully so. It never
seemed to have more than six or seven guys ready to play and was still in the
process of learning a new system. Combine
that with the fact that two of their starters were freshmen and the other a
first time starter and it often became a bad combination.
But the unit got better during the season and gained valuable experience
for 2003. This, combined with the
fact that three proven junior college players step in, some young guys who are a
year older and offensive line coach Joe Wickline has more depth and experience
to work with this spring.
The returning starters:
The projected backups:
The big left tackle will certainly play on
Sundays. He has worked hard in the
weight room on his quickness and agility. He
has 22 starts under his belt and has played both right and left tackle.
Strengths: experience, competitiveness and pass blocking on deep drops.
Weakness: agility in some run schemes and blocking in space.
Shannon Snell (Senior)
Snell is the leader of the unit and a possible
All-American candidate. His run
game went south when he was injured at Ole Miss.
Twenty-two starts and a true senior with experience.
Strengths: leadership and toughness along with his run blocking.
Weakness: Injuries and a weak left shoulder.
Mike Degory (Sophomore)
Started 12 games as a freshman and may have
been UF's most valuable offensive lineman.
Graded out the highest of any lineman in 4 of his first 6 games.
Was named captain for the Tennessee game because of his work.
Strengths: nasty, physical presence who competes every snap. Motor always runs. Valuable experience in year one of Zaunbreaker's system.
Weakness: Can add weight and strength and probably use a clean shave.
Maurice Mitchell (Junior)
Played right tackle for three games before
settling in at right guard .Took
part in 451 plays after seeing action in a couple of games as a true freshman.
He is the most physical run blocker.
Strengths: physical nasty approach combined with good strength and size. Pretty mobile for size.
Weakness: temper and discipline. What makes him good also gets him in trouble at times with penalties. He has however worked hard in the weight room.
Randy Hand (Sophomore)
Made three starts and saw action in nine games
as a true freshman. Played guard
and tackle. One of only two true
freshman to play this season and played a season high 70 snaps versus Vandy.
Strengths: Great mobility as a young player in both the passing game and run game. Gained valuable experience against FSU and Michigan. Very tough minded bright kid.
Weakness: Needs to add a little lead in the tank. Get bigger stronger and he will play on Sundays. Must rise to the challenge of Colon and Washington this spring and fall.
Lance Butler (Redshirt Sophomore)
Saw action in three games a year ago and
dressed for every game but Georgia. Has
great size and potential and needs to have strong workouts and improve in the
Bill Griffin (Junior – Junior College Transfer)
He played in California was with team for bowl
preparations and is listed at 6-4,299. He
needs to learn the system and will get a look at guard.
He can also play center.
Anthony Guerrero (Ju